PHILADELPHIA—March 18, 2010—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.