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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.

PASCO Global Training Session


Craig Ecclestone had the pleasure of participating in a PASCO global training session during the week of July 24th.  Attendees came from all corners of the globe including Australia, United Kingdom and Bangladesh.  Despite enduring an unusually hot California summer with day time temperatures exceeding 42° Celsius, a great time was had by all.  The packed agenda included training on PASCO’s newest products, advanced physics experiments and the latest in Capstone and SPARKvue.

PASCO’s ambitious program to bring innovative products to market at a reduced cost was clearly evident.  The new Smart Cart – a revolutionary twist on a classic product – was just one example of the many exciting offerings PASCO has – and will continue to bring -to the classroom.

A Highlight of the trip was touring PASCO’s state-of-the-art facility where Craig met PASCO’s team of dedicated employees who design and manufacturer most of the company’s products.

PASCO Launches New Wireless Sensors at BETT 2016 in the UK

AYVA had the pleasure of joining PASCO to take part in their exhibit at BETT 2016. The trip to London England featured PASCO’s new Wireless Sensor line including Temperature, pH, Pressure, Force and Smart Cart Sensors.

Check them out in action: PASCO Wireless

The biggest hit was by far the Wireless Smart Cart. Chris Butlin from Physics Education wrote; “We liked your new range of wifi sensors, particularly the Smart Cart which we feel will be a best seller for you.”

Wireless Smart Cart Features
Wireless Smart Cart Features
Bett 2016
BETT 2016

Picking the Right Science Equipment

Five questions that will help you protect your budget while maximizing learning for students.  By asking the right questions, you can maximize your budget while providing students with the latest tools to help them learn to think and act like real scientists.
By Laura Trout

  • What platforms & devices do your students currently use?
  • How will the equipment support your science or STEM curriculum?
  • How much equipment do you actually need?
  • Which students will use the equipment?
  • How will students share the data they collect?

Click on the image to be redirected to the complete article.scholastic

Complimentary White Paper


Meeting the World’s Needs for 21st Century Science Instruction: A Synthesis of Research and Best Practices

“This paper draws upon a review of the research and expert opinion related to science education, the use of technology in the classroom and how instructional resources provided by PASCO can support science education initiatives. Five key findings are reported: the worldwide need for qualified science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) professionals; the necessity for “scientific literacy;” the role technology plays in deepening students’ understating of science concepts; how inquiry-based science can increase student motivation and interest in science; and examples of how PASCO technology has improved student understanding and engagement in science around the world.”

Click here to continue reading…

A Welcome Letter to New STEM Students

An inspiring letter by Anne Jolly to new STEM students!

A MiddleWeb Blog

“If I could choose any time to live, I would want to be a teenager now (in a country where great education is available). The reason I would choose to be a young person today, rather than during some earlier period in history, is that now, more than at any other time, young people will make a spectacular difference.” — James Martin, The 17 Great Challenges of the Twenty-First Century.

Dear Student,

What do you know about the world you are going to enter when you finish school? What challenges and problems will we face? What jobs will be out there? What skills and learning will graduates need?

We don’t actually know all the answers to those questions, but one thing we do know: businesses and industry are already experiencing shortages in STEM workers – the workers who know how to tackle the tough problems facing the 21st Century. We need folks who can solve problems in areas such as energy, clean water, health and medicine, environmental issues, extreme poverty, and technology risks (to mention a few).

To prepare you for this world, we are going to be teaching some STEM lessons in our science and math classes. Here is what that’s going to look like.

Continue reading

Space Bound

web-bc-science-project-Rocket_450Four boys from McGowan Park Elementary School in Kamloops, B.C., won a contest to have their experiment join 17 other student projects from across North America on a trip to the orbiting station.

On Oct 28, 2014 the experiment along with other supplies were destroyed when the NASA-contracted rocket destined for the space station exploded. Subsequent launches containing a reconstructed second experiment were cancelled or delayed.  Despite these major set backs the boys finally saw their experiment launch successfully on January 10, 2015.

Once at the Space Station, the Kamloops students’ experiment will examine how the zero-gravity environment of space affects the growth of crystals.

The students prepared silicon tubes containing solutions that, when mixed, cause crystals to form. On the space station, astronauts will remove small clips keeping the solutions apart. When the tubes are returned, (hopefully as early as February) the students will analyze the crystals and compare them to crystals grown on Earth.

The projects are part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, which is run by the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education.

For the full story, click here.

Head in the Clouds – The Study of Thermoclines

Try these experiments for those who already have their ‘head in the clouds’.


Cloud Formation

Study Cloud Formation in your lab using PASCO’s Atmospheric Properties Chamber. Be sure and watch the video to learn more!



Modeling Thermoclines

PASCO’s Density Circulation Model is a great way to model thermoclines and circulation in the classroom. Watch the video and learn more!

Prepare Students for a Career in Environmental Technology


Green technology careers are in demand. Did you know that over 5 million new jobs will be created in the near term for over 200 job categories from technicians, installers, engineers, and scientists to urban planners and system designers? Our partner MARCRAFT has a variety of training panels that will prepare students for a career in Environmental Technology. Click here to discover what specific training panels MARCRAFT offers.

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