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Practicals Galore!

Dery Alim

on 3 September 2013

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Transcript of Physics

Heat Transfer
Expansion &

Changing States

Atomic Structure
Mains Electricity
Factors Affecting
Conductance & Resistance
Electrical Power
Motor Effect
Generator Effect
Poles & Fields

Total Internal Reflection
Analogue & Digital
Doppler Effect
Electromagnetic Waves
Simple Harmonic Motion
Newton's Laws
/ Density

Space & Earth
of Radiation
Heat & SHC
Energy Transfers
Resonance & Dampening
Strength &

Rays & Shadows
Kinetic Theory & Internal Energy

in Fluids

Centre of Mass
States of Matter
1: Inertia
2: F=ma
3: Action-Reaction
Bernoulli's Principle

Toppling & Stability
Capillary Action
Surface Tension
& period
Insulators (bad conductors)
Coanda effect
Normal Force (Push & Pull)
Vibrations of a Medium
Charging by
by Friction
Seeing Charge
free fall (g)
Feeling Charge (shocks)


Tracers (PET scan)

straw & blue-tac
Magnifying glass
Look at some writing using the magnifying glass. Describe what you see. Does it vary when the distance between the magnifying glass and the writing changes?
Ray box on Glass block & Tank of water
Shine a ray of light through 1) the glass block and 2) the tank of water and draw a diagram for each, showing the path it takes through the block and out again.
-1 Does the angle the light arrives at affect the path it takes through the glass?
-2 Is there any angle when the light does not change direction at all?

Beaker of water and pencil
Put the pencil in the beaker of water and describe its appearance from the side of the beaker and looking straight down
train on a
circular track
Levers (Amplifying Forces)
Turning Effects
Clockwise = Anticlockwise
Hold a lead brick in your hand and hit it as hard as you can with a hammer. You won't feel a thing.
Ball and Strobe A ball is dropped 5 meters and photographed under stroboscopic illumination
A motorized fan mounted on a reaction cart blows air into a "sail" which is also mounted on the cart. Which way will the cart move?
Students are invited to throw a raw egg as hard as they please. The egg does not break when caught in a sheet.
egg parachute challenge
design a cradle & parachute to land an egg without it cracking
To knock over a wooden milk bottle, would you use a ball that rebounds or one that does not?
Wind up toy (Elastic > KE)
- record no. of winds vs velocity (measure distance and time)
- use formula for KE to calculate elastic energy (assuming 100% efficiency)
Calculate the height from which Barney must jump so that his head just barely kisses the floor at the bottom of his bungee cord jump. Then verify by experiment.
Pop-up toy (Elastic > GPE)
- record height of jump (repeats & average)
- use formula for GPE to calculate elastic energy (assuming 100% efficiency)
Angular Momentum
Tennis ball on a string:
Whirl it around and then let go
Bucket of Water
Balloon in a vacuum jar expands
Coke sinks. Diet coke floats!
Large rings and powerful bubble mixture for a humid day

Soap films on wire frames

Smaller water drops are more spherical.

Water drops on Teflon are more spherical, but try adding some soap
Air canon
blows out
Drag effect of cross-sectional area is demonstrated by two falling disks of paper
An empty Coke can can support the weight of a person standing on it, notwithstanding that the walls of aluminum are only a couple of thousandths of an inch thick. But it buckles readily!!
Test the Strength of an egg
by stacking weights on top
(It should support the weight
of a mother hen)
The speed of sound in an aluminum rod is determined by measuring its frequency and the length of the rod
Bell in vacuum
Sounding a tuning fork with and without a baffle demonstrates its purpose and effectiveness
Frequency vs string length and tension are explored on this single string instrument
The sound from two speakers destructively interferes.
Charging by
Light bulb gets brighter when copper leads are immersed in liquid N2
Use a selection of fruit to produce a voltage.
Visible Colours
Telescope & Camera
Rutherford's Alpha Scattering
Ping Pong ball projectiles scatter off of a sphere and into buckets set at different distances (scattering angles).

ALPHA SCATTERING EXPERIMENT - Magnetic puck on air hockey table
Small steam engine to drive external dynamo and lamp
Large Styrofoam balls, suspended in air, in a plastic bag, and glued together, represent gaseous, liquid, and solid states, respectively
A hollow carrot filled with sugar water demonstrates osmotic pressure when placed in clean water
strip of dental dam
Weight on other planets
have a spring / wire / elastic band hidden behind card with mass hanging and visible. Record values for extension and weight as a class and plot graph. Analayse results to guess if object is spring, elastic band or wire.
large hovercraft (101 experiments for shed scientist – p105)
Wrap a 1kg stone with thin cord barely able to take the weight and hang it up, leaving some cord dangling. If you pull the dangling cord slowly the cord will snap above the weight as it falls off! However, if you pull the cord quickly it will snap off beneath the weight (as it resists the change in motion
Pull cloth from under pile of coins! (Fun with Scientific Experiments – p4)

hold a coin resting on a card on your finger (or a bottle). Flick the card from under the coin with your other hand. The coin remains on the finger (goes into bottle)
Roller Coaster Simulator
Ranger Danger Dan (Parachute Game)


COLOUR Simulations
colour mixer
whats in the black box
Eyes & Cameras
Disect an eye
Put solid CO2 in a flask of Hot coloured water and place a rubber glove over lid. Expands massively before exploding
variable resistor and filament bulb, show filament glow red then white as temp increases
Make simplified drawings of each of the
stations and as a last stage draw in the forces acting on the different objects.
Inv. 1) How much force is required to make a shoe slide?
STEP 1: Does the weight pushing down on the shoe make any difference to the force required?
STEP 2: Does the type of show make any difference to the force required?
STEP 3: Is there a pattern to the way the weight in the shoe changes the sliding force needed to start the shoe moving?

Inv. 2) With the shoe on a slope, what angle of slope is needed to just make the shoe start to slide?
STEP 1: Does the weight in the shoe make any difference?
STEP 2: Is there a pattern between the weigh in the shoe and the angle of slide?
Discuss and Correct:
This can be played as a game. Place a time limit (1 minute) for pupils working in
groups to make their list. The idea might be to get as many words as possible which
appear on the teacher’s (concealed) list. Alternatively, the group with the most
“speed words” is the winner.
E.g. Speedometer. Speed skater. Speed of sound. Speedway. Speed limit.
How do you measure speed?
Pupils have to group the cards in terms of their speeds.
1) free choice
2) fast, medium slow
3) fastest to slowest.
Pupils compare and draw the distance each moves in one second
In this activity it is not intended to have competitors racing against one another at
the same time. Pupils can see the need to agree on reliable measurements to find the winner. The marble with the greatest average speed wins. (Of course you don’t need to know the speed. Distance is fixed so the shortest time wins).

Each group will therefore need to keep a record of their results.

Use these to later calculate average speeds:
e.g. “The marble travelled 200 centimetre in 5 second
- how many centimetres would it travel in 10 second?
How many centimetres in 1 second?”
Calculate speed of vehicles on videoclip (IOP)

set up your own outdoor speed trap
1) pick a road and find its speed limit
2) use tapemeasure to measure a distance along a road
3) Film or Time vehicles as they pass and record in table
4) calculate their speeds (did they break speed limit)
Force diagrams
balanced ->no acceleration
air hockey
d-t graphs
v-t graphs
Radiation & Decay
Ball in a wagon:
Start wagon moving and notice ball stays still
Stop wagon and notice ball keeps moving.
Circuit board game
(players = charges,
board = parallel circuit)
Angry Birds
In groups of 3-4, act the graph. So, one person will walk along a straight line to mimic the graph, whilst the others in the group could help signposting important parts of the graph, as well as keeping the time.
Conduction, convection, radi-adi-ation
These are all the ways that heat can move from a location
Temperature's a risin', molecules are moving
Heat will flow from hot to cold it's really not confusing at all!

Talk about conduction --
Heat is movin' through a spoon
Stir a cup of coffee & you'll feel it pretty soon
Hotter solid molecules they bump into the cool
And a wave of heat will move along conductors as a rule -


Now there's convection
That's when heat moves through the air
Or some water or a substance that can move from here to there
Warmer currents rise, and cooler currents sink
But it mixes up and evens out, it makes you want to think about...


Now radiation
Like the sun upon your face
It spreads by waves of light that even move through outer space
The waves they hit the molecules and make them dance around
The darker colors do it best, at least that's what we've found!


So next time that you got a hot potato in your hand
If you want to cool it down you got to understand
Solids can conduct, air and water can convect
But radiation is the one that light waves can detect...

When we get wired we’re a wild bunch
A-hoppin’ and a-poppin’ with lot of punch!
It doesn’t take much, much to turn us on
Its fun to run when you’re an electron!

