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New Design for the Drop Counter

Vernier Drop Counter's new design

Our popular Drop Counter has a new look for 2014! The Drop Counter is commonly used with sensors such as the pH Sensor and Conductivity Probe to automatically record the volume of liquid added to a mixture. The redesigned Drop Counter is better than ever, with new features that improve its overall ease of use:

  • The wider drop-detecting area is able to record drops at rates as high as six drops/second.
  • A new red LED blinks each time a drop is detected, providing confirmation that all is going well.
  • The Drop Counter still has two sensor slots: The smaller slot can now be adjusted to accommodate a variety of temperature probes and thermometers, as well as to help position the probe or thermometer properly. The larger slot fits most stick-type sensors, from pH Sensors to Ion-Selective Electrodes to the Dissolved Oxygen Probe.
  • The updated ring stand clamp allows for a wider range of ring stand sizes and for clamping to a lab

The Drop Counter is an integral part of several of our acid-base titration experiments. Check out Experiment 24 in Chemistry with Vernier, Experiment 7 in Advanced Chemistry with Vernier, or Experiment 17 in Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry.

Tech Tip: Choosing a Spectrometer

Vernier offers a number of spectrometers. Which spectrometer is right for you? This is an important question. The first step begins with identifying the applications for which you want to use your spectrometer. We offer spectrometers that measure absorbance, fluorescence, and/or emissions.

We sell two visible-range spectrometers that can be used to study compounds that absorb light from 380 to 950 nm. SpectroVis Plus, a great, budget-friendly option, offers fluorescence capabilities with excitation at two different wavelengths, 405 and 500 nm. The Vernier Spectrometer, powered by Ocean Optics™ technology, is an excellent choice for college chemistry.

Do you study absorbance spectra of compounds in the ultraviolet range? Check out the new Vernier UV-VIS Spectrophotometer. With the UV-VIS Spectrophotometer you can monitor the rate of a reaction or collect data for an absorbance vs. concentration experiment for compounds that absorb light in the UV and visible range (200 to 850 nm). UV-VIS Spectrophotometer specifications and free, downloadable experiments can be found on the UV-VIS Spectrophotometer product page.

If your application involves looking at emissions spectra from light bulbs or gas discharge tubes, you may be interested in the new Vernier Emissions Spectrometer. The Vernier Emissions Spectrometer gives precise measurements over a range of 350 to 900 nm.

If you remain undecided about which spectrometer would be the best option for you, watch our Tech Tips video, “Which Spectrometer is Right for Me?

And, of course, if you continue to have questions, feel free to call and ask for a chemistry specialist.

Tech Tip: Tips and Tricks for Excellent Cellular Respiration Data

Cellular respiration in germinating peas

Cellular respiration in germinating peas

Cellular respiration is a fundamental concept in biology. Our CO2 and O2 Gas Sensors make it easy for your students to study this concept, producing excellent data, as shown above. However, you can’t just place a few peas in a chamber and expect to see great results when using both sensors at the same time. Our resident biologists have recently revisited the “Cellular Respiration” experiments in Biology with Vernier and Advanced Biology with Vernier to provide you with the following tips and tricks for consistently good results when using both sensors.

  • For best results, you should follow the Teacher Information, which calls for using peas that have been allowed to germinate for three days. However, you can still get very good data with peas that have been soaked for 12−24 hours. You just need to use more peas.
  • Blot the peas with a paper towel before you put them in the chamber. Excess water vapor can interfere with both sensors.
  • Use the BioChamber 250 as the sample chamber, and fully line the bottom with peas to maximize the number of peas in the chamber. Twenty-five peas work fine if you are just using the CO2 Gas Sensor. But we recommend using at least 40−50 peas if you want to see significant changes in oxygen concentration. This is very important, especially if you are using peas that have only been germinating for 12−24 hours.
  • Oxygen levels are very high in ambient air (20.9%) and your students are measuring a relatively small change in concentration over time in this experiment. This change will be much easier to observe if your students change the units to ppt or ppm. By following these suggestions, you and your students should get good results when using the CO2 and O2 Gas Sensors at the same time.

Spring 2014 Caliper

In the latest edition of The Caliper, we’re showcasing new products and experiment ideas in time for spring.

  • New Vernier Energy Sensor and Vernier Variable Load
  • New LabQuest Viewer for iPad
  • Vernier Motion Encoder System: Measurement of Jerk
  • Quantitatively Investigate Hydrogen and Helium Emissions
  • Demonstrate the Existence of Polyatomic Ions
  • Investigate How PAR Levels Influence Photosynthetic Rate
  • Tips and Tricks for Excellent Cellular Respiration Data
  • Winners: Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards and Vernier Engineering Contest
  • Job Opening at Vernier

Read it online or join our mailing list to have The Caliper delivered to your school or email twice a year.

Go Wireless Temp Receives “A+” From Scholastic Tech Tools Review

The probe’s output agreed to within a tenth of a degree with three thermometers and should be accurate enough for high-school students to use to build their own calorimeters in a chemistry or physics class while remaining easy enough for first graders to use to explore temperature.

Source: Scholastic Tech Tools Blog

Vernier Data Share and Plot.ly

Check out this screencast on how to extend the features of the Vernier Data Share app using Plot.ly. The procedure is especially valuable on Chromebooks, but works with regular computers as well.

The screencast demonstrates using Plot.ly to create a calculated column and a curve fit with data from a LabQuest 2. Users who would like to use this option can make a free account at the Plot.ly website.

Note that this screencast does not mention saving the data in Plot.ly, and that is an important step after creating a calculated column. To see the plot created in this screencast, go to https://plot.ly/~fpoodry/15/

Vernier Software & Technology does not provide technical support for Plot.ly, but we do offer technical support on Vernier Data Share and LabQuest 2.

Going Wild with Go Wireless Temp

While the merits of digital temperature probes are well known and the benefits of wireless peripherals have pushed the collaboration and creativity in the science classroom, the Go Wireless Temp has added a new dimension with its light weight, free app, and 30 meter range.

Source: NSTA Blog

Vernier/NSTA Technology Award 2014 Winners

Co-sponsored by Vernier and NSTA, The Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards recognized educators for their innovative use of data–collection technology. Christine and David Vernier presented each of this year’s winners with their awards at the NSTA conference in Boston. Each winner received $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier technology, and $1,500 toward expenses to attend the conference.

Read brief synopses of the 2014 award-winning entries »

Go Wireless Temp Is Shipping!

Go Wireless Temp

The Vernier Go Wireless Temp is a rugged, general-purpose, wireless temperature sensor you can use to remotely monitor temperature. Great for use with iPad and now shipping!

Go Wireless Temp »

Vernier Receives 14th “100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon” Award

100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon 2014 Award

Oregon Business Magazine named Vernier Software & Technology one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon.” This is our 14th year on the list, which is compiled by Oregon Business magazine.

The award is based on our comprehensive set of benefits, including health and wellness benefits, family-friendly policies, generous retirement plan, and a fun corporate culture.

This year, the editors of Oregon Business mentioned our Employee Appreciation Week:

During employee appreciation week, the owners of this maker of school science, engineering and math tools prepare breakfast for all, hand out prizes, roll in food carts and screen movies, among numerous festivities.

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