Funds provided by the Don Keele Excellence in Education Award were used to conduct a project in which a laptop computer and electronic sensors were purchased for use by science students at Cascade Christian Academy. These sensors were, and are currently being used in a variety of settings—both laboratory and field The amount of the award was $2500.
Electronic sensors enable the rapid collection of large quantities of data. Computers can provide rapid, efficient, and complex analyses as well as data storage. Rapid collection of large amounts of data enables students to go further in understanding the phenomena under investigation and to consider further experimentation.
The science department at CCA had previously purchased the Lab Pro computer interface and several probes prior to the initiation of this project. Funds from this grant enabled us to purchase the portable computer and several other probes important to laboratory and field work.
· Laptop computer
· Vernier Software Lab Pro interface with Logger Pro software (previously purchased)
· Electronic sensors
- Carbon Dioxide Sensor
- Dissolved Oxygen Probe
- Oxygen gas sensor
- Stainless steel Temperature Probes (previously purchased)
- pH Probes (previously purchased)
- Gas Pressure Sensor (previously purchased)
Students were oriented to the setup and use of the Lab Pro interface and associated Logger Pro program through assisting with classroom demonstrations and by substituting the Lab Pro into traditional lab exercises. Use of the lab pro interface was fairly easy for students to learn. Students were familiar with the kinds of measurements done and the Lab Pro interface simply automated data collection and display.
The Logger Pro program automatically captures, tabulates, and graphs data. Students can use analysis features of Logger Pro to determine slopes, exact values, modify graph displays, and many other functions.
The computer, interface, and probes were sometimes set up as one station in a multi-station lab or field activity. If more equipment were available, students would be divided into groups of 3—one to operate the computer, one to handle the probes, and one to read the manuals and or record data into notebooks.
Computer Based Laboratories
Use of the Lab Pro interface was fairly easy for students to learn.
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