We hook right up to our power source
And then we activate... with a lot of force!
We’re hard to stop once we get goin’
You know how it is when the juice is flowin’ !

Transformers serve to slow us down
As we head from the generator for a night on the town.
In those wires, we zap right on through
Over ditches, highways and your backyard too!

Conductors they’re called for those who don’t know.
They’re the stuff that really makes us go!
We only travel very first class
Gold, silver, or copper, but never rubber or glass.

When we hit town, the place is ablaze.
We’re wizards at finding our way through the maze !
When we find your toaster, we’ll make that boy pop;
Let us into your oven and watch that joker hop!

Its electric!
We’ll touch your phone and make it ring.
Get connected!
We’ll warm your kettle and make it sing!
You name it you want some flare ?
Just flick that switch and WE ARE THERE!

We light right up when we make a connection.
And we’ve figured out the surest direction!
There’s a secret behind our awesome power—
Mysterious and beautiful as a little flower....

Closing the circle is what its all about with not one piece missing or left out...
United we stand. Divided we fall. Its as simple as that, now that we know it all!
Electrons flowing 1 by 1- Hurrah, Hurrah
Electrons flowing 1 by 1- Hurrah, Hurrah
Electrons flowing 1 by 1
It makes the electric current run
And they all go flowing 1 by 1, by 1, by 1, by 1

Electrons flowing 2 by 2- Hurrah, Hurrah
Electrons flowing 2 by 2- Hurrah, Hurrah
Electrons flowing 2 by 2
The insulator won’t let them through
And they all STOP flowing 2 by 2, by 2, by 2, by 2

Electrons flowing 3 by 3- Hurrah, Hurrah
Electrons flowing 3 by 3- Hurrah, Hurrah
Electrons flowing 3 by 3
Conductors allow electricity
And they all go flowing 3 by 3, by 3, by 3, by 3…


…Electrons flowing 9 by 9- Hurrah, Hurrah
Electrons flowing 9 by 9- Hurrah, Hurrah
Electrons flowing 9 by 9
They attract the positive protons just fine
As they all go flowing 9 by 9, by 9, by 9, by 9

Electrons flowing 10 by 10- Hurrah, Hurrah
Electrons flowing 10 by 10- Hurrah, Hurrah
Electrons flowing 10 by 10
And so this song is at the end
As they all go flowing
10 by 9 by 8 by 7 by 6 by 5 by 4 by 3 by 2 by 1, by 1 by 1
There’s a force,
There’s a force,
That’s all around
Pulling things down
To the ground.

And what goes up
Must come down
And we call it gravity.

Isaac Newton made a discovery
When he saw an apple fall from a tree.
So he told the world of the force we can’t see
And we call it gravity.

Gravity, it’s all around the universe.
Gravity, we just can’t see.
Gravity, it’s holding you and me.
Gravity, gravity, gravity.

Gravity’s a force that’s out in space
Holding all the planets in their place.
Gravity here, all around everywhere,
And we call it gravity.
And we call it gravity.
It’s a magnetic world.
The Earth’s a magnetic place.
Everywhere, all around, you’ll find magnets.
In computers and t.v sets
and microphones,
They even hold doors closed around your home.

Every magnet has a north pole,
A south pole too.
Each pole has its own molecules.
They create a force,
A magnetic field,
That attracts metals like iron and steel.

Magnets, many sizes and shapes
Horseshoes, bars and cylinders
Magnetic discs large and small
Magnets working for us all.

It’s a magnetic world.
The Earth’s a magnetic place.
Put two magnets together, what can you tell?
North and south poles will attract
And like poles together will repel.

Every magnetic field if it’s strong enough
Can pass through paper, wood or plastic.
You can make a magnet with electricity
And it’s very strong, you will see.

Magnets, many sizes and shapes
Horseshoes, bars and cylinders
Magnetic discs large and small
Magnets working for us all.

It’s a magnetic world.
The Earth’s a magnetic place.
Everywhere, all around, you’ll find magnets.

Attract (pull together) Repel (push away)
Attract (pull together) Repel (push away)

Pull it in or push it away
That’s what a magnet does, I say

Magnets pull it in if it’s different;
Opposites do attract
It it’s the same, they repel;
That’s an interesting fact

Magnets are made of nickel, iron or steel
Seeking North & South poles like a compass wheel

The Earth is a big magnet, you know.
Some other planets are too
The Earth has a North & South pole

Attracting magnetic forces, that’s true
A magnet left to freely turn
Will point N & S we learn.
The physicist will not insist
You learn the wizard’s potion
But minds will grow if students know
Of Newton’s Laws of Motion

Isaac Newton studied forces
Forces make things start and stop
Students taking science courses
Learn these laws to stay on top

Things in motion stay in motion
Things at rest will stay at rest
Inertia’s our initial notion
Know it and you’ll past the test

We’re laying down the law
We’re laying down the law
We’re laying down the laws
Of motion

The next law’s also worth a mention
So wisdom will accelerate
Although I sense your apprehension
A speedy lesson is your fate

With your elbow, wrist and shoulder
Here is how you must proceed
Throw a ball and throw a boulder
Greater mass means lesser speed

We’re laying down the law
We’re laying down the law
We’re laying down the laws
Of motion

One last law we’ll be explaining
Says forces always come in pairs
Newton’s law will leave you straining
When you’re climbing up the stairs

Each step you take is called an action
Push a wall, it pushes back
When you act, expect reaction
Equal and opposite, that’s a fact

We’re laying down the law
We’re laying down the law
We’re laying down the laws
Of motion
Objects and light,
Objects and light,
Let’s talk about objects and light.

Objects and light,
Objects and light,
Let’s talk about objects and light!

Transparent, translucent, reflected, opaque
Transparent, translucent, reflected, opaque

Transparent objects let light pass through.
Translucent objects let some light pass through.
Reflected light bounces off objects to you,
And opaque objects let no light pass through.

Objects and light,
Objects and light,
Let’s talk about objects and light.

Transparent, translucent, reflected, opaque
Transparent, translucent, reflected, opaque

Transparent objects let light pass through.
Translucent objects let some light pass through.
Reflected light bounces off objects to you,
And opaque objects let no light pass through.

Transparent, translucent, reflected, opaque
Transparent, translucent, reflected, opaque
Position velocity accel-er-ation
They are in order like a one, two, three
Velo-ci-ty is changing your position
Acceleration changes your velo-ci-ty

Let's start with a stop! Your velocity is zero
position's just a measure of where you are
And if you never give it an acceleration
You're gonna stay parked in your little car
But if you change to positive acceleration
It adds to your velocity and off you go
Velocity gets added to your old position
It's speed in a direction, watch the numbers grow
(Position! It's where you are! Velocity! It's speed in a direction!
Acceleration! Any change in your velocity!)


Now if I were to coast at acceleration zero
I'd still be rollin' my velocity
I won't be speeding up or slowing down
Cause zero means I'm rolling friction-free!
Now if I want to slow it down I have to give it
Acceleration with a little minus sign
So adding to velocity will make it smaller
Slowing down my progress on that number line
(Position! It's where you are! Velocity! It's speed in a direction!
Acceleration! Any change in your velocity!)


Now you might wonder if your car was turning
Could that be acceleration, too?
Velocity is speed in a direction
So your hypothesis is clearly true!
Any change to speed or direction
has to have a force to make it go
That force is the mass times acceleration
I know 'cause Isaac Newton told me so!
(Position! It's where you are! Velocity! It's speed in a direction!
Acceleration! Any change in your velocity!)

Sound, sound, sound,
What is sound? What is sound?
Sound, sound, sound,
It’s a vibration traveling around.

The sounds we hear are everywhere
Moving in waves through the air.
Traveling through solids and liquids too,
So many sounds old and new.

Sound, sound, sound,
What is sound? What is sound?
Sound, sound, sound,
It’s a vibration traveling around.

Some sounds are high
And some are low
If the vibration is fast or slow.
The fast sound high, the slow sound low.
When you hear the pitch,
You will know.

Sound, sound, sound,
What is sound? What is sound?
Sound, sound, sound,
It’s a vibration traveling around.

The sounds you hear from far and near
Vibrate the bones inside your ear.
The message travels to your brain
And the sound you hear is explained.

Sound, sound, sound, sound, sound, sound,
Sound, sound, sound, sound, sound, sound,
Sound, sound, sound, sound, sound, sound,
Sound, sound, sound, sound, sound, sound,

Sound, sound, sound,
What is sound? What is sound?
I want to do some work
But I gotta find some force.
Yes, I wanna do some work,
But I gotta find some energy
to produce the force.

Then I can say it will
be in motion.
Motion, a change in position.

A force is a push or pull
It can be something as easy
as gravity
Or a truck that pulls
A heavy load

And that’s work…
it means it’s gotta move
Yes, that work…

So move.
GRAVITY (sung to “Jingle Bells”)

by Alvin Lee, Wakefield High School, Arlington VA, 1982

A comet hits the earth, it’s made of methane ice,

it makes a giant force, now isn’t that so nice?

