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High School

Rolling Resistance Lab: CloudLab/Mini HotRod

Submitted by Rich on Tue, 12/11/2018 - 16:25

Rolling Resistance Introduction

Rolling resistance is a force that opposes the motion when an object rolls along a surface.  There are many examples of objects experiencing rolling resistance:  car or bicycle tires on pavement, skateboard wheels on a half pipe ramp, steel wheels on a railroad track, ball bearings in a pulley, bowling balls on a bowling lane, and carts rolling on a dynamics track, just to mention a few.  Many factors can affect the magnitude of the forces associated with rolling resistance.

Grade Level

Crash Cushioning Lab - NGSS Based

Submitted by Rich on Thu, 12/06/2018 - 16:09

Introduction to Crash Cushioning

In addition to automobile features that promote road safety, there has been and continues to be a great deal of work on highway features that save lives.  An earlier lab entitled Crash Cushion Investigation, submitted by PocketLab, makes use of the PocketLab HotRod to investigate crash cushioning similar to that shown in Figure 1.    

Grade Level

Terminal Velocity vs Area of a Falling Object

Submitted by Rich on Tue, 12/04/2018 - 00:22

Terminal Velocity Introduction

The effect of mass on the terminal velocity of an object falling in air is commonly done using basket coffee filters.  But how could we study the effect of area on the terminal velocity of a falling object?  One way to do this is to use PocketLab Voyager and its range finder along with a single piece of cardstock as the object to be dropped.

Grade Level

Energy Conservation with a Mini HotRod

Submitted by Rich on Thu, 11/29/2018 - 22:16


What can you do with a PocketLab Mini HotRod, Voyager, five pieces of HotWheels track, and a half-dozen wood blocks about the size of Jenga blocks?  How about an experiment in energy conservation!  Add CloudLab and you have an environment for your students/lab groups to perform, analyze, document and save their PocketLab lab reports.

Grade Level

"High Striker" with PocketLab & ScratchX

Submitted by Rich on Sat, 09/01/2018 - 19:29

Carnival Games

Most everyone enjoys a carnival!  Some like the food--from cotton candy, to funnel cakes, to ice cream.  Others enjoy rides such as the carousel, Ferris wheel, and bumper cars.  Many like to test their skills in games like "Milk Bottle", "Balloon and Dart", and "Ring Toss".  One of the most well-know skill games is "High Striker", sometimes called "Ring the Bell" or "Strongman Game".  This game is commonly played by guys trying to impress girlfriends and wives with their macho strength.  In this game, a large mallet is used to strike one end of a lever.  Th

Tactile Sensor as an ON/OFF ScratchX Switch

Submitted by Rich on Sun, 08/26/2018 - 01:04

A Tactile Sensor ON/OFF ScratchX Switch

This lesson provides an example of how to ScratchX program PocketLab Voyager's tactile sensor as an ON/OFF switch.  If you have a device such as a light bulb, motor, or robot that is under control of ScratchX, then the code in this lesson may be a starting point for you.  The ScratchX program assumes that the device can be in any one of two possible states, which we will call ON and OFF.

Theremin Music Simulation: Voyager/ScratchX

Submitted by Rich on Mon, 08/20/2018 - 20:41

What is a Theremin?

A theremin , named after its Russian inventor in the early 1900's, is an electronic musical instrument that is controlled without any contact by the musician.   Volume is controlled by moving one hand near one antenna, while pitch is controlled by moving the other hand near a second antenna.  The sound is generated by a pair of high-frequency oscillators.


Dynamometer for Hand Strength

Submitted by Rich on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:41

A PocketLab Voyager Hand Dynamometer

Hand and finger strength is vital in many aspects of life--from sports such as rock climbing to jobs including airline baggage workers.  PocketLab Voyager's tactile sensor can be used to construct a very simple hand dynamometer to measure strength of a person's hands and fingers.  Figure 1 shows a simple dynamometer constructed by the author.  It consists of a 2" x 2" x 4" block of wood to which the PocketLab tactile sensor has been attached using removable double stick poster tape.