AP in a Classroom
AP Physics, Citrus Hill High School Val Verde Unified School District Perris, California
There is one AP Physics teacher at Citrus Hill High school in Perris, California: Michael Towne. He teaches Physics B, Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism and Physics C: Mechanics. Eighty percent of his students are low income, 72 percent are Hispanic/Latino, and the majority of parents here never attended college.
U.S. high school teachers taught an AP Physics course last year
Towne’s energy and enthusiasm have motivated his students to tackle AP Physics and succeed. In 2012, 63 percent of Towne’s students who took AP Physics C: Mechanics and 55 percent of his students who took AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism scored a 3 or higher on the AP Exam. Ten of his AP Physics students received a score of 5 in 2012, up from three students who earned the top score the year before.
Towne is dedicated to showing his students that they have what it takes to master AP Physics, to excel in college and to pursue the career of their dreams.
One of Towne’s former students, Manuel Sanchez — currently studying physics at UCLA — is the first in his family to attend college. “[Towne] was not only an instructor but a life coach, motivating his class to do well and succeed,” said Sanchez.
U.S. public high school graduates took an AP Physics Exam
“He offered tutoring every weekday, Monday through Friday. He prepared me for college with problem-solving, studying and test-taking strategies. He showed me the beauty of physics.”
Towne engages his students by showing them how to build amplifiers and wind turbines. He takes them on trips to local universities and nanotechnology and engineering labs to show them that with the right skills and determination, anything is possible.
“[My students] find themselves challenging themselves to a level that they never thought they could achieve,” says Towne. “In the next ten, twenty years … the explosion of jobs … is primarily going to come in high-tech fields ... the jobs that are going to be high paying and provide the kind of challenges that these students will aspire to.”
Thanks to Towne, AP Physics continues to grow in popularity at Citrus Hill High School. In May 2013, his students will take 149 AP Physics Exams—almost triple the number of exams taken there in 2012.