Measurement & Analysis

Arbor Scientific is providing physics and physical science teachers with a collection of student lab activities for the development of measurement and analysis skills. Here you can browse lab activities by title and get teachers notes, student worksheets and a list of equipment and supplies needed for each activity.

Density Rods

The Density Rod Set consists of two rods. The aluminum rod sinks in warm water and floats in cool. This is because cool water is more dense than warm, and the aluminum rod is made to be between those two densities. The PVC rod does the reverse – floats in warm water and sinks in cool. This time, the rod changes more than the water, becoming more dense when it is cool.

Required Equipment
Balance, Film Canisters, Pennies, Tape

Download Teacher Notes and Student Worksheets

Density Rod Set

In Stock SKU: P1-1020
$20.00

100 ml Polypropylene Cylinder

In Stock SKU: 06-3043
$4.00

Student Thermometer

In Stock SKU: 68-6202
$3.75

The “food coloring and rubbing alcohol” required for this lab is readily available at grocery store. Each lab group would need one container of each.

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Quantum Lab (Inquiry)

Indirect Measurement Lab

Something that is quantized exists in multiples of a set quantity. Examples are charge [1.6 x 10-19C] or quantum energies of photons. Planck and Einstein predicted that light existed as discrete bundles called photons. Since they could not see a unit of photon energy, this lab constructs a model of how quanta was derived and visualized by scientists. In this INQUIRY lab, students will develop their own method for finding the pennies’ mass.

Required Equipment
Balance, Film Canisters, Pennies, Tape

Download Teacher Notes and Student Worksheets

Sartorius M-Prove Model AY511 510g X 0.1g

In Stock SKU: 02-7069
$179.00

The Film Canister required for this lab is readily available here

The “Tape” required for this lab is readily available at your office or school supply store. Each lab group would need one roll or access to a roll.

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Quantum Lab

Quantum Measurement Lab

Something that is quantized exists in multiples of a set quantity. Examples are charge [1.6 x 10-19C] or quantum energies of photons. Planck and Einstein predicted that light existed as discrete bundles called photons. Since they could not see a unit of photon energy, this lab constructs a model of how quanta was derived and visualized by scientists.

Required Equipment
Balance, Film Canisters, Pennies, Tape

Download Teacher Notes and Student Worksheets

The “Tape” required for this lab is readily available at your office or school supply store. Each lab group would need one roll or access to a roll.

Sartorius M-Prove Model AY511 510g X 0.1g

In Stock SKU: 02-7069
$179.00
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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 #2 demonstrates Boyle’s Law, or the relationship between the pressure on a gas and its volume. The graph is a hyperbola, y = 1/x. Station #3 relates light intensity to distance from the source. The graph shows an inverse-square relationship, with an equation y = 1/x2. Station #4 uses staggered, stacked blocks to result in a simple parabolic graph, where y = x2.
Indicates the level of technology required for the lab activity.
Indicates the level of technology required for the lab activity.
Good for grade levels 5 through 9
Good for grade levels 9 through 12

Click here for applicable science standards

Required Equipment
Hooked Masses, Meter Stick, Motion Sensor, D-Cell Holder, D-Cell Battery, 2 Alligator Wires, Mini Bulb Holder, Mini Bulb, light sensor, Data-logger, Spring Set/3, Computer with Excel or other graphing application, Several identical weights or books, 7 wood blocks

Acknowledgements: Thank you to Dwight “Buzz” Putnam for his assistance in developing this lab. Buzz is a 25 year veteran physics teacher at Whitesboro High School, New York Science Teacher of the Year and Host of the Regents Physics Answers television show on PBS. You can also find him refereeing high school basketball games as well as presenting at the NSTA National Conferences.

Download Teacher Notes and Student Worksheets

Hooked Mass Set

In Stock SKU: P1-1000
$85.00

Go! Motion Sensor

In Stock SKU: P4-2400
$119.00

D-Cell Battery Holder

In Stock SKU: P6-1400
$2.25

C Battery

In Stock SKU: 44-1091
$1.50

Alligator Leads (Pack of 10)

In Stock SKU: P4-3000
$4.50

Miniature Bulb Base

In Stock SKU: P6-1401
$1.50

3.2V Miniature Bulbs 10 Pack

In Stock SKU: P6-1407
$5.50

Spring Set, 3 Different Sizes

In Stock SKU: PX-2120
$5.95

The “Computer with Excel or other graphing application” required for this lab is any computer that you may have that has software capable of plotting graphs. In order to use the data logger in this experiment, the computer would need to be of PC version (Windows).

The “Several identical weights or books” required for this lab are any objects that you may have or that can also be purchased from your local convenience or hardware store that are identical in weight.

The “wood blocks” required for this lab can be cut from any lumber that you may have or purchased from your local building supply store. The blocks should all be identical in measurements.

 

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Density of a Solid

Regular and irregular objects will be used. Students will devise a way of finding the volume of each object – calculating the volume of a cube or using water displacement for irregular objects. They will calculate the density of each and compare to standard values.

Required Equipment

Density Blocks, Balance, Graduated Cylinder, Various objects.

Download Teacher Notes and Student Worksheets

Assorted Density Block Set

In Stock SKU: P1-1010
$23.00

Sartorius M-Prove Model AY511 510g X 0.1g

In Stock SKU: 02-7069
$179.00

The “Various objects” required for this lab are any small irregular solid objects that you would like to calculate the density for as a part of this experiment.

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Acceleration Force and Mass

Stephen ReaStudents 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 up is easy. Students literally ‘get up to speed’ fast!

Stephen Rea has been teaching physics and honors physics at both the high school and college level since 1980. Currently at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, he was the Michigan State Science Teacher of the year in 1994.

Using the Timer & Photogates in the Classroom!

Arbor Scientific’s photogates are highly effective for use in multiple experiments, including measuring acceleration and exploring projectile motion and Conservation of Momentum. Here are two examples:

Car and RampAcceleration: The Timer & Photogate system is perfect for measuring the acceleration of an object. This typically requires students to measure the time for the object to pass through each of the two photogates, plus the time to travel between them. The way that these values are displayed on the timer makes it easy for students to capture the data.

Conservation of Momentum: Experiments with Conservation of Momentum typically involve determining the speeds of two colliding objects, both before and after the collision. Using the timer memory feature, students can use the photogate system to obtain all four time values with precise accuracy. As an example of how they can be used, the teacher challenges students to use the photo-timer system with gliders on an air track and come up with an experiment that confirms Conservation of Momentum.

Required Equipment
Timer & Photogates 2.0, and the Car& Ramp


Recommended quantity per lab group: 1

Timer & PhotogatesTimer & Photogates 2.0
P4-1450

Digital Timer & photogates. No computer required for this simple, intuitive data collection device. Complete set includes Timer, two photogates with cords, AC adaptor, user’s manual, and hard carrying case.

Click here to get it >>


Recommended quantity per lab group: 1

Car & RampCar & Ramp 2.0 Lab
P4-1405

Experiment with distance, time, velocity and acceleration, Newton’s laws and simple machines. The 120cm ramp attaches to the Workshop Stand at angles up to 65°.

Click here to get it >>

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