Vernier Software & Technology supported educators as they develop the next generation of engineers and scientists with the Vernier Engineering Award. The annual award was presented to one educator who is innovatively using Vernier products to introduce engineering concepts or engineering practices with students.
The winner received $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier products, and $1,500 toward expenses to attend an upcoming National Science Teachers’ Association (NSTA) STEM conference or an upcoming American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) conference.
Project description: In Manhattan Catholic School’s project, students utilized sensors to create an automatic watering system attached to a rain barrel. The students were given a Vernier Soil Moisture Sensor and paired it with a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robotics kit. The students then designed a robot that would open a valve once the soil moisture minimum threshold was reached. The robot was also programmed to close the valve once the maximum threshold was reached.
2021 Honorable Mention
Nels Lawrence, Instructor, Kaukauna High School, Kaukauna, Wisconsin
Project description: Kaukauna High School’s project involves introducing students to programmable logic control (PLC) through a simulation of predictive failure. Students gather vibration data using a Vernier Accelerometer attached to a small electric motor and set an alarm using the Vernier Digital Control Unit. When a vibration is detected above a threshold an LED lights up, alerting the operator of a potential issue. “The simulation of rotating machinery at different speeds and with an induced problem helps students understand multiple mechanical engineering problems as well as data acquisition and processing.”