Physics in Primary Schools (Grades 4 to 6)

Video Lectures

Displaying all 10 video lectures.
Lecture 1
Physics in Primary Schools: Electricity - Robots and electric eels
Play Video
Physics in Primary Schools: Electricity - Robots and electric eels


Physics in Primary Schools: Electricity - Robots and electric eels



Supports: National Curriculum Key Stage 2, Units 2F, 4F and 6G (view Irish curriculum links)

Suitable for: Years 4, 5 and 6



The time for whole session is about 1½ hours. This can be varied by taking shorter paths through the material. Choices may depend on the apparatus available or the particular needs of the class.



Outline of content




Aims to:



* establish what the children already know, using demos and class experiments

* investigate simple circuits through class experiments and deduce rules for a current to flow

* provide a clear analogy of conduction and electric circuits through a game

* show some materials are conductors and others are insulators through class experiments

* investigate the conductivity of materials including water and semi-conductors using a ‘sound box’

* provide guidance for safe use of electrical appliances in the home

* show that some materials can change their conductivity and explore uses

* demonstrate and discuss up-to-date applications by linking the children’s knowledge with their experience.





Points to note:



Please read the notes about safety and agree the assessment with the teacher before the session!





Cross References:




* The slides in the PowerPoint presentation are referenced in the table and have commentary notes.

* As the presentation may be running throughout the session some simple slides provide a suitable background, alternatively switch to a black screen.

* Apparatus details are linked to the relevant sections.

* Notes about safety are included with the actitivties.

* Vocabulary: The presentation uses expressions included in the KS1 and 2 strategies.





Misconceptions to be corrected:




* When a circuit is completed, the current (electrons or particles carrying charge) pours out of the battery and round the circuit.

* When the current stops flowing the electrons all go back into the battery.

* Materials are either very good conductors or very good insulators.

* It is safe to operate mains switches with wet hands.

* The physics that they learn is not relevant to their everyday lives.





Feedback from the trials:




"I found that the children had lots of ideas to contribute and were fascinated. I therefore allowed the discussions to continue and answered numerous questions so that the sessions took whole afternoons. Teachers, in each school, commented that the whole group was interested and took part fully. The schools which were visited had very different characters and the total ability range was very wide".



Link to:

* Activities

* Apparatus List

* Safety Notes

* Electricity PowerPoint Presentation

* Download Overview, Activities, Apparatus List and Safety Notes as a combined Word document for ease of printing



Source: http://www.iop.org/activity/outreach/Resources/Physicists_and_Primary_Schools_Project/Topics/Electricity/page_5791.html

Lecture 2
Physics in Primary Schools: Forces & gravity
Play Video
Physics in Primary Schools: Forces & gravity


Forces and Gravity: Is gravity real or does the Earth just suck?



Supports National Curriculum Key Stage 2, Units 1E, 2E, 4E and 6E (view Irish curriculum links)

Suitable for years 4, 5 and 6



The time for whole session is about 2 hours. This can be varied by taking shorter paths through the material. Choices may depend on the apparatus available or the particular needs of the class.



Outline of content



Aims to:



* establish what the children already know, using demos and class experiments

* provide the children with a clear idea of what a force is

* relate movement to forces

* explain that gravity and weight are forces

* establish that forces can be measured and teach them to estimate the size of forces

* represent forces with arrows

* the forces are balanced on objects falling steadily

* teach that there is a force of gravity on the Moon but it is much smaller than on Earth

* teach that the planets orbit the Sun because of gravity

* excite the children’s interest



Points to note:

Please read the notes about safety and agree the assessment with the teacher before the session!



Cross References:


* The slides in the PowerPoint presentation are referenced in the table.

* As the presentation may be running throughout the session some simple slides provide a suitable background, alternatively switch to a black screen.

* Apparatus details are linked to the relevant sections.

* Notes about are included with the actitivties.

* Vocabulary: The presentation uses expressions included in the KS1 and 2 strategies





Misconceptions to be corrected

* there is no gravity in space

* the Moon does not have a gravitational field

* heavy objects fall faster than light objects

* all objects are ‘weightless’ in space



Feedback from the trials:

"I found that it was important to spend time on the very basic ideas of forces. They learned a lot from the games and these lead into discussions which I encouraged so that they could gain a clear understanding. Teachers, in each school, commented that their own understanding had been clarified".



