Snapshot Science Physics Resources

Home » Snapshot Science Physics Resources

Below are links to some physics teaching resources that I have written. They are all free to download and share.


Lighting the Olympic torch

Reflection, light, KS3, KS4

Includes a starter activity (slide 1) to get the students thinking about how the torch is lit as well as a student activity (slide 3) and a handout (slide 4). This asks them to draw in the light rays on the parabolic mirror using the law of reflection before writing an explanation as to how it works. I have included keywords but these can be removed for higher ability students. A model answer is shown on slide 5.

Why did the Titanic sink?

Forces, upthrust, force diagrams, buoyancy, KS3

A resource to help students to use forces to explain why the Titanic sank. It contains the task, keywords and level guidelines based on the APP framework which they can use for self-assessment of the task.

Pancake force diagrams


Force diagrams, forces, KS2, KS3

Students create their own diagrams to show the forces involved when flipping a pancake. This is ideally done on the computer, where they can use PowerPoint to add arrows, labels and even animate their creations. Or, you can display the instructions (slide 1) on the whiteboard and print out the other slides as handouts which the students can draw on.

Hamster energy transfer diagrams

Electricity generation, energy transfers, nanotechnology

A novel way of checking students’ understanding of energy transfer diagrams.  A hamster running around a wheel can be used to generate electricity.  Students fill in the missing forms of energy in the energy transfer diagrams to show this.

Electrical costs calculations

Power, kilowatt hours, KS4

Pembrokeshire council is planning to start turning off 14 000 of its street lights in order to save money.  This resource gives GCSE students practice at calculating electricity costs in order to work out if this will save the council as much money as they think.

Jetpack forces

Balanced/unbalanced forces, force diagrams, KS3

Students use their knowledge of forces to work out the size of forces needed to lift a man using a jetpack.

Cryosat-2 Satellite

Microwaves, satellites, speed equation, KS4

This Powerpoint contains a problem-solving activity which requires students to use the speed= distance/time equation to work out the depth of Arctic ice.

Bloodhound SSC

Acceleration, aerodynamics, forces, motion, streamlining, KS3, KS4

This resource uses the Bloodhound SSC to look at how its design means it’s acceleration will be quick enough to break the land speed record.

Energy transfers in The Firewinder

Electricity generation, energy transfers, renewable energy, KS3, KS4

Contains two starters – one for KS3 and one for KS4 using the Firewinder light which uses the wind to light up.

The hologram chamber

Light, reflection, ray diagrams, KS3

This Powerpoint contains two slides.  The first is a student sheet that can be printed out and given to the students.  They can draw rays on the diagram in order to explain how this gadget works.  This gives them an application of using the law of reflection.  The second slide shows a completed diagram and an explanation as to how it works, which can be displayed to the class.

How loud is a vuvuzela?

Decibels, ears, hearing loss, noise, sound, KS3

This Powerpoint contains a starter which engages the students’ interest by showing a picture of a vuvuzela and asking them why it is not good for their ears. The next slide contains an activity that asks them to place sounds like a jet engine in the correct place along a decibel scale. After revealing the answers, they are then asked about the vuvuzela – just how loud is it?  The final slide explains why loud sounds are dangerous and asks what advice they would give fans  – using ear plugs might be a sensible approach!

A new solar system

Space, solar system, planets, using data, KS3, KS4

In this Powerpoint students are introduced to a newly discovered Solar System and given facts about the Goldilocks zone, data about the Sun, the star HD10180 and planets in both our System and the newly discovered one.  They are asked to use the data to work out if life could exist on any of the planets, and explain their reasoning.  This could be done as a group activity as it lends itself well to discussion.  For KS4 students the data is also contained on this spreadsheet which they can use to manipulate the data to see further relationships.

New Zealand earthquake

Earthquakes, plate tectonics, seismic waves, KS4

This Powerpoint contains a starter, class discussion points and a group task asking students to think about what caused a New Zealand Earthquake.

Space tourism

Solar System, planets, KS2, KS3

Students write a postcard home from a planet in the Solar System.  They use their knowledge of the planet’s conditions to explain what their holiday is like.

Moonwatch starter

The Moon, KS2, KS3

This PowerPoint contains three questions about the Moon which can be used as a starter activity.

Moon phases worksheet

Phases of the Moon, KS2, KS3

Students discover why the Moon changes shape by drawing how its appearance changes throughout its orbit.

If you use a resource, please leave a comment to let me know how it went