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Physics

Voyager & Ozobot: NGSS Science and Engineering Practices Challenge

Submitted by Rich on Fri, 08/04/2017 - 21:02

This lesson provides a challenge that incorporates all eight of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) science and engineering practices.  Although this lesson makes use of both Ozobot and Voyager, neither of these is required, as all data have been collected and are supplied.  Students match several geometric shapes with their corresponding angular velocity vs. time data obtained as Voyager/Ozobot travel around the shapes.  Students are also provided with angular momentum data from an unknown geometric shape and asked to sketch the shape from their analysis. 

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PocketLab Voyager: Double Slit Diffraction Interference & The Wavelength of Light

Submitted by Rich on Fri, 07/28/2017 - 02:52

A classic way to demonstrate the wave nature of light is to pass a coherent beam of light from a laser through a double slit.  In this lesson, students study the intensity of light in the resultant interference pattern using the light intensity sensor of PocketLab Voyager.  Students also compare intensity to theoretical predictions.  In addition, the wavelength of the light can be calculated from knowledge of slit separation, distances between bright fringes in the interference pattern, and distance from the double slit to the pattern. 

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Voyager & Ozobot: A STEM Team to Study Circular Motion

Submitted by Rich on Wed, 07/26/2017 - 15:44

Ozobot “Evo” (ozobot.com) is a tiny one-inch diameter robot that can be quickly programmed to follow lines using a Google Blockly dialect known as OzoBlockly (ozoblockly.com).  This lesson combines the ability to program Ozobot to follow a circle at constant speed with Voyager’s ability to sense the resulting motion through its angular velocity sensor.  The purpose of this project is to show that if speed is kept constant and the same fo

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PocketLab Voyager: A Study of Rolling Resistance

Submitted by Rich on Fri, 07/21/2017 - 17:19

In this experiment a coasting cart on a flat surface gradually slows down and stops due to rolling resistance.  Two very different surfaces are compared—a carpeted floor and a wood floor.  The purpose of this experiment is three-fold:  (1) to determine the force of rolling resistance, (2) to determine the coefficient of rolling resistance between the cart the surface on which it rolls, and (3) to gain a practical understanding of the meaning of this coefficient.  Voyager's range finder is used to collect data.

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PocketLab Voyager: The Effect of Area on Terminal Velocity of a Falling Object

Submitted by Rich on Tue, 07/18/2017 - 18:10

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.  In this lesson, students discover a relationship between area and terminal velocity and compare their results to a common model of air resistance (aka drag).  

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PocketLab Voyager: Polarization and Malus's Law

Submitted by Rich on Sun, 07/16/2017 - 16:14

One of the most well-known physical laws related to polarization is Malus’s Law.  This law states that the intensity of plane-polarized light passing through a rotatable polarizer analyzer varies as the square of the cosine of the angle through which the analyzer is rotated from the position giving maximum intensity.  The lesson described here allows you to verify Malus’s Law using PocketLab Voyager and one of the light polarizers contained in the PocketLab Scientist Kit.

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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!

Position Vs. Time Investigation

Submitted by lessemj on Wed, 06/28/2017 - 20:59

Hello All,

I'm an AP Calculus teacher, and I used the attached lab to introduce position vs. time graphs to my students. My school doesn't offer physics after freshmen year and historically students have struggled to translate graphs into the actual motion that they represent. This year, using PocketLab and some magnets, the students were able to create their own position vs. time graphs, and concept mastery has been significantly higher. I'm definitely planning on repeating this lab next year!

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PocketLab on a Skier's Edge Machine

Submitted by Rich on Wed, 06/28/2017 - 04:00

The PocketLab is an ideal device for measuring user performance for a variety of exercise equipment.  One example of such equipment is the Skier's Edge, whose company was founded in 1987.  This machine was designed for non-impact lateral conditioning that simulates the experience of downhill skiing.  The photo below shows the skiing machine.  The skier stands on the two black platforms, holding poles and moves the carriage back-and-forth on the curved white tracks.

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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.

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