Common Sense Review
Updated November 2015

NOVA: Physics + Math

Chem, physics, and math multimedia to engage and amaze advanced kids
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Common Sense Rating 3
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  • Scroll down on the module home page to access a list of relevant media types.
  • Almost 30 physics, chemistry, and math articles are available.
  • Get instructions for building your own subatomic particle detector.
  • Join Einstein in a taxi during an interactive about relativity.
  • Challenge traditional beliefs on friction through an advanced article.
Christie Thomas
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
How Can Teachers Use It?

NOVA: Physics + Math is home to videos, articles, and other multimedia on advanced science (largely quantum physics and chemistry) as well as some math. The sophisticated (even surreal) content and clever language make this module most appropriate for older and more advanced students.

Challenge your higher-level students with imagination-sparking articles on topics such as dark matter and absolute hot. After watching or reading, have your students post quick summaries to a classroom blog or report out in class. Use the site's media to build connections to historic scientists -- Newton, Einstein, Percy Julian -- as well as to current-day careers. Definitely use the interactives to help kids picture and puzzle through challenging topics such as relativity. Chemistry teachers should know that, despite the module's title, some parts of this collection are chemistry-based (the periodic table, molecules, fire). Calculus classrooms may appreciate the two "Zombies and Calculus" video shorts, though related practice problems are (unfortunately) not included.


  • DIY Subatomic Particle Detector: This short video provides building steps and background on how to (truly!) make your own tiny particle detector; teachers may want to highlight safety guidelines related to dry ice.
  • A Trip Through Spacetime: In this interactive, join Einstein on a taxi ride to get a grasp on relativity.
  • Friction Fighters: This fascinating article explores a common everyday physics topic (fiction); know that this one is a challenging read.
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