Go Wireless® Heart Rate



Vernier’s Go Wireless® Heart Rate monitor is an excellent way for students to engage in real data collection when doing cardiovascular explorations in the science classroom. The heart rate monitor offers students the opportunity to monitor their heart rates in a variety of ways. For example, students can take their pulse before, during, and after exercising. While doing so, the data is being collected and transmitted wirelessly through a Bluetooth sensor via a free “App” for either an Android or iOS device. Once downloaded, students can use the Graphical Analysis App to wirelessly collect, analyze, and share data collected from the sensor. Hence, students can do real-time graphs from the experimental data that can enhance their work and lab reports with easy annotations, statistics, and curve fits.

How does it work?

First, it worth emphasizing that the Vernier’s Go Wireless® Heart Rate monitor is an incredibly user-friendly device. The first step before beginning an experiment is to download the Graphical Analysis App, which is compatible for iOS devices (version 2.2 or newer) at the App Store and Android devices (version 2.1 or newer).

Once the download is complete, there are two separate components of interest: 1)  the Heart Rate Hand Grips and 2) the Polar Transmitter Module (battery included).  Once connected, the Polar Transmitter Module detects each electrical signal from the heart from the electrodes on the hand grips. Subsequently, while holding the hand grips, the heart rate data is transmitted wirelessly to your mobile device. Since each device has a unique ID located on the side of the Polar Transmitter Module, by opening the Graphical Analysis App, you can identify the correct ID and proceed to  analyze your data.



Since the data is collected in real time, however, the students can see the data being collected, which gives them an opportunity to examine how their physical activity levels affect pulse rate  variations. Here are some examples of science activities that can be used with Vernier’s Go Wireless® Heart Rate monitor:

Heart Rate and Exercise: https://www.vernier.com/files/sample_labs/HP-A-04-COMP-heart_rate_exercise.pdf

Heart Rate and Blood Pressure as Vital Signs: https://www.vernier.com/files/sample_labs/HP-A-10-COMP-heart_rate_bp.pdf

Effect of Coughing on Heart Rate: https://www.vernier.com/files/sample_labs/HP-A-06-COMP-effect_of_coughing.pdf


Vernier’s Go Wireless® Heart Rate monitor is an exciting new tool to explore heart rate in the science classroom. Undoubtedly, it will give students a conceptual understanding of how different levels of exercise intensity can change heart rate variations and will also challenge your students to get out of their seats and enjoy this user friendly scientific device for meaningful learning. If you are looking for a way to maximize your students’ interest in learning about heart rate; Vernier’s Go Wireless® Heart Rate monitor is an excellent tool for meeting the instructional objectives.

Cost: $89

Product Site: https://www.vernier.com/products/sensors/heart-rate-sensors/gw-hr/

User Manual: https://www.vernier.com/files/manuals/gw-hr.pdf

Edwin P. Christmann is a professor and chairman of the secondary education department and graduate coordinator of the mathematics and science teaching program at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. Anthony Balos is a graduate student and a research assistant in the secondary education program at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.





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Science 2.0: Help Students Become Innovative Designers

Our past three columns described how teachers can implement the first three Empowered Learner Standards established by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). This month, we focus on classroom strategies to support the fourth standard: Innovative Designer.

The performance indicators in the Innovative Designer standard align with the practices of scientific inquiry, which help students conduct scientific investigations. Students become innovative designers once they meet these performance indicators:

  • know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems;
  • select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks;
  • develop, test, and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process; and
  • exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance, and the capacity to work with open-ended problems (ISTE 2016). (italics added)

It’s worth noting that only the second performance indicator, where students plan and manage the design process, actually requires using technology. For this indicator, digital mapping tools (e.g., Lucidchart, MindMap) work well.

Defining innovation
Innovation implies that students must come up with something new or original and is often associated with great improvements to the way of life. This is a paradigm that science teachers must shift.

Accomplishments by companies such as Tesla or Apple are the exception, not the norm, and may only serve as a form of inspiration. Teachers should encourage students to be motivated by their successes and learn from their practices, but we must establish a classroom culture and norms that allow students to experience innovation in their own right.

