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ERIC Number: EJ1033047
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
An Arduino Investigation of Simple Harmonic Motion
Galeriu, Calin; Edwards, Scott; Esper, Geoffrey
Physics Teacher, v52 n3 p157-159 Mar 2014
We cannot hope for a new generation of scientists and engineers if we don't let our young students take ownership of their scientific and engineering explorations, if we don't let them enjoy the hands-on cycle of design and production, and if we don't let them implant their creativity into a technologically friendly environment. With this educational philosophy in mind, Massimo Banzi and his team have developed and popularized the open source Arduino microcontroller board. The Arduino board has helped countless people in their science, electronics, robotics, or engineering projects, allowing them to build things that we have not even dreamed of. Physics instructors have also realized the advantages of using Arduino boards for lab experiments. The schools are saving money because the homemade experimental equipment is much cheaper than the commercial alternatives. The students are thankful for an educational experience that is more interesting, more loaded with STEM content, and more fun. As further proof of this new trend in physics education, Vernier is now documenting the use of their probes with Arduino boards. This is why we have developed an Arduino-based physics investigation of the simple harmonic motion (SHM) of a mass on a spring. The experimental data are collected with the help of an ultrasonic distance sensor and an Arduino Uno board. The data are then graphed and analyzed using Origin 9. This rich cross-curricular STEM activity integrates electronics, computer programming, physics, and mathematics in a way that is both experimentally exciting and intellectually rewarding.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A