AP Physics 1 and 2 Inquiry-Based Lab Investigations

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AP Physics 1 and 2 Lab Manual


AP Physics 1 and 2 Inquiry-Based Lab Investigations: A Teacher's Manual was developed by the College Board to support AP Physics teachers in implementing an inquiry-based approach in the classroom. Inquiry-based laboratory investigations are integral to the AP Physics 1 and 2 courses because they provide opportunities for students to apply the seven science practices (defined in the curriculum frameworks) as they identify questions, design experiments, conduct investigations, collect and analyze data, and communicate their results.

The manual:

  • Includes 16 student-directed, guided-inquiry labs (nine for AP Physics 1, and seven for AP Physics 2)
  • Aligns with the learning objectives in the AP Physics 1 Course and Exam Description (.pdf/6.7MB) and the AP Physics 2 Course and Exam Description (.pdf/3.9MB), which contain the curriculum frameworks and sample exam questions
  • Demonstrates how inquiry-based labs allow students to plan, direct, and integrate a range of science practices, such as designing experiments, collecting data, and applying quantitative skills
  • Aligns with best practices promoted by the National Science Foundation and America's Lab Report
  • Emphasizes scientific inquiry, reasoning, and critical thinking
  • Includes lists of supplemental resources

The AP Physics labs provided by the College Board do not represent required activities; in fact, teachers are encouraged to develop their own inquiry-based labs that address the learning objectives in the curriculum framework.

Ancillary Guides for the AP Physics Laboratory

The College Board has also developed two guides, one for students and one for teachers, in support of skills needed for inquiry-based lab investigations.

Access the Lab Manual

Standalone sections from AP Physics 1 & 2 Inquiry-Based Lab Investigations: A Teacher's Manual (.pdf/7.82MB) are available below.


A print edition of the teacher's lab manual is available for purchase at the College Board Store.