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TI Graphing Calculators + Vernier Go Direct® Sensors = A Match Made in STEM!

What do science students get when teachers connect Vernier Go Direct® sensors with TI’s Python-capable graphing calculators? An easy-to-use, portable and wireless data collection system that gets them more engaged in their learning!

This combination of learning tools provides fantastic opportunities for students to think like real scientists and explore phenomena in more ways. Here are some of the key benefits of connecting Vernier sensors to TI technology, and how teachers can get students started collecting, analyzing and understanding data directly from their calculators.

Collecting data with TI graphing calculators and Vernier sensors empowers students to dive deeper into the world of exploration and discovery.

Working in collaboration with Vernier Science Education™ for decades, TI graphing calculators have long supported the use of Vernier LabQuest® sensors and the Vernier EasyTemp® sensor. This combination is made possible with the help of the Vernier EasyData® App for the TI-84 Plus family of graphing calculators and the Vernier DataQuest® App for TI-Nspire™ technology.

Now, TI graphing calculators have the capability to connect with Go Direct sensors, providing customers even more options for fast and accurate data collection. It’s made possible, in part, due to TI’s newly released Go Direct Python module, the first in a series of releases that will enable the use of Vernier’s popular line of wireless sensors.

Connect Go Direct sensors to TI graphing calculators for fast data collection.

Why collect data with TI graphing calculators in the first place? One reason is their ruggedness and lightweight portability. Science students are free to take them outside in the field without worrying about them getting damaged, and TI calculators typically fit in smaller spaces such as on lab benches, too. Plus, it’s a nice benefit to be able to use the same, familiar technology most of the students already use in their math classes and on high-stakes exams.

More data collection options to get students thinking like scientists

TI’s Go Direct Python module offers science teachers the ability to have students use TI graphing calculators to collect data from Vernier Go Direct sensors. Sample programs are readily available, so no coding is required.

For STEM, computer science or science teachers looking for a more coding-focused learning experience, giving students the ability to create their own data collection programs with Python is a unique way to engage them in the learning process. It also offers them a chance to be more independent in how they decide to explore phenomena.

The TI Bluetooth® Adapter enables TI graphing calculators to connect wirelessly to Go Direct sensors.

In this first release, you will be able to use TI-84 Plus CE Python or TI-Nspire™ CX II graphing calculators with any one of six Go Direct sensors. In addition to the Go Direct Python module, be sure to get the TI Bluetooth® Adapter to enable compatibility.

Connect select Go Direct sensors to graphing calculators with the TI Bluetooth® Adapter.

Currently, TI supports these Vernier Go Direct sensors:

The Vernier Go Direct® Motion Detector lets student have fun measuring the position, velocity, and acceleration of moving objects.

Use a prewritten program or provide a coding opportunity for students

It’s easy to start collecting data right away with the help of preexisting programs already created for you. If you’re new to coding and interested in learning the basics, it won’t take long to learn the skills you’ll need to write your own program.

Either way, when you start collecting your own data, it will be stored on the graphing calculator under variables and will be accessible in most of the other calculator apps (for TI-Nspire™ CX II technology) or lists (for the TI-84 Plus CE Python).

Try a simple program that collects 100 samples over 100 seconds.

TI’s Go Direct Python module has some nice flexibility in that a student could create a system that collects data and presents it as a meter or graph. They can programmatically customize their data collection experiment with a defined number of data samples, duration, and/or rate of collection.

Students can establish whether or not their experiment is based on time or number of events. They can also choose which channel they want to collect for Go Direct sensors that feature multiple channels (example: The Force and Acceleration Sensor has seven channels).

Menu options of the Go Direct Python module for TI-Nspire™ CX II graphing calculators.
Menu options of the Go Direct Python module for the TI-84 Plus CE Python.

Five steps to connect your TI graphing calculator to Go Direct sensors

There are a few simple steps required to set up data collection with TI’s Go Direct Python module. Before getting started, make sure to update your graphing calculator’s operating system (OS) to the latest version.

1. Get a TI Bluetooth® Adapter

As previously mentioned, the first step is to get the TI Bluetooth® Adapter. It’s required for the Vernier Go Direct® sensors to work with a Python-capable TI graphing calculator. Ensure the TI Bluetooth Adapter has the latest sketch (i.e. firmware) on it by following the instructions on the webpage.

2. Download the module(s) to your calculator

Next, download the module(s) and sample programs to your calculator from

3. Install the modules into the Python editor

  • TI-Nspire™ CX II graphing calculator users: You’ll need to install the module once it’s on your handheld. To do this, open the file (example: Go_Direct.tns) and follow the on-screen instructions.
Installing any Python module on TI-Nspire™ CX II is always the same process.
  • TI-84 Plus CE Python users: The module will now be available in any Python program that you create under the “Add-On” tab. Simply use the Add-On option whenever you need to import that module’s functionality for your program.
This screen is under “Modul” displayed in the top menu. The Add-On tab is at the bottom.

Selecting Add-On displays the list of available modules on the calculator.

4. Pair your TI Bluetooth® Adapter to a Go Direct sensor

Once the module(s) are loaded and installed, and the TI Bluetooth® Adapter is up to date and plugged into your calculator, you can configure/pair your sensor by running the module “GDX_CNFG” for the TI-84 Plus CE Python, or “Go_Direct.tns” for TI-Nspire CX II graphing calculator.

The configuration program will walk you through pairing the TI Bluetooth® Adapter to the sensor.

5. Code and collect data

There are several helpful videos you can watch about creating a program and collecting data.

Getting Started with the CXII and Go Direct Sensors
Getting started with the TI-Nspire™ CX II graphing calculator.
TI-84 Plus CE Python Calculator and Vernier Science Education GDX Wireless Sensors
Getting started with the TI-84 Plus CE Python.

These steps are also available on our webpage, or you can watch the on-demand webinar featuring Founder and Co-President of Vernier Science Edcuation™, Dave Vernier, and the creator of TI’s Go Direct Python module, Fred Fotsch.

Webinar: Vernier Go Direct Sensors + TI Graphing Calculators = A Match Made in STEM!
Watch the on-demand webinar for step-by-step directions.

New! TI Now Supports Vernier DataQuest App with Go Direct Sensors

Prefer an app-based approach to data collection? Students can now use six supported Vernier Go Direct sensors with the Vernier DataQuest® application on TI-Nspire CX II and TI-Nspire CX II CAS graphing calculators! Connect any compatible Go Direct sensor wirelessly using the TI Bluetooth® Adapter or directly through USB.

Get started by downloading the latest operating system for free on your TI-Nspire CX II or TI-Nspire CX II CAS graphing calculator.

The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Texas Instruments is under license. Go Direct, LabQuest, DataQuest, Vernier EasyData and Vernier EasyTemp are registered trademarks of Vernier Science Education™.

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