Demonstrations can be engaging and fun for students, providing the motivation to learn. For non specialist teachers, it can be a challenge to ensure that the explanation that accompanies a demonstration develops the students' understanding of concepts in physics. This list of resources contains ideas for a range of physics demonstrations with clear explanations of the scientific concepts and practical tips on how to use the equipment confidently and safely.
Visit the practical work page to access all resources and lists focussing on practical work in secondary science: www.nationalstemcentre.org.uk/sciencepracticals
Links and Resources
There are sixteen videos in this collection explaining how some of the physics equipment found in most schools can be used successfully in demonstrations. Each video shows how to set up the equipment, together with tips on how to make sure the demonstration works and clear explanations of any risks involved. At each stage of the demonstration the presenters provide step by step instructions and a clear explanation of the physics, making this an invaluable resource for NQTs and non-physics specialists.
In this video Simon Quinnell, from the Science Learning Centre, describes a noisy and spectacular demonstration to illustrate energy changes. Clear instructions are given with a full explanation of the science.
These demonstrations can form the introduction to a structured development of ideas about energy transfers between objects at different temperatures. Ice cubes are placed on metal and plastic blocks; the cube placed on metal melts much more quickly than the cube placed on plastic. This is counterintuitive (for many students) because metals feel cold while plastics feel warm