Making the leap from circuit diagrams to functioning circuits has never been so clear or intuitive. Circuits can be easily built and tested enticing students to more thoroughly explore the behavior of electricity. Your students will no longer be frustrated trying to trace out the electrical pathway through a nest of wires.
Supports inquiry learning – circuits can be easily modified and be quickly swapped out and rearranged
Compatible with both traditional and computer based labs – works with PASCO’s sensors as well as traditional Volt and Ammeters
Classroom management is a breeze – Storage is made simple with the included
Grattenels case and nesting trays
The 8 cm by 8 cm modules ensure that all students in a group can clearly see the completed circuit
Physical Components (resistors, batteries, switches, etc.) with identifying electronic symbols are visible on the surface of the modules
At a glance errors in a circuit can be quickly found without checking each connection
The Basic Kit includes enough modules to do 5 basic experiments:
Batteries & Bulbs Circuits
Electric Power & Energy
The Advanced Kit includes the Wireless Current & Voltage Sensors and modules for 7 additional experiments:
We were thrilled to attend this year’s NSTA national conference in Los Angeles.
Our first destination was the exhibit hall where PASCO had a very lively booth with several interactive displays. By far the biggest hit was the ‘Match Graph’ challenge with a super-sized Smart Cart. Who knew that learning could be this much fun! Check out the video to see my less than stellar attempt.
PASCO’s booth was fun, however, the real action was in the teacher facilitated workshops. In total PASCO had 20 unique hands-on sessions that were over flowing with enthusiastic teachers. Time didn’t allow us to see all the sessions, but we did manage to squeeze our way into a very energetic session on the new Modular Circuit Kits. Teachers had a great time ignoring instructions and spent most of the session designing their own unique circuits – obviously investigative learning is not just for students.
We were also fortunate enough to get a seat at PASCO’s workshop session on climate change. The session featured several hands-on modeling activities, including an investigation where teachers used the Wireless pH sensor to monitor the mitigating effects of natural buffers on acid rain. The biggest hit of the session was seeing PASCO’s new Wireless Carbon Dioxide sensor in action. Teachers were excited to discover that a reliable, practical and affordable way to measure CO2 has finally arrived.
Over the next week we’ll share some more videos on our adventures at the conference.
The ability to easily and affordably measure CO2 levels is great news for Biology and Environmental Science teachers.
PASCO’s new Wireless CO2 Sensor communicates directly with a wide range of Bluetooth equipped computers without requiring an expensive interface.
Ambient environmental Carbon Dioxide levels are typically very low. This means any experimental changes to CO2 levels tend to be significant in percentage terms providing convincing and reliable evidence of the phenomenon being studied.
Investigations based on the wireless CO2 sensors are easy to setup and they work.
Other opportunities for CO2 investigations include:
The Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey (MK) is equipping their communities’ grade 7 and 8 science classrooms with PASCO sensors on the heels of their 2016 purchase for elementary schools
IN 2016 the MK facilitated the purchase of a comprehensive package of science probes for their member communities’ elementary schools. The probes enable students to collect real world measurements to help in their understanding of concepts relating to temperature, light, sound, weather and life sciences. To ensure that the teachers were comfortable and proficient in the use of probes a full-day training session was provided at a central location.
This year the MK continues to ensure that their communities’ pupils have equivalent access to instructional technology by equipping their middle school programs with a range of wireless sensors for teaching grades 7 and 8 science. The sensors acquired include Temperature, Pressure, Light, and Conductivity which they look forward to using with their Chromebook computers.
In addition to equipping middle school grades, the MK will also pilot a comprehensive set of probes at one of their communities’ High School.
Allan Mackenzie, the MK’s Technology Integration Specialist, coordinated this year’s acquisition after extensive consultations with both teachers and AYVA’s Product Specialists.
AYVA is delighted to be working with MK and look forward to supporting their schools for many years to come.
It seems that many public schools are operating with science budgets that haven’t increased in over 20 years and are barely sufficient to purchase the consumable requirements for the year. However, despite this wide spread apparent lack of funds many schools are still finding the means to make a significant investment in wireless sensor technology. When possible we ask our customers how their purchase is being funded. See below for a summary of the range of responses we’ve received. Regardless of the funding source, the following points are often incorporated in the successful grant proposals.
Support a STEM approach to teaching/learning
Are superb tools for Formative and Summative Assessment
Support Inquiry-based Learning
Are compatible with BOYD, iPad and Chromebook initiatives
Are extremely portable and can be easily shared throughout the school
Are very durable and may outlast your teaching career
Click here for a presentation on the educational arguments for wireless sensors:
Popular Funding Sources
Your Science Budget
You can purchase a probe ‘system’ for as little as $71 (the cost of a Wireless Temperature sensor). Wireless sensors are very affordable because no interface is required and the Sparkvue software can be downloaded at no charge. At these prices there is no need to wait for a windfall of new money to get started.
Most schools have discretionary funds that are controlled by their principals. With competing interests these funds can be challenging to access, however with the right pitch and supporting documentation you just might be able to sway some additional dollars in your science departments direction. Your principal will like the fact that probes can be easily shared, and that they support STEM approaches to learning.
Your Board’s Technology Funding Grants
We often get sizeable orders from schools that have received an internal grant from their board to fund a technology initiative. The orders sometimes accompany and an iPad or Chromebook purchase. Try reaching out to an instructional technology resource contact in your board to see what funding opportunities might be available.
