Building an Oscillator


Cameron Pittman, Teacher

School / Organization, City and State / Province
Stratford STEM Magnet High School, Nashville, TN

Grade Level

Standards Met
Physics Standards: Oscillations, Data Collection and Analysis.

Next Generation Science Standards:
Science and Engineering Practices for grades 9-12: Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data, Using mathematics and computational thinking, Constructing explanations and designing solutions, Developing and using models.

ACT Standards:
Interpretation of Data – Identify and/or use a complex mathematical relationship between data (28-32), Translate information into a table, graph, or diagram (20-23), Determine how the value of one variable changes as the value of another variable changes in a complex data presentation (24-27). Scientific Investigation – Identify an additional trial or experiment ath could be performed to enhance or evaluate experimental results (33-36), Identify an alternate method for testing a hypothesis (28-32). Evaluation of Models, etc – Determine whether given information supports or contradicts a complex hypothesis or conclusion, and why (33-36).

Time Needed
90 minutes (this one might run long) (give it a good intro in the class prior to this one).


  • Determining the relationship between height of a fall, mass of an object, and periodicity of motion, data collection and analysis.

Students will be building an analyzing an oscillator. In the process, students will study periodicity, friction, air resistance, and consider the implications of physical process on game design.

Oscillator, Period.

Student Prerequisites

Teacher Materials Needed

Student Materials Needed
Stopwatch, Microsoft Excel (for calculations).

Lesson Plan
Download Portal “Building an Oscillator”