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.”
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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.