Building a Mystery: Pseudoform, Physics, and Phun

I’ve been keeping my eye on an extremely promising project that should enhance critical thinking skills, student engagement, creativity, and reveal the joy of learning. The object of my attention is Pseudoform. It’s a project dedicated to creating an engrossing, near-addictive “first-person puzzle-solving” game. Although no downloads (beta, alpha, or otherwise) are currently available, I’m hungry for an opportunity to tinker with what Pseudoform is promising. An exploration of the site’s media collection is enough to make visitors to play with its developing product.

pseudoform

While waiting for Pseudoform to take form, educators and students interested in interactive multiphysics simulation resources have a number of related diversions to keep them occupied. For example, Microsoft Physics Illustrator (also referred to as Magic Paper), is a 2D physics simulator developed by MIT’s Design Rationale group that’s as fun as it is informative. Although it was originally developed for use on tablet PCs, the application can be used with non-tablet PCs as well. For a more amusing and game-like experience that will get mental wheels turning nonetheless, teachers and pupils can explore the principles of physics and work their way through a goodly portion of confounding fun with Crayon Physics. It’s a pleasurable means of learning about physics that was designed by a fantastic Finn named Petri Purho, who showcases his work at Kloonigames. While watching and testing hypotheses centered around gravity, mass, kinetic energy and the transfer of momentum, those using Crayon Physics will most likely get an itch to investigate the game’s descendant, Crayon Physics Deluxe. And finally, there’s Phun, a “2D physics sandbox” that encourages users to take a constructionist approach to learning about how and why things happen the way they do

Famous Physicists

Want to add historical context to the study of physics? If so, check out the growing library of transcripts of oral history interviews held at the Niels Bohr Library and Archives. All this goodness comes to the world via the American Institute of Physics. Enjoy!

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Related resources:

  • HyperPhysics will have you bouncing off the walls!
  • Think you know everything there is to know about physics? Some folks might be inclined to disagree. Check out the Skeptic’s Guide to Physics for intriguing views.

Making the Circuit

Are you exploring electricty and how it’s used to power all of the indispensable gadgets that surround us? If so, you’re in luck. Paul Falstad has a number of engaging demonstrations that simulate electronic circuits.

If you’re teaching a higher level of Mathematics or Physics or, perhaps, combining both disciplines, Falstad also has other, applet-powered visual resources that’ll help your students envision the concepts you’re discussing.

Ohms Law


Can We Fix It? Yes, We Can!–Fantastic Contraption

Physics teachers:
If Chemistry teachers can encourage their pupils to use interactive technology resources to gain a better understanding of Science-related content, so can you. For example, send your students to Fantastic Contraption. It’s a fun, online Physics puzzle game that’s positively addictive. While learners are trying to master the game, they’ll be much more receptive to content-specific facts. Enjoy!