The goal of this video lesson is to relate physics principles to natural phenomena, while simultaneously incorporating the context of global and environmental issues. The lesson aims to inform high school students of physics about applications far beyond the pure theoretical physics taught in high school. Students will apply their knowledge about Newton’s laws and the basics of fluid dynamics in order to understand some natural phenomena such as erosion, desertification and sand dunes. This learning video will take about 45 minutes and is divided into six segments with breaks for class activities and discussions. Materials needed include: a rectangular glass box (120cm* 88cm* 20cm ); hair dryer with three speeds to use as wind source; sand from the desert or from K.G. playgrounds (any substitute ); small plants with wide leaves; pieces of wood with different shapes; data show and a computer with PowerPoint software.
Khalaf abdel Azez and Borhan Al Biss are professors in the Physical Science Department at the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) in Irbid, Jordan.
This site, sponsored by Geology.Com, provides a list of erosion lesson plans, classroom activities, projects, and demonstrations.
This lesson, sponsored by Discovery Education, provides a lesson on desertification suitable for grades 9-12.
This site, sponsored by Nova Online, presents information about the Arabian Desert with connections to teacher activities and desert-related links.
This site, sponsored by How Stuff Works, presents an easily understandable discussion of sand dune formation.