Educational experiments

The Pico Technology library of science projects contains a number of educational experiments suitable for use with our oscilloscope and data logging products.

If you are involved in the teaching of science we would love to hear from you. We are looking for people willing to perform and write up new experiments for this collection. For a limited time Pico Technology is willing to donate a DrDAQ data logger in return for a suitable experiment. For more details on this, please read our guidelines on submitting science projects.

  1. Calculating heart rate
  2. Looking at the aerobic respiration of peas
  3. Investigating the effect of acid on indigestion tablets
  4. Respiration of maggots
  5. Transpiration
  6. Ideas for Biology Experiments

    (If you are interested in performing and writing up one of these experiments, please get in touch.)

    • Dawn Chorus. Use light and sound level sensors to measure the dawn chorus.
    • Day and Night. Plot temperature, light and humidity over a 24 hour period.
    • Fermentation of Grass Cuttings. Measure the temperature of grass cuttings or a compost heap.
    • Acid Rain. Measure the pH of collected rainwater. Needs careful calibration.
  1. Testing the pH level of common drinks using DrDAQ as a pH meter
  2. Freezing of pure and salt water
  3. Acid-base titrations
  4. Burning oxygen - how much oxygen is required to sustain a flame
  5. Exploding photographic film case
  6. Investigating the effect of temperature changes during a rate of reaction assessed practical
  7. Measuring the pH of milk
  8. Monitoring the rate of reaction between two liquids
  9. Four-channel pH measurements using an ADC-16 Data Logger
  10. The rusting of iron
  11. Ideas for Chemistry Experiments

    (If you are interested in performing and writing up one of these experiments, please get in touch.)

    • Acid Base Titration. Monitor the pH and Temperature.
    • Exothermic Reactions. Measure the temperature and pH as sodium hydroxide is dissolved in water.
    • Endothermic Reactions. Measure the temperature as ammonium nitrate is dissolved in water.
    • Fermentation of Grass Cuttings. Measure the temperature of grass cuttings or a compost heap.
    • Acid Rain. Measure the pH of collected rainwater. Needs careful calibration.
  1. Experiments with a capacitor
  2. Recording Earth field magnetometer
  3. Observing the changes in the charge in the atmosphere close to the surface of the Earth
  4. Measuring the swing of a pendulum
  5. Flickering lights
  6. Speed of a pulse along a coaxial cable
  7. Runaway train science experiment
  8. Scalextric Subaru Challenge Two
  9. Proving the formulae for series and parallel resistance
  10. Effect of temperature on a solar panel
  11. Experiment to look at serial data communications
  12. Measuring switch bounce
  13. Experiment to view T1 clock recovery
  14. Scalextric Subaru Challenge
  15. Ideas for Electronics Experiments

    (If you are interested in performing and writing up one of these experiments, please get in touch.)

    • Fruit Power. Make a fruit battery. Experiment with different fruits and electrodes.
    • Capacitor charge/discharge. Experiment with different component values.
    • Infra red remote controls. Use a photo diode to view the invisible.
    • Output of a solar cell. What factors affect the output voltage and power available.
  1. Global warming
  2. Guidelines for submitting educational experiments
  3. Logging in the lab
  4. Ideas General Science Experiments

    (If you are interested in performing and writing up one of these experiments, please get in touch.)