So, what made it come here? What made it hit the earth?

The answer’s very clear, my friend, it fills you up with mirth!!

GRAV-I-TY, GRAV-I-TY, keeps us on the ground.

An apple fell on Newton, he said, “What goes up comes down.”

GRAV-I-TY, GRAV-I-TY, mass time nine point eight.

Remember, travel very fast if earth you must escape.

Walk around the earth, keep a steady pace.

If gravity twern’t here, you’d float away in space.

Call it what you want, call it any name, But this force us a heavy

weight, attraction is its game, OHHHHHH…
“TO THE JUDGE” (sung to “Jingle Bells)

by Cliff Hall, Wakefield High School, Arlington VA, 1985

Dashing though the snow in a four door Chevrolet,

O’er the curb we go, sliding all the way.

Honking at the boy who is on the sled.

Will an icy crash we see complete with flattened head?


To the judge, to the judge, to the judge we say,

“Inertia is that property that kept us on our way.”

To the judge, to the judge, to the judge we say,

“It’s not our fault, blame Newton’s Laws,

they made us go that way!!”
“OH ENERGY” (sung to “Oh Christmas Tree”)

by Will Wicker, Wakefield High School, Arlington VA, 1986

Oh, en-er-gy, oh, en-er-gy, conserving you’s not up to me.

Some people say, “Don’t waste a Watt!!” They say it’s true, I say it’s not!

Oh, en-er-gy, oh, en-er-gy, conserving you’s not up to me.

Oh, en-er-gy, oh, en-er-gy, con-ser-va-tion, that’s the key.

What’s the big deal, what’s the fuss? Electric bills are fooling us.

Oh, en-er-gy, oh, en-er-gy, con-ser-va-tion, that’s the key.

Oh, en-er-gy, oh, en-er-gy, you are conserved in spite of me.

Your conservation is the law, you’re not used up, just changed, that’s all.

Oh, en-er-gy, oh, en-er-gy, you are conserved in spite of me.
“DECK THE PHYSICS LAB” (sung to “Deck the Halls”)

by the physics students of Frankfurt American High School, Frankfurt Germany, 1976

Deck the physics lab with lenses, fa, la, la, la la, la, la, la, la;

Light bends more when they are densest, fa, la, la, la la, la, la, la,la;

We can now observe reflection, fa, la, la, la la, la, la, la, la;

Not to mention its direction, fa, la, la, la la, la, la, la, la.
“STATIC EQUILIBRIUM” (sung to “Winter Wonderland”)

by Alvin Lee, Wakefield High School, Arlington VA, 1983

All my moments have cancelled,

sum of forces is equal,

I’m fully inert, and doing no work,

here in sta-tic e-qui-lib-ri-um.

Every push meets another,

every pull has a counter,

the state I allude is true lassitude,

here in sta-tic e-qui-lib-ri-um.

All my forces balance out exactly,

you can even put me to the test.

Push me out in any ole direction,

And you’ll find I’ll no longer be at rest.

Can’t you see that I’m happy?

Sitting here, calm and mellow?

Don’t want to go home,

So leave me alone,

here in sta-tic e-qui-lib-ri-um.
Newton immersed ya in the concept of inertia
It's all around ya but it won't hurt ya
Things keep doing what their already doing and that's inertia
But if a net force acts, it will disturb ya

The second law is all about a simple formulation.
To get force multiply Mass and Acceleration.
If that's too much to say,
Try this abbreviation
F = M times A
F = M times A
OK, just a simple formulation

Forces come in pairs
“A thing at rest will stay at rest,” says Newton.
That’s his first law. That’s his first law.
And some point out this only is transmutin’
His second law, but that’s no flaw.
‘Cause Newton’s second law says F is m a
If there’s no force, no a of course!
Acceleration zero means we can say
No delta-v, so there you see!

Chorus tune:
Velocity depends upon your frame.
At rest or moving, they’re really just the same!
A tree for me stands still you see
But from a train it moves with v!
Newton’s 1 -2-3
His laws are good for you and me!

“Each action has an opposite reaction” --
Law number three confuses me.
Both opposite and equal, this abstraction
What does it mean? It seems obscene!
Well, here’s the key that gives you knowledge ample:
To be exact, the forces act
On different objects and here’s an example:
If I touch you, you touch me too!

Chorus tune:
If a horse starts pulling on a cart,
The cart pulls back on the horse in equal part.
The horse, of course, has no remorse,
Because it feels a forward force
From the ground upon the horse,
As Isaac Newton would endorse!
karate circuit symbols
Interactive Scale of Universe
Spectrum detective clues game
Nuclear Weapons
Discuss which cup is better for keeping your coffee warm. Give reasons.
how would this picture look using IR imaging
(colour it in. state which colours are hottest.
give reasons for colouring certain regions hotter than others)
Common Misconceptions
If the earth stopped spinning we would float into space.
There is no gravity on the moon.
NASA have an anti-gravity room where gravity can be turned off and people can float.
It is possible to shield the force of gravity by using lead or other materials.
Isaac Newton discovered gravity.
You have no mass in space.
There is no gravity in space because you are far from the earth.
Weight is measured in kilograms.
There is no gravity in space because space is a vacuum.
If we could suck all the air out of the classroom, we would float around.

Materials: A can of tomato soup and an A4 paper map of Pangea (the continents 250 million years ago). Metal dissection tray, tripod, bunsen burner. Use with http://www.scotese.com/sfsanim.htm

Method: Pour soup in tray, place on tripod. Cut Pangea map into continents and place on soup in Pangea configuration. Medium heat with bunsen, direct first between Africa and South America until continents move apart, then direct heat to between North America and Asia (models real sequence of South Atlantic opening first, then North Atlantic). Maybe worth preparing a laminated version of the continents that can be reused?

Purpose: Use to explore and discuss why continents move apart. Tie-in with Earth’s core as heat source, mantle, crust and convection currents. Students describe what they’ve observed and how this relates to movement of tectonic plates.

Materials: (a) Glass beaker with ca 1-2 cm of red wax at bottom, then 2-3 cm layer of sand/grit on top, water, bunsen burner, tripod.
(b) 2 litre cola bottle and 2-4 mentos mints, tray for spillage.

Method: (a) Add water gently so beaker is ca 2/3 to 3/4 full. Apply medium heat to one side of beaker so wax melts and rises gently through the sand, then solidifies again in water.
(b) Put bottle in tray, open, add mentos mints, stand back quickly!

