Quest for Education and Arts
Provides unique and experiential education opportunities through collaboration with community experts and use of emerging technology to offer the best possible training for every student.

Physics for Phun

The course will begin with the laws of motion and simple machines. We will continue to explore the areas of optics, gravity, light, sound, waveforms, electricity and solar power.

Physics for Phun - $15/class minimum suggested donation

Teacher:  Karen Roat


TA : Becky Thai


September 12, 2017

Today we covered:

  • Introductions and orientation
  • What is Physics?
  • Linear motion - speed and velocity

Homework due September 19, 2017 at the beginning of class:

Read Chapter 1 in The World of Physics by John Hudson Tiner ( Attached)

Answer questions 1-9 at the end of the chapter on a separate sheet of paper.( Attached)

Email Leigh Elkins at to get your login and password

Login to  and complete "Speed Calculations Homework for Physics for Phun Session 1"  and submit.

Next week: Speed, Velocity, and Lab reports

September 19, 2017

Today we covered:

  • Speed calculations and manipulating the equation to find distance and time
  • Distance, displacement, velocity and speed
  • Free Body Diagrams
  • Forces
  • Beginning of speed lab and lab write ups

Homework due September 26, 2017 at the beginning of class:

Next week: Speed Lab, Introduction to acceleration

September 26, 2017

Today in class we:

  • Reviewed force body diagrams
  • Reviewed speed, velocity, distance, and displacement
  • Went over writing lab reports
  • Did a speed lab

For homework:

  • Finish the speed lab report we started in class. Finish the average speed calculations and describe your results. Then, complete the discussion section. Make sure you address the topics listed on your lab sheet under discussions. For this lab, you do NOT need to type up your lab report. You will turn in your report next class.
  • Read Chapter 2 In Exploring the World of Physics. (Attached) This is a lot of reading, you may want to split it into 2 days.
  • Answer the questions 1-18 at the end of the chapter. (Attached) Answer on a separate piece of paper. They are due at the beginning of class.

Next week:

  • Acceleration : Definition, calculations, demonstrations, and activity
  • Forces
  • Review of Chapter 2

October 3, 2017

What we did in class:

  • Chapter 2 review game
  • Acceleration Power Point
  • Acceleration demonstrations and discussions
  • Practice with calculating acceleration
  • Activity: Calculating your acceleration

Homework for due next week:

Next week: 

  • Newton's First Law of Motion
  • Inertia
  • Introduction to Passenger and Vehicle Lab

October 10, 2017

What we covered this week:

  • Newton's First Law of Motion
  • Friction
  • Inertia


Lab Preparation:

If you haven't yet, print out the Passenger and Vehicle lab sheet.

Read the lab sheet.

 On a separate sheet of paper, sketch and describe in a paragraph the restraint you are going to build.

If you need us to bring materials, let me know by Friday afternoon. ( You can also bring your own materials.

Review Chapter 2 in the text book. Answer Laws of Motion Part 2 questions on Quia.

Next Week:

We will continue with friction, inertia, Newton's First Law of Motion, and begin the Passenger and Vehicle Lab.

If you haven't, please print out Newton's First Law Demonstrations and Friction Experience.  We will use them in class.

October 17, 2017

What we covered:

  • Inertia
  • Friction
  • Newton's First Law
  • Presentation of restraint designs


Homework: Come ready to build and test your design. If you need any special materials, bring them with you to class or email me by no later than Friday afternoon.

Next Week: 

We will finish our exploration of Newton's First Law of Motion andbuild and test your passenger and vehicle restraints. 


October 24, 2017

What we did in class:

Review of how to describe examples of inertia

Building and testing of restraints for Passenger and Vehicle Activity



Please note that homework has been trickling in slowly at times. I have been waiting for everyone to learn the system, which everyone should know by now. So, from now on, you have a week to turn in late work, which will receive 20% fewer points. After one week, it will be given 0 points, except in the case of an excused absence. It is important that you learn to plan your time and get your work in when it is due. 


