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We have written three books on teaching and learning physics. The series is called Phenomenon-Based Learning. We used physics toys and gadgets to reach the goals for the project.

Our goals on writing the books and designing the kits were

1. To improve students’ thinking skills and problem-solving abilities.
2. To get easy-to-perform experiments that engage students in the topic.
3. To make the physics lessons more cool.

The phenomenon-based learning (PBL) approach used by us — two Finnish teachers Jukka Kohtamäki and Mikko Korhonen, and a U.S. professor Matthew Bobrowsky — is as educational as the experiments are attention-grabbing. Instead of putting the theory before the application, PBL encourages students to first experience how the gadgets work and then grow curious enough to find out why. Students engage in the activities not as a task to be completed but as exploration and discovery.

The idea is to help your students go beyond simply memorizing physical science facts. Using Physical Science Gadgets and Gizmos can help them learn broader concepts, useful thinking skills, and science and engineering practices as defined by the Next Generation Science Standards.

You can find the books in NSTA Press Science Store. They are available both as books and downloadable e-books.

The gadgets and gizmos are sold by Arbor Scientific.