Purpose: Reinforce ties to magma composition and pressure build up. (a) low viscosity Hawaiian type eruption, (b) high viscosity Mount St Helens/Mount Etna type eruption. Could also use (a) to talk about Hawaii being a volcanic island (as wax solidifies on water surface). Students write their observations and explain in terms of types of volcanic eruptions.
use model globe with camera mounted
hooked up to whiteboard. pingpong ball
acts as moon. lamp acts as Sun
Water represents heat energy. Wetness represents temperature.
Disappearing water  three paper cups with one in the middle with some nappy fillings (clean!). Pour water in an empty cup and shuffle. Ask audience to point the cup with water. Pour water in other empty cup and repeat. At the end pour water in the cup with nappy stuffing and shuffle, then topple the cup on top of a member of audience and no water falls (it’s all been absorbed)
3 x paper cups
4. Happy birthday Egg!  boiled egg with birthday cake candles (x2) on top. Light the candles and turn a conical flask upside down move the candles inside the flask and let the air inside heat up. Cover the neck of the flask with the egg. The egg is pushed in by the difference in pressure. To get the egg out turn the flask upside down and blow hard inside. The egg will pop out forcefully.
Boiled egg (2 in case and as small as possible)
Birthday candles (x2)
Conical flask (try different sizes)
5. Compressing marshmallows  put a few marshmallows inside a coffee vacuum container and pump the air out (this needs to be set up just before the trick). Then, a member of the audience to come up and think very hard about a great weight pressing over their heads and then about two walls squeezing them really really hard. As they imagine and mimic the pressure on their bodies release the valve in the container and the marshmallows will be compressed by the atmospheric pressure of the air rushing in.
Coffee vacuum container
Marshmallows (if they have a funny shape, e.g. teddy bear, it’s even better)
Preparation: slice a banana from the inside by pushing a long needle through some dark bits and slice that bit without messing the skin up. Repeat in different places. The trick: put the banana on the table and ask a member of audience to come and inspect it. Then take a rectangular box and open it slowly and carefully. Pretend to take a knife out and ask the audience if they can see what you are holding. Pretend to hold the knife with two hands near the helper and if they try to touch it, stop them and tell them it is very sharp. For safety reasons this trick can only be done by a teacher ;-) so pretend to slice the banana in different places and give it to the helper to peal. To their amazement the banana will be sliced in pieces.
Banana prepared
Long needle
Clip box (ideally one of those to hold cutlery inside)
8.The Vader legacy bottom of a Coke can. Ask a member of audience to come up and try to lift the Al disc with a magnet (this proves that Al is not magnetic). Then, tell the children there is a very special guest who has come to perform this Magic, which can only be done by a master of the dark side of the Force. Go off stage and come back with a Darth Vader mask accompanied by his soundtrack. Part of the outfit will be the black gloves and in the right glove there will be (sawn in) a neodymium magnet. Hover your hand over the disk in a circular motion and faster and faster. The disc will start to rotate and follow the movement of your hand.
Bottom of coke can (with cut edges filed)
Neodymium magnets (x2 one inside the glove)
10. The invisible water  Four candles (those short and fat ones in Al case, but with the wax already 1/3 gone at the top, i.e. I need a bit of the Al cylinder empty, so CO2 can collect around the candle and extinguish it). Light a candle up and show how you can relit it without touching the wick. Then, light all candles and pour some white vinegar in a jug and add some Bicarbonate of Soda. Wait until it settles and pour the CO2 that formed and deposited at the bottom of the jug over the candles. The candles blow without any liquid even coming out of the jug.
White vinegar
Bicarbonate of Soda
Candles (see description above)
11. The Magic fluid (grand finale)  Preparation: put a small test tube inside a bowl filled with glycerine (make sure all air bubbles have gone). The trick: ask a member of the audience to smash another test tube with a hammer (the tube is obviously wrapped around a cloth). Has the helper smashes the tube, look at the audience really disappointed. Then, turn to the helper and tell them you really didn’t mean for them to smash the tube and that now the trick is ruined. Then, you suddenly remember an ancient remedy that has been passed down the generations of your family of Magicians. Drop the broken bits of tube in the Magic Fluid and they’ll disappear. Then, ask the audience to sing with you the magic spell. Get them really going and then stop them with a sharp gesture of your hand and with tongs take the new test tube inside the bowl!
Glycerine (brand new and pure)
New test tubes (x2)
The learners’ task is to take photos of different situations were forces are applied on objects and describe how these forces affect the object’s motion, shape, etc… They should try to find as many different situations as possible and such that would show different effects, e.g. acceleration, deceleration, constant speed/rest…
Allow learners about 15-20 min to take and edit their photos with Skitch.
Once the groups have taken and edited all their photos on Skitch, they can create a slideshow in www.PhotoPeach.com where they can create quizzes to test their Peers. An example of what learners could create is here http://bit.ly/wtfHLf and it might be useful to share this link with them! They will probably need 15-20 min to create their PhotoPeach Quizzes.
unbalanced -> acceleration
Energy: hot --> cold
(temp diff = rate)
good conductors
How can a beetle detect a forest fire at a large distance without seeing or smelling it?
If atom is size of a grain of sand – how big is a grain of sand? (marble, ping pong ball, tennis ball, football, basketball, etc)
Types of tea experiment (101 Things you wish youd invented - Form66)
Brownian Motion (GCSE Physics - p62-63) & (Understanding Science 2 – p88-89)
Nanotechnology: tiny musical instruments, fly wearing glasses, mini machines and gears, patterns, etc
Banish dandruff lotion in beaker illuminated by projector and magnifying glass
dogs smell whale poo from afar (Science without the boring bits - p298, 2003)
If dust particle was size of Earth, then atom is size of Tennis ball.
Diffusion increases with temperature
Have all pupils stand around a desk that is illuminated with UV light. Have a fluorescent painted block in centre. Each pupil has few marbles and all roll their marbles to hit the block. Keep all marbles on table and notice random motion of block.
all the matter in human race could fit into a sugar cube
Patterns on milk skin diffusing with temperature (50 Science things to make - p74-75)
Parrotfish secretes a jelly like bubble to sleep inside so that its smell doesnt spread out and attract predators
If each atom in one glass of water were size of grain of sand, it would make an Earth of Sand (land and sea included) and still be 6 metres thick extra on surface!
WATT is the unit of power?
Q: What did the Nuclear Physicist have for lunch?
A: Fission Chips.
A neutron walks into a bar. "I'd like a beer" he says.
The bartender promptly serves up a beer.
"How much will that be?" asks the neutron.
"For you?" replies the bartender, "no charge"
Ivan Ivanovich, great russian Scientist does an experiment. He wants
to know how fast a thermometer falls down. He takes a thermometer and
a light, a candle light. He drops both from the 3rd floor and recognices
that they are reaching the ground at the same time. Ivan Ivanovich, great
russian scientific writes in his book: A theomometer falls with the speed
of light.
Resistance begins at ohm
Albert Einstein had been working on his theory of relativity a lot
and he was just about finished. He was almost ready to publish his work.
However, he was under a lot of stress so he thought he would go on vacation
to Mexico.

Albert had a glorious two week vacation and was having the time of his
life. On the last night he was staying there he decided to take a walk along
the beach and watch the sunset.

As he watched the sun go down he thought of the light of the sun and
then the speed of light. You see, he had been using the speed of light in a
lot of his calculations but he didn't decided on what symbol to use for it.
Greek had been so overused.

Just at that moment Senior Wensez was also walking along the beach in
the opposite direction. Albert caught him out of the corner of his eye and
remarked suddenly, "Do you not zink zat zee speed of light is very fast?"

Senior Wensez paused for a moment and replied, "Si."
Q:What do you call a nun who's had a sex change?
A:A Trans-sister
Radioactivity - it's as easy as a, b, g
My highschool physics teacher, who thought of himself as a very funny punster, was explaining the unit of measure for frequency. He said, "The unit for cycles-per-second is called the Hertz, which is named after a famous scientist who also started a car rental company." The whole class groaned, and I said, "Sir, that was so funny it Hertz."
Sherlock Ohm's Law
Question: What did the monk say when he got shocked?
Answer: Ohmmmmm
Real-World Resources
Ask a group of 4 a question
They must answer by speaking in turn, one word at a time
Back Drawing: Have the children pair off. The teacher calls out a question, and Child Two will draw the answer on Child One’s back, using the tip of his finger, with exaggerated movements and clarity; Child One writes the answer down
A Step in the Right Direction: Ask the children the questions, one by one. For each right answer, you move forward one pace; for each wrong answer, move backward one pace. The goal, of course, is to get around the class.
Stand up Bingo. Get pupils to write down 3 words. they sit down as soon as any one of the words is called out. The aim is to not have any of their words read out thereby being the last one standing.
Headlines Have pictures on the board and they have to write a headline for it.
Pass the parcel Pass a ball/object around the class to music when the music stops ask who is holding the object a question.
ten-question true-false exercise before watching a video, to see who manages to get the most questions right
InfoGraphic Posters
(film as draw and playback faster)
EMF & Internal Resistance
Measuring, Errors & Uncertainties
Scientific Thinking & Practical Investigation Skills
Research: Half-life of caffeine in the body
What should the water temperature be
for a comfortable swimming experience?
Which rubbish can be burnt
to generate electricity?
Research: How does air-con work?
Investigate: the shutter speed of camera
Investigate: human reaction times for different stimuli
Investigate: how much does the
air pressure in a football matter
Investigate: The performance of a firework rocket
Investigate: the bounce-time
of a ball
Investigate: Does water absorb
UV light?
Study the motion of a
ball rolling on a turntable
Film and study the distribution of
speed, and energy, among balls
randomly shaking in a tray
Investigate: the performance of a fan
Investigate: the thrust of a propeller in water
Investigate: Energy delivered
by a catapault
Investigate: The strength of different structures
Investigate: ice is said to be less brittle when
sawdust is frozen into it
Investigate: the strength of human hair
Investigate the strength of paper
Investigate: making long-lasting soap film
Investigate: adhesion of glue to fabric, metal, wood, etc
Flow & Turbulence
Investigate: the effect of temperature
on the flow of motor oils
Investigate: the drag
on different shapes
in an air stream
Investigate: the effect of changing
the size and shape of the wings on
a glider
Investigate: load and speed variations on a parachute
investigate: the air flow
in a room with a heater
Research: the song made by a kettle
just before it boils
Where does dust collect? Why
Investigate: Oscillations of solid bars (Xylophone)
Investigate: How long does sound last
in a large hall?
Photograph waves found on strings and springs
Investigate: the speed of ripples on water
Investigate: Frequency range
on a microphone / mobile phone
Research: Audible range of sound for humans, animals
Research: how to produce and detect
ultrasonic and infrasonic sound waves
Investigate: the colours on thin films of
bubbles or oil on water
See shadows of flames from hot objects
Investigate: the adaptation of the human eye to the dark
Research: How fast must a flicker be before it stops being observable
Investigate: how quickly does the iris of an eye
contract when light is made brighter
research: does everyone
see the same range of
Investigate: efficiency of a dynamo, motor
Investigate: load and speed variations
of an electric motor
Safety devices (e.g. fuses)
Investigate: time taken for a fuse to melt
Investigate: Conduction of pencil lines on paper
Love metre / Lie detector

