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Hot Wheels Racing with PocketLab

Submitted by PocketLab on Wed, 01/31/2018 - 18:45

Engage your students in engineering practices and classic force and motion and energy concepts in a fun and unique way. With a PocketLab attached to a Hot Wheels car and a track full of magnets, you'll be able to collect data on position, velocity, acceleration, and energy as your car zips up an over hills and around loops. Turn your students into theme park engineers and have them design "roller coaster" tracks, iterate on car designs for races, or teach basic concepts on position and velocity. This activity is sure to help engage your students in a meaningful way. 

Follow this link for the set-up details as Google Slide Show. 

Objective:

1. Experiment with potential and kinetic energy conservation

2. Hands-on experiment to measure position, velocity, and race times

3. Convert Gate Times to speed and kinetic energy measurements

 

Example Results

 

Supplies Needed

-PocketLab Voyager - http://thepocketlab.com/store/#!/PocketLab-Voyager/p/79012257/category=24480207 

-Hot Wheels Track and Car- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0721CGJMT/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

-Magnets (10 mm diameter)- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0753ZPBLQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

-Command Velcro Strips- https://www.amazon.com/Command-Picture-Hanging-16-Pairs-PH204-16ES/dp/B073XS3CHV/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1517338561&sr=8-9&keywords=command%2Bstrips&th=1

-Hot Glue or Quick Set Epoxy

 

Optional Supplies

3D Printed Track Connector.

File for single connector: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1g9tHmLNQwY8rXyVmGY5oQbn6v4Z4FobY/view

 

File for double connector: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dMsjoVVgGRDt0Lkj3lG70EFzGloBLHla/view

 

 

Track Connector - Install magnets in bottom to act as timing gates

Hot Wheels Track Connector

 

 

3D Printed Track Connector

 

 

Setup

1. Place magnetic track connectors every two sections to act as timing gates

2. Construct track to your unique design

3. Attach a Command Velcro strip to the Hot Wheels car and the PocketLab Voyager sensor

4. Connect the PocketLab Voyager to the PocketLab App

5. Select Magnetic Field Magnitude from the Graph Options

6. Set the data rate to 50 samples/sec

7. You're now ready to race

 

Manually extracting gate times from the graph data is easy in the app

 

Race Time Calculator Spreadsheet

The spreadsheet automatically extracts Gate Times and calculates Time Splits and Average Speeds. Follow this link to the spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hfv8PI80MSI4TrFGl62tQN-t_ydkqbZdlE4t26OdcwA/edit?usp=drive_web

Example data: 

 

Extension - Design and make your own cars with 3D printing and compare race times and speed. 

   

 

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