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Physics

Viewing Ideas


Atomic Theory

Einstein Revealed
Einstein spent much of his life thinking about what he couldn't observe directly, such as the speed of light and how time is affected by motion...

Elegant Universe, The: Einstein's Dream
Organize students into four groups. Assign each group one of the following concepts to research...

Elegant Universe, The: String's the Thing
Review with students the concepts for which they created their posters for Episode 1...

Elegant Universe, The: Welcome to the 11th Dimension
Ask students to describe the dimensions they experience. Ask them to give examples of two-dimensional representations...

Ghost Particle, The
Ask students if they can think of some things they cannot directly see but they know exist...

Hitler's Sunken Secret
Review what heavy water is with students and why, during World War II, Allied forces were worried about the Germans stockpiling the substance...

Time Travel
Have students debate this quote from physicist Stephen Hawking: "Time travel might be possible, but if that's the case why haven't we been overrun by tourists from the future?"...


Energy

Einstein Revealed
Einstein spent much of his life thinking about what he couldn't observe directly, such as the speed of light and how time is affected by motion...

Einstein's Big Idea
Ask students to define the word energy. What kinds of energy have students used today from the time they woke up to the present moment in class?...

Escape! Because Accidents Happen -- Fire
Find out what students know about fire safety by having them imagine the following: You are in a packed movie theater when you hear someone yell "Fire!"...

Fire Wars
Ask students what kind of fires they have seen or heard about. Have students brainstorm the similarities and differences between a structural fire and a wildland fire...

NOVA scienceNOW: Fuel Cells
Write the definition of energy on the board. (Energy is the capacity to do work.) Make a two-column chart on the board similar to the one below and have students brainstorm examples for each form of energy...

Origins: Back to the Beginning
Ask students how they think TV images are transmitted. (Via radio waves.) How do they think a television remote works? (Through infrared waves.) How does a light bulb give off light? (With light waves.)...

Runaway Universe
Ask students what kind of objects they see when they look up into the sky. Review the visible objects students might see...

Saved By the Sun
Organize students into groups and assign each group the United States or Germany...

What's Up with the Weather?
Everyone knows temperatures in the same locations vary from day to day and from season to season. However, the really important changes are not the daily weather variations...


Flight

B-29 Frozen in Time
Working and living in extremely cold conditions is a dangerous challenge. Before showing this program to the class, discuss with students what they know about extreme weather survival...

Battle of the X-Planes
The prototype Joint Strike Fighter had to fit the design specifications of three different armed service branches: the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marines. Ask students how each branch uses airplanes...

Crash of Flight 111
Have students locate New York, Halifax, and Geneva on a map...

Daredevils of the Sky
To create some enthusiasm about the principles needed to fly a plane, challenge your students to a potato chip-throwing contest...

Daring Flight, A
Help students locate Calais, France; Dover, England; and the English Channel on a map. Trace BlÈriot's famous Channel crossing...

Faster Than Sound
How fast is the speed of sound? It depends on what temperature the air is. The generally accepted speed through air is...

Last Flight of Bomber 31
Have students use a globe or world map to locate the following places featured in this program...

Spies That Fly
Ask students to list the challenges they think engineers face when designing an unmanned aircraft...

Supersonic Dream
Have students research the location and role of the following components for a typical commercial airliner: nose, wings, fuselage, tail, and engine(s)...

Supersonic Spies
The political climate of the cold war fueled the race for technological and military supremacy between the West and the Soviet Union. Have students review...

Three Men and a Balloon
In this program, a team of adventurers plans to travel nonstop around the world in a balloon. However, predicting the exact route of a balloon is impossible...

Top Gun Over Moscow
This program provides a detailed comparison of U.S. and Russian aircraft design and fighter pilot training...

Vanished!
Have students locate Buenos Aires and Santiago on a map of South America and trace Stardust's route between them over the Andes range. How high is the range in that area?...

Who Killed the Red Baron?
Have students look at a map of Europe. Ask them to locate the northeastern section of France...

Wings of Madness
Ask students to think of airplanes they have seen or flown in. Have them describe the wing angles...

Wright Brothers' Flying Machine
Discuss with students the meaning of the following terms: control surfaces, wing warping, elevator, rudder, and aileron...


Gravity and Forces

Avalanche!
Avalanche researchers need to be concerned with a wide range of variables including the kind of snow that falls (such as light, dry, or wet)...

Daredevils of the Sky
To create some enthusiasm about the principles needed to fly a plane, challenge your students to a potato chip-throwing contest...

Einstein Revealed
Einstein spent much of his life thinking about what he couldn't observe directly, such as the speed of light and how time is affected by motion...

Escape! Because Accidents Happen -- Car Crash
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for people ages 6 to 27. Have students brainstorm a list of traffic laws...

Fall of the Leaning Tower
To give students an appreciation of the tower's weight, ask them to work in pairs to compare its weight (14,000 tons) to something familiar to them...

Galileo's Battle for the Heavens
Ask students what they know about Galileo Galilei. Where and when did he live?...

Magnetic Storm
Demonstrate how magnetism is a property that can be changed. Drag a paper clip along a bar magnet 15 times so that the paper clip becomes magnetized...

