Category Archives: Science 2.0

The Science 2.0 blog is all about digital tools for your classroom. Click on a headline to read the entire post.

The Vernier Go Direct Sound Sensor: See Sounds in a New Light (Bluetooth)

As much as I loved field trips with my students, I found the bus rides to be excessively stressful. It wasn’t because of the teacher responsibilities or the student behavior, but because of the noise. The volume and diversity of machine noises and the voices and laughter bouncing around the inside of the school bus […]

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Integrating Computational Thinking and Modeling into Science Instruction

Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is difficult. While the benefits of having students engage in three-dimensional learning are profound (we get excited when students ask new questions to investigate or explain their diagrammatic models), the demands of such rigorous pedagogy are also clear. We believe that computational thinking and modeling promote student access […]

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Vernier: Go Direct Light and Color

Introduction The Go Direct Light and Color Sensor is a powerful and versatile light sensor that measures visible light, the ultraviolet electromagnetic spectrum, and does color analysis. As seen in the video, by using an RGB color sensor, the relative primary colors of light can be detected with this device. As seen in Image 1., […]

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Fire Air Dephlogisticated and the Vernier Go Direct Wireless Oxygen Sensor

Oxygen is one of those very cool elements that can both save a life and kill whether in absence or abundance. Oxygen is necessary for life as we know it, but yet it oxidizes one of the most common elements in the universe. Oxygen, to most students, is both a red ball on a model […]

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Go Direct® Respiration Belt

Introduction The Go Direct Respiration Belt measures human respiration rate. While using the Go Direct Respiration Belt, you can measure human breathing patterns with a wireless Bluetooth connection or by plugging-in the device with a USB cord. It works with a sensor and an adjustable nylon strap that goes around the chest to measure respiration […]

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I Can’t, in My Heart, Go Back to Our Old Curriculum

That was my response this week at our middle school science staff meeting.  We’ve spent the last two school years exploring the new Michigan standards (which are identical to NGSS) and trying out units from different curriculum programs.  While the pace has seemed excruciatingly slow at times, it’s been necessary to allow everyone to learn, […]

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Wild Spirits: Measuring Life and Death with the Pasco Wireless CO2 sensor

A student once asked me why if carbon dioxide is so much heavier than air, how come the lower atmosphere doesn’t become thick with CO2 and kill everything? “Umm, well…because it…umm…doesn’t?” The student then asked if I was going to was going to answer her question with another question? Which of course is also a […]

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The Vernier Go Direct Motion Detector: A Modern Twist on a Timeless Design

Vernier Software and Technology has introduced the next generation of its ultrasonic motion detector. While the gold circle sensor portion looks much like it’s previous five generations, the self-contained battery power source, the cubic form factor and most importantly the Bluetooth radio, are all new. But first some backstory. In 2008 I had the enormous […]

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The Pasco Wireless Weather Station: Like having your own weather satellite

For almost 2000 years, Aristotle’s ideas about weather were the industry standard. Although our hindsight confirmed that many of the theories Aristotle put forth in his work Meteorologica were in error, the depth and breath of his observations and inferences were truly impressive especially given his lack of instrumentation and the non-non-existant units that an […]

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“It Gets Easier”: A Teacher’s Notes from the NGSS Trenches

It gets easier. Even after two summers of writing NGSS-aligned curriculum units with the Michigan Science Teaching and Assessment Reform (MiSTAR) project, I found my first pilot experience teaching a MiSTAR NGSS-aligned unit last year to be exhausting. The unit was three-dimensional, 21st century challenge-based, student-driven, and full of phenomena and productive talk. It had […]

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