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Examples of Teaching with Demonstrations


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Phases of the Moon part of Examples
This exercise has students use a simple physical model of the Earth, sun, and moon to understand why the moon changes phases from the perspective of Earthly observers.

Subject: Geoscience:Lunar and Planetary Science

Slinky and Waves part of Examples
Use a Slinky to show:P and S waves, Wave reflection, and Standing waves in interactive lecture demonstration.

Subject: Physics:Oscillations & Waves:Wave Motion, Geoscience:Oceanography:Physical , Geoscience:Geology:Structural Geology:Rheology/Behavior of Materials

Helping Students Discover Total Internal Reflection part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Students learn the basic relationship of Snell's Law, practice applying it to a situation, then are given another situation where it "doesn't work."??? This situation turns out to be one in which total internal reflection occurs. Students are then shown what happens with classroom apparatus.

Subject: Physics:Optics

Introduction to Work and Energy: The Hopper Popper Surprise part of Examples

Subject: Physics:Classical Mechanics:Work and Energy

Understanding the Motion of a Harmonic Oscillator part of 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.

Subject: Physics:Oscillations & Waves

Properties of Electrostatic Charge: Interactive Lecture Demonstration part of 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.

Subject: Physics:Electricity & Magnetism

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

Subject: Physics:Classical Mechanics

Understanding the Work Energy Theorem: In the lab or as lecture demonstration part of 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.

Subject: Physics:Classical Mechanics:Work and Energy

The Magic of Optics: Now you see it, now you don't part of 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).

Subject: Physics:Optics

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

Subject: Physics:Classical Mechanics