Customer Success Stories

A selection of experiences, case studies and success stories shared with us by educators, students, schools and universities using PASCO products.

Brighton Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia - A case Study

Brighton Grammar is an all-boys school in a suburb of Melbourne that had been struggling with outdated and unreliable science equipment. The decision was made to implement PASCO solutions such as sensors and SPARKvue software.

The results were higher student engagement and motivation, more accurate and reliable data, greater ease of use and increased confidence and learning on the part of the students.

"Because PASCO equipment is so easy to assemble, my students don’t ask mechanical questions about how the equipment fits together... Instead, they ask questions about the concepts and theories underlying the experiments they’re conducting. "

-Dan Belluz, Director of Teaching and Learning, Brighton Grammar School 

Download the Case Study's PDF

Hillsborough County Public Schools Case Study

When biology teacher Larry Plank joined Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) in 2007 to oversee the district's high school science programs, half of the high schools used PASCO probeware and half used probeware from another provider. After receiving a grant from the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE), Plank set out to expand the use of probeware to support inquiry-based learning and help students develop a love of science.

See the results of this PASCO partnership in 250 Hillsborough County schools, which include more than 200,000 students. 

"Science isn't just about memorizing facts and formulas. It's about developing an understanding of the scientific process and giving students opportunities to apply that process to their learning. Creating those hands-on experiences with the actual tools of modern science and technology careers is essential."

-Larry Plank, HCPS

Download the Case Study's PDF

Physics Day at Darien Lake

Six Flags Darien Lake in Buffalo, New York has hosted its annual Physics Day for a number of years. Physics teacher Greg Sahm has been bringing his students there for both the fun and the educational experience, and been using PASCO equipment to record the rides. Back in 2010, we first shared this success story of Mr. Sahm's students using a datalogger and a 3-Axis Accelerometer Sensor to measure accelerations and resultant forces on the park's roller coasters.

This year, using an iPhone 6 and SPARKvue software, his students were able to collect and graph the data their equipment recorded. The setup was simple and required no extra equipment. Mr Sahm also shared the experience on his website.

iphone 6 and sparkvue data collection

Data collected using an iPhone 6 and SPARKvue software - 2015

Flashback to 2010 - Data collected with a PASCO Datalogger and a 3-Axis Accelerometer/Altimeter

Lancaster Country Day School

At Lancaster Country Day School (LCDS), teachers use real-world technologies and an inquiry-based approach in their science instruction to increase students’ awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the world in which they live. 

“We looked at sensors from another company but, with their interface, data would be sent to the Cloud and then we’d have to pull it back down to students’ iPads®. We were worried about technology issues with that,” said Laura Trout, science department chair and Lower School science coordinator for LCDS. “We like that PASCO provides the option to connect the PASPORT sensors to students’ iPads via Bluetooth®.”

Using SPARKvue with the PASPORT sensors, students can display their data in multiple simultaneous representations, including graphs, tables, digital displays, and analog meters. 

At the Middle School, students are beginning to design their science fair projects around the PASPORT sensors. “Students think of the sensors as tools they can use on their own, rather than something the teacher has to set up for them,” said Trout. 

In one of Trout’s favorite experiments, high school chemistry students use a drop counter and pH sensor to plot a titration curve from various acid solutions. Through this investigation, students see how the variables of concentration, volume and acid strength affect the different sections of a titration curve.

“It would take a week and a half to do this lab with traditional burets and flasks. With the drop counter and pH sensor, you can do a titration in five minutes. It’s what makes this lab possible,” said Trout. 

Even after students graduate from LCDS, their interest in science continues to grow. “We have an amazing number of graduates who go into a science field or end up switching their majors to science or engineering,” said Trout. “I think it’s because we incorporate inquiry into student learning as much as we can and we have the technologies to support that, which not only makes it more meaningful but more fun.” 

Download the Complete Study.

Instant Inquiry with iPad and Hand Dryer

Posted to Science 2.0 by a PASCO equipment user

Have you ever wondered how fast the air comes out of those newly designed hand dryers? Or perhaps how loud in decibels the fan is. The iPad is a great device for answering this and many other questions on the fly.

