Exploring the Optics of everyday gadgets

Who hasn’t seen the kids walking to school with their cute little warning stripes all over their jackets and backpacks. But why do gadgets like warning stripes or safety vests even light up, no matter from which direction the headlights come from? Obviously, there’s no mirror tied to the backpack or the vest but what is it? Here’s an idea on how students can explore the optics of safety vests and find out about a phenomenon called retro-reflection.

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Floating Paper Clips

Is it science or is it magic? It is probably both and this makes experiments like the floating paper clips so fascinating and fun to implement in the science classroom. You can try it yourself and have your students debate about the experiment. With a little caution they can even make paper clips float on the water themselves.

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Another physics toy! The magical everturning spinning top

This is a tough one to figure out but goes perfectly with my last experiment, the electric motor. And with this being said, I think I already might have given you an idea on how to explain this amazing physics toy.

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Simple model of an electric motor

There is nothing more satisfying than building your own model of already functioning technology to understand the mechanisms behind it. In today’s post I’ll show you how you can build your own model of an electric engine.

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The Candle Elevator

Using phenomena in science classroom as a means to spark inquiry is a great way to start a lesson or even a unit. Besides the easy access to the physics and science behind the phenomenon, science content can be distributed as well as scientific processes. Students not only learn about basic principles, they also learn scientific inquiry and reasoning as well as experimental skills.

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The drinking bird or how toys promote science learning

Science Education profits heavily from toys like the drinking bird or fuel cell toy vehicles. Positive memories from childhood playing and natural curiousity spark children’s interest in the toy and therefore in the content, when used accordingly. Giving them time to explore hands-on is the perfect way of every science teacher into the heart of their students.

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Using a Mistery Tube to foster Understanding of Scientific Processes

The goal of STEM subjects is not only to provide scientific knowledge but also to establish an understanding of how scientifists work, how scientific knowledge is established and why scientists use models and theories. There are so many different approaches to establish this Nature of Science knowledge in classrooms and besides historical examples or interviews with Scientists, I really enjoy having students develop their own models and theories and test them out. This can be done with a Mistery Tube, a Tube with strings that are somehow connected within.

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How to stack Liquid into a Layer Tower

You’ve probably all heard of how different liquids like water and oil have different densities and this makes them hard mixing together. But when was the last time you actually took the time to admire this effect and created something this magical with science. You can do it today and here is how:

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Thermal Imaging Cameras

Isn‘t it amazing, how technology can show us so much more than the reality we see with our eyes? I love love love working with our thermal imaging camera! As you can see, I can combine coffee drinking and experimenting and that means fun (and, depending on the amount of caffeine maybe even fast fun).

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