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Engineering

PocketLab Voyager: Vibrating Meter Sticks and Music Boxes

Submitted by Rich on Mon, 09/11/2017 - 17:38

The physics of the sounds produced by music boxes is definitely worth studying in curricula based upon NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards).   The prongs of a metal music box comb and an oscillating meter stick that overhangs a table are both examples of cantilevers--long projecting beams that are supported only at one end.  Other common examples include many suspension bridges, beams that support balconies on high rises, diving boards, airplane wings, and flagpoles mounted to the side of a building.

Grade Level

PocketLab Joins Ozobot to Study Position, Velocity and Acceleration Concepts

Submitted by Rich on Wed, 06/28/2017 - 03:51

Ozobot (ozobot.com) is a tiny one inch diameter line-traveling robot that can be used in conjunction with PocketLab to easily study the physics concepts of position, velocity, and acceleration and their time graphs.  PocketLab is simply taped to the top of an Ozobot using double-sided mounting tape.  In other words, Ozobot gives Pocket lab a ride.  The photo below shows this setup, with Ozobot following a 1/4" heavy black line drawn with a chisel tip marking pen.

Grade Level

PocketLab Investigation of Fuel Efficiency

Submitted by Rich on Wed, 06/28/2017 - 02:56

With gas prices as high as they are and having a growing concern for the environment, Americans today are becoming conscious about things they can do to improve fuel efficiency.  Many realize that driving at the posted speed limits promotes both safety and reduces the rate at which fuel is consumed.  With these things in mind, some have purchased hybrid vehicles including the Toyota Prius, all-electric vehicles such as the Nissan LEAF, or range-extending vehicles such as the Chevy Volt.  Those with EV's soon realize that they get more miles per charge if they avoid driving at excessively hi

Grade Level

Crash Cushion Investigation

Submitted by PocketLab on Thu, 06/01/2017 - 18:01

Exploration:

Nearly 1.3 million people die from car accidents worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization. In order to reduce traffic fatalities high-speed roadways must be made safer. Building crash cushions along highways that reduce the impact force experienced by the passengers of the car in a crash can save lives. But how should these cushions be built?