Physics is no easy science to teach or learn, we're not going to lie. Yet, Physics is equally fascinating and any budding scientist who begins exploring this science is propelled to ask more questions and learn more about the contents this branch of science covers.
Physics is a branch of science that studies matter and motion (from the smallest particles and atoms to the largest stars and our solar system), and how these interact with energy and forces. Physics is a huge and fairly challenging subject that incorporates many branches, such as electricity, astronomy, motion, waves, sound, and light.
But who doesn't love to be challenged and to overcome? And why is it important for children to know about the world in such scientific detail?
School Science isn't normally described by young students as a 'fun' subject, and Physics is usually seen as a more challenging area of science.
However, with the use of science games, experiments, and other fun activities to help to explain Physics, most children would agree that it is a fascinating hands-on science to study both in the classroom or at home. Most kids grow up loving space, cars, airplanes and so on, and this interest in mechanics and motion will be fueled further by learning about the important matters covered by a Physics curriculum.
Physicists, who are scientists that specialise in Physics, use scientific tests and research to explain how the world around us works, which is fascinating for all, no matter your age. Many of our modern technologies have derived from scientific discoveries, and engineers within this field use physics to help design components of an airplane, cars, satellites, buildings, and electronics such as computers and mobile phones.
To recap, below are the main topics that children and adults alike will study as part of any Physics course, as they get set to become a physicist:
- Work and Energy
- Waves and Sound
- Light and Optics
- Nuclear Physics and Relativity
Now let's find out more about how resources that can be accessed online can contribute positively to teaching Physics to young students!
Where Can Kids Learn About Physics Online?
Of course, young students are best taught by a professional teacher, who has experience of teaching Physics topics led by the current national curriculum and in line with the examination that the pupil will be taking at the end of the course. However, there are many benefits to students learning important science facts in the classroom and then using their own initiative to find further worksheets, resources and experiment ideas to read about and try at home too.
One of the best places for online learning is the educational site, BBC Bitesize.
This page introduces GCSE aged students to Physics (single science study option) and covers a range of relevant topics in an easy to understand way. A great aspect of the website put together by experts, is that students can select their exam board for their discipline and know with confidence that they everything they are learning about on these online pages is connected to their specific course. The options include:
- OCR 21st Century
- OCR Gateway
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Taking the first exam board, AQA, as an example, here is what you will find in terms of study and revision areas:
- Changes in energy stores
- Work, power and efficiency
- Energy and heating
- Energy demands
Sample exam questions - Energy
- Electric circuits
- Mains electricity
- Static electricity
- Sample exam questions - Electricity
Particle model of matter
- Density of materials
- Temperature changes and energy
- Particles in gases
- Sample exam questions - Particle model of matter
- Models of the atom
- Atoms, isotopes and ions
- Radioactive decay
- Uses and dangers of radiation
- Nuclear fission and fusion
- Sample exam questions - Atomic structure
- Scalar and vector quantities
- Contact and non-contact forces
- Forces and elasticity
- Moments, levers and gears
- Pressure in fluids
- Describing motion
- Forces, acceleration and Newton's Laws
- Momentum - Higher
- Sample exam questions - Forces
- Properties of waves
- Transverse and longitudinal waves
- Reflection and refraction
- Sound and ultrasound - Higher
- Black body radiation
- Sample exam questions - Waves
Magnetism and electromagnetism
- Magnetic fields
- Electromagnetic induction - Higher
- Transformers - Higher
- Sample exam questions - Magnetism and electromagnetism
- The Solar System
- The life cycle of a star
- The expanding Universe
- Sample exam questions - Space physics
- Practical skills
Ducksters is an education website aimed at young pupils, as you will see as soon as you land on the site. The bright and cheerful design, along with its simple layout really appeals to younger learners, especially the little duckling characters that pop up on each page! The creators of the site rely on the support of teachers and parents, with a friendly message appearing on your screen asking for them to follow them on all of their social networks.
Not only does Ducksters offer really useful science facts, it also provides students with the chance to play games and complete quizzes on their chosen subject.
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In the words of the little ducks themselves:
"Physics explains how the world around us works. Many of our modern technologies are based off of scientific discoveries made in the science of physics. Engineers use physics to help design airplanes, cars, buildings, and electronics such as computers and cell phones."
Some of the interesting things that students can learn about are, for example, the important discoveries in Physics:
- Nicholas Copernicus - discovered that the Earth rotates around the Sun.
- Galileo - demonstrated that heavy objects do not fall faster than lighter ones in his famous Leaning Tower of Pisa experiment.
- Isaac Newton - published the three laws of motion and explained how gravity works.
- John Dalton - described the atom and the atomic theory of matter.
- Albert Einstein - published the theory of relativity.
- Max Planck - described quantum theory.
Physics 4 Kids
Rader's Physics 4 Kids is not just physics for kids, it's for everyone who wants to learn some of the basics of Physics and more.
The website offers information on motion, heat and thermodynamics, electricity & magnetism, light, and modern physics topics.
So, if you are asking yourself, "what is physics?", then this site can give you some answers to this big question and all of the others that may surface as a result!
"Everything in the universe has an effect on every other thing. Physicists study those effects. Physics is a science that relates to all other sciences: Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Astronomy, Meteorology, Engineering, etc. If you can name it, chances are physics is involved.
Everything on Earth, everything in our solar system, everything in our galaxy, and everything in the Universe moves and interacts, and forces play a big part in that. Physics studies those forces and interactions. Let's get started and look inside the physics of motion called classical mechanics. Go take a look!"
The different areas to explore on Physics 4 Kids, include:
- Electricity & Magnetism
- Light & Optics
- Modern Physics
- Activities & Quizzes
Science 4 Fun
Science 4 Fun is yet another website that is designed to help students learn about Physics, among other scientific branches such as Chemistry and Biology, and uses imagery like vector images to make the learning experience a bit more fun and easier to take in.
"Did you know? The gravity of the moon is much less than the Earth. A man weighing 70 kg on Earth would weight only 11.5 kg on the moon.
Did you know? The speed of the sound is about 1230 kilometer per hour.
Did you know? Things float in the water because they are less dense than it."
Among the topics covered by this informative website are:
- Heat Transfer
- Laws of Motion
- Mass and Weight
- Speed and Velocity
- What is Friction
If you find these online resources useful, then you will be pleased to learn that there is a lot more where they came from! The Internet is a brilliant source of information for any subject, but just be sure to look at the accredited websites or those educational sites aimed at students.
Brush up on your Physics skills with the use of these and then you can blow your own trumpet when you go into your next Physics lesson and impress your teacher!
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