Applied Science - Physics (KA)
Post Lab 

   
OBJECTIVES:
  • Exploring the elements of physics.
  • Describing interactions of the physical world.

VOCABULARY:

  • physics
MATERIALS:
  • worksheet

Students explore physics through word games.

BACKGROUND:

Physics describes how objects interact with each other. It is difficult to explain magnetism, heat, light, weight, mass, density, temperature, and many other properties we use to describe objects. Many of these terms are used in our modern day language, but their definitions are difficult to illustrate.

For instance, many students think heat and temperature are the same. Energy (heat) can be created when ice is melting. Temperature however, is a measured quantity of coldness and hotness. Children also confuse weight and mass. Weight is dependent on the field of gravity one is in (the weight of a person on the Earth is more than their weight on the moon). However, their mass is the same in both places (or the same amount of matter within a given area).

Physics helps explain the picture on the left. If you twirl water in a bucket, centrifugal force will "push" the water to stay in the bucket. Physics explains many things.

PROCEDURE:

  1. Introduce to students that "physics" is all around them. Physics helps humans understand what has been going on for billions of years. For example, ask the students why they are standing up and not floating around. They might answer that they are heavy or they have legs. However, itís because of gravity or the attraction of our mass to the surface of the Earth. We observe gravity all the time, like throwing a ball up into the air and it comes down, but we donít fully understand it. Understanding gravity is "physics."
      
  2. Electricity, magnetism, and light are related. However, we did not know that until people who study physics made that connection. It is difficult to understand how they are connected, but they are. Tell students that as they grow older they will find this out.
      
  3. Remember that many of these terms can mean more than one thing. For instance, light can mean "light" with respect to density. Students might give you the words airy, delicate, feathery, or weightless. However, light also refers to brilliance, illumination, shine, flicker, glimmer, beam, or ray.
      
  4. Go over the words in the worksheet, making sure that students understand they are part of understanding the world of physics.

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