Simplifying innovation
Tony Wagner, author of Creating Innovators, makes the compelling argument that innovation is really just the act of creative problem solving. To foster this type of behavior, he says, a classroom must promote passion, play, and purpose. Creating a classroom culture that grows innovative designers should therefore be examined through the lens of these “three Ps.”

However, not all activities need to promote this definition of innovation. Traditional types of activities are often the necessary foundation for students to learn scientific investigation. Students should still follow prescribed steps that allow them to learn measurement, instrumentation, and observation. However, once students become proficient in these skills, they should begin to choose their own learning path to foster the three Ps.

Science classroom innovation
When students explore their passions and are given the opportunity to find authentic problems with purpose, students will find that their work feels more like play. The timeless quote by Ray Bradbury, “Love what you do, do what you love…” could never be more applicable as when students find passion and purpose in their work.

Teachers can begin activities with simple questions, “Tell us what waves do?” “Show us how a chemical reaction works.” and “Is our local stream healthy?” Although such questions are derived from traditional activities, students can take ownership of each question when they choose their path and add purpose to their work. Finally, students also need to develop a tenacious approach to these problems so they demonstrate grit. When that happens, we begin to see innovation.

Ben Smith (ben@edtechinnovators.com) is an educational technology program specialist, and Jared Mader (jared@edtechinnovators.com) is the director of educational technology, for the Lincoln Intermediate Unit in New Oxford, Pennsylvania. They conduct teacher workshops on technology in the classroom nationwide.

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). 2016. The 2016 ISTE standards for students. Arlington, VA: ISTE. http://bit.ly/ISTE-standards

Editor’s Note

This article was originally published in the January 2017 issue of The Science Teacher journal from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).

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the peer-reviewed journal just for high school teachers; to write for the journal, see our Author GuidelinesCall for Papers, and annotated sample manuscript; connect on the high school level science teaching list (members can sign up on the list server); or consider joining your peers at future NSTA conferences.

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Ideas and inspiration from NSTA’s K-12 journals–January 2017

Science Scope – Systems Thinking

The articles this month provide “examples of how to integrate the crosscutting concept of systems and system models” into the classroom. (From the Editor’s Desk: Systems Thinking Solutions) Featured articles that describe lessons include a helpful sidebar (“At a Glance”) documenting the big idea, essential pre-knowledge, time, and cost.

The lessons also include connections with the NGSS.

For more on the content that provides a context for these projects and strategies see the SciLinks topics Buoyancy, Constellations, Ecosystems, Equilibrium, Fluids and Pressure, Force of Gravity, Galileo, Gravity, Matter and Energy, Newton’s Laws of Motion, Robots, Submarines and Undersea Technology, Systems

Continue for Science and Children, The Science Teacher

Continue reading …

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What Are the National Academies and How Can You Use Them to Transform Your Teaching?

During Recognition Week for the 2006 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, awardees gathered in a Washington, DC, hotel for a federal agencies breakfast.  While all 10 agencies present that morning provided awardees with an overview of their educational programs and outreach opportunities, it was The National Academies’ information that especially appealed to my desire to translate educational research into practice.  I learned how The National Academies advances and fosters an awareness of the best cutting-edge science and its use in programs and reports. Unlike other Academies in many other countries, the U.S. Academies are not an arm of the federal government. The National Academies are a private, non-profit organization that depends on grants and contracts to support their work.   

Later during Recognition Week, I received a copy of Taking Science to School, a consensus report from The National Academies during one of the professional development sessions. Besides the National Science Education Standards, this book was my first in depth exposure to a National Academies evidence-based consensus report. Upon receiving the report, a summary of major findings and conclusions was provided by one of the reports committee members.  It was during this professional development session that I became aware of the four strands of science learning. (See October 2016 Science Scope for related article). Continue reading …

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Here’s Why Space Nerds Need to Be at #NSTA17 LA

We didn’t invent the term space nerds; we just invited the two most interesting people on the planet who are proud to own it to speak at NSTA’s 2017 National Conference in Los Angeles: March 30–April 2.

