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Teacher/Tutor - Science

Physical Science


Physical science explores properties of matter, energy, motion, force, light, heat, and electricity.

Be sure to look at the different set of resources listed at the Student/Learner webpage for this topic.

Screen shot from siteAir Travelers
This website was created by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Science Learning Network. It uses the technology of hot air ballooning to introduce basic principles of buoyancy, properties of gases, temperature, density, and wind. The website is aimed at "upper elementary grades", but adult literacy programs easily can use these materials.

Screen shot from siteAmusement Park Physics
At this website one learns the principles of physics through explorations of various amusement park rides. Design a roller coaster, predict the outcomes of bumper car collisions, and investigate the causes of motion sickness. This is another wonderful Annerberg CPB exhibit, but like the others, it has small text and sophisticated language. It is best used with guidance and modification by instructors/tutors.

Screen shot from siteThe pH Factor
Brought to you by the Miami Museum of Science, part of the Science Learning Network, this site has lesson plans, activities, and explanations of the pH scale. The site is geared to elementary and middle schoolteachers; there is much here for adult literacy instructors. This site explains and uses an instructional model for constructivism, called the "Five Es": excite, explore, explain, expand, extend, exchange, examine. Among the many experiments is "Mysterious Solutions." See also Acid Rain Lesson Plans.

Screen shot from siteThe Energy Story from the California Energy Commission
This site gives an excellent overview of the various types of energy used in California and other parts of the developed world. The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Its Energy Quest website has won numerous educational awards. "Watt’s That?" is an online quiz show explaining energy terminology and policy.

Screen shot from siteRocketry Activities (NASA Teacher’s Resource Center Rocket Activities)
These activities are designed to illustrate and test Isaac Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. There is a teacher’s guide containing background information on the history of rocketry, scientific principles, and practical rocketry. The physical science activities, demonstrating basic rocketry, are designed to use inexpensive materials. There are opportunities to read construction diagrams, use mathematics to explore time and distance problems, and practice following directions. Relatively large physical spaces, such as building hallways, have been necessary for some of these activities.

To submit ideas and resources for this section, please contact Susan Cowles.