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Physics C Labs

Important Notes

Paradigm lab is a guided inquiry lab that introduces a topic and/or relationship. The paradigm is a useful example that students can think of when recalling how the objects in this topic of physics behave. A practicum is a real-world challenge, where students collaborate to solve a physics problem by investigating an apparatus.

As you read through the list below, click the links to learn more! 

There are lots of other versions of these labs out there if you Google the right terms. 

This is a website FOR TEACHERS! Some of these links lead to very "Cookbook"-style labs. I am NOT ADVOCATING Cookbook labs for students. I am pointing you to resources that can help you plan your own labs. Sometimes teachers need the cookbook instructions to get started. I am also not saying you should do all of these. These are just some labs you could consider. 



Constant Velocity cart or Bowling Ball Across the floor. (Paradigm)

Cart/ball on a ramp (Paradigm)

Meeting Point (Practicum)
(too easy for C students unless done very early in the course, a bit harder if you use a ramp and have it run into a CV cart from behind or in front)

Sliding Chain (Paradigm) (requires calculus)

Practicum: Hit the target with projectile shooter. 


Half-Atwood's Lab (Half-Atwood's Video) OR Atwood's Machine (Paradigm)

Sliding Friction

Virtual lab (but you can do it for real like this, or with spring scales)

Uniform Circular Motion

Practicum: Flying Pig Lab

Impulse and Momentum


Practicum: Unknown mass    


Video Analysis spinning wheel with constant velocity and accelerated by a torque (video analysis labs)

Walton APSI - See attached Files below for Pasco Rotational Dynamics

Rotational Inertia and Dynamics (Reif version) Rotational Dynamics (Vernier version)

Rotational Energy

Paradigm: Hoop and Disk Set AND discussion of the lab
(roll down ramp, find speed discrepancy with object sliding same distance)


Simple pendulum (Also a great first day lab! Not kidding)

Electricity and Magnetism






A fun activity, Johnson Motor (only thing you maybe can't get locally is magnet wire) OR buy a kit from Arbor

Marc Reif,
Jun 21, 2017, 8:02 AM
Marc Reif,
Jun 21, 2017, 8:03 AM