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Brighton Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia - A case Study

Brighton Grammar is an all-boys school in a suburb of Melbourne that had been struggling with outdated and unreliable science equipment. The decision was made to implement PASCO solutions such as sensors and SPARKvue software.

The results were higher student engagement and motivation, more accurate and reliable data, greater ease of use and increased confidence and learning on the part of the students.

"Because PASCO equipment is so easy to assemble, my students don’t ask mechanical questions about how the equipment fits together... Instead, they ask questions about the concepts and theories underlying the experiments they’re conducting. "

-Dan Belluz, Director of Teaching and Learning, Brighton Grammar School 

Download the Case Study's PDF

 

SPARKvue 2.5 released

About this download

  • The most recent version is 2.5.0 for Mac and Windows released on 7/15/2016
  • This update is intended for users who have a licensed version of SPARKvue and who are using Mac or Windows computers
  • The update is free from any previous version of SPARKvue
  • Updating SPARKvue will not alter or delete any of your saved work

What's new in this version

  • Support for the new wireless sensors (Smart Cart, Voltage, Current, and Light)
  • Allows independent Sampling Rates for different sensors
  • Support for remote Data Logging for wireless sensors
  • The ability to export data to a single csv file
  • You can now capture and share data display snapshot images
  • Allows the use of share sheets on mobile platforms
  • The ability to rename runs of data
  • File size reduction for the Chromebook app to allow easier installation
  • Several Resolved Issues

Read more Here

Top 20 apps for therapists

New sparkvuePasco’s Sparkvue app is the perfect companion for your force plate. With force plates becoming cheaper and more affordable for the clinician and their ability to provide new and important qualitative and quantitative data that could only hypothesized by the clinician previously, this app is a real game changer, especially for those who perform the full spectrum of Functional Performance Testing.

 

Read More Here

Amazing Diffusion Cloud Chamber Video

Special Thanks to Keith Angus - Christ Church Grammar School, for the awesome videos.

The Diffusion Cloud Chamber is used to view high energy alpha particles, lower energy beta particles, and electrons produced by gamma rays interacting with gas molecules. The Chamber allows for the viewing of cosmic rays without the need for dry ice or external illumination.

 

Read More Here

Ten takeaways from ten years of the Science of Learning Centers

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Over the past 10 years, the Science of Learning Centers program has funded research at six centers: The Center of Excellence for Learning in Education, Science and Technology (CELEST), Center for Learning in Informal and Formal Environments (LIFE), Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center for Robust Learning (PSLC)Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC)Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center (TLC), and Visual Language and Visual Learning Center (VL2).

This week, scholars from those centers met in Arlington to discuss their latest findings, lessons learned, new directions, and the transformative science that has taken place over the past decade. One of the major accomplishments of the centers has been to train the next generation of leaders in the science of learning, who are using what we now know as a foundation to answer new questions, create new experiments, and take the science forward.

Here are 10 takeaways from their meeting:

1. Technology is expanding our ability to understand and analyze learning in ways that were never before possible, from being able to look at brain activity over time windows on the order of 10 milliseconds to being able to non-invasively peer into the brain of a 5-month-old infant or “see” how memories can be held in a brain in waves to prevent two memories from competing with each other.
2. Humans are social and we learn better when learning environments take advantage of our social natures.

3. The very presence of another human being improves our learning. This is even true in online learning when a learner is told they are interacting with a real human, versus a computer program. Social robots have the potential to be more effective teachers than screens.
4. Spatial thinking underlies capabilities in STEM and these skills are malleable all the way into adulthood. We now have tools that could greatly improve math and STEM learning by “spatializing the curriculum.”
5. The benefits of bilingualism (including learning sign-language) reach beyond language skills to include cognitive flexibility.
6. Sound is not a requirement for language learning, visual language learning is very robust.
7. Timing is a crucial variable in learning and can be optimized for classroom learning.
8. Self-stereotyping around gender and race identities is important to one’s ability to learn.
9. Classroom methods and instructional principles have the potential to improve learning, but the individual methods that will work in the real world depend on the specific learning goals.
10. By adding the Arts to STEM: STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) there is the potential to broaden the appeal of STEM fields. We are also starting to learn about areas where the arts (especially music) can increase learning or improve the learning environment.

