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How to Make Physics Interesting for Your Students with Real World Examples

by Oct 1, 2016Physics

Physics is a complex and technical subject that a lot of students struggle to understand. Physics teachers are perpetually plagued by students who are completely disinterested in the subject because they have failed to understand even the most rudimentary Physics concepts. Students are normally afraid of Physics because they have a weak foundation of basic concepts. To them, Physics becomes a maze of confusing theories and incomprehensible numerical that look like gibberish.
The only way to solve this problem is to go back to the basics and find ways to explain basic Physics to students in a manner that is simple and relatable. Physics teachers and tutors are now trying to reinvent the way they teach Physics in order to incorporate more real world examples in their lessons. This makes Physics more relatable and interesting for students. To make it more interesting student may follow the online professional sites for examples.
Here are some ways you can incorporate real world examples into your lesson plan in order to make Physics more interesting for your students:

  1. Use anecdotes:
  • Everybody loves a good story. The easiest way to begin a new Physics chapter is with the help of an anecdote.
  • No matter how dry the subject is, there is nothing like a funny anecdote to liven it up.
  • Stick to the original story for the basic principle, but feel free to add personal flair in the form of dramatizations and character details wherever you see fit.
  • Whether it is the story of Newton and the apple, Aristotle eureka moment in the bathtub or Benjamin Franklin’s kite experiment, students love anecdotes.
  • It is a good idea to begin new topics with the help of an anecdote as it piques the interest of the students.
  • Don’t just stick to old anecdotes, use contemporary real world examples with roller coasters, cars and other everyday objects to make theory classes more relatable.
  • If you begin with a complicated formula, chances are, half your class will be asleep within the first fifteen minutes.
  • Children are intimidated by things that they cannot understand and do not relate to. This is your chance to break down complicated principles into simple, relatable bits of information that are easier for students to assimilate.
  1. Use demonstrations:
  • Some Physics concepts are difficult to understand without the help of a demonstration.
  • You can begin a new chapter in the Physics lab with a demonstration.
  • Students find demonstrations very interesting because they can see physical proof of the theoretical concepts that they are studying.
  • Even if you don’t go to the Physics lab, you can carry simple props to class to demonstrate certain aspects of Physics concepts.
  • Students respond well to the visual drama associated with demonstrations. It can be as simple as pouring yourself a glass of water when you’re teaching a class on the states of matter.
  • If you’re feeling more adventurous, try other simple in class experiments to demonstrate concepts like centrifugal force, surface tension and so many others.
  • If you begin a new chapter with such experiments you immediately have the students hooked. You may also incorporate experiments in between lessons to keep students interested as they know the class will end with an experiment.
  1. Make numericals sound like word problems:
  • Students are terrified of Physics numerical mostly because they do not understand them.
  • If the numerical looks like Latin and Greek to them, they will be too intimidated to even attempt to solve it.
  • Further, if they don’t understand it, they will be uninterested in the outcome.
  • Real world examples are a great way to make Physics numericals more relatable.
  • Find ways to make the numerical sound like word problems. Include real world details like familiar names, places and interesting situations to help students relate to the problem.
  • Students are drawn to the slightest sign of irreverence or references to pop culture. So include contemporary TV personalities, music or sports to make the numerical interesting.
  • Getting the students interested in Drake and Rihanna travelling at different speeds is a lot easier than getting them to care about the speed of X and Y.
  • Not all students miss deadlines or submit their Physics numerical assignments late because they are disinterested. Some simply have trouble managing their time. They could benefit from these Effective time management tips to help you meet your homework deadlines.
  1. Encourage field trips:
  • Field trips are another great way to show students the practical real world applications of Physics concepts.
  • Whether it is a science fair, a science museum or a visit to a factory plant, students love field trips.
  • Most students respond well to anything that breaks the monotony of daily classes and field trips do just that.
  • If it is difficult for you to obtain permission from the school board and from guardians to take the students on a field trip, then encourage them to visit simple installations by themselves. Keep them informed if you hear of a science fair.
  • You can even take them around the school campus to show them various practical applications of Physics concepts. Just be sure to work it into your lesson plan. For example you could demonstrate force and simple machines with the help of a humble swing set and see-saw.
  • The options are endless if you can think out of the box.
  1. Assign interesting projects:
  • Students hate homework and assignments. The only way to get them interested in their projects is by assigning topics that are likely to be of particular interest to them.
  • Encourage them to come up with their own experiments to demonstrate principles they are learning in class.
  • Assign topics that will require some field work or lab work. Students enjoy completing assignments that include more than just writing dry theory and solving complex numericals.
  • Base your topic on real world examples that children are curious about.
  • Include everyday objects like balloons, see- saws, magnets or water so that a practical demonstration is part of their assignment.

So use these tips to make physics interesting for your students with real world examples. Remember to think out of the box and innovate as that is the key to helping students fall in love with Physics.