CSTA and NSTA Workshops

This page has handouts from some recent CSTA and NSTA conferences.
I hope you find them useful!

NSTA 2017 (Los Angeles)

Develop a scientific model of the atomic structure from real data to explain phenomena

This presentation by Dr. Maria Chiara Simani and me is available online (tinyurl.com/krol5gu). This workshop is modified from a 3-hour workshop created as part of the California NGSS Rollout 3 symposium.


Featured Presentation: NGSS…Now What?

My state adopted NGSS. Now what am I supposed to do? Does this sound familiar? Laura will help you understand how to move forward as you modify your instructional decisions and practices to begin implementing NGSS in your classroom.

FORMAT: Featured Speaker

GRADE LEVEL: General
SUBJECT: General Science Education
CONFERENCE STRAND: NGSS: The Next Generation of Science Teaching

NSTA2017 FINAL presentation


CSTA 2016 (Palm Springs)

What does an NGSS College Prep Physics Classroom Look Like?

This session by me and Rod Ziolkowski shares our journey as we collaborated to try to develop and implement an NGSS aligned high school physics class. http://tinyurl.com/zsxuffh


Physics Phenomena for the High School Classroom

This presentation was given by the preservice and inservice physics teachers from CSULB’s PHYS491A course. Each fall CSULB offers a physics pedagogical content knowledge course. We address aspects of teaching a single physics topic — everything from misconceptions, typical labs and demonstrations, lesson sequencing and problem solving. The course is open to any preservice or inservice physics/physical science teacher (non-matriculated students can enroll via Open University). The class meets Thursdays 5-8PM. Contact us to find out about the next topic and how to join us!  Presenters: Eric Brundin, Laura Henriques, Christopher Del Signore, Brooke Duitsman, Sahra Grossi, Megan Hersman, Buncha Laohapanich, Alan Mai, Adriana Rincon, Brian Woods – CSULB PHYS491B.

Session materials are posted online at: http://tinyurl.com/zn3y6eq

CSULB also hosts a monthly Physics Demo Day (2nd Thursday of the month, 4:30-5:30). Visit www.physicsatthebeach.com for details and to RSVP for a parking pass.


NSTA/CSTA 2014  (Long Beach)

Favorite Force & Motion Demonstrations

Below is the powerpoint from our session. CSTA2014 Phys491 Forces and Motion

This presentation was given by the preservice and inservice physics teachers from CSULB’s PHYS491A course. Each fall CSULB offers a physics pedagogical content knowledge course. We address aspects of teaching a single physics topic — everything from misconceptions, typical labs and demonstrations, lesson sequencing and problem solving. The course is open to any preservice or inservice physics/physical science teacher (non-matriculated students can enroll via Open University). The class meets Thursdays 5-8PM. Contact us to find out about the next topic and how to join us!

CSULB also hosts a monthly Physics Demo Day (2nd Thursday of the month, 4:30-5:30). Visit www.physicsatthebeach.com for details and to RSVP for a parking pass.


Summer Science Camps: Academic Enrichment for Youth, Mentored Teaching Experience for Preservice Teachers

This was a poster presented as part of the ASTE Strand of the conference. ScienceCampPrograms-CSTA2014

History of Young Scientists Camp at California State University, Long Beach

As a small component of an NSF grant to support elementary math and science teacher preparation, CSULB started a summer science camp program. In 2000 The camp has a dual purpose of providing quality academic enrichment in science for 2nd – 8th grade children while also giving preservice teachers a mentored science teaching experience The camp was developed to provide an opportunity for prospective elementary teachers to experience science teaching and learning with elementary aged children. The program partners an experienced mentor teacher with a pair of preservice teachers. As a team they spend a week planning and prepping for 35-45 hours of science instruction. Children come to campus for a half-day, hands-on science camp during the next two weeks. Camp is taught in the college’s labs, utilized college science facilities, and includes guest presentations by science faculty. Small grants enabled us to provide financial aid to some families, and GEAR UP partnerships enabled us to support large numbers of students. To date, more than 300 preservice teachers have taught in the camp, approximately 3,000 children have attended. Starting in 2008 the camp has been offered (with grant funding) to homeless youth in Long Beach Unified School District.


CSTA 2013 Electricity & Magnetism Demonstrations

(Palm Springs)

DSC04453Below is the power point from our session. I am asking each of the students to provide a written description of the physics behind their demo (some of you asked for that). I will post them as they get submitted.

As physics teachers yourself, please consider submitting a workshop proposal for next year’s NSTA Long Beach Area Conference in Collaboration with CSTA. This will be held in Long Beach, Dec 4-6, 2014. Workshop proposals are due January 15th. We are always looking for good physics sessions — please think about presenting and sharing some of your best lessons and strategies with your colleagues.

If you have physics students looking for a great place to go to college, have them consider CSULB. We have research experiences for freshmen, lots of opportunities to do research with faculty while an undergrad, an award winning Student Physics Society club and a supportive environment for majors and minors.

Workshop Agenda

•Welcome – Laura
•Hershey kiss electroscope –Nancy
•Fun fly Stick activities – Shin & Rachael
•Kissing balloons – Dave
•PHET simulations –Yanette
•Hotdog circuits – Marcus
•Electrolysis – Matt
•Magneto-hydrodynamic propulsion  – Kim
•Electromagnets, doorbell – Erica
•Electromagnetic induction  (overhead into galvanometer) Laura
•Headphones/speakers – Meredith
•Eddy current tube – Justin
•Homopolar motor – Jason
•Magnetic field demonstrator/electric field demonstrator  Brandon
•Neodynium magnets & dollar bill – Brandon
•Closing – Meredith/Laura
Descriptions of the physics behind the demos:
Hershey kiss electroscope –Nancy
Fun fly Stick activities – Shin & Rachael

The “Fun Fly Stick” is the name of the product we used for this demo. It is essentially a hand-held Van de Graaff generator. This demo also works with a plastic golf-tube that has been rubbed with a paper towel, instead of the Fun Fly Stick. The mylar cutouts are called “Flying Toys” and some come in the Fun Fly Stick kit, but more could be purchased separately.

