Physics

Lesson plans are subdivided according to Georgia Performance Standards.
(All files are in PDF format unless otherwise noted.)

 

Energy Transformations

  • Energy Transfer and Heat Loss
    This activity is designed to introduce the concept of energy transfer as it relates to heat loss. Students will observe and compare the transfer of heat energy from containers made of different types of materials.
  • Food Irradiation...Friend or Foe? (zip)
    In this presentation, students will learn about the application of nuclear radiation to food sterilization. Students will learn why food is irradiated, the types of food irradiated, the types of irradiation used, and the effects of irradiation on foods.
  • Force, Speed, and Horsepower
    From this lesson, students will gain an understanding of energy, force, work, power, horsepower, and torque. The lesson will use items familiar to students to better explain the concepts listed above. This lesson contains both a hands-on and lecture component.
  • Is it Done Yet? Heat Transfer in the Kitchen
    In this guided inquiry laboratory exercise, students will examine the methods of heat transfer as applied in common cooking methods.
  • Measuring the Speed of Light with Chocolate
    This lesson can be used as a lab or demonstration to teach students about the speed of light and it relationship to frequency and wavelength. It discusses the equation c = f f=λ.
  • Phases of Matter
    Playing Jeopardy to learn phases of matter, scientific methods and measurements.
  • Power of Peanuts
    This lesson plan is for a laboratory activity demonstrating the amount of energy found in a peanut. Peanuts contain proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Oxidation of the molecular bonds found in these compounds leads to the release of energy.

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Motions, Forces, and Work

  • Force, Friction, Speed, and Acceleration (PowerPoint)
    Playing jeopardy to learn about force, friction, speed, and acceleration.
  • Force, Speed, and Horsepower
    From this lesson, students will gain an understanding of energy, force, work, power, horsepower, and torque. The lesson will use items familiar to students to better explain the concepts listed above. This lesson contains both a hands-on and lecture component.
  • Which Substance is "Inclined" to Experience More Friction? Experiment 1 of 2
    This two- part lab incorporates food into a class demonstration and student worksheet of friction of a surface and friction of a substance, and the ways to minimize the effects of friction. Students time Experiment 1 and based on those results they form and test a hypothesis for Experiment 2. This lab best targets remedial classes that have trouble visualizing the effects of friction.
  • Which Surface is "Inclined" to Experience More Friction? Experiment 2 of 2
    This two- part lab incorporates food into a class demonstration and student worksheet of friction of a surface and friction of a substance, and the ways to minimize the effects of friction. Students time Experiment 1 and based on those results they form and test a hypothesis for Experiment 2. This lab best targets remedial classes that have trouble visualizing the effects of friction.
  • Junkbox Wars (zip)
    In this engineering design exercise, students will apply their knowledge of basic physical concepts to design four machines and compete in challenges with classmates. This lesson plan is based on materials obtained from the Discovery Channel's Junkyard Wars classroom website.
  • Kitchen Gadgets Galore!
    Students identify simple machines in common kitchen gadgets and then design their own new gadget.
  • Mechanical Advantage of Ramps
    In this group lab students will be studying how inclines, friction, and the force applied to a block affect the ideal and mechanical advantage. Applications can be made in a physical science or a physics classroom, and the level of difficulty can be easily changed by changing the factors of the equation.
  • Physical Properties of Wood
    This is a hands-on lesson in which students investigate the relationship between physical properties of wood and its suitability for construction purposes. Students will investigate the density, stiffness, and elasticity of several species of wood.
  • Physics Olympics
    In this review activity, students complete several short athletic events before analyzing the physics involved in each event.
  • Playground Physics
    This lesson makes use of playground equipment including swings, a merry-go-round, slide, and seesaw to understand some basic principles of physics such Newton's Law of Motion (especially 1st and 2nd), center of gravity, momentum, rotational inertia, torque, and the coefficient of sliding friction. The lesson is to be conducted outside on a playground and requires a Vernier force probe for one of the four activities.
  • Straw that Broke the Camel's Back
    This is an inquiry lesson in which students are given toothpicks and straws and asked to construct a platform that will hold as much weight as they can. After the lab is finished students are asked to perform weight, mass, force, and velocity questions about their platform.
  • Understanding Circular Motion
    Designed for Physics students, this inquiry lab will help students understand the relationship between the variables in the equation for circular motion. Students will conduct three experiments. One variable in the circular motion equation is changed in each experiment. The conclusion of the lab involves deriving the circular motion equation using measured data.
  • Work, Power, and Machine (PowerPoint)
    Playing Jeopardy to learn work, power, and machine.

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Thermodynamics

  • Energy Transfer and Heat Loss
    This activity is designed to introduce the concept of energy transfer as it relates to heat loss. Students will observe and compare the transfer of heat energy from containers made of different types of materials.
  • Temperature Management and Its Importance
    This lesson will describe how temperature is influenced in a controlled environment and how changes in temperature influence plant and animal production.

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Waves

  • Cooking at the Speed of Light
    In this activity, students measure the speed of light using a microwave oven and the wave speed equation.
  • Cool as Ice!
    In this demonstration, students will explore the principles of operation of a microwave oven in relation to molecular motion.
  • Measuring the Speed of Light with Chocolate
    This lesson can be used as a lab or demonstration to teach students about the speed of light and it relationship to frequency and wavelength. It discusses the equation c = f f=λ.
  • Temperature Management and Its Importance
    This lesson will describe how temperature is influenced in a controlled environment and how changes in temperature influence plant and animal production.

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