Projects Underway

iPad Mechanics Physics Instruction

Dan MacIsaac

Project Team
  • David S Abbott, Buffalo State
  • Kathleen Falconer, Buffalo State
  • David Ettestad, Buffalo State
  • David Henry, Buffalo State
  • Brad Gearhart, Buffalo State

Buffalo State College


Tier One

Project Abstract:

We propose to create videos and written lab instructions as useable learning objects for teachers of physics both at the HS and College level. These materials will be shared across and outside of SUNY via the SUNY Digital Learning Commons.

We will obtain and integrate 11 iPads running Vernier Software's _Vernier Physics App for iOS_ (cited in MERLOT II) into Introductory Mechanics and Teaching Introductory Mechanics courses (PHY107, 111, 510 and 620) using technology for video data collection and analysis of motion data in instructional laboratories. We will use video capture of mechanical phenomena (e.g., dropped, tossed, rotating, and colliding objects) to study projectile motion, directly measure object linear and angular displacement, velocity and acceleration, fitting and selecting appropriate mathematical models to mechanics in laboratory exercises. We will develop three appropriate laboratory experiments making use of the system for kinematics - gravitation/projectile motion, momentum conservation, and rotational dynamics. We also have longer-term plans to use the iPads for additional open-ended media physics projects and investigations.

Project Outcome:

We employed new technologies (tablet video analysis and production) to physics learning in both entry level and advanced pedagogical methods classes in new ways, seeking to extend subject appeal to more students, including hopefully, traditionally underrepresented students. The intervention was iPad (Tablet) based, but we hope to extend to mainstream modern smart camera phones.