PASCO Scientific Wireless Sensors & SPARKVue- Changing the Way Teachers Teach Science

Not a day goes by without educators hearing the need for new innovative practices that can stimulate and engage students in the learning process. For the past 5 years we have seen schools begin to focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) through Makerspaces and providing students the opportunity to do cross-curricular projects that entail a variety of academic subjects and design thinking. With the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards many schools have begun to shift their science programs that now include systems thinking and giving students the opportunities to do hands-on experiments and conduct investigations. With the movement away from rote learning, teachers will need to develop new skills and strategies to have students do science both inside and out of the classroom. A recent study by the Amgen Foundation, Change the Equation, found that teenagers enjoy science and would welcome the opportunity to do more hands-on learning in their science classrooms. Teens noted that they wanted more hands-on experiences in the classroom and wanted to take more field trips to explore their science interests. 

In the past giving students the tools they needed to do hands on experiments could be costly and difficult to manage. However, all of this is changing as companies begin to create tools that are easy to use and at a price point, that makes it is now possible to provide these tools to each student in a science classroom. I recently had the opportunity to review the PASCO Wireless Temperature Sensor which really changes the paradigm for doing

PASCO Wireless Temperature Sensor

science in the classroom. I would like to thank PASCO for sending me a review unit. The PASCO Wireless Temperature Sensor is a marvel of technology for $39 dollars that quickly pairs via Bluetooth to just about any device you may have in your classroom. This can include Windows, Mac, IOS, Android, Chromebooks as well as smartphones (iPhone, Android). Using the new Low Energy (LE) Bluetooth standard the PASCO Wireless Temperature Sensor pairs almost instantaneously and is ready to start collecting real time data. Using SPARKVue software which can be downloaded for free to IOS, Android and Chromebooks students will be able to log data. SPARKVue has some excellent built-in analysis tools and allows students to look at the data in a various graphical views as well as looking at the data table, which can be easily exported. The PASCO Wireless Temperature Sensor can handle variable sampling rates as well as logging data for

SPARKVue application

extended periods of time directly on to the device for long term data collection. I have been really impressed with both the PASCO Wireless Temperature Sensor and the accompanying software which I have used on a Kangaroo PC (Windows 10), iPhone 6, Dell Chromebook, and iPad Air. Under all conditions the PASCO Wireless Temperature Sensor seamlessly connected to the devices and I was collecting data. When using my Surface Pro 3, and Chromebook, I used the PS-3500 USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter which is available from PASCO and simply plugged it into the USB port. Collecting data using the PASCO Wireless Temperature Sensor and the SPARKVue software cannot be any easier and you can tell that PASCO has spent a great deal of time to ensure that the out of the box experience is optimal. PASCO has developed a wide range of wireless sensors that are now available and there are more in the pipeline for the upcoming school year. If you go to the PASCO website you can get more information about the wireless pH sensor, wireless pressure sensor, and the wireless force acceleration sensor. For schools that have invested in the PASSPORT sensors take a look at the PASCO airlink which can be used as a bridge to make your legacy sensors send data directly to your devices via USB or Bluetooth. 

For science teachers who are looking to change their classroom practices and give their students more hands on experience, you need to consider using the latest wireless temperature sensors from PASCO. Using the PASCO Wireless Sensor technology will change the way you teach and give students the perspective of being a scientist doing investigations and collecting data. The PASCO Wireless Sensor gives students the opportunity to log data for long periods of time and analyze data using the tools built into the SPARKVue application. PASCO provides teachers with wonderful resources and activities on various topics that can be used with their sensors to explore science. You will also find handy videos on YouTube and on their website to get you up and running quickly with their sensors. PASCO has hit it out of the ballpark with their new family of wireless sensors, when taking into account cost, ease of use and instructional value. If you have been on the fence about integrating sensors into your science classroom, now is the time to jump in- you will be glad you did! 


All ideas and opinions are my own and there was no exchange of money in doing this review


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