When the mylar comes close to the Fun Fly Stick, the neutral mylar is initially attracted to the negatively-charged stick because the stick induces electron movement in the mylar making is polarized. But as soon as the stick and the mylar touch causing some electrons to transfer to the mylar, both the mylar and the stick become negatively charged. They repel, and the mylar flies.

Kissing balloons – Dave

When a balloon is rubbed against your hair or a woolen cloth, it becomes negatively charged; negatively charged particles accumulate on the balloon, creating static electricity.  Your hair or cloth becomes positively charged as they lose their electrons to the balloon.

In the Kissing Balloons demonstration, a charged balloon is suspended in the air using a string attached to a yardstick (or some support).  The balloon will appear to rotate with a mind of its own, seeking to “kiss” or “Eskimo nose-kiss” any object approaching.   When a “neutral” person approaches the negatively charged balloon, they are attracted to each other.  Approach the balloon close enough and the balloon will appear to move to kiss the person’s face.  The balloon attracts the opposite charges in the neutral person (polarization).

The balloon rotates towards the person because only the “lips” side of the balloon is charged.  The balloon rotates and moves quickly to the approaching person because the attractive electrical charges can overcome the force of gravity.

If you blow up another balloon and did not charge it, the two balloons will be attracted to each other.  If you charged only one side of the second balloon, the negatively charged sides of both balloons will repel each other.  However, the first balloon will try to rotate itself to the positive side of the new balloon; in this case, the two balloons will attract each other.

The Kissing Kate balloon along with her “husband” and “children” were created in a narrative to entertain and inform the audience (the students).  Using a story line that paralleled human feelings of attraction and repulsion with the science concepts of the attraction and repelling effects of charged particles, this demonstration is a creative way for students to learn about static electricity.

PHET simulations –Yanette
Hotdog circuits – Marcus
Electrolysis – Matt
Magneto-hydrodynamic propulsion  – Kim  Magnetohydrodynamic
Electromagnets, doorbell – Erica 
electromagnet and doorbell
Electromagnetic induction  (overhead into galvanometer) Laura
Headphones/speakers – Meredith  Headphones
Eddy current tube – Justin

The magnet produces a magnetic field that surrounds it.  This field takes up space and has direction (a vector).  At first, the metal pipe has no magnetic field inside of it.  When the magnet is dropped down the tube this produces a change in magnetic field in the tube.

  • According to Faraday’s Law, a change in magnetic field (or, more specifically, magnetic flux) will induce an emf (a voltage).  If the emf is created in a conductor, a current will flow (aka “eddy current”).  In the case of the demonstration, the current spins around the tube, near the magnet.
  • Lenz’s Law allows us to determine the direction of this induced current.  And this current, itself, produces its own magnetic field that opposes the change in magnetic field produced by the permanent magnet.
  • The magnetic fields these “eddy currents” produce cause a magnetic force on the magnet that opposes the downward force of gravity, causing the magnet to fall with a smaller speed.

Homopolar motor – Jason

Once you complete the circuit by touching the side of the magnet with the wire tip, electric current (on average) flows out of the positive end, through the screw, moving from the center of the magnet to the edge. While it is flowing through the magnet radially outwards, the current interacts with the vertical (parallel to the axis of magnet) magnetic field created by the button magnet. Using the right-hand rule, you can see that the magnetic force on the moving charges will point in the tangential direction, causing the spin.

Magnetic field demonstrator/electric field demonstrator  Brandon

In this demo a balloon was charged by rubbing it on my hair then brought close to a bottle of baby oil with hair in it. This will give a good visual representation of the electric field lines. What happens is the charges in the hair follicles rearrange to attract towards the negatively charged balloon. They align radially towards the balloon just like the electric field lines of a point charge. Similarly the iron filings align in the form of the magnetic field lines when the magnet was brought near them in the iron filings cube.

Neodynium magnets & dollar bill – Brandon

In this demo a balloon was charged by rubbing it on my hair then brought close to a bottle of baby oil with hair in it. This will give a good visual representation of the electric field lines. What happens is the charges in the hair follicles rearrange to attract towards the negatively charged balloon. They align radially towards the balloon just like the electric field lines of a point charge. Similarly the iron filings align in the form of the magnetic field lines when the magnet was brought near them in the iron filings cube.


CSTA 2012 Favorite Physics Demonstrations
(Saturday 10/20/2012 at 8:00 AM)

Kevin and Laura at CSTA

CSTA 2012 Favorite Demos-handouts
These are the handouts we provided during the Physics Demo Workshop

CSTA 2012 Favorite Demos
This is the version we showed at CSTA – it includes the teacher tip slides.

Physics project at CSULB – www.physicsatthebeach.com

If you would like to join us in person for monthly Physics Demo Days please visit http://www.physicss   If you would like to join us virtually you need to send an e-mail to laura.henriques@csulb.edu. We will then send you an invitation to join the streamed video presentation of the demos.


CSTA 2012  Give Your Electricity Unit a Charge
(Saturday 10/20/2012 at 4:35PM)

Give Your Electricity Unit a ChargeHandout  PowerPoint slides from the presentation.

GiveYourElectricityUnitACharge-CSTA2012    Teacher background information and instructions for activities.

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