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Material Detail


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Material Type: Simulation
Technical Format: Java Applet
Date Added to MERLOT: August 05, 2000
Date Modified in MERLOT: May 04, 2010
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Author: John Brecht Send email to John Brecht 
Michigan State University
Submitter : John Walkup


User can change the length, the mass ofthe bob or constant of gravitational accleration, by typing values in the appropriate fields before hitting "Go". Subsequent simulations will be plotted in differentcolors so that they may be compared. (Note the effect of changing length, mass, gravity, and initial amplitude on the frequency)... More

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Primary Audience: High School, College General Ed
Mobile Compatibility: Not specified at this time
Language: English
Cost Involved: no Source Code Available: no
Accessiblity Information Available: no Copyright: yes
Creative Commons: unsure

About this material:


Discussion for Pendulum

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6 years ago


I like the fact that each run of the pendulum is plotted in a different color. However, would have preferred to have option of having the axis displayed horizontally. This would have helped me to see the change in T, period, easier.
Used in course

Avatar for Peggy Tilgner
7 years ago

Peggy Tilgner (Faculty)

The website was excellent in that it allowed students to manipulate many more variables than typically can be done in a lab setting.
The material is accurate and results of data manipulation are easy to interpret.
I used it after demonstrating a pendulum to the whole class and explaining what things they could vary. Students actually collected data in their lab notebooks and formulated conclusions supported by the data.
Students liked the fact that they could vary the lengths, mass, and gravity. About half of them said that the computer activity would have been sufficient for them to learn the concepts. The other half indicated that they liked being able to set up their own pendulums and compare the results of those to what they found in the computer activity.

Technical Remarks:

The website was easy to access from Merlot but we had some problems when typing in the address. About half of the students got the "this page cannot be found" message.

Avatar for Cheryl Medearis
8 years ago

Cheryl Medearis (Faculty)

I used the website as the basis for a Problem-based Learning model lesson.
Students made predictions using a laboratory simulation. After recording their
predictions, I introduced the website and had them work in groups to record
data. The students compared their predictions using the laboratory simulation
and the website. After the lesson, students completed a rubric to assess the
lesson's effectiveness. The students rated one of the lesson's objectives, which
was stated as "the simulation helped me meet the outcomes of the lesson," a "6"
on a scale of 1-6. STudents also commented that they would like to use this
sort of activity more frequently to increase their understanding of science

Students felt the website was user friendly, and two students reported that they
will use this site again.

Technical Remarks:

The website was easy to use for first time users.
Used in course

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