Physics, according to Alan Van Huvelen, is a fundamental science encompassing subjects ranging from atoms to galaxies. It searches for the general laws that bring understanding to the chaotic behaviour of surroundings.
Physics, as being viewed nowadays, is no longer an isolated subject. Therefore, physics teachers have an important task of making their students realize that physics is everywhere. This broadening scope and nature of teaching physics has made the duties and responsibilities of an average physics teacher more challenging than before. Thus, a physics teacher must be innovative and creative; he must be equipped with science skills and concepts and must be acquainted with the latest teaching strategies and techniques.
Science teaching may not be likely efficient and successful unless it is done in a laboratory. A good laboratory room has available equipment and apparatus to be used by the students in their experiments. These equipment and apparatus are not necessarily of the best kind as long as they serve the purpose of enabling the students to understand the basic physics principles and the difference of their performance with the sophisticated ones is not that great. They also make students become more aware that scientific principles applied to everyday things are not associated with special apparatus.
Most secondary public high schools have inadequate laboratory equipment. The rural high schools are generally considered to have a very limited range of equipment. In case there is any, it is insufficient compared with the student population. As a result, teachers tend to resort to the “chalk-talk” method where the students are asked to read book, listen to lectures and write the results of normal experiments. Written experiments, which do not necessarily require students to actually perform them, still retain the old, old line, the “therefore I conclude” phrase which enables even those who did not actually see or perform the activity to “conclude”. Thus, as stated by Orata in 1978, “All these dampened rather heightened enthusiasm for science among the students”.
To remedy this situation, physics teachers need to use their initiative and resourcefulness to improve equipment made from low-cost, local and discarded materials. They must use any available resources and encourage their students to participate in the actual making of this equipment. And with the proper construction and improvisation, these equipment and apparatus can perform as efficiently as the commercially-available ones.
By: Jocelyn M. Reyes, MT-II Mariveles National High School Poblacion