Investigate: Resistance changes of human beings
with variance in emotional state
Investigate: Is it true that a dry cell is the most
expensive way to buy electricity?
Does a flame conduct electricity?
Quiz Games
Good for researching famous people
Summary of Topic
Mobile Phone Treasure Hunt
or qs on props / displays
(Outdoor independent learning)
Good for mapping famous events
Random Name Picker Quiz
About me:
Good for highlighting misconceptions
& socratic questioning
Good for presenting main information on topic
Graph Reading Skills:
1) What does the coordinate tell you? (read the axes)
2) What does the slope tell you? (division of the axes)
3) What does the area under a graph tell you? (multiplication of the axes)
Measuring temperature of flame without a thermometer (Short Engaging Practical Demos – p11)
Make a temp conversion chart (how maths works – p31)
make a thermometer (how maths works – p31)
Research: extremophiles (life adapted to Very hot and very cold conditions)
Investigate: Compare cooling rate of single testtube of hotwater vs a huddle of testtubes of hotwater,
Research what decides the surface temperature of planets
Venus is hotter than Mercury!
Investigate: Compare cooling rate of a pair of testtubes with similar temperatures vs a pair of testtubes with vastly different temperatures. Compare cooling rate of two testtubes of same temperature, one placed in room temperature, other placed in fridge.
have 3 beakers of water: 1 hot, 1 cold, 1 warm. i) both hands in warm. ii) 1 hot 1 cold. iii) both in luke warm - does it feel same temperature? why not?
Temperature of Tea (How maths works - p74)
Absolute Zero (Science without the boring bits - p260, 1964)
Why isnt the Universe at Absolute Zero - but 3K?

Temp of Big Bang - how do we know?
Matchstick cannot melt an Iceberg.
Penguins huddle to keep warm so that they share body temperatures and since it is similar temp they lose heat more slowly than to the surroundings.
which will freeze first, hot or cold water (Mad about Physics - p9, Q24)
Dont wash planes / cars with hot water in cold weather (i.e. canada) as it will freeze quicker
Pompei worms keep head in cold water while tail takes heat of volcanoes 400C!
Snakes and bumble bees shiver to warm up
When you get hot your blood is diverted to near the skin where the temp difference is greater and heat is transferred quickly to surroundings. Opposite happens when your body tries to stay warm.
Time taken to boil a Kettle. Prison guards wait 20mins after turning off electricity to prisoners cell before going in to calm them down. 20mins is how long it takes for the kettle to cool down.
Investigate how long will it take to boil a certain amount of water in a kettle
SHC Using Immersion heater, 1kg water, thermometer VS Aluminium block (GCSE Physics - p131-133)
Firewalking is possible because takes so long to heat water
Antarctic has lots more ice than Arctic because Antarctic is land and loses heat quickly whereas Arctic is on water which has a higher shc
Investigate: Cool / Heat two beakers of water (one with 10x more water inside) for 1 minute and record temperature rise. Explain difference
oil is used to cook as it gets hotter without evaporating (has higher shc)
Investigate: Sand vs water – which retains heat the longest (Understanding Science 3 –p151)
Supercool a beer bottle in a freezer and carefully take out as a liquid. Bang bottom on table to release bubbles and it instantly freezes!
make a candle - fill a bowl with sand and make a mould in the sand. Place a string in the mould. i) Melt some candle wax & pour into mould. or ii) grind solid wax into small pieces and pour into mould - melts when lit
Steam from a kettle and then hold a cold glass surface above - water droplets form on it (Mad about Modern Physics - p8, Q20)
make lava by melting crayons (mjksciteachingideas.com/rocks.html
Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Exotic, Strange, Antimatter Stars
Boil water and then add salt - boiling stops! (Mad about Modern Physics - p7, Q19)
Liquid Nitrogen Ice cream (Mad about Modern Physics - p5, Q12)
Molten Rock & Volcanoes (Science without the boring bits - p35, 79)
Measure viscosity varying with temperature – lava flow (Advancing Physics)
Make a milkshake and explain state changes involved (101 Things you wish youd invented – Form5)
States of Matter (Science without the boring bits - p218, 1927 & p25, c.330)
Use a speaker vibrating with polystyrene beads to show 3 states of matter - (Physics is Fun - p43 - 5.18)
Solid, Liquid, Gas writeup (Understanding Science 2 – p163)
Make ice cream roulette & explain state changes involved (101 Things you wish youd invented - Form 68)
Greek Fire (Science without the boring bits - p43, 672)
Fruit inside Icecubes & explain state changes involved (Big Book of things to make and do – p42)
Try to crush an empty bottle – it squashes but something stops it – proof air is made of atoms that are separated
Why doesnt alcohol freeze in cold weather? its freezing point is -114C
Colder than freezing (Championship Science Fair Projects – p105)
Non-Newtonian Liquids
Water still drink water from wee (SAS Survival guide – p30&31)
Volcanic eruptions - with bicarb + vinegar + washing up liquid OR yeast + peroxide (101 experiments for shed scientist – p68) OR Flour (Rotten Experiments – p92)
Jelly Volcano (Blast Lab – p60-61)
Burn a £10 note with ethanol and water (Short Engaging Practical Demos – p12)
seeing breath on cold day (condensation)
Make a cloud using ice cubes in a tray ontop of a glass of warm water (101 experiments for shed scientist – p51)
make a simple steam boat (101 experiments for shed scientist – p77)
Some creatures have natural antifreeze – frogs, icefish, etc
water-holding frog stores water in its bladder and lives in australian desert – when it buries itself in a cacoon of dead skin it retains moisture to survive.
Changing state from liquid to ice quickly using evaporataion (GCSE Physics - p137-139)
blow on hand. Then lick and blow again – its colder
why we dont cook in a sauna (Science without the boring bits - p108, 1774)
Investigate: Record temperature drop of caloromiter wrapped in damp cloth evaporating vs caloromiter in bowl of water cooling by convection.
Sweat cools you down

