Energy Transfer: Elastic Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy

Submitted by PocketLab on Thu, 06/01/2017 - 18:41


The law of conservation of energy tells us that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Instead it changes from one form of energy to another. Potential energy is energy that is stored in an object. Potential energy can transfer into other forms of energy, like kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is energy in an object because of its motion.

Understanding Newton's Laws with Atwood's Machine

Submitted by PocketLab on Thu, 06/01/2017 - 18:37


Acceleration of an object is dependent upon two variables – the net force acting on the object and the mass of the object. Using a Full-Atwood’s Machine you will explore the relationship between these variables to understand Newton’s Second Law of Motion.


Linear Motion: Position, Velocity, and Acceleration

Submitted by PocketLab on Thu, 06/01/2017 - 18:30


What is velocity? Velocity is often defined as speed with direction and speed is often defined as how fast or slow an object is traveling. But what exactly does being fast or slow mean? How can we represent an object’s velocity with an equation, graph, or other model? What is acceleration?

Newton's Laws of Motion with PocketLab and Estes Air Rocket

Submitted by PocketLab on Thu, 06/01/2017 - 18:19

Exploration Part 1

Previously you learned that the net force acting on an object is related to the object’s motion. The net force determines whether the velocity of an object will change. This is described in Newton’s First Law of Motion:

“An object at rest will remain at rest or an object in motion will remain in uniform motion unless acted upon by an outside force”.

Crash Cushion Investigation

Submitted by PocketLab on Thu, 06/01/2017 - 18:01


Nearly 1.3 million people die from car accidents worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization. In order to reduce traffic fatalities high-speed roadways must be made safer. Building crash cushions along highways that reduce the impact force experienced by the passengers of the car in a crash can save lives. But how should these cushions be built?

Middle School Science Balloon Powered Car

Submitted by DaveBakker on Mon, 05/29/2017 - 17:01

Phenomena or Driving Question: Make a vehicle that travels one meter powered only by two balloons

Lesson description:  In this unit of study, Newton’s Laws will be used to explain the forces and motions of objects on Earth and in Space.  This Lesson is the Engineering design project at the end of the unit.

PE’s addressed: MS-PS2-1, MS-PS-2-2, MS-ETS1-1, MS-ETS1-4

This lesson is courtesy of Heather Wygant and Susan Paulsen, Santa Clara, CA

You can find an overview of the lesson here:

Did you ever wonder what happens to your packages during shipping?

Submitted by DaveBakker on Tue, 05/23/2017 - 22:25

Have you ever wondered what happens to your package after you put it in the mail? Does the package ever get hot, cold, wet, turned upside down, dropped off the back of a truck, or bitten by a dog while waiting on your doorstep? 

The PocketLab Team has been brainstorming citizen science experiments that users around the world can investigate with us. Join us in the first ever citizen science project that examines the mysteries of what happens to your package when it goes into the mail!