Physics in pictures (LS-HU-47)

Summary

Physics is in the pictures! The main idea is to find physics in pictures representing everyday life activities, the living and inanimate nature (rocks, monuments, buildings etc.). This learning scenario is designed for students from 13-14 years old.

Activities

During the activities, students collect and save images from the Europeana Galleries interface. Selected and saved images must be linked to a physics-related phenomenon. Therefore, a brief description of the physics corresponding to the images is then provided.

For example: a possible text written on an image depicting ice caps: state change; freezing of water, temperature; on an image depicting a car: movement, speed, acceleration; rainbow: an optical phenomenon of light refraction, electromagnetic spectrum, and different wavelengths; the red color of the setting sun: wavelengths, white sunlight components, light absorption and scattering, atmosphere of the earth, molecules in the air, and so on… Of course, the scientific level of the description depends on the age and level of knowledge. This is a good method to clarify the connection of learned concepts with everyday life, the possible misconceptions and to develop students’ scientific vocabulary.

Group Collaboration

The groups tried to compete with each other. It was an amazing experience. Then, they asked questions like: how do you build a bridge between physics and the arts? In the case of a single image, the measuring devices and units of measurement were found. I discovered that the pupils were much more courageous. They were talking about their prior experiences, what they had seen in the pictures and discovered new aspects of it. The methodological idea that we have tested can serve as a guide for the introduction of different topics that are already known to students, or even new physics topics, in an unusual motivating way.

Products

With the help of the material compiled by the groups, the students will create a common “physics” online game on the Learning Apps interface. (https://learningapps.org/createApp.php )

Discussion

Our methodological idea is to find the physics of everyday life in art (painting, graphics, and photos). In our lesson, students identified general physical phenomena and processes in the reviewed art collections. Thus, there was an opportunity to discuss many of these phenomena, old and new concepts, and clarify some misconceptions. Ultimately, several physical phenomena were discovered by the children in a single picture. They were very enthusiastic. It sparkled a very serious debate.

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CC BY 4.0 – The featured image used to illustrate this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution. It has been provided by the Wellcome Collection. It has been resized and labelled to illustrate this article. To find the original image click here.

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