Cold out of shower

Perfume feels cold
air conditioning and slh of fusion (Mad about Physics - p8. Q21)
Investigate: wet cotton wool around thermometer experiment plotting graphs (Understanding Science 1 – p128)
sweat to cool down. - Kangaroos cannot so they lick fur until its wet and the saliva evaporates taking energy away from body. Birds squirt liquidy poo onto their legs to evaporate
SLH fusion of ice using immersion heater (GCSE Physics - p134-136)
SLH vaporisaTion of steam using immersion heater (GCSE Physics -p134-136)
) Float in Dead Sea as its high salt consentration means its density is high (GCSE Physics - p58-59)
Show 1kg blocks of different metals and note their different sizes despite weighing the same. This is due to their densities.
Salt water in one glass coloured blue. Fresh water in second glass coloured red. Check both are same temperature. Then mix and observe what happens.
If the ice in the North Pole (no land) melted it would make no rise in sea level (Mad about Modern Physics - p33, Q74)
Put an egg in a glass of water and it sinks. Then add salt to the glass until the egg floats. (or weigh out the amount of salt needed to make the egg float) (Short Engaging Practical Demos – p21) & (Championship Science Fair Projects – p148)
Sugar water is more dense than water: weigh a testtube of water and calculate its density. Add up to 2 twice as much sugar (i.e. 2 testtubes). The volume does not change as the sugar is dissolved! Therefore the density must be more - note the change in weight - calculate its new density. (Mad about Modern Physics - p3, Q3)
cut a square of kitchen foil and let it sink in water. Scrunch into a ball and let sink. Then shape it into a bowl hull with lots of air inside and watch it float like a ship. See how many marbles you can fill it with.
Alice in wonderland shrinnking and growing big - what are the real effects? (Mad about Modern Physics - p33, Q71)
Measure density of water and a rubber duck. Work out how much weight you’d need to add to make rubber duck sink. Weigh it out in plactercine & add it. See if it sinks.
Build a Clockwork boat (101 things to do in a shed – p50)
How do you hold up 500k lb of water in mid air without supports? Its a Cloud!
Push ball in a bucket of water and note how heigh it bounces up. Push deeper and see if it affects height. What does it tell you about upthrust and depth?
Make a straw papyris boat (Ancient Egypt – p13)
two rivers meet and don’t mix due to different salinities and hence densities
Model of density – balls in rice, steel and polystyrene (Short engaging practical demos – p7)
Make bread or a cupcake and explain density changes (Ancient Egypt – p38-39) & (Maya – p34) & (WWII – p38)
Rubber ducks (Science without the boring bits - p284, 1992)
An orange in water floats. yet without skin it sinks. why?
First Hydrogen filled balloon (Science without the boring bits - p101, 1767)
Salt water of different densities coloured different colours – make rainbow layers in water (Championship Science Fair Projects – p133)
Density of your hand using archimedes’ principle (How maths works - p102-3)
Cold water in blue and Hot water in red do not mix! (Championship Science Fair Projects – p103)
Measuring the mass of air (Science without the boring bits - p79, 1664)
Model of density and how things become more dense when mixed – use peas and seeds (Understanding Science 2 – p91)
Eureka moment (Science without the boring bits - p27, 287) & (Can you feel the force – p10)
Investigate: Which is more dense, cream or milk? (How maths works - p106) & a) Which is heavier - cream or milk? use different types (skimmedm etc) and see if it is always the same case. research why. (Mad about Modern Physics - p3, Q6)
Steam rises - first steam engine by Hero (Science without the boring bits - p32, c.60)
Ship hulls float even though the material is denser than water but because the volume of the hull is mostly air and so the overall shape density is much lower than the water.
b) Measure density of water, vinegar, oil & syrup (& spirit, coffee, sugar water) and predict what will happen when mixed – then mix. (50 Science things to make and do – p32) & (Big book of science things to make and do – p19) & (101 experiments for shed scientist – p110)
Floating / Sinking Raisins (Big Book of things to make – p18) & (Short Engaginbg Practical Demos –p30)
a) Ships, Airships, Balloons, Submarines (GCSE Physics - p90-93)& Flip ship – lab ship that can flip round and sink – half boat half submarine – using buoyancy
Air bladder in Fish & Hidden chambers in shell of nautilus sea snail has gas to adjust density and hence depth in Sea
Solids have space inbetween molecules – show using jelly and universal indicator in petri dish (Understanding Science 2 – p91)
Japanese spider crab has such a strong shell it can crush shells but is very heavy so on land it can barely move
Size and density of planets using graphs (Understanding Science 2 – p162)
Saturn would float (How maths works - p103)
10 blown up balloons fit inside a flask of liquid nitrogen! - take them out and they expand
Microwave grapes in class
Fridge - Expansion valve causes pressure drop and gas to become cold.
Heat a tin to pop off lid as air inside expands (IOP - exp33)
Blow up a balloon on a bottle by heating it up (101 experiments for shed scientist – p88)
Stretch a rubber balloon over neck of flask and gently heat with a candle - the balloon expands
Cold bottle with warmer air inside expands and makes a pop (101 things to do in a shed – p85) & (Fun with Scientific Experiments – p30)
Weigh a beaker of hot water and cold water. Cold weighs more!
Hot air expands (Science without the boring bits - p112, 1782)
Can crushes when watervapor condenses into water (101 experiments for shed scientist – p96)
Can ice be hot enough to burn you? (Mad about Physics - p9, Q28)
Measure expansion of rod (101 experiments for shed scientist – p85)
Water level rises in hot water (Understanding Science 2 – p164)
Pressure on Temp / State Change
Maximum height a mountain can be is 9000ft because any higher and the pressure would turn the base into liquid! (Mad about physics - p153, Q394)
Pick up icecubes by pressing matchstick on to increase pressure (ice melts and resolidifies) (101 experiments for shed scientist – p20)
Earth’s Inner core is solid metal but outer core is liquid metal
Copperwire on ice pulled by weight (GCSE Physics - p137-139)
Deeper sea has more pressure and is also colder – during night when it gets colder most sea creatures swim up higher to find the temp they are used to
egg sucked into a jar (101 experiments for shed scientist – p23) & (Championship Science Fair Projects – p142) & (Short Engaging Practical Demos – p17)
Does Blood boils in space
Inflate a balloon inside a bottle. (show one first and ask class to try to inflat it inside! they will blow it but it will not inflate) Then a tiny amound of water inside a glass bottle and evaporate it by heating the bottle over a flame. Then take it away and Place an uninflated balloon into the glass bottle so it dangles inside and seals the neck. As the water cools it will condense and the pressure inside will drop - allowing the balloon to inflate (Short Engaging Practical Demos – p6)
How are steel tyres fitted to a train wheel?
Low pressure zones are colder. Fast moving air has less particles per second and hence less pressure and less temperature. Thats how fans cool you down when they actually heat up the room! (bernoulli’s principle works on this)
Hot air balloon (Blast Lab – p46-47)
Deep flight aviator is a submarine that flies through the water. It naturally floats but the more speed it builds up allows it to sink due to its shape and downward force created.
Egg blown out of a jar (Championship Science Fair Projects – p144)
Hold a piece of paper up to mouth and blow a stream of air above it - it lifts.
Aerofoil and fan/hairdryer – in pairs cut a card rectangle 15x20cm and crease in half. fold the ends togeter so that the topend is 1cm infront of backend to make an aerofoil wing. Cut out and paper fin and attach to top of wind down the middle – this stops the wing turning away from fan. Poke a straw through the frontend of the wing and glue in place. Put cotton thread through the hole and hold both ends of the string whilst facing a fan / hairdryer. The wing should move up the string.
Straw aeroplanes – make a long card aerofoil wing and stick it across a straw for the body. Put a paperclip on the nose. And a card fin on the rear.
Make a frisbee – cut a large card circle and draw a rim. Then cut tabs along the rim to be able to fold it into 3d rim. Overlap them a little and stick with tape
Racecars have special shape like an upside down wing to use bernoullis principle to force the back wheels to stay in contact with ground as they travel at speeds fast enough to fly!
Aerofoil in watertank – Cut a thin plastic (i.e. from a jar label) rectangle 5x10cm and crease in half. Then staple the ends together 1cm infront of the backend to form an aerofoil. Poke a long wire right through the aerofoil 1cm from the frontend and hook the wire at the end to stop it falling off. it should be free to slide up and down the wire. Place it in a watertank and as it moves forward it will go up the wire!
Build different variations of model aeroplane gliders and test the best (101 things to do in a shed – p72 & 48) & (Blast Lab – p18) & (WWII – p20)
Make an ornithopter glider (Da Vinci – p80)
Throw a spinball using a tennis ball inside a tube / toilet rol 5cm
Model wing and hairdryer (How maths works - p107) & (101 experiments for shed scientist – p76)
Gale force winds blow roof off house
Blow between two balloons and they move towards each other
Make a gap between 2 books and put paper across top then blow i) over top and ii) under
Paper shape that hovers and spins when blown (101 things to do in a shed – p57)
Many Red Giants (Betelguise, Mira) are egg shaped due to huge convection currents rolling their outer layers.
Fill an ink jar with hot coloured water and have a straw sticking out of top. Place the jar into a beaker of cold water and observe
Gliders gain height rising on air currents called thermals
Beaker with torch shining from underneath – has coloured water and vegetable oil. Drop in a fizzy tablet and observe convection currents
Chimney experiment: shoe box with glass front. four candles inside placed in square. Both end has 4 holes (2 above 2). Lid has 2 large holes above candles. Use corks to cover 2 holes at a time. Try different combinations to see which gives best ventillation.
Igloos use ice blocks to prevent heat loss through wind & heat up air
Make Hot air balloon & bay - alcohol & cup & cake tin & fire (Backyard Ballistics - p126)
Create insulation to reduce heat loss by convection and test using testtubes of hot water and thermomters
Double Glazing has trapped air to reduce convection currents
Make hot air balloon (Physics is fun - p88 - 12.22) & (101 experimentd for shed scientist – p70) & (Da Vinci – p39)
Flames in zero-gravity (Science without the boring bits - p285, 1992)
Teabag rises from heat (Short Engaging Practical Demos – p9) & (101 experiments for shed scientist – p70)
Radiators heat the room’s air using convection NOT radiation!
Build a firelight using newspaper and burn outside to watch it rise up (Backyard Ballistics - p52)
a) Paper snake coils (IOP - exp26) & (Championship Science Fair Projects – p107) & (How maths works – p147)
Convection current using coloured water (Championship Science Fair Project – p109) & (101 experiments for shed scientist – p117)
Hair is good at keeping warm as it traps air. People in cold snow naked are still warm as they have a layer of warm air trapped around body from hair acting as insulation. If the wind blows this away they become cold.
Place white laminated card over a bunsen flame Vs white laminated card with drawing pins stuck in! - the one with drawing pins does not burn - they conduct the heat away
Metal vs book - feel both at same temperature (metal feels colder as it is better conductor and takes more heat from your hand) Thermometer measure temp of wood and metal and then feel the difference (Championship Science Fair Project – p111)
Make an insulated flask (Physics is fun - book 2 - p49)
Firefighter suit is heat resistant from flames (Teflon / nomex) and also allows body heat to pass out.
Use metal copper wire in a coil and place over a candle flame and it conducts heat away to extinguish flame!
Cook a burger & chips & pizza - explain heat transfers involved (101 Things you wish youd invented – Form 5&27)
Defrosting trays (Mad about Modern Physics - p5, Q11)
Paper above flame with metal coin ontop of paper - leaves a pattern but doesnt burn paper!
Investigate: 4x testtubes inside beakers with different insulation inbetween: i) air - use corks to hold in place. ii) shredded newspaper. / polystyrene iii) sawdust. / loft insulation iv) ground up cork./ bubble wrap. v) your choice. (Teaching 2ndary Physics – p17)
Cooking (Mad about Modern Physics - p5, Q13)
a) i) Candle/bunsen burner under gauze - fire does not pass through as heat is conducted away.. ii) Turn on gas and put gauze on before lighting and flame is above only. iii) Surround flame with tube of gauze and flame cannot escape - spray hose of gas at it and see! (gauze is made from wire mesh and cutting rectangle with circle on one side as net for cylinder)
Cook a potato in a beaker (Understanding Science 3 – p72)
Getting into and out of sea / swimming pool at same temperature feels colder as water is better conductor (although if you are completely submerged it doesnt feel as cold - since your body does not have air to compare against) (Mad about Physics - p8, Q23)
Penguins and ottars have double fur coat to trap a layer of air. Polar bears have hollow hair to trap more air!
Elephants and seals have a Jacket of blubber and fat
Can colour affect how quickly something cools down? (Mad about Physics - p11, Q36)
Use a magnifying glass to burn a hole into a white card with and without a black spot drawn on. Note time differences.
Test different factors of UV suncream on acetate and measure intensity of UV light coming through using UV lamp and light sensors / phototransistors
Make and Cook something (marshmallows) using a solar oven (101 experiments for shed scientist – p60) & (Championship Science Fair Projects – p115) & (50 Science things to make and do – p8-9)
Asteroids path depends on how much radiation it absorbs and emits. This means you could divert it by altering its surface with soot or shiny reflective substance.
Nuclear Winter caused by anything that releases alot of thick smoke into atmosphere (supervolcano, asteroid impact, nuclear bomb, burning cities) into the upper troposphere 6-9miles up. It would absorb heat and rise higher into the stratosphere where it would persist for years absorbing Sun’s heat as no rain could wash it away. Earth’s temperature would drop to continual winter with minus temps in Summer. Crops would die-famine. a mini Ice age.
Start a fire in a bottle using sun rays (101 experiments for shed scientist – p84)
pupils are blindfolded and must be spun around. They put their hands out in front to feel which direction the heat is. Place an IR heater somewhere in room.
When body is hot, blood vessels expand to make more efficient radiators of heat
Wet towel Challenge and Report (Understanding Science 1 – p40)
in 1 day the human body emits 10 million Joules (100J per second) as IR radiation. Thats same as a 100W lightbulb but in IR instead of Visible. Thats why its better to sleep next to human to keep warm and prevent hypethermia.
Bodies emit IR light. Hotter Sun emits higher frequency visible light. Hotter Neutron star emits higher frequency X rays.
Polar bear’s fur is white for camouflage AND to emit less radiation to stay warm. (See thermal image of polar bear for proof)
Jack rabbits have large ears to help cool off as well as hear
Warm-blooded animals - the muscles and liver burn energy to give off heat - cold blooded animals do not and only get their heat from outside radiation mostly
Pigs cant sweat so they role in mud.
Dogs and foxes cannot sweat so they pant and birds flutter their throat
Elephants spray dry soil and dust over bodies to prevent overheating from the SUn
Snakes see IR from pits on face (pythons and boas) to hunt warm-blooded creatures at night.
Clouds keep planet warm at night by absorbing IR waves from Earth. If no clouds they escaping into outer space and thats why it feels so much colder
sheep fart for fuel (Science without the boring bits - p300, 2003/i)
Questions on Videoclip: how many Joules per second is used in a cricket’s chirp? Whats the name of the brightest star found? What is the most powerful thing in the Universe / what produces the most power - and where exactly is it found? etc
Who is most powerful pupil through step-ups (IOP - exp27)
Energy Forms
(& Fuels)
Adult Brain in full action = 25W
Watch a videoclip (e.g. news) and see how many types of energy you can spot.
Measure power by running upstairs (GCSE Physics - p76-78)
a70kg man uses average of 107 J per day: Av metabolic rate = 120W - 75W sleeping, 230W walking.
Weigh yourself and calculate energy needs (Understanding Science 2 – p142 & 146) & (Understanding Science 3 – p15)
1-knowledge=power. 2-time=money. 3-power=work/time. So: knowledge=work/money ... more money, less work!
Do various activities that use exactly 50 kJ (Understanding Science 3 – p153)
1 jam doughnut = 106 J. 1 mosquito pushup = 1erg.
Bulb - 100W - 0.13 HorsePower
Stairs - 200W - 0.25 HorsePower
Horse - 520W - 0.7 HorsePower
Hoover - 1500W - 2 HorsePower
LawnMower - 3 kW - 4HorsePower
Smart Car - 45 kW - 60 HorsePower
Ford Car - 100 kW - 135 HorsePower
F1 Car - ? W - 800 HorsePower
Tank - 670 kW - 900 HorsePower
Jet Plane - 20 Million W - 27,000 HorsePower
Rocket - ? W - 15,Million HorsePower