Weir gets up close and personal with Robonaut2. Image Credit NASA James Blair and Lauren Harnett

15 Early Birds Get to Dine With Andy Weir

Our keynote speaker is Andy Weir, author of the New York Times best seller The Martian, and a lifelong space nerd and devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. Join us in LA to hear Weir speak on Thursday, March 30, from 9:15–10:30 AM.

Register by the earlybird deadline, February 3, and you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a special VIP experience. Fifteen lucky winners will receive: Continue reading …

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Science classroom libraries

I am a new elementary librarian, and I want to prioritize science nonfiction. I’m looking for suggestions to help teachers who often do not have time to collect books from the library. I also need ideas for books to purchase.  — J., New York

I spoke with a librarian colleague, who did what you are considering. She suggested asking teachers for a schedule of topics they work on throughout the year. She had a large plastic tub for each classroom where she put corresponding books covering a range of reading levels. For each unit, the classroom received a new set of supplementary books. She often had older students or parent volunteers prepare the boxes.

To find appropriate titles for all grade levels, I have used the NSTA website. Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K–12 and the Best STEM Books K-12 contain lists compiled by NSTA in association with the Children’s Book Council. The titles are listed by year and include an annotated description of each book. NSTA Recommends also has monthly updates in the NSTA journals.

All of these titles are also in the second source, NSTA Recommends. This is a broader, searchable list that includes reviews of books and other media. The reviews are written by science educators and can be searched by format (e.g., print, kits, DVDs), keywords (e.g., weather, machines, insects), and grade level (K through college). The lists can be exported as Excel spreadsheets.

The School Library Journal also has a list of recommended Science and Nature Books for Kids.

Some teachers might be willing to help you select the books or suggest topics—perhaps during a faculty meeting or workshop on science and reading.


Photo:  https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1033/1333506858_2f1392116d_m_d.jpg

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Health Wise: Why Teens Need the HPV Vaccine

About 79 million Americans have human papillomavirus (HPV), the nation’s top sexually transmitted disease. “Nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC 2016a).

HPV usually goes away on its own. But sometimes, HPV can cause genital warts or cancer, even decades after an individual has sex with an infected person. HPV can cause cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, or anus, as well as oral cancers.

High school students are especially at risk for contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) (Bratsis 2014). Each year, about 14 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV, and more than 11,000 women get cervical cancer due to HPV, the CDC says (2016a).

The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP 2015) recommend that all boys and girls ages 11–12 get HPV vaccinations, which are given in a series of two or three shots. According to the CDC (2015), the vaccine targets the most common of the more than 150 types of HPV.

“Teen boys and girls who did not start or finish the HPV vaccine series when they were younger should get it now,” the CDC recommends (CDC 2016b). “Young women can get the HPV vaccine through age 26, and young men can get vaccinated through age 21. The vaccine is also recommended for any man who has sex with men through age 26.” Continue reading …

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Legislative Update: Unions and Civil Rights Groups Strongly Oppose DeVos Nomination

In what will likely be the first of many battles to come, teacher unions and civil rights groups have come out swinging against the nomination of Betsy DeVos to become U.S. Secretary of Education while Republican governors are applauding President-elect Trump for his “inspired choice” to reform federal education policy.

The Senate confirmation hearing for DeVos, originally scheduled for January 11, was postponed one week and is now scheduled for January 17 at 5 p.m. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chair of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), HELP’s ranking Democrat, said in a statement the hearing change was made to accommodate the Senate schedule.  Later media reports indicated the hearing date was pushed back because the ethics check on DeVos was not completed.

After meeting with DeVos last week, Sen. Murray said in a statement, “I continue to have serious concerns about her long record of working to privatize and defund public education, expand taxpayer-funded private school vouchers, and block accountability for charter schools.”

Sen. Alexander told The Chattanoogan, “Betsy DeVos and I had a great meeting today, and she is going to make an excellent Secretary of Education. I’m looking forward to her hearing because I know she will impress the Senate with her passionate support for improving education for all children.”

