April is Earth Month and it’s also science fair season–time to think science projects and hands-on science fun. Unfortunately, the most interesting sciences–physics, physical science, technology and robotics–are often taught in boring ways. And that’s sad because research continually shows how important STEM activities (science, technology, engineering and math) are for kids. Physics studies how things work and explores motion, energy, machinery (and it might surprise you as to what is considered a machine), lightwaves, sound waves, radio waves, magnetism and more. Physical science is the most enjoyable science to teach because it’s easy to demonstrate, can be taught using found stuff around the house, gives students lots of feeling of success and connects well to math, geometry, algebra and other STEM activities. Here are not-dull free printable physical science activities, lesson plans, experiments, worksheets, vocabulary cards, puzzles and games to make physical science the most popular subject in school!
NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) offers a plethora of free printable physics lesson plans. Some must be ordered but there are many free printable science activities are available online. Concepts include space travel, solar system, robotics education, technology, physics, astronomy and more. There are free printable solar system physics activities featuring Disney Pixar’s WALL-E called Mapping the Moon with WALL-E. Click on the links “K-4 Guide” and “5-8 Guide” for printable teacher materials and lesson plans. A popular free robotics education activity is the Mission to Mars Curiosity Rover packet that include games, coloring pages, 3D models to cut and paste, quizzes, worksheets and extensions,
Cornell University Cooperative Extension partners with 4-H to provide 4-H Robotics education program. 4-H Robotics education includes physics simulations, robotics education and physical science games. There are hands-on and virtual online physical science activities. There’s a charge for materials but some free activities. These STEM activities could be used for Destination Imagination programs.
The SMILE program (from the Illinois Institute of Technology) is a warehouse of free printable STEM activities, robotics education activities and physics lesson plans, Science lesson plans cover basic physical science concepts like weather, water, states of matter, Periodic Table of the Elements, friction, gravity, mass, inertia, electricity and magnetism. Smithsonian Science and Technology has free printable physics lesson plans that correlate with exhibits in the Smithsonian museums. There are many free printable physical science activities on flight, aviation and rocketry.
The Michigan Science Center offers free printable physical science activities to help students extend their experience at the museum or use as stand-alone lessons. Activities are perfect for elementary physics, science and machine technology classes. MIT is the leader in universities of higher education in science. Here are free MIT video lectures, demonstrations and interviews that students could really benefit from in their physical science studies. The Henry Ford has a huge collection of free printable STEM activities and educator resources on science, history and physics, from the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village and Rouge Factory in Dearborn, Michigan.
Nobel Prize offers up-to-date, scholarly physical science lesson plans. This site features online games developed around the work of the Noble Laureates. The Nobel Pprize in Physics is awarded annually and the website is an excellent reference for interactive physical science activities.