Physical Science

Maker Project: Voyager and littleBits™ Pet Monitor

Submitted by Rich on Fri, 01/19/2018 - 22:31

Have you ever wondered what your dog does all day long while you are at work?  Is resting the major “activity” or is there some occasional wandering?  Is there silence or periodic barking, such as when the mailman comes or a squirrel is seen through a window?  The author of this lesson has a couple of schnauzers, known for their predisposition for barking.  “Welcome to the Bark Side” is a frequent phrase voiced to passersby while I am taking the schnauzers for a walk.  But how much do they bark when cooped up in the house and I am out someplace?   And do they move around a lot or mostly nap

CloudLab Curve Fit Feature Preview: Inverse Square Law of Light

Submitted by Rich on Fri, 01/12/2018 - 22:15

The ability to quickly match empirical data to well-known mathematical models is an essential feature in the analysis of experiments.  This technique is generally referred to as curve-fitting.  The up-and-coming, but not yet leased, CloudLab software from PocketLab provides an easy way to fit data to models including linear, quadratic, power, exponential, and logarithmic.  This curve-fitting can be done for any selected region of PocketLab data.  This lesson provides a sneak preview of this CloudLab featu

CloudLab Statistics Feature Preview: Determining Curve Radius

Submitted by Rich on Thu, 01/11/2018 - 20:35

Collection of angular velocity and acceleration sensor data is prone to seemingly random “noisy” variations, even when the associated motion appears to be smooth to the observer.  The easiest way to compensate for this variation is to compute the mean value for the duration of such a random variation.  The up-and-coming, but not yet leased, CloudLab software from PocketLab provides an easy way to compute means, standard deviations, and other statistics for a selected region of PocketLab data.

PocketLab Voyager Rides Anki OVERDRIVE Supercar

Submitted by Rich on Mon, 01/08/2018 - 21:07

People of all ages have enjoyed playing with toy race cars for many decades.  Anki OVERDRIVE is currently one of the most popular and technologically advanced race car sets available in the marketplace.  Why not attach Voyager to an Anki supercar and give your students a fun way to study angular velocity?!  Each student group can design there own racetrack and obtain a Voyager snapshot of angular velocity vs.

LED Flame Lamp: Random or Cyclical Illumination?

Submitted by Rich on Wed, 01/03/2018 - 19:00

Late in 2017 a handful of companies began selling LED flame lamps that do a great job of simulating an actual burning fire. The illumination is bright, has a color temperature of a warm orange flame, and the light produces negligible heat while running at under 5 watts of electric power. This light seems to be a great replacement for traditional gas lanterns, hurricane lamps, and oil lamps.  The simulated flame is unbelievably realistic in the flame light purchased by the author. No obvious pattern could be detected in the flickering LED flame by observing the light with the eye.

Programming Exercise:Voyager Temperature Probe Controlled Scratch Teapot

Submitted by Rich on Fri, 12/29/2017 - 01:16

Here is a project that will challenge your students’ skill in interfacing PocketLab Voyager with Scratch Programming.  The challenge is to program the five bubbles to start bubbling upwards in the teapot—one bubble at 90ᵒC, two at 92ᵒC, three at 94ᵒC, four at 96ᵒC, and five bubbles at 98ᵒC.  When the temperature of the teapot has reached 100ᵒC, the phrase Full Boil should appear.  See the movie accompanying this lesson for clarification of the intended result.  When the burner under the real teapot is turned off and cooling begins, bubbling should go away in revers

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.