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Physics Classroom

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9 to 12
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This collection of high school physics tutorials can be used to introduce or review basic concepts while providing real-life applications. Topics include Newton's laws, Vectors and...more
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This collection of high school physics tutorials can be used to introduce or review basic concepts while providing real-life applications. Topics include Newton's laws, Vectors and Projectiles, Work and Energy, Momentum and Collisions, and much more! QuickTime movie animations show projectiles, collisions, and roller coasters in motion so that changes in acceleration, energy, and velocity can be seen as the action progresses. Add this link to your class web site and keep available on a classroom computer. Created by The Physics Classroom and Mathsoft Engineering & Education, Inc. QuickTime required.

tag(s): tutorials (47), vectors (25)

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Advanced Placement Digital Library - Rice University

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10 to 12
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This site, designed for teachers of advanced placement science courses and their students, provides access to extensive online resources. Each subject topic includes an outline and...more
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This site, designed for teachers of advanced placement science courses and their students, provides access to extensive online resources. Each subject topic includes an outline and links to related resources. All materials on the site have been reviewed and selected by AP teachers and context experts. Users must fill out a free registration form.

tag(s): advanced placement (21)

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Re-living the Wright Way - NASA

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9 to 12
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Not for the faint-hearted, this site explains the math and science behind the Wright Brother's success on that fateful day in Kitty Hawk, NC. Geometry, trigonometry, and Newton's Laws,...more
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Not for the faint-hearted, this site explains the math and science behind the Wright Brother's success on that fateful day in Kitty Hawk, NC. Geometry, trigonometry, and Newton's Laws, along with principles of aerodynamics, are discussed as they relate to aircraft and the phenomena of flight. Many of the links take you to interactive programs that visually illustrate scientific principles. Created by NASA.

tag(s): aeronautics (13), air (163), aircraft (24), aviation (39), flight (36)

In the Classroom

Physics teachers - use this site as a resource to search for materials to inject in your curriculum year-round. There are interactives, virtual lessons and the like that could add something new to your class. Save the site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on.

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Foucault Pendulums - California Academy of Science

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4 to 12
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Here's a nicely illustrated explanation of the physics behind the Foucault pendulum and its use to demonstrate the rotation of the earth. The site's succinct structure would make it...more
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Here's a nicely illustrated explanation of the physics behind the Foucault pendulum and its use to demonstrate the rotation of the earth. The site's succinct structure would make it a neat little supplement to an appropriate physics or science lesson. It would also work well for individual use.

tag(s): earth (228), gravity (46), planets (123), rotation (13)

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Secondary Science Games - Channel 4

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6 to 12
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Britain's Channel 4 has teamed with the Institute of Physics to offer this set of online Flash games about sound, energy, and materials. A free registration is required, but made-up...more
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Britain's Channel 4 has teamed with the Institute of Physics to offer this set of online Flash games about sound, energy, and materials. A free registration is required, but made-up names seem to be acceptable. Teachers will want to preview these for suitability, but there seems to be considerable depth to the content.

tag(s): energy (198), sound (101), sounds (68)

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Cosmic and Heliospheric Learning Center - NASA

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9 to 12
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Secondary physics and astronomy teachers may want to take a look at NASA's primer on cosmic rays, astrophysics, energy particles, and magnetic fields. The site offers lots of drill-down...more
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Secondary physics and astronomy teachers may want to take a look at NASA's primer on cosmic rays, astrophysics, energy particles, and magnetic fields. The site offers lots of drill-down options providing additional detail. A surprisingly useful feature is an "in the news" section that offers current information about many of the topics.

tag(s): energy (198)

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Optics for Teens - Optical Society of America

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6 to 12
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Here's a site that offers lots of depth about optics - the study of light. The site includes some basic theory that is actually understandable; a look at applications of ...more
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Here's a site that offers lots of depth about optics - the study of light. The site includes some basic theory that is actually understandable; a look at applications of optics in medicine, astronomy, and elsewhere; and information on careers in optics.

tag(s): light (46), optics (13)

In the Classroom

Science and physics teachers will find this one a surprisingly rich resource for secondary students.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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String Theory - The Elegant Universe - PBS Nova

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9 to 12
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Secondary physics teachers who want to stretch their students' understanding of the universe will welcome this site on string theory - a companion to the PBS NOVA program on the ...more
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Secondary physics teachers who want to stretch their students' understanding of the universe will welcome this site on string theory - a companion to the PBS NOVA program on the same topic. The most recent attempt to identify a single unifying force in the universe, string theory's key premise is that there are additional dimensions beyond the four (including time) with which most of us are familiar.

