1. Motions of Objects
  2. Energy
  3. Properties of Matter
  4. Changes in Matter


Additional Sites for Physical Science


2. Energy

Middle School

  1. "Objects and substances in motion have kinetic energy. Objects and substances may have potential energy due to their relative positions in a system. Gravitational, elastic, and chemical energy are all forms of potential energy."
    1. Energy   New
      Here your students can learn about the changes between potential, kinetic and heat energy through text, a series of hands on classroom activities and even an online "Monkey Swing" game.
    2. Pendulum
      Students are to work in groups to gather data regarding the relationship between the length of the pendulum and the length of the time it takes for one complete period. Once the students graph the data, they are then asked to predict the appearance of the graph if the length of the pendulum as 2X or 0.5X the original length. The teacher may adjust the difficulty of this lesson according to the level of the student.
    3. Potential and Kinetic Energy New
      This is an excellent site with many links on potential and kinetic energy. The site has links to animations that illustrate the forms.These were specificly identified for 5,6,and 7 grades.
    4. Potential and Kinetic Energy New
      Excellent site that clearly defines and explains potential and kinetic energy. The site provides an assessment and examples one using a rubber band.
    5. Scientific Forms of Energy New
      Excellent site that clearly explains potential and kinetic energy. The site has other resources for energy including a glossary of terms.
  2. "Energy is transferred from a source to a receiver by radiation, conduction, and convection. When energy is transferred from a source to a receiver, the quantity of energy before the transfer is equal to the quantity of energy after the transfer."
    1. Converting Energy
      The best parts about this lesson plan are the links to interesting sites that explain about energy concepts.  The end product of the lesson is experiments that students have developed and conducted that answer questions about heat energy.
    2. Energy Conversions
      This site contains general information about energy conversions. It gives examples of the most important forms of energy and gives some examples of objects that convert one form of energy into another (e.g. electric power plant, automobile engine).
    3. Energy Quest
      Outstanding - Energy Quest is an award-winning energy education website.  Students click on items in a room to go to various areas such as projects, library, energy and transportation, homework help, and how things work.  Each area also list several links to other information.  There is also a link for parents and teachers.
    4. Introduction to Waves
      This site helps students to understand the basic structure of a wave. It gives students the opportunity to adjust different parts of a wave such as amplitude, wavelength, wave speed, and phase shift. This first page could be used for middle school students was well as the link entitled waves, while other links could be used for high school students to look at the physics of how waves behave and the trigonometric realms of waves.
    5. IPPEX: Interactive: Energy and Magnetism
      This interactive student activity introduces the basic concepts of electricity and magnetism. Shockwave must be installed on the browser. It can be downloaded from the Macromedia Web site
    6. Renewable Resources in the U.S. Electricity Supply
      This would be a good site for student reports on renewable resources used for electricity production. This site provides general information.
    7. The Atoms Family
      This site provides teacher lesson plans, background reading material, and student activities that show molecular movement at different temperatures. The graphics are great, the student or teacher can choose ability level from K-12, and the activities are interesting. Easy to follow directions for students and teachers.
  3. "Nuclear reactions take place in the sun producing heat and light. Only a tiny fraction of the light energy from the sun reaches Earth, providing energy to heat the Earth, and providing energy that results in winds, ocean currents, and storms. Light is also the primary source of energy for living things. In plants, light from the sun is transferred and stored as chemical potential energy through a process called photosynthesis."
    1. Energy and The Sun New
      Site explores how we get energy from the sun. The site also has additional links.
    2. How Do We Know Light is a Wave?
      Great examples and explanation of light as a wave and a lot of information concering the topic of light.
    3. Introduction to Photosynthesis New
      This site includes the following: Photosynthesis Intro Page, Energy Changes, FIRST LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS, THE SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS, THE REAL DEFINITION OF ENERGY, FREE LESSON PLANS, Comments, Suggestions, Corrections, Energy Flow in Living Organisms, The Mysterious Everything, Photosynthesis Basics, How Many Forms of Energy?, Energy Pyramids, Food Chains & Food Web Links, Which Plants Use CO2?, Respiration Resources, Photosynthesis Links, Photosynthesis in a Leaf
    4. NOVA OnLine - Photosysthesis New
      Require Flash. This is an animation of photosynthesis.
  4. "Waves transfer energy when they interact with matter. Examples of waves include sound waves, seismic waves, waves on water, and light waves."
    1. Acoustics of Baseball Bats
      This site has animated wave patterns to show the acoustical vibration of baseball bats. Compares the vibration of a wood and aluminum baseball bat. Uses familiar objects to teach science concepts.
