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.
It’s hard to believe that the end of the budget year is fast approaching. If your department has unspent funds now is a great time to consider acquiring one or more of PASCO’s premier instructional apparatus. The very popular featured products below are all in stock and can be shipped in time to make this year’s budget deadline.
1. Microwave Optics
The transmitter emits a large 3 cm wavelength that makes it easy for students to visualize and understand electromagnetic interactions. The system can be quickly adjusted with magnetic mounting components, rotatable transmitters and receivers and a Goniometer with rotatable arms featuring built-in degree and millimeter scales. Durably designed, the system will provide years of trouble free labs with components made of either cast-die aluminum or stainless steel.
WA-9314C ($2995) – Basic System for investigation electromagnetic interactions
WA-9316A ($3995) – Advanced System includes accessories for Brewster Angle and Bragg Diffraction experiments
2. Educational Spectrophotometer System
This very versatile system’s open design is ideal for education. When used with Capstone software, students can graph the spectral lines of gases; precisely measure the relationship between angle wave length and intensity; and analyze the transmission characteristics of filters and chemical solutions. The sensors can connect to PASCO’s full range of interfaces including the very affordable Wireless Airlink or the powerful 850 universal interface.
OS-8450 ($1912) – Includes Light and Rotary Motion Sensors and Optics Bench
OS-8537 ($1257) – Sensors and Optics Bench not included
3. Photoelectric Effect System
Planck’s constant is a central quantity in quantum mechanics and its discovery was one of the greatest breakthroughs in understanding the nature of light. With this system your students will be able to perform the photoelectric experiment to determine Planck’s Constant to within 5%. Students will also be able to verify that stopping voltage is independent of intensity and find the characteristics of the photodiode. Can be used with the 850 Interface and Capstone software
SE-6614 ($3156) – Basic System, includes Mercury Light Source with Hg tube
SE-6609 ($5666) – Basic System plus DC Current Amplifier and DC Power Supply
4. Electron Charge-to-Mass Ratio System
This system reproduces J.J Thompson’s landmark experiment to calculate the charge-to-mass ratio of the electron. A very sharp and visible electron beam within the vacuum tube allows for its radius (R) to be easily measured using the built-in fluorescent scale. The system also provides a measurement for the accelerating potential (V) applied to the electron gun as well as the magnetic field (B) produced from applying a current to the Helmholtz coils. With these measurements students can then accurately calculate the electron’s charge to mass ratio using the formula e/m=2V/B2R2.
SE-9629 ($6555) – Complete system with e/m tube and power supplies
Your students will ask you to repeat this demo over-and-over again. The suspense of waiting for the target-to-drop and for the gun-to-shoot will mesmerize your students. At the instant the projectile is shot from the launcher the target is dropped. The ball will consistently hit the bull’s-eye of the falling target as both objects accelerate downwards at the same rate. Shoot-the-Target System: ME-6853 ($537)
2. Ballistic Cart Accessory. Warning: may cause cognitive dissonance
Your students may not believe their eyes, but hopefully they’ll believe the physics. The moving cart will reliably catch the vertically launched ball every time regardless of the cart’s speed. This accessory works with your dynamics track system and is a great demonstration to show the independence of x and y motion. Ballistic Cart Accessory: ME-9486 ($719)
3. Standing Waves. Strobe lighting is not just for rock concerts.
Dim the lights and let the show begin. Just like at the rock concerts, strobe lighting highlights the object of interest. The strobe also slows down the motion of the vibrating string so that students can see the features of the standing wave in greater detail. The Frequency and light intensity can be precisely adjusted for superior results. String Vibrator: WA-9857 ($128) Sine Wave Generator: WA-9867 ($475) Strobe: ME-6978 ($589)
4. Magnetic Demonstration System. May the force be with you!
When raised and then released the swinging solid paddle stops instantly between the gap of the Variable Gap Magnet while the slotted panel sails straight through with no issue. Both paddles are made of aluminum, so why the difference? The answer …Magnetic Dampening! Diamagnetism and Paramagnetism, and Force on a Current Carrying Wire – are other great demonstrations of this comprehensive system. Magnetic Demonstration System: EM-8644B ($711)
5. Ring Launcher. 10, 9, 8, 7…. 1, All Systems GO!
The ‘launched’ ring may not make it to the moon, but it will fly an impressive 2 meters straight up. The projectile is propelled by the Lorentz Force that arises from the interaction between the alternating magnetic field of the coil and the current induced in the ring. The Ring Launcher is a classic demonstration that includes 5 rings of different metals and dimensions. Ring Launcher: EM-8661A: ($957)
Rick Debenedetti from Streetsville Secondary School in Mississauga demonstrates how to use a Smartphone, a Smart Cart and a Wireless Light Sensor to investigate the relationship between light intensity and the distance from a single point source of light.
