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Oliver, Douglas L. – Physics Teacher, 2018
The study of vibration in uniform beams provides physics teachers with a platform by which a broad range of physics vibration-related topics can be explored without expensive and specialized equipment. This paper presents two laboratory exercises related to lateral beam vibrations. These exercises use beam theory coupled with free sound-analysis…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Science Laboratories, Science Activities
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Nathan, Stephen A.; Loxsom, Fred – Physics Teacher, 2016
Sustainable energy is growing in importance as the public becomes more aware of climate change and the need to satisfy our society's energy demands while minimizing environmental impacts. To further this awareness and to better prepare a workforce for "green careers," we developed a sustainable energy laboratory course that is suitable…
Descriptors: High School Students, Undergraduate Students, Sustainability, Energy
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Zavrel, Erik; Sharpsteen, Eric – Physics Teacher, 2015
In an era when many students carry iPods, iPhones, and iPads, physics teachers are realizing that in order to continue to inspire and convey the amazing things made possible by a few fundamental principles, they must expand laboratory coverage of electricity and circuits beyond the conventional staples of constructing series and parallel…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Telecommunications, Handheld Devices
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Tarnopolski, Mariusz – Physics Teacher, 2015
Let us consider a classical high school exercise concerning two weights on a pulley and a string, illustrated in Fig. 1(a). A system like this is called an Atwood's machine and was invented by George Atwood in 1784 as a laboratory experiment to verify the mechanical laws of motion with constant acceleration. Nowadays, Atwood's machine is used for…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Secondary School Science, High Schools, Mechanics (Physics)
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Nelson, Jim; Nelson, Jane Bray – Physics Teacher, 2015
In this paper, a discrepant event is used to initiate a learning cycle lesson to help students develop an understanding of the concept and equation for buoyant force. The data are gathered using readily available equipment and then graphically analyzed using a four-step analysis consistent with the modeling instructional approach. This laboratory…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Scientific Principles, Scientific Concepts
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Lane, W. Brian – Physics Teacher, 2014
The traditional lab report is known to create several pedagogical shortcomings in the introductory physics course, particularly with regard to promoting student engagement and encouraging quality writing. This paper discusses the use of a "letter home" written to a non-physicist as an alternative to lab reports that creates a more…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Teaching Methods, Writing Assignments
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Williams, Jonathan E. – Physics Teacher, 2014
In this paper, I present a low-cost interactive experiment for measuring the strength of Earth's local magnetic field. This activity can be done in most high schools or two-year physics laboratories with limited resources, yet will have a tremendous learning impact. This experiment solidifies the three-dimensional nature of Earth's…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Science Experiments, Scientific Concepts, Magnets
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Tagg, Randall; Carlson, John; Asadi-Zeydabadi, Masoud; Busley, Brad; Law-Balding, Katie; Juengel, Mattea – Physics Teacher, 2013
Physics First is offered to ninth graders at high schools in Aurora, CO. A unique new asset of this school system is an embedded research lab called the "Innovation Hyperlab." The goal of the lab is to connect secondary school teaching to ongoing university scientific research, supporting the school district's aim to create opportunities to…
Descriptors: Physics, Motion, Secondary School Science, Science Instruction
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Gagnon, Michel – Physics Teacher, 2012
Introduced to study components of ionized gas, the mass spectrometer has evolved into a highly accurate device now used in many undergraduate and research laboratories. Unfortunately, despite their importance in the formation of future scientists, mass spectrometers remain beyond the financial reach of many high schools and colleges. As a result,…
Descriptors: Simulation, Science Laboratories, Computer Software, Spectroscopy
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Maltese, Adam V.; Tai, Robert H.; Sadler, Philip M. – Physics Teacher, 2010
Laboratory experiences play a substantial role in most high school science courses, and many teachers believe the number of labs they offer is a measure of the quality of their curriculum. While some teachers believe labs are meant to confirm concepts taught during lectures, others feel labs should address students' everyday beliefs about the…
Descriptors: Scientific Methodology, Physics, Science Laboratories, Science Instruction
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Sinacore, J.; Takai, H. – Physics Teacher, 2010
The simple pendulum has long been used to measure "g", the acceleration due to gravity, with a precision of a few percent. Achieving agreement with the accepted value of less than 1% is feasible in the high school laboratory, though it requires some care. The precision of the measurement is bound by how accurately the period and the pendulum…
Descriptors: High Schools, Laboratory Equipment, Telecommunications, Science Instruction
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Laubach, Timothy A.; Elizondo, Lee A.; McCann, Patrick J.; Gilani, Shahryar – Physics Teacher, 2010
When illuminating four "mystery" vials of nanoparticle solution with a 405-nm light emitting diode (LED), four distinct colors related to the peak wavelength of fluorescent emission can be observed. This phenomenon perplexes high school physics students and leads to the subsequent exploratory question, "Why are the four vials emitting a different…
Descriptors: Inquiry, Science Instruction, Physics, Science Activities
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Jones, David – Physics Teacher, 2009
I have come to the conclusion that for high school physics classroom and laboratory experiences, simpler is better! In this paper I describe a very simple and effective lab experience that my AP students have thoroughly enjoyed year after year. I call this lab exercise "Time Trials." The experiment is simple in design and it is a lot of fun for…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Science Laboratories, High Schools
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Gluck, Paul – Physics Teacher, 2009
The physics of the plucked string has been treated in many articles and books. For our 12th-grade high school physics laboratory, we have built a cheap, simple sonometer apparatus for each pair of students on which they may investigate some interesting phenomena that arise when a string is plucked. Among these are the generation of harmonics…
Descriptors: High Schools, Physics, Musical Instruments, Secondary School Science
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Vondracek, Mark – Physics Teacher, 2007
There are many schools (grades K-12) around the country that offer some sort of science research option for students to pursue. Often this option is a local science fair, where students do smaller projects that are then presented at poster sessions. Many times the top local projects can advance to some type of regional and, possibly, state science…
Descriptors: High Schools, Physics, Science Fairs, College Science
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