Credit

SPARKVue Version 2.4 Released

sparkvueAbout this download

  • The most recent version is 2.4.0 released on 2/10/2015
  • This update is intended for users who have a licensed version of SPARKvue and who are using Mac or Windows computers
  • The update is free from any previous version of SPARKvue
  • Updating SPARKvue will not alter or delete any of your saved work

What's new in this version

SPARKvue 2.4.0 is a feature release that adds support for the new wireless sensors and the new AirLink USB/Bluetooth® interface and resolves several known issues

Read the Full Release Notes for 2.4.0

Highlights of previous major releases:

Enhancements included in SPARKvue Version 2.3:

  • Support for the new 550 Universal Interface including new scope and signal generator displays for use with this interface.
  • Several resolved issues

Enhancements included in SPARKvue Version 2.1:

  • In addition to collecting data on your own iPad, SPARKvue now supports live sharing of sensor data with anyone else--on any other iPad, tablet, Mac or Windows computer.
  • Now available for Chromebooks
  • Supports PASCO’s new Optical Dissolved Oxygen sensor

 Enhancements included in SPARKvue Version 2.0

  • Modernized User Interface
  • New assessment options include multiple choice, drop-down lists and free text
  • New lab authoring capabilities
  • Now embed video files in SPARKlabs
  • Cloud-based sharing with services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and more
  • Bluetooth support on Mac and Windows

Read More Here

 

Spark Require

Walking on Sunshine

Screen Shot 2015 10 08 at 11.29.09 amFrom the first day of Kindergarten students have fought over different shades of yellow and orange to make sure their drawings had the brightest sun possible— but now it's time for them to see what other colors are in light. We'll show you how a quick lab can have all your students seeing green, and other colors of the spectrum.

 

Click here for more details

Digital shift puts nearly half of Australia's jobs at high risk

Nearly half of the jobs in Australia are at high risk of "digital disruption" in the next 20 years, and our education system is not equipping students with the skills needed to adapt, a new report warns.

PricewaterhouseCoopers chief executive Luke Sayers is calling for a national summit on the issue, saying universities need to start producing far more people literate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects (STEM) to help the workforce adapt to a rapidly changing global economy.

Read More Here

Amusement Park Science - UPDATE

DWvestarmWe have just updated all our Amusement Park SPARKlabs for use at your favourite venue. All SPARKlabs are now fully compatable with iPhones, most Android smartphones along with existing devices such as iPads and Andriod Tablets. 

We are currently finalising the details to fully include Adventure World in WA to our website.

Amusement parks are thrilling places to spend your day, but did you know that these parks are also huge physics classrooms? All of the rides are built with the laws of physics in mind, and it is playing with these laws that makes these rides so fun and scary.

With extreme rides more popular than ever, terms like G-forces, acceleration, and centrifugal force have seeped into our everyday lingo. Because students enjoy attractions like coasters and freefall towers, they are motivated to explore the scientific concepts that enable rides to deliver white-knuckle thrills in a safe environment.

Australia's top amusement parks open their doors to physics teachers and their students for the opportunity to test the physics that they learned in their classrooms.

Working with Dreamworld, Movieworld, Seaworld, Adventure World, Luna Park Sydney and Luna Park Melbourne Cider House Tech has created SPARKlabs for over 48 rides. These SPARKlabs provide students with interactive experiments to conduct during their day at the park.

Due to Cider House Tech's continued goal to provide resources for teachers and students alike these SPARKlabs are absolutely free. They work with iPads, iPhones, iPod Touch and selected Android tablets and phones as well as either PC or Mac computers/laptops back in the classroom.

PascoAmuse

Thermodynamics has been reintroduced to Year 11 Physics.

In the new national based study designs, thermodynamics has been reintroduced to Year 11 Physics.

In the study of thermodynamics, students investigate thermodynamic principles related to heating processes, including concepts of temperature, energy and work. Students examine the environmental impacts of Earth’s thermal systems and human activities with reference to the effects on surface materials, the emission of greenhouse gases and the contribution to the enhanced greenhouse effect.

 

Read More Here

Starlight and Distance

SDSPARKLABPerformance Expectations require students  to be able to support an argument that the apparent brightness of the sun and stars is due to their relative distances from Earth (5-ESS-1). But how do you get started in a way that engages students and keeps them from "spacing out"? Download our free Starlight and Distance SPARKlab— digital content that can easily be integrated into your lesson— to see how to get started!

Oxygen— it's in the water

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What can you do with the DO? This month we have two activities that make use of our Optical Dissolved Oxygen Sensor— a sensor that makes DO sensing easier and more accurate than ever before. Read more about what NSTA's Technology, Science 2.0 blog recently said about our ODO sensor after putting it to the ultimate field test. 

We have a free lab to help you put it to the test. Take a look at our latest blog entry to see what happened when we created a model for biological oxygen demand (BOD) in an aquatic ecosystem using just milk as our organic pollutant and yeast to model decomposers— and thendownload the free lab to try it with your class.  

Increase Productivity
Our ODO Sensor and Aquatic Productivity Bottles make determining net primary productivty easier than ever. Check out the results in this short video!

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