Perry Township Education Foundation

Grants Grant Stories

Stacey Farley-Matlock & Jason Singleton


Southport High School

Grant Title

The Spin Within


Upon purchasing the rotary motion sensors and the accessory kit, the physics students will be able to perform a wide variety of rotational (spinning) dynamics experiments, including measuring moments of inertia and torque, atwood machine experiment, physical pendulum lab, and the angular momentum lab in the science lab.

For example, in the torque lab, students will investigate the relationship between torque and angular acceleration. When torque is applied to an object, it will be free to spin and will undergo angular acceleration. To investigate this relationship, students will use our existing logger pro and connect it to the computer. Next, the physics students will assemble the rotary motion sensor to a ring stand and position it, so that a mass tied with string is wrapped onto the disks on top of the rotary motion sensor, over the pulley (from the accessory kit), and will hang freely without touching the floor. Students will start the data collection and release the hanging mass. As the mass slowly descends, the pulley spins, and the string unwinds from the disks located on top of the rotary motion sensor. With this lab and from the data collected using a variety of masses, students will graph torque vs. angular acceleration and find the slope of the line, which is the moment of inertia. This is just one example of a lab that will be studied.

Furthermore, these experiments will help the physics students meet standards in the curriculum and STEM areas. These lab investigations will occur every year during the last nine weeks of school. This has been an area of content that students struggle with and a concept that is difficult to grasp. Exploring hands-on inquiry based labs will enhance critically thinking and apply concepts learned in the classroom. This is essential to engage students in STEM learning and support their ability to make connections, which will further enhance the learning process.

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