Students prepare for the associated activity in which they investigate acceleration by collecting acceleration vs. time data using the accelerometer of a sliding Android device. Based on the experimental set-up for the activity, students form hypotheses about the acceleration of the device. Students will investigate how the force on the device changes according to Newton's Second Law. Different types of acceleration, including average, instantaneous and constant acceleration, are introduced. Acceleration and force is described mathematically and in terms of processes and applications.
Students develop an app for an Android device that utilizes its built-in internal sensors, specifically the accelerometer. The goal of this activity is to teach programming design and skills using MIT's App Inventor software (free to download from the Internet) as the vehicle for learning. The activity should be exciting for students who are interested in applying what they learn to writing other applications for Android devices. Students learn the steps of the engineering design process as they identify the problem, develop solutions, select and implement a possible solution, test the solution and redesign, as needed, to accomplish the design requirements.
Students conduct an experiment to study the acceleration of a mobile Android device. During the experiment, they run an application created with MIT's App Inventor that monitors linear acceleration in one-dimension. Students use an acceleration vs. time equation to construct an approximate velocity vs. time graph. Students will understand the relationship between the object's mass and acceleration and how that relates to the force applied to the object, which is Newton's second law of motion.
Based on their experience exploring the Mars rover Curiosity and learning about what engineers must go through to develop a vehicle like Curiosity, students create Android apps that can control LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots, simulating the difficulties the Curiosity rover could encounter. The activity goal is to teach students programming design and programming skills using MIT's App Inventor software as the vehicle for the learning. The (free to download) App Inventor program enables Android apps to be created using building blocks without having to actually know a programming language. At activity end, students are ready to apply what they learn to write other applications for Android devices.
Out of My Mind is a chapter book that I read aloud to my upper elementary students. It is about a girl named Melody that has an amazing memory. She is extremely bright, but is unable to communicate verbally. She was born with cerebral palsy which affected her speech and her ability to move and function without the use of a wheelchair and communication board. She is very limited in what she can express and do, and for that reason, people treat her as if she is not smart or capable of learning.