Biology,  K-8,  Chemistry,  Earth & Environmental Sciences,  Physics

Back-to-School Probe Prep

August 19, 2013

Most PASCO sensors and interfaces don't require any maintenance, but for continued accurate measurements, we recommend a little tune-up for some sensors at the beginning of the school year. Here are 10 tips to make sure your equipment is in optimal condition before your students start using them in the field or lab.

back to school

1. Charge up your interface. After a summer break the batteries may take a while to charge up. Plug in your interfaces at least 24hrs before you plan to use them. 

2. Update your software.*
- SPARKvue 2.0 ®  has just been released for PC, Mac®, iPad®, and select AndroidTM tablets. Along with a totally new user interface there are new SPARKlabs with assessment questions including dynamic feedback! 
- PASCO CapstoneTM version 1.1.1 was release in August and now includes video analysis along with other new features.

3. Change the electrolyte solution on your Dissolved Oxygen Sensor and replace the membrane if needed. Complete instructions can be found in the sensor manual.

4. Clean your pH Sensors. After several labs or prolonged storage salts and even algae can build up on pH Sensors. Look in the sensor manual for instructions on restoring the probe. Don't forget to order calibration buffers as well. 

5. Order consumables for your physiology sensors including Spirometer mouthpieces and EKG patches.

6. Get new lab ideas from our Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Environmental Science manuals.

7. Sign-up for free online training with our Education Solutions team. Can't make it? Then checkout our video library with +70 videos on labs and sensors. You can even download the videos to flip your classroom and have students handle calibration before a lab.

8. Get funding for more equipment. Apply for PASCO's STEM grants.

9. Make sure you've got all the Bumpers and Hooks for your Force Sensors.

10. Take advantage of PASCO's 5yr warranty (on most products). Our support team can help you fix problems and send you a repair authorization if necessary. Not sure if your product is in warranty? No problem, we can look up your purchase for you. Call 1800-772-8700 and ask for teacher support or email

*Since this blog post was created back in 2013 both SPARKvue and PASCO Capstone have been updated a few times which just underscores why it's important to check your software and make sure you have the latest version for optimal results.