During the Summer of 1995 a group of Tennessee teachers participated in an intensive two-week program presented by CESME in which they were trained in the use is the Learning Cycle and the PSAM. The Physical Science Activity Manual contains 34 hands-on activities to bring excitement to your classroom. You can download the Mac (MS Word) version of the entire manual by clicking here or the entire Windows (Wordperfect) version by clicking here, or a PDF version by clicking here. Individual chapters may be downloaded by clicking the appropriate version beside the title.
To find out more about PDF files, click here.
Introduction (Mac) (Windows) (PDF)
The Learning Cycle ((Mac) (Windows) (PDF)
Definition of Matter (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Activities to show that matter has mass and occupies space
Measurement of Mass (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Finding the mass of an unknown object using first a spring balance and then an inertial balance
Pop Goes the Popcorn (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Practice using the balance and determining the % water in pop corn
Conservation of Mass (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) From many examples of physical and chemical reactions the law of conservation of mass is inductively formulated
Determination of Volume (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Finding the volume of: irregular objects, objects that float in water, and objects that dissolve in water
Density (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Providing hands-on experiences to invent the concept of density; finding the density of solids, liquids, and gases (using soap bubbles filled with different gases)
Physical and Chemical Properties (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Various activities designed to differentiate between chemical and physical properties; floating pennies; synthesizing Monster Flesh
Definite Proportions (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Illustrating the law of definite proportions with Tinker Toys, with varying columns of precipitate, and with varying amounts of heat generated upon mixing two solutions
Mixtures (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Using different physical properties to remove iron from common breakfast cereals; to separate and identify different types of plastics based on their densities
Newton's First Law of Motion (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Some amazing tricks based on inertia
How Fast Do Dominoes Fall (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Using dominoes to understand the idea of average speed
Acceleration (Free-Fall) (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Dropping washers from a balcony into a trash can to illustrate that successive washers are increasing their rate of velocity per unit time and that the change in rate of velocity is constant
Acceleration (Inclined Plane) (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Practice in determining acceleration down an inclined plane; relating initial speed, final speed, average speed, time, and acceleration
Newton's Second Law of Motion (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Experimental formulation of Newton's Second Law of Motion by examining the relationship among force, mass, and acceleration by rolling steel spheres down an inclined plane; putting to rest the age-old question of whether a heavy car or a light car rolls down a hill faster
Newton's Third Law of Motion (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Examining why 9 out of 10 people's idea of how a rocket works is wrong; exactly what are and on whom are the forces acting in a tug-of-war?
Friction (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Static friction, sliding friction, the normal force, and the coefficient of friction
Recycling (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Collecting a day's worth of trash; separating out different types of plastics; measuring how long different substances found in a landfill take to decompose Floating Objects (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Predicting which objects sink and float; Inventing Archimedes' Principle; if sand from a rowboat floating in a swimming pool is thrown overboard will the level of water in the pool rise, fall, or remain the same?
Center of Gravity (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Finding the center of gravity of Tennessee; relationship between stability and center of gravity; can the C.G. fall outside of an object?
Pressure (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Determining the factors that affect how far water will squirt out of a hole in a milk jug; a classic example of separation and control of variables
Air Pressure (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) A whole slew of air pressure "tricks" including the modern version of the egg in the milk bottle, collapsing Coke cans, tricky straws, rubber plungers; many of the activities are designed to is a pushing force exerted by the atmosphere
Bernoulli's Principle (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Relationship of fluid motion and pressure; more tricks with ping pong balls, funnels, and spools
Baked Ice-Cream (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Can you really bake ice-cream in the oven? YES!; this and other activities to illustrate the importance of insulation to heat flow
Heat (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Endothermic vs. exothermic; inventing the law of heat loss and heat gain by examining the relationship of heat, mass, change in temperature, and specific heat Gas Laws (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Charles' Law using collapsing Coke cans; Boyle's Law using the Cartesian diver; a gas thermometer
Activity Series (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Building an activity series via hydrogen displacement and through one metal's reaction with another metal's salt
Factors Affecting Rates of Reactions (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Contest to see who can make Alka Seltzer react the fastest; examining the factors of temperature, concentration, agitation, surface area, and a catalyst; the formaldehyde clock
Measurement of pH (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Investigating red cabbage juice as an acid/base indicator; other household pH indicators
Magnetism (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) How can you "see" magnetism?; turning a crowbar into a magnet; the Curie point of magnetic substances; the big magnet in your bathroom
Static Electricity (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Charging by friction; charging by induction; grounding; construction and use of an electroscope; making an electrophorus
Current Electricity (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Electrochemical cells (the 6¢ battery, the 11¢ battery, the Gerber baby food jar battery); batteries and bulbs; thermocouples; inventing Ohm's Law; series and parallel circuits
Electromagnetism (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Magnetism can be produced from electricity; electricity can be produced from magnetism; a contest to pick up the greatest number of paper clips; building a jump rope generator; building a primitive motor
Radioactivity (Half-Life) (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Concept of half-life; determining the half-life of "Orangium", "Greenium"; and "Bluium"; determining the half-life of water dripping out of a buret
Sound (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Can you see sound?; can you put out a fire with sound?; relationship of the speed of sound and the medium through which it travels; transverse and longitudinal waves; frequency, velocity, and wavelength; constructive and destructive interference; the Doppler effect; tuning forks, pianos, pipe organs, and pendula
Light (Mac) (Windows) (PDF) Investigating mirrors (plane, convex, and concave) and lenses; the law of incidence and reflection; reflection and refraction; is your mirror telling you the truth?; how high do you have to hang a wall mirror in order to both your head and your feet at the same time?; critical angle and total reflection
References (Mac) (Windows) (PDF)
Robert Hartshorn, Professor, The University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tennessee
Robert Casteel, Chemistry Teacher, Northside High School, Memphis Tennessee
Tanya Mullen, Physics Teacher, Spring Hill High School, Spring Hill, Tennessee
Chip Lajeunesse, Chemistry and Physics, Austin-East High School, Knoxville, Tennessee
Betty Jackson, Science Teacher, Gleason High School, Gleason, Tennessee
This is the time this file has been accessed since 06/01/2003.
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