One person should be controlling the Smart Cart and Smartphone and another controlling the software
Turn the Smartphone’s Flashlight on
Click on the SPARKvue ‘Play’ button
Slowly roll the Smart cart away from the Smartphone at a steady pace. The light sensor is only sampling at 2 HZ so moving too quickly will result in too few plotted data points. The Smart Carts position sensor will accurately record the distance that the Smart Cart travels
Once the cart reaches near the end of the track stop the recording of data
From the Tool box bar select the tool box icon to expand the bar
From the expanded tool box select the ‘Scale to fit’ icon
Next click on the ‘Curve to Fit’ icon and select the ‘Inverse Square Fit’ menu option
The Blue Line shows the connected data points of the light sensor readings plotted against the Smart Carts position sensor readings. The red line is the applied Inverse Square Fit. Notice how well the Inverse Square Fit curve matches the plotted data.
Conservation of angular momentum.
Your students will literally become part of the demonstration. Featuring cushioned handgrips, a pull cord with handle, and weighing only 6 pounds, the Gyroscope is very to use. Can be used with any rotatable office chair; however, for best performance it’s best to also get the PASCO Rotating Chair and Gyroscope Mass Set.
This demonstration is guaranteed to impress your students. By quickly pressing the piston down, the tightly sealed chamber will experience an increase in pressure and temperature well beyond the point to ignite a piece of paper.
This demo will definitely ‘resonate’ with your students.
This low cost resonance tube works remarkably well. The molded piston head reflects sounds very efficiently and when positioned at a node will produce a very loud resonance
Use with the supplied speaker or a tuning fork
8 Adjustable rings to mark nodes
Can be used with or without a sound sensor
Demonstrate the first law of Thermodynamics.
Your students should know that you can heat water with electricity, but will be amazed to learn that you can use hot water to produce electrical energy. The Converter extracts electrical energy through a temperature differential by having one of its legs placed in a cup of cold water and the other leg in cup of hot water.
A series of semiconductor thermoelectric cells convert thermal energy into electrical energy
The process can be reversed by passing a current through the converter
Rock and Roll! Compare rotational inertias with spheres and balls of different radius.
Your students will discover that the speed on an object rolling down a ramp is determined by the shape and distribution of its mass. They’ll be surprised to discover that the mass of the object and its radius does not affect the outcome.
Are you an educator who wants to use new technologies in their classroom to inspire, motivate and engage students? If yes, we would like to introduce a must read book for you: Augmented Education – Bringing Real and Virtual Learning Together by Kieron Sheehy, Rebecca Ferguson and Gill Clough.
Technology is rapidly developing and is changing the world as we know it. Teachers are now excited by the implications of new technology to create better learning experiences and transform learning contexts. Augmented Education is based on research and interviews with practitioners. From primary school to higher education, the book presents practical examples for educators on new uses, conceptions and developments of learning.
The book defines augmented learning as ‘use of electronic devices to extend learner’s interaction with and perception of their current environment to include and bring to life different times, spaces, characters and possibilities’. The authors look deep into augmenting learning in the “real world” by use of “virtual technology” and, vice versa, using the “physical world” to augment learning in “virtual environments”. Readers will learn how this mash up of the real and virtual can translate into new learning possibilities, tools and environments. In the end, the book presents interesting predictions on how augmented learning will develop in the future.
You can find out more about the book here: http://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781137342812#aboutBook.
The list of great Physics applications for PASCO’s new Smart Cart keeps on growing!
This fantastic new video previews 15 activities in just over 3 minutes. So fasten your seatbelt and prepare to be entertained as PASCO’s two seasoned physics specialists, Brett Sackett and J.J. Plank, go into high gear to present a very colourful demonstration of some of the best ways to use a Smart Cart in the classroom.
On August third, PASCO Scientific won Teach & Learnings ‘International Society for Technology in Education 2016 Best of Show Award’ for their cutting edge wireless sensors. These sensors connect directly to computers, tablets, smart phones and Chromebooks which provide the freedom and flexibility without compromise for a lower price.
You can read the complete article here or find out more about PASCO’s range of wireless sensors here.
The IB Conference of the Americas, organized by the International Baccalaureate Organization, was held July 14-17 at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto. PASCO, together with AYVA, was proud to showcase their new wireless sensors and dataloggers – a key requirement in the IB curriculum where students are encouraged to make connections between their studies and the real world. It was a fabulous professional development opportunity for coordinators, teachers, district and school board representatives to promote best practices and to develop ideas to foster inquiry-based learning. We too enjoyed the inspiring featured speakers and breakout presenters.