High School

A Wireless Controller for a Scratch Game

Submitted by DaveBakker on Tue, 04/10/2018 - 02:36

Let's create a game in Scratch that is controlled by a wireless controller using the PocketLab accelerometer. PocketLab can connect directly and wirelessly to Scratch, and can send sensor data in real time. This game uses the PocketLab accelerometer to move sprites around the screen.

This program is for intermediate or advanced Scratch users, and if you would like a simpler starting point to get started with connecting Scratch to the outside world through PocketLab, you can start here:

PocketLab HotRod Ramp: A Study in Rotational and Translational Motion

Submitted by Rich on Mon, 03/26/2018 - 01:31

This project will get your physical science/physics students involved in a number of Next Generation Science Standards, particularly in the NGSS science and engineering practices.  This investigation provides a nice opportunity for the students to (1) suggest hypotheses, (2) design an experiment to test their hypotheses, (3) analyze and interpret their data, and (4) use principles of physics to explain their observations quantitatively.

PocketLab Voyager/Wonder Gears: An Experiment on Gear Ratios and Angular Velocity

Submitted by Rich on Mon, 03/12/2018 - 03:10

Gears date back many centuries and are extremely useful since they can change the direction imposed by a source of power, as well as torque and speed.  This lesson describes an experimental study of the relationship between gear ratio and angular velocity by using PocketLab Voyager and Wonder Gears.    Wonder Gears is listed for ages 3+, with this lesson heavily emphasizing the “+” part of the description—since this lesson is perfect for junior high students aged 12 through 14.  This is one of the many advantages of Po

Scratch and PocketLab Space Blaster game

Submitted by DaveBakker on Tue, 03/06/2018 - 00:03

Download the Scratch .sbx file for a Space Blaster game you can play with Scratch and PocketLab. Works with PocketLab One and Voyager. 

Instructions to run ScratchX and the PocketLab web app are here.

The Space Blaster game is also featured in our PocketLab and Scratch STEM Coding Challenge - see attached pdf file for complete programming guide.

Head-on Collision versus Crashing Into a Wall

Submitted by Rich on Sat, 02/24/2018 - 03:56


Let’s imagine two scenarios:

1.       Two identical vehicles, each of whose speedometers reads 50 mph, travel toward each other and experience a head-on collision.

2.       Another identical vehicle, traveling at 50 mph, hits an unmovable, unbreakable and impenetrable rock wall.

Which collision is more severe from the viewpoint of one of these vehicles?

A Lesson in Radioactivity and Half-Life: Voyager/Scratch Geiger Counter Simulation

Submitted by Rich on Tue, 02/20/2018 - 21:10

This lesson makes it possible for your students to study radioactive decay and half-life concepts without the need to purchase expensive radiation monitors and actual radioactive isotopes.  Scratch and Voyager work together to accomplish this via a simulation that matches that of true radioactive decay.  ScratchX is not required, but may be used.  The Scratch program provides the decay process.  With each decay of a simulated atom, the Scratch screen quickly flashes white and emits a beep sound similar to that of a typical Geiger counter.  Voyager’s light sensor records each of the decays a

True Random Numbers in Scratch

Submitted by DaveBakker on Fri, 02/16/2018 - 01:06

We can create a way to make true random numbers in Scratch using the PocketLab Voyager's light sensor and a lava lamp. Sounds crazy? Not really, there is actually a US patent for such a system! It turns out that on their own, computers are not good at generating true random numbers, therefore to make true random numbers using a computer you need an external source of randomness.

A Lesson in Probability and Statistics: Voyager/Scratch Coin Tossing Simulation

Submitted by Rich on Wed, 02/14/2018 - 19:25

This lesson introduces students to a variety of probability and statistics concepts using PocketLab Voyager and Scratch—ScratchX is not required.  The Scratch program simulates tossing any number of coins any number of times, displaying the number of heads in each toss with a square having varying shades of grey—black for zero heads and white for the maximum possible number of heads in each toss.  The simulated coins are tossed once each second with Voyager’s light sensor recording the results for each toss.

Hot Wheels Racing with PocketLab

Submitted by PocketLab on Wed, 01/31/2018 - 18:45

Engage your students in engineering practices and classic force and motion and energy concepts in a fun and unique way. With a PocketLab attached to a Hot Wheels car and a track full of magnets, you'll be able to collect data on position, velocity, acceleration, and energy as your car zips up an over hills and around loops. Turn your students into theme park engineers and have them design "roller coaster" tracks, iterate on car designs for races, or teach basic concepts on position and velocity. This activity is sure to help engage your students in a meaningful way.