    2. BBC Science: How We See Things
      This site allows students to investigate the bending of light using mirrors. A quiz is included.
    3. Beyond Discovery
      Actual text book that explains how sound travels through water. It explains the history of the first time it was discovered that sound travels through water. Shows what the sound waves look like as they travel through water. Cool site! This is a PDF file.
    4. Creating Sound Waves
      Excellent discription of vibrations. Has a link to get more information at the bottom of the page. Click on: Where Do You Go From Here? and you are on your way.
    5. Discovery of Sound in the Sea (DOSITS) New
      Outstanding! Oceanographers, submariners, whales, dolphins, seals, in short, all working or living in the ocean use sound to sense their surroundings, to communicate, and to navigate. This web site will introduce you to the science and uses of sound in the sea. Includes a sound gallery of 60+ sound recordings and vibration patterns of various ocean creatures to show how ocean depth, temperature and salinity affect sound quality.
    6. Doppler Effect Two Sources
      Students can manipulate frequency, speed of sound and speed of objects and then watch two waves vibrate and create interference patterns in this interactive simulation.Gizmo can only be used once a day without having to join.
    7. Doppler Effect Single Source
      This page shows the doppler effect when sound comes from a single source. Gizmo can only be used once a day without having to join.
    8. Doppler Effect Applet
      Outstanding - This web site consists of an interactive airplane and human. Even though this site focuses on the Doppler Effect, students can clearly see and hear the illustrated sound waves as the airplane flies to and away from the human (sound traveling through a gas).
    9. Echoes
      Outstanding! Five thumbs up. This has audio and reads the text to the kids. You could read it as a class off the computer, or have the kids listen to the computer read the text and discuss the information after the reading. There is also a mini quiz and animated visuals… How Cool!!!
    10. Exploratorium Science "Snacks", Resonator lab
      In this "Snack", wooden dowels of varying lengths, each loaded with the same mass, are vibrated at identical frequencies. When the vibration matches the resonant frequency of one of the dowels, that dowel vibrates with a large amplitude. Materials are listed to make a resonance demonstrator, probably best used as demonstration. Simple instructions and explanations provided.
    11. Information on How the Eye Works
      This site explains how the human eye uses light to help see objects.  Teachers could use this as reference material and learn about the eye before they begin teaching students about how light helps them see objects.
    12. Longitudinal Waves
      Interactive graphics that depict what happens to the sound waves when the student "screams" by moving a "chunk." Displacement, velocity and acceleration are depicted. Gizmo can only be used once a day without having to join.
    13. Model Analysis of an Electric Guitar
      This site shows how the shape of a guitar can affect the vibration pattern. Nice animations and additonal links for further student exploration.
    14. Nova Online - Sounds Underwater
      Learn about animal sounds underwater and how water affects sound waves. This is an interactive true/false quiz that addresses the concept of speed of sound through different mediums. This site could be used by individual students or as a class activity.
    15. Reflection and Refraction of Light
      Outstanding! Here are five interactive games about light: reflection, the visible spectrum and color, refraction, speed of light, and irregular reflection with shaped mirrors. It includes printable activity sheets for teachers that explain the games, give correct answers to the games, and extension activities. When students "win" some of the games they qualify to download a prize. The "prizes" are fun sheets with great light facts or how to build a periscope.
    16. Reflection of Light
      This interactive site shows how light is reflected. You can manipulate the wavelength and angle to change the reflected light. You can also access extensive information on reflection by clicking on "Back to Reflection of Light" at the bottom of the page.
    17. Science of Sound-Sound Site
      Students can play different sounds to gain an "ears on" experience with different wave forms. The visual design will keep students engaged in the activities. They can make sound with rulers, design an eardrum and experience slinky sound waves. Students can search for different sounds in the online database. You can add sounds to the database so the students can hear the specific sounds that tie in with the lesson.
    18. Science Activities with Sounds and Waves
      This site shows how a drum head vibrates and illustrates with an MPEG movie, the motion of a vibrating object. Requires an MPEG player to view
    19. Seismic Waves
      This site takes you through both p waves and s waves made during an earthquake and allows you to link to other sites with simulations.
    20. The Physics Classroom
      Outstanding! Has great explanations and great animations. This site covers all benchmarks under waves and vibration. Have fun, this is a goldmine of information.
    21. Wave Motion - Echoes
      Student interactive site. Needs ShockWave program to work the student activity. Students work on waves & vibrations to learn about echoes. Gizmo can only be used once a day without having to join.

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