Link to:

* Activities

* Apparatus List

* Safety Notes

* Forces and Gravity PowerPoint Presentation

* Download Overview, Activities, Apparatus List and Safety Notes as a combi ned Word document for ease of printing



Source: http://www.iop.org/activity/outreach/Resources/Physicists_and_Primary_Schools_Project/Topics/Forces%20and%20Gravity/page_5823.html

Lecture 3
Physics in Primary Schools: Forces and Magnets
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Physics in Primary Schools: Forces and Magnets


Forces and Magnets: Magnet Magic



Supports National Curriculum, Key Stages 1 and 2, Units 1E and 6E (view Irish curriculum links)

Suitable for years 4, 5 and 6



The time for the session is about 1 hour (longer if items 12 and 15 are included). This can be varied by taking shorter paths through the material. Choices may depend on the apparatus available or the particular needs of the class.



Outline of content



Aims to:




* establish what the children already know, using an intriguing demonstration

* use a class experiment to find which materials are magnetic

* investigate bar magnets through class experiments to show repulsion as well as attraction

* discuss action at a distance, if appropriate compare with the force of gravity

* demonstrate that one end of a magnet always points North when freely suspended and that a compass is a suspended magnet

* use games to reinforce ideas about magnetic and non magnetic materials

* use a game to learn about computer memory

* demonstrate other magnetic effects which link with electric currents

* demonstrate a very simple motor to explain that a magnetic field together with an electric current can cause movement

* discuss up-to-date applications of motors by linking the children’s knowledge with their experience.



Points to note:

Please read the notes about safety and agree the assessment with the teacher before the session!



Cross References:

* The slides in the PowerPoint presentation are referenced in the table.

* As the presentation may be running throughout the session some simple slides provide a suitable background, alternatively switch to a black screen.

* Apparatus details are below the table and are linked to the relevant sections.

* Notes about safety are included with the actitivties

* Vocabulary: The presentation uses expressions included in the KS1 and 2 strategies



Misconceptions to be corrected:


* All metals are magnetic materials

* Magnets only attract

* Magnets only attract (and repel) through air

* Gravitational forces and magnetic forces due to the Earth are confused

* The physics that they learn is not relevant to their everyday lives.



Feedback from the trials:



"During the trial visits teachers commented that the children enjoyed the practical exercises the whole group took part enthusiastically".



Link to:

* Activities

* Apparatus List

* Safety Notes

* Forces and Magnets PowerPoint Presentation

* Download Overview, Activities, Apparatus List and Safety Notes as a combined Word document for ease of printing



Source: http://www.iop.org/activity/outreach/Resources/Physicists_and_Primary_Schools_Project/Topics/Forces%20and%20Magnets/page_5836.html

Lecture 4
Physics in Primary Schools: Sound
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Physics in Primary Schools: Sound


Sound: From musical boxes to iPods



Supports National Curriculum Key Stage 1: Unit 1F and Key Stage 2: Units 5F (view Irish curriculum links)

Suitable for years 4, 5 and 6



The time for the basic session is about 1 hour but longer if activities 13,16,17,18 and 22 are included. This can be varied by taking shorter paths through the material. Choices may depend on the apparatus available or the particular needs of the class.



Outline of content




Aims to


* establish what the children already know, using an intriguing demonstration

* establish that sounds needs a material through which to travel

* show that vibrating objects are sources of sound and sound travels as a wave

* demonstrate that sound can travel through metal, string etc. as well as air

* associate the size of the vibrating object with the frequency produced through fun pictures, activities and wind instruments

* relate their knowledge to other instruments with which they are familiar

* show that knowledge about sound has enabled scientists to develop ultrasound scans, modern sound systems etc.



Points to note:


Please read the notes about safety and agree the assessment with the teacher before the session!



Cross References:

* The slides in the PowerPoint presentation are referenced in the table.

* As the presentation may be running throughout the session some simple slides provide a suitable background, alternatively switch to a black screen.

* Apparatus details are provided and are linked to the relevant sections.

* Notes about safety are included with the activities.

* Vocabulary: The presentation uses expressions included in the KS1 and 2 strategies.



Misconceptions to be corrected:

* Air moves with the sound from the source to our ears.

* Sound can only travel through air.

* Sound is like light in that it cannot travel through opaque objects.

* When blowing a bottle - the more water the lower the pitch.

* The strings on violins etc. are at very different tensions e.g. they expect the E string on a violin to be at a much higher tension than the G string.



Feedback from the trials:



“Thanks for the lesson on sound - the children loved it and were talking about it the next day - a good topic to teach due to the children's interest in sound.”



“They 'loved' the graphics on screen of the animals and examples of musical equipment. They were fascinated by the practical demonstrations, which I personally believe is how children learn and acquire more knowledge more effectively.”



