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Teaching Physics to Younger Ages

  1. Jun 5, 2007 #1
    Hey all. I am teaching younger kids, ages 7-9, about physics this summer, and I was wondering if anyone here is a teacher in elementary school or middle school, or has advice on cool activities to do. As far as the physics goes, I don't think it will be a problem since so much of physics can have a mystical aspect, but I would welcome cool ideas and experiments.

    Mostly what I am wondering about is if there is any tricks or tips to keep everyones attention occupied. During breaks, are there any good mind riddles appropriate for this age that I could ask? What about other activities to do while resting from physics, since not even the most dedicated can take four hours of physics without breaks?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 5, 2007 #2
    You could demonstrate how two things of different masses fall at the same rate. You could even get a vacuum and show how even a feather falls at the same rate as a lead ball. While you have the vacuum out, you can also amuse them by placing a metal ringer inside of it--they'll see it ringing, but it will make no noise (well, it will a little bit :P).

    You could have them make paper airplanes (I'm sure you could insert some low-level physics talk while they're making them) as an activity.

    Hope this helps! And GOOD LUCK!!
  4. Jun 5, 2007 #3


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    Gyroscopes are interesting, although the physics behind precession related demos may go beyond what a 7 to 9 year old would understand.


    The kids could also make paper helicopters. Cut a thin strip of paper in the middle lenthwise about 1/2 the length of the paper. Attach a paper clip to the other end. Throw the paper clip helicopter and it will spin on the way down.

    Most of the really impressive stuff would probably be too dangerous for 7 to 9 year olds (like sodium in water, eletrical stuff, ...)
  5. Jun 6, 2007 #4
    video games? like racing?
  6. Jun 6, 2007 #5


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    This might be helpful.
    I always read the Beakman page in the colour comics right up until I quit buying the paper a couple of years ago. There are all kinds of neat kid stuff that you can do, such as making generic 'Silly Putty' and little paper-clip motors. :cool:
  7. Jun 6, 2007 #6
    get some inspiration from mythbusters. they do all sorts of things that kids love. my bro T loves 'em(he is 12). for eg. ancient death ray, levitation machine, ping pong boat rescue, bulletproof water, steam cannon. they are all based on basic physics. whats more, you can also get it that how to make it look funny, kids ll love 'em

    check out this link: http://mythbustersresults.com/results/all.html
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