Asee peer logo

Technology Enabled Projects for High School Physics

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

High School Engineering Programs, Curriculum, and Evaluation

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1419.1 - 22.1419.18



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Heath Tims Louisiana Tech University

author page

Krystal S Corbett Louisiana Tech University

author page

Galen E. Turner III Louisiana Tech University


David E. Hall Louisiana Tech University

visit author page

Dr. Hall is an Associate Professor of mechanical engineering at Louisiana Tech University. He is interested in hands-on approaches in STEM education.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Technology Enabled Projects for High School PhysicsAbstract____ University has recently developed a curriculum (NASA-Threads) consisting of self-contained projects that integrate engineering, mathematics, and physics concepts. The curriculumuses hands-on projects that develop student ability to solve realistic multiple-step problems whilebringing excitement into the classroom. NASA-Threads utilizes NASA applications,fundamentals, technology, and communication throughout hands-on projects that are facilitatedby an inexpensive robotic platform. Fundamentals are taught in this active classroomenvironment as projects unfold. These hands-on projects build excitement and foster thedevelopment of student confidence and creativity. This paper provides clear examples of K12hands-on projects for teaching physics fundamentals, as well as assessment data regarding theexperiences of high school teachers.Several projects showcase a particular technology platform coupled with physics fundamentals.One of the keys to success is teaching the fundamental topics while allowing students todemonstrate the concepts through technology.Boe-bot (electricity): We use a micro-controller platform (Boe-bot) that provides the enablingtechnology for projects throughout the course. Students use multimeters to measure voltage andcurrent in simple circuits which each student constructs on the breadboard of their own Boe-Bot.Students build circuits containing resistors, capacitors, and LEDs. These circuits allow formeasurement of fundamental concepts of voltage, current, and power. Students additionally writeBASIC computer programs causing LEDs to blink with specified timings to showcase conceptsof problem solving and logic. Students extend their skills to develop a countdown timer thatutilizes a seven-segment LED number display. As students’ intuition for electricity develops,they are introduced to the coupling between electric current and magnetism.This paper will present additional hands-on projects including: Truss (vectors and forces),Speaker/Motor (magnetism), Servo-efficiency (work, energy), Accelerometer (programming,vectors, gravity), Guitar (waves, frequency, sound), Solar oven (heat), and Digital Media(projectile motion, gravity). All of these technologies are coupled with the physics fundamentalsto provide an engaging approach to teaching high school physics.

Tims, H., & Corbett, K. S., & Turner, G. E., & Hall, D. E. (2011, June), Technology Enabled Projects for High School Physics Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18792

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015