Cool Physics Resources

Physics Teachers Resource Manual (pdf)
Chris Deyo headed up a curriculum writing workshop for physics, undertaken in Oakland Schools, based on the new Michigan standards. They produced a comprehensive 14 unit document. Each unit has at least six activities that can be done with students and everything is already aligned with the standards! You can find the document on the Oakland Schools Science Resource site (scroll down).

Open Source Physics
Out of the November-2008 Physics Teacher. Open Source Physics has a collection of tools for computational physics. I've only scratched the surface, but I think it will be a center point of the honors physics course I'm designing for next year. The one piece to catch my attention first was the Tracker program. This is a java based video analysis tool. It also includes the ability to mathematically model motion. You can overlay the model right on the video. So you could model a perfect projectile path and show how an NBA player seems to float when they dunk a ball.

Cool 2d physics simluation engine. I tried to show this off at one of the meetings, but I had some technical difficulties. Here's a short video I created to show off a little of what it is capable of. It's no replacement for Interactive Physics, but it's free and pretty cool. It is available for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux. There is even a Windows version that can be run from a folder, so you won't need the ability to install it, I know some school computers are pretty locked down.

I'm sure by now everyone has heard of MIT's OpenCourseWare project. They are putting lots of their course materials online for free. Of particular interest are the classes that have the full lectures online in video format. Coulde be very useful for both new and old teachers looking to brush up a little.
The Physics of Musical Instruments
This is a 119 pg  PDF file."The Physics of Music and Musical Instruments covers the physics of waves, sound, music, and musical instruments at a level designed for high school physics. However, it is also a resource for those teaching or learning waves and sound from the middle school through college, at the mathematical or conceptual level..." Written by David Lapp.

Arbor Scientific
OK, I'm not going to make a habit of listing vendor websites, but Arbor has been a long time friend of the DMAPT. They also offers lots of great free resources for science teachers. The first is their CoolStuff Newsletters, if you haven't seen them you have to checkk them out! They've set up their archives so that you can browse by subject of interest. This is definitely a great place to go for ideas for labs or demos. I also recommend the "Next Time" questions from Hewitt's Conceptual Physics. There are over two hundred of them on the site for free, separated by subject area!

This is a monthly column from The Physics Teacher. I end up relying heavily on at least one (if not more) of the sites listed every month.

60 Symbols
By the same folks that brought us the Periodic Table of Videos. This series looks at 60 symbols/ideas in Physics and Astronomy. They are very high quality and informative.

Wolfram Demonstrations
Lots of cool simulations/demonstrations from Mathematics on a variety of subjects, including physics. You'll have to download the free Mathematic Player to view them