Teaching Science

physics

Perimeter Inspirations: A Deeper Understanding of Energy

A Deeper Understanding of Energy is an inquiry-based educational resource. Hands-on activities focused on energy explore energy transformations in everything from everyday technology to stellar dynamics and the expanding universe. Students model energy transformations using energy flow diagrams and work-energy bar charts, as well as algebraic methods.

Opportunities are provided throughout the resource for students to explore the role of energy in the nucleus as they consider nuclear transformations, ionizing radiation, and mass-energy equivalence. The power of conservation laws is illustrated as students work through a series of experiments that expands their understanding of how scientific models evolve.

This digital resource is designed to excite learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), with an emphasis on global competencies—including critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, and communication.

As usual with Perimeter Institute products, this free downloadable resource comes in both PDF and Microsoft Word versions, so you can customize it if you want to.

I used the draft version of this last year, trying most of the activities. I think they are worthwhile. I did find the time estimates a bit optimistic — allow for up to 50% more time to complete an activity than the lesson plan suggests.

Linked in the grade 11 energy unit.

Perimeter Inspirations: Wave Model Applications

Wave Model Applications is an inquiry-based educational resource. Hands-on activities focused on waves explore the far-reaching extent of the wave model for understanding and manipulating natural phenomena. Students are introduced to the basic properties of waves and how they are used to solve problems.

Opportunities are provided throughout the resource for students to explore the breadth of technologies that use wave phenomena to reduce noise, image ship wrecks, study earthquakes, and detect gravitational waves. The fundamental properties of sound are also explored to build a deeper understanding of how the human ear functions.

This digital resource is designed to excite learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), with an emphasis on global competencies—including critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, and communication.

As usual with Perimeter Institute products, this free downloadable resource comes in both PDF and Microsoft Word versions, so you can customize it if you want to.

I used the draft version of this last year, trying most of the activities. I think they are worthwhile. I did find the time estimates a bit optimistic — allow for up to 50% more time to complete an activity than the lesson plan suggests.

Linked in the grade 11 waves unit.

In Our Time: Echolocation

In Our Time is a wonderful series on BBC Radio 4.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss how some bats, dolphins and other animals emit sounds at high frequencies to explore their environments, rather than sight. This was such an unlikely possibility, to natural historians from C18th onwards, that discoveries were met with disbelief even into the C20th; it was assumed that bats found their way in the dark by touch. Not all bats use echolocation, but those that do have a range of frequencies for different purposes and techniques for preventing themselves becoming deafened by their own sounds. Some prey have evolved ways of detecting when bats are emitting high frequencies in their direction, and some fish have adapted to detect the sounds dolphins use to find them.

Linked in the grade 11 physics and grade 11 biology pages.

In Our Time: The Proton

In Our Time is a wonderful series on BBC Radio 4.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the discovery and growing understanding of the Proton, formed from three quarks close to the Big Bang and found in the nuclei of all elements. The positive charges they emit means they attract the fundamental particles of negatively charged electrons, an attraction that leads to the creation of atoms which in turn leads to chemistry, biology and life itself. The Sun (in common with other stars) is a fusion engine that turn protons by a series of processes into helium, emitting energy in the process, with about half of the Sun's protons captured so far. Hydrogen atoms, stripped of electrons, are single protons which can be accelerated to smash other nuclei and have applications in proton therapy. Many questions remain, such as why are electrical charges for protons and electrons so perfectly balanced?

Linked in the grade 12 modern physics unit.

Mirror Ray Diagram Workbook (2nd edition)

Drawing ray diagrams is a skill used in many branches of optics. As with any skill, practice makes perfect. Rather than force students to draw the mirror and so on, this ready-to-copy booklet is a short workbook, letting them practice drawing just the rays and image (which is, after all, the key skill we want them to learn).

The newly updated 70-page workbook has 60 diagrams to label and draw, with solutions at the back so students can practice on their own.

Also available as a set of six 14-page workbooks with 10 diagrams each, for those who want to give students a smaller selection of diagrams.

Linked on the grade 10 physics page.

