My hopes and dreams

Greetings all,

I hope that you had all enjoyed GOSH and Santiago. I was supposed to join you in Santiago and while all the organizers of GOSH especially Shannon, Jenny, Fernan did their best to make sure that I can attend never the less I was faced by a last minute visa problem that didn’t allow me to join you.

I was hoping to attend GOSH and hopefully meet you all and introduce what I am trying to do here in Sudan. The vast majority of open labware projects are mostly focused in developing instruments and experimental setups that are most useful in a research lab. Definitely these type of instruments are very useful for the broad science communities in both the first and developing worlds.

Being from a developing country, Sudan I also feel that in addition to research oriented instruments there is also a strong need for experimental setup and lab equipment that are more focused to education and that can be used in undergraduate laboratories.

Usually good quality educational setups are expensive and usually are not affordable to many educational institutes in developing countries.

To overcome this hardship I have initiated efforts to specifically build laboratory setups that are suited for use in the undergraduate physics laboratories. I am having as an ultimate goal that I can reproduce as many setups as are available from the following two leading brands and .

I am putting this endeavor for the wide Open Labware community hoping that people can also start building some instruments that are more education oriented (hopefully in physics).

I think one way of doing this is if you guys can approach physics departments and ask them about useful home brewed setups they are using in their undergraduate laboratories and encourage them to make it open.

Recently I have submitted a manuscript to The Physics Teacher also the above line. Initially out of three reviewers two were positive and appreciated the idea of Open Labware. The third referee was less understanding to the message of open labware and focused more on the impact of the manuscript on physics. Fortunately the editor was very open minded and quite understanding to essence of the manuscript and finally accepted for publication. The archive copy is here .

Regards Ihab


This topic is of great interest to me, and I suspect to a few others on this list (@dusjagr and the entire Hackteria network come to mind). I have shared your thoughts with my friends at CUBE in Mumbai where I am trying to work on this issue (am headed there tomorrow for a month).

Look forward to sharing more ideas and resources with you in the coming months.

Hi Ihab
I’m also a physics teacher and I have the same interest on developing low cost open educational tools for physics #gosh_resources .
This is the work that we are doing in Argentina with a friend (Pablo Cremades) There you can find and air track (riel de aire) and a physical pendulum (Pendulo_interactivo). If you are interested I can translate the documentation to english.
We are also triying to use smartphones in our labs, something in the line of Smarterphysics
You can find some other resource at CTA, maybe @rpez or @leosehn can give you more details on this.


See Lab4u, a Santiago-based startup creating apps for teaching physics and other subjects, using the built-in sensors in today’s smartphones.

Greetings Punkish & Nano

It is really great to know that I am not alone. It will be very useful if Nano can translate what he and his colleagues are doing with the air track to English. I would also propose to Nano to write up his design and post it the arxiv and also try to publish it in a physics education journal for example The Physics Teacher or Physics Education. I think injecting more open designs into the more traditional journals is very useful for introducing the wider science community to open labware.

I am sure that we can all share efforts to achieve our goals.


hoi zäme,

i was looking into low-cost resources for teaching for quite a while. and… we are not the first ones.
many books have been written, and all the designs are open. especially this one from 1972 is interesting to reflect on:
Low Cost Equipment for Science and Technology Eduction
it’s a bit old school and not searchable, but i wonder why such initiatives havent reached more visibitlity globally.


I like Arvind Gupta’s way of teaching science with toys we can make with commonplace stuff.

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Greetings all,

Yes sure we are not the first to think about this kind of stuff but I personally think that most of what is available are demonstration experiments more suitable for schools and may be also for the public. What I find missing and desperately need for my students are experiments where students carry out measurements, analysis, etc.

I have a friend on mine who is interested in promoting science for school students, I will pass him the above resources and he will definitely like it.

Regards Ihab

HI Ihab
You can find the translation of the air track here.
Sorry for the delay.
Wi will try to publish this in some of the journals you mentioned.

Greetings Nano

Many thanks for the translation. The design looks very easy and reliable. I will try to build one my self and will keep you updated.

Regards Ihab

Hola Ihab
Thanks to @pablocremades who made the design and first prototype.
We would love to see the an african branch…

Hola Ihab,
I’m really looking forward to hearing about the results you get with the air track. I would be great to know this piece of equipment has been replicated. Please, let me know if I can assist you in the process. It would be also great if you can design and build an open source data acquisition system.

kind regards,

Greetings Nano & Pablo

Many thanks. I am really excited about building one soon. I will keep you updated with my results.


Greetings Nano & Pablo

Many thanks for the air track design. Today I finished putting together the air track, initially it is working fine but I still need to do some fine fine tuning.

I will try to send some photo next week.

Regards Ihab

Hi Ihab
De nada. This is great news for us. We would love to see some pics!

Hi Ihab,
I’m glad to hear you’ve been successful at replicating the air track! It would be great to have some feedback regarding the documentation and problems you might have encountered in building the equipment.
I’m looking forward to seeing those pics!!
Plus, we’ve developed an app that uses an ultrasonic sensor (HC-SR04) to read the cart position and speed. We’ll be soon uploading the documentation. It’s a great teaching tool.

All the best!

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Greetings Pablo,

I think for the documentation it was concise and clear, I reproduced the air track without any problems.

It will be great to have the documentation out for the app and instructions for building the ultrasonic system. From a personal point of view I would like to develop an gate/timer system, this would give the students something to measure and hence plot the results themselves.

I would still encourage you to try and push it into an physics journal as to promote the open Labware movement.

Regards Ihab

Hi, we want to help you and share with you what we have developed for education.

We are developing a laboratory and its equipment, in areas of biology and physics

In our country 90% of the children do not know a laboratory or have not used it, we want more scientific children.

We have built shaker, centrifuges, electrophoresis chambers, microscopes and incubators.

You are invited to meet us

Follow us on our networks and your ideas are welcome to do our job better.


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