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Examples of Teaching with Demonstrations


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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

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

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 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

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

Subject: Physics:Classical Mechanics:Work and Energy

Vectors: Lifting a Bowling Ball part of MnSCU Partnership:PKAL-MnSCU Activities
Compare lifting a bowling ball directly (one small person) to lifting a bowling ball at an angle with two people holding the ends of a rope and the ball hooked to the middle of the rope.

Subject: Physics:General Physics:Vector Algebra

Using Popcorn to Simulate Radioactive Decay part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Popping popcorn in your class is an excellent way to illustrate both the spontaneity and irreversible change associated with radioactive decay. It helps students to understand the unpredictability of decay.

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Historical Geology, Geochemistry:Radioisotopes

M&M Model for Radioactive Decay part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
A tasty in-class demonstration of radioactive decay using two colors of M&M's. Illustrates the quantitative concepts of probability and exponential decay. This activity is appropriate for small classes (<40 students).

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Historical Geology

The nature of volcanism as controlled by viscosity part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This activity is fun to include in a classroom. This activity has the students design demonstrations using ketchup and peanut butter to document how viscosity differences between rhyolite and basalt control various ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology:Igneous Processes, Volcanology