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Vernier Software & Technology
Innovative Uses

Determining Soil Composition along the Virginia Creeper Trail

Steve Ahn, from Abingdon High School in Abingdon, VA, took his students on a science expedition along the Virginia Creeper Trail, where approximately 400 million years ago the land was covered by a shallow sea. As a result of the subsequent sedimentation, the soil now exhibits alternating bands of limestone and shale. “I wanted my students to get a sense of the wonder, history, and beauty of this place,” Steve said. “In order to do that, I knew we had to get on our bikes and collect data.”

With the assistance of a Vernier LabQuest, GPS, pH, and Light Sensors, Steve's students took measurements of unknown soils. Armed with their data, students then hypothesized about the compositions of the two soils and confirmed their findings with the use of detailed geologic maps. “This lab would not have been possible without the Vernier LabQuest and probes,” Steve said. “Having this data-collection technology opens doors to realizing ideas that used to fall into the realm of the 'impossible.'”

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