User Lesson Plans

c is for Camping, and heat capacity

Students use warm soup (must be lower than 70°C since this is the upper limit of the pocketlab temperature sensor). To determine it's specific heat capacity and decide which is best to take on a camp so it is still warm when they go for lunch.  I tend to use this as a follow on project from investigating insulating materials so students can re use previous projects such as 'stubby holder' style devices which have kept drinks cool to reinforce ideas about heat transfer (and so that projects aren't wasted!). 

This project was inspired by one of the 'New Scientist' books 'How to Fossilise your Hamster'.

Measuring acceleration due to gravity

Hi everyone, 

I teach physics, and I created this quick lesson using PocketLab. I got the idea from a video they had on YouTube:

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 11.04.51 AM

I used this lesson as Bell Work during a unit on Energy. The lesson is about the force of gravity acting on the accelerometer and how you can observe the Acceleration graph change as the PocketLab changes orientation. It wasn't directly related to Energy, but we were looking at GPE that day, so I thought it was a good way to get kids thinking about gravity. 

The final question asks students to answer in Claim-Evidence-Reasoning format. If you aren't familiar, it's a way for students to write conclusions/explanations. You can read more about it from this article on Edutopia:

This was a very helpful lesson because when using the Acceleration graph previously, students were confused as to why all three axes weren't at 0g when the PocketLab was at rest. This activity helped illustrate to them that the non-0g reading is caused by the force of gravity pulling on the accelerometer and that changing the orientation with respect to Earth's gravity field will result in approximately either 1g, 0g, or -1g readings along different axes. This also lead to a cool discussion about accelerometers in cell phones and how they know to change the orientation of your screen depending on how you're holding it. 


Position Vs. Time Investigation

Hello All,

I'm an AP Calculus teacher, and I used the attached lab to introduce position vs. time graphs to my students. My school doesn't offer physics after freshmen year and historically students have struggled to translate graphs into the actual motion that they represent. This year, using PocketLab and some magnets, the students were able to create their own position vs. time graphs, and concept mastery has been significantly higher. I'm definitely planning on repeating this lab next year!

Position vs Time Graph Investigation_magnet     Position vs time graph investigation_graph


p.s. I've also shared this lab with our 9th grade physics teacher - she said that her students really benefited from the lab as well.