1. Finish the questions on the Passenger and Vehicle sheets that you printed out and we used in class. Turn them in next week at the beginning of class.


2.Check your grade for the in class inertia quiz. If you would like to improve your grade, watch the attached video and describe how the first five examples show inertia. Count the little hoop and big hoop demonstration as one example. Make sure you talk about objects at rest, objects in motion, forces that change the motion etc. Here is the link:

3. Watch the following videos and answer the questions on the Newton's First Law of Motion worksheet that you printed out. ( If you don't have it, go to the link above) I will collect them at the beginning of class and we will discuss them.  - broom and egg - inertia table - astro blaster

Next week we will learn about Newton's Second Law of Motion


October 31, 2017

What we covered in class today:

  • Newton's First Law of Motion, Inertia
  • Mass vs Volume
  • Newton's Second Law of Motion Force=Mass x Acceleration


1. Look through the Powerpoints below to review what we did in class. (Attached)

2. Come up with 5 situations in everyday life where Newton's Second Law applies. Describe them on a sheet of notebook paper and explain how the Second Law is shown in each situation. Make sure to use the words "force", "mass" and "acceleration". Turn in at the beginning of class.

3. Print out the Marble Mass Lab sheets. (attached) Read all the pages. Go back to the first page and fill in the blanks. Bring all the pages to class as we will be doing the experiment. 

4. Watch this video on YouTube. What do you think the mass of the light colored can is compared to the dark color can? Why? What is the force? Which can has the greater acceleration? Write your answers on a sheet of notebook paper. Turn it in at the beginning of class.

Next week:

Marble Mass Lab and review of Newton's Second Law of Motion. 


Dr. Thai will be teaching the class because I will be out of town.


November 7, 2017

Announcements - Nov 6-8

Important Class News for you

  • I expect a long line of you coming to see me about your proposed science fair projects.   You will be receiving a BIG bonus in this class for participating in science fair.   Make sure you come see me.   Dr. Thai

What we covered in class today:

  • Newton's Second Law of Motion Force=Mass x Acceleration


1. IN PENCIL, please complete the lab sheet we worked on in class.     We will be going over these questions next week to be sure you are accurately answering the intent of the questions.

2. QUIA: Session 5 Homework: Newton's Laws of Motion

Next week:

 Newton's Third Law of Motion. 

Print and Bring to Class:


November 14, 2017

What we covered:

Newton's Third Law of Motion



  • Quia Session 6 homework
  • Print out Lab sheets for both the Dart Truck and Helicopter Labs
  • Watch Videos for Impulse and Momentum 



Read Chapter 3, " Gravity" and do the questions at the end of the chapter on a separate sheet of paper

Yes, it is more than usual, but you have two weeks! :) 


Happy Thanksgiving! 

November 21, 2017

No Class


November 28, 2017

What we covered:

  • Momentum
  • Newton's Third Law of Motion
  • Dart and Bus Lab
  • Helicopter Lab



Finish Lab Write ups

Quia do Conservation of Momentum Homework

Quia do 2015 Physics for Phun Midterm Review - Only complete up to #67 because we have not done the rest. BUT, don't forget to hit SUBMIT! 


December 5, 2017

Announcements - Dec 4-6 

IMPORTANT:   If you have questions, come to room 4 at 1pm on FRIDAY, Dec 8 and I will try and answer them for you.

What we covered:

  • Gravity
  • Mass
  • Free fall


Quia Laws of Motion Test

Study for the Midterm.  Here are some review slides/ movies to help.

Powerpoints from this past class

OR, here is a Powerpoint, without vocal explanations (attached)


Study list:

1) Be able measure speed of an object moving along the ground.

2) Be able to measure the velocity of an object.

3) If you see something moving at terminal velocity, make sure you can identify it as terminal velocity.

4) Know that acceleration is an increase in speed over time.   Be able to say that something is accelerating if you see acceleration in action.

5) BIG HINT - remember that acceleration is also a change in direction.    Something is accelerating if it is going the same speed but changing direction.

