A Modernized Bridge Design Contest

Modernizing An Old Classic We have just completed the second project in the Academy for the 2014-15 school year. It was a huge success! This project takes a classic physics project and “upgrades” it by incorporating modern engineering design technology and fabrication techniques. We started with a great project that is now available online throughContinue reading “A Modernized Bridge Design Contest”

Simulating Planetary Motion (Using Code!)

Simulating Newton’s Law of Universal Law of Gravity Interactive simulations (like those created by the University of Colorado – PhET) can be really nice for impressing students, and giving them a way to explore the dynamics of a simulation. If incorporated into a lesson well, they can add to the active learning process. The questionContinue reading “Simulating Planetary Motion (Using Code!)”

We Have Lift Off!

  This is a follow up post to Modeling A Rocket’s Journey – A Synthesis where I described how the students in the first year program were engaged in creating a predictive report for their model rockets. I want to emphasize that these model rockets were not kits. Each rocket was designed using 3D CADContinue reading “We Have Lift Off!”

Testing Motors For The Solar Dragster Race

Torque/Speed Curves In this post I’m going to describe our attempt to measure the power curve for the DC motors used in the Solar Dragster race this year. I’m going to be honest, our efforts weren’t really that successful, but I can at least say that I learned some things that might help for nextContinue reading “Testing Motors For The Solar Dragster Race”

Building The Net Torque Model – Part 2

Investigating An Unbalanced Net Torque We started by looking at the fact that a disk experiencing a net unbalanced torque also experienced a change in rotational or angular velocity. The students used a rotary motion sensor to measure the angular position and the angular velocity of a disk experiencing a constant torque and the studentsContinue reading “Building The Net Torque Model – Part 2”