1. The Perfect Pringle Packing Contest
  2. Author: Ralph von Philp (vonphilp@myactv.net)
  3. Description: This is a problem-solving project where students must create a container to mail a single Pringles potato chip through the US Postal Service. The grade is based on how well the chip survives (performance-based assessment!). I originally got the idea from Tim Durkin. Feel free to download and modify to fit your preferences.
  4. Also, here is a chart I use to keep track of the results: Pringle Packing Contest Results
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  1. Tensile Strength Lab: external image plain.png Stress Test Lab - Selected Entry.cmblexternal image plain.png Stress Test Lab - Time Based Data Collection.cmbl external image vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document.png Vernier Stress Test Info +.docx
    1- Author, Paul Lulai plulai@stanthony.k12.mn.us
    2- Lab Type: Structured, Engineering
    3- Students use a force sensor and motion detector. The measure force of tension on a material (for me, printer ribbon or very lightweight fishing line) and the elongation of the material. A graph of the materials properties is produced. It plots Stress (force / area of material) vs Strain (elongation / original length). A materials Young's Modulus and maximum tensile strength can be measured. My students then use this data to determine how many loops of the material they need to hold up a lab-mate.
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  1. West Point Bridge Builder: submitted by plulai
  2. The West Point site has a bunch of nice activities
    1. Make Manilla Folder Bridges: http://bridgecontest.usma.edu/manual.htm
    2. Use West Point software to make a virtual bridge & test it. The goal is to make the cheapest bridge that holds the load.

Rube Goldberg Machines: - My students love doing the Rube Goldberg Machines after the exam. We just set them up in the classroom using any equipment they find. They are required to demostrate different things each year, but this is my 2008 requirements. It's still rough, but its a start. Submitted by Mark W. Hossler mhossler@landmark-cs.org.

Rube Goldberg Machines: - Here is my Rube Goldberg project. It was inspired by my mentor teacher while student teaching many years ago and also a contest held at Union CollegeUnion College Rube Contest. My objective changes each year - sometimes the same as Union, but other times different. This year it is the same - blow a whistle. The general rules stay the same each year, though. Submitted by Kristofer Gigante gigantek@guilderlandschools.org

Rube Goldberg Machines: I love assigning a Rube Goldberg Project. Many of my non-math types love it.
Here is the link to my assignment with pictures at the bottom.
http://staff2.esuhsd.org/ dimasd/ap_physics/aplabs/ rubegoldberg.htm Submitted by Debra R Dimas <ddimas@telis.org> posted by Bill Taylor

Water Balloon Launcher - My kids do a balloon launch where they have to hit a specific target. It involves projectiles and is the first project we do. The kids have fun and it's fun to watch too. I was the target the first year I did it bt not the second year (I was pregnant then and it didn't seem like a good idea). If you want the write up, let me know. Submitted by Carolyn Forden Carolyn Lea <leasidhe@yahoo.com> posted by Bill Taylor <bt4_1284@yahoo.com>

Cannons - You might want to try my "cannon" project for projectile motion. It's a lot of fun, and we have a "class champion", and the various sections have a playoff to find the "school champion". I had to add another rule (not shown in the attached link) that it must shoot at least 1 meter in the horizontal direction. Last year's champs were extremely accurate, but their cannon only had a range of about 30 cm. "Marble Cannon Construction Instructions" here: Lots of information here: http://sites.google.com/site/phyzwizz/Home/firing-cannons Submitted by Joe Morin <jjmorin3@mchsi.com>, Posted by Bill Taylor

Shoes for Eggs - Create shoes to walk on eggs without breaking the eggs. Place two dozen eggs in an open carton next to each other, a second set of two offset to one side at a comfortable pace away from the first and a final set of two dozen a pace further offset to the original side to become the path for the shoe wearer to walk. Prize for fewest broken eggs or the greatest weight of walker per area of shoe. Suggested by Bill Reitz <wreitz@neo.rr.com> posted by Bill Taylor <bt4-1284@yahoo.com>

Nerf Gun Challenge - I have had good luck with Nerf Dart Guns (5-10$ each). Have the students shoot the dart horizontally from a 1 meter height and then take an average of the ranges to determine the initial velocity. I then give them a spot on the floor, that is a certain distance from a wall, and using that distance and the initial velocity they determined, determine exactly where the dart will hit. It works quite well. If you have constant velocity carts, you can add targets to them, to travel across lab benches, and have a fun shooting gallery for extra credit. Suggested by Mark Pumphrey <MPumphrey@ndahingham.com>, posted by Bill Taylor.

Homopolar Motors see http://physicsclips.blogspot.com/2009/07/creating-simple-motors.html Suggested by Lori Andersen <lori.andersen@gmail.com> posted by Bill Taylor <bt4-1284@yahoo.com>

Modulated LED - Build a simple device in which a radio signal is transmitted across the light beam of an LED and received by a solar cell. parts from Radio Shack. Developed by the Exploratorium http://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/index.html, posted by Bill Taylor

Pumpkin Chucking - Project - pumpkin launcher.doc Build and test a catapult or trebuchet designed to launch a small (cantaloupe-size) pumpkin. I have the students build their contraptions at home, and then we test them at school, typically at or around Halloween. Restrictions are mostly for safety (no explosives, etc). Submitted by Gillian Winters

Model Rocketry - I have formed a Rocketry Club and I am looking to understand the calculations for height and time of flight with air drag. Here is a worksheet I began. . Please contact me bt4_1284@yahoo.com if you have any insight how to add air drag into the calculations. Submitted by Bill Taylor.

Numerical (spreadsheet) Solution for Air Friction on a Water Rocket - Submitted by Jeff DeCurtins
As part of the Water Rocket project, I have the students use a spreadsheet and what I believe is called the Euler Method to calculate the effect of air friction on the rocket after launch.
We model air friction as F = -bv2 where the value of b is determined experimentally from video tracking of actual rocket flights.
The pdf file below gives complete background and technique for doing this using Google Sheets and Charts.