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An Educator’s Blog

This “world physics lab” blog is devoted to helping educators find and communicate hands-on physics labs that utilize inexpensive equipment and materials.  The idea of “Familiar Physics” is to demystify the subject.  It becomes more ‘familiar’ and less expensive when experiments are built using locally available materials.

There are several good reasons for using familiar materials in Physics Lab. Today’s technology can easily obscure the underlying causes and mechanisms beneath layers of sensors, micro-mechanics, and software.  Whereas, much of classical physics was developed  in order to study the familiar around us.  Using familiar stuff demystifies the concepts and promotes creativity.  My favorite example is what a student said, after making a loudspeaker from just a Neodymium magnet, a piece of paper, and a coil —
“You mean –  that’s all it is?”

You Are Invited …

to contribute your favorite low-cost, hands-on physics experiments.  I can help by editing  and formatting them to fit.  Please enter a comment that includes your email address, and I will contact you and request your submission.   Thanks in advance for helping to make this blog a resource for better science education!

The ‘world’ in this blog

Why ‘world’ physics?  We want to promote the physics of the familiar world.  We think the hands-on approach is a great Active Learning pathway into the human mind.

And the ‘world’ is the reality we live in:  Most community colleges and public high schools in the United States today are suffering with very low budgets.  This makes fancy scientific equipment for labs inaccessible.

As for foreign countries, educators in less-industrialized countries usually make do without any lab equipment at all.  Physics courses have to be delivered purely as theoretical subjects.  Our purpose here is to develop and promote physics labs tailored to low budgets and local materials worldwide.  The vision is to encourage and better retain scientific and engineering talent in those countries, increase local technology development, and help build local entrepreneurship the better to meet home markets.

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