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National Standards

Science Standards

Physical Science Content Standard B

Grades: 5-8

• Properties and changes of properties in matter
• Motions and forces
• Transfer of energy

Grades 9-12

• Structure of atoms
• Structure and properties of matter
• Chemical reactions
• Motions and forces
• Conservation of energy and increase in disorder
• Interactions of energy and matter

Technology Standards

3. Technology productivity tools

• Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.
• Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works.

6. Technology problem-solving and decision-making tools

• Students use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions.
• Students employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world.

Enter the wild world of physics where appearances and logic are often turned upside down. Understanding the underlying concepts is essential for uncovering the magic of physics. It can be a thrilling adventure for students as they discover lots of cool methods for lasting knowledge. Browse these Websites and discover a variety of interactive simulations, experiments, and ideas to use in your classroom.

Amusement Park Physics

Plan a virtual field trip to Amusement Park Physics sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation. Learn about freefall and gravity using a paper cup with holes and water. While riding the carousel, think about the laws of motion. Are some horses moving faster than others? Predict the outcomes of bumper car collisions based on the laws of acceleration and interaction. Explore these questions regarding pendulum rides. What causes the feeling of "weightlessness" on pendulum rides? Why do riders experience high g-forces on pendulum rides? Then, design a roller coaster. Select the height of the first hill, the shape of the hill, the exit path, the height of the second hill, and if you should include a loop. After making your selections, test your coaster for safety and fun. Enjoy your visit and be sure to pass the link on to other teachers.


Over 400 math and science Gizmos populate this subscription based Website. A Gizmo is visual, interactive, has depth of content, and encourages inquiry and exploration. The learning process allows students to actively participate in guided simulations that teach specific concepts. Students gather data, manipulate variables, and view the results of their hypothesis. At the end of the experiment, there is a related assessment. Teachers can use these Gizmos in whole class, group, or individualized instruction. Each Gizmo is accompanied by an Exploration Guide with suggestions for using it in the classroom. The entire collection of Gizmos correlates to textbooks and state standards. You are allotted five free minutes per day per Gizmo or you can thoroughly evaluate the site with a 30 day free trial. Pricing varies depending on the number of licenses purchased. Check the Website or call (toll free): 866-882-4141 for further information. This is a five star site.

Fear of Physics

Animated demonstrations and virtual activities will engage students in critical thinking about the how and why of physics. Predict which object will finish first in a race between a ball and two different cylinders. Determine where the fulcrum and children should be placed on a seesaw. Choose the path a spinning ball will take when the string is cut. These are a few of the investigations for students to study and analyze. Take the fear out of physics by visiting this site.

HTML 5 Applets on Physics: Walter Fendt

Walter Fendt has created a fabulous set of Java applets that may be used by educators. You are permitted to copy the HTML texts and the applets for non-commercial purposes. You are allowed to put the applets on a WWW server if you don't remove the copyright remarks and the original URLs. Newton’s cradle, a simple pendulum, buoyant force in liquids, and motion with constant acceleration are wonderful examples of the subjects covered. Multiple languages are supported.

Ippex Online

Students will enjoy these virtual learning modules on matter, electricity and magnetism, energy, and fusion. Through a series of interactive visualizations, students will learn about the basic concepts of matter, static charges, how to construct a circuit, temperature effect on atomic movement, Coulomb force vs. velocity, and fusion vs. temperature. This project originated in 1996 at the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory as part of a National Science Foundation grant, administered by the Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

Little Shop of Physics

The Little Shop of Physics is an outreach program of the Department of Physics at Colorado State University, specializing in hands-on science. With over sixty programs for all ages, you may wish to have them visit your school. Check the Website for details. In addition, some video clips and experiments are available online.

NSTA Learning Center

This professional development Website provides access to over 1200 different resources and opportunities for teachers. Journal articles, book chapters, and SciGuides are provided to assist teachers with classroom integration. The resources are aligned to the National Science Standards and collected into topical units. All areas of science are included for a ready reference and to provide rich resources for teachers and students. Create a free account to access a wealth of information. NSTA members receive a discount on all SciGuide purchases as well as other benefits.


Kinematics and dynamics are presented in a multimedia format, at introductory and also at deeper levels. Individual video clips and animations are suitable for use by high school teachers. For each of the modules, links are provided to the animations, film clips, and various support pages. Access to the multimedia tutorials is via the Physclips homepage. Each animation and film clip may be downloaded in zip files, either individually or in a single zip file for each module.

The Physics Classroom

Studyworks Online hosts the teacher created content that focuses on practical applications of physics. The Physics Tutorial provides animations, diagrams, and information about basic concepts. Examples of tutorials are kinematics, Newton’s Laws, waves, reflection, refraction, work, energy, power, momentum, and vectors. If physics is difficult for you to visualize, then visit the Multimedia Physics Studio section. These multimedia animations illustrate relationships between physics concepts and include formulas, diagrams, and definitions. Click on Physics Help to hone your skills. Graph, analyze, and interpret position-time and velocity-time graphs. Recognize forces in different physical situations. Identify direction and magnitude of vectors, and perform vector addition. The illustrations, examples, definitions, and quizzes provide a solid foundation for high school students studying physics.

Physics of Sport

What do baseball, basketball, bowling, football, golf, ice hockey, soccer, billiards, gymnastics, racing, roller hockey, rowing, and tennis have to do with physics? Learn the physics of each sport as you observe and solve equations. This site explains physics concepts through vocabulary and demonstrations of each of the eight sports. Photographs depicting examples of physics while playing each sport are included. After participating in the activities at this site you will never look at sports activities again without thinking about the physics concepts demonstrated through each movement and play.

Physics World Teaching Resources

The Physics Department and Faculty of Education from the Chinese University of Hong Kong have assembled a rich collection of applets, animations, and images to use in the classroom. Some areas are restricted to members. Any secondary school physics teacher in Hong Kong can become a member of Physics World.

Skateboard Science: Mid-Air Maneuvers

You have seen skateboarders turn in mid-air with a maneuver called a frontside 180 and cats land on their feet. How does physics explain this action? Read the discussion and try the activity associated with it. The law of conservation of angular motion can be very sneaky.

TeacherTech: Newton's 3 Laws of Motion

Using animations and concise explanations, students are introduced to Sir Isaac Newton and his 3 Laws of Motion. At the end of the tutorial is a short quiz and links to hands-on experiments that further reinforce critical thinking and understanding. This is a great starting point for Newton’s Laws of Motion.

Wake Forest University Physics Demonstration Videos

Have you ever seen a tablecloth pulled from under plates that remain undisturbed on a table? Does a balloon pop when placed on a bed of nails? Will water spill from a pail when spun in a vertical circle? To find the answers to these questions, watch the videos in the demonstration lab. They are quite fascinating and supported by the laws of physics.


Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse
Watch Tacoma Suspension Bridge Disaster

Stable and Unstable Structures Grades 6-8

In this lesson, students will

1. examine the structural flaws that caused three bridges to collapse,
2. determine what factors need to be considered in building a stable structure, and
3. compare and contrast the pros and cons of various bridge building materials.

Fun with Bernoulli Grades 4-6

Students should be able to:

* Understand that air pressure decreases as the speed of air increases.
* Understand that air pressure acts in all directions (not just down).

Force and Motion: Newton's 3 Laws

This is a fun video created by students to demonstrate each of Newton's 3 Laws of Motion.

Originally Published Nov/Dec 2007

Updated January 5, 2019
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