To make Physics Experiments more interesting

Quality education

Physics experiments often seem to deal with measurements only rather than producing interesting phenomena. In our high schools when we are introduced to the physics lab, it starts with making measurements. To emphasize measurements, most often we ignore all those amazing phenomena and therefore their explanations using the laws of physics. And even in the university we only learn to take measurements than observing the phenomenon. Phenomena can be overwhelming to observe, but when it is only about focusing on measurements, students seem to lose interest. Besides, in the science fairs, very few projects are found from fundamental physics. It is most often chemical reactions or producing electricity. When a stone is thrown in the still water a transverse wave is produced. If students are given such instructions that we can measure the associated wavelengths from here. It would be quite interesting as well as students can learn to enjoy experiments. But since students learn to focus on measurements only they can’t understand the true meaning of their findings in the experiments. 

The aim of this project is to make students(high school students and undergrads) interested in phenomena-based experiments with a bit changed curriculum. Where the curriculum is assumed to provide simple and easy experiments while stating new concepts. A student-centered curriculum should be made[1], where the understanding of the laws of physics should be given the highest importance. This project is also aimed to reduce difficulties in learning experiments while making them fruitful for students.

Weekend Goals

Take an experiment and try to find out all possible principles or laws have been using there. Because the laws might be helpful to understand the phenomena. The reverse is also true, i.e., if the phenomena can be understood, underlying laws can be understood too. To understand the laws: 

  • While studying the title, give importance to the title as it gives the hints of experimental instruments and the thing to observed. The apparatus differs as which phenomena is wanted to be observed. Therefore, try to make an assumption about the laws or phenomena from the title.
  • Knowing the structure of experimental instruments or working material and in which purpose such instruments are used, can be very helpful. Also, try to think if any other materials or instruments can be used to perform the same experiment, so that the underlying laws can be verified again.
  • While studying the description of the experiments, be sure that you have understand every single term and meaning. While making observations, give full attention and hence try to compare the observations with fundamental laws. If the phenomena or observation supports any familiar law, then take data and follow next steps. If it seems unfamiliar then try to get the physics behind it. Use external sources to study it.
Skills being sought
  • Curiosity
  • Critical thinking ability
  • Interest in experiments/practical works
  • Understanding the fundamental laws of physics