The Physics Classroom Tutorial is an online physics tutorial written for introductory physics students. The tutorial was originally developed for Regular-level Physics students at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Illinois. The popularity of the pages have since increased and are now used by teachers and students from junior high school through college.
The Tutorial covers basic physics topics using informative graphics and an easy-to-understand language. Each unit is broken up into lessons and sub-lessons. A lesson resembles the type and extent of coverage given to that physics topic in class. The sub-lessons are accompanied by Check Your Understanding sections, providing an opportunity to assess one's understanding of the lesson material. The tutorial, when combined with other resources at this site (such as Multimedia Physics Studios and the Minds On Physics Internet Modules) provides a student of physics a great opportunity to learn and to test their understanding.
The Physics Classroom tutorial pages were written by Tom Henderson, science teacher at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Illinois. Tom teaches physics and (during less fortunate years) chemistry. He is a graduate the University of Illinois where he received degrees in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. Tom has been teaching physics since 1989.
In addition to teaching students, Tom has been involved in numerous projects working with companies and education groups to develop curriculum and web-based resources and to write and edit books. Such groups include the Electronic Learning Long Distance Network (ELDN!), Fermi Lab Education Group, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Annenberg/Corporation of Public Broadcasting, NCS/Educational Structures, Beta, Inc., Thinkronize/NetTrekker and Publications International, Ltd. Tom has played an assortment of roles for such groups, including editting a children's science novel, developing content for online exhibits, developing a grades 7-8 curriculum, producing authentic assessment projects, writing and editting standardized tests, finding and cataloging useful science web sites and serving as the technical editor of a How Things Work book for children.
Tom is always willing to consider such independent work. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Physics Classroom began as a
volunteer project during the 1996-97 school year. The
first five units were completed during that time; no
special funding or release time was provided for that work.
During the summer of 1998, a grant was received from
in the World Consortium of Schools in order to complete
some additional lessons on the topics of waves, sound,
light, reflection and refraction. Thanks to the generosity
and support of the Consortium, an additional five units were
added to The Physics Classroom during the summer of 1998.
More recent efforts have led to the creation of lessons on
the topic of static and current
Creating good and thorough web resources is a time-consuming task. As a classroom teacher, the daily preparation of lessons and labs, helping students, and (unfortunately) grading papers must come first. Nonetheless, my commitment to (and pleasure in) creating useful student resources remains high. Editting is an ongoing task which by itself can consume what remaining time I have. Summmer months provide additional time in a teacher's normally busy school schedule. During the coming summers, it is hoped that a series of "Advanced Topic" sections will be added to various units within The Physics Classroom. Such topics would include Young's Experiment, Thin Slit Interference Patterns, Ray Diagrams for Right Angle Mirrors, Acceleration-Time Graphs, etc.
Final plans include the production of a CD for sale at a low cost. Issues regarding images and copyright must first be resolved. Once resolved, much of the content of The Physics Classroom will be burned onto a CD, allowing users to utilize the resources without the need for an internet connection. There are no plans to ever prevent the files from being used online by other schools; nor are there plans to convert The Physics Classroom into a subscription service. It is only hoped that the sale of a CD will provide users the right to use the resources offline and to provide some money to justify further development.
© Tom Henderson