physics

Concept Cartoons-3

Every month DiScoro writes about (digital) resources that can be used in schools. In addition you will find issues that may inspire you. See Services for workshops, training etc.

Two more concept cartoons that can be used in class. Use pictures of characters with the speech balloons that fit your situation . See also earlier posts Concept Cartoons and Concept Cartoons-2. Many Brainpower problems can also be introduced with the Concept Cartoon format.

I discussed the first problem with grade 5 and grade 6 pupils. The were perfectly able to reason what would happen, even though they we never instructed on Archimedes’ Law. You can also use the concept cartoon in grade 8 or 9 after students have learned about Archimedes’ Law. Do not be disappointed if the students are confused.

Problem: We take a glass basin and place a plastic net with marbles and korks in it. We make sure that the net with the marbles and korks floats in the water. There is nothing that sticks out above the water and the net does not toach the bottom of the basin.

You can also bring the materials in class and let pupils fill the net so that it floats in the water. Discuss and finally cut the net. The answer requires reasoning about why this happens, but there are so many factors that these should come from the students and do not fit into the speech clouds.

What will happen to the water level if we cut the net open?

concepts-cartoons-waterniveau

The second concept cartoon is suitable for a younger age group (grade 2 or 3).

How can you go down faster on your sledge?
sledge

During the discussion words and concepts like speed, acceleration, friction (both with the surface as well as air friction), weight, size may be used.

Lazors game

lazors-iconLazors is an interesting App about principles in physics such as light beams and how they are reflected, bent, or broken by different materials. As a player you have discover for yourself what the aim is and how to reach it. There are many different levels.

Students can be asked to explain the game and about their reasoning in solving the problems. Thereby, the teacher can introduce vocabulary like: light wave, straight line, ray, beam, reflection of light, refraction of light (bending of light), breaking light, prism, angle of refraction, angle of reflection, mirror, glass, crystal.

A  pre-designed page on Smart Notebook can help to discuss the principles and reasoning.

Practical applications:

  • Stick a straw in a half filled glass of water and observe the refraction of light. This visual distortion occurs at the water-air boundary.
  • The same phenomenon protects fish from a hunter who is spearfishing from the shore. Due to this bending of the path of light, a fish appears to be at a location where it isn’t. The hunter launches the spear at the location where the fish is thought to be, but isn’t, and misses the fish.
  • How big needs a mirror be for you to be able to see yourself from top to toe (while standing)?

The game can be used from age 10 onwards.

 Purchase  Free
 Hardware  iPad, iPhone, (PC)
 Requirements  IOS, Android/Google Play

The Moving Man

The applet The Moving Man enables students to experiment and learn about motion, position, velocity and acceleration. The movements of the man are plotted in charts.

  • Move the little man back and forth with the mouse and plot his motion.
  • Set the position, velocity, and/or acceleration and let the simulation move the man for you.

Moving man 1

Learning Goals

  • Interpret, predict charts/graphs on position, velocity and acceleration.
  • Describe, make sense of and reason about the charts.

If you register at the PHET website as a teacher, you have access to the information for teachers. The website offers examples of worksheets and questions for students at different levels.

Students can make a graph that fits a story, or make a story that fits a chart. At primary school level focus on one chart in the beginning. For example: What is the story behind this chart?

Do not underestimate the complexity of only the first chart. It shows a timeline, the position, negative numbers, and a man who covers a distance.

Moving man 2

 Purchase  Free
 Hardware  PC
 Requirements  browser, JAVA

Density and Buoyancy

Density and Buoyancy is a simulation from the GoLabz project. The game uses colored cubes that can be dropped into an aquarium. Students can experiment with different volume, mass or density.

The program is one of many simulations by PHET, designed and developed by the University of Colorado.

density example

You can download a worksheet Density and Buoyancy for this game.

In addition to the game it would be great to use real cubes of different materials in an aquarium with real water. The students can make their own mystery cubes, of which the appearance does not give away the type of material used. Cubes should also be made water proof.

 Purchase  Free
 Hardware  PC, iPad
 Requirements  browser

Energy Skate Park

Energy Skate Park is a simulation from the GoLabz project. The simulation introduces the basics of energy conservation.

The program is one of many simulations by PHET, designed and developed by the University of Colorado.

We have given students age 10-12 some tasks while using this simulation. See below.

 Purchase  Free
 Hardware  PC, iPad
 Requirements  browser

 

Find out about a skate boarder and design a skate park on Energy Skate Park simulation.

Issues to investigate:

Introskateboard

  1. What is mass?
  2. Does the weight of the skater influence his/her speed?If yes, how?
  3. How does the size and weight of the skater influence the total energy?
  4. What does the bar graph tell you about energy?
  5. Use the bar graph to find out what is meant by kinetic energy and potential energy?
  6. The skater continues endlessly? How is this possible? Is this realistic? Why/why not?

 

Friction

  1. What does friction do?
  2. What kind of energy is related to friction?
  3. Does friction have (1) a larger,  (2) a smaller,  or (3) the same impact on a big skater than on a small skater?
  4. Match the concepts in the first column with the correct sentences in the second column.
 1. speed  A.  When the skater is at the top of the track ……  energy is highest.
2. friction  B.  The skater’s weight does not influence the speed.
 3. mass  C.  When still moving the skater has …………  energy.
 4. kinetic energy  D.  The skater is moving faster in the beginning.
 5. potential energy  E.  On a smooth track the skater will go faster.
 6. thermal energy  F.   At the end of the skating tour all energy has been tranferred into heat.
For correct answers see bottom.

skate track

Playground

  1. Design a skate track whereby the skater makes a salto and does not fall off the track.
  2. Present the skate track to your classmates and explain what you have done to reach your goal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

answers Skatepark

Monster Physics

Every month DiScoro writes about resources that can be used in schools and about inspirational issues. See Services in the Menu for workshops, training etc.

monster physics iconMonster Physics Lite is a building App and a game whereby the user has to complete missions involving many concepts from physics: gravity, balance, momentum, mechanics, construction, friction, speed etc. The App combines learning and entertainment.
The learning aspect will be considerably higher when two children work together or when they have to explain to each other how they managed to complete the task and what was important to solve the problem.

Suitable for age 10-12.

 Purchase  Free, full version $ 1.99
 Hardware  iPad, iPhone
 Requirements  IOS 4,3 or later