Physical Science (Explorations)

Our junior high school physical science “explorations” title is geared for grades 7 – 9 actually covering a bit more breadth than our more sophisticated high school/college physical science titles. The depth of coverage, however, is lighter and the questions at the back of each chapter and the unit exams are not as challenging, though they still push the envelope for this younger age group. Our “explorations” titles make for a good introduction to the basic concepts while also nurturing an enthusiasm for learning more about science.


Physical Science, Explorations, The Full Version (Grades 7 – 9)

Accompanying Printed Textbook:Conceptual Physical Science Explorations, 2e. Sold separately

Click here to learn more about this textbook from the publisher. Here is a link to some sample pages from one of the astronomy chapters: CPSESample

About This Course

This comprehensive course template collates all 34 chapters of the Conceptual Physical Science Explorations textbook into 5 units and a total of 34 lessons (one lesson per chapter). Recommended for grade levels 7 – 9. This is ample material for two semesters of study. To be clear, this is a survey course covering the basic ideas of physics, chemistry, Earth science, and astronomy. As such, this course makes for a nice introduction to each of these fields. Greater depth can be accomplished by taking one of our dedicated high school courses in physics or chemistry in a subsequent year. Along with a library of video tutorials and reading assignments, included are worksheets, interactive simulations, study advice from the authors, automated quizzes with grade book, complete labs using household materials, and unit exams. This course provides a strong and enjoyable introduction to physical science for the young and energetic adolescent. It also serves well as a precursor to our high school level Conceptual Physics or Conceptual Chemistry courses.

5 Units; 34 Lessons

Unit A: Mechanics
Unit B: Forms of Energy
Unit C: Chemistry
Unit D: Earth Science
Unit E: Astronomy

About Laboratories

For this Conceptual Physical Science Explorations course, ample laboratory activities are included right within the weekly lessons. You need not purchase any mail-order lab kit. Instead, the materials for these activities, such as white glue, coins, and popsicle sticks, are readily available within a household or a local discount store. This is important as it allows you to assign labs for various “homework” assignments. These lab activities are collated from a the following sources:

1) You’ll find the “Think and Do” activities described within the textbook end-of-chapter material. These activities tend to be short and sweet, as well as numerous.

2) We offer “PhET Labs” that make use of computer simulations created through the PhET program sponsored by the University of Colorado. The PhET simulations themselves are embedded within a lesson’s From Your Instructor (FYI) page. For many of these simulations you’ll also find within the Doc Share a write-up worksheet that guides the student through a simulation-based activity.

3) We offer the Conceptual Physics and Conceptual Chemistry Beyond the Laboratory Manuals created by professors Stephanie Blake of Ozarks Technical College, MO, and Brandon Burnett of Weber State University, UT. These creative manuals features many engaging and mind-opening hands-on experiments utilizing only readily available materials. For each activity, after following through a prescribed set of instructions (guided learning), the student is then pushed to create their own experimental procedure on a related subject (inquiry learning). The innovative yet safe activities of these manuals use only materials you’ll find within the home or a local discount store. With these manuals you can implement what we call the “flipped lab” where students conduct labs at home, which allows for critical follow-through to occur within class. You’ll find these manuals as free downloads on our labs page.

4) Our official Conceptual Physical Science Explorations Lab Manual contains about 100 activities. In conjunction with the above mentioned activities, we have narrowed this down to 18 labs, which we have cut and pasted into documents made available to you through the FYI pages. Like the other activities, these too require materials that should be readily available. For example, to measure a star’s ascension, you need only a straw, protractor, pencil, and a weighted string.


Sample Chemistry Video: Medicines

“The CONCEPTUAL approach means a focus on the concepts. Although much of physical science is mathematical, a firm grasp of its concepts is crucial to understanding. Hence our motto: concepts first. Enjoy!”