PHYS 123 :: Physics Illinois :: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Final Project

The Big Idea

You will work in groups of 4 to create a 30-minute hands-on lab that you will administer to your fellow Physics 123 students as though they were your elementary school class.


  1. You will form groups of 4 and your group will pick a topic for your lab and email your lab TA (and CC me) a plan by early March. You are encouraged to deal with a concept that we are not covering in class, but if you really want to your group can choose to create a different lab for something that we are doing. The plan should include a brief discussion of the physics concept that you are exploring and some ideas about what kind of activity you will have the students do to learn about the concept. Your TA will get back to you with comments. We don't want two groups doing exactly the same thing, so it's first come first serve. The sooner your group sends me a plan, the less the chance will be that some other group will beat you to it.
  2. The final project (based on your plan) will consist of the following:
    • A complete lab write-up for "your students" (i.e. the rest of the class). These are like the lab write-ups that we hand to you at the beginning of class each Monday.
    • Some accompanying "teachers notes" that explains the procedure and the physics in enough detail to make an elementary school teacher comfortable giving the lab to his/her students.
    • A complete list of materials needed to do your lab assuming your class will have 5 groups of 4 students each (i.e. the other 20 Physics 123 students in your lab section).
    • Each group will be given 30-45 minutes of time during lab periods either the last week of April or the first week of May to run the class and have the other students "do their lab" like a class of 3rd graders might do it.
  3. You will use your lab time during the third week of April to work on your projects.


The total cost of your project should not exceed $40, and cheaper is better. You will need to buy the materials yourselves but you will be reimbursed for all of your costs (up to $40) as long as you keep your receipts and turn them in. To cut down on paperwork, give all of your receipts to one person in your group and have that person get reimbursed.

Please print this form, complete it and take it to 205 Loomis in order to receive your reimbursement: reimbursement form.


Be sure to check out to see the National Science Content Standards. They may give you some good ideas.

Lesson Plan Template

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