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Motion Detectors/Updated Physics Equipment  

photo of students and teacher

When EGRHS science teachers Aaron Ditty and Matt Harold wrote a grant request for motion detectors and sensor updates for physics classes, it was actually for equipment that will work well with what classes already have, thanks to the Foundation.

"With the first grant we were able to get access to some new equipment and test the equipment with students, and see how it interfaces with technology they were already familiar with," Ditty says. "In class students were able to quickly test out predictions and determine the accuracy of their data. In one example students were tasked with predicting the amount of time it would take a piece of plexiglas to fall a certain distance. 

"Once they had their prediction students were able to quickly test their solution using a new sensor. With the new sensors they were also able to quickly connect to their own devices and use software they were already familiar with. The primary goal of updating sensors is to provide multiple methods of real world data collection and analysis. Having multiple methods will allow students opportunities to think about what data they want to collect and what tools they have available to collect that data. To answer a scientific question, do students want to use video analysis, a motion detector, time, a specific distance or a combination of things. Groups will need to make decisions about how and why they want to collect and analyze data. 

"The real goal is for students to be doing science, and not just following a recipe. Updating sensors eliminates technical issues and allows for seamless integration with students' technology. Students will be spending more time collecting and analyzing data, and less time troubleshooting issues."