A critical analysis shows that the very successful tradition of formalism-intensive physics teaching has inadvertently deprived college students of the opportunity to learn about, and experience with, a wide range of physical phenomena of contemporary interest. The key to remedy the situation significantly is to expose the students early in their college education to physical phenomena, the very stuff that sustains physics. This project involves a new concept of laboratory teaching with a strong phenomenological orientation in order to bring about a balance to the otherwise effective and rigorous tradition. The two key requirements are to compensate for the gap in the students preparedness and to break down the physical phenomena of interest to the point where it is both transparent and accessible. This can be accomplished by complimentary use of numerical simulation and experimental measurement with emphasis on optical and electrical visualization. A new teaching laboratory has been created toward this goal, suitable for an introductory instructional setting where students of broad curricular background participate. A number of theme- oriented experiment modules have been developed to different levels of completeness, with topics drawn from mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, spectroscopy and thermodynamics. Further research and development of selected experiment modules are being carried out, with a view toward ready transferability of the concept to other institutions as well as to other scientific disciplines.