Minds-on Physics (MOP) sample activities can be freely downloaded at http://www.srri.umass.edu/mop


John Clement, a long-time modeler in Houston, uses MOP with Modeling Instruction.


MOP is a research-based constructivist curriculum for 9th grade to college, in six volumes of student activities with six Teacher's Guides.  It emphasizes analyzing, reasoning, explaining and strategizing - and cooperative groups, and student discourse. It uses simple apparatus: balls, string, washers, marbles, toy trucks, and bathroom scales; and dynamics carts, air tracks, and spring scales are helpful. 


John Clement contributed this sample MOP activity that is especially effective in his classes.

* A012FallingMarble-measure


John wrote the following:


You can download the following sample activities at the MOP website, but in particular A16 is one of the most important.  A16 needs some instructor information.


A16 is designed in such a fashion that all students can do the A and C parts in groups. (The B part is impossible for regular students but only possible for a few advanced students even in college.)  At the point this is given they only have the kinematic equation X= Vt + X0, but it can be used for B.  They are given NO preliminary instruction, but the instructor has to go around and perhaps question the students.  Only let them spin their wheels on B for 10 minutes and then tell them to go on to C.  As a wrap-up you can say that they do not have to do B, but if some students are intrigued by it, they may take a copy home and try to work it out.  If successful they can present the solution.  You can hint that part C can give clues on how to do part B.  Some students will forget that that Miranda returns and they will have her graph continue to go up rather than go back down so there is no solution.  Of course you can ask questions like where is Miranda at a particular time? or does the graph match the motion map (strobe diagram)?


A41 is one that I use as a lead-in to interactions, and it is very good.

A46 is excellent and I have the students do a ranking.

A50 is classic free body diagrams and may not fit in with Modeling.

A59 is excellent and I sometimes use it.

A77 is very good, especially A4.  A4 is very challenging, and may be excerpted as a separate activity.  Actually doing momentum graphs for 2 colliding objects is a must.

A86 is excellent.

A91 had good activities, but the equation part may have a substitution of your own instructions.

FF 9 has good activities, but the 2-balloon comparision may be done as an interactive demo.  First show 2 balloons that balance the scale and then blow one up fully tight.  Double Stick tape on the scale helps keep the ballons in place.

FF 20 is good.

Minds on Physics very sensibly integrates general gravitational forces with electrical forces, rather than making it separate.