Lab "Suitcases" for Loan to Schools and Educational Organizations

These lab "suitcases" are actually plastic bins full of everything you would need to run labs in various topics. Each suitcase provides a classroom set of materials.  A teacher can borrow any suitcase in the same way that one would borrow a book from a library for a set amount of time. To borrow a particular suitcase, contact Spencer Smith at 413-538-2029.

Support from the William F. and Edith R. Meggers Project Award and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute has made the following suitcase labs possible:

Introduction to Mechanics

This suitcase includes six classroom setups to study mechanics. Each setup includes 1 GLX handheld data collection device, 2 motion sensors, 1 force sensor, 1 track and track accessories including 2 dynamics carts with accessories.

The following handout  may be useful in getting started with the GLX devices. More information can be found in the suitcase itself.

Some possible investigations include:

Investigating Conservation of Energy Using Ramps and Rolling Spheres

This suitcase contains a conservation of energy experiment. Students roll balls down a ramp and measure how far from the edge of the ramp the balls strike the floor. Students can vary ramp height, ball mass, and table height, among other parameters. The experiment dH2onstrates the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy, in addition to developing graphing and algebraic skills.

Introduction to Electricity

This suitcase includes eight classroom setups to study electricity quantitatively and qualitatively. Each setup includes batteries and battery holders, wires, light bulbs and sockets, 1 multimeter, several resistors a capacitor and a compass.

Some possible investigations include:

Introduction to Waves

This suitcase includes materials to study basic properties of transverse and longitudinal waves. There are a classroom set of double-length slinkies. This suitcase would be great partnered with the Speed of Sound in Air Suitcase.

Calculating the Speed of Sound in Air

This suitcase includes materials to accurately measure the speed of sound in air. Each setup includes a set of resonance tubes with attached measuring tape, a portable CD player and CD with tracks of various frequencies, and small speakers.

ChH2istry and Water Quality Testing

This suitcase includes six classroom setups to study chH2istry and water quality. Each setup includes 1 GLX handheld data collection device, one water quality sensor (measures tH2perature, dissolved oxygen, pH and conductivity) and one water quality colorimeter (and test kits for nitrates, phosphates and ammonia). There is also one classroom flow rate meter.

Beyond Our Walls

The Mount Holyoke Physics Department has an active outreach program, both students driven and by the faculty.