I’m a big fan of simplicity, and if information is presented simply enough for children, there’s a good chance I’ll understand it, too. Even though this site’s target audience is younger students, I think Rader’s Physics4Kids is a very valuable site. It presents several difficult concepts in plain, easy to read language. I often refer to this site when I need assistance explaining a tricky idea to a student.
Put on by the American Physics Society, Physics Central is a fun place to explore everything physics. As a physics teacher, it’s important to keep an ear to the current physics news. This site sorts news and currents stories by physics topic. The “Ask & Experiment” section offers some fun activities and interactions.
Physics.org is great starting place on the web. The site has several sections: Explore, Discover, Study, Careers, and Physics News. It’s created by the Institute of Physics, but puts much more user-friendly face on physics information. Content can be searched by age and knowledge level.
I’m a big fan of their “Marvin and Milo” cartoon series (because science should be cute!):
The Physical Science by Inquiry for Inservice Teachers K-12 program by the University of Cincinnati offers a lot of great things:
- A High Quality Activity-Based Inquiry Program in Physical Science
- Free Tuition and No Fees for Graduate Courses
- A Large Amount of Graduate Course Credit in Physics
- A Cash Stipend
- Free Equipment
- No Previous Background in Physics is Required
- Aid in adopting the new Ohio Science Academic Content Standards
Here’s the official blurb:
This workshop has been specifically designed for inservice science teachers in grades 5-12. No previous background in physics is necessary. The participants will work together in cooperative learning groups to perform hands-on science inquiry activities. The workshop will emphasize learning science content using inquiry activities and be a model for inquiry-based science instruction. Each teacher who participates in the workshop will write inquiry science lessons, which will be shared with all of the other participants. The primary goal of the workshop is to increase student proficiency in science by initiating systemic changes in science instruction. The program uses modules developed by the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington, based on extensive research in physics education. This workshop was developed by Dr. Endorf as a four-week workshop using principles and materials which have been demonstrated to improve student performance in science.The program follows the National Science Education Standards for professional development and will aid teachers in adopting the new Ohio Science Academic Content Standards.
2013 registration isn’t up yet, so check back for that.
PBS TeacherLine offers a variety of professional development for teachers, including many science offerings. The only disadvantage is there is a cost involved. However, you can earn graduate credit, which could be useful for re-certification.
The American Association of Physics Teachers offers a free mentoring program designed to, “connect high school physics educators who desire additional guidance with experienced high school physics educators.” Sounds perfect for someone who is a) teaching physics for the first time and b) is the only physics teacher in the school. I’ve signed up as a mentee, and I’m looking forward to getting a mentor to help guide me.
National Geographic Science is an elementary textbook line, but I thought the information on Science Notebooks and Cooperative Learning were very useful. After all, if a fourth grader can do it, hopefully my high schoolers can! I’ve tried to implement Binders in the past with mixed results, but perhaps this site will give me some additional ideas about how to organize them.
There are also some nice podcasts: Teaching Scientific Inquiry: Exploration, Directed, Guided, and Open-Ended Levels, Levels of Inquiry and the 5Es Learning Cycle Model, Teaching the Nature of Science: Three Critical Questions, and Science through Literacy.