Hope College: Physics Outreach

Hope College

Contact Information


Hope College is working on the development and implementation of a traveling science outreach program. The Hope Creative Science Initiative (Hope CSI) outreach program aims to offer physics demonstrations and hands-on experience for schools in the Holland, MI area. by presenting physics in a fun and exciting way, we hope to get rid of the "scary" stigma associated with physics.

Hope CSI will initially focus on physics at the high school level with in-school demonstrations and associated curricular materials. We hope to grow the program to multidisciplinary sciences at various educational levels and include further teacher resources and professional development opportunities.

Please find below several links to existing science outreach programs that travel to schools in their area. These programs and experiments will be used to help model the developing Hope CSI Program.

Hope College students will play an active role in developing and implementing the Hope CSI. Dr. Cathy Mader developed a successful outreach program at Michigan State University as a graduate student and is now leading the Hope physics outreach effort.  Dr. Koch will be acting as director of the program to organize and coordinate experiments at area high schools.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Additional Links

  • Michigan State University Science Theatre: Science Theatre is an outreach organization run by Michigan State University student volunteers. We bring entertaining science demonstrations to the general public to spark their interest in science. Our performances demonstrate basic scientific concepts and inspire audience members to develop an appreciation for science in their everyday lives.
  • Purdue's Department of Physics Educational Assistance, Resources and Learning Strategies (PEARLS): PEARLS brings the excitement of physical science to many students who would not otherwise be exposed to physics. It also encourages teachers and parents to motivate students to pursue careers in science, engineering, and technology. They offer a week long hands on program for K-12 schools (Focus on Science), as well as traveling demos (Physics on the Road FunFest). Teacher handbooks of the experiments are available online.
  • Society of Physics Students (SPS) Science Outreach Catalyst Kits (SOCKs): SOCKs are annual exploratory activities designed for SPS Chapters and collegiate physics departments to use in outreach presentations to local elementary, middle and high school students. The programs come with user guides and curriculum materials.
  • American Physical Society (APS) PhysicsQuest: PhysicsQuest is a story-based activity that exposes middle school students to the fun and relevance of science. APS provides a free PhysicsQuest kit to registered 6-9th grade physical science classes, home school groups, science clubs, and after-school programs. The kit includes a user's manual and materials for four physics experiments.
  • Little Shop of Physics at Colorado State University: The Little Shop of Physics is a collection of 200+ hands-on science experiments that are designed to be used by students at all grade levels, K-16. Experiments and resources for teachers are available online all hoping to show that science is something anyone can do.
  • University of Pittsburgh Physics Department's "How Does A Thing Like That Work" (HDATLTW): HDATLTW is an entertaining, partially interactive physics demonstration lecture consisting of the more visual and dramatic demonstrations from an introductory physics course. Demonstrations from the areas of classical mechanics, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and the physics of the atmosphere are used.
  • University of Maryland's Physics is Phun: The PHYSICS IS PHUN program goes to local area schools providing more than 360 traveling physics demonstration programs. Each program is customed for the particular group and level to which it is presented. Programs vary widely, from entertainment at a PTA or Science Fair, to inspiration at the beginning of a classroom science unit, a detailed lesson using materials not generally available to the teachers, or a summary at the end of a unit with some indication of more advanced extensions of the concepts studied.
  • Physics Demonstrations: This list of several college and university physics demo webpages. This can be a good resource to help find demonstrations that apply to specific learning modules.
  • Michigan Department of Education Merit Curriculum - Sciences: In preparation for implementation of the new high school graduation requirements, the Michigan Department of Education, in collaboration with partners across the state, has developed Course/Credit Content Expectations to provide all educators with a common understanding of what high school students should know and be able to do at the completion of each credit/course.
  • Other Physics Outreach Programs: An extensive list of outreach programs in other areas with a variety of experiments and supplemental materials.
  • Battle Creek Area Mathematics and Science Center: This outreach program was developed to increase involvement of students, teachers, parents, and administrators in surrounding communities in learning and teaching mathematics and science.
  • Physics First: In an effort to rethink the order of science education in high schools. Physics First seeks to put physics education early in a students' high school career. This site is loaded with links to physics texts, developed curriculum, etc. An excellent resource for teachers!
  • Physics for Elementary Teachers: Physics for Elementary Teachers (PET) is designed for prospective elementary teachers or as an in-service program for practicing teachers that includes: - a strong technology component - one coherent curriculum - Understanding of Physics Content, the Nature of Science , Elementary Students’ Ideas and Learning About Learning
  • Comprehensive Conceptual Curriculum for Physics (C3P): C3P offers an integrated approach to physics content, instructional materials, and pedagogy. It is a research-based curriculum developed at the Department of Physics at the University of Dallas. The project is available on a single CD-ROM that includes both the curriculum and resource materials. C3P was designed for students in grades 9 through 12, but it contains an assortment of resources, making it flexible enough to accommodate a variety of teachers and students.
  • Constructing Physics Understanding (CPU): CPU is aimed at creating laboratory and computer-based materials that support a learning environment in which students take primary responsibility for developing a valid and robust knowledge about physics. Curriculum units and simulation software available.
  • FREE web seminars by NSTA: NSTA Web Seminars are 90-minute, live professional development experiences that use online learning technologies to allow participants to interact with nationally acclaimed experts, NSTA Press authors, and scientists, engineers, and education specialists from NSTA government partners such as NASA, NOAA, FDA, and the NSDL.
  • NSTA Stop Faking It! Series: Several books in the Stop Faking It! Finally Understanding Science So You Can Teach It Series. Scroll to the bottom of this site for the complete series list.
  • It's About Time Curricula: Each of It's About Time's Standards-based, inquiry-based, and integrated curricula were funded by the National Science Foundation ... and researched for effectiveness. All are supported by our Professional Development Department. The approved Lab Equipment from our Material Kits Division assures you that the lesson plans and activities included in the Math and Science curricula will be successful in the classroom.
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