NEW ORLEANS—March 19, 2009—PASCO® scientific is making good on its commitment to raise the bar for science education with the unveiling of new solutions that enable educators and students to experience the SPARK Science Learning System™ within the Windows® environment, a PASCO executive said today at the National Science Teachers Association conference.
“Together, the new SPARKvue™ integrated learning application and the SPARKlink™ sensor interface bring easy-to-use SPARK Science Learning System capabilities to other computing environments, starting with Windows,” said Wayne Grant, Ph.D., chief education officer at PASCO. “On a Windows-based computer, students can now engage in authentic 21st century science investigations using the same sensor interface capabilities, software tools and standards-based labs as those offered by the breakthrough SPARK Science Learning System. PASCO’s plan to adapt the SPARK Science Learning platform to other computing environments gives educators the choice of how to access the capabilities of this all-in-one discovery-learning environment.”
As part of the growing SPARK platform for science education, the SPARKvue application promotes real-time analysis and direct manipulation of data. Students can represent data as graphs, tables, digits and analog meters—all in a single view. The application is designed to promote student reflection and discussion with built-in annotation tools, snapshot tools and journal tools. It enables students to print their journals or even create electronic portfolios so that teachers can use them to monitor student progress and understanding. SPARKvue also fully supports PASCO’s SPARKlabs, a growing collection of integrated science labs that contain all the instructions, procedures, safety tips, graphs, tables, analysis tools and student response tools needed for successful inquiry-based investigations all within the same framework. These teacher-designed, standards-based labs enable students to ask significant questions, gather and reflect on data and interpret their findings. Students no longer need to navigate to a separate file for instructions or even refer to paper manuals. Everything they need to support inquiry is right there in context. SPARKvue customers will soon be able to purchase a collection of over 60 SPARKlabs across the range of science disciplines and levels—elementary, middle and high schools and colleges. In addition, teachers and students can add to the existing library of SPARKlabs by creating and saving their own. This enables educators to build libraries of custom science labs directly into the application.
This two-port sensor interface comes in a rugged polycarbonate case and uses a simple USB-to-computer connection. It features built-in temperature and voltage sensors that enable students to take measurements right out of the box. The dual ports also make it easy to use multiple sensors simultaneously. It is compatible with PASCO’s line of PASPORT® sensors.
SPARK Charging Station
PASCO also introduced a compact charging station designed for classrooms with very little counter space. The station charges up to 10 SPARK systems simultaneously through a single power outlet in approximately three hours. Convenient storage drawers hold sensors and supplies.
Pricing and Availability
SPARKvue and SPARKlink require Windows XP/Vista. A site license for SPARKvue is offered for $179. SPARKlink is priced at $129. Products will ship in the second quarter of the calendar year. The SPARK Science Learning System ($329) and the SPARK Charging Station ($299) are available now. All prices shown are US Educator Prices.
For more information visit the PASCO website at www.pasco.com or call 800-772-8700.