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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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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).

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

Understanding the Work Energy Theorem: In the lab or as lecture demonstration part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Teaching with Interactive Demonstrations:Examples
This series of questions before instruction, in-class peer instruction as students come to understanding, and visualization of an important mathematical relationship allow students to iterate and improve their understanding of work incrementally.

Experiment Problem in Kinematics: How Much Does it Take to Win the Race? part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Teaching with Interactive Demonstrations:Examples
In this activity, students are presented with two objects that have different constant speeds and that will race each other. The students must determine which object will win the race, as well as either how much time elapses between the objects crossing the finish line.

Introduction to Torques: A Question of Balance, Featuring the Sledge Hammer of the Sierra Madre part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Teaching with Interactive Demonstrations:Examples
Interactive Lecture Demonstrations to illustrate the nature of torques and on the balancing of torques in static equilibrium.

Elastic and Inelastic Collisions: The Case of the Happy and Sad Balls part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Teaching with Interactive Demonstrations:Examples
Interactive Lecture Demonstration to illustrate that impulses are larger in elastic collisions than in inelastic collisions if other factors are the same.

Angular Momentum Experiment part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
After using the historical development of concepts of conserved motion to develop introductory understanding, students are directed to a series of activities to gain a better understanding of momentum, conservation of momenta, angular momentum, and conservation of angular momenta.

The Standard Model: Using CERN output graphics to identify elementary particles part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
After using the historical development of the Standard Model to develop introductory understanding, students link to OPAL and DELPHI data archives from CERN to identify and study the tracks from elementary particles.

Graph Predictions for Position, Velocity and Acceleration part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
Graphical Just-in-Time-Teaching questions for use before classes in which students explore position, velocity and acceleration graphs.

Accessible Solar System on a String part of Teacher Preparation:Resource Collections:Activities
Explore the solar system using your senses.

Hurricanes: Unit Overview part of Hurricanes
In this EarthLabs module, students will do hands-on experiments and study hurricanes in satellite imagery and visualizations. They'll also explore over 150 years of storm data to find out when and where these storms occur. If students are studying hurricanes during hurricane season, they can monitor the position and status of storms in real time. Hurricanes can serve as an exciting entry point into understanding everyday weather, or a culminating topic for an Earth system or environmental science unit.

Hurricanes Unit Overview part of EarthLabs for Educators:Hurricanes
In this EarthLabs module, students will do hands-on experiments and study hurricanes in satellite imagery and visualizations. They'll also explore over 150 years of storm data to find out when and where these storms occur. If students are studying hurricanes during hurricane season, they can monitor the position and status of storms in real time. Hurricanes can serve as an exciting entry point into understanding everyday weather, or a culminating topic for an Earth system or environmental science unit.

Sonar Demonstration -- Human Sound Wave part of Cutting Edge:Oceanography:Activities
Sonar technology allowed scientists to produce high-resolution maps of the sea floor for the first time. This sonar demonstration uses a Human Sound Wave to image the "sea floor" in a lecture hall. In ...

Pressure Melting of Ice: While-U-Wait part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
In this demonstration, students get to witness pressure melting and regelation first-hand. A weight is suspended via a thin wire over an ice cube. Over the course of the course of the demonstration, the wire ...

Making Sustainable Business Decisions In Four Different Industries and Their Effect on People (Social), Planet (Environment), and Profit (Economics) part of SISL:Activities
The student will gain a better understanding of "Global Warming" and the "Triple Bottom Line" by viewing the first two videos. Further the CEO2 game will introduce many new ideas/options that specific industries have to select from in achieving their desired corporate/company goals.

Order It Up! part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Examples
A think-pair-share activity which involves putting solar system bodies in order based on various statistics: escape velocity, distance from the sun, mass, etc. -

Resolving Force Vectors: Interactive Demonstration part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Teaching with Interactive Demonstrations:Examples
This is an Interactive Lecture Demonstration for resolving force vectors using the suspended block demonstration (1J30.10).

Contructing a projectile launcher and free falling target part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Teaching with Interactive Demonstrations:Examples
This activity describes the construction and use of a pneumatic cannon and free falling target used to teach the concepts of projectile motion in introductory physics.

An electrostatics puzzler part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Teaching with Interactive Demonstrations:Examples
An interactive lecture demonstration intended to help students use physics reasoning to predict the outcome of a puzzling electrostatics demonstration.