By Robert Grover
databot™ has been making friends all over the world since arriving in June 2019. One fun group of friends we have come to know this summer are the science-loving educators at Educational Innovations.
As you may already know, databot™ is a fearless explorer of scientific frontiers. After getting to know some of the people at Educational Innovations, it became quickly apparent that they were interested in doing some first-hand exploration using databot’s™ onboard sensor system.
The first idea to roll out of their warehouse full of science fun was their “Microscale Vacuum Apparatus” —a remarkably well-built kit that enables students to perform hands-on experiments with air pressure. Coincidentally, the apparatus fit databot™ like a glove! We were able to place the databot™ inside the vacuum chamber and watch the data as the air was drawn out.
Check out the pictures of the apparatus, databot™ bravely entering the chamber, and the subsequent data collected on the pressure reduction!
Note: we used an awesome software called Google Science Journal to collect the data. It’s free, friendly, and fun!
Setting Up the Apparatus
databot™ Enters the Chamber
The Results from Databot™!
Do You Hear That?
If this weren’t a thrilling enough investigation, EI staff then posited a question. “Hey – what happens to sound in a vacuum?” A very good question! Our next step was to insert a small electric buzzer into the chamber and repeat the experiment. This time we watched the decibel level over time compared to the air pressure. Check out the results!
Here’s the sound of the buzzer normally:
This is how it sounds in the container:
And here are the results!
OK data scientists, what is going on here?
- Why is the sound level decreasing with the air pressure?
- Why does the sound level seem to be jumping up and down as it decreases?
- We reached the limit of how far we could reduce the air pressure. What do you think would happen to the sound if we were able to reduce the air pressure to zero in the chamber? Why?
Challenge your students to take a look at these results and submit their observations and explanations. Check back here for answers!
About the Author
Robert O. Grover is a proponent of STEAM education and educational technology that helps turn today’s students into tomorrow’s thoughtful leaders.