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PASCO’s 2020 Global Partner Meeting

Last week saw delegates from more than 40 different countries gather at PASCO’s head office in California to share success stories about how educators are using PASCO solutions to acheive their STEM goals. I was excited to see several new pieces of equipment including sensors for all sciences.

Wireless Sound Sensor (PS-3227)
This is a wireless Bluetooth sensor that connects to any device loaded with either Sparkvue or Capstone software. As is the case with other Pasco wireless sensors this sensor is more powerful than the older sensor it replaces. It can be used to measure sound levels in decibels as well as to show the waveform of a sound in addition to an FFT display to show the frequencies present.

In the recent past when I have worked with teachers to design a physics lab most of the sensor requirements can be filled by Pasco’s new line of wireless sensors, including the smart cart. I then recommend that they consider purchasing at least one 550 or 850 universal interface so that they can use the ScienceWorkshop sound sensor to study sound waves and FFT displays. In addition the built-in signal generator will allow them to generate sine waves over a large frequency range. The AC/DC module described below can carry out this signal generator function. Thus, purchasing the wireless sound sensor and the wireless AC/DC module much of the work formerly left to the 550 can now be accomplished by the less expensive wireless units.

Wireless AC/DC Module (EM-3533)
This wireless module connects via Bluetooth to any device loaded with Capstone or Sparkvue. It connects nicely with other modules in the modular electricity package giving teachers the choice of using this rather than purchasing batteries.

As shown in the video this unit can produce DC output as well as sine, triangle and square waves.

Blockly Coding
The most recent versions of Capstone and SPARKvue include the ability to carry out Blockly coding. This coding can be used to control connected sensors and to react to measurements that they are making. It introduces students to coding as they use sensors to explore various science topics. It exposes them to logic that they are likely to encounter later in life if they pursue science and/or technology and so it becomes an important part of the STEM experience we try to generate for our students.

To make it easier to introduce students to Blockly coding PASCO has developed the //code.Node (PS-3231). It includes the following built–in sensors: magnetic, motion, light, temperature, and sound.

Bill Konrad is a former Teacher and Science/Technology Consultant in South Western Ontario and currently supports AYVA’s customers as a PASCO Product Specialist. Details on how to reach Bill directly can be found here.

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