Testing Science

I always loved Physics. Today, we spent an hour with my high school AP physics teacher, who was incredibly generous with both his time and his enthusiasm for this project. He let us borrow his Vernier Dual-Range Force Sensor, which we connected to a LabPro to measure forces. We tested the force required to depress the standard car seat buckle (which we know requires a minimum of 40 Newtons, or 9 lbs), then several of our latest UnbuckleMe prototypes made from slightly different material thicknesses. The results were encouraging! UnbuckleMe (in its earliest form), reduced the required force by an average of 55%. Finally, we tested my mom’s thumb strength in her arthritic thumb, and as expected, she was only able to exert 17.8 Newtons of strength. No wonder she can’t operate the standard car seat buckle!