Today, we finished the electric motors. All but just a few of groups had their motors running before the end of class today. Compared to the motor kits that I’ve used in the past, I found that these kits lead to better analysis and, therefore understanding, of how the electric motor works. For example, the various components of the motor are arranged such that students can access the spaces between to test polarity of the armature as it rotates. In addition, I think it is great that students are hammering, screwing, and soldering – activities that don’t occur enough in physics class.
Here’s the first pair who got their motor running:
Today I was off campus and students took the exam for the magnetostatics and electromagnetism unit. Since many students missed class yesterday, they stayed after school to catch up on the construction of their electric motors. One group decided that the standard kit was insufficient for what they had planned for their motor; so, they augmented it with bearings borrowed from Huskie Robotics:
Today in AP Physics 2, the construction of electric motors continued. Today’s focus was building the commutator, analyzing it, and appreciating the role it plays in changing the poles of the electromagnet as the armature rotates. For many students, this was their first time soldering. After a little guidance, every group successfully soldered the wires from the electromagnet to the tin armature.