The purpose of this learning video is to show students how to ...

The purpose of this learning video is to show students how to think more freely about math and science problems. Sometimes getting an approximate answer in a much shorter period of time is well worth the time saved. This video explores techniques for making quick, back-of-the-envelope approximations that are not only surprisingly accurate, but are also illuminating for building intuition in understanding science. This video touches upon 10th-grade level Algebra I and first-year high school physics, but the concepts covered (velocity, distance, mass, etc) are basic enough that science-oriented younger students would understand. If desired, teachers may bring in pendula of various lengths, weights to hang, and a stopwatch to measure period. Examples of in- class exercises for between the video segments include: asking students to estimate 29 x 31 without a calculator or paper and pencil; and asking students how close they can get to a black hole without getting sucked in.

Experiment with a helium balloon, a hot air balloon, or a rigid ...

Experiment with a helium balloon, a hot air balloon, or a rigid sphere filled with different gases. Discover what makes some balloons float and others sink.

Why does a balloon stick to your sweater? Rub a balloon on ...

Why does a balloon stick to your sweater? Rub a balloon on a sweater, then let go of the balloon and it flies over and sticks to the sweater. View the charges in the sweater, balloons, and the wall.

This trick from Exploratorium physicist Paul Doherty lets you add together the ...

This trick from Exploratorium physicist Paul Doherty lets you add together the bounces of two balls and send one ball flying. When we tried this trick on the Exploratorium's exhibit floor, we gathered a crowd of visitors who wanted to know what we were doing. We explained that we were engaged in serious scientific experimentation related to energy transfer. Some of them may have believed us. If you'd like to go into the physical calculations of this phenomenam, see the related resource "Bouncing Balls" - it's the same activity but with the math explained.

Look inside a resistor to see how it works. Increase the battery ...

Look inside a resistor to see how it works. Increase the battery voltage to make more electrons flow though the resistor. Increase the resistance to block the flow of electrons. Watch the current and resistor temperature change.

Look inside a battery to see how it works. Select the battery ...

Look inside a battery to see how it works. Select the battery voltage and little stick figures move charges from one end of the battery to the other. A voltmeter tells you the resulting battery voltage.

When will objects float and when will they sink? Learn how buoyancy ...

When will objects float and when will they sink? Learn how buoyancy works with blocks. Arrows show the applied forces, and you can modify the properties of the blocks and the fluid.

Move point charges around on the playing field and then view the ...

Move point charges around on the playing field and then view the electric field, voltages, equipotential lines, and more. It's colorful, it's dynamic, it's free.

This new version of the CCK adds capacitors, inductors and AC voltage ...

This new version of the CCK adds capacitors, inductors and AC voltage sources to your toolbox! Now you can graph the current and voltage as a function of time.

Build circuits with capacitors, inductors, resistors and AC or DC voltage sources, ...

Build circuits with capacitors, inductors, resistors and AC or DC voltage sources, and inspect them using lab instruments such as voltmeters and ammeters.

An electronics kit in your computer! Build circuits with resistors, light bulbs, ...

An electronics kit in your computer! Build circuits with resistors, light bulbs, batteries, and switches. Take measurements with the realistic ammeter and voltmeter. View the circuit as a schematic diagram, or switch to a life-like view.

Build circuits with resistors, light bulbs, batteries, and switches and take measurements ...

Build circuits with resistors, light bulbs, batteries, and switches and take measurements with laboratory equipment like the realistic ammeter and voltmeter.

Experiment with conductivity in metals, plastics and photoconductors. See why metals conduct ...

Experiment with conductivity in metals, plastics and photoconductors. See why metals conduct and plastics don't, and why some materials conduct only when you shine a flashlight on them.

In this optics/mathematics activity, learners use two hinged mirrors to create a ...

In this optics/mathematics activity, learners use two hinged mirrors to create a kaleidoscope that shows multiple images of an object. Learners discover that the number of images reflected in the mirrors depends on the angle between the mirrors. Learners also observe that when they set the hinged mirrors on top of a third mirror, they create a reflector that always sends light back in the direction from which it came. Use this activity to introduce basic principles of light and optics including angle of reflection and angle of incidence.

This lesson unit is intended to help you assess whether students recognize ...

This lesson unit is intended to help you assess whether students recognize relationships of direct proportion and how well they solve problems that involve proportional reasoning. In particular, it is intended to help you identify those students who: use inappropriate additive strategies in scaling problems, which have a multiplicative structure; rely on piecemeal and inefficient strategies such as doubling, halving, and decomposition, and have not developed a single multiplier strategy for solving proportionality problems; and see multiplication as making numbers bigger, and division as making numbers smaller.

Explore tunneling splitting in double well potentials. This classic problem describes many ...

Explore tunneling splitting in double well potentials. This classic problem describes many physical systems, including covalent bonds, Josephson junctions, and two-state systems such as spin 1/2 particles and ammonia molecules.

Play hockey with electric charges. Place charges on the ice, then hit ...

Play hockey with electric charges. Place charges on the ice, then hit start to try to get the puck in the goal. View the electric field. Trace the puck's motion. Make the game harder by placing walls in front of the goal. This is a clone of the popular simulation of the same name marketed by Physics Academic Software and written by Prof. Ruth Chabay of the Dept of Physics at North Carolina State University.

