Pre-College Demonstration Book List

Physical Science and Physics Demonstrations

Reference List for Teachers and Students

Prepared by

Mr. Dr. Richard Berg
Department of Physics
University of Maryland

Edited by

Mr. Jerry Hester
Department of Physics
Michigan Technological University
1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931
Phone: (906) 487-2273

This document is distributed as a helpful start for anyone interested in physics experiments. If you have additions to this list or comments on my evaluations, please contact me. Feel free to duplicate and distribute copies in any way helpful. If you have comments on, or additions to this list, please contact me at any of the above addresses.

1.700 Science Experiments for Everyone, Compiled by UNESCO (Doubleday and Company, 1962). A number of experiments appropriate for children of all ages, but primarily useful as a reference for teachers.

2. Vicky Cobb and Kathy Darling, Bet You Can! Vicky Cobb and Kathy Darling,Bet You Can't! (Avon Books, 1983). Two books with surprising experiments designed to appeal to elementary and middle school students. Contains 62 tricks you can do and 82 tricks you can't do.

3. Martin Gardner, Entertaining Science Experiments with Everyday Objects (Dover Publications, 1981). Over 100 physics experiments appropriate to upper elementary and middle school level.

4. Charles Vivian, Science Experiments and Amusements for Children (Dover Publications, 1967). About 40 very nice elementary physics experiments.

5. Robert J. Brown, 333 Science Tricks and Experiments Robert J. Brown, 333 More Science Tricks and Experiments (Tab Books, 1984). Experiments in all areas of science, originally run as a science series in the L. A. Times newspaper syndicate, at elementary and middle school levels.

6. Robert J. Brown, 200 Illustrated Science Experiments for Children (Tab Books, 1987). Covers many areas of science and includes a section on projects to build.

7. Don Herbert, Mr. Wizard's Supermarket Science (Random House, 1980) "More than 100 fascinating and fun experiments using easy-to-find everyday items."

8. Edi Lanners, 123 Classic Science Tricks and Experiments (Tab Books, 1981). Lots of nice things for middle school or perhaps elementary level, many of the nature of "magic tricks."

9. David Kutliroff, 101 Classroom Demonstrations and Experiments (Tab Books, 1981). Nice experiments, mainly high school level, but some usable in middle school.

10. T. Perelman, Physics Can Be Fun (Mir Publishers, English version 1975). Over 300 demonstrations and 99 review questions about material covered. Aimed at high school level, but of some interest to teachers of lower levels.

11. I. K. Kikoin (editor), Physics in Your Kitchen Lab (Mir publishers, English version 1985). 177 pages of experiments which can be done with materials in your average Russian kitchen; mainly at high school level, some useful for younger students.

12. Herb Strongin, Science on a Shoestring (Addison-Wesley, 1985). About 50 experiments "designed for the K-7 teacher with little or no science background, few supplies and materials, and an ordinary classroom."

13. R. D. Edge, String and Sticky Tape Experiments (American Association of Physics Teachers, College Park, MD, 1987). Over 150 physics experiments, using readily available materials, aimed at high school level but some usable for middle school students.

14. Shoma Kutasov, Physics Demonstrations (Penn Books, 1978). Over 400 experiments, many appropriate for middle school students, but using equipment often not available.

15. Robert Ehrlich, Turning the World Inside Out and 174 Other Simple Demonstrations (Princeton University Press, 1990). Nice experiments, many applicable to middle school, with instructions for construction and cost of materials.

16. Janice VanCleave, PHYSICS for Every Kid (John Wiley & Sons, 1991). Contains 101 easy experiments in motion, heat, light, machines, and sound; ideas for individual or classroom projects and science fairs. Nice book for elementary kids.

17. Robert W. Wood, PHYSICS FOR KIDS; 49 Easy Experiments with Optics(Tab Books, 1990). A nice collection of simple experiments for elementary school children which can be done using materials commonly found around the house.

18. Glenn McGlathery and Larry Malone, Tons of Scientifically Provocative and Socially Acceptable Things to do with Balloons under the Guise of Teaching Science (Teacher Idea Press, A Division of Libraries Unlimited, INC., Englewood, Colorado, 1991). Includes 83 experiments, correlations of activities with several series of texts, and a long bibliography.

Electricity and Magnetism

19. Grant Mellor, Flying Tinsel - An Unusual Approach to Teaching Electricity (Cuisinaire Company of America, Inc. White Plains, New York, 1993). Contains 29 laboratory-type lessons for middle school students covering aspects of static electricity, current electricity, and electromagnetism. Experiments use common and easy-to-obtain materials. Interesting book.

20. Rudolf F. Graf, Safe and Simple Electrical Experiments (Dover Publications, Inc., 1973). 101 experiments covering static electricity, magnetism, current electricity and magnetism at the middle school level. Contains many nice experiments that can be done with readily available materials.

21. Larry E. Schafer, Taking Charge - An Introduction to Electricity(National Science Teachers Association, 1992). Contains 25 "activities" divided into two "modules:" static electricity and current electricity, along with a master list of required materials and list of suppliers. This book contains lab data sheets which can be duplicated by the middle school teacher for use in student labs.

Science Fair Project Ideas

1. Maxine Haren Iritz, Science Fair: Developing a Successful and Fun Project (Tab Books, 1987). Many hints along with several sample projects along with a summary of projects in various areas of science.

2. Peter H. Goodwin, Engineering Projects for Young Scientists (Franklin Watts, 1987). Aimed at high school students, several chapters dealing with many topics in engineering and applied physics, with an extensive bibliography. Excellent book.

3. Julianne Blair Bochinski, The Complete Handbook of Science Fair Projects (Wiley Science Editions, John Wiley & Sons, 1991). Contains a nice discussion of the various activities in a science fair project along with descriptions of 50 possible projects, many appropriate for middle school.

4. Anthony D. Fredericks and Isaac Asimov, The Complete Science Fair Handbook (Good Year Books, 1990). Excellent book. Includes discussion of various aspects of a science fair project, suggestions for projects by grade level from grade 4 through 8, student planning guide, and long lists of sources of information and materials.

For comments or constructive criticism of this document please e-mail Mr. Jerry Hester,, or send comments by phone or to the mailing address on the home page.

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