PASCO Lays Foundation for Global 21st Century Science Learning
SPARKscience Supports Authentic Scientific Investigation Across a Range of Technologies Used in Schools
SPARKscience™ lays the foundation for a global 21st century science learning experience that integrates real scientific investigation with an entire research-based learning process that includes sensor-based data collection, interactive visualization and data analysis, instructional content and assessment, PASCO Scientific said today at the National Science Teachers Association’s annual convention.
“The SPARKscience platform is unique because it allows teachers to construct a rich, hands-on learning environment using one or all of the modern, digital technologies available to them, including the all-in-one SPARK Science Learning System™, Windows and Mac-based computers, interactive whiteboards, netbooks and handheld devices such as Apple’s iPod touch and iPad,” said Wayne Grant, Ph.D., chief education officer for PASCO. “SPARKscience supports a process of discovery that mirrors how real scientists work. It’s an environment designed specifically for doing and learning science in preparation for living and working in a modern, global economy where skills in science, technology, engineering and math are highly valued.”
The backbone of SPARKscience is SPARKvue software, a science tool and state-of-the-art learning environment. It’s simple, engaging and easy-to-use interface keeps students focused on doing science and not on the technology they are using. SPARKvue promotes real-time scientific investigations, student reflection and discussion with built-in annotation tools.
SPARKvue creates an environment where a range of common classroom technologies can be used to:
- Make predictions right on a graph.
- Collect and display real-time sensor data.
- Visualize data in multiple ways.
- Dive into analysis of data at the touch of a finger.
- Take a snapshot of work at any time.
- Build an electronic student journal.
- Capture student responses to assessment prompts created and customized by the teacher.
Originally designed for the SPARK Science Learning System, a new, enhanced version of SPARKvue is now available for the Windows and Mac operating systems.
The upgraded SPARKvue software application now supports PASCO’s PASPORT® analog and digital adapters, allowing users to connect ScienceWorkshop sensors and photogates. Sensors can be connected to any computer running SPARKvue with SPARKlink™, a sensor interface that includes two sensor ports, built-in temperature and voltage sensors with probes, and a USB connection in a rugged polycarbonate case.
New features include:
- Integrated Help System: an in-line help system available from all screens.
- Page Navigation: Users can rename pages and jump to a specific page in their lab.
- A “Submit” button (on SPARK Science Learning System only) that allows students to save their lab or journal to a hidden folder. Later, a teacher can easily collect all the files from that folder in a single step.
- User-Entered Data and Calculations: Users can now define and edit units for user-entered data and calculations. In addition, user-entered data can now be locked to prevent accidental deletion.
- An authoring framework on which world-class publishers, non-profit organizations, school districts and educators can create interactive lab activities based on their own content.
As part of an international effort to stimulate the use of inquiry-based, hands-on science education and encourage development of local, standards-based SPARKlab™activities, SPARKvue software is now available in 11 languages: Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Kazakh, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
PASCO has been designing, developing, and supporting innovative teaching and learning solutions for K–12 and higher education since 1964. PASCO’s team of educators, scientists, educational researchers, engineers, and many others is committed to the advancement of STEM education around the world. Today teachers and students in more than 100 countries use PASCO solutions.
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