As we get ready to head back to school, there are a ton of physics activities that kids can try at home or in the classroom. The books on this list will help students learn more about the world around us and how it works. What are forces? How do they affect you every day? Why is it harder to push a box across the carpet than it is to push it across a smooth floor? How do you bounce so high on a trampoline? These are just a few of the questions that physics can answer. Are you ready to dive in and explore physics?
Fairground Physics: Motion, Momentum, and Magnets with Hands-On Science Activities by Angie Smibert and Micha Rauch We couldn’t enjoy our favorite summer fair without physics. This book uses real-world fun to explore physics.
Classroom activity: Most kids love the rides and games at amusement parks and fairs. Now they can apply science to one of their favorite activities! Have students choose their favorite ride or game and research the role of physics. What laws of physics apply? How do these laws of physics explain the way the ride or game operates? How does physics impact safety on the ride or game? Students can also design their own rides or games. What laws of physics will apply? How will physics explain the way the ride or game operates? Students may even build a model or diagram to demonstrate the new ride or game for the class.
The Speed of Starlight: An Exploration of Physics, Sound, Light, and Space by Colin Stuart and Ximo Abadia This book presents key physics principles through amazing artwork.
Classroom activity: This book combines art and science in a fantastic way. Students can also use art to understand and explain science concepts. Have students pick a law of physics and create a piece of art that illustrates and explains the science. Encourage students to use different art forms such as drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, crafts, or video. Have each student present their art and explain the scientific concept.
Superwomen in STEM: Women Scientists in Physics and Engineering by Catherine Brereton Read about STEM women who made a difference in the field of physics and engineering.
Classroom activity: Have students choose a physics and engineering pioneer to research. What has their chosen pioneer contributed to the science of physics and our understanding of matter and its motion? Have students work together to create a living timeline of physics’ most important discoveries and scientific achievements.
Looking to explore more and learn about physics and how the world around you works? The books on this month’s list are packed full of physics activities and experiments. Browse through the pages and choose a few activities to do in class or at home!
Carla Mooney loves to explore the world around us and discover the details about how it works. An award-winning author of numerous nonfiction science books for kids and teens, she hopes to spark a healthy curiosity and love of science in today’s young people. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, three kids, and dog. When not writing, she can often be spotted at a hockey rink for one of her kids’ games. Find her at http://www.carlamooney.com, on Facebook @carlamooneyauthor, or on Twitter @carlawrites.