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  • Speed

    Book Chapter | September 2014

    Phenomenon-based learning (PBL) is built on observations of real-world phenomena. PBL is not so much a teaching method as it is a route to grasping the big picture and is an approach that is fun and interesting for both…

  • Warp speed

    Book Chapter | January 2006

    Although faster-than-light travel is commonplace in science fiction, ordinary matter in the ordinary world must obey the laws of physics. The speed of light is the speed limit in the Universe. Only massless particles…

  • Tangential Speed

    Book Chapter | May 2009

    This lab is purely a thought experiment. Although students are given an introduction to angular speed and tangential speed, they will discover the relationship between the two in this activity. The lab is an inquiry…

  • Average Speed

    Book Chapter | May 2009

    This lab is not an inquiry activity but will help students understand the meaning of average velocity. Students do not easily understand from a textbook that an object’s velocity changes over a period of acceleration.…

  • Final Speed

    Book Chapter | May 2009

    This lab is not an inquiry activity. Without a motion sensor, the students cannot determine independently that the final velocity is double the average velocity. This activity does, however, make this concept concrete…

  • Speed Units

    Book Chapter | May 2010

    The purpose of this assessment probe is to determine whether students recognize that there is a variety of measurement units, described as ratios, that can be used to express average speed, even though some units may…

  • The Speed of Light

    Book Chapter | March 2011

    This activity is designed to help students understand that light does have a finite speed and that this has consequences for us. In order to grasp the meaning of the activity, it is important for students to understand…

  • Calculating the Speed of Sound

    Book Chapter | May 2009

    Who hasn’t seen a dramatic flash of lightning, only to hear the dramatic “crack” of thunder several seconds later? But why does the thunder reach our ears after we see the lightning? Or, why does the sound of a high-…

  • Speed of Sound Lab

    Book Chapter | March 2017

    This high school physical science lesson has the following learning goals for students: design and conduct an investigation to determine the speed of sound in air; interpret their experimental results; and explain…

  • A Need for Speed? Should Speed Limits Be Lowered to Reduce Traffic Fatalities?

    Book Chapter | February 2014

    During this unit, students will investigate physical science concepts related to forces and motion. They will then synthesize and apply their learning to grapple with the question of whether speed limits should be…

  • Quickly Teaching Speed, Velocity, and Acceleration—Part 2

    Journal Article | March 2019

    In the February 2019 issue we looked at teaching speed and velocity. Now we’re ready to tackle acceleration.

  • Speeding Ahead–The Maglevacation Train Challenge

    Book Chapter | August 2017

    In this lesson, students apply their knowledge of mapping, geography, trains, and science concepts related to magnetism and speed to design their Maglevacation Trains. Each student team will design and build its train…

  • Quickly Teaching Speed, Velocity, and Acceleration—Part 2

    Journal Article | February 2020

    Quickly Teaching Speed, Velocity, and Acceleration—Part 2 …

  • Focus on Physics: Quickly Teaching Speed, Velocity, and Acceleration—Part 1

    Journal Article | February 2019

    Motion is best learned by keeping it simple—by neglecting the effects of air resistance, as well as the effects of buoyancy, spin, and the shape of moving objects.

  • Focus on Physics: Electromagnetic Waves and the Speed of Light

    Journal Article | February 2018

    This column helps teachers build an understanding of physical principles. This issue covers electromagnetic waves.

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