Using Physical Science Gadgets and Gizmos, Grades 6-8: Phenomenon-Based Learning

by: Matthew Bobrowsky, Mikko Korhonen, and Jukka Kohtamäki

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What student—or teacher—can resist the chance to experiment with Rocket Launchers, Sound Pipes, Drinking Birds, Dropper Poppers, and more? The 35 experiments in Using Physical Science Gadgets and Gizmos, Grades 6–8, cover topics including pressure and force, thermodynamics, energy, light and color, resonance, and buoyancy.

The authors say there are three good reasons to buy this book:

1. To improve your students’ thinking skills and problem-solving abilities.
2. To get easy-to-perform experiments that engage students in the topic.
3. To make your physics lessons waaaaay more cool.

The phenomenon-based learning (PBL) approach used by the authors—two Finnish teachers and a U.S. professor—is as educational as the experiments are attention-grabbing. Instead of putting the theory before the application, PBL encourages students to first experience how the gadgets work and then grow curious enough to find out why. Students engage in the activities not as a task to be completed but as exploration and discovery.

The idea is to help your students go beyond simply memorizing physical science facts. Using Physical Science Gadgets and Gizmos can help them learn broader concepts, useful thinking skills, and science and engineering practices (as defined by the Next Generation Science Standards). And—thanks to those Sound Pipes and Dropper Poppers—both your students and you will have some serious fun.

For more information about hands-on materials for Using Physical Science Gadgets and Gizmos, visit Arbor Scientific at

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