Lab Supplies for Discover Physics

For any family looking for a robust physics course, hands-on lab assignments are a must—and this involves purchasing supplies.

While most students’ favorite part of physics is the labs, it’s not essential that students complete all of the labs. We recommend parents have students complete a minimum of the first two labs where we teach students about lab report writing plus 13 more labs (a total of 15 labs).

Lab Supplies on a Budget

We understand the budget constraints of many homeschoolers — purchasing curriculum and supplies often for multiple children can be pricey!

We recommend your students plan to watch all of the lab videos and complete at least 15 labs for high school credit. Be sure to have your students complete labs that accompany lessons 1 and 2 where we teach students how to write lab reports.

So how can you make this work on a tight budget? One great way you can stay within your budget constraints is by completing the labs that only require easily obtainable lab supplies and supplies you can probably find around your house. 

Lab Supplies for Discover Physics

Below are two lists of supplies you’ll need. On the left are lab supplies that need to be purchased from a lab supply company. On the right is a list of supplies you will like have around your house or that you can easily acquire from a local store. Alternatively, you can see a list of lab supplies listed by lesson on this page.

 Household Supplies


  • Stopwatch (preferably one that shows hundredths of a second)

  • Meter stick or yardstick (multiple lessons)

  • Ruler
  • Paper ball

  • Baseball

  • Tennis ball

  • Pool ball

  • Orange

  • Option 1: Smart phone or video camera (preferably with a slow-motion filming option)

  • Option 2: Large board to create a ramp

  • Bathtub

  • Camera

  • Light source (if camera does not have a flash)

  • Timer or metronome

  • Empty 2-liter or 20 oz plastic pop bottle

  • Water

  • Sharpie marker

  • Various household items
  • Index card (white)

  • Small pot

  • 1 cup measuring cup

  • Spoon

  • Stove

  • Ice
  • Pot of boiling water
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 Styrofoam cups (16 oz capacity)
  • Piece of cardboard 
  • 100-200 g of US nickels
  • Empty 20 oz. plastic bottle (made of sturdy plastic, PET/Recyclable 1)
  • Rubber balloon
  • Large bowl or plastic tub capable of holding water to surround the plastic bottle
  • Small weights that can fit inside the bottle (coins work well)
  • String and ruler or seamstress style tape measure 
  • Video camera, smart phone with video capabilities, or webcam (optional, preferred)
  • Masking tape for marking
  • Blocks/books for stacking
  • 5 coffee filters
  • String, 2-5m
  • 2-3 canned goods, various sizes and weights
  • 2-3 empty cans, various sizes and weights
  • 2-3 hollow balls, various sizes and weights (basketball, whiffle, tennis, ping-pong, etc.)
  • 2-3 solid balls, various sizes and weights (baseball, golf ball, bowling ball, pool ball, etc.)

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