Friday, 5 February 2016

Temperature difference and cooling


4 cups of the same size (e.g drinks cups)
lids with small holes in centre
datalogger and 4 temperature probes or 4 thermometers
100ml measuring cylinder


Heat water in the kettle until near boiling.

Very carefully measure 100ml hot water and put into cup 1.
Use 80ml hot water and 20ml cold for cup 2, 60 / 40 for cup 3 and 40ml hot, 60ml cold for the final cup.

Add the lids and put the temperature probes through the holes. Thermometers could be used if you have no datalogger - in this case note the start temperature of each cup. Start the stopclock.

After 10 minutes pass stop the datalogger or record the temperature from the thermometers again.


Spilled water can cause falls if not cleared up swiftly. Hot water can cause scalds, great care should be taken when using hot water, and insulating gloves may need to be used if something is too hot to comfortably hold.

Temperature and viscosity of oils


Water bath
Vegetable oil
Boiling tube
Measuring cylinder
Polystyrene cup with hole in bottom
Clamp stand
Bung to fit hole mounted on a rod


Heat 50ml of the oil to 50 degrees C in a boiling tube in the waterbath.
When warmed add to the polystyrene cup (with the bung in) held in the clamp and stand.
Remove the bung and start the stopclock.
Stop the stopclock when the oil has run through into the beaker.

Repeat twice more at this temperature, reheating the oil each time and ensuring you start with 50ml each time.

Repeat at 10 degree temperature intervals down to 20 degrees C.

You may wish to use an alternative method of letting the warm oil run from an object if there is other equipment you can use.


Do not heat above 50 degrees C to prevent the risk of burns. Ensure any spilled oil is cleared up as soon as possible to avoid slips and falls.

Testing improvement of human co-ordination.


computer with keyboard with a number pad
10 sheets of paper containing 5 lines of randomly generated strings of 10 digits


Have a volunteer sit at the computer and place their non-dominant hand over the numberpad.

Next to them place a piece of paper which has 5 lines of 10 digit numbers on it, covered by another piece of paper.

Uncover the paper and start the stopclock. The volunteer should start to input the digits as fast as they can without going back over errors.

Stop the stopclock when they reach the end of the list.

Record the time.

Repeat another 10 times using a different random string set.

Once all the times have been completed go over each data set entered into the computer and count the number of errors input during each trial.


This is a safe experiment to carry out, though if it takes the user a long time to complete the task they may need to be given a short screen break.

Co-ordination, reaction times and practice


Metre stick


Position a volunteer so they are sat with their non-dominant arm resting in a comfortable position and their hand is held over the edge of the table with the thumb and forefinger facing up.

Hold the metre stick so the end is level with the top of the thumb and forefinger.

Drop the metre stick - the volunteer should catch it as soon as they can. Record the distance showing just above the finger and thumb.

Repeat the experiment at least 10 times, recording the distance each time.


This is a relatively safe experiment as long as care is taken to ensure that the metre stick falls vertically so that the far end does not approach the volunteers face and eyes.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Time period of spring motion


2 x Clamp & stand
Datalogger & light gate
Sticky tape


Set up one clamp and stand to hold the spring with masses on.
Set up the second to hold the light gate of the datalogger.

Add a small (1cm width) paper flag to the masses using the tape to secure it, the flag should be positioned so it passes completely through the datalogger light gate.

Set the datalogger recording and pull the masses down and release. Use the datalogger output to find the time for 10 oscillations.

Add another mass onto the hanger and repeat - you will need to adjust the position of the light gate so it is in line with the rest position of the flag.


The spring and masses may become unstable, ensure the equipment is kept central on the bench and that the spring is firmly attached to the clamp. The masses should only be pulled down a couple centimetres to avoid the system becoming unstable as the masses will start to swing as well as bob.

Physical factors affecting lung volume

Olympic cyclists tend to have larger than average lungs for their size. This experiment looks for links between physical attributes and lung volume which would enable people to predict their likelihood of success should they take up the sport.


Spirometer or other breathing volume measuring equipment (e.g. lung volume bag)
Tape measure
Range of subjects


Measure a range of physical features for each subject such as height, chest circumference, length from between collar bone to sternum, length of forearm etc.

Use the spirometer to record the maximum breath volume of each subject and also their peak flow rate if your device will allow that.

Plot a scatter graph of the lung volume against each physical measurement to determine if there is a correlation between any of the data collected.


Asthmatics may cough when performing these tests so should either be removed from the sample or ensure they have their inhaler with them. The mouthpiece of the spirometer should be changed or sterilised between subjects.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Breath volume before and after exercise


Breathing bag (long plastic bag with markings to show litres)
Two way mouthpiece
Nose clip
Treadmill (optional)


Place nose clip on the subject and get them to make 5 normal breaths through the mouthpiece and into the bag. The mouthpiece should be of a design with a valve which allows air to enter the mouth on inhalation, with exhaled air being passed into the bag.

Roll the bag down from the mouthpiece end and read off the volume of gas contained within.

Get your subject to perform a light exercise, such as jogging on a treadmill or performing star jumps, for two minutes, with the noseclip removed so that they can breath normally.

Repeat the measurement of air volume produced from 5 breaths.

Another set of exercise should be performed for for minutes and measurements made. This should be repeated with exercise intervals increasing by two minutes each time up to a maximum of ten minutes.

The subject should be encouraged to breath as normally as possible in all cases.


Should your subject become light headed stop the experiment, remove the mouthpiece and nose clip and allow them to breath deeply for a few minutes. Ensure that the area where the exercise is taking place is free from obstruction. Ensure that your subject is in general good health before taking part. Ensure that the mouthpiece is sterilised prior to use, or has a disposable extension which is used.