The Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy uses Vernier tools to help their student athletes analyze their motion on the race course and in the terrain park. Miles McGeehan, physics instructor, has developed a course titled Ski Physics. Each week, students address a different concept in Newtonian physics.
Steve Cogger, instructor at Doherty Middle School, Andover, MA, has his students design and test wind turbines. The goal of the project is to optimize the design of turbine blades to generate the highest output power. Using NI LabVIEW software with the Vernier SensorDAQ interface, he wrote a simple LabVIEW program to measure voltage and current from Vernier sensors.
Nick Glembotski, an engineering student at San Diego State, recently used our Current Sensor, Voltage Probe, and Surface Temperature Sensor to investigate whether the efficiency of solar panels can be improved by cooling the panels by spraying them with a mist.
As part of the Irish Leaving Certificate Senior Physics syllabus, students from the Christian Brothers Boys’ Secondary School, in Dungarvan, Ireland, study the contributions of Ireland’s two greatest scientists: Robert Boyle and Ernest T. S. Walton. It just so happens that these two giants in science have a local connection – they were both born in the southeastern coastal county of Waterford, not too far from the school.
We decided to do some home testing of a standard basement freezer with the Watts Up Pro power meter. How much energy is used, and how cold does the freezer get when the compressor is running? To find out, we used a LabQuest and a Watts Up Pro to log the data over a 48-hour period.
If you have ever wanted to introduce your students to the study of human biomechanics, we have found a great product for you. While attending the Annual Meeting of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS), we came across two excellent interactive models that use Vernier sensors and our LabQuest to study human biomechanics.
Enzymes are molecules that regulate the chemical reactions that occur in all living organisms. Almost all enzymes are globular proteins that act as catalysts, substances that speed up chemical reactions. Enzymes catalyze reactions by reducing the activation energy for a specific reaction to occur and yet are neither destroyed nor altered during this process. Understanding how enzymes work in biological systems is a critical and difficult concept for students to comprehend.
Our newest environmental project at Vernier is composting with a worm bin. Our worm bin is a large, locally made, unfinished cedar chest with about 60 cubic feet of capacity. The bin is located in a shady spot on the side of our building, and contains a colony of red wiggler worms. We collect food scraps and coffee grounds, along with coffee filters, in a compost pail in our kitchen. Volunteers, called the “worm wranglers,” empty the pail into the worm bin several times a day. We also add paper towels and grass clippings to our composting worm bin. The worms turn this portion of our garbage into nutrient-rich compost that we can use on plants around our building.
Casio recently developed a set of high-speed cameras. These cameras are actually still digital cameras, but they have the ability to capture high-speed video. The capture rates vary from 210 frames per second (fps) to 1200 fps. The price range is from $300 to $1000 per camera.
hese cameras open exciting opportunities to explore science that is difficult to see at normal speed, such as golf swings and baseball pitcher throws.