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Chemistry

Thermos Design Challenge

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Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 08/02/2019 - 13:33

In these two design challenges, students will design and construct their own thermos/storage device using craft materials and measure its effectiveness to insulate a liquid with a PocketLab temperature probe. These activities are aligned with two middle school NGSS standards and are a great open-ended, hands-on project for students to engage their critical thinking and engineering skills. 

How much Carbon Dioxide do you Produce? (MS-ESS3-4 )

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Submitted by Danny on Fri, 07/05/2019 - 00:59

It is almost instinctive when you first get the PocketLab Air to breathe directly on it just to see what happens. As seen below, of the PocketLab Air's seven sensors, five of them detect changes from a direct human breath. These parameters are carbon dioxide, particulate matter, temperature, humidity, and pressure. The most interesting of these is the sharp rise in carbon dioxide which, as the most important greenhouse gas, brings about strong connections to the topic of climate change.

Sensors for Forest Fires

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Submitted by Danny on Wed, 06/05/2019 - 19:41

Forest fires are a common natural disaster within western North America and pose a serious risk to many communities both nearby due to direct danger of the fire, as well as far away in the form of air pollution. Currently, in many places, some form of government employee will be in charge of looking out for forest fires and once identified, satellites and computer programs can be used to track its progression and predict where the fire will spread and where the smoke cloud will go. This allows us to evacuate individuals who may be in danger and minimize loss of life.

Brownian Motion: Order from Chaos

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Submitted by Rich on Fri, 03/15/2019 - 02:27

Brownian Motion

Brownian motion can be defined as the random motion of particles in a liquid or gas caused by the bombardment from molecules in the containing medium.  Have you ever looked at dust particles in the sunlight shining through a window?  They appear to move about randomly, even defying gravity.  This is an example of Brownian motion in which the dust particles are bombarded on all sides by gas molecules in the air.  Other examples of Brownian motion include the motion of grains of pollen on the surface of still water, the dif

Grade Level

Using PocketLab to Investigate Newton's Law of Cooling

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Submitted by Rich on Wed, 06/28/2017 - 00:14

In this experiment students will use PocketLab to collect data related to the cooling of a container of hot water as time goes on.  Sir Isaac Newton modeled this process under the assumption that the rate at which heat moves from one object to another is proportional to the difference in temperature between the two objects, i.e., the cooling rate = -k*TempDiff.  In the case of this experiment, the two objects are water and air. Newton showed that TempDiff = To * exp(-kt), where TempDiff is the temperature difference at time t and To is the temperature difference at time zero.

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Investigating Boyle's Law with PocketLab

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Submitted by Rich on Tue, 06/27/2017 - 21:09

With a pressure sensor built into PocketLab, there must surely be some way to investigate Boyle's Law.  This law states that pressure and volume of an ideal gas are inversely proportional to one another provided that the temperature and amount of gas are kept constant within a closed system.  What is needed is a closed system that is large enough to hold PocketLab in a way that pressure can be sensed while changing the volume of the enclosed gas (in our case, air).

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Investigating Gay-Lussac's Law and Absolute Zero of Temperature with PocketLab and a Mason Jar

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Submitted by Rich on Tue, 06/27/2017 - 20:59

Gay-Lussac's Law states that when the volume of a container of gas is held constant, while the temperature of the gas is increased, then the pressure of the gas will also increase.  In other words, pressure is directly proportional to the absolute temperature for a given mass of gas at constant volume.  Although this is, strictly speaking, true only for an ideal gas, most gases that surround us behave much like an ideal gas.  Even ordinary air, which is a mixture of gases, can behave like an ideal gas.

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Pressure and Volume with a Syringe

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Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 18:11

Investigating Pressure and Volume with a Syringe

Exploration 

Explore air pressure and how it works. In a sealed syringe, as the plunger moves back and forth, the volume of air in the syringe changes. With a large enough syringe, a PocketLab can be placed inside to measure the change in pressure as the volume changes.

Grade Level

What is temperature?

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Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 18:02

Exploration

What does it mean to change temperature? What is temperature? We know what it means to be hot or cold, but what does it mean when you measure the temperature of an item?

Objective

In this experiment, students will:
1. Understand how the temperature of the water is related to the movement (kinetic energy) of the water molecules.
2. Use observations to describe the principle of thermal expansion.

Download PDF for complete lab activity 

Measuring Pressure Change from Chemical Reaction

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Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 16:49

Exploration

After a change occurs, if the molecules of the chemicals involved do not change, it is only a physical change. Ice melting to water is an example of this. A change has occurred, but the H2 0 as ice, remains H2 0 as water. If however the molecules of the chemicals involved do change to form new chemicals, then a chemical change has occurred.

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