Web Resources | Ramblings of a physics teacher…

Please find below a variety of physics/science related stuff that I use in my day-to-day teaching. Note that a couple of these resources are AQA specific*: Popular physics/science YouTube channels …

Source: Web Resources | Ramblings of a physics teacher…

 

It’s always good to have a list of handy websites to go through at a later point!

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How to Make Magnetic Slime – Frugal Fun For Boys

Homemade Magnetic Slime

How to Make Magnetic Slime – Frugal Fun For Boys.

I’m sure that most science departments have a whole array of magnetic toys, we certainly have – we may even have some magnetic slime. However, to be able to make more of the stuff? Even use it as part of a STEM session or get prospective students to make it on a school Open Evening… I think it would be pretty fun.

The ingredients are even simpler to buy if you have access to the school ordering system (at least for the iron oxide!) and who doesn’t have some PVA glue?

I think I’d want to try it out myself before I considered doing it at home with children — the iron oxide and breathing aspect makes me hesitant. I also prefer the idea of the slime over putty as think it would be more visual. Especially on an Open Evening in the Physics room!

Friction, Archery and Maize Games

Heatherton! This little collection of games from Wales is kind of addictive! There are three games that appear to be free to play – Archery, Race Car Testing and the Maize Maze.

The Archery game involves some speedy maths to earn arrows which you then get to use on targets where it’s all about the angle and force you apply. Apparently you can move up a level, but I’m not sure if I managed that!

The Race Car Testing game involves choosing different surfaces or different gradient of slope to then have a race car test. Each surface/gradient has to have 3 test runs before an everage is calculated (or you can turn off the calculations so you have to measure the stopping distance and average yourself). Some of the surfaces are normal standard ones – sandpaper, tin foil, glass – and then there’s jelly!

For the maize maze, there’s a whole bunch of information you can read before then answering questions on, well, maize. I didn’t read the info, but still got a handful of questions right and I guess this game will only be useful if you’re studying maize.

All three games have printable results and they don’t require logging in. Definitely something there for physics and maths.

Scibermonkey

This is a pretty nifty, colourful little collection of resources.

Resources are separated into different age ranges: 5-7, 7-11, 11-14, 14-16 and teachers with all of the ranges having different topics to select.

Sciber Monkey

For example, using the teacher section, there are 3 drop down menus for age of student, theme and then topic. This is the same structure if you went on the 11-14 page, but far less colourful!

Scibermonkey itself is very colourful and fun looking, especially to entice those younger into having a look, but then all of the resources are links to elsewhere – games, animations, BBC Bitesize information, diagrams to label. They are all interesting and useful, but each resource could be from a different website that isn’t quite as fun and colourful as the Sciber Monkey site. It is very easily searchable by keywords though, which is always a good positive!

Lammas Science – YouTube

Lammas Science – YouTube.

I’ve just been sent the link to this YouTube page and… Oh… My… God. I once spent an entire summer recording all of our VHS tapes onto the computer so that we had a digital copy. It took forever and although I didn’t actively watch them, I had to keep the sound on so I could catch the end of each episode. From the looks of this YouTube account, I needn’t have bothered!

If you look under Lammas Science playlists, you get collections of videos divided into different KS4 units (B2, C4, etc), there are Bitesize collections, other BBC show colelctions (Wonders of, for example) and broader topics (like forensics, pyrotechnics).

Easily an important site to bookmark, and view whenever needed. The fact that videos are labelled with relevant titles, especially linking them to specific KS4 units is what is most helpful!

British Science Week – Activity Packs

From 13th to 22nd March, it is British Science Week and a page of Activity Packs has been produced by the British Science Association, linking to 15 short activities, arranged by age that can be done to celebrate British Science Week.

There is also a flyer that can be printed, and a collection of curriculum links that apply to the under 11 and 11 – 16 year old activities.

Some of the activities included are building a giant egg timer (prepare in advance with multiple 2 litre plastic bottles!), battery building (not too different to the fruit battery testing that our own STEM group did), wireless signal blockade (handy if you have the right equipment and are allowed to use your phone in a classroom), metallic food (separation techniques, magnetism and easy to do at home as a nice food comparison), and many others.

I think it would be nice to give a class or STEM group their choice over which practical they’d like to do and to work their way through a selection of them. That’s why I’m going to post this earlier than British Science Week – to get you ready and prepared!

I might also keep this list handy to try some at home in a few years!

Invitation to Build: Gumdrop Christmas Trees – Left Brain Craft Brain

Invitation to Build: Gumdrop Christmas Trees – Left Brain Craft Brain.

Build a Christmas Tree

Okay, we’ve done challenges like this before in STEM club – spaghetti towers, marshmallows are far too messy, “buy” different types of building materials. I think one year we did it as part of STEM week and had to balance Creme Eggs on the top of a tower! It had never occurred to me to make this twist and make a Christmas Tree version!

Maybe part of the challenge could be to hold a particular star or tree ornament.

I love how you can adapt the other challenges, involve a planning session to get students to look into the best shapes involved to make a tower and then devote an hour to building a Christmas Tree. I think it would also be incredibly useful in an end of term lesson or even for a tutor-time activity. There might not be time to add it in for this year, but perhaps next year!

Melting Ice Experiment – Inspiration Laboratories

Melting Ice Experiment – Inspiration Laboratories.

Icy Surfaces

I remember seeing a video about melting ice on metal and wood blocks years ago and being simply amazed, and I love the next step that Inspiration Laboratories takes on it. Especially with a Wintery slant.

This would be so achievable in a STEM session, or fun end of term lesson, especially if you then took the worst surface and added salt, rock salt, other harmless white chemical and then compared with surfaces. For example, if metal is the best, can a chemical on a wooden surface make it better than metal?

Could you find enough stones, or a house brick, a paving slab, something akin to tarmac and test “outdoor” surfaces?