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Fission - Moments of Discovery - American Institute of Physics

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9 to 12
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Pretty it isn't, but this site about the serendipity surrounding the discovery of nuclear fission (and many other scientific achievements) emphasizes how a combination of knowledge,...more
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Pretty it isn't, but this site about the serendipity surrounding the discovery of nuclear fission (and many other scientific achievements) emphasizes how a combination of knowledge, research, and happy coincidence contributes to many scientific advances. It's a great point of view for physics and science students to see.

tag(s): energy (198), nuclear energy (24)

In the Classroom

Use the audio files on this site to introduce one of the corresponding topics in a science class over the interactive whiteboard. There are also teacher guides that provide a few simple ideas as to how to work these files into your classroom. This could be a great way to show a case study in your classroom, providing something tangible for students to listen to, supplementing their normal text.

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PhysicsQuests

Grades
7 to 12
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Created by a physics teacher, this site offers a collection of webquests and similar interactive activities that help explain topics typically found in a physics curriculum. As with...more
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Created by a physics teacher, this site offers a collection of webquests and similar interactive activities that help explain topics typically found in a physics curriculum. As with any such collection, the quality of the resources varies, but you'll likely find one or more that fit nicely with your own curriculum.

tag(s): animation (63), webquests (29)

In the Classroom

While not technically a webquest, this site has a lot of extension activities that could be used at the end of a lesson or as a review before a new one. Accommodate today's students, and have them complete the activities on Google Docs, reviewed here, making it easier for them to receive feedback and reduce the amount of messy papers you need to grade.

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A Science Odyssey

Grades
6 to 12
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This retrospective on 20th century scientific advances is particularly strong in its information on the scientists who made the discoveries. Teachers interested in presenting the scientific...more
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This retrospective on 20th century scientific advances is particularly strong in its information on the scientists who made the discoveries. Teachers interested in presenting the scientific process by which these advances were made will find the information here a useful addition. Good information; not a lot of "whiz-bang."

tag(s): scientists (69)

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A Walk Through Time - NIST

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6 to 12
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The NIST Physics Laboratory offers this condensed history of time measurement, which chronicles the evolution of time-keeping from ancient calendars through the establishment of time...more
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The NIST Physics Laboratory offers this condensed history of time measurement, which chronicles the evolution of time-keeping from ancient calendars through the establishment of time zones and atomic clocks. The text is readable and the graphics are interesting while still loading quickly. Depending on the amount of detail you want to absorb, this one would work well for upper elementary through secondary students.

tag(s): time (144), time zones (8)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have each group read and interpret individual sections on this site - making sure every group has a different one. The intentions of this will be to have students analyze this information and present it to their peers to "teach" each other. The text portions are challenging, so you should pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here.

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National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

Grades
6 to 12
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While many portions of this site are directed towards planning visits to the museum, the Historical Perspective section outlines many key developments in the history of nuclear power....more
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While many portions of this site are directed towards planning visits to the museum, the Historical Perspective section outlines many key developments in the history of nuclear power. With information on Marie Curie, Nuclear Non-proliferation, the Manhattan Project, and a number of other key moments in the history of nuclear science, this site is a helpful resource for science research.

tag(s): energy (198), nuclear energy (24)

In the Classroom

Possibly the most interesting aspect of this site is the information they have on the Manhattan Project. Access the article via the "History articles," found after searching through the "Online exhibits" section. The article is lengthy but extremely informative and interesting. Separate the article into parts, assigning the separate parts to pairs or cooperative learning groups. Have the class put together a digital book of the history, with students creating their own individual pages from their sections. While it may seem a bit disjointed at first, the students will pick up a lot of the key details and the results will be really entertaining when the class reads it together over the interactive whiteboard or projector. We recommend using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here for the online book.

