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A Classic Case of Serial Murder

In this case study, a newly appointed medical examiner uncovers an unusual trend in drowning cases, which she suspects may be the work of a serial ...


A Cool Glass of Water

Does an ice cube melt more quickly in salt water or in freshwater? The answer surprises the group of student science teachers portrayed in this cas ...


A Fridge in Space

This case analyzes the principles of thermodynamics and the operating cycle of an adiabatic demagnetizing refrigerator (ADR), a piece of equipment ...


A Googol of Atoms?

What is a googol?  Invented by Edward Kasner, an American mathematician who popularized the number in his 1940 book, Mathematics and the I ...


A Light on Physics

This case study presents students with the challenge of working together in teams to win a photography contest. Some team members believe in apertu ...


A Recipe for Invention

In this case study, designed to help break down stereotypes about scientists and engineers, students research the personal and professional lives o ...


A Tale of Two Houses

At Thanksgiving dinner, Uncle Bubba and Uncle Bill are arguing over whose house is more expensive to heat or cool: Bubba's Georgia home in the summ ...


An Electrical Storm on the Horizon

In this fictional case study, the state of Oklahoma has profited by giving incentives for companies to build power plants in rural areas of the sta ...


Applying Newton’s Third Law of Motion in the Gravitron Ride

A trip to an amusement park is the setting for this introduction to the concept of centripetal force in terms of Newton's laws of motion and vector ...


Deflategate: A Real Application of the Ideal Gas Law

This case study involves analysis of data collected as part of the National Football League's investigation into the New England Patriots allegedly ...


Escape from Colditz Castle

The goal of this case study is to make the traditional Atwood's machine problem more interesting for students. Colditz Castle, located in Germany, ...


Fooled by What We See

Most students have witnessed the refraction of light when viewing a partially submerged object—a spoon in a glass of water appears to bend&md ...


In the Eye of the Storm: A Case Study in Natural Disasters

This case study of Hurricane Katrina chronicles a college student's adventures with the Hurricane Hunters, a group of people from the Air Force Res ...


Rated MPG for Confusion

This case study follows a family’s dilemma about how to save money on gasoline. Should they keep their SUV and trade in their Corolla for a h ...


Sorting Trash with Static Electricity

Recycling plastic is an effective way to reduce waste in landfills. However, in order to effectively reuse recycled plastic, different types of pla ...


The Benign Hamburger

In this dilemma case study, the executives of a popular restaurant chain must decide whether to use irradiated meat, in this case, beef, to protect ...


The Cheerleader and the Football Player

As the result of a wager between the school football team and its cheerleading squad, one of the cheerleaders has to lift a 300-pound football play ...


The Itsy-Bitsy Spider: An Analysis of Spider Locomotion

The evolution of physiological characteristics can be strongly influenced by physics. Animals whose physiology allows them to better escape predato ...


The Moon

The overall goal of this interrupted case study is for students to practice confirmation/disconfirmation reasoning while learning the basics of sol ...


The Never-Ending Contamination

This case study discusses a possible national security crisis of a terrorist group stealing radioactive materials in an attempt to build and detona ...


The Zoom Lens

A motion picture company (circa 1950) is having problems with antiquated equipment. The director, actors, and crew all want the CEO of the company, ...


When the Flu Is Not the Flu

This case study explores the progression of COVID-19 from initial flu-like symptoms to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to infection ...