Our goal for the Greenwood Summer Institute was to immerse ourselves in Vernier technology in order to better understand how we can fully implement its use within the science department. Vernier manufactures interfaces, sensors and software for scientific data collection.
Last year, several groups of students used the LabQuest 2 and various probes and sensors in their classes to collect authentic scientific data. We quickly realized the huge potential that this technology has to change our science classrooms, but we needed additional time to research applications, practice using the equipment and plan solid curriculum connections. The Summer Institute gave us this opportunity and proved to be an incredibly productive week.
We began our investigation by exploring all of the basic and advanced functions of the LabQuest 2 interface, the Logger Pro data analysis software, and the Chrome Vernier Graphical Analysis App. We discovered numerous functions and useful tips that we are now able to share with both our students and fellow colleagues.
From there, we aimed to identify course-specific activities in the Vernier resources that could be modified to suit our needs as a department. Based on the current curriculum and requests from teachers, we ran trial experiments to determine the feasibility of using these activities in our classes (see images). In all cases, the results were incredibly exciting.
We now have a deeper understanding of how this technology allows students to collect rich data which aids in their understanding of the concepts being studied in class.
The technology can provide enrichment opportunities for students and give teachers the tools to enable a more personalized program in terms of student-designed experiments.
An introductory workshop was provided for the Science Department during our August Professional Development week. We will continue to offer training for teachers to learn and expand their skills during our designated IT workshops as part of our Wednesday morning Professional Development Model.
Stay tuned for details of how this technology is being used in our classes in upcoming blog posts!