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I'm new to the school I'm teaching at and finding there is very little equipment for a lab. Even a lab as simple as Newton's laws. While I'm building my personal supply of odds and ends for these labs I was wondering... Does anyone have good websites for simulations? There are some good ones on the Sci pacs here but I was looking for some others if there are ideas.
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The university of colorado has a great site for simulations for many kinds of disciplines. Most of them even have lesson plans that accompany them. The website is... http://phet.colorado.edu
Have fun with them!
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Ken shared a good site with you and you might also look at some of the physics simulations developed at Davidson College. These simulations have been used and improved upon for decades. Check out their archive site, too
Also, don't be shy about letting a search engine find some simulations dor you. The U of Oregon has some great ones as does North Carolina.
For additional help, check out what is offered in various areas at the Exploratorium in California.
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I like the phet site. used for students with attendnace problems; instead of using make up labs I just assigned teh simulation BUT nothing beats a hands-on activity. Check the NSTA store for Take Home Physics book, lots of good inexpensive ideas.
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Maria made a suggestion for the “Take Home Physics” book from the NSTA store. http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9781935155058 This is an excellent resource and gives you the opportunity to provide quality labs for students that are highly engaging. A bonus is I had a Rotary group as well as some PTSA member volunteer to build classroom sets of some of the equipment so we could use them at Family Science Nights and then have the equipment to use for years to come.
Another wonderful resource is Dr. William C. Robertson’s “Stop Faking It!” series. http://www.nsta.org/store/search.aspx His books provide lots of hands-on investigations as well as simulations. “Force and Motion” http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9780873552097 was one of the first books I checked out earlier in my career. Students really like the investigations, explanations and Dr. Robertson’s humor. Another related book in the series is “Stop Faking It! Energy” http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9780873552141
I have uploaded a sample chapter from “Force and Motion” called “Newton’s First One”.
Newtons_First_Sample_Chapter.pdf (0.28 Mb)
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There is an interesting article about dynamic simulations that you might wnat to read. It is called:
Teaching Physics with Dynamic Simulations from the Learning Center. It is about the next generation simulations.
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Thank you for the ideas everyone! I've put together a webhunt for this with some of the suggestions. I'm still pulling together items for labs. So far I've got some used tennis balls and golf balls. And one toy car. Making ramps out of books and poster board. I'm sure you've all heard the sob stories, no ordering until the new year, etc. I'd love to get my kids to do some kind of hands on activity at all! Makes it so much easier to understand the concepts. Now I'm off to beg some timers from the PE department :)
Oh, here's the webhunt if anyone is needing/looking for one...
Newtons_Webquest.doc (0.04 Mb)
I learned at a Physics teaching workshop at Marquette University in Milwaukee that the "speed recorder" fro hot wheels is really accurate and can be cheap. You can use to have the kids do some of hands on recording in combination with the ramps (get for pennies at rummage sales) for speed acceleration, kinetic energy and potential energy; it is better than using timers.
You might also look at the discussion on PHets in the Physical Science forum.
That's a great idea. Does anyone have expereince with Physleta, I just found them looking for something interesting to teach motion diagrams. There is a book on Physlets but costs over $50 so I would like to hear some opinions before buying it. Thanks
In response to the question about online simulations in physics and science:
My school and district subscribe to Discovery Education. I am not sure what the fee is, but I highly recommend it. You can easily look up any topic from Math and Reading to Science to Social Studies and find tons of resources, such as videos with study guides and worksheets, e-books, songs, and online labs. My favorites for science are the virtual labs, integrated science simulations, and Fun-damentals. They are interactive experiments and simulations students can work on in pairs online or as a whole class. They usually include a printable lab sheet you can give to each student for observations, data collections, and assessment. They are ready to use and extremely user friendly. I use them all the time with my third graders. The labs range from Kindergarten level all the way to 12th grade. You can filter and search by subject, grade level and type of resource. It is a great way to have the students interact with science and technology at the same time.
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I totally agree with you Alayna! I teach 4th grade and I also use Discovery Education for every science unit that I teach. It has great videos and simulations. After reading and discussing the material in our Harcourt text book, I have students watch related videos from Discovery Education. As they are watching, I pause to discuss and allow them time to take notes. In the end, they are to write an essay about what they learned using their notes (normally aligned to the standards), What’s really good about Discovery Education is that you can assign the videos to students to watch at home and you can also save them under your content so that you can use them the following year.
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When money for equipment is lacking; you might consider teaching with toys and teaching physical science inexpensively. There are several past (and yet on-going and relevant) topics within the Physical Science Forum that may be of interest: You may have to look for these topics on other pages within the forum.
1. Inquiry with Paper
2. Teaching Physics With Toys
These two topics are not embedded too far down the pages.
Yes, I agree! When teaching physics, you can pretty much use any objects around you. Simulations included in SciPacks are also very helpful. For example, Force and Motion Scipack includes roller coaster and cart simulations that illustrate how force is exerted on other objects. These simulations are great visuals and some of them include hands on activities where you can adjust things such as speed, friction, mass, or force to test how objects react to different situations.
Thanks for the input. Your badge indicates that you are a SciPack user and you mentioned some visuals that you thought were useful from SciPacks. It would be terrific if you could share some specifics with us. Your could mentor others and encourage them to research SciPacks and using that content material as learning material for students in class.
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