LESSONS: Biology

The majority of lesson ideas below require minimal resources other than the smartphone, and are relevant to introductory physics in high school and college. However, creative individuals are using smartphone science in more complex ways, with drones, engineering kits, and much more. Follow us on Twitter @PhysicsToolbox and see our Publications page for additional content.
Gait Patterns​

What is the relationship between the HEIGHT and GAIT FREQUENCY for walking humans?

Try This

Try This

Attach a mobile device to your back or chest area and collect data while walking using the g-Force or Accelerometer tools. For various subjects, compare dynamic, gait, metrics, symmetry, and variability. Compare these traits in the data to physical characteristics, such as height or leg length. If desired, record video on another camera to compare data to visual observations.

 

Challenge Yourself

  • Create a graph of Gait Frequency vs. Height, and derive a mathematical expression for this relationship.

  • If there are any constants in these mathematical expressions, explain their significance.

  • Attach the mobile device to other parts of the body (thigh or leg). How does this data differ from that collected on your chest or back? Why?

Related Resources

Waveforms Produced by Sound

What kind of WAVEFORMS are representative of HIGH/LOW PITCH and HIGH/LOW VOLUME?

Try This

Use the Oscilloscope to observe waveforms for produced by simple tones (such as tuning forks) and more complex sounds (such as your voice). 

  • Draw a sketch for a high/low frequency sound

  • Draw a sketch for a high/low amplitude sound

  • Compare sounds of the same tone that have a different timbre

Ambient Noise

How loud is my environment?

 

Try This

Using the Sound Meter tool, measure the average intensity of ambient noise to determine the level of noise pollution that surrounds you. Record values in quiet and loud environments, and compare these values to charts online to determine if hearing damage might result in particular environments. 

 

Challenge Yourself

  • What is the quietest environment that you can possible find?

  • What is the loudest environment that you found?

 

Related Resources

Noise Insulators

What types of MATERIALS block out sound waves?

 

Try This

Using the Sound Meter tool, construct a sonically insulated box using any materials available to you. 

 

Challenge Yourself

  • What materials are best at insulating noise? Why?

Color by Addition

What do projected COLORS of light look like when mixed?

Try This

Using the Color Generator tool on two or three mobile devices, try mixing light by shining the screens in a darkened room onto a white surface. Mix projected red and blue, red and green, blue and green, and red/blue/green. Describe how these mixed colors are different from mixing pigments.

 

Related Resources

UV Absorption

Do my sun glasses actually block out UV light?

Try This

Acquire one or more sets of sunglasses that are rated to block out UV light. Using the UV tool, determine compare the UV reading outside under the sky, versus the UV reading when covered by a single lens of the sunglasses. Determine what percentage of UV is blocked by the glasses. Using sunglasses without UV protection, determine if any UV is blocked at all.

 

Challenge Yourself

  • Compare UV readings of the sky at various times throughout the day.

  • Compare UV readings under clear or overcast sky when the sun is at the same height. Do clouds block UV light?

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