Cool Labs

Picture of a Lab: Different Graph Types
Picture of a Lab: Different Graph Types

Picture of a Lab – Different Graph Types Station #1 investigates the relationship between force and displacement of a stretched spring. Students will discover a direct linear relationship, with an equation of the form y = mx + b. Station...

Lab #8.2 Mechanics: Chapter 8  Egg Toss
Lab #8.2 Mechanics: Chapter 8 Egg Toss

Purpose In this activity, you will investigate the effect that stopping time has on stopping force when momentum changes. Discussion Allowing an object to keep moving as it is being caught extends the stopping time which in turns reduces the...

Acceleration Force and Mass
Acceleration Force and Mass

Students love fast moving experiments, but higher speeds often require higher technology. That can challenge the budget and students’ ability to use the technology. These simple, but highly accurate photogates remove both barriers. No costly computers are needed, and set...

Lab #6.3a Mechanics: Chapter 6  Putting the Force Before the Cart
Lab #6.3a Mechanics: Chapter 6 Putting the Force Before the Cart

Purpose In this activity, you will observe the motion of a variety of objects under a variety of conditions. You will interpret your observations to learn the relationship between force, mass, and acceleration. Discussion Some of the most fundamental laws...

Force and Inclined Plane
Force and Inclined Plane

Students will elevate the car in two ways: lifting directly and pulling up the ramp. They will find that it takes less force to pull the car up the ramp, but they do more work. The extra energy goes into...

Balloon Helicopter
Balloon Helicopter

The balloon helicopter is a classic toy with a simple design. The physics that explains its motion, though, can be difficult to explain. Students will observe the motion of the helicopter and study its construction before applying Newton's 3rd Law...

Forces in Equilibrium
Forces in Equilibrium

Students will place three different forces on a washer, and then arrange the forces so that the washer is in stable equilibrium in the center of the table. The forces must be visualized as vectors to understand how they can...

Life-Size Collisions
Life-Size Collisions

Students will observe "explosions," in which one student on a dynamics cart pushes another. From this, they will confirm the relationship between mass and velocity in determining momentum. They will also reinforce the idea of a closed system by experimenting...

Circular Motion and the Flying Pig
Circular Motion and the Flying Pig

The Flying Pig provides students with a fun way to study circular motion. The pig and its string trace a conical pendulum and allow a perfect opportunity for calculations and measurements of circular motion. Students should be familiar with forces,...

Equilibrium and Torque
Equilibrium and Torque

This lab has two activities. In the first, students investigate the arrangement of masses on a center-pivot lever required to produce balance. They will develop the idea that both force and lever arm produce torque, and that both quantities must...

Collisions on an Air Track
Collisions on an Air Track

In this lab using an Air Track, students will investigate elastic and inelastic collisions on an air track. Evaluate conservation of momentum and energy. Download Teacher Notes and Student Worksheets Required Equipment

Lab #32.1   Electrostatics: A Force to be Reckoned
Lab #32.1 Electrostatics: A Force to be Reckoned

PurposeIn this investigation, students will explore the nature of a force. Students will determine whether or not the force is distinct from other known forces. DiscussionThis is an introduction to electrostatic force. It shows students evidence of a force but...