“The children listened intently throughout and were very responsive. I thought the lesson was conducted excellently and the children were enthralled. The information provided was suited to the children’s learning ability (this is important).”



Link to:

* Activities

* Apparatus List

* Safety Notes

* Sound PowerPoint Presentation

* Download Overview, Activities, Apparatus List and Safety Notes as a combined Word document for ease of printing



Source: http://www.iop.org/activity/outreach/Resources/Physicists_and_Primary_Schools_Project/Topics/Sound/page_5862.html

Lecture 5
Physics in Primary Schools: Solids
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Physics in Primary Schools: Solids


Solids: Snowflakes and Bubbles



Supports National Curriculum, Key Stages 1 and 2, Units 4D, 5C and 5D

Suitable for years 4, 5 and 6



The time for the session is approximately 1 hour. The length of the session can be varied by modifying the PowerPoint presentation once downloaded.



Outline of content




Aims to:

* establish what the children already know, using a demonstration

* explain differences between solids and liquids (different materials change from liquid to solid at different temperatures)

* solids remember how they grew

* there are two types of frozen water, formed in different ways: a) snow and b) ice

* a) formation of snowflakes using an on-line computer simulation

* b) formation of (close packed) crystalline solids using a game and bubble rafts

* bubbles are very different to either water or air because they are a sandwich

* special solids can be grown using MB (Molecular Beam Epitaxy) which are used in computer chips etc.



Points to note:

Please read the notes about risks and agree the assessment with the teacher before the session!



Cross References


* The slides in the PowerPoint presentation are referenced in the plan.

* As the presentation may be running throughout the session some simple slides provide a suitable background, alternatively switch to a black screen.

* Apparatus details are linked to the relevant sections.

* Notes about safety are included with the actitivties.

* Vocabulary: The presentation uses expressions included in the KS 1&2 strategies

* (NB. It also uses terms not introduced until KS 3.)



Misconceptions to be corrected


* Crystal surfaces are not formed naturally.

* Ice, snow and water are different materials.

* Solids such as crystals cannot be melted.

* Freezing and melting are not reversible.

* Children often confuse melting and dissolving. This presentation explains melting.



Link to:

* Activities

* Apparatus List

* Safety Notes

* Solids PowerPoint Presentation

* Download Overview, Activities, Apparatus List and Safety Notes as a combined Word document for ease of printing



Source: http://www.iop.org/activity/branches/South_East/London_and_South_East/Lecture_Series_Videos/index.html

Lecture 6
Physics in Primary Schools: Light
Play Video
Physics in Primary Schools: Light


Light: from bonfires to lasers



Supports National Curriculum, Key Stages 1D, 3F, 6F

Suitable for years 4,5 and 6.



The time for whole session is about 1 hour 15mins. This can be varied by taking shorter paths through the material e.g. by omitting activities in italics or omitting the section on colour. Choices will depend on the particular needs of the school.



Outline of content



Aims to:

* establish what the children already know, using demos and class experiments

* explain that excited atoms give out light in cold objects as well as hot objects

* understand that we see when light travels to our eyes

* understand that darkness is absence of light and we cannot see in true darkness

* find that we see most objects because they reflect light to our eyes

* find that mirrors change the direction in which light is travelling and that the angle matters

* show white light is made up of colours

* explain primary colours of light are red, blue and green

* investigate coloured materials in different colours of light

* demonstrate and discuss up-to-date applications by linking the children’s knowledge with their experience.



Points to note:

Please read the notes about safety and agree the assessment with the teacher before the session!



Cross References:

* The slides in the PowerPoint presentation are referenced in the table.

* As the presentation may be running throughout the session some simple slides provide a suitable background, alternatively switch to a black screen.

* Apparatus details are provided and are linked to the relevant sections.

* Notes about safety are included with the activities.

* Vocabulary: The presentation uses expressions included in the KS1&2 strategies.

* NB: The phrase ‘excited atoms’ does not occur in these strategies.



Misconceptions – i.e. points that are often misunderstood

* Only hot objects give out light.

* We see by light leaving our eyes as shown in films about robots.

* Blackness is a form of light rather than an absence of light.

* We can see in the dark.