6) Know what inertia is.  Be able to define it.   Know how it works to resist change 

7) Know what friction is and what it does to motion.

8) What is an impulse?

9) Know how to identify conservation of momentum.

10) Know the number for acceleration due to gravity.

11) Know which ball lands first if you drop one straight down and send one off at the same height but as a projectile.

12) How does air affect the speed when dropping of something?

13) Know that something accelerates at 9.81 m/s^2 as it falls for the entire trip.

14) Know that something increases it's speed by about 10m/s (9.81m/s^2 to be exact) for every second that it falls.

15) Know that the distance that something falls continues to increase each second for every second that something falls.

December 12, 2017

January 9, 2017

What we covered this week:

  • Simple Machines - inclined planes, screws, wedges, levers, pulleys, wheels and axels
  • First, Second and Third Class Levers
  • Rube Goldberg Machines


  • Read Chapter 4,  "Simple Machines", and answer the questions at the end of the chapter on a separate piece of paper.
  • Do Simple Machines Homework Physics for Phun on Quia.
  • Print, read, and bring to class : Chocolate Delivery Rube Goldberg Activity (Attached)
  • Bring in any extra materials your team may need for your machines.


Don't forget to pick up your graded work in the folders in room 8. Make sure you keep all graded work so you can review and study when needed. 


January 16, 2017

What we covered in class:

  • Six types of simple machines
  • Rube Goldberg Project


Finish the Rube Goldberg Project by filling out the two questions. Make sure you explain your five steps and your four machines. You will turn this in next class. (attached)

Quia - Do Simple Machines Homework #2

Read Chapter 5 Energy  and answer the questions at the end of the chapter on a separate piece of paper to turn in next week.

Print and bring to class: 

1. Energy Experiences - Potential vs. Kinetic 

2. Is it Work or Not?

3. Potential and Kinetic Energy Questions

Coming up:



January 23, 2017

Bring the three sets of sheets listed for last week.  We will continue using them this week.

Reread Energy Chapter in textbook. List 15 important facts and bring them to class.

Quia : Energy Homework Physics for Phun Part 1.

We will start class with your explanations and demonstrations of kinetic and potential energy that you worked on in class last week.


January 30, 2017

Today we covered: 

  • Kinetic Energy
  • Potential Energy
  • Work
  • Calculations for KE, PE and Work
  • Demonstrations of Potential and Kinetic Energy


  • Read Chapter 6, "Heat"
  • Do the questions from page 65 on a separate sheet of paper.
  • QUIA -  Homework Physics for Phun Part 1
  • Print Thermodynamics Lab and bring to class

Next week we will cover:

  • Thermodynamics
  • Heat Energy
  • Temperature Scales
  • Insulation

Have a terrific week!


February 6, 2018

What we covered in class:

  • Thermodynamics
  • Heat
  • Temperature


Please bring your Thermodynamics papers again as we will complete the last experiment.

QUIA :  Energy Homework Physics for Phun Part 2
              Heat Homework Physics for Phun Part 1

Next week:

  • Thermodynamics
  • Heat
  • Temperature
  • Insulators
  • Conductors

February 13, 2018

What we covered in class on February 13

  • Thermodynamics
  • Temperature scales
  • Conduction
  • Convection
  • Radiation
  • Insulators


Homework: It will work best if you complete the assignments in the order that they are listed here. Remember you have two weeks.


1. Review kinetic and potential energy by looking at the chapter, Quia assignments, and notes.

2. Take QUIA "Kinetic and Potential Energy Quiz"

3. Take QUIA "Energy Test"

4. Read Chapter 7 "States of Matter," then answer the questions at the end of the chapter on a separate piece of paper.

5. Print "States of Matter Physics for Phun". (Attached)

6. Follow the direction to complete 1-5 at home. Be sure to illustrate neatly and accurately. You will  bring this, along with the rest of the pages to class.

