Prepare your students for real-world problem solving and open-ended lab experiments. Experienced educators and curriculum specialists have developed each of these lessons, and we have tested them in real classrooms. PocketLab physics lessons cover introductory and advanced topics from one-dimensional motion to electricity and magnetism to simple harmonic motion. Browse all the high school and AP-level physics lessons below or use the filters to search for specific content.
High School Physics
Introduction to the Physical Pendulum
Mount any rigid body such that it can swing in a vertical plane about an axis passing through the body. You have constructed what is known as a physical pendulum. The video below shows an example of such a pendulum. In this video, a rigid circular body is swinging about an axis very close to the edge of the circle. The circle was cut from a piece of cardboard. PocketLab Voyager is resting at the bottom of a ring stand directly below the pivot point of the pendulum. A tiny magnet has been attached to the bottom of the ci
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.
Introduction to Hysteresis
Hysteresis can be defined as a lag time in the response of a system to forces placed on the system. The response of the system depends not only on the present magnitude of the force but also on the previous history of the system. From the point of view of mathematics, the response to the force is a double-valued function. This means that one value applies when the force is increasing, while another value applies when the force is decreasing. A graphical plot of force and re
Rotational Motion and Moment of Inertia Lab Setup
Figure 1 shows a ramp and three distinctly different objects that you will release from rest at the top. Each object will roll downward to the end of the ramp without slipping, resulting in rotational motion. The roll of Gorilla tape has a shape known as an annular cylinder. The can of jellied cranberry sauce is a solid cylinder. The cardboard tube, in contrast to the can, is hollow. All three of these objects will rotate about their central cylinder axis while rolling down the ramp. Each of these three objects has a
Various forms of the sport now known as croquet have been around for centuries. Plastic or wooden balls are struck with a mallet through hoops, called wickets in the United States. The components of a typical croquet set are shown in Figure 1. Very popular in the UK, there is even a World Croquet Federation for those who take the sport seriously. In the United States, it is common to set up croquet as a garden game at graduation and birthday parties. But who would have thought that a croquet ball and mallet equipped with PocketLab Voyager and the PocketL
Newton's Law of Cooling
In this experiment students will use PocketLab Voyager to collect data related to the cooling of a container of hot water as time goes on. Sir Isaac Newton modeled this process under the assumption that the rate at which heat moves from one object to another is proportional to the difference in temperature between the two objects, i.e., the cooling rate = -k*TempDiff. In the case of this experiment, the two objects are water and air.
In a PockeLab lesson entitled "Hydrostatic Pressure Lab", posted by kwarnke in October 2017, students investigate the relationship between the height of a column of water and hydrostatic pressure. The lab results worked very well in this regard, but the apparatus uses a 5-gallon jug with modifications, a bicycle pump, and 5 meters of vinyl tubing. We should be able to come up with a much simpler and less expensive fluid pressure apparatus to achieve the same result, as the
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.
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.