Rate of energy consumption affects rate of ageing (101 Things youd wish you invented - Form84)
Energy of various foods (Understanding Science 1 – p61)
Food Energy
Display various different toys and consider the energy transformations that occur - e.g. remote control toy, wind-up toys, radio-controlled cameras, rubber ball, etc - Stick the number of Energy forms on a Post-it note and list the forms underneath it. (Understanding Science 1 – p56)
Potato / Fruit (copper and zinc) attached to battery compartment of a small lcd clock or calculator (101 Things you wish youd invented – Form33) & (Understanding Science 1 – p129)
Magnetic Rail gun - use wooden rail guide (2 pieces of wood wide enough for magnet to slide between - and wooden rods underneath for magnet to slide over. Bullet = square neodynium magnet. Use a row of ceramic magnets on the outside of the wooden rails North closest to rails and magnets facing 45 degrees towards direction of shooting - the rows of magnets on either side MUST line up perfectly.
Solar Car - use a motor connected by two wires to a solarcell . Then use an elastic band to drive an axle connected to small wheels. The base can be a small cardboard strip. Shine a lamp and watch it go!
Sonoluminescence (Light <->Sound) (Mad about Modern Physics - p71, Q148)
Gauss’ Gun - use a plastic rail / ruler with 2 strong neodynium magnets on their side taped together and onto the rail / ruler. Place 4 small steel balls lined up in front of the magnets. Then roll a steel ball down the ramp on the other side of the magnets - it will knock into the magnet and the last ball on the other side will fire off at a greater velocity!
Double Gaussian Gun - If you connect up 2 in a row - so that the last ball that shoots off knocks into a second magnet and shoots off another ball at the end - the velocity will be amplified to dangerous speeds

