Creating wind chimes, toy train simultaneous equation collisions and applying physics to energy-cost analysis of a shower
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I have compiled 3 original activities I created to enhance the physics education my students receive via the use of data collection and analysis hardware and software, project-based applications of physics, and discussions focused on increasing students' understanding of the world around them through physics. The first activity is "The Shower Lab" in which students experiment with their home shower- calculating flow, cost, and comparisons to low-flow shower head data. They extrapolate data to see energy savings for the state and the country. Students are engaged and excited by this real world physics example. The second original activity is "The Train Lab" in which students design a set of measurements to calculate the constant velocities of two toy trains. The students then use these velocities and a known separation distance to calculate the location where the two trains will meet. Students place a domino at the location and attempt to have the two trains hit the domino simultaneously thus holding the domino upright between them. Students are challenged by and enthusiastic about keeping the domino upright by making careful measurements and calculations. The third is "The Wind Chime Lab." Students collect data for various lengths of pipe and their resonant frequencies. Students then graph the data and obtain a frequency-length relationship which is used to calculate the pipe lengths needed for specific frequencies students have chosen that sound good together. This activity takes students from theory to production, and shows students how physics can be applied to something as artistic as a wind chime. Students enjoy constructing the wind chimes and are proud to explain how the wind chime was designed to produce the exact sound they wanted.
Physics--Study and teaching (Secondary)