LabQuest 2 app was selected as a finalist in the Best Educational Use of a Mobile Device category for the 2013 CODiE Awards! The category recognizes the best curriculum or administrative application, designed for either PK-12 or postsecondary markets, that is delivered via mobile devices, including smartphones or tablets.
In order to prolong the life of your Mini GC (original or Plus), or to prevent having to send it in for repair, make sure you note the following best practices.
After receiving your Mini GC, it is best to begin with at least one experiment from the experiment book that accompanies the instrument. This will give you the best idea of compounds that come out cleanest, along with their temperature/pressure profiles.
The Hamilton syringe that is shipped with the device has a brown plastic bumper guard on the needle, also known as a needle stop. Do NOT remove this guard. Injections go straight into the column, and you can damage the instrument by forcing the syringe too far into the device.
Make sure you have referred to the list of acceptable compounds in the user guide before attempting to inject new compounds.
If you inject samples that contain more than 5% water, you will shorten the life of the detector, or you may ruin it altogether. To get the longest life out of your Mini GC, only inject between 0.2 and 0.3 μL of a pure organic sample, or 0.4–0.6 μL of a mixture of organic compounds.
If you have a particular gas chromatography application in mind, but you are not quite sure if it is appropriate for the Mini GC or Mini GC Plus, please call Vernier Technical Support at 1-888-VERNIER and ask to speak with a chemist. You can also email us at email@example.com
However, you can’t just mix hydrogen peroxide with a few drops of baker’s yeast and expect to get repeatable results every time. The amount of enzyme in a drop of yeast suspension depends on the number of yeast cells in each drop. This will depend on how long the yeast have grown and where the students pull each drop from the suspension. To get consistent results each time, the instructor must proof the yeast at least an hour in advance.
In addition, the suspension should be placed on a stir plate and students should pull samples from the middle of the suspension. Our resident biologists have revisited this experiment and found that purified catalase enzyme can be substituted for the yeast suspension in this exercise. This is an excellent option for investigating the effect of enzyme concentration. This is also a very cost-effective solution, as 1 g of catalase will provide enough enzyme for more than 4000 trials!
Purified catalase enzyme can be purchased from Flinn Scientific, Ward’s Natural Science, or Sigma-Aldrich. The concentration of enzyme varies from 2000–5000 units/mg and depends on the bottle.
You can mix up a stock solution of the enzyme in water. Make a stock solution of 1000 units/1 mL. For a step-by-step video on how to do this, visit Flinn’s web site.
If you are using the O2 Gas Sensor for this investigation, use 0.5 mL (5 drops) of 1000 units/1 mL catalase solution for the preliminary activity. Add the enzyme to a 250 mL Nalgene bottle first, then add 10 mL of 3% H2O2. Start data collection immediately.
If you are using the G as Pressure S ensor for this investigation, use 1 drop of 200 units/mL catalase for the preliminary activity. Add the enzyme to a 20 mL test tube or 15 mL conical tube first, then add 6 mL of 3% H2O2. Start data collection immediately.
If students are investigating enzyme concentration as an independent variable, make 100 units/mL, 1000 units/mL, and 2000 units/mL enzyme solutions.
If students are investigating substrate concentration, start with 6% H2O2 instead of 3% H2O2. This can be ordered from Flinn Scientific, Ward’s Natural Science, or Sigma-Aldrich.
Store the catalase powder as instructed. Enzyme activity may decrease from year to year, but will remain viable for up to three years.
By using these tips, you and your students will have greater success in your inquiry investigations on catalase.
Vernier Software & Technology sponsored a contest for educators to show how they are using Vernier sensors with National Instruments LabVIEW software to introduce STEM concepts, teach LabVIEW programming, or perform engineering labs in the classroom.
The prizes for the winners included $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier technology, and $1,500 toward expenses to attend the 2013 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
Now that neuroscience is a topic covered in one of the “big ideas” in the new AP Biology curriculum, many teachers have been asking how Vernier sensors can be used to teach concepts related to neuroscience.
NSTA recently reviewed our LabQuest 2 interface in their publication, The Science Teacher. Reviewer Edwin Christmann found LabQuest 2 to be “an outstanding tool to engage students in scientific inquiry.”
“In my opinion, its reasonable price and ease of use make the LabQuest 2 a valuable tool for students conducting scientific investigations. It can help motivate them toward greater science achievement. If you’re interested in a versatile and cost-effective tool that is user friendly, look no further than Vernier’s LabQuest 2.”
NSTA recently reviewed our Logger Pro 3 software and Go!Motion sensor in their publication, The Science Scope. Reviewer Seth Guiñals-Kupperman praised the system’s ease of use and versatility.
“Between the interface to the software and number of possible applications, this is one of the most modular and versatile tools of scientific investigation a physics teacher is likely to encounter.”
“Putting it all together, if you want a device that just
works for you, no questions asked, I would strongly recommend the Go!Motion sensor from Vernier. It’s great as a stand-alone product because of its USB functionality, but will also be backwards compatible if you do have older Vernier hardware on hand. Logger Pro allows students and teachers to have a very straightforward analysis of the data you collect in lab. It’s a lot of bang for the buck, and a site license costs as much as do many companies’ single-user licenses. Not only that, but when you call tech support, you might even be speaking with Dave Vernier himself.”
Vernier teamed up with a local organization, the Business Education Compact (BEC), to bring the joy of engineering to local students at Vose Elementary in Beaverton, Oregon. Volunteers from Vernier spent time in the fifth-grade classroom answering the questions, “What is engineering?” and “What do engineers design?”
Students at this neighborhood Title I school then had the opportunity to build a Tower of Power, test how much load their structure could hold, redesign, and then rebuild.
Volunteers from Vernier included Dr. Elaine Nam, Kristen Nelson, John Tate, Felix Rodriguez, Joe Sauer, Pam Lam, and Daylene Long.
Dear Vernier Engineers,
I didn’t know engineers made such simple things like chairs and tables. I really, really enjoyed having you in our classroom. I think engineers are sooooo cool, because without you guys we wouldn’t have parks or houses.
I might want to be an engineer when I group up, so that I could invent or make better stuff.
Dear Vernier Engineers,
I had a very fun time building the towers. You guys coming into my class was something I’d been waiting for. It was really fun getting to construct shapes and build a tower. My group really messed up but we learned a lot. I really appreciate you guys coming.
After you guys came I’m now considering being an engineer in the future. I love constructing things. Since I had so much fun the day you guys came to my classroom, I think one day I would really enjoy being an engineer.
Now that evolution is one of the “big ideas” in the new AP Biology curriculum, many teachers have been asking how our sensors can be used to teach concepts in evolution.
With this in mind, our Biology staff scientist, John Melville, developed several innovative ways to investigate evolution using Vernier products for Darwin’s birthday on February 12th. All of these investigations can be found in our Investigating Biology through Inquiry lab book.
Evolution-related Activities from Investigating Biology through Inquiry