Science Movies on the Web

There are many movies available on the web. These can be used in addition to or in place of simulations. Since these are movies of actual experiments or physical situations, students can take data, or answer qualitative questions from them. Labs using these movies should always have an inquiry format. Students should not know the answer before viewing the movie, and they should always be asked to predict what they think the outcome will be. In addition they should always be asked to give their reasoning behind the prediction.

Video Analysis

Video analysis programs are powerful ways for students to analyze motion. This allows students to mark videos, and create graphs of relevant quantities. There are several commercial products that work fairly well. Video analysis labs have been associated with an increase in student understanding of motion graphs and Newton's laws.

Videopoint - This was developed as part of the Workshop Physics project at Dickinson College. It is probably the premier product in terms of ability and flexibility. It is available for both Windows and MacIntosh. It comes with a large set of analyzable videos.

VideoGraph - One of the original video analyses programs. It is well designed and capable of performing most analysis that you would want to do. It is available for MacIntosh only from Physics Academic Software. You can get a reasonably priced site license for the product. VideoGraph and Videpoint are very similar in capability.

World-in-Motion - This is a competent product for Windows machines. You can download a free demonstration. While it is the easiest to use, it suffers from the problem that you can not easily display multiple graphs of different quantities such as acceleration and velocity. The packaged labs often explain what is going on, before the students have a chance to analyze the data. As a result it is difficult to do guided exploration labs. I would rate this the product least likely to improve student understanding. There are fewer videos than Videpoint, but they are very nice, and are usually real life situations.

Measurement in Motion - MacIntosh only. I have not looked at it in much detail.

There are some other freeware products. One thing you need to look for is the ability to see the graphs in real time as the videos are being marked. In addition students should be able to see in real time what points on the graph correspond to certain frames in the video.

Movie Sites

Technical Physics Video Series - produced by Bob Teese, Muskingham College - Many things in motion from cranes to gears and wheels.

WFU Physics Demos Online - Many physics demos. Contains many good demo movies.LiveP

LivePhoto Physics - produced by Bob Teese, Muskingham College - Sports movies, Howitzer Cart, Projectiles, Sound, Carts, Hydrodynamics and more.

The Apollo Program - Many pictures and some movies. Includes a movie of a hammer and feather being dropped on the moon.