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Physical Science

Programming Exercise:Voyager Temperature Probe Controlled Scratch Teapot

Submitted by Rich on Fri, 12/29/2017 - 01:16

Here is a project that will challenge your students’ skill in interfacing PocketLab Voyager with Scratch Programming.  The challenge is to program the five bubbles to start bubbling upwards in the teapot—one bubble at 90ᵒC, two at 92ᵒC, three at 94ᵒC, four at 96ᵒC, and five bubbles at 98ᵒC.  When the temperature of the teapot has reached 100ᵒC, the phrase Full Boil should appear.  See the movie accompanying this lesson for clarification of the intended result.  When the burner under the real teapot is turned off and cooling begins, bubbling should go away in revers

PocketLab Voyager: A Study of Color Reflectivity

Submitted by Rich on Mon, 07/31/2017 - 20:31

A common experiment for studying the reflectivity of different colored surfaces makes use of colored construction paper, aluminum foil, a light source, and a light sensor.  Voyager’s light sensor and the little flashlight included with the Explorer Kit are perfect tools for performing this experiment.  Empty graphs and data tables suitable for copying for student use are included with this lesson.

Grade Level

Voyager & Ozobot: A STEM Team to Study Linear Motion

Submitted by Rich on Sun, 07/30/2017 - 16:45

Ozobot “Evo” ( is a tiny one-inch diameter robot that can be quickly programmed using a Google Blockly dialect known as OzoBlockly (  This lesson combines the ability to program Ozobot to move freely in a straight line with Voyager’s ability to sense the resulting motion through its range finder.  Students compute the slope of the resulting position versus time graph to determine Ozobot’s velocity.

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: The Inverse Square Law of Light--Quick and Easy

Submitted by Rich on Fri, 07/14/2017 - 18:17

Virtually every student of physics has done an experiment to verify the inverse square law of lightlight intensity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source of the light.  With PocketLab Voyager this is a quick and easy experiment that is also a lot of fun to perform!

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

c is for Camping, and heat capacity

Submitted by montessorimichael on Wed, 06/28/2017 - 20:51

Students use warm soup (must be lower than 70°C since this is the upper limit of the pocketlab temperature sensor). To determine it's specific heat capacity and decide which is best to take on a camp so it is still warm when they go for lunch.  I tend to use this as a follow on project from investigating insulating materials so students can re use previous projects such as 'stubby holder' style devices which have kept drinks cool to reinforce ideas about heat transfer (and so that projects aren't wasted!). 

Grade Level

Arms of a Spinning Figure Skater

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 18:52


When a figure skater spins he/she uses the positioning of his/her arms to control the speed of the spin/ angular velocity. The angular momentum of the skater is always conserved, no matter the positioning of the arms, and can be represented by the equation L = Iw, where L is angular momentum, I is moment of inertia and w is angular velocity. The moment of inertia is an object’s resistance to change in angular velocity and is related to the distribution of the object’s mass.


Grade Level

Angular Rotation Game

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 18:43


Angular velocity is the rate of rotation of an object along a specific axes. For example, the blades of a ceiling fan rotate around the fan’s central axis. Angular velocity is often measured in the number of degrees the object rotates every second (°/sec) or the number of complete revolutions every minute (RPM). The PocketLab’s gyroscope measures the angular velocity of the PocketLab about the x-, y-, and z-axis.