Chemistry labs can get pricey. Biology labs can be worse, especially if you need to buy a microscope. But physics labs can be their own sort of challenging, depending on the topic you are trying to cover. Since physics covers such a wide range of topics, the setups can be vastly different. One month you need to have circuit boards and a multimeter, another month, your curriculum’s lab manual is asking you to use JP-weld to construct a frictionless track and measure time with digital timing gates. I saw that in our lab manual for a curriculum I love, and I didn’t even research the price of a digital timing gate. I just pulled out Experiences in Physics and substituted a lab that called for a bouncy ball and a yardstick. My student still learns conservation of energy and takes scientific measurements, and I don’t spend the proverbial arm and leg on one child.
The point is, an experiment doesn’t need to be expensive to accomplish the learning objective. It can be done with things you may already have at home or what you can easily pick up at the grocery store or the hardware store. These creative experiments range from friction and energy with matchbox cars to simple circuitry. Build a load bearing structure from popsicle sticks. Run labs with simple machines. Build a calorimeter with styrofoam cups. All real science. Most are able to be run by the student with minimal supervision, too. Added bonus.
You will not plan to do all the experiments in this book! Unless you have a student who hoards electronics in his room and you had to buy him a fire extinguisher and when asked to produce any of the equipment for any lab here, it could all be found under his bed…. maybe that’s just me. Anyhoo, you will pick about one experiment per chapter of the text you are using and you will acquire materials as you go to make the labs happen. Accordingly, there is no kit for this book. There is, however, an answer key in the back, and a lab report writing how-to guide in the front. Use the contact form if you ever have any questions about a lab.
I will tell you, as you can see from the sample pages, that this book has not been revised since the 90s. This science has not changed in a looooong time, and it simply wasn’t worth my time to go through the updating process when I was also trying to homeschool my own physics students. I don’t sell very many of these books. How many homeschoolers are teaching physics at home? I have not encountered many. But for the intrepid few, we are here to make it doable and easier for you with a solid lab manual!
Are you ready to tackle high school physics lab? Let this book help!