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Examples of Teaching with Demonstrations

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Earthquake Demonstration part of Examples
This demonstration uses an "earthquake machine" constructed from bricks, sand paper, and a winch, to simulate the buildup of elastic strain energy prior to a seismic event and the release of that energy during an earthquake.

Subject: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes, Geoscience:Geology:Structural Geology:Microstructures, Deformation Mechanisms, Fabrics

Igneous Rocks Model part of Examples
While working in groups to facilitate peer tutoring, students use samples of four igneous rocks (gabbro, basalt, granite, and rhyolite) to observe differences in texture, color and grain size and make inferences ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology:Igneous Rocks

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

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

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

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

Experiment Problem in Kinematics: How Much Does it Take to Win the Race? part of 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.

Subject: Physics:Classical Mechanics:Motion in One Dimension

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

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

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

Subject: Physics:Classical Mechanics:Work and Energy