SciPlay Physics Noticing Tools: what you need to know

The SciPlay Physics Noticing Tools allow kids to notice the physics in their everyday life. The tools were designed for students and teachers in NYC to learn more about middle school physics. First, kids capture video of themselves in a performance, sport, play activity, or other playground scenario. Next, kids can trace their motion and location on the screen during playback before having the opportunity to investigate the data they generated during their performance. Last, kids can playback their videos and watch them through each of three lenses: motion, energy, and force.

For example, using the motion lens represented in the figures below middle school students can turn a ball throwing activity on the playground into an exploration of the concept of motion. When they playback their video students trace the ball’s trajectory and use the graphs to explore how the distance and speed of the ball change over time. The tracing and graphing features help students easily notice how different variables change during motion. The trail of red dots is a visual effect designed to make the activity playful and fun. Users can place “stickers” along the timeline below the video image to designate interesting and important occurrences, like when the ball changes its direction or reaches its maximum speed.

SciPlay App

The  energy and force lenses in the SciPlay Physics Noticing Tools help kids discover features about potential energy, kinetic energy, and Newton’s third law in engaging and child-centered ways. Each lens has its own kind of fun visual effects and stickers that let kids interact with their own data in more playful ways.

SciPlay App 2

For more information, please fill out our information request form or email sciplay@nysci.org . If you are a teacher who would like to learn more about using the SciPlay PNT in your classroom, please view our recruitment post.