It can be difficult to find ways to motivate students while teaching a physics course for non-physics students. Students come to class with many different attitudes and preconceptions, some of which are detrimental to their learning. As physics educators, we strive for student engagement and motivation in course material no matter what type of students we have. One way to pique a student’s curiosity is to contextualize the course and relate it to a student’s career goals or interest. In this article, a physics course is customized by implementing relevant physics problems to motivate students. Students are given an assignment to create an original physics problem that is applicable to their lives, especially with reference to their career path or special interest. These problems are then assessed and implemented throughout the course with the aim of enabling students to see interdisciplinary connections and creating student motivation. In this article, I argue that this method has brought excitement and value to physics in their lives because they can find this personal relevance. The rationale and process of customizing a university Intro to Physics course (a precalculus-based course) is discussed in detail; however, I believe that this customization can easily be incorporated at the high school level.

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