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Hands on Virtual Physics
Online Physics Courses for Elementary and Middle School Teachers


Light Course

Electricity and Magnetism Course

Temperature and Heat Course

Teacher Comments



  The Virtual Course on Electricity and Magnetism
There are 10 units, as described below. Each unit starts with an exploration (simple qualitative investigations) of the subject of the unit, followed by two activities (more formal investigations, frequently having a quantitative component). The sections "About ..." are a few pages of text and pictures explaining the relevant scientific concepts. The final section "Discussion of ..." presents some questions for the participants to discuss. They email their discussion to the workshop instructors. In addition, many sections have an additional page "Why study (the subject of this unit)?"

Here are the activities of the workshop. Links are given to some sample pages.

  • Fluids
    Exploring flowing fluids; Siphons
  • Current
    Batteries, motors, and light bulbs; circuit diagrams; current direction; making a switch and socket. Science content: about electrical current
  • Direction of electrical current
  • Batteries and capacitors
    Conductors and batteries; capacitors; light-emitting diode; making a battery
  • Concepts of electricity
    A recapitulation of the topics of the first four units. (This is the first unit of the second module)
    light-emitting diode, capacitors
  • Resistance
    Conductors and insulators; resistors; resistors and capacitors.
  • Circuits
    Series circuits and parallel circuits
  • Magnetic field
    Compass; Magnetic field; Mapping the magnetic field
  • Magnets
    Magnets; interaction of magnets; Range of the magnetic force; Behavior of iron
  • Electromagnetism
    Currents and magnets; Making an electromagnet; Making a motor; Inducing a voltage





alt=Joseph Straley
Joseph P. Straley
Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0055
(859) 257-3197