Thanks to a grant of more than $16,000 from the global science company, 3M Corporation, Brookwood High School’s Science Department will be able to upgrade its physics classroom equipment. The grant will afford new Bluetooth-enabled electronic data collection probes, software, and 20 laptop computers for hands-on investigations in physics class. Brookwood will start acquiring the equipment in January 2018.
“The new equipment will give us a capability we’ve never had before,” said Brookwood’s Science Department Chairman, Joe Cox. “Students will be able to collect and analyze data in real time, minimizing time spent on data acquisition and maximizing time spent learning the underlying physics concepts.” Because the sensors are Bluetooth-enabled, students will be able to easily collect force, velocity, and acceleration data for moving objects without having cords restrict the motion of the objects.
Brookwood’s AP Physics program consistently demonstrates success. The school’s passing average for the AP Physics I National Exam is 68 percent, more than one-and-a-half times higher than the nation’s 42 percent average. Last year, Brookwood accounted for nearly a third of Gwinnett County Public Schools’ students who earned the top score of 5 on the exam.
The physics grant is the second grant from 3M awarded to Brookwood’s Science Department this year. In the spring, science teacher Carrie Settles Livers was awarded a $35,000 grant through the 3Mgives program to fund Brookwood’s aquaponics lab, which incorporates STEM education and entrepreneurship with outdoor learning and community outreach.