5-Minute Film Festival

5-Minute Film Festival: Classroom Resources for Physics Teachers

illustration of an atom

Have you ever wondered why airplanes stay in the air? What a vortex is? How gravity works? Physics can tell you! Physics is the amazing study of how the world around us works. Check out these ten YouTube creators who are making videos all about the physical world, and see how you can bring the joy of physics to your students!

Video Playlist: Top Ten Science Channels for Physics Teachers

Watch the first video below, or watch the whole playlist on YouTube.

  1. Theory of Everything: What is Matter? (2:18)

    Henry Reich of MinutePhysics utilizes quirky illustrations and the occasional field trip to explain real-world physics like: how does an airplane stay in the air? Or, why is the sky blue instead of purple? In this video, he addresses one of the core concepts of physics: matter. 

  2. Crazy Pool Vortex (4:02)

    Dianna Cowern, a.k.a. "Physics Girl," is known for her enthusiastic hands-on demonstrations of cool physics phenomena that can be easily adapted to a middle or high school classroom. In this video, she shows you how to make a half vortex in an ordinary swimming pool.

  3. How to Build a Rocket (5:01)

    These two elementary school brothers, Aiden and Jared of WhizKidScience, love doing science experiments at home and filming the results to share with other kids. In this unboxing video they show viewers how to use a build-a-rocket kit from Bill Nye the Science Guy

  4. The Backwards Brain Bicycle (7:57)

    In this video, Destin Sandlin from Smarter Every Day demonstrates momentum and brain plasticity by learning how to ride a specially-built bicycle with backwards controls. It turns out that the phrase "it's as easy as riding a bike" might be more misleading than you thought.

  5. The Mysterious and Powerful Force of Gravity (3:54)

    In this excerpt from the Science Channel, scientists explain how gravity is a force so powerful that it can alter the fabric of space and even the path of light waves! Their channel features many high-stakes physics stunts, such as this video, showing world's fastest wheelie on ice.

  6. Indie Lab - Why Blowing Across Bottles Makes Music (10:54)

    Doc Schuster is a teacher at Webster Groves High School in St. Louis, and on YouTube he offers a look into his entire AP physics course. His channel is a great window into how one teacher does physics, and might give you some ideas for your own classroom. 

  7. Homemade Projector (1:25)

    Steve Spangler is an educator and TV personality with several YouTube channels. Sick Science! demonstrates Spangler's various for-sale experiment kits, and it's a great place to get ideas for fun projects to try on your own. His other channels, like The Spangler Effect, are great for in-class use. 

  8. Science Xplained: The Titanic's Metal Mysteries (5:27)

    Watch as Dr. Ainissa Ramirez, science evangelist and Edutopia blogger, explains how the Titanic sank. It turns out, it wasn't just the iceberg's fault. Ramirez has an entire series of Science Xplained videos, as well as a chemistry series called Material Marvels.  

  9. Casimir Effect & Black Holes (5:27)

    The instructors at the University of Nottingham like to discuss and debunk common physics misconceptions through their channel Sixty Symbols. This video explains some of the more complicated mechanics of everyone's favorite space theory -- black holes. 

  10. 5 Fun Physics Phenomena (5:27)

    Looking for some simple and fun ways to demonstrate physics in the classroom? Derek Muller of Veritasium has you covered! 

More Resources on Physics in the Classroom

For more resources to use in your science or physics classroom, check out these websites and articles. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments below.