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The Physics Teacher

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Physics -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Activity programs, LabVIEW


Educators have found that kinesthetic involvement in an experiment or demonstration can engage students in a powerful way. With that as our goal, we developed three activities that allow students to connect with and quantitatively explore key physics principles from mechanics with three fun physical challenges. By presenting these activities as competitions, we can challenge students to use what they know about the relevant physics to improve their performance and beat their own score or those of other students. Each activity uses an original, real-time data collecting program that offers students and educators a simple, clear method to demonstrate various physics concepts including: (1) impulse momentum, (2) center of mass (COM), and (3) kinematics. The user interface, written in LabVIEW, is intuitive to operate and only requires Vernier Force Plates, a Vernier LabQuest, a webcam, and acomputer. In this article, we will describe each of these activities, all of which are well suited and readily available for other outreach events or classroom demonstrations.


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