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PREP - where to start: Home

For the Pre-college Experience in Physics program through the Physics & Astronomy Department

Welcome, PREP students!

These resources will be helpful for you as you begin work on your PREP poster research topics and your Rube Goldberg machines. Please pick a research topic that you're interested in and that you'll have fun with - this is supposed to be fun for you! Remember: if you can't find something or you're not sure where to start, please ask. You may find that your topic is broader than what you can easily find information on, so if you need help narrowing your topic down, please let me or your instructors know and we can help. You can contact me via the links under my picture, to the right on this libguide page.

Rube Goldberg Machine

Sometimes, the best place to start with designing something is seeing other people who did it right. In other words, YouTube!

You'll also need to explain what types of forces your machine uses. The Physics Hypertextbook has a chapter on different types of forces that might be useful as you start to imagine what you could use!

Need more? Ask!

Posters - other resources

The POA Library has a ton of resources that might be useful for you while you're working on your posters. 

  • You're welcome to use anything else in the library; explore a bit! I'd recommend browsing around the QC20-QC26 area of the stacks, near the back of the library.
    • What in the world is "QC20-QC26"? These are call number ranges. We organize the books in the stacks (shelves) by call numbers that put all the books about the same topic next to each other. That particular area has our basic physics textbooks and a lot of easy-to-read books about all sorts of physics.
    • How do I use the call numbers? See our Call Numbers handout for help with this. Or ask at the desk in the library! We're happy to help you find what you need.
  • Wikipedia physics portal: This is a great place to start exploring the wide world of physics and figure out what sorts of things interest you.
  • AccessScience (use while you're on campus): This is another great encyclopedia, a good place to learn a little bit about any physics topic you like.


If you want more, see the resources on the general Physics guide from the library.

Library of Congress call number subject classifications