Winter 2015

Electricity and Magnetism

January 17, 2015 at Santa Monica College

Sponsored by SCAAPT and the Brown Foundation
Also many thanks to our generous materials donors: Educational Innovations (, Arbor Scientific, Xump



  • Demonstrated and gave away dissectable Leyden jar
  • Demonstrated electrophorous
  • - Bill's notes, organized by the California science content standards in physics
  • - Bill says you should check out this site for buying your electronic goods
  • Demonstrated rheostats
  • Demonstrated a "DC motor in series with a bulb" and gave away one for each participant
  • Gave away an Ohm's law circuit board in lab session
  • If anyone wants a meter or two of #30 Nichrome Wire, email Bill ( with your mailing address and he will send it to you by US Post



  • For basic circuits labs, a cheap source of bulbs is Christmas lights. He got Christmas lights on clearance at Rite-Aid for $1 per string of 100 lights.


  • PowerPoint notes
  • Basic circuits water analogy - picture
  • PhET - A large collection of physics and other science simulations. Great for activities or demos.
  • Magnet down copper pipe
  • Electric House Project
    • Based on Trash 4 Teaching's Electric House Project
    • Examples of his students' projects: (that's a capital "o" and capital "i")
    • Peer Eval Pie
      • Download Word DOC file here
      • I administer it part-way through the project as no-stakes, purely to facilitate communication and feedback among group members. Then, I administer it at the end of the project to help me determine whether all group members earn an equal distribution of points.
      • FIRST have students write their own contributions, THEN have them use that as a basis for discussing how they should split the pie.
      • I let the students ultimately decide how they want to split the pie, even if they want to go against what their distribution of contributions might be. I also tell students who think they deserve more credit than their partners that now is the time to speak up for themselves. It is their decision whether they want to avoid the awkwardness of the conversation or take advantage of the opportunity, but they have been given a chance.

Frank Lee,
Jan 18, 2015, 1:09 PM
Frank Lee,
Jan 17, 2015, 11:13 PM