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Props and Equipment for Paradigms Activities

Coordinate Axes


You can find gif versions of many of the figures we use in our activities here.


Spins OSP Software

The Spins software an elegant and simple simulation of the Stern-Gerlach experiment is used extensively in the Spins and Quantum Measurement Paradigm.



We use three different sizes of whiteboards for various different kinds of activities:

Wall-Mounted Whiteboards

These whiteboards are large and vertically mounted on the walls (like the front blackboard). We use these for activities where student groups present their results/calculations to the rest of the class.


Tabletop Whiteboards

These whiteboards are about 2×3 feet and lie flat on the groups' table/desks. We use these for most small group activities as a workspace for students to share their ideas with other members of their group (and so that the instructor can easily monitor the group's progress!).


Small Whiteboards

These whiteboards are ideally 12” by 18” and are for individual use. Students can each respond to a Socratic question and the instructor can collect these whiteboards for discussion with the whole class.

Small Whiteboard Small Whiteboard

Purchasing Whiteboards

You should be able to purchase the whiteboard material at any home improvement store (e.g. Home Depot). It is technically melamine, but that word just confuses many employees; instead ask for “that shiny white shower board stuff”. It should come in 4' x 8' sheets, plywood-size, approximately $10/sheet. Make sure that it is smooth and shiny and on a thin backing. Backing should NOT be plywood (it comes this way, but is too heavy). Thickness maybe 1/4”. You can get five medium sized whiteboards (2' by 3') out of one sheet (if you are clever) and 24 small white boards. Often the home improvement store will cut them for you at a small charge per cut.

If you buy framed whiteboards, ready-made for classroom use, they will be much more expensive. For large, wall-mounted whiteboards, you can build a frame yourself. Don't forget a “chalk” tray! But, if you are going to use the wall-mounted boards for many classes over many years, it is probably worth investing in professional enamel-on-steel boards available from classroom suppliers.

Little Person

We use a model little person to help students learn how to do proofs by contradiction when using Gauss' and Ampere's Laws.

Spheres and Cylinders


Meter Stick

Hula Hoop

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