5 Day Lesson Plan - Department of Computer Science - Purdue University

# VernierGo Direct® Force and Acceleration Sensor

Lesson Plan for Middle School Computer Science
Prepared by Jessica Brewer, K12 Outreach Coordinator, Purdue CS

## OVERVIEW & PURPOSE

Students will apply their knowledge of physical science concepts to create a lunar lander game using Scratch. They will use Vernier force and acceleration sensors to collect data and integrate this data into their game, enhancing realism and understanding of forces and motion.

## EDUCATION STANDARDS

### NGSS Standards:

• MS-PS2-1: Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
• MS-PS2-2: Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
• MS-PS3-1: Construct and interpret graphical displays of data to describe the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass of an object and to the speed of an object.

### CSTA Standards:

• 1B-AP-08: Compare and refine multiple algorithms for the same task and determine which is the most appropriate.
• 1B-AP-09: Create programs that use variables to store and modify data.
• 1B-AP-10: Create programs that include sequences, events, loops, and conditionals.
• 1B-AP-15: Test and debug (identify and fix errors) a program or algorithm to ensure it runs as intended.

## OBJECTIVES

• Understand and apply physical science concepts such as force, motion, and gravity.
• Develop basic programming skills using Scratch.
• Collect and analyze data using Vernier force and acceleration sensors.
• Integrate real-world data into a Scratch project to enhance realism.
• Foster creativity and problem-solving skills through game design.

## MATERIALS NEEDED

• Scratch accounts for students
• Vernier force and acceleration sensor
• Go Direct® interface (Vernier Graphical Analysis)
• Handouts and guides for Scratch programming

## VERIFICATION

Check for student understanding

• Pre-activity discussion to assess prior knowledge of forces, motion, and basic programming concepts.
• Monitor progress during hands-on activities to ensure students are correctly collecting and interpreting data.
• Frequent check-ins and mini-assessments during coding sessions to verify students understand programming constructs.
• End-of-lesson reflection where students explain their projects and the scientific principles applied.

## ACTIVITY

### Day 1: Introduction to the Project and Basics of Scratch

• Objective: Introduce the lunar lander project and familiarize students with Scratch.
• Activities:
• Present the driving question: "How can we use programming and physical science principles to create a realistic lunar lander game?"
• Show examples of lunar lander games and discuss the science behind them. (Download from Vernier website - to show keystrokes controlling lunar lander)
• Provide a brief tutorial on Scratch interface and basic features (can even use the built in ones through Scratch).
• Hands-on activity: Create a simple Scratch project to move a sprite.

### Day 2: Basics of Scratch Programming and Physics Concepts

• Objective: Learn basic programming constructs and understand gravity's effect on motion.
• Activities:
• Teach loops, conditionals, and variables in Scratch.
• This is where the book “Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook” will come in handy to understand the concepts of these as well
• Hands-on activity: Create a script to move a sprite up and down using keyboard inputs.
• (Optional) Introduction to gravity and its effect on motion.
• (Optional) Discuss how gravity would affect a lunar lander.

### Day 3: Using Vernier Sensors and Data Collection

• Objective: Learn to collect data using Vernier force and acceleration sensors to help understand how you can use the associated blocks in Scratch.
• Idea behind this simple activity is to reinforce what you’ve already taught with the physical science standards.
• Activities:
• Demonstrate Vernier sensors and data collection.
• Hands-on activity: Collect data on forces using the vernier sensor.
• Analyze collected data to understand forces and motion.

### Day 4: Integrating Data into Scratch and Game Development

• Objective: Integrate real-world data into the Scratch project and start developing the game.
• Activities:
• Guide students in applying collected data to their Scratch projects.
• Implement gravity and force effects in the game.

### Day 5: Game Testing, Refinement, and Presentation Preparation

• Objective: Test, refine, and present the lunar lander game.
• Activities:
• Systematic testing using different scenarios.
• Debug and refine the game based on test results.
• Allow students to add creative elements (scoring, levels, backgrounds).
• Prepare presentations explaining the scientific and computational principles used.
• Students present their games and reflect on the project.
Last Updated: Jun 24, 2024 4:06 PM

Department of Computer Science, 305 N. University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Phone: (765) 494-6010 • Fax: (765) 494-0739