Link to:

* Activities

* Apparatus List

* Safety Notes

* Light PowerPoint Presentation

* Download Overview, Activities, Apparatus List and Safety Notes as a combined Word document for ease of printing



Source: http://www.iop.org/activity/outreach/Resources/Physicists_and_Primary_Schools_Project/Topics/Light/page_7929.html

Lecture 7
Physics in Primary Schools: Solids, liquids and gases
Play Video
Physics in Primary Schools: Solids, liquids and gases


Solids, Liquids and Gases: Banana hammers and soft nails



Supports National Curriculum, Key Stages 1 and Units 2D, 3C, 4D, 5C, 5D, 6D

Suitable for years 4,5 and 6.



The time for whole session is about 1 hour. This can be varied by taking shorter paths through the material. Choices may depend on the apparatus available or the particular needs of the class.



Outline of content



Aims to:



* establish what the children already know, through a class activity

* develop an appreciation of the difference in temperature between 0C and 30C

* extend their understanding of high and low temperatures so that they understand the liquid nitrogen is very cold indeed

* find out about changes from liquids to gases

* find out that cooling materials can cause them to change

* find out about changes from liquids to solids

* discover that some changes are reversible changes



Points to note:


Liquid nitrogen is hazardous. When planning this visit, contact your local source of liquid nitrogen and ask for a practice session with an experienced user. Please read the notes about safety and agree the assessment with the teacher before the session! Children should be at least two metres from the demonstrations and must not sit on the floor for this presentation.



* Detailed instructions for the activities are provided.

* Apparatus details are listed and linked to the relevant sections.

* Pictures are provided for the rope activity.

* A temperature range summary is provided in a PowerPoint file for projection or it can be drawn onto a black or white board.

* There is a video animation for use with activity 5.

* Vocabulary: The presentation uses mainly expressions included in the KS 1&2 strategies



Misconceptions to be corrected:


* Liquids cannot be very cold

* True gases (like air) cannot be liquefied.

* Boiling can only occur at hot temperatures.

* Temperatures can be lowered indefinitely.



Feedback from teachers after the trial visits:

“The material and methods used engaged the pupils in highly productive learning which was vivid and relevant to the QCA schemes of work followed.”



“The pupils were challenged appropriately in this imaginative, effective and thought provoking session.”



“The children were interested and engaged throughout the session.”



“The session enabled them to grasp the basics of the subject and develop a greater understanding, thereby gaining a higher grade in the end of unit test.”



Link to:

* Activities

* Apparatus List

* Safety Notes

* Download images for Rope Temperature Scale Activity

* Download Temperature Range Summary

* Download water on a hotplate video file

* Download Overview, Activities, Apparatus List and Safety Notes as a combined Word document for ease of printing



Source: http://www.iop.org/activity/outreach/Resources/Physicists_and_Primary_Schools_Project/Topics/Solids%20Liquids%20and%20Gases/page_8785.html

Lecture 8
Physics in Primary Schools: sunlight and space travel
Play Video
Physics in Primary Schools: sunlight and space travel


Sunlight and Space Travel



Supports National Curriculum, Key Stages 1D, 3F, 5E

Suitable for years 4,5 and 6. The first sections might be suitable for year 3.



The time for whole session is about 1 hour 30mins. This can be varied by taking shorter paths through the material e.g. by omitting the section on eclipses for younger children or by omitting the sections on shadows for older children. Choices will depend on the particular needs of the school.



Outline of content



Aims to:

* establish what the children already know, using demos and class experiments and to build on this knowledge

* recognise using fun demonstrations that light can be blocked by objects and shadows are formed - then develop this to explain day and night

* explain with activities that the Sun appears to move across the sky each day and that the effect is caused because the Earth spins on its axis

* explain that sundials can be used to tell the time and describe the Solar Pyramid

* demonstrate that the Earth orbits the Sun

* to use demonstrations and class activities to show that seasons are caused because the Earth is tipped on its axis

* use fun demonstrations to explain the phases of the Moon

* encourage the children to explain ‘bad science’ from films

* use class activities to show that the Moon and the Sun appear to be the same size because they are different distances away

* explain an eclipse of the Sun using activities and briefly explain an eclipse of the Moon



Points to note:

Please read the notes about safety and agree the assessment with the teacher before the session!



Cross References

* The slides in the PowerPoint presentation are referenced in the table.

* Apparatus details are linked to the relevant sections.

* Safety notes are referenced in activities and are listed below the table.

* Vocabulary: The presentation uses expressions included in the KS1 and 2 strategies.



Misconceptions to be corrected:

* The Sun and the Moon are about the same size.

* The Sun moves round the Earth.

* The Sun appears to move across the sky and then back.

* In winter the Sun is further away from the Earth than in the summer.

* The Moon is a source of light.

* The Moon always shows the same side to the Sun.