Thermoelectric Effect (Heat <-> Electricity)
Rubbing finger on table and connecting light bulb – name energy transfers (Understanding Science 1 – p54 & 123)
Make a radio that requires no power source! (101 Experiments for shed scientist – p52)
Energy story cards (Understanding Science 3 – p71)
Energy transfer domino game (Understanding Science 1 – p57)
Bioluminescence - over 90% deep sea creatures. firefly, jellyfish can flash or release glowing particles, or a luminous slime to stick to predators and make them visible.
Make a solar panel (101 experiments for shed scientist – p86)
If we use tidal power too long, drawing energy from the tides, we would bring the moon closer (Science without the boring bits - p230, 1936)
make water powered battery (101 experiments for shed scientist – p98-100)
Conservation Law (Science without the boring bits - p19, c.430)
Sound energy emitted by 50 thousand football fans roaring at top of lungs during a game is barely enough to warm a cup of coffee!
Rabbits eat their own poo (waste food) as digestion is not efficient at converting all food into energy
Perpetual motion machines (Science without the boring bits - p129, 1812 & p50, 1150) & (Mad about Physics - Q22)
Design a Perpetual motion machine (Understanding Science 1 – p124)
Build a machine and measure its efficiency (Understanding Science 3 – p158)
Filament vs fluorescent lamps (Mad about Modern Physics - p66, Q136)
The weight of your food vs the weight of your waste poo and wee is not equal (Science without the boring bits - p74, 1636)
Compare different modes of transportation to see which is most efficient (Cycling more efficient than walking!) (Feel the Force – p38-39)
Birds wings downward creates an opposite updraft force. Birds flying behind can use this to stay aloft without much effort. This gives rise to V-formation - such flocks can fly 70percent further than a single bird alone! (Mad about Physics - p128, Q323)
Weightlifting / lifting weight up (GCSE Physics - p76-78)
Guillotene (Science without the boring bits - p117, 1789)
Make a sand or water clock to tell 1 minute. USe timers to measure how much sand / water you need. Two plastic water bottles nozzle to nozzle with card in between and a holde punched.
Brick paradox - if heavier objects fall faster, then would a half a brick fall slower than the whole brick? if so - what if both halves dropped together side-by-side? (alternative - use shoes and tie together with shoelace)
Walk down steps / hill and you lose gpe - where does it go? Ke in body! you can feel it by keeping your knees locked and jumping or walking down a step.
Drop plactercine through a tube and hit it when it comes out – need to time it – you eventually realise its same time all the time (Understanding Science 2 – p66)
Imagine falling in a falling elevator - you’d float! What if it hits bottom - would you crash too?
Find velocity of the jet of coke that shoots up from dietcoke and mentos (facing directly vertical upwards) – by measuring the height it shoots up to. Why is the mass not needed?!
Marbles on slopes - marbles never go above original height they started at without extra energy (IOP - exp1)
Toy cars and slopes (IOP - exp29)
How much force to pop up a toaster?
Hold 2 pegs. 1 peg with an elastic band around rim. Put a marble in each peg.Release each at same time and they both hit ground at equal times even though the elastic band one shoots forward.
Projectiles (Physics is fun - book 3 - p52-54)
Projectile matchstick rocket - who can make it fly the furthest with the right angle - using 2 matches or different types of matches (Backyard Ballistics - p24)
Straw and pen blow dart (Famously Foul – p27-28)
2 slopes, which is faster? Curved or straight? (How maths works - p145)
Two pupils demo monkey and shooter using waterpistols - 1 aims waterpistol at object held by 2nd pupil. When object is released the water pistol is fired - they hit mid air!
Woman dies on
roller coaster -
POV of ride
(now shut down)
x2 tennis balls / taped up water bottles that look identical – with different weights inside – dropped at same time from same height.
What would happen if yu dropped straight through a hole in the Earth (Science without the boring bits - p51, 1264)
Apple pendulum - string x4 length of apple, Calculate the period using the formula and then confirm it by recording the Period from 10 swings.
Heavy man on a swing sits next to his small child on a swing - who will swing faster? (both will swing the same)
Swinging investigation (IOP-exp82)
Metronome – increase the height of the weight to change pace of tick
SHM using springs & pendulum & how to measure time (IOP – exp89 & 90)
pulsar signals (Science without the boring bits - p300, 2003/ii)
Pendulum (How maths works - p109)
Spiderman swinging on webs - depends only on how long the web is!
Coin toss / dice roll / coloured balls and plot graph of decay - then work out half life (IOP – exp81) & (Teaching 2ndary Physics – p239) & (How maths works – p80 & 85)
Rate of decay of beer bubbles in the head of beer. dB/dt - - rate of decay of head depends on the number of bubbles initially present. Can do as hour long practical. Use a 2L measuring cylinder and John Smith’s bitter – pupils record ‘head’ every 2 mins. Use countdown timer on ActivExpression to remind you.
Examine flourescent paint with magnifying glasses in dark and see flashes!
open up a Smoke detectors
Carbon-14 dating & its problems (Mad about Modern Physics - p93, Q181)
Protractinium geiger counter and guess decay rate after 10 seconds & plotting half-life on graph paper (Teaching 2ndary Physics – p235 & 238) & (GCSE Physics - p213-216)
Radioactivity from Earth heats the planet. same for distant planets where radiation from radioactivity heats more than radiation from Sun
Marie Curie discovers polonium (Science without the boring bits - p184, 1898) & (Understanding Science 1 – p52)
Rutherfords scattering experiment using tables with cloth to hide bucket of water underneath – then throw tennis balls underneath and deduce what is under.
Russian Spy Poisoned but unable to detect radioactive substance as it only gave off alpha!
Uranium vs Plutonium - decay by different radiations (Mad about modern Physics - p36, Q87)
Rutherfords Model of the Atom (Science without the boring bits - p195, 1909)
Can radioactivity turn you into a Superhero? - e.g. Spiderman and radioactive spider - it can mutate your genes!
Quiz on nuclear war (101 Things you wish youd invented – Form 8)
Hiroshima & Nagasaki (Mad about Modern Physics - p94)
Cold Fusion (Mad about Modern Physics - p98, Q191) & (Science without the boring bits - p277, 1989)
How elements are created in Stars (Mad about modern Physics - p96, Q187 & p95, Q186)
Matches in straight line (controlled reaction) vs matches in inverted triangle (uncontrolled reaction) (Teaching 2ndary Physics – p247)
Marble model of fission splitting atom (Fun with Scientific Experiments – p58
Chain reactions (Science without the boring bits - p191, 1904
Nuclear Submarine Meltdown (Mad about Modern Physics - p36, Q86)
How to survive a nuclear aftermath (Homework for Grownups – p111-112
empty glowstick
into testtube
and say its "radioactive"
primary coloured glow sticks -
pour liquid into testtubes -
mix each to make secondary
Experiment with Batteries
Investigation: Current

Investigating Voltage (Series)
Investigating Voltage (Parallel)
Research / HW
& examples
3D field lines
(Potential Dividers)
current in parallel
resistance in parallel
You could provide a blank ladder, of a large scale, on the laboratory wall, and add
values to it over the duration of the topic as you encounter these values. It may be
helpful to have a number of ladders, one for each class of device: maybe for those
switching from the electrical pathway or those switching to the mechanical working
pathway, for example. An alternative is to maintain a column for each class of device,
as done in the Physics Narrative.

You could provide a completed ladder, adding your own values to it as these come up in the conversations in the class. These could be stimulated by distributing a range of
research questions to groups within the class to populate the values.

You could provide a blank ladder to a group, together with a selection of objects and
processes, and ask them to agree on how to place these items. Groups might then
usefully compare their placements before being given the matching values, and so
reordering their values. Or you might provide the unmatched values and objects/
processes, only then placing them on a the ladder afterwards.
Placing about five items on such a ladder produces a manageable demand.
Focus attention on the fact that as time goes by the bob does not reach the same height
on its return path. It seems that the gravitational and kinetic stores are “leaking”.
Emphasise the point by asking a pupil to take a “steady nerve” test. This involves
the pupil holding the bob to his/her chin and releasing it. As the bob sweeps back
towards him/her, will the pupil have the nerve to hold still, convinced that it is
impossible for the bob to return to a height greater than its starting point? Does the
pupil really believe that physics works?
Of course, the bob always falls short and this leads to discussion of energy
dissipation. As the bob sweeps back and forth, warming occurs. The energy level in
the gravitational and kinetic stores is gradually reduced as energy is shifted to the
thermal store of the surrounding air.
Place the apparatus in a favourable light, where it can be clearly seen. Make sure
there is a plain white backdrop. Describe the apparatus, showing the linked pair of
chimneys with the candle placed under one.
Ask what will happen to the air in the chimney with the candle when the candle is
lit. Make sure you challenge any suggestions that “heat rises.” Then ask what will
happen to the remainder of the air in the apparatus. Try to build a clear expectation
of what will happen before carrying out the demonstration. Light the candle - no air
movement is seen. Introduce the smoke as a ‘tracer’ above the empty chimney by
pouring it down the smouldering straw with the unlit end held just above the chimney,
but lower than the lit end. The smoke will follow the air down this chimney and up the
other one.
Design and build a model ecohome / lifesize birdhouse / pethouse with insulation. (use origami and paper - pepakura software can help to model). Measure temperature inside house compared to outside. Best wins(Understanding Science 3 – p123)
What the activity is for
This activity allows pupils to enter a completely dark space, something which very
few are likely to have previously experienced. Once in this light-free space they will
recognise that it is impossible to see anything around them.

What to prepare:
This activity depends on the availability of a light-tight space. If your school has
a photography dark room that will be perfect for this activity. If not, a handy store
cupboard (partially cleared out for the occasion!) will serve just as well.
Can cats see in the dark? What is it about cats’ eyes!?
Can pupils make a room pitch black (no light source)?
Measuring Snell's Law
1) Draw around a rectangular glass block on a piece of paper and direct a ray of light through it at an angle. Trace the incident and emergent rays, remove the block, then draw in the refracted ray between them.
2) You then need to draw in the normal at 90 to the edge of the block, at the point where the ray enters the block
3) Use a protractor to measure the angle of incidence (i) and the angle of refraction (r). Remember these are the angles made with the normal
4) Calculate the refractive index (n) using Snells law: n = sin i / sin r
Create a graph of time vs happiness
Class stand in tight circle - front to back - and sit on each others' laps
Bird Sounds Lesson Plan
(see IoP)
Full transcript