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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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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.

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.

Properties of Electrostatic Charge: Interactive Lecture Demonstration part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Teaching with Interactive Demonstrations:Examples
This activity is an interactive lecture demonstration format which can be used to teach the first lesson of electrostatics. Students will investigate conservation of charge, charge by contact, polarization of charge and charge by induction.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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 ...

ConcepTest: Eccentricity and Seasons part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:ConcepTests:Examples
Mars has a more eccentric orbit of the Sun than Earth. Mars is 20% closer to the Sun during winter in its Northern hemisphere than it is during its summer. What would be the implications for the seasons on Earth if ...

ConcepTest: Sun Spot Activity part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:ConcepTests:Examples
Sun spots, flares and other emissions from the Sun's surface can have a negative impact on electrical systems on Earth. What would be the implications for this type of solar activity if the Sun did not ...

ConcepTest: Jovian Planet Characteristics part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:ConcepTests:Examples
The characteristics of four planets are listed below. Which planet is most likely to be classified as Jovian? a. Mainly rocky, volcanism, low gravity. b. Mainly rocky, no volcanism, high gravity. c. Mainly gaseous, ...

ConcepTest: Eccentricity and Temperature Distribution part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:ConcepTests:Examples
Mars has a more eccentric orbit of the Sun than Earth. Mars is 20% closer to the Sun during its winter than it is during its summer. How would temperature distributions on Earth be affected if we had a similarly ...

ConcepTest: Rotation part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:ConcepTests:Examples
It takes 24 hours—one day—for one complete rotation of Earth. How long would it take for the Sun to strike every location on the equator if Earth did not rotate on its axis? a. never b. one season c. 24 hours ...

ConcepTest: The Moons Orbit part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:ConcepTests:Examples
Does the Moon have a geocentric or heliocentric type orbit? a. geocentric. b. heliocentric. c. neither.