Middle School

Flame in Freefall

Submitted by SteveMaier_ on Fri, 10/06/2017 - 21:40

A novel activity that demonstrates one of the effects of a microgravity environment. In this exercise, the structure of a flame is filmed while simultaneously plotting the acceleration of the system as it is released and experiences freefall. The apparatus is low-cost, possibly using only scrap materials found in the classroom. A PocketLab One is paired with a smartphone and used to collect the data.  Conceptually, the exercise is straightforward, though considering noise in the data, limits of the system, and chemistry applications could easily enrich the content.

Voyager & Ozobot: Teaming Up to Study Kepler’s Law of Equal Areas

Submitted by Rich on Tue, 08/08/2017 - 19:45

Although there are a number of Web-based screen animations illustrating Kepler’s Law of Equal Areas, there are virtually no widespread physical demonstrations using actual hardware—at least not until Ozobot made the scene!  Now with Voyager and Ozobot working together as a team, the motion can be visualized and studied quantitatively

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.

Voyager & Ozobot: A STEM Team to Study Linear Motion

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

Ozobot “Evo” (ozobot.com) is a tiny one-inch diameter robot that can be quickly programmed using a Google Blockly dialect known as OzoBlockly (ozoblockly.com).  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.

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.

Voyager & Ozobot: A STEM Team to Determine the Dimensions of a Cardboard Box

Submitted by Rich on Mon, 07/24/2017 - 15:34

Ozobot “Evo” (ozobot.com) is a tiny one-inch diameter robot that can be quickly programmed using a Google Blockly dialect known as OzoBlockly (ozoblockly.com).  Combining the ability to program Ozobot to rotate precisely as desired with Voyager’s ability to sense the resulting motion through its collection of sensors, the possibility of a seemingly endless variety of STEM projects becomes a reality.

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

PocketLab on an Oscillating Cart

Submitted by Rich on Wed, 06/28/2017 - 00:57

An oscillating cart with a PocketLab provides an interesting way to study Newton's Second Law of Motion as well as some principles of damped harmonic motion.  The apparatus setup is shown in the figure below.  The small dynamics cart that can quickly be made from parts included in the PocketLab Maker Kit is shown in its equilibrium position.  Rubber bands are attached to each side of the cart and to two ring stands weighted down with some heavy books.  It is best to use rubber bands that provide as small Newton/meter as possible.  PocketLab is attached to the cart with its x-axis parallel t