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Earth Science

PocketLab/Ozobot LIDAR Demonstration

Submitted by Rich on Fri, 07/06/2018 - 23:05

Introduction

LIDAR—an acronym for Light Detection and Ranging—is a method for remote sensing to measure distances.  While LIDAR commonly uses reflected laser light to accomplish this, students can investigate LIDAR principles by using Voyager’s IR rangefinder in conjunction with Ozobot Evo.  Ozobot is a tiny programmable robot that can follow lines.  In this activity, PocketLab Voyager is mounted on top of Ozobot.  While Ozobot t

Grade Level

What causes the seasons?

Submitted by PocketLab on Tue, 05/22/2018 - 17:41

What causes the seasons on Earth? 

Weather is always changing. Humans have been dividing up the year based on these changes in weather for thousands of years. A division of a year based on weather is called a season. Different regions of the Earth have different names for seasons and different types of seasons. The most common seasonal names used are Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.

A Lesson in Radioactivity and Half-Life: Voyager/Scratch Geiger Counter Simulation

Submitted by Rich on Tue, 02/20/2018 - 21:10

This lesson makes it possible for your students to study radioactive decay and half-life concepts without the need to purchase expensive radiation monitors and actual radioactive isotopes.  Scratch and Voyager work together to accomplish this via a simulation that matches that of true radioactive decay.  ScratchX is not required, but may be used.  The Scratch program provides the decay process.  With each decay of a simulated atom, the Scratch screen quickly flashes white and emits a beep sound similar to that of a typical Geiger counter.  Voyager’s light sensor records each of the decays a

Flame in Freefall

Submitted by SteveMaier_ on Fri, 10/06/2017 - 21:40

A novel activity that demonstrates one of the effects of a microgravity environment. In this exercise, the structure of a flame is filmed while simultaneously plotting the acceleration of the system as it is released and experiences freefall. The apparatus is low-cost, possibly using only scrap materials found in the classroom. A PocketLab One is paired with a smartphone and used to collect the data.  Conceptually, the exercise is straightforward, though considering noise in the data, limits of the system, and chemistry applications could easily enrich the content.

Grade Level

Voyager & Ozobot: Teaming Up to Study Kepler’s Law of Equal Areas

Submitted by Rich on Tue, 08/08/2017 - 19:45

Although there are a number of Web-based screen animations illustrating Kepler’s Law of Equal Areas, there are virtually no widespread physical demonstrations using actual hardware—at least not until Ozobot made the scene!  Now with Voyager and Ozobot working together as a team, the motion can be visualized and studied quantitatively

Grade Level

Is Global Warming FAKE NEWS? Creating a Bottle Ecosystem

Submitted by DaveBakker on Tue, 07/25/2017 - 22:56

Can you devise an experiment to see whether increased CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere contributes to warming? We found a teacher who tweeted exactly what you need! @MontessoriMicky  shared with us his lesson plan on a Bottle Ecosystem and had his class run an experiment using PocketLab to measure the heat absorption of a glass bottle filled with CO2 vs normal air as a control.

Grade Level

PocketLab Voyager: How to Discover an Exoplanet

Submitted by Rich on Thu, 07/13/2017 - 00:53

Over the past twenty years, scientists have discovered hundreds of what are known as exoplanets—planets that orbit stars outside of our own solar system.   Different groups of scientists worldwide have used a variety of methods to detect these planets.  In this lesson we will investigate a method that has been quite fruitful in finding exoplanets as a result of the Kepler Mission, launched by NASA in 2009.  Another similar mission is CoRoT, led by the French Space Agency.  These missions identify exoplanets by a method called transit, in which the b

Grade Level

Ceiling Fan in Winter

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 18:08

Exploration

When it is cold outside, it is often thought that fans aren’t needed. However, it may be that a fan can bring warm air near the ceiling down to floor level, increasing comfort without raising the thermostat. Energy could therefore be saved.

Objective

In this experiment, students will:
1) Determine how a ceiling fan affects the temperature in a room, both near the floor and near the ceiling.

Download PDF for complete lab activity

Saving Energy with Curtains

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 18:04

Exploration

Does closing blinds or curtains save energy? Often the blinds or curtains in a room are left open when it is cold outside, even when no one is using the room. Would closing them save energy?

Objective

In this experiment, students will:
1. Determine how to use curtains to save energy when it is cold outside.

Download PDF for complete lab activity

Take a hike!

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 17:51

Exploration 

As a hiker changes elevation during a hike, the atmospheric pressure will change. The air pressure at sea level, is vastly different than the air pressure at the top of a mountain. In some regions, it can be even be difficult for people who are not from that region to breathe, because they are not used to the changes in altitude. Using PocketLab, determine the relationship between elevation and air pressure.

Objective