## Overview

Labster’s science educator team has curated a mini-collection of 5 simulations to help welcome students back to campus and set them up for success. This collection helps educators cover basic concepts early on in their course. Each simulation is designed to captivate students' attention, making foundational physics concepts accessible and engaging. This is just the beginning: there are larger Labster physics course packages and collections to choose from, as well as introductory titles such as Lab Safety and Experimental Design. Use the Back to School Physics Collection to enhance learning outcomes and watch your students thrive!

## Vectors and Scalars: Guide Two Astronauts on a Mission to Mars

In the Vectors and Scalars simulation, students will help two astronauts navigate the Martian surface using their knowledge of vectors and scalars. They will learn to describe the difference between vector and scalar quantities, identify vector magnitude and direction, and determine vector products. This mission-based simulation will have students apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios, such as guiding astronauts and rescuing a stuck rover, reinforcing the importance of vectors in physics and space exploration.

Learning Objectives include:

- Describe the difference between vector and scalar quantities
- Identify the magnitude and direction of a vector
- Determine the product of two vectors
- Define the components of a vector

## Law of Universal Gravitation: Use Gravity to Orbit the Moon

In the Law of Universal Gravitation simulation, students will delve into the fundamental principles of gravity with Sir Isaac Newton as their guide. They will understand the difference between weight and mass, measure gravitational acceleration near Earth's surface, and describe circular orbits. By experimenting with gravitational forces and orbits, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation and its applications, including guiding a spacecraft into lunar orbit.

Learning Objectives include:

- Understand the difference between weight and mass
- Measure gravitational acceleration near the Earth's surface
- Describe the mechanism for circular orbits
- Describe the distance dependence of g
- Distinguish between bound and unbound trajectories

## Conservation of Energy (Principles): Unleash the Roller Coaster's Potential

This intro-level version of the Conservation of Energy simulation introduces students to potential and kinetic energy, mechanical energy, and their conservation principles. Students will learn to predict the behavior of bodies in frictionless systems and apply these principles to design a high-speed roller coaster. Through hands-on experiments and calculations, they will understand how energy transforms and conserves in isolated systems, making physics both practical and thrilling.

Learning Objectives include:

- Define potential and kinetic energy
- Define mechanical energy and state its conservation principle
- Use the principle of the conservation of mechanical energy and its mathematical expression to predict the behavior of a body in a frictionless system
- Make changes to an isolated system to alter the total mechanical energy of a moving body, and examine how kinetic and potential energies change as the body moves through the system.

## Kepler's Laws: Explore the Orbits of Other Worlds

In the Kepler's Laws simulation, students will explore the Astakos planetary system and learn about celestial orbits through Kepler’s laws. They will relate Kepler's laws to orbital motions, describe how a planet's velocity changes within its elliptical orbit, and use Kepler’s third law to predict orbital periods. By experimenting with different orbits and launching satellites, students will gain a deep understanding of planetary motions and the search for potentially habitable planets.

Learning Objectives include:

- Relate Kepler's laws to the common motions of objects in orbit
- Describe how a planet's velocity changes within its elliptical orbit
- Use Kepler's third law to relate the orbital period and the length of the semimajor axis of an orbit and predict the period of an orbit from its semimajor axis.

## Springs and Masses: Learn How to Detect and Record Earthquakes

In Springs and Masses: Learn How to Detect and Record Earthquakes, students will explore the principles of simple harmonic motion using vertical springs and masses. They will describe the motion of oscillating masses, apply Hooke’s law, and determine equilibrium positions. This simulation also covers the practical application of these principles in building and using a seismograph to detect and analyze earthquakes. Students will understand the importance of oscillations in various physical phenomena and their real-world applications.

Learning Objectives include:

- Describe the motion of a mass oscillating on a vertical spring
- Determine the equilibrium position of a vertical oscillator
- Explain the basic properties of Simple Harmonic Motion
- Apply Hooke’s law to a spring-mass system
- Determine the magnitude and epicenter of an earthquake from a seismogram

You can browse this collection to review and assign each simulation by using your Course Manager or LMS Labster login.

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