Instant Inquiry with iPad and Hand Dryer

Have you ever wondered how fast the air comes out of those newly designed hand dryers? Or perhaps how loud in decibels the fan is. The iPad is a great device for answering this and many other questions on the fly.

In order to explore the above two questions, a Pasco PASPORT Anemometer sensor was used to measure the wind speed of the dryer. In this case, a PASPORT AirLink2 transmitted wind speed data to an iPad using the SparkVue HD app.

Pasco AirLink2

Pasco PASPORT Weather/Anemometer sensor with Bluetooth AirLink2 transmitter.

The result was about about 25 m/s or, according to my iPad’s unit converting app, 56 miles per hour. The sensor has a maximum rating of 29 m/s. Some quick tests by several humans exhaling (blowing) into the sensor topped out about 16 m/s in case you are wondering.

The next question, the one about the loudness of the hand dryer was answered by running the decibel meter in an iPad app called Measures HD.

An iPad mini was inserted into the hand dryer, and the maximum decibel reading was recorded along with both a graph of the action, and a comparison to a common environment. As you can see in the video, the decibel level more than doubled from 45 to 95.

The next exploration…see if an inverse relationship is found between air speed and air pressure found (and graphed) as the sensors are moved back and forth or up and down within the hand dryer.

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  2. r.hunter
    Posted March 8, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    I think this a great idea! All to much the emphasis is on math and reading because of testing. This would be a great addition to a science lesson. I love that it incorporates the ipads. My children would have so much fun.

  3. Jen Miller
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    I am forever amazed at the ways we can use iPad technology within our classrooms. This could be a very fun way to conduct multiple comparisons with various ideas and concepts. One that comes to mind for me is having students compare different types of wind instruments such as a tuba and trumpet. They could begin with making predictions and then this technology could be used to check out test their ideas.

  4. Scott Bonicky
    Posted June 25, 2015 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    This is another fantastic way to integrate technology into the classroom. The students would be extremely motivated to use the iPad to measure loudness in a variety of settings in the school, such as in the cafeteria. It would be interesting for the kids to find out the loudness of the cafeteria during their lunch period each day. This could be achieved by allowing each student to have the opportunity to measure the loudness at the start of the lunch period. As I walk them to the cafeteria, I could wait for them to take the measurement, to ensure that the iPad would not get damaged. When we return to the classroom, the student who recorded the data could enter it into a spreadsheet that has been saved on one of the classroom computers. Once everyone had a turn, we could look over the data to see if there were any patterns, or if there were certain days of the week that were louder than the other days. I could then have the students write about their findings in their Science notebooks. Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  5. Katie Proch
    Posted June 30, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    This is a really great idea for using technology in the classroom. It is an engaging activity for students, and it opens up a world of possibilities for students to experiment and test the loudness of different sounds. I could see students being very interested in measuring the loudness of different instruments. I think it would be fun to have students create their own instruments using materials from home or in the classroom. We could then measure the loudness of each instrument to see who created the loudest or quietest instrument. I could also see this as a fun way to involve many of the classrooms in the school by measuring the loudness in each classroom. Students could record the data collected on a bar graph to see whose classroom in their school was the loudest/quietest at the time the data was collected. Further analysis of the data and bar graph might allow students to make other statements. Perhaps the Kindergarten rooms are the loudest, while sixth grade rooms are the quietest. Students could write about their thoughts and findings in their science journal. This is such a great idea that has so many possible extensions for students. Thanks for sharing!

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