Monday, December 5, 2011

FREE Middle School Physics Kit Available

Here is another wonderful resource for middle school education.  For the past several years, the American Physical Society (APS) has run a program called Physics Quest.  In it, middle school students try to solve an applied physics problem, using a FREE curriculum and materials kits provided by APS.

The Physics Quests are presented as a problem within a story that is described in a comic book format.  In the earlier years, the stories centered around early physics innovators, such as Ben Franklin and Nicola Tesla.  For the past few years, the stories are set in modern settings, with a middle school student with extraordinary abilities (named Lucy Hene, AKA Spectra) as the protagonist.

Previous years have examined such physical topics as lasers and magnets, but this one relates to temperature and the weather/global warming issue.  Students are led through four experiments that reveal clues to solve the puzzle of the extreme temperature/weather at Spectra's middle school.  Best of all, if you register with APS before all the kits are gone, they will even send you a Physics Quest set with the storybook and the equipment you need to conduct the experiments.

We've done this for the past couple of years, and found it to be a fun addition to our other physics studies.  While it can be done in school, the organizers also encourage other educators, including homeschoolers, Scout troops, and after school program coordinators, to participate as well.

To find out more about this year's Quest, see the APS website Physics Quest page.  Or, click here to register to receive a kit to do this year's Quest.

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