Play ball! Add charges to the Field of Dreams and see how ...

Play ball! Add charges to the Field of Dreams and see how they react to the electric field. Turn on a background electric field and adjust the direction and magnitude. (Kevin Costner not included).

Learn about conservation of energy with a skater dude! Build tracks, ramps ...

Learn about conservation of energy with a skater dude! Build tracks, ramps and jumps for the skater and view the kinetic energy, potential energy and friction as he moves. You can also take the skater to different planets or even space!

In this activity, learners use pattern blocks and mirrors to explore symmetry. ...

In this activity, learners use pattern blocks and mirrors to explore symmetry. Learners work in pairs and build mirror images of each other's designs. In doing so, learners will examine principles of symmetry and reflection.

Play with a bar magnet and coils to learn about Faraday's law. ...

Play with a bar magnet and coils to learn about Faraday's law. Move a bar magnet near one or two coils to make a light bulb glow. View the magnetic field lines. A meter shows the direction and magnitude of the current. View the magnetic field lines or use a meter to show the direction and magnitude of the current. You can also play with electromagnets, generators and transformers!

Light a light bulb by waving a magnet. This demonstration of Faraday's ...

Light a light bulb by waving a magnet. This demonstration of Faraday's Law shows you how to reduce your power bill at the expense of your grocery bill.

This learning video presents an introduction to the Flaws of Averages using ...

This learning video presents an introduction to the Flaws of Averages using three exciting examples: the ''crossing of the river'' example, the ''cookie'' example, and the ''dance class'' example. Averages are often worthwhile representations of a set of data by a single descriptive number. The objective of this module, however, is to simply point out a few pitfalls that could arise if one is not attentive to details when calculating and interpreting averages. The essential prerequisite knowledge for this video lesson is the ability to calculate an average from a set of numbers. During this video lesson, students will learn about three flaws of averages: (1) The average is not always a good description of the actual situation, (2) The function of the average is not always the same as the average of the function, and (3) The average depends on your perspective. To convey these concepts, the students are presented with the three real world examples mentioned above.

Explore the forces at work when you try to push a filing ...

Explore the forces at work when you try to push a filing cabinet. Create an applied force and see the resulting friction force and total force acting on the cabinet. Charts show the forces, position, velocity, and acceleration vs. time. View a Free Body Diagram of all the forces (including gravitational and normal forces).

Learn how to make waves of all different shapes by adding up ...

Learn how to make waves of all different shapes by adding up sines or cosines. Make waves in space and time and measure their wavelengths and periods. See how changing the amplitudes of different harmonics changes the waves. Compare different mathematical expressions for your waves.

Learn how friction causes a material to heat up and melt. Rub ...

Learn how friction causes a material to heat up and melt. Rub two objects together and they heat up. When one reaches the melting temperature, particles break free as the material melts away. Arabic Language.

Pump gas molecules to a box and see what happens as you ...

Pump gas molecules to a box and see what happens as you change the volume, add or remove heat, change gravity, and more. Measure the temperature and pressure, and discover how the properties of the gas vary in relation to each other.

Visualize the gravitational force that two objects exert on each other. Change ...

Visualize the gravitational force that two objects exert on each other. Change properties of the objects in order to see how it changes the gravity force.

Move the sun, earth, moon and space station to see how it ...

Move the sun, earth, moon and space station to see how it affects their gravitational forces and orbital paths. Visualize the sizes and distances between different heavenly bodies, and turn off gravity to see what would happen without it!

This problem asks the students to represent a sequence of operations using ...

This problem asks the students to represent a sequence of operations using an expression and then to write and solve simple equations. The problem is posed as a game and allows the students to visualize mathematical operations. It would make sense to actually play a similar game in pairs first and then ask the students to record the operations to figure out each other's numbers.

This task can be used as a quick assessment to see if ...

This task can be used as a quick assessment to see if students can make sense of a graph in the context of a real world situation. Students also have to pay attention to the scale on the vertical axis to find the correct match.

Join the ladybug in an exploration of rotational motion. Rotate the merry-go-round ...

Join the ladybug in an exploration of rotational motion. Rotate the merry-go-round to change its angle, or choose a constant angular velocity or angular acceleration. Explore how circular motion relates to the bug's x,y position, velocity, and acceleration using vectors or graphs.

A dynamically simplified solar system is constructed from online data to explore ...

A dynamically simplified solar system is constructed from online data to explore the real solar system on many different scales.

The realistically scaled solar system is surprising because nothing is visible due to the presence of many different scales. That is why it is usually rescaled in animations or illustrations. This is nice but gives us a wrong sense of distances and sizes. This Demonstration is intended to show the solar system's different scales in their full glory.

Since it is hardly possible to see anything when the real scales are used, controls have been added to modify the sizes of the celestial bodies.

No restrictions on your remixing, redistributing, or making derivative works. Give credit to the author, as required.

Your remixing, redistributing, or making derivatives works comes with some restrictions, including how it is shared.

Your redistributing comes with some restrictions. Do not remix or make derivative works.

Most restrictive license type. Prohibits most uses, sharing, and any changes.

Copyrighted materials, available under Fair Use and the TEACH Act for US-based educators, or other custom arrangements. Go to the resource provider to see their individual restrictions.