7. Watch the Plasma TV video: Plasma Video

8. Do Quia "States of Matter for Physics for Phun, Part 1"


Coming up:

  • No Class February 20, 2018

February 27:

  • Sublimation
  • Particle Physics
  • States of Matter

February 27, 2018

What we covered in class:

Review of Chapter 7

  • States of Matter
  • Parts of Atoms
  • Sublimation



Scientist Profile - Description of assignment handed out in class

Quia -  States of Matter Physics for Phun Part 2

Bring -  States of Matter Sheets. If you did not do 1-5, do them this week. We will finish plasma and superfluids next week.

Watch - The Atom Song

Basic Parts of an Atom

Next class:

  • Plasma
  • Superfluids
  • Quarks and Edible Atoms
  • Scientist Profiles

March 6, 2018

What we covered in class:

  • States of Matter
  • Plasma
  • Superfluid
  • Quarks
  • Beginning of Scientist Presentations


  • QUIA Heat Homework Physics for Phun Part 2
  • QUIA States of Matter Part 3 Physics for Phun

READ Chapter 8: "Wave Motion" and ANSWER questions 1-20 on a separate sheet of paper.

Next week:

  • Finish Scientist Presentations
  • Wave Motion 
  • Wave Motion Demonstrations

March 13, 2018

What we covered this week:

Scientist profiles - Nice work!! 

Types of Waves

Parts of Waves



Next Week:

  • Sound Waves
  • Pitch
  • Music
  • Light

March 20, 2018

What we covered in class:

Types of waves

  • Parts of waves
  • Sound waves
  • pitch
  • Introduction to light 
  • Electromagnetic Spectrum
  • Colors
  • Reflection
  • Refraction
  • Magnification



Read Chapter 9, "Light" and answer the questions on page 101 on a separate sheet of paper.

Review and study Chapter 6, "Heat".  Review class activities and notes for Laws of Thermodynamics, heat, and temperature scales.

QUIA Heat Test


If you haven't already, print out  Light Stations Physics for Phun (Attached) and bring it to class.

Next Week:

  • Light Lab Continued
  • Fluorescence
  • Luminescence

March 27, 2018

What we covered:

  • Light
  • Color
  • Fluorescence
  • Chemiluminescence
  • Triboluminescence


Review pdf  " Light edited" (attached)

QUIA Color Homework

QUIA Light Homework

Read Chapter 10, " Electricity" and answer the questions at the end of the chapter on a separate sheet of paper.

Print : Electricity Opportunities (attached) and bring it to class

Next week:

  • Electricity
  • Static electricity
  • Circuits
  • Batteries
  • Electrolysis

April 3, 2018

What we covered:

  • Chapter 10 Electricity
  • Static Electricity
  • Parallel Circuits
  • Series Circuits


Next week:

  • electrolysis
  • oxidation
  • reduction
  • building potato and tomato batteries
  • circuits
  • introduction to magnetism

April 10, 2018

What we covered:

  • Electricity
  • Electrolysis
  • Oxidation
  • Reduction
  • Parallel Circuits
  • Series Circuits
  • Batteries



Review Electricity

QUIA Electricity Test

Read Chapter 11, " Magnetism" and answer the questions at the end.

Watch the Prezi Presentation "Magnetism"

Magnetism Presentation

QUIA Magnetism Homework Physics for Phun part 1

Print and Bring to Class "Magnetism Activities" ( Attached)


Next Week: 

Magnetism Activities

We will do a review on Friday morning, April 20. The time is to be determined.


April 17, 2018

What we covered in class:

  • Review of Chapter
  • Magnetism
  • Magnetic Fields
  • Domains
  • Magnetization
  • Compasses


Not included on the slides is types of simple machines and how they work as well as types of levers. Please study those as well.

Study for exam - Review your in class notes from activities and Power Points, Review the questions from the end of the chapters. Review the concepts from the QUIA quizzes

The class review will be on Friday, April 20th from 8:30 am to 9:30 am in the room next door to our classroom. 

The final exam will be at our regular class time.


April 24, 2018

May 1, 2018