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Sim Science

Grades
4 to 12
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Not to be confused with the popular computer game series, this site uses computer simulations to demonstrate science phenomena. Current simulations explore the science of membranes,...more
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Not to be confused with the popular computer game series, this site uses computer simulations to demonstrate science phenomena. Current simulations explore the science of membranes, fluid flows, breaking dams, and crackling noises. Three versions of each simulation allow teachers to choose the simulation most appropriate to their grade level.

tag(s): cells (102), earth (228), earthquakes (48), stress (14)

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West Point Bridge Design Contest - US Military Academy

Grades
9 to 12
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Although the actual contest has concluded, this site still has a free bridge design software that provides students with all the necessary virtual tools to build, test, and refine a...more
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Although the actual contest has concluded, this site still has a free bridge design software that provides students with all the necessary virtual tools to build, test, and refine a steel highway bridge, using realistic specifications, limitations, and performance standards. A great resource for an interactive introduction to engineering.

tag(s): bridges (8), design (84), engineering (125), structures (24)

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How Fuel Cells Work - How Stuff Works

Grades
4 to 12
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A great site for physical science and environmental science. The site explains the technology behind new fuel-cell powered electric cars. With diagrams and a number of links to additional...more
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A great site for physical science and environmental science. The site explains the technology behind new fuel-cell powered electric cars. With diagrams and a number of links to additional resources, this site could be a gateway to more in-depth study.

tag(s): cells (102), electricity (89)

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Einstein - American Museum of Natural History

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4 to 8
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How (and why) do you introduce Einstein to an elementary student? Here's a presentation that does it effectively, drawing on Einstein's love of trying something new and his willingness...more
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How (and why) do you introduce Einstein to an elementary student? Here's a presentation that does it effectively, drawing on Einstein's love of trying something new and his willingness to "think outside the box." While it's mostly text, this site would be a great introduction for a student who is already curious about inventors, scientists, or the universe. This unit is part of the American Museum of Natural History's "Ology" series that explores different aspects of the life sciences. This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): scientists (69)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce your students to the creative mind of Albert Einstein.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science of Hockey - The Exploratorium

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4 to 8
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Here's the latest in the Exploratorium's series on the physics of sports. The science of hockey includes information on the physics of skating, the materials used in the game equipment,...more
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Here's the latest in the Exploratorium's series on the physics of sports. The science of hockey includes information on the physics of skating, the materials used in the game equipment, and the reaction times required to stop a puck moving at 90 miles per hour. There's lots of great exploring in this one.

tag(s): sports (97)

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Simple Physics Experiments - Colorado State University

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6 to 12
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This collection of simple physics experiments from Colorado State University includes a number of illusions and other perceptual oddities. The site explains each in terms of the physics...more
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This collection of simple physics experiments from Colorado State University includes a number of illusions and other perceptual oddities. The site explains each in terms of the physics involved and offers suggestions for other related activities. Science teachers will find lots of useful examples - many of which require little or no equipment - here.

tag(s): experiments (71)

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Wright Brothers' History - Centennial of Flight Commission

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6 to 12
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The US Centennial of Flight Commission has prepared an extensive look at the Wright Brothers and their efforts to build a successful aircraft. This section of a larger site offers ...more
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The US Centennial of Flight Commission has prepared an extensive look at the Wright Brothers and their efforts to build a successful aircraft. This section of a larger site offers details on the journals, the specifications, and the reconstruction of the original Wright flyer. History and physics teachers alike will enjoy this one.

tag(s): air (163), aviation (39), north carolina (4), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered! There are also games that teachers can either print out and use as quick review activities or as a learning center or station. If using as a learning station, save the site as a favorite and have kids peruse it during a unit on Flight, the evolution of transportation or the Industrial Growth of the early 20th century.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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