Physical Sciences

Exploratorium: Sport Science
Why does a curve ball curve? Why does a skateboard stick with a skateboarders' feet during an ollie? Can physics predict the best time to surf? This fun Web site looks at the science behind popular sports.

Exploratorium: Science Snacks: Critical Angle
The Exploratorium also offers a variety of other online science experiments called “Snacks.” These experiments are offered on a variety of science-related topics, including electricity, fluids, and magnetism.

Energy Quest - Energy Education from the California Energy Commission
This comprehensive site from the state of California provides articles about various forms of energy, a timeline of the uses of energy, lesson plans, games, and more.

Amusement Park Physics — Roller Coaster
If you love the thrill of the ride—or even if you don't—here's your chance to design your own roller coaster. Unlike a train, a roller coaster doesn't have its own engine. After it clears that first big hill, a roller coaster has all the energy it needs to keep rolling along the track. In order to reach speeds of up to 60 miles an hour, the roller coaster relies on the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy.

The Atoms Family
At this Web site, you can build a better tomb for the Mummy while learning about energy conservation. You can also help Dracula avoid direct sunlight by using the principles of reflected light. And what's a more fitting place than Frankenstein's Lightning Laboratory to learn about different forms of electricity and electrical safety? Visit the other monsters' rooms for activities based on the principles of atoms and matter, properties of light, waves, and particles, fuel conservation, and energy transfer.

Optics for Kids
Lasers and their uses are only some of many interesting facts students can learn about at the Optics for Kids Web site. Through interesting descriptions and illustrations you'll discover the characteristics and behavior of light that allow it to be used in a wide variety of ways.

Roofus' Solar Home
Take a walking tour of Roofus the Dog's solar house. He'll show you how energy-smart his house is! Roofus takes you into his house, onto his roof, in his garage, and around his backyard. Find out the many things that Roofus does to save energy. For example, he shows you the kinds of light bulbs you can use in your lamps. He also shows you the insulation you can put in your walls. Roofus even gives you fun things that you can do in your backyard to use energy wisely.

LASERS From Science Fiction to Everyday Life
Find out about the many uses of lasers by visiting TheTech Web site, which is part of the online Museum of Innovation. While you're visiting, you can also see a variety of other online exhibits at the museum.

The Tech | Exhibits | Online | The Robot Zoo! | Chameleon
Robots are usually shown in movies and on television as imitating humans. But robots don't have to look like us. The Robot Zoo presents diagrams and descriptions of giant animal robots that have been designed and built to mimic the appearance and behavior of real animals. See how engineers used today's technology—including flat video screens for skin, a microcomputer chip brain, and a spring-loaded tongue that actually catches robot flies—to create a working model of a living chameleon.

The Tech Museum: Robotics: Sensing, Thinking, Acting
This site explains how robots and their electronic parts work. In addition, you can play “At Your Command,” a game that simulates two approaches to robotic exploration: operating a robotic vehicle remotely, or allowing it to work on its own. Two scenarios are provided to help illustrate the advantages (and disadvantages) of each method of operation.

The Boston Museum of Science takes a look at lightning at this Web site. Here you will find a discussion of Benjamin Franklin's famous kite experiment, an explanation of why lightning occurs, and activities you can do in your classroom.