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Search for activities specifically designed for introductory college level physics courses. Refine this search by either clicking on the terms in boxes to the right or typing a term into the search box below. Activities include a description, background information, and necessary student documents.


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Rutherford's Model of the Atom part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Students are asked think-pair-share questions to predict the interaction of alpha particles fired toward the nucleus of an atom. An online applet is used to illustrate the interaction and test students' ideas ...

Learning to Think about Gravity II: Aristotle to Einstein part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
The purpose of this exercise is to learn how to think about gravity, learn about scientific methodology, and transition from the Aristotelian to Newtonian to Einsteinian understanding of gravity. -

Projectile and Satellite Orbits part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Gravitation introductory activity with interesting animation. The activity allows the student to revile the connection between the initial speed and the shape of satellite orbit. -

Models of the Hydrogen Atom part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
In this interactive lecture, models of the hydrogen atom are explored using an online Java applet. The exploration leads to qualitative and quantitative analysis of energy transitions. -

Learning to Think about Gravity: Newtons's Theory part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
The purpose of this exercise is to learn how to think about gravity, learn about scientific methodology, and transition from the Aristotelian to the Newtonian understanding of gravity. -

Work: pre, during and post class questions part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
This series of questions before instruction, in-class peer instruction, and post-instruction allow students to iterate and improve their understanding of work incrementally. -

Motion Concepts: Displacement, velocity, & acceleration graphs part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples

Understanding the Motion of a Harmonic Oscillator part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Teaching with Interactive Demonstrations:Examples
This inteactive lecture and series of demonstrations develops the concepts and vocabulary of oscillatory motion as it relates to the motion of a mass on a spring.

Introduction to Work and Energy: The Hopper Popper Surprise part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Teaching with Interactive Demonstrations:Examples

The Magic of Optics: Now you see it, now you don't part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Teaching with Interactive Demonstrations:Examples
A magical demonstration where a Pyrex tube vanishes in a beaker of mineral oil. Useful demonstration to introduce to concept of refraction (and/or partial reflection).

Using an Observatory Project to Develop Professional Communication in Astronomy part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Professional Communications Projects:Examples
This is a comprehensive project using the Highland Road Park Observatory camera. This project encompasses the formal portions for both written and spoken communication, and carries 55% of the course credit.

HydroViz virtual hydrologic observatory part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Google Earth:Examples
HydroViz is an educational "virtual" hydrologic observatory developed for a "real" watershed and is based on integration of field data, remote sensing observations and computer simulations of hydrologic variables and processes. The main purpose of HydroViz is to support hydrology education in engineering and earth science courses.

Resources for using PhET simulations in class PhET Activities Database part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:PhET Interactive Science Simulations:Examples
The PhET Activities Database is a collection of resources for using PhET sims. It includes hundreds of lesson plans, homework assignments, labs, clicker questions, and more. Some activities have been created by the PhET team and some have been created by teachers.

Using PhET simulations to replace real equipment in lab Circuit Construction Kit part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:PhET Interactive Science Simulations:Examples
Labs and tutorials that use equipment such as circuits can be modified to use PhET simulations instead. Research shows that substituting the PhET Circuit Construction Kit simulation for real equipment in a variety ...

Writing your own activities - PhET Activity Guidelines part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:PhET Interactive Science Simulations:Examples
You can create your own lectures, homework, and labs around any PhET simulation by using the PhET Activity Guidelines . These guidelines will help you create "guided inquiry activities which encourage students to construct their own understanding," which are the most effective way to use PhET simulations.

Using PhET simulations in high school Open-ended Pendulum Labs part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:PhET Interactive Science Simulations:Examples
These labs provide examples of using very open-ended questions to guide students in exploring a simulation and designing their own experiments. These labs can lead to a high level of quantitative thinking about data analysis.

Using PhET simulations in a large lecture class The Photoelectric Effect part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:PhET Interactive Science Simulations:Examples
This activity provides a complete curriculum for teaching the photoelectric effect using the PhET Photoelectric Effect simulation in a large-lecture modern physics course. It includes links to powerpoint slides for two to three 50-minute lectures using Peer Instruction with clickers, and one homework assignment suitable for an online homework system. Research has demonstrated that students in classes using this curriculum have a better understanding of the photoelectric effect than students in classes using traditional instruction supplemented by a computerized tutor.

Using Learning Assistants to Support Peer Instruction with Classroom Response Systems ("Clickers") part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Learning Assistants:Examples
Learning Assistants are used to facilitate student discussion in peer instruction during clicker questions (i.e., classroom response systems), by asking Socratic questions, emphasizing reasoning, and probing student thinking.

Using Learning Assistants in Recitation Tutorials part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Learning Assistants:Examples
Undergraduate Learning Assistants can be used to supplement the instructor and/or Teaching Assistant during recitations. They may help facilitate productive group work on tutorial activities designed to help ...

Various Group Activities Using Learning Assistants part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Learning Assistants:Examples
Undergraduate Learning Assistants have been used to facilitate group work in a variety of ways, such as in-lecture tutorials and worksheets, group work in required recitations, and group work in optional ...

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