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Middle School

Investigating Thermal Energy and Particle Motion

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Submitted by PocketLab on Sat, 02/09/2019 - 00:28

How does adding thermal energy effect the particle motion of a gas? 

Background Information

Matter makes up everything around us. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the chair we are sitting on, the cells in our body, it is all made up of matter. Matter can exist in different states: Take water for example, it can exist as a solid (an ice cube), liquid (water in a cup for drinking), and gas  (vapor rising from a boiling pot of water). In all three states, water is always made of the same molecules, H20.

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How to teach NGSS MS-PS2-2: Newton's Second Law

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Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 02/08/2019 - 18:43

Using a Half-Atwood Machine for Newton's Second Law

The Half-Atwood Machine consists of a cart and a weight connected by a string. It can be a perfect tool for tackling NGSS MS-PS2-2, which is centered around planning an investigation into Newton’s Second Law. Specifically, the standard says: 

Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object. 

Investigating Newton's Third Law with Crash Cushion Engineering

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Submitted by PocketLab on Wed, 02/06/2019 - 18:44

Engineering Crash Cushions to Learn Newton's Third Law

Background Information

Car crashes are a dangerous example of Newton's Third Law. The car exerts a large force on the wall and the wall then exerts a large force back onto the car. Civil engineers are always trying to think of new ways to make highways safer. Building crash cushions along highways that reduce the impact force of the collision will, according to Newton's Third Law, also reduce force experienced by the passengers of the car. This can save lives. But how should these crash cushions be designed? 

Grade Level

How to teach NGSS MS-PS2-1: Newton's Third Law

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Submitted by PocketLab on Wed, 02/06/2019 - 00:19

Using PocketLab to Teach MS-PS2-1: Engineering Design and Newton's Third Law

NGSS Standard MS-PS2-1: What's in the standard?

Teaching NGSS Standard MS-PS2-1 can have challenges. Students need to apply principles in forces and motion to engineer a design that will solve a problem. The performance expectation for the standard states: Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.

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"High Striker" with PocketLab & ScratchX

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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

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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 Synth Music with Voyager/ScratchX

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Submitted by Rich on Thu, 08/23/2018 - 15:25


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.

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