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Month: February 2017

The Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey (MK) is equipping their communities’ grade 7 and 8 science classrooms with PASCO sensors

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.

Show Me The Money! Multiple strategies for funding your Wireless Sensor Purchase

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.

Wireless sensors:

  • 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.
  • Your Principal
    • 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.
  • New Schools
    • 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.

 

 

High School Science!

Wireless Temperature Sensor Classroom Experiment

In this lab we melted wax in a test tube and measured the temperature as it cooled over 30 minutes.

The students were asked to draw a graph (cooling curves) of their results and were able to compare it with the more accurate data from the thermometer.

It was great to be able to show the students what their graphs should look like.

Tamara Manweiler
Maple Ridge Secondary School

This activity will take your breath away!

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.

Results

Materials Used

Wireless CO2 Sensor PS-3208 $309 (Available Summer 2017)

A Valentines Day Experiment

Forces of Attraction

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.”

Related Products:

Five Demonstrations That Show Why Physics Is So Cool!

1. Shoot the target. Load, Aim, Fire!

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 ($604)

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 ($756)

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 ($142)
Sine Wave Generator: WA-9867 ($511)
Strobe: ME-6978 ($681)

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 ($812)

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-8817: ($1077)

Inverse Square Law

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.

Materials Used

PAStrack (ME-6960) $146
Wireless Light Sensor (PS-3213)
Wireless Smart Cart (ME-1241) $295
Smart Phone with Flashlight App

Assembly

  1. Place the light sensor on the Smart Cart with the Spot light sensors facing forward (opposite end of the plunger)
  2. Align the light sensor to the Smartphone’s flashlight as shown in the picture. To get the proper height raise the track using the adjustable legs of the PASTrack.
  3. Using the PASTracks built-in scale position the base of the Spot Light sensor 20 cm from the Smart Phones Flashlight.

Software Setup

  1. Within the SPARKvue software Connect Wirelessly to both the Light Sensor and Smart Cart.
  2. Open the SPARKlab file ‘Inverse Square Law’ file which plots Light Intensity against Position with a 20 cm offset.

Collecting Data

  1. One person should be controlling the Smart Cart and Smartphone and another controlling the software
  2. Turn the Smartphone’s Flashlight on
  3. Click on the SPARKvue ‘Play’ button
  4. 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
  5. Once the cart reaches near the end of the track stop the recording of data

Analyzing Results

  1. From the Tool box bar select the tool box icon to expand the bar
  2. From the expanded tool box select the ‘Scale to fit’ icon
  3. 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.

Congratulations to the Science Fair Winners at Lambton-Kingsway Jr Middle School

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.


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  • A big thanks for all the help and support you provided – I want to take some time to say a big thanks for all the help and support you provided me to select the best equipment in order to make the best possible use of the funds available. It is really exceptional that you happily connected with me multiple times even during the weekend and was always motivated to help. Please accept my big thanks for this.

    Gurpreet Sidhu | Physics Instructor | University College of North | The Pas, MB

  • Wireless Spectrometer Big Hit With Students – PASCO’s wireless spectrometer has been utilized very well by our earth science and physical science teachers. It’s an excellent piece of equipment and we have very much enjoyed its addition to enriching our classroom. It definitely brings students to a higher level of understanding wave interaction at a molecular level.

    Matt Tumbach | Secondary Instructional Technology Leader | Tommy Douglas Collegiate | Saskatoon, SK

  • Excellent Smart Cart – I thought the cart was excellent. The quick sampling rate for force will be very useful for momentum and collision labs we do. I’m recommending we include this in our order for next school year.

    Reed Jeffrey | Science Department Head | Upper Canada College | Toronto ON

  • Your lab equipment is of the highest quality and technical support is always there to help. During the 25 years we have used a wide array of lab equipment including computer interfacing. Your Pasco line has a high profile in our lab and will continue to do so far into the future.

    Bob Chin | Lab Technician | Kwantlen Polytechnic University | Surrey, BC

  • Datalogging Activities are Cross-Curricular

    Throughout the province of Nova Scotia, PASCO’s probeware technology has been merged with the rollout of the new P-6 curriculum. We chose a number of sensors for use with our project-based activities. Both the functionality and mobility of PASCO’s dataloggers enable students to collect authentic, real-world data, test their hypotheses and build knowledge.

    Mark Richards | Technology Integration Consultant | Annapolis Valley R.S.B. | Nova Scotia

  • We have a large number of PASCO wireless spectrometers and love how they have improved the learning experience for our students.

    Shawn McFadden | Technical Specialist | Ryerson University | Toronto, Ontario

  • During distance learning due to COVID-19 school shut down, I was given a short window to collect what I could from my classroom to teach online. The PASCO wireless sensors and Smart Carts were my top priority to collect to implement distance learning. By sharing experimental data with students via SPARKVue, the sensors were pivotal in creating an online experience that still allowed students to grow with their lab skills. It was easy to record videos of the data collection and share the data with my students. They did a phenomenal job examining and interpreting the data.


    Michelle Brosseau | Physics Teacher | Ursuline College Chatham | Chatham, Ontario

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