In a letter to Sen. Alexander, 18 Republican governors said that DeVos was an “inspired” choice. “Betsy DeVos will fight to streamline the federal education bureaucracy, return authority back to states and local school boards, and ensure that more dollars are reaching the classroom…Betsy DeVos also is a passionate supporter of increasing parental engagement in their children’s education and of harnessing the power of competition to drive improvement in all K-12 schools, whether they be public, private or virtual.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights—a coalition of more than 200 national organizations—said in a letter, “We reject the notion that children are well served by the dismantling of a public school system that serves 90 percent of all American students or by the elimination of civil rights protections that require the federal government to intervene when students are discriminated against.” Continue reading …

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P-47 and the Double Wasp Engine

P-47 Double Wasp engineIn “P-47 and the Double Wasp Engine,” fighter pilot Benjamin Cassiday emphatically states, “It was an aircraft that could get you home.” While adrenaline filled the veins of these courageous WWII pilots, likely there was no greater rush than when they touched down on their home runway.

Driven by the Pratt and Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp air-cooled radial engine, the huge P-47 was able to successfully compete against much smaller adversaries. Find out how in P-47 and the Double Wasp Engine—one of 10 posted videos in the Chronicles of Courage series. The 20-video series from the partnership of NBC Learn and Flying Heritage Collection uses the collection’s WWII airplanes and aviation technology as their focal point.

Like several of the NSTA-developed lesson plans in this series, this plan gives you ideas for prompting students to use paper airplanes as their experimental tool. You’ll see an example of a possible design that could explore the relationship between power and weight whereby students add weight to the wings or fuselage, change the power generated by the rubber-band propeller, or use different sized propellers. Internet references are included to support students as well.

With such an investigation, are you concerned you won’t have the right answer for students? That’s one of the beauties of engineering design investigations—you don’t have to because there is no “right answer.” The best design is the one that performs optimally given the criteria and constraints. Chances are more than one group will end up with optimal design solutions. If so, give students a chance to critique all of the solutions and make claims based on evidence about which one they think is “best.” Witness the effects of your students’ adrenaline as they enthusiastically design and fly their paper airplane solutions.

Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation “P-47 and the Double Wasp Engine” explores how the much larger and heavier P-47 Thunderbolt and its extremely powerful engine allows the hulking fighter to be competitive at all altitudes.

STEM Lesson Plan—Adaptable for Grades 7–12
Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation “P-47 and the Double Wasp Engine” provides strategies for extracting information from video content and challenging students to explore further plus support for building science literacy through reading and writing.

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Flying Tigers

Curtiss P-40 WarhawkOne of the most familiar WWII airplanes carries the trademark of the Flying Tigers—a long nose painted with a menacing shark mouth. While the Flying Tigers were a hotshot fighter group, the pilots had to develop new tactics to outfly their Japanese adversary—the Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa, or what the Americans call the “Oscar.”

Why? Find out in Flying Tigers—one of 10 posted videos in the Chronicles of Courage series. The 20-video series from the partnership of NBC Learn and Flying Heritage Collection uses the collection’s WWII airplanes and aviation technology as their focal point.

Listen to experts describe the innovations of these aircraft and the pilots themselves talk how the plane performs in the air. Then turn students loose to “mess around” with materials as they generate questions to answer through investigation. The NSTA-developed lesson plan will give you a leg up on that, with suggested materials and a few directions investigations might take.

Consider developing a guide to support students as they document what happens when they manipulate materials. Include a place where students write down their questions specifically. Then encourage students to take some chances and try different things with the materials as a way to generate more questions.

Take a moment to look at this video and the array of suggestions for using it in your classes. Can’t make an immediate connection with this one? No worries. Take a look at one of the others. We’re sure you’ll find a fit that excites your students and brings those textbook concepts to life.

Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation “Flying Tigers” presents two very different aircraft. The Oscar is light and nimble with especially designed butterfly flaps to give it a turning advantage over it adversaries. The Tomahawk was rugged and strong, which allowed it to dive quickly.

STEM Lesson Plan—Adaptable for Grades 7–12
Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation “Flying Tigers” provides strategies for extracting information from video content and challenging students to explore further plus support for building science literacy through reading and writing.

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