Project-Based Learning in Your Physics Classroom

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Need a fresh approach to physics? Incorporate project-based learning into your classroom to engage students and connect your content to the real world.

As alternative teaching methods are introduced to carry education beyond traditional pedagogy, project-based learning remains at the forefront of the changing education landscape. STEM Jobs has already explored project-based learning in middle-school and Earth science classes, but this student-centered teaching approach is beneficial for students in all subjects. Through applying concepts to assignments that utilize project-based learning, students refine their critical thinking skills, teamwork abilities, and understanding of each part of a solution. Use the following project-based learning activities in the classroom to transform student understanding of physics.

1. Thrilling Physics of Roller Coasters

physicsWhen discussing physics, most students don’t envision thrill-seeking, adrenaline-fueled activities. In the popular roller-coaster-design project-based learning activity, students can use physics concepts to examine the relationships between force, motion, speed, weight, and friction. In an interview with The Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA), Brenda Black, a teacher at Rock Hill Elementary School in Stafford, Va., explains the process and benefits of including the roller-coaster project-based learning activity in her classroom.

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Dorothy Crouch is a California-based writer who has covered many topics such as financial technology, travel and the pet-goods industry. Born and raised in New York City, she pursued her undergraduate degree at Hunter College and an M.S., Publishing degree through Pace University. Combining her love of learning and curiosity of the world, Dorothy studied abroad at Dublin, Ireland’s Trinity College, igniting a passion for travel. Dorothy’s thirst for knowledge and love of learning has led her to travel the world and pursue higher learning, including scuba certification. A lifelong animal lover, Dorothy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their fish and two lovable, spoiled dogs.

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