TPT WebSights column draft for Sep2004.

It’s time to request a digital projector for your classroom.

This year WebSights will proffer a selection of select sites appropriate for teaching a standard topic year-long introductory physics survey course.  This first month presents some basic background sites and some sites for teaching kinematics; next month will feature sites for teaching Newton’s Laws.  All sites are copyright by the authors.  This column is also available as a web page at <http://PhysicsEd.BuffaloState.Edu/pubs/WebSights/>.

If you have successfully used a site to teach physics that you feel is outstanding and appropriate for WebSights, please email me the site and how you use it for possible inclusion in WebSights.  The best site monthly will receive a T-shirt. <>

Sites for course background:

Powers of Ten.  A classroom visualization / journey through thirty-nine orders of magnitude in distance – galaxies through quarks (10+23m through 10-16m). This interactive JAVA site is based on a famous film of the same name by Charles and Ray Eames.  I have projected this in class, to great student enthusiasm. <>

Chemistry Math Review.  A very plain collection of review materials including powers of ten (prefixes), units, significant figures and a brief algebra reprise.  I have assigned this reading / worksheet activity as part of individual work to students requiring remediation.  <>

Vectors Tutorials and Applet.  A fast overview tutorial for able students recounting notation, graphical addition, decomposition, scalar multiplication, dot and cross products is found at the University of Guelph: <>  In class I project a JAVA physics application (applet) graphically illustrating vector addition and products: <> which students can also use to check and visualize homework.

The Magnitudes of Physics.  A collection of interesting physical science data distributed with The Physics Teacher in 1996.  Good for teacher problem examples or student review.  <>

The Mechanical Universe.  A collection of 52 half-hour university videotaped physics lessons from CalTech, streamed as video-on-demand free of charge.  A great reference for teachers before teaching a topic, or as enrichment or a makeup assignment for high ability students.


Some sites for introductory kinematics:

Of course, there are several episodes of The Mechanical Universe dedicated to kinematics and vectors: programs two, four and five.  <>.  While I don’t usually play these programs for my students, I do sometimes show some of the animations.

Galileo Galilei was “Mr. Kinematics,” and his life and science are briefly described in a Florence museum collection dedicated to him.  The preserved finger of Galileo is always popular. <>. The life of Galileo is also described in a site devoted to Galileo’s science and art (he contributed to the invention of geometric perspective in painting). Good sites for reference to kinematics and projectile motion, and for historical reading supporting student project work.  <>. 

A HS tutorial appropriate for individual students or as a projected lesson resource describing one-dimensional kinematics with animated figures and graphs is found at: <>.  Another similar tutorial is found at <>.  These tutorials are particularly helpful for students who have visualization problems because of the animated analyses of phenomena.

Two simulation applets I have used for students modeling free fall and projectile motion are <> and <>. 

A nice projectile motion tutorial-problem with solutions for the motion of a javelin is <>

The infamous 2-D relative velocity problem of the boat crossing the river is simulated in this applet from <>.  If you work this homework problem use the simulator to discuss and check answers.

Karl & Jane:  Can I get a copy of the TPT WebSights graphics for possible use on a T-shirt I might design and print?  Also – if I provide large (say 6” square) 72dpi screen captures of some of these sites can these be shrunk to postage stamp size and scattered about the column page?  Finally, there’s too much stuff here; feel free to cut as desired to a galley.  I can cut words in the galley to help shrink again.

Dan M  <>