A place for insight, inspiration, and experiments.
This year marks 40 years of business for Vernier Software & Technology—a true milestone, to say the least. The company now serves a countless number of educators and students around the world, has more than 100 employees, and partners with leading organizations in education and science. But Dave and Christine Vernier never imagined the company would become what it is today when it all started back in the summer of 1981.
Educators are always looking for ways to incorporate new technology into their teaching. It’s precisely for this reason that in the late seventies our co-founder Dave Vernier started tinkering with programming using the new Apple II computer, which was released in 1977 and gave way to the widespread use of computers in homes, schools, and offices.
Based on the sheer amount of marketing emails and sales calls received on a weekly—or even daily—basis, district leaders can surely attest to the seemingly countless number of technologies on the market today. But just how big is the edtech industry?
It’s true that Dave and Christine Vernier started the company in 1981 to help share Dave’s educational software programs with other educators, but he was able to do that this particular summer because he struggled to find a second job in between school years.
As the Science and STEM Resource Teacher for the Kailua-Kalāheo Complex Area in Hawaii, Ryan Kagami was used to helping teachers find new ways to engage students with science and math. But helping with NGSS integration was a far bigger challenge.
The robotics program that Lee founded doesn’t just set students up for success in college. It gives them valuable experience applying what they know to solve real-world problems.
Ford won a 2020 Vernier/NSTA Technology Award for a project that challenged his pre-engineering students to work through the engineering design process to develop and build a class set of infrared photogates. Each student-designed photogate used a microcontroller coupled with an organic LED display as the interface, as well as an infrared source and detector circuits.
The Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) was founded nearly 14 years ago to help Asian-heritage professionals in the scientific and engineering fields achieve their full potential. Through its rich programming and events, it has continued to support these individuals in a number of ways, including helping members celebrate their Asian heritage, advocate for diversity on campus and in the workplace, and give back to the community.
For environmental engineer Camille Rivera, protecting the environment has always been a top priority. She is from Puerto Rico and growing up on an island taught her how big an impact events such as hurricanes can have on the environment.
The Teacher-Friendly Guide™ to Climate Change, a textbook released by the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI), was published with an ambitious goal: to get into the hands of every public high school science teacher in the country.
Climate change is the cause of a number of devastating consequences facing our planet. However, one often overlooked problem keeping the environmental science community busy right now is ocean acidification.
Introducing renewable energy concepts to students is essential when teaching them how to combat climate change. Learning about renewable energy helps students apply principles in engineering, technology, and science to cultivate sustainable energy resources for the world.
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing our world. Combating this crisis will require a truly collaborative effort at every level if our society is going to ensure a healthy and vibrant planet for generations to come.
Tyson Vrbas is always seeking out new and interesting ways to engage his middle school students in robotics, a subject he has now taught for 20 years at Manhattan Catholic Schools in Manhattan, Kansas. When he learned about the Vernier Engineering Award, he wanted his submission to demonstrate student collaboration on a robotics project that also connected to the real world.
Have you noticed more greenery such as grass and trees planted around—and even on top of—new buildings in urban areas? Engineers and architects are leading these efforts to help combat a scientific phenomenon called the heat island.
Last March, when the pandemic forced so many educators to pivot to remote teaching overnight, everything changed. There were myriad logistical issues to deal with, but one of the most important things that changed was the ability to gauge how well students were engaged with their studies.
Each year, we partner with NSTA to give out the Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards to educators who are using data-collection technology in engaging, innovative ways in the classroom.
Assessments could be intimidating and didn’t take into account the ways students had practiced communicating their understanding in the preceding lessons. The way assessment was implemented often felt exclusionary for some students, especially those who struggled with historically limited modalities of teaching.
According to author and education expert Page Keeley, formative assessment is one of the most effective strategies for improving the opportunity for all students to learn. This teaching tool gives educators valuable information to design their lessons to meet their students’ needs. However, some teachers may struggle with how to use formative assessment as a vital part of their everyday instruction.
Formative assessment can provide a powerful way to help science educators drive their instruction and, in turn, help students succeed. But, what exactly does this look like in today’s educational environment? How can educators leverage technology and incorporate hands-on science as part of the assessment process?
We spoke with four students at Montgomery Blair High School—a STEM magnet school in Silver Spring, Maryland—about their studies, their STEM passions, and how they are working to change STEM for the better.
Sharon Delesbore started her career in coaching, then decided to step into the biology classroom in honor of the teacher that changed her life. As she worked her way into leadership roles, she noticed less and less diversity. She decided that she was going to change that.
Dr. Shamaria Engram made history by becoming the first Black woman to graduate from the University of South Florida’s Computer Science and Engineering doctoral program. Getting a PhD wasn’t her original plan; Dr. Engram had hoped she’d become an FBI agent.
We had the opportunity to chat with OABSE President Kevin Bacon, who believes that equity in education is so important because rooting out the systemic inequitable practices within public and private education is foundational to the survival of our democracy.
Dr. Calvin Mackie, the first Black tenured engineering professor at Tulane University, understands the opportunity education offers historically underserved youth.
“The more hands-on engineering experiences students receive at a younger age, the more they’ll understand that STEM careers are accessible to them,” said Bayonet. “I know I personally would have flourished if I had this type of learning opportunity and exposure to technology when I was in elementary or middle school.”