Subatomic: An Atom-Building Board Game

Subatomic is a deck-building game themed around the intersection of particle physics and chemistry. Players start with a hand of Up Quarks, Down Quarks and Particle/Wave Duality cards, which they use to form protons, neutrons, and electrons. Players combine these subatomic particles to either build available Elements or buy even more powerful cards for their deck.

Players start with a hand of 5 cards. They use their Up Quarks and Down Quarks to create Protons and Neutrons, and use their Particle/Wave Duality Cards to create Electrons.

They can either use these Subatomic Particles to either purchase Subatomic Particle cards that get mixed into a player's starter deck, making it more powerful, or build up the atom on their player mat (in order to claim Element Cards, which are what score them points).

When a player claims an Element, they also place two Goal Markers on the board, competing over control for additional end game points. At the end of the game, you'll get points for End Goals based on the Elements you built during the game IF you have the most or second most Goal Markers on any given End Goal.

Player can also remove weaker cards from their deck (cull their deck) by Annihilating cards from their hand for a cost of 2 energy.

I backed this game on Kickstarter, after playtesting it a couple of times. While too complicated to fit into the regular science classroom, it would make a useful addition to a school gaming club's library.

Linked in the grade 9 chemistry unit and grade 12 modern physics unit.

Unit Conversions Practice

A simple four-page package to give students practice converting units.

Linked in the grade 11 physics general resources page.

Here Comes Science: Music DVD and CD

Here Comes Science is a DVD/CD set of songs about science. The video for “Meet the Elements” was featured on boingboing.net, while the legendary rock version of “Why Does the Sun Shine? (The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas)” finally gets a fully realized studio reading, and even it’s own answer song. Danny Weinkauf contributes “I Am A Paleontologist” which would be used in the soundtrack to a national television campaign.

TRACK LIST
Science Is Real
Meet The Elements
I Am A Paleontologist w/ Danny Weinkauf
The Bloodmobile
Electric Car w/ Robin Goldwasser
My Brother The Ape
What Is A Shooting Star?
How Many Planets?
Why Does The Sun Shine?
Why Does The Sun Really Shine?
Roy G. Biv
Put It To The Test
Photosynthesis
Cells
Speed And Velocity w/ Marty Beller
Computer Assisted Design
Solid Liquid Gas
Here Comes Science
The Ballad Of Davy Crockett (In Outer Space)

The songs may be silly children’s songs, but the science is real. I show some of the videos while I'm waiting for the class to arrive.

Linked in the grade 9 science, grade 10 science, and grade 11 kinematics pages.

In Our Time: Pauli’s Exclusion Principle

In Our Time is a wonderful series on BBC Radio 4.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life and ideas of Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958), whose Exclusion Principle is one of the key ideas in quantum mechanics. A brilliant physicist, at 21 Pauli wrote a review of Einstein's theory of general relativity and that review is still a standard work of reference today. The Pauli Exclusion Principle proposes that no two electrons in an atom can be at the same time in the same state or configuration, and it helps explain a wide range of phenomena such as the electron shell structure of atoms. Pauli went on to postulate the existence of the neutrino, which was confirmed in his lifetime. Following further development of his exclusion principle, Pauli was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1945 for his 'decisive contribution through his discovery of a new law of Nature'. He also had a long correspondence with Jung, and a reputation for accidentally breaking experimental equipment which was dubbed The Pauli Effect.

Linked in the grade 12 modern physics page.

Optics Matching Quizzes

A set of six quizzes, matching terms with definitions, with two versions of each quiz. Answer keys are included.

Linked in the grade 10 physics page.

Quark Soup Card Game

A set-collecting game for 2-5 players. Have fun learning the physics of quarks!

Collect one meson and one baryon to win the game. Build a barrier of quarks to protect yourself, but beware annihilation attacks, photon excitation and quantum entanglement in the world where even reality is uncertain!

No knowledge of particle physics is required!

Another card game about quarks. Maybe it’s an artifact of google, but there seem to be more games about quarks than any other part of physics.

Linked in the grade 12 modern physics page.

