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Linking The Real World and Physics

Toys In Space

NASA had fun, taking a number of children's toys into space. Check out what they found. Things behave very differently in Zero-G.

Younger students will enjoy their favorite toys behaving in new ways.

Have older students guess what will happen. Many times, the toy behaves much differently that you would expect.

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Do Science

The Lawrence of Hall of Science has a wide range of science experiments and resources you can use in your classroom.

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SpaceX ISS Docking Simulator

Ever wonder why things move so slowly when astronauts are docking spacecraft? Try docking a SpaceX Dragon 2 vehicle to the International Space Station.

Great for demonstrating physics concepts like orientation, velocity, force and momentum with a real world example. The simulation has a full 6 degrees of freedom and no friction to make things easy. Runs on pretty much any modern browser. Use the F11 key to display the simulation full screen.

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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Lawrence Livermore National Lab has programs for both teachers and students.

The Teacher Research Academy is a professional development program where middle school, high school, and community college science faculty add to their science content knowledge and skills. Their goal is to provide teachers a context to understand how this science is used to solve real, large-scale problems.

Science on Saturday is a series of free lectures and demonstrations intended for middle and high school students, as well as teachers.

What similar resources are available in your area?

Toys In Space 2

NASA has so much fun with Toys In Space, they created a sequel.

Gravity (or a lack thereof) can effect rotation, force, acceleration, magnetism, magnetic fields, center of axis, and velocity as shown in these demonstrations using toys onboard the International Space Station.

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Toys in Space (the book)

Toys in Space by Carolyn Sumners is filled with dozens of toy-building activities that simulate experiments NASA astronauts perform on space shuttle missions. Students compare principles of physics on earth and in space. This gem includes reports from astronauts.

The use of familiar toys has proved motivating.

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Lawrence Berkeley Library

Particle physics is the prime topic at the Lawrence Berkeley Library. While many physics resources can be found on the Web, the interesting feature of this site is the focus on investigation techniques and models. Such alternatives can be compared with models in other science domains.

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