Physics Fun Force


 Physics Fun Force Members Erin Beggs and Josh LeGreve (in grey sweatshirts) with two grade 3 classes at Clay Lamberton School in Berlin, WI 


The Physics FUN Force (PFF) is a group of student volunteers organized by the Physics Department at Ripon College within its chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS). We are available to visit classrooms in area elementary schools or meetings of children’s groups and lead science-activity sessions. During each session the emphasis will be on investigation and discussion of the children’s observations and ideas. Our goal is to have fun with science while the children learn by doing! As we develop our activities, we seek to add a storybook to each unit and introduce each activity with a related story to stress also the importance of literacy and imagaination.

Activities for the Classroom or Meeting Room or for Special Events

Here are some of the activities we offer to bring to your class or group. Suitable grade levels are noted. (Most of the activities touch upon Wisconsin State Standards in Science Inquiry and Physical Science and/or Earth and Space Science.) We offer both anytime classroom or group meeting activities AND a few “special event” activities to be done outdoors. The special events will require special scheduling during the “good weather” periods of early fall and late spring. Most of the sessions would require at least an hour.  More information about an individual lesson or the entire set is available upon request to Mary Williams-Norton at . 

Classroom or Group MeetingActivities (to be done indoors at any time of the year)

Basic investigations with paper spinners (grades 1-4)

Forces, Energy, Work and Motion (K-5)

Wonderful Water (K-5)

 Constellations (K-3)

Batteries, bulbs, and circuits (3-5)

Sound , noise, and music (K-5)

Light and Color (K-5)

Oobleck  (K-5) (ideal to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2, for example)

Craters (K-5)

Sink or Float (Part 1 only K-3;  both part K-5)

Special Events (to be done outdoors in early fall or late spring on fair-weather days):

Hiking through the solar system (grades 2-5)  (Note:  a modified version can be done walking up and down hallways, but walking outdoors and posting planet positions in a very long line is more effective)

Bubbleology (K-5)

Go fly a kite! (K-5)

Of course we shall be concerned with safety first! We’ll begin each session with a discussion of safe practice specific to the activity’s materials and procedures.  Our underlying goal with the program is to combine the fun of DOING SCIENCE with the best practices in the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through investigation, collaboration, making models, and carrying on dscussions.

To see more details about these units, go it the PFF UNITS page.


Would you like the Physics FUN Force to visit your classroom?

If so, please contact Dr. Mary Williams-Norton, the group’s advisor, by e-mail at williamsnorton1858@centurytel.netPlease send your name, school, grade level, phone number, e-mail address, which activity you would like us to bring to your classroom, and a brief summary of the kinds of activities the children have already done in this area. Also suggest times of the day and dates that might work for you. Because the students are busy with classes, scheduling a visit may require some flexibility. We’ll bring most of the necessary materials with us, but we may ask you to provide everyday materials such as papers, pens or pencils, markers, water, etc. as noted in the information on each activity. There is no charge for a visit BUT we love receiving thank-you notes from classes we visit.