Quarkle Card Game

Quarkle is a game of making particles out of quarks by adding up their charges.

In this game, the players get to put together quarks to make many different particles (both mesons and baryons).

For ages 4+ you can play the game with no knowledge of particle physics or adding fractions or being able to read.

For high schooler physics classes learning about particle physics and the emergent behaviours of the quark interactions, the game helps them understand the difference between baryons and mesons and gives them practice finding the charge of particles by adding their quark or anti-quark components.

Finally, the game can be played in an advanced mode involving quantum chromodynamics and the “colour charge.” In this way, it can be fun and competitive for all ages and levels of scientific knowledge.

Soon there will also be an expansion pack that adds electroweak interactions, Feynman diagrams, force-carrying particles, the Higgs Boson, etc… keep watching for further additions to enhance this “nerd-tastic” game.

This is a fun little game. The designer is selling it at cost so it’s affordable (but like all print-on-demand products, it still costs more than a mass-produced deck would cost).

Linked in the grade 12 modern physics page.

Pentaquark

Some of the biggest questions in the world of science may be answered by studying quarks, the smallest of particles. The problem with trying to study quarks is that you can’t find just one quark; you need to find them in groups called hadrons, or some other exotic particles, like the Pentaquark.

In the game, you are trying to give science a little helping hand by collecting the 5 quarks that form this particle at the detector of a massive particle collider. Move cards you need to the detector, discard others so they may come back as anti-quarks, and try to minimize the number of quarks scattered and lost. If too many cards are removed from the game, the Pentaquark has slipped through undetected once again!

Pentaquark is a single player game designed by Mike Mullins with art by Fabrice Weiss. Gameplay lasts 15-30 minutes (you will immediately want to play again) and recommended for ages 12 and up.

This is a fun little game. I’d recommend spending the extra $2 and getting all the expansions.

Linked in the grade 12 modern physics page.

Quark Matter Card Game

Quarks and leptons, such as electrons, muons and neutrinos... Sounds a bit scary, doesn't it? With the help of this booklet, you can get into touch with the incomprehensible world of elementary particles. This is not just a usual booklet: it contains a set of 66 cards, and describes six games with them. The cards represent elementary particles from the Standard Model. You can play family style memory games with particles and their anti-particles, have fun with Quark Matter, the perfect fluid of quarks. You can even find your own Higgs boson and win one of the games on the spot. It is fun to have elementary particles in your hands, or, in your pocket! The games scale very well, recommended from 5 years old to adults.

This is a bit of an odd product. It’s as much a pamphlet on quarks as it is a game (or games). Still, at less than $5 for the PDF it can be useful for curious students.

Linked in the grade 12 modern physics page.

Motion Graph Matching Exercises

Using the same graphs as the KineCards set, this eight page booklet can be used as a standalone activity, or as a reinforcement after using KineCards.

Solutions are included, so students can check their work.

Linked in the grade 11 kinematics page.

Quark: a game of matter — Card Game

Exert your influence and guide the swirling mass of the smallest bits of matter back together to form sub-atomic particles while racing to build the biggest atom.

Quark is a lighter weight card game. Players have two actions each turn they can use to collect quarks, decay quarks down into other quarks, annihilate quarks for energy or to create particles.

At the end of the game, players score points for particles created, the best atom created and any energy they have left over.

A fairly simple game. Print-and-play, and free so it costs nothing to try it. The components are a bit basic for a finished game, but quite good for a playtest version (which I think this is).

Linked in the grade 12 modern physics page.

Quark Card Dealer Activity

Elementary particles, which make up everything in our world, have the amazing features that we cannot see in our daily life. One of the features is “color charges” which are compared to the three primary colors of red, green and blue. Playing the card game, you can understand the color charges intuitively and enjoy the world of elementary particle physics. The elementary particle “quark” is explained by the Quantum Chromodynamics which is abbreviated as QCD. The card game “Quark Card Dealer” is named after the abbreviation.

This print-and-play card activity, translated from the Japanese, is a bit odd — but some of your students might like it.

Linked in the grade 12 modern physics page.

