Kendall Hunt Publishing


Physics that Works Teacher Guide

Author(s): Technical Education Research Center

Edition: 1

Copyright: 2006



The Teacher Guide provides guidelines for facilitating activities and assigning student readings and job sheets. It also identifies key concepts and skills, presents both traditional and alternative assessment procedures and skills, and lists materials and equipment used in student activities and teacher demonstrations. 


The Job Sheets and Teacher Resource CD-ROM is included with the Teacher Guide and contains the following: 

  • Job Sheets for each activity 
  • What Have You Learned? sheets for each chapter 
  • Individual Assessment Questions for each chapter 
  • Student Activity Spreadsheets to be utilized by students  
  • Material Lists 

Curriculum Structure 

There are five units in the year-long Physics That Works curriculum. Each unit is based on an extended project that runs throughout the three or four chapters of the unit. Further, each project is divided into sequential "milestones:" chapter-ending tasks where students consolidate what they have learned, create a product, and explicitly demonstrate their understanding of the material and their skills. 


Unit 1 Kinematics: Toys in Motion 

Students assume the role of an engineer as they design, construct, and test a motion toy. After measuring and graphing its position, velocity, and acceleration, students compare their creation's performance to that of other motion toys and analyze consumer expectations in preparation for release to the marketplace. 


Unit 2 Forces and Motion: On the Road Again 

Student engineering teams design and conduct performance tests for all-terrain-vehicle tire treads, using wagons as test vehicles. While they carry out this project, students learn how friction and other forces affect tire performance under varied terrain conditions and during cornering. 


Unit 3 Electricity and Simple Circuits: Restoring a Heartbeat 

Here students employ their knowledge of energy, charge, and voltage to meet another challenge. They design, construct, and test an electric circuit similar to the one that controls a portable defibrillator: a battery-run device that restores an erratically beating heart to a normal rhythm.   


Unit 4 Generators and Diodes: Building a Better Bike Light 

As an inventor at the Green Machine, the students' job is to improve the function of a generator-powered bike light so that it will remain lit when they aren't pedaling. Applying their understanding of electricity and magnetism, students modify the bike-light circuitry, creating an environmentally friendly and safer bike light.  


Unit 5 Energy: Live from WPTW! 

The students' final project is to build, test, and operate a transmitter and receiver so that they can "broadcast" a series of notes from an instrument, which they will also construct. As students build a "miniature radio station," they will broaden their understanding about work, energy, power, and sound. 


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