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What Makes Active Physics Unique?

A full-year, NSF-funded physics curriculum developed for ALL students, with built-in flexibility to be used as a physics first or an upper-level physics course. Also available as chapter books which are perfect for extended day and summer school programs.


Three-Dimensional, Project-Based Learning

  • Embraces three-dimensional learning of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), seamlessly integrating
    • science and engineering practices
    • crosscutting concepts
    • core ideas
  • Each chapter is anchored in an interesting and meaningful challenge.
  • Students use their new physics knowledge to creatively solve their Chapter Challenges.
  • Interactive Digital Edition for students and teachers.
  • Science equipment and kits to support  investigation-centered learning.

Students Learn Like Scientists and Engineers

  • Students develop important 21st-century skills as they work collaboratively in groups and engage in scientific discourse.
  • Students engage in the Engineering Design Cycle as they iteratively work towards completing the Chapter Challenge.
  • The program is based on cognitive science research encapsulated in the 7E Instructional Model.

Total Support for Teachers

  • Student Edition and a comprehensive Teacher’s Edition are available in print and digital formats.
  • Active Physics Plus extends learning for students who need and want more mathematics, depth, concepts, or explorations.
  • Active Physics Learning Community provides teachers with resources to prepare lessons as well as share and compare with other teachers in an online community.
  • Online resources include daily lesson plans, pre-quizzes, student misconceptions, differentiation strategies, as well as videos that highlight the crucial physics for each section, and videos that familiarize teachers with lab equipment and setup.
  • Professional Learning to ensure teachers are prepared for successful implementation.


Active Physics® is based on the research on how students learn—encapsulated in the 7E Instructional Model (elicit, engage, explore, explain, elaborate, extend, evaluate). As a result, Active Physics provides ALL students with a deep and memorable learning experience.

Active Physics students are motivated to learn.
Students are motivated to learn science in the context of highly engaging and authentic “real-world” projects that guide instruction and serve to organize their learning. Research shows that the project-based approach promotes excitement and meaningful learning for ALL students.

Active Physics students learn like scientists.
The science and engineering practices, as described in A Framework for K-12 Science Education, are integrated throughout the curriculum. Students engage with complex situations and collaborate on what they need to learn in order to manage the situation effectively.

Active Physics is for ALL students.
The Active Physics Plus feature in the student edition allows teachers to customize the program for students who want or need more mathematics, depth, concepts, or explorations. A comprehensive Teacher’s Edition and Resources provide full support for differentiated instruction with augmentations, accommodations, and suggestions for the English Language Learner.

Hear what Active Physics Students have to say...

Meet the Active Physics Author

Dr. Arthur Eisenkraft
University of Massachusetts

Dr. Arthur Eisenkraft has taught high school physics for over 28 years. He is currently the Distinguished Professor of Science Education, Professor of Physics and Founding Director of the Center of Science and Math in Context (COSMIC) at the University of Massachusetts Boston.  Dr. Eisenkraft is the author of numerous science and educational publications and holds a patent for a Laser Vision testing system, which tests visual acuity for spatial frequency.

Dr. Eisenkraft has been recognized with numerous awards for his teaching, scholarship and service including:  the National Science Board Public Service Award, 2017; the NSTA’s most prestigious award, the Robert H. Carleton Award for “making outstanding contributions to and providing leadership in science education at the national level,” 2010; the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Robert A. Millikan Medal for “notable and creative contributions in physics education,” 2009; Honorary Doctorate of Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1993; Disney American Teacher Award for Science Teacher of the Year, 1991; the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching from President Ronald Reagan, 1986.

In 1999, Dr, Eisenkraft was elected to a three-year cycle as the President Elect, President, and Retiring President of the NSTA, the world’s largest organization of science teachers.  He has served on numerous committees of the National Academy of Science, including the content committee that has helped author the National Science Education Standards and the Framework for K-2 Science Education, and in 2003 he was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of science (AAAS).  Dr. Eisenkraft has been involved with several projects and chaired many notable competitions, including the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVisions Awards (1991 to present), which he co-created; the Toyota TAPESTRY Grants (1990 to 2005); and the Duracell/NSTA Scholarship Competition (1984 to 2000).  In 1993, he served as Executive Director for the XXIV International Physics Olympiad after being Academic Director for the United States team for six years.

Dr. Eisenkraft’s presently leads the Wipro Science Education Fellowship program which is bringing sustainable change to over 35 school districts across seven states.  He has recently been supporting novel educational initiatives in Thailand and India.  His current research projects include a study of professional development choices that teachers make when facing a large-scale curriculum change, assessing the technological literacy of K-12 students and investigating how teachers can become leaders without leaving the classroom.  Dr. Eisenkraft is a frequent presenter and keynote speaker.  He has published over 100 articles and presented over 200 papers and workshops.  Quantoons, written with L. Kirkpatrick and featuring illustrations by Tomas Bunk, led to an art exhibition at the New York Hall of Science.

Dr. Eisenkraft has been featured in articles in The New York Times, Education week, Physics Today, Scientific American, Science, the American Journal of Physics, and The Physics Teacher.  He has testified before the United States Congress, appeared on the NBC’s The Today Show, National Public Radio, and many other radio and television broadcasts, including serving as the science consultant to ESPN’s Sports Figures.



This document charts the alignment between Active Physics® and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

NGSS Alignment Badge - Practices, Content, Crosscutting



"The first thing I noticed was the smiles on students' faces, they were very interested in coming to school and to Physics class. They are up doing the things and making the connections as they go. Hands-on investigations where the students are in control of what they are doing as opposed to sitting at a desk. We want kids exploring Project-Based Learning and employing 21st-century skills and this curriculum gave us easy access to this."

Marlborough STEM Academy