MODEL Project

The Institute of Physics' 'MODEL Project: Practical Physics at Work' provides engaging and relevant practical physics activities, student instructions and worksheets plus guidance for teacher and technicians.

The practical activities are supported by video sequences showing how some people use physics in the jobs they do.

The materials are arranged into six topics. Each topic has:
• a number of student practicals, many of which contain more than one activity
• teacher and technician guidance notes for the student practicals
• related video sequences, each with work-related on-screen questions
• worksheets for the on screen questions, and a sheet of answers to all the worksheets for the topic.

The material is not presented as a complete teaching scheme. Components may be used individually or units as appropriate. The topics are:

• Harnessing Energy - the nature of energy, energy transfer and transformation, the Centre for Alternative Energy
• Making a Spectacle - the physics behind making good spectacles, the optician
• Sounds Good - improving sound quality, sound in the theatre
• Cutting Edge Materials - materials science, nitinol – a smart metal alloy
• Bright Sparks - electricity, circuits generators and motors, the electrician
• Physical Health - physics used in medical analysis, the modern hospital


This collection of resources was first published in 2006. Ideas about teaching major scientific explanations, such as energy, are constantly changing. The Institute of Physics offers a wide range of professional support for teachers to enable them to update their subject pedagogy.


4Science: Roger Ellis, Ken Gadd, Mark Gadd, Jean Kalvis, Mary Vince
EBS Trust: Jim Stevenson, Bob Walters, John Parker, Jason Handby, Craig Kiltie
Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth, North Wales
RT Knight Opticians Ltd, Bournemouth
Salford Acoustics, Audio and Video, University of Salford
Milton Keynes Theatre
Department of Engineering, University of Liverpool
Electrical Contacts Ltd
King's College Hospital, Camberwell, London


Physical Health

'Modern hospitals have changed enormously in your lifetime. Thanks to amazing technological advances, we can see what is happening inside the body in more and more detail. Much of this is because of the work of medical physicists.' These practicals and videos use a workplace context to help students discover how...
Publication date:
2000 - 2009

3 resources

Bright Sparks

'We rely on electricity. It is a very versatile form of energy. But who installs electrical systems in our homes and workplaces? How can we be sure they will work correctly and safely once installed? An understanding the physics of electricity helps electricians do their work.' This group of practicals and videos...
Publication date:
2000 - 2009

3 resources

Cutting Edge Materials

'What do materials scientists do? They investigate the properties of materials. Sometimes they try to make a material for a purpose. Sometimes a material is discovered and they explore its potential uses. The properties of all materials must be rigorously assessed.' These practicals and videos use a workplace context...
Publication date:
2000 - 2009

3 resources

Sounds Good

'Our modern society has more ways of making sounds than ever before. How can we control sound to get good quality when we want it and cut out the sounds we don't want to hear?' These practicals and videos use a workplace context to develop students' understanding of the properties of sound, and how science can be...
Publication date:
2000 - 2009

3 resources


Subject(s)Physics, Engineering, Science
Published29 November 2010

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This resource is part of MODEL Project

  • MODEL Project


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