Smartphysicslab is community of instructors and researchers aiming at improving physics education by means of disseminating the laboratory practice.
Often laboratories are poorly equipped or, on the contrary, they provide state-of-the-art instrumentation. In both cases an alternative approach may be desirable. If the laboratory is poorly equipped, physics experimental activities is perceived as old fashioned and not so interesting; on the contrary, when the instrumentation is advanced, students may tend to believe that physics can only be done using specific tools and most of the results are valid in very well controlled environments.
Smartphysicslab provides customisable examples of experiments that can be done with readily available, cost-effective materials that, on the other hand, allows the realisation of quantitative, precise enough experiments.
We believe that the best teaching methodology is "teach as you find yourself comfortable", so we do not provide instructions to be strictly followed. Yet, we propose structured activities that, however, are suitable to be customised for the teacher's own needs.
Our experimental proposals are designed such that they are general enough to be used as is or modified according to his/her own needs. We provide enough details for the instructor to become confident with the proposal, with the idea that not all of the material must necessarily be used.
Experiments are labelled with a set of tags, have a title and a short description. After choosing the one that fits with your needs, you will be asked to download a zip file.
Once, expanded, the zip file contains one or more PDF files containing the text for the students (the same activity can be formulated for different targets), a document for the instructor intended to provide all the information that we believe may be useful in the preparation, often with different practical scenarios illustrated, and auxiliary material if needed (e.g. Arduino source code, evaluation forms, spreadsheets, Python scripts and notebooks, etc.).
Together with these materials, you can always find the source files for generating customised variants of the proposed experiments. For example, you may want to customise the look and feel of the text, or the set of activities to actually be performed. This practice is welcomed.
If you make substantial customisation of an experiment, you are encouraged to share it with us, such that we can consider to make that version public and resuable by other colleagues.
All the work is distributed under the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 license, with almost no limitation.
We are happy to help instructors in deploying our proposals in their educational environment. You discuss with us and other colleagues about different strategies, new proposals, variants of the proposed experiments and so on.
In the instructor pages of each experiment you can find a list of possible ways to get in touch with us. There are representatives in different parts of the world, both in Europe and in Americas, hence you have the chance to get in contact with someone who speaks your own native language.
Do not hesitate to contact us.
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