Monday, March 23, 2020

Online Resources for Teaching Physics

Howdy all,

First, I'd like to thank my friend and colleague, Dean Baird, for inviting me to be a guest blogger here at The Blog of Phyz. Briefly, I've been teaching high school and college-level physics since 1998, and in that time I've seen a lot—but nothing like what we're all dealing with now.

In addition to my teaching duties, I am the secretary and webmaster of Physics Northwest (group of physics teachers in the suburbs north and west of Chicago), and we've worked with our own teacher network as well as the TAP-L email list to assemble a long list of available online resources for teaching physics. This list of information has been posted to the front page of the Physics Northwest website at

Update 3/28/20: Here's a new and improved Google Sheet version of Matt's collection that we've been working on: Physics Distance Learning Resources. Consider it Version 1.0, and load us up with links we missed down in the comments. Remember: Google Sheets can have tabs. This sheet has four tabs (so far). Check them all out.

I apologize that the list isn't formatted and organized yet, as I've been busy tackling my own struggles with online teaching this past week, but now that I'm on spring break I'll have some time to tweak the list (so stay tuned). Any suggestions for additions and/or edits are welcome.

Take care, folks. It's a rough time for the lot of us, but in times like this I like to remind myself of the old Marine Corps motto: Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.

Cheers - Matt Lowry
[Matt has been my presentation partner for "Skepticism in the Classroom" workshops at AAPT and NSTA Meetings. To see our first collaboration, check this out! And if you click the Physics Northwest link above, you will see a collection of great physics teachers, some of whom you may know from Twitter or elsewhere. Matt's in the fourth quadrant in the fashionable "Keep Calm" T. –Dean]


Phyz said...

We're working on a Big Bad Google Sheet of Physics Distance Learning Resources. It's in beta for now, so keep that in mind. I'll move the link up to the main post when it's ready for prime time.

lynnskutches said...

Thank you so much for assembling this resource!

Professor Dave has clear short videos for physics & astronomy

So does Brian Swarthout Step by Step Science

And, of course, Physics Classroom has lots of interactives

Dean Baird said...

Thank you, lynnskutches.

I added Professor Dave and Step-by-Step links to the Content Delivery sheet. The Physics Classroom is there (in the High School Physics section).

Let us know if you think of any others that should be included.

Chris Bruce said...


Thanks for putting all of this together! Don't forget about

- 70+ free physics, chemistry, and biology sims - many of these were done as works for hire for, but there are quite a few original ones that are AP-specific.
- New home to the HTML5 ports of the old Flash-based ChemThink tutorials
- 7 original app-ified slow motion video analysis videos: These are similar to the old Carleton College SERC apps that went behind a paywall. Each video has an accompanying lab worksheet. We make our own videos and are taking requests!


Chris Bruce
Physics Teacher, NBCT
James B. Conant High School
Hoffman Estates, Illinois

Lead Developer,
Lead Developer,

Michelle said...

The Reach for the Stars program at Northwestern is creating some on-line resources, they'll be available soon at.

For now, this is a lesson that iIntroduce students to N-body simulations and Python in a fully remote lesson. Students can view the N-body Simulator PowerPoint deck:

and follow the directions in the N-body Simulation Tutorial:

Teachers can obtain the full lesson plan at for NGSS standards addressed, background, teaching notes, and more.

Please add this to the Google sheet. Send any questions to

Phyz said...

Simbucket and Reach for the Stars have been added.

Anonymous said... - a number of interactive sims you can manipulate, and asks a lot of questions - has some nice illustrations and animations

I'm a student teacher this semester, well unfortunately my placement was effectively cut short. I'm doing my best to finish this semester via remote teaching but this has been tough. I now worry about finding a job afterwards.

Phyz said...

Added Explorable Physics and to the PDLR.

Vince S. said...

I found one recently,, lots, and lots, of simulations using geogebra.

Eric Plett said...

I am on a Chromebook whose screen does not leave a lot of room to see content on a Google doc (the banner takes up 60% of the screen) so I did not view all four tabs. But I would recomend the paid apps and services that are now free to teachers. I have used NearPod extensively and cannot imagine going back. It has been huge in fostering student participation. I have also used GoFormative for posting formative assessments. You can watch your students submit their work in real time and give them hints and comments. Finally, Pivot learning has the great direct measurement videos which allow you to obtain data from filmed experiments - so you can get the lab component into class on-line. (I'm sure Phet was mentioned.)
Thanks Dean
PS I noticed a lot of AP Physics Readers in that Physics Northwest group picture.

Scott said...

For those who like to use Python in physics:
AP Physics with Python
Rhett Allain's Python in physics Trinket resources

Sorry if they were already there, but I didn't see them. Thanks for putting all this together!