Getting Started with Arduino
An introduction to using the Arduino with ManyLabs lessons, including how to install the WireGarden plugin.
Physics Lessons / Activities
This lesson allows the student to explore the behavior of a simulated pendulum. The student plots the pendulum's angle, angular velocity, and angular acceleration. The student also plots the pendulum's period vs. its length, its mass, and the force of gravity. The lesson ends with a quiz about these relationships.
This lesson demonstrates the relationships between position, velocity, and acceleration. Later in the lesson, the student controls a space ship, attempting to land within given velocity requirements. The lesson ends with a quiz about the connections between position, velocity, and acceleration.
This lesson demonstrates a single axis parabolic trajectory with a simulation of a cannon launching a pumpkin vertically. The students observe plots of the pumpkin's position, velocity, acceleration, kinetic energy, and potential energy.
This lesson teaches about conservation of momentum through collisions. The student can modify the velocity and mass of the colliding objects. The students can also modify the simulation's rolling friction. The lesson ends with a short quiz.
This lesson demonstrates conservation of momentum during inelastic collisions. The students play a simple game with a spaceship collecting asteroids. The students work through the collision math in both 1D and 2D cases.
This lesson illustrates physical forces using a simulation of a cannon launching a cannon ball. The student observes the change in position, velocity, and acceleration over time. The student also observes the cannon ball's kinetic and potential energy. The student then plots the cannon ball landing distance vs. angle, launch force, gravity, and wind. The lesson ends with a short quiz.
Guides students through construction and measurement of simple air core and metal core electromagnets.
Requirements: Electromagnetism Kit
Exploring Graphite Potentiometers
This lesson leads students through experiments comparing the conductivity and transparency of graphite covered paper. It provides exposure to basic electronics using low-cost materials.
Requirements: paper, conductive paint, alligator clips, arduino, light box, light sensor
Using a set of masses and a Force sensor students will learn about building a model, sensor calibration, and interpolating new results from existing data.
Requirements: Force Sensor, Arduino, Set of Masses, Ring Stand, Metal Rod, Clamps
Students will construct a pendulum and measure its period using an optical gate. They will change the mass and length of the pendulum and observe how this affects the period.
Requirements: Arduino, Ring Stand and Ring Support, C-Clamp, Pendulum Kit
Students will construct an Atwood machine and use it to explore the behavior of masses under constant acceleration. Students will see the effects of changing the difference between masses as well as changing the total mass of the system with a constant difference between masses.
Requirements: Encoder Pulley, Arduino, Set of Masses, Length of Non-Stretch String, Ring Stand, Mounting Bracket
This lesson allows students to create various virtual circuits connecting inputs (sensors) to an output (LED). The students combine different mathematical operations to process the input sensor values.
Requirements: sensor assortment
Aircraft Heading and Ground Speed
Guides students through an application of the law of sines and law of cosines to determine an aircraft heading to overcome wind and find the resulting ground speed. Assumes students have been introduced to the laws of sines and cosines.
Requirements: scrap paper, calculator with basic trig functions and square root
This lesson allows you to view and record data from a wireless accelerometer.
Requirements: Digispark, Accelerometer, Wireless Transmitter/Receiver, Arduino
Plotting Magnetic Fields
Students will use a digital compass to plot sections of the magnetic field of a bar magnet.
Requirements: 3-axis compass (e.g. from electromagnetism kit)
Seasons and Axial Tilt
Students will participate in an experiment to illustrate how the inclination of the earth influences the presence of seasons by measuring the light that strikes a globe. 4 tables with globes must be setup around and equidistant from an open bulb in the center (representing the sun). Rotate the globes to follow the seasons starting with table 1 - Summer for the Northern Hemisphere. It's also recommended to affix them to the tables to keep students from moving them during the exercise.
Requirements: Light Sensor, Globe, Directionless Light Source (Open Bulb)
In this lesson students explore audio synthesis by constructing a simple synthesizer with an Envelope. Aside from the ADSR Envelope, other topics introduced are Panning and Low-Frequency Oscillators.
Requirements: Potentiometer and Button
Guides students through the construction of two configurations of a simple motor, followed by testing the performance of the configurations with different resistors.
Requirements: Electromagnetism Kit
Solar Cell Simulation
Guides students through a simulation of a p-n junction based solar cell.
Sound Synthesis Lab
Guides students in an exploration of some common wave types (Sine, Square, and Triangle), and of some properties of waves including amplitude and frequency, and their relation to loudness and pitch.
Morse Code Sensors
Introduces students to Morse code as well as the touch and light sensors. Students will learn some simple Morse code and use the touch and light sensors to transmit it.
Requirements: Touch Sensor, Light Sensor, LED
Vector Addition and Subtraction
Guides students through an introduction to vector components, vector addition, and subtraction, and finishes with a puzzle involving those concepts.
Inclined Ramp Simulation
Students will use a simulation of a cart on a ramp to help form hypotheses about the relationships between mass and acceleration and ramp angle and acceleration of a cart on an inclined ramp. This can be followed with the Inclined Ramp Experiment to validate their hypotheses.
Falling Objects and Terminal Velocity
Students will use an ultrasonic distance sensor to measure the velocity and distance of dropped objects. Exploring the data they collect, they will learn about air resistance and terminal velocity.
Requirements: Ultrasonic Distance Sensor, Arduino, Textbook (or similar object), Flat Bottom Coffee Filter, Ring Stand, Metal Rod, Clamps
Inclined Ramp Experiment
This lesson includes a series of experiments to help students understand the relationship between angle, mass, and acceleration of a cart on an inclined ramp. Students will vary the angle of the ramp and mass on the cart, then analyse the data they record.
Requirements: One constructed Cart Timing Kit, Meter Stick or Tape measure with centimeters
Cart and Track
This page describes how to set up a cart and track for motion experiments.
How to use the current sensor to measure current and voltage.
This page describes the assembly of the electromagnetism kit.
This force sensor uses a linear potentiometer to measure the displacement of a rod connected to a pair of springs. The displacement is related to the force applied to the rod. With known sample masses, the sensor can be calibrated to provide numerical measurements of the force on the rod.
Laser Timing Gate
This project describes how to build a device the measures when an object passes. Using two of these gates you can measure the time it takes for an object to pass between two points. It uses a beam of laser light to detect the passing object.
Linear and Rotational Actuators
This project describes linear and rotational actuators that can be used to move cameras and other hardware.
Pulley and Pendulum
This page describes how to assemble and use the pulley and pendulum kit.
Pulley Rotation Sensor
The sensors attached to this pulley can be used to measure the rotation of the pulley and the linear motion of a rope passing over the pulley. This pulley can be used as part of an Atwood machine.
Wireless Egg Drop
The wireless egg drop kit allows you to view and record data from a wireless accelerometer.
Physics Kits and Parts
3-Axis Digital Accelerometer
High-Resolution Sonar Sensor
3-Axis Digital Compass
Digital Light Sensor
Pulley Rotation Sensor Kit
Laser Timing Gate Kit
Force Sensor Kit
Pulley and Pendulum Kit
See all kits and parts.
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