    • Dawn Chorus. Use light and sound level sensors to measure the dawn chorus.
    • Sound waveforms. Use PicoScope oscilloscope to show the soundwaveforms produced by someone whistling, speaking or singing. Switch on the spectrum analyser to see the frequency components — who’s whistle has the highest frequency, who can whistle the loudest?
    • Sound Decay. Use a sound source with a constant level and plot how it decays with distance
    • Sound Insulation. Use a sound source with a constant level and experiment with different insulating materials
    • Sound waveforms of musical Instruments. Look at the scope waveform and FFT spectrum of different musical instruments
    • Light decay (inverse square law). How does light level decay with distance from source
    • Light Insulation. Experiment with different materials to see which cuts out the most light. Does using two bits of insulation have twice the effect?
    • Day and Night. Plot temperature, light and humidity over a 24 hour period.
    • Fruit Power. Make a fruit battery. Experiment with different fruits and electrodes.
    • Acid Rain. Measure the pH of collected rainwater. Needs careful calibration.
    • Output of a solar cell. What factors affect the output voltage and power available.
    • Heat Insulation. Wrap test tubes in different insulating materials. Compare wet and dry insulation.
    • Global Warming. Show how CO2 can effect warming. Heat two bottles using a lamp. One contains air and the other CO2.
    • Heat Loss Through Windows. Compare temperature inside and outside a window over 24 hours. If possible compare single and double glazing.
    • Fridges and Freezers. Plot temperature inside a fridge or freezer. Also plot temperature of the heat exchanger on the back. How is temperature affected by opening the door or by adding something hot to the fridge. Can you see the effect of the thermostat?
  1. Measuring the speed of light
  2. Measuring the speed of sound - using 2 microphones a meter apart
  3. Unusual technical support request
  4. How does temperature affect the pressure of a gas?
  5. Which freezes quicker, hot or cold water?
  6. Measuring angular velocity
  7. Experiment to measure the deflection of a cantilever beam
  8. Using an ADC-16 to monitor battery discharge
  9. Recording Earth field magnetometer
  10. Acoustic standing waves
  11. Beagle 2 - landing on Mars
  12. Efficiency of a light bulb
  13. Camera shutter speed
  14. Observing the changes in the charge in the atmosphere close to the surface of the Earth
  15. Color and temperature
  16. Light intensity variation across a diffraction pattern
  17. Doppler effect in air
  18. DrDAQ magnetic induction
  19. Electromagnetism - experiments with a simple AC dynamo
  20. Exchange principles
  21. Measuring the swing of a pendulum
  22. Experiment to measure the acceleration due to gravity
  23. The convection heat transfer coefficient on a vertical plate from surface temperature measurements
  24. Observing the switching on and off of a filament lamp
  25. Measurement of reverberation time
  26. Air stratification experiment
  27. Explore the forces that arise during a collision
  28. Fluctuation of mains voltage
  29. Infrared radiation
  30. Measuring rainfall
  31. Speed of a pulse along a coaxial cable
  32. Magnetic induction: Faraday’s laws
  33. Can your musical recorder tell you the speed of sound?
  34. Runaway train science experiment
  35. Beat patterns in sound waves
  36. Scalextric Subaru Challenge Two
  37. Traffic noise
  38. Investigating the effect of distance from a lamp on its brightness
  39. Effect of temperature on a solar panel
  40. Sensing the speed and acceleration of a train
  41. Investigating heat loss due to radiation using DrDAQ as a temperature probe
  42. Experiments with a thermoelectric generator
  43. Predicting the motion of a falling card
  44. Vibration monitoring with optical fibers
  45. Wind resistance and terminal velocity
  46. Investigating surfaces with a penetrometer
  47. A school seismometer
  48. Scalextric Subaru Challenge
  49. Modeling an ultrasound A-scan
  50. Wave speed in a solid
  51. Testing the effect of insulators on the rate of cooling of water
  52. Ideas for Physics Experiments

    (If you are interested in performing and writing up one of these experiments, please get in touch.)

    • Sound waveforms. Use PicoScope oscilloscope to show the soundwaveforms produced by someone whistling, speaking or singing. Switch on the spectrum analyser to see the frequency components — who’s whistle has the highest frequency, who can whistle the loudest?
    • Sound Decay. Use a sound source with a constant level and plot how it decays with distance
    • Sound Insulation. Use a sound source with a constant level and experiment with different insulating materials
    • Sound waveforms of musical Instruments. Look at the scope waveform and FFT spectrum of different musical instruments
    • Light decay (inverse square law). How does light level decay with distance from source
    • Light Insulation. Experiment with different materials to see which cuts out the most light. Does using two bits of insulation have twice the effect?
    • Day and Night. Plot temperature, light and humidity over a 24 hour period.
    • Fruit Power. Make a fruit battery. Experiment with different fruits and electrodes.
    • Capacitor charge/discharge. Experiment with different component values.
    • Infra red remote controls. Use a photo diode to view the invisible.
    • Output of a solar cell. What factors affect the output voltage and power available.
    • Heat Insulation. Wrap test tubes in different insulating materials. Compare wet and dry insulation.
    • Global Warming. Show how CO2 can effect warming. Heat two bottles using a lamp. One contains air and the other CO2.
    • Heat Loss Through Windows. Compare temperature inside and outside a window over 24 hours. If possible compare single and double glazing.
    • Fridges and Freezers. Plot temperature inside a fridge or freezer. Also plot temperature of the heat exchanger on the back. How is temperature affected by opening the door or by adding something hot to the fridge. Can you see the effect of the thermostat?