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Playground Physics

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Play with Playground Physics

Discover and explore the physics in your everyday life and your own movements. Record a video of you or your friends - or any form of motion - tap points along the way to trace a path of motion, and discover the motion, forces, and energy involved!

Inspired by NYSCI’s Science Playground, Playground Physics allows students to explore the relationship between their experiences at play and the scientific ideas embedded in physics curriculum. The app provides an opportunity for students to use any open space-whether it is a classroom, a schoolyard, or a local park, for experiential learning, building a bridge between the kinesthetic experience of physical play (e.g., running, jumping, sliding) and abstract physics concepts (motion, force, energy).

Playground Physics was supported by Sara Lee Schupf and the Lubin Family Foundation, BNY Mellon, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Motorola Solutions Foundation, the National Science Foundation through Award No. 1135202, and the US Department of Education through Award No. U411C110310 and Award No. U411B180028. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the aforementioned funders.

Playground Physics App

Use the Playground Physics app to record your physical play activities, tap points on the screen to trace a path of motion, and then use different stickers, lenses, and graphs to annotate and analyze your play experiences.

Playgroun Physics Teacher Guide
Teacher Guide

Educators can make Newton’s Laws of motion come alive. The teacher guide includes three curriculum units focused on motion, force, and energy. Through the curricular activities, students use their own play as grounds to ask questions, identify patterns in data, and analyze and interpret the data presented in the app. Ideal for middle school science classrooms, Playground Physics and accompanying curriculum activities support the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) by integrating disciplinary core ideas, scientific practices, cross-cutting concepts, and delight

Playgroun Physics Teacher Guide
Research and Development

Through a research study in New York City middle schools, the program produced measurable improvements on students' physics knowledge. Building on this success, we expanded the program across New York State to learn how teachers and students in a broader range of settings implemented and experienced the program.