Physics With Portals Spring 2014

Above is a demonstration of harmonic motion using the game physics of Portal 2. I think the motion is more likely a general harmonic oscillator than a simple one but you get the idea. Yes, I know I made a grammar error in the annotation. Meh…

We spent a few days of the spring semester 2014 in AP/IB physics C/HL working on creating puzzles (game levels) for the game Portal 2 using the educational version of Portal 2.

The goal is to show that some element of physics either works as expected or does not by actually collecting some in-game data and analyzing the results. Individuals and small groups spent time learning the game mechanics, learning the basics of puzzle making (game-level design), and then learning how to test out physics ideas by collecting data. Then finally each group or person created an IB-physics-style lab report and we did a day of show and tell.

I got SO much help from Cameron Pittman at Physics With Portals including advice on capturing in-game video, lots of great examples of how to teach physics with Portal 2, and some hints and tricks on collecting data in game. Thanks Cameron! His videos are also really great for anyone interested in teaching physics with Portal 2.

Below is each level in a short video demonstration.

This one was just too crazy not to include. There was no associated paper. Just insanity…