Newton's Dark Secrets
Ask students what they know about Sir Isaac Newton. List student answers on the board. Where and when did he live? What did he do? What is he most known for?...

NOVA scienceNOW: Smart Bridges
Model a deck-truss arch bridgeĶ

Origins: Earth is Born
The universe is about 14 billion years old, while Earth is estimated to be about 4.6 billion years old. Homo sapiens evolved about 600,000 years ago. Have students calculate...

Roller Coaster!
Draw a side view of a roller coaster, including several hills and valleys, on the board. Place six chairs in front of the room and invite students in teams of six to "ride the coaster."...

Secrets of Lost Empires I -- Colosseum
The team of experts in each program attempts to re-create a model of a time-worn structure using as much of the knowledge, resources, and tools available to their ancient counterparts as possible...

Secrets of Lost Empires I -- Inca
These programs, which focus on ancient technologies, provide an opportunity for students to reflect on the relationship between science and technology...

Secrets of Lost Empires I -- Obelisk
The team of experts in each program attempts to re-create a model of a time-worn structure using as much of the knowledge, resources, and tools available to their ancient counterparts as possible...

Secrets of Lost Empires I -- Stonehenge
These programs, which focus on ancient technologies, provide an opportunity for students to reflect on the relationship between science and technology...

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- China Bridge
The engineers and other experts featured in each program make many inferences about ancient building techniques. They base their inferences on a variety of sources...

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Easter Island
The experts use different types of models to plan their construction strategies. Have students keep track of each model as they watch...

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Medieval Siege
Each program's story is driven by the question, "How did they do that?" The engineers and archeologists have developed hypotheses to answer that question...

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Pharaoh's Obelisk
The ancient building methods shown in the programs depend on the use of simple machines, including levers, ramps, pulleys, and wheels...

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Roman Bath
The engineers and other experts featured in each program make many inferences about ancient building techniques. They base their inferences on a variety of sources...

Super Bridge
Have students build a people bridge to experiment with the forces of compression (a pushing, squeezing force), tension (a pulling force) and torsion (a rotational, twisting force)...


Properties of Matter

Absolute Zero
Have students brainstorm all the things and places they can think of that are cold...

Einstein's Big Idea
Ask students to define the word energy. What kinds of energy have students used today from the time they woke up to the present moment in class?...

Elegant Universe, The: Einstein's Dream
Organize students into four groups. Assign each group one of the following concepts to research...

Elegant Universe, The: String's the Thing
Review with students the concepts for which they created their posters for Episode 1...

Elegant Universe, The: Welcome to the 11th Dimension
Ask students to describe the dimensions they experience. Ask them to give examples of two-dimensional representations...

Secrets of the Samurai Sword
Have students brainstorm a list of common uses of metal alloys (e.g., a door frame, a doorknob, or a paper clip)...


Simple Machines

No Viewing Ideas are available in the Simple Machines category. See Find by Subject or Find by Title for other resource categories.


Sound

Faster Than Sound
How fast is the speed of sound? It depends on what temperature the air is. The generally accepted speed through air is...


Structures

Building on Ground Zero
Make a list on the board of your school's safety features. Have students create a data sheet for each floor (or wing) of your building...

Fall of the Leaning Tower
To give students an appreciation of the tower's weight, ask them to work in pairs to compare its weight (14,000 tons) to something familiar to them...

NOVA scienceNOW: Smart Bridges
Model a deck-truss arch bridgeĶ

Roller Coaster!
Draw a side view of a roller coaster, including several hills and valleys, on the board. Place six chairs in front of the room and invite students in teams of six to "ride the coaster."...

Secrets of Lost Empires I -- Colosseum
The team of experts in each program attempts to re-create a model of a time-worn structure using as much of the knowledge, resources, and tools available to their ancient counterparts as possible...

Secrets of Lost Empires I -- Inca
These programs, which focus on ancient technologies, provide an opportunity for students to reflect on the relationship between science and technology...

Secrets of Lost Empires I -- Obelisk
The team of experts in each program attempts to re-create a model of a time-worn structure using as much of the knowledge, resources, and tools available to their ancient counterparts as possible...

Secrets of Lost Empires I -- Stonehenge
These programs, which focus on ancient technologies, provide an opportunity for students to reflect on the relationship between science and technology...

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- China Bridge
The engineers and other experts featured in each program make many inferences about ancient building techniques. They base their inferences on a variety of sources...

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Easter Island
The experts use different types of models to plan their construction strategies. Have students keep track of each model as they watch...

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Medieval Siege
Each program's story is driven by the question, "How did they do that?" The engineers and archeologists have developed hypotheses to answer that question...

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Pharaoh's Obelisk
The ancient building methods shown in the programs depend on the use of simple machines, including levers, ramps, pulleys, and wheels...

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Roman Bath
The engineers and other experts featured in each program make many inferences about ancient building techniques. They base their inferences on a variety of sources...

Sinking City of Venice
Have students use a map to locate the lagoon of Venice, Italy. Tell students the lagoon meets the Adriatic Sea at three inlets...

Super Bridge
Have students build a people bridge to experiment with the forces of compression (a pushing, squeezing force), tension (a pulling force) and torsion (a rotational, twisting force)...


Teacher's Guides by Subject Physics
Physics
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