Sharing the Wealth: UNC Wilmington’s Technology Loan Program
The University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (CESTEM) is committed to providing professional development opportunities for regional K–16 instructors and educational opportunities for regional K–12 students to improve the quality of pre-college STEM education. One of the ways we do this is through our technology loan program, which has benefitted thousands of students and teachers across the southeast portion of North Carolina. A key part of this loan program includes Vernier technology.
“Oftentimes, students use the technology independently for their own science and engineering fair projects.”
Servicing 13 counties in our region, some of which are more than two hours away, our technology loan program allows teachers to borrow various technologies, lab books, and more to use with their students. Teachers check out the equipment for two weeks—or longer if no one else has the equipment reserved after them—and often receive training on how to use it with their students. Teachers then bring the equipment back to their classrooms to engage students in hands-on, technology-enabled learning. Oftentimes, students use the technology independently for their own science and engineering fair projects.
“…Vernier has been one of the most popular technology choices among teachers in our region.”
Vernier technology has made a measurable difference in science learning at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. As a grant winner, we were fortunate to receive $10,000 worth of Vernier lab equipment to add to our growing technology collection. This provided a big boost to the program, and since then Vernier has been one of the most popular technology choices among teachers in our region. In the 2015-16 school year alone, we serviced a total of more than 570 teachers and 8,100 students through the program. And of those educators, more than a hundred of them checked out Vernier equipment—from LabQuests to Go!Links to Motion Detectors to various lab books—to use with a total of almost 1,500 students.
Programs such as ours help to improve STEM education and provide teachers and students with much needed access to technology for hands-on learning. As we continue to grow our program each year, we look forward to reaching more and more students of all ages.