Physics Quest: Story Based & Hands-on Physics for Middle School

Last year, for the first time, we took part in Physics Quest, a story-based activity that aims to teach middle school students physics concepts and give them a positive experience with physics. When the kit arrived, we jumped right in!

Physics Quest: Hands-on Physics for Middle School

Physics Quest began as a World Year of Physics 2005 project with a kit based on Albert Einstein. The American Physical Society (APS) sent out nearly 10,000 free kits that year, to classes across the country. Teacher feedback from the initial PhysicsQuest indicated that it successfully met a need for fun and accessible physics material at the middle school level, therefore APS decided to continue the program.

Spectra: High Intensity

In celebration of the International Year of Light, the 2015 kit, Spectra: High Intensity, provided the equipment needed to teach students about bending light, spherical lenses, how color and energy are related, and how the sun’s light also carries heat. We spent an entire day reading the story and exploring these physics concepts.

In Spectra: High Intensity, the storyline begins with the students learning that Miss Alignment had broken out of jail and was on the loose hatching evil plans. “Armed with a high IQ, an inferiority complex, and a secret lair, she will try yet again to control the town.”

Working together as a team, my kiddos completed the activities outlined in the book. In doing so, they applied the skills they need to help Spectra and her gang prevent Miss Alignment’s attempted town domination. It was great fun and the hands-on activities were perfectly designed for their age.


Physics Quest: Hands-on Physics for Middle School


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APS  provides a free Physics Quest kit to registered 6-9th grade physical science classes, home school groups, science clubs, and after-school programs. The kit includes a user’s manual and materials for four physics experiments. This program focuses on middle school students because these grades have been identified as the point when many students lose interest in math and science.

Registration is now open for the 2016 PhysicsQuest, Spectra’s Current Crisis.

About Eva Varga

Eva is passionate about education. She has extensive experience in both formal and informal settings. She presently homeschools her two young children, teaches professional development courses through the Heritage Institute, and writes a middle level secular science curriculum called Science Logic. In addition to her work in education, she is an athlete, competing in Masters swimming events and marathons. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling, learning new languages, and above all spending time with her family. ♥

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