New Physics Text endorsed by FIRST

I have just received the new textbook “Essential Physics.” The company is a new one, Ergopedia, and they appear to be mostly a spin off from MIT.

Our own Woodie Flowers is on the Board of Directors! Both Labview and FIRST are printed on the front cover endorsing the textbook.

It is designed as an online text, and is also available in the old-fashioned hardbound paper. I ordered the online & DVD for each student, plus a single in-class paper set.

I liked it from the start, but I’m liking it more and more as I get through it. All physics teachers out there, take notice, and ask for a sample copy and temporary access.

Check out the site

delta p over t, man!

mmm not sure how i feel about this sounds really great but, i’m always weary of textbook company. And i’m even more weary when they try to sell “hardware” like a 600$ plastic robot .

Hey at least they don’t require you to buy a 26,000 junk cnc like PLTW use to.


I checked out the site. I requested a hard copy of the book and any other materials that they are willing to share for free(?).

We have a two year process for new “texts”. I am still using Holt 2002. Probably time for a revision.

The changes that we have seen in education with the advent of the internet are too great to ignore. (I started in 1991).
I have gone from Apple IIe’s,through LabPro and Vernier (which I believe obscured more than they revealed), to now actively using smartphones in the curriculum to enhance the ways that our great variety of students can access the knowledge, skills, and abilities to understand physics and other subjects.

I think we have finally crossed a threshold and the promise of CPU’s improving education may be here.
Still, it’s a lot of effort to remember all of those passwords and virtually organize the material into a cogent product.

I still like to maintain and utilize the old standby’s of meter sticks, timers, balances, batteries, wires and incandescent light bulbs for when the EMP comes. :slight_smile:
I also prefer hand written lab reports. So much character in penmanship.
But now we are on ChromeBooks with Google Docs. :ahh:

Nonetheless, I look forward to reviewing these materials and preparing my submittal for a curriculum “change”. I am wondering if the MIT Media Lab had much involvement.

I am skeptical about the FIRST endorsement. Who, what, when, why?

The TEDx talk by Woodie is great:;search%3Awoodie%20flowers

What machine are you talking about? One of our mentors also teaches PLTW, and has a DaVinci Techno CNC machine, but I’d be extremely surprised if that machine cost more than 12k.

Can you share where you found that FIRST endorses the textbook or that FIRST is an educational partner?

The website lists educational partners and FIRST is not among them.

Also, where do you see Ergopedia’s Board of Directors?


Hey at least they don’t require you to buy a 26,000 junk cnc like PLTW use to.

After our first year at our new highschool, the PLTW coordinator for the area who knows very little of our robotics program or the engineering support behind it… decided we needed a PLTW CNC course. We strongly recommended something like a Tormach PCNC… we’re getting not one… but TWO! of the Intelitek BenchMill 6000s (which fits the bill of the overpriced CNC) They are ~$20K a pop with all the bells and whistles, use an ISO20 toolset which matches none of the R8 we already have, and it has a whopping 10"x6" work area.

Yah… just had to rant a bit on the same topic. Not to sound ungrateful because we’re lucky to be getting new toys, but I wish they would consider a “non-educational” product that is a higher value.

Not a full answer (since I’m not OP), but Ergopedia has Joined the PASCO Scientific Family contains a picture of the book where you can just make out the FIRST and NI logos on the cover.

This first page here has the FIRST logo as well

I find it fascinating that FIRST may be dipping their toe into curriculum after all this time. I would love to hear the origin story on this one, as they’ve said no so many times before.

The FIRST logo (as well as that of Labview) is on the front cover of the textbook. The guy who told me that Woodie Flowers was on the Board was this guy I met at the New England Championship. I’m horrible with names, but I think his name was Woodie Flowers.

I too am a bit of an “old school” teacher when it comes to Labs. I prefer to keep my PASCO carts and Smart Timers for another decade rather than getting the ErgoBots from this package. But I’m just talking about the text itself.

And I will rave on as the year just started, and I’m finding more and more good things about the text. It can be purchase with or without the hardbound book. Getting the virtual textbook gives it to each student as BOTH the installable full-text from the DVD, as well as the on-line access which can be put on any mobile device as well.

Each paragraph can be spoken if you click the speaker icon. I told my students the bad news: now they can do their Physics homework on the bus to the [whatever] practice, or game.

I’m digging the teacher’s edition which includes an “infinite” test question bank. Technically infinite I guess, because the numerical problems have limitless variability, but even the qualitative questions are varied when asking the “same” question.

I’m using this text for my AP classes this year, but I’m going to spread them to the Honors classes next year if I can.

If anyone wants a human to talk to at Ergopedia, ask for Eleanor Ahlborn:
[email protected]

Tell her Brian from Groton said “hi”