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Month: August 2017

International Baccalaureate (IB): Inquiry-based Learning in Science

21st Century Science Teaching in the Context of IB Approaches to Teaching and Learning

Inquiry is a central idea in IB approaches to teaching. Learning through inquiry involves building on students’ prior knowledge, with a reduced emphasis on the teacher being the transmitter of knowledge. By engaging in effective inquiry, students develop skills in research, self-management, collaborative learning, communication, and thinking, as well as problem solving.

The IB curriculum supports using datalogging equipment since it has many benefits in accurately and efficiently collecting large data sets over periods of time.

PASCO’s wireless sensors have made data acquisition even more accessible by reducing costs and working seamlessly with any modern device. In the era of BYOD, a student’s computer, phone or tablet can serve as the datalogger, and data can be collected anytime and anywhere.

In today’s classrooms, not having sensors is like not having microscopes 50 years ago: there are still ways to address the content but students’ learning experience is highly compromised.

Scientific inquiry that uses appropriate technology gives students experience using the tools and practices of science, which prepares them to take their sciences beyond school.

For more information on how PASCO builds scientific understanding through technology–supported inquiry, click here to receive the complete white paper.

Be sure to check out Pages 16 & 17 for a complete list of the PASCO lab activities sensors that support the science practicals.

This paper addresses how PASCO Scientific products and services support teaching and learning in IB programmes. Based on expert opinion, IB teacher interviews, and historical background, it uses IB guidance and curriculum materials to evaluate the IB approaches to teaching, pedagogy, and learning. This evaluation is used to the identify and demonstrate the support PASCO provides with science education solutions for MYP and DP programmes.

The aim of this white paper is to communicate the clear synergy between International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes and PASCO products and services. This synergy is a result of a shared fundamental belief in inquiry-based teaching and learning, and in providing education that is active, contextual, and engaging.

When students take part in an authentic science experience using the technology and tools that scientists use, they understand the thrill of discovery and are better prepared for science literacy. A scientifically literate society is critical for nations to compete in a global marketplace and is an economic driver that enhances the lives of all citizens.

Education leaders around the world seek to transform their science programmes to support the growth of a knowledge-based economy, and PASCO is there to help. Developing students’ scientific literacy is a key step toward raising the standard of living, which prepares students to compete on a global scale. When students learn how to do science, and not just memorize facts, they develop competencies that help prepare them for job opportunities and the challenges that face all nations.

Countries around the world are racing to modernize their nations and prepare their people to compete on a global level. The key to their success lies in creating generations of educated citizens and skilled workers to drive economic development. It is through scientific literacy and with strong information, communication, and technology (ICT) skills that students can unlock opportunities on a global level.

Nova Scotia Department of Education visits PASCO Scientific

Pictured above from left to right: Chong Yang, Matt Murphy, Vivian Lemanowski, Christine Christensen, Brad Beveridge, Craig Ecclestone and Humberto Medina

We were delighted to host Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Christine Christensen, the Provincial Science Consultant and Matthew Murphy, the French Immersion Science and Math Consultant at PASCO’s headquarters in Roseville, California last week. Joining Christine and Matt were AYVA’s President Dianne Beveridge, and Brad Beveridge, AYVA’s new Chief Operating Officer, along with Craig Ecclestone, our PASCO Product Specialist.

In 2016 Nova Scotia outfitted every elementary school in the province with a technology resource kit that included numerous PASCO sensors for use with iPads and Chromebooks.  A core objective of last week’s visit was to discuss ways that both PASCO and AYVA can further support the use of the sensors in the classroom with train-the-trainer sessions, a customized Nova Scotia micro-site with Getting Started Resources and Videos, and grade-specific webinars.

We continue to be impressed with the exemplary efforts that the Nova Scotia Department of Education is making to provide professional development and support for science inquiry teaching practices at the elementary and middle school grade levels.

The visit also included a tour of the PASCO facility and a preview of some very exciting new products coming in the near future.

Enzyme Activity in AP Biology

Enzyme Activity in AP Biology

Catalyze student learning in AP*® Biology through an investigation of enzyme activity. By using a PASCO Wireless Spectrometer students can monitor the reaction in real-time and build a more robust data set.

Students can investigate the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen by using peroxidase (found in filtered turnip extract). With a small amount of Guaiacol in solution the reaction can be easily monitored in the Wireless Spectrometer because it changes color as it oxidizes.

After creating a blank and calibrating the Wireless Spectrometer on the Analyze Solution tab, select the target analysis wavelength of 470nm.

Figure 1. Setting the analysis wavelength in the Spectrometer Software.

Students can then go to the Time tab to monitor the reaction at 470nm. Prepare the reaction in a standard cuvette by adding the substrate (H2O2), pH buffer, and Guaiacol. Once the enzyme extract is added the reaction proceeds quickly, so make sure to test the reaction before the lab and dilute the enzyme extract if needed.

Figure 2. Monitor the reaction in real time before analyzing and comparing runs from various trial groups.

After establishing a baseline, the rest is inquiry! By changing the pH buffer, temperature, or enzyme and substrate concentrations students can quickly explore the reaction and identify the optimal conditions for turnip peroxidase. Data can be analyzed in the software to determine the rate of reaction or exported for aggregation and further analysis. This is a great lab to introduce or reinforce concepts around protein structure and specific nature of the enzyme-substrate complex. Students can also compare the catalyzed and uncatalyzed reaction to see how the energy of activation is lowered by these (seemingly magic) biological molecules!

Download a Free Copy of the Lab Handout

Figure 3. Sample data from investigation of Peroxidase reaction at pH 2, 4, 7, 10, 12.

* AP is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product or activity.


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