* An eclipse of the Moon is the same as a new Moon.



The session should be held in a room that is not brightly lit. Curtains or slat blinds could be shut but the activities have been planned so that blackout is NOT required as this is difficult to achieve in most primary schools and also might cause behaviour problems.



Link to:

* Activities

* Apparatus List

* Safety Notes

* Sunlight and Space Travel PowerPoint Presentation

* Download Overview, Activities, Apparatus List and Safety Notes as a combined Word document for ease of printing



Source: http://www.iop.org/activity/outreach/Resources/Physicists_and_Primary_Schools_Project/Topics/Sunlight%20and%20Space%20Travel/page_9844.html

Lecture 9
Physics in Primary Schools: Forces and springs
Play Video
Physics in Primary Schools: Forces and springs


Forces and Springs



Supports National Curriculum, Key Stages 1 and 2 Unit 3E Suitable for years 3, 4,5 and 6



The time for whole session is about 45 minutes depending on the length of time spent on examples.



Outline of content




Aims to:


* establish what the children know through a fun demonstration

* explore elastic and inelastic properties of materials

* through class activities show that for elastic materials, the greater the force applied the greater the extension

* also show: the thinner the elastic, the greater the stretch

* provide examples that will help to estimate the size of forces

* introduce springs and show they have elastic properties

* through examples show springs acting in compression as well as extension

* bring out that springs are useful- in particular they can save lives



Points to note:

Please read the notes about safety and agree the assessment with the teacher before the session! Particular care should to be taken when using springs and stretching elastic objects. If stretched carelessly, elastic may break and flick back very painfully, but only the eyes are at serious risk.



Cross References


* The slides in the PowerPoint presentation are referenced in the table.

* As the presentation may be running throughout the session some simple slides provide a suitable background, alternatively switch to a black screen.

* Apparatus details are below the table and are linked to the relevant sections.

* Hints about risks are below the table (link here to list of hints)

* Vocabulary: The presentation uses expressions included in the KS1 and 2 strategies.



Misconceptions to be corrected:


* Only ‘elastic’ is elastic.

* Plastic is a material rather than a property.

* Springs only work when stretched i.e. compression not understood.



Link to:

* Activities

* Apparatus List

* Safety Notes

* Forces and Springs PowerPoint Presentation

* Download Overview, Activities, Apparatus List and Safety Notes as a combined Word document for ease of printing



Source: http://www.iop.org/activity/outreach/Resources/Physicists_and_Primary_Schools_Project/Topics/Forces%20and%20Springs/page_10446.html

Lecture 10
Physics in Primary Schools: Earth & the solar system
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Physics in Primary Schools: Earth & the solar system


Earth and the Solar System



Solar System and beyond: Overview



A Walk through the Universe

Supports National Curriculum, Key Stages 1D, 3F, 5E

Suitable for years 4,5 and 6. The first sections might be suitable for year 3.



The time for whole session is about 45 minutes. This can be varied depending on the length of time allowed for children’s questions.



Outline of content



Primary aim:


* to develop children's understanding of the solar system and the wider universe, especially as regards sizes and distances of objects within and beyond the solar system



Secondary aims:

* to enhance children's knowledge of the planets of the solar system, particularly their ordering and relative sizes

* to develop the Copernican picture of the universe (i.e. we do not occupy a special place - the Earth is not the most important planet in the solar system, the Milky Way contains 100,000,000,000 stars broadly similar to the Sun, the Milky Way is only one of billions of similar galaxies, etc.)

* to give children a sense of the scale of the solar system and the Universe

* to provide examples of the finite speed of light and its use in understanding distances in astronomy

* to correct children's misconceptions regarding space and astronomy



Points to note:

* The story that accompanies the slides in the PowerPoint presentation is described in the script.

* Apparatus details are linked to from the relevant sections of the script (link to apparatus list)

* There is a list of useful facts that will help to answer children’s questions. (link to useful facts to know)

* No special safety precautions are needed.



Misconceptions – ie - points that are often misunderstood

* there is no gravity in space

* the Earth is the biggest planet in the solar system

* the stars are only just beyond the furthest planet

* stars and planets are essentially similar objects



Link to:

* Download PowerPoint Presentation

* Script to accompany PowerPoint presentation

* Apparatus List

* Useful facts to know

* Download Overview, Script, Apparatus List and Useful Facts as a combined Word document for ease of printing



Source: http://www.iop.org/activity/outreach/Resources/Physicists_and_Primary_Schools_Project/Topics/Earth%20and%20the%20Solar%20System/page_19000.html