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Classroom Activities

  • Exploring Air Resistance Investigate the relationship between velocity and air resistance. View »
  • Newton's Law of Cooling Confirm Newton's law of cooling by collecting and analyzing data on samples of water undergoing a temperature change. View »
  • Ideal Atwood Machine Use this classic physics problem to analyze the forces acting on a set of weights suspended over a pulley. Calculate the acceleration of the system by applying knowledge of Newton's second law of motion, free-body diagrams, and kinematics. View »
  • Determining Charge with an Electroscope Determine the polarity of materials charged with static electricity by using an electroscope. View »
  • Derivation of the Kinematics Equation A solid understanding of kinematics equations and how to employ them to solve problems is essential for success in physics. Take a quick look the algebraic derivations behind these equations. View »
  • Single Function Signal Generator Want to avoid using expensive equipment to generate a variety of electrical waveforms for your students to analyze? Think flowers! But not just any flowers—think plastic, solar-powered, dancing flowers. View »
  • Simplifying Circuits In this activity, students build and test various circuits while investigating how electric circuits work. View »
  • Summer Science How can you keep students thinking about science over summer break? We suggest offering them science-based activities that they can do on their own without much expense or equipment. View »
  • Build the Fastest Car in the World...that Goes Roughly 0.1 m/s The inclined plane can be used to explore a variety of fundamental concepts, including static and kinetic friction, dynamic equilibrium, unbalanced forces, and the work-energy theorem. In this experiment, your students design a car using the Visual Scientifics system and a smartphone. View »
  • Hovercrafts in the Classroom Designing and building hovercrafts is an engaging STEM experience for students. They become involved with science, learn from one another, enjoy the process, and take pride in a creating a masterpiece of their own. View »
  • The Conical Pendulum A great activity for physics classes investigating centripetal force and uniform circular motion. View »
  • Volcano in the Classroom Here’s a safe, easy, and vivid interpretation of a classic activity that won’t break the budget. All you’ll need are a few common items—a beaker, sand, water, a candle, and a hot plate. View »
  • Imploding Soda Cans: An Inquiry Approach Your students have probably seen someone crush an empty beverage can with their bare hands, or have even crushed one themselves. But have they ever seen an open can seemingly crush itself, like magic, without the presence of a visible, physical force? View »
  • Under The Dome: Demonstrations with a Vacuum Pump Get out your vacuum pump for engaging activities and demonstrations designed to enrich your lessons on the properties of gases. View »
  • Newton’s Laws, Friction, and Hovercraft With this Carolina Essentials™ activity, students build a simple hovercraft that illustrates Newton’s laws of motion and frictional force. View »
  • Energy Is Energy Energy that we use has to come from somewhere. Even though one form of energy may seem different from another form, it really is all the same. Energy is energy. View »
  • Ring and Disc Demonstration Gain a deeper understanding of the classic ring and disc physics demonstration designed to introduce the concepts of rotational inertia, rotational motion, and rolling motion. View »
  • What's the Buzz About? Sound in a Vacuum Sound waves require a medium through which they travel. No medium (even air), no sound. Easily demonstrate this concept with a vacuum pump, buzzer, and jar. View »
  • The Problem with Pulleys Build and test working models of pulley systems commonly used in problems in physics texts and tests. View »
  • The Engaging Approach to Ensuring Safe Labs Looking for some fresh ideas on teaching lab safety? This guide offers an engaging approach to the equipment and procedures essential to conducting science labs safely. View »
  • The Lava Lamp Lab: A Guided-Inquiry Approach to Intermolecular Forces Remember that lava lamp you had? You and your students can use this lab to explore the fascinating world of intermolecular forces firsthand. View »
  • A Powerful Approach to Flipped Learning What do you get when you merge the effectiveness of flipped learning with the meaningful experiences and critical thinking supported by inquiry? Engaged students, and lessons that get results. See how science teacher Brian Bennett combines the flipped learning and inquiry methods for impactful learning. View »
  • Optics of the Human Eye A cross-curricular lesson in biology and physics allows students to make a simple model of the human eye. Students investigate how geometric optics can be applied to this complex, biological structure in order to describe how the images we see are formed when special tissues in our eye, the cornea and the lens, refract the light entering the pupil to create an image on the back wall of the eyeball (the retina), like a miniature, organic movie projector. View »
  • Carolina Quick Tips®: Carolina STEM Challenge®: Balloon Rockets Design a balloon rocket to carry a payload of pennies the farthest distance on a string track. Before beginning the challenge, students should be familiar with Newton’s first and second laws of motion. This activity focuses on the third law. View »
  • Debunking Science Misconceptions True or false? Humans only use about 10% of their brains. Teach students how to refute or disprove purported facts or beliefs with the help of this activity. View »
  • The Physics of Vision Get ready to investigate parallax and depth perception with 2 activities you can complete in less than 30 minutes. View »