Updated Grade 11 Kinematics Resource

Updated Resource


New In Our Time Episodes

New Resources


  • Added link to the 1816, the Year Without a Summer episode of In Our Time, linked in the grade 10 climate unit.
  • Added link to the Neutron episode of In Our Time, linked in the grade 11 physics energy unit.

New In Our Time Episodes

New Resources


  • Added link to the Perpetual Motion episode of In Our Time, linked in the grade 11 physics energy unit.
  • Added link to the Saturn episode of In Our Time, linked in the grade 9 space unit.

New Grade 11 Kinematics Resources

New Grade 11 Physics Resources


New Grade 11 Kinematics Resource

New Grade 11 Physics Resource


New Grade 11 Physics Resource

New Grade 11 Resource


  • Added link to the In Our Time program Fusion on BBC, linked in the energy unit.

New Grade 12 Physics Resource

New Resource


New Resources

New Grade 10 Resources


  • Added link to the Wellcome Collection video Dissecting the Brain, linked in the biology unit.
  • Added link to the At-Bristol Science Centre video Brain Dissection, linked in the biology unit.
  • Added link to the At-Bristol Science Centre video Eyeball Dissection, linked in the biology and physics units.
  • Added link to the At-Bristol Science Centre video Heart Dissection, linked in the biology unit.

New Grade 11 Resource


  • Added link to the Veritasium video explaining the Three Incorrect Laws of Motion, linked in the forces unit.

New Grade 12 Resource


New Grade 11 & 12 Physics Resources

New Grade 11 Resource


  • Added link to the In Our Time program States of Matter on BBC, linked in the energy unit.

New Grade 12 Resource


  • Added link to the In Our Time program Gravitational Waves on BBC, linked in the modern physics unit.

New Grade 12 Physics Resource

New Resource


New Grade 11 Resource

New Resource


  • Added link to the BBC series Shock and Awe on TVO, linked in the E&M unit.

New Grade 10 Resource

New Resource


  • Added link to the In Our Time episode on The Eye, linked in the physics unit.

New Resources

New Resources


  • Added links to the Structure of the Sun Model and Lunar Globe Model files, linked in the Grade 9 space unit.
  • Added links to the Moving Copernican System & Moving Ptolemaic System Models files, linked in the Grade 9 space unit.
  • Added link to the Planisphere file, linked in the Grade 9 space unit.
  • Added link to NASA’s Universe Spacecraft Paper Models collection, linked in the Grade 9 space unit.
  • Added link to the Subaru Telescope Model file, linked in the Grade 9 space unit.
  • Added links to the Hydroelectric Power Plant Model and Wind Turbine Model files, linked in the Grade 9 physics unit.
  • Added the Lab Safety Tableaux file, linked in the Grade 10 chemistry unit.
  • Added links to the Animal Cell Model and Plant Cell Model files, linked in the Grade 10 biology unit.
  • Added links to the Hydroelectric Power Plant Model and Wind Turbine Model files, linked in the Grade 11 E&M unit.
  • Added links to the Animal Cell Model, Plant Cell Model, and Cyanobacteria Cell Model files, linked in the other science courses page.

New Physics 11 Resource

New Resource


  • A set of Motion Graph Quizzes in the kinematics unit.

New and Updated Grade 10 Resources

New Resources


  • A Safety Poster assignment in the chemistry unit.
  • Lessons for the chemistry unit: Chemical Reactions.
  • A reading exercise on Acid Rain in China in the chemistry unit.
  • Lessons for The Nature of Light in the physics unit.
  • Link to NASA’s Tour of the Electromagnetic Spectrum in the physics unit.
  • A Sources of Light Poster assignment in the physics unit.
  • A quiz (Quiz Empedocles) in the physics unit.
  • Lessons for Reflection in the physics unit.
  • A Mirror Ray Diagram Workbook in the physics unit.

Updated Resources


  • Minor cosmetic update to the Ionic Compound Quizzes package in the chemistry unit.
  • Minor cosmetic update to the Chemical Equation Practice package in the chemistry unit.