Those fortunate enough to be teaching in a school within the first few years of opening have the opportunity to get their science program started on the right foot. We have lots of experience in equipping new schools with sensors and would be very happy to assist you in compiling a list of instructional materials to support all areas of the science curriculum.
Corporate Advertised Grants
Many Corporations offer provincial and national grants to fund educational projects. To see some of the currently offered grants being offered check our grant and scholarship section of our website. These grant can be quite generous and are definitely worth checking out.
Non Advertised Corporate Grants
Corporations receive significant tax breaks and enjoy the good will which is generated when they fund educational initiatives. Although many larger companies have allocated budgets for grants and sponsorships, they’re not typically publicized. This is where following the credo ‘it never hurts to ask’ can really work to your school’s advantage. To start you might want to approach a close friend or relative whose company you feel may be good candidate.
Your Parent Council
Parent councils love to fund the purchase of science probes. Councils take great pride in their schools and are easily persuaded of the potential for probes to make a tangible difference in their children’s education. Parents also recognize that career opportunities in STEM are more plentiful and financially rewarding than other paths and are keen to support technologies that make science more engaging.
Be sure to share the ‘Imagine Wireless’ presentation with the council.
Respiration is a process in a living organism that involves the exchange of Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide. When humans breathe oxygen is inhaled into the lungs and then absorbed into the blood stream. Carbon dioxide of course flows in the opposite direction and is exhaled. Over the course of day this continuous cycle is carried out 19,000 times. But what happens when we interrupt the cycle by holding our breath?
Our test subject in the video explores what happens to his lung’s CO2 levels when holding his breath for varying times.
Valentine’s Day is here and attractive forces are on everyone’s mind. In science, a general rule is “opposites attract.” In solution chemistry, there is another saying, “like dissolves like.”
Although “like dissolves like” sounds as if it contradicts “opposites attract,” it is actually an extension of the same physical phenomenon. For example, polar molecules will be attracted to other polar molecules through the attraction of the opposite partial charges on the atoms. Therefore, charged (or partially charged) solutes will dissolve in charged (or partially charged) solvents. So “like does dissolve like.”
Hydrogen bonding will occur between the polar -OH group on the ethanol molecule and the polar water molecule.
A quick demonstration highlighting “like dissolves like” can be performed with some canola oil, water, and a colored ionic compound such as copper(II) chloride.
Mix the water and the oil together.
There is a phase separation because they are not “like” enough. (The oil is nonpolar while the water is polar.)
Add copper(II) chloride.
The ionic copper(II) chloride passes through the oil layer and into the water layer, where it dissolves and the water layer turns a blue-green.
Copper chloride dissolves in the water layer but not in the oil layer.
To demonstrate nonpolar solubility, you can use hexane, water, and iodine. In this case, the nonpolar iodine will dissolve in and color the nonpolar hexane, but it will not affect the polar water. London dispersion forces can be used to explain the nonpolar–nonpolar interaction.
Finally, you can create an inquiry experiment for your students by having them determine if unknown compounds are more polar or nonpolar, based on their relative solubility in water. If you are testing unknown compounds that are not colored, you can measure another property of the mixture, such as pH or conductivity, using the Wireless pH or Wireless Conductivity Sensors, to determine if the solute will dissolve in the polar solvent.
With these quick demonstrations and activities, you can use the students’ established ideas about forces of attraction to introduce the important concepts of molecular structure and “like dissolves like.”
Lambton-Kingsway School has enjoyed a long-standing tradition of community involvement and academic excellence, so it was no surprise to see so many family members turn out yesterday for the final judging of the Grade 6, 7 and 8 Science Fair.
As principal Kelly Caddel noted, this initiative started back in the fall, and it represents a significant commitment by students and teachers alike.
AYVA was happy to sponsor an award for each of the grade level winners who will be moving on to the Regional Competition. We were pleased to see how enthusiastic Lambton’s students were about pursuing their STEM-related investigations… it was inquiry-based learning at its best!
Pictured above are just some of this year’s Science Fair Projects and junior scientists – all of whom were excited to articulate and showcase their findings.
Five Reasons Why Science Probes Are More Affordable Than Ever Before
PASCO’s new range of wireless sensors do not require an interface to connect to a computer. Interfaces have traditionally ranged in price from several hundred to over a thousand dollars!
PASCO now offers a free SPARKvue app that can be easily downloaded onto iPads, iPhones, Chromebooks and Android devices.
Wireless sensors and the Sparkvue software require minimal training costs. The sensors are remarkably easy to use and the SPARKvue software is very intuitive. To help you get started AYVA and PASCO provide no charge, toll-free teacher support as well as a library of short instructional ‘How to’ videos.
A wide range of free activities can be downloaded at no charge from the PASCO website. The growing list of available activities support all subjects and grade levels
No need to buy designated computers. PASCO’s wireless sensors are also compatible with low cost tablets and Chromebooks (as well as students’ phones). The Sparkvue software provides the same functionality and experience on all platforms!
Did you know that the low cost, single channel wireless Airlink molds to your existing PASport sensors to make them wireless? This means you can enjoy many of the cost saving benefits of wireless sensors with your current inventory of ‘wired’ sensors.