The Physics Petting Zoo

Physics is fun
The University of Kentucky Physics Petting Zoo is a hands-on classroom tool. It consists of 24 stations, each presenting a hands-on physics activity. These are simple and yet instructive, so that all age groups will enjoy interacting with them and learn from them. All components of the Zoo are safe for students to handle and experiment with.

The Physics Petting Zoo is an adjunct to the Online Physics Courses for elementary and middle school teachers, which teach the concepts of physics through hands-on activities (like the ones featured in the Physics Petting Zoo) that can be used in the classroom.

To request a visit to the Physics Petting Zoo, please fill out the form at

Here is a list of the stations in the University of Kentucky Physics Petting Zoo


1) Make It Go circuit boards (3)

(I, II) -Two boards with single circuit elements

(III) -One board with series circuit elements

2) Visible Electric Motor

3) Electromagnet

4) Doorbell


5) Model Camera

6) Optical Toy (cylindrical mirror)

7) Corner Mirror

8) Periscope

9) Retroscope

10) Refraction Bottle

11) Spectroscope

12) Red View / Blue View

13) The Fresnel Lens

14) +/- Mirrors


15) Electromagnet

16) Doorbell

17) Magnets

17) Magnetism can be Contagious

18) Find the Paperclips


19) Pulleys

20) Roller Coaster

21) Balancing Bird

22) Flow Visualization


23) Bottle Divers

24) Make a Vacuum (plunger)


There are some more Zoo stations that are one-of-a-kind. There are described here.


Copyright 2004 Joseph P. Straley and Sally A. Shafer -- The University of Kentucky Physics Petting Zoo