VelocityLab is a great way to turn play into science. Use athletic tape to attach the PocketLab sensor onto the spokes of a bike. While one student pedals, the other can see how far and fast she's riding. Students can test and watch what happens to acceleration when you peddle faster; suddenly words such as "velocity" and "acceleration" mean something.
While VelocityLab works on any wheel or gear, teachers may choose to purchase the PocketLab Maker Kit for $118. The kit contains the supplies necessary to build a toy car that runs on air pressure. Alternatively, students can build their own cars and enter into a friendly class-design competition. VelocityLab can then be used to compare their designs.Continue reading Show less
VelocityLab is an app that allows PocketLab sensors to gather position, velocity, and acceleration data directly from any wheel or gear. Kids can attach them to the wheels of their skateboards, their bicycles, or even a real car. While the wheel is moving, the wireless PocketLab sensor sends data in real time to your iPhone, iPad, or Chromebook.
Students can export the data as a CSV file that can be used with a spreadsheet program such as Excel. Alternatively, they can export a snapshot of the graph from the screen of their phone or tablet.Continue reading Show less
VelocityLab provides new ways of learning about motion. Although there are many roller coaster physics activities out there that allow kids to design and test simulated coasters, with VelocityLab students can actually build a small coaster and attach a PocketLab to the cart. Once it gets rolling, their iPhone will let them examine how the acceleration changes as their carts move down the ramps.
Taking learning into the actual physical world does add expense and time to the lesson, but it also helps kids to truly apply the concepts of motion and acceleration and use them to solve problems. Other apps such as Playground Physics can help kids learn about motion in the real world without the $118 sensor. But VelocityLab lets kids see a graph of the motion instantly while it's happening.Continue reading Show less
Key Standards Supported
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration.
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