In order to explore the above two questions, a Pasco PASPORT Anemometer sensor was used to measure the wind speed of the dryer. In this case, a PASPORT AirLink2 transmitted wind speed data to an iPad using the SPARKvue app.

The result was about about 25 m/s or, according to my iPad’s unit converting app, 56 miles per hour. The sensor has a maximum rating of 29 m/s. Some quick tests by several humans exhaling (blowing) into the sensor topped out about 16 m/s in case you are wondering.

The next question, the one about the loudness of the hand dryer was answered by running the decibel meter in an iPad app called Measures HD.

An iPad mini was inserted into the hand dryer, and the maximum decibel reading was recorded along with both a graph of the action, and a comparison to a common environment. As you can see in the video, the decibel level more than doubled from 45 to 95.

The next exploration…see if an inverse relationship is found between air speed and air pressure found (and graphed) as the sensors are moved back and forth or up and down within the hand dryer.

Harmony Public Schools

In December 2012, Texas STEM pioneer Harmony Public Schools was one of 16 districts nationwide to win a federal Race to the Top-District grant to develop their project-based learning science programs.

Harmony STEM activity coordinator and Physics curriculum director Levent Sakar says: “We only use PASCO equipment in our Physics program. When we won the grant, we selected PASCO to work closely with us to develop and integrate project-based learning modules into our STEM program. We expect great outcomes from this partnership!”

2013 End of Course Results

 

Texas Statewide Passing Rate

Harmony Passing
Rate

Harmony Commended/ Advanced Rate

AP® Biology

88.00%

93.37%

13.99%

AP® Chemistry

83.70%

86.54%

11.68%

AP® Physics

81.80%

100%

58.06%*

Newport News Public School District (NNPS)

Newport News Public School District is making great strides in improving student science scores and STEM education while using the latest technology, including PASCO probeware, SPARKs, and SPARKlabs®. The district serves almost 30,000 students, and in 2010 they used $12 million in STEM education stimulus money to boost their STEM curriculum and redesign their science program, which included rewriting the science curriculum for grades 6–12. This philosophy motivates the NNPS science department: “Our focus is to excite students about science with interactive hands-on labs. We strive to challenge them with critical thinking to ensure that learning takes hold...”

NNPS increase in Pass Advanced Rates* from 2010–2011 school year to 2011–2012 school year

Biology

Increased Pass Advanced Rates in 5 of 6 schools.

Chemistry

Increased Pass Advanced Rates in 4 of 6 schools.

Earth Science

Increased Pass Advanced Rates in 6 of 6 schools.

Hiram High School

At Hiram High School in Georgia, two PASCO STEM Educators decided to try something different: MID Physical Science teacher Sherrie Chovanec and AP® Physics teacher Peter Fischer blended their classes and established peer learning groups to create an enhanced science learning environment. They purchased PASCO technology, which included PASPORT sensors, to develop a student-centered program with hands-on experiences, data collection and analysis, and interactive visualization. Both teachers agree when they say, “The relationship and outcomes for both groups of students are evident and have surpassed both our expectations.” Test scores demonstrate their success!

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

DeSoto Independent School District

In 2009, in an effort to improve student achievement and understanding of science concepts, the DeSoto Independent School District in Texas set up a proof-of-concept study at Curtisene S. McCowan Middle School. Two goals of the study were to attain maximum student achievement through relevant, rigorous instructional programs and to secure emerging technology to maximize student achievement and manage information efficiently. To achieve these goals the school purchased PASCO science learning technology.

Conclusions of the DeSoto ISD proof-of-concept study

  • Scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills tests increased by 13.5% overall, by 19% for economically disadvantaged groups, and by 18% for African-American students.
  • Both teacher and student motivation increased. Students liked knowing that they were participating in authentic science activities, particularly those they designed themselves.
  • Locally designed SPARKlabs® increased relevancy as well as teacher buy-in.