Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

2016 Vernier Engineering Contest Winners

Vernier Software & Technology sponsors a contest for educators to showcase creative uses of Vernier sensors to introduce engineering concepts or engineering practices.

Winner – High School

Build a Life Straw

Linda Rost

Baker High School
Baker, MT

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Linda Rost, a biology and chemistry teacher at Baker High School, Baker, MT, wanted to integrate engineering into her science classroom, along with all three dimensions of NGSS: Disciplinary Core Ideas, Science and Engineering Practices, and Cross Cutting Concepts. She challenged her students to design and test a water filter that could lower turbidity and correct low pH and high salinity. Each group was divided into subgroups of either scientists or engineers. The scientists tested each filtered sample to determine the effect on the three parameters (turbidity, pH, and salinity). The engineers used the information the scientists provided in order to design their filter. They produced and tested three prototypes.

Winner – College

Single-Material Bridge Challenge

Carol Hsu

Clark College
Vancouver, WA

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Carol Hsu, an instructor and College Department Chair of Engineering and Physics at Clark College, Vancouver, WA, has her students create and develop the rules for an engineering design competition every quarter. For fall 2015, students were tasked with building a bridge out of a single material to span a specified gap and to support a given load with a maximum deflection restriction of 3 cm. They used the Vernier Structures & Materials Tester with Logger Pro software for the competition. Each engineering class was given a different emphasis that aligned with the course materials. For example, the statics class focused on truss structure calculations. Some teams used 3D modeling software to design and analyze their bridge structures. One team used 3D printers to print the beams of their bridge. All students were required to demonstrate their understanding of the engineering design process.

Notable Entry – College

Forced Ocillations of a Rigid-Body Pendulum

Mario Gomes

Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, NY

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Mario Gomes at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, for his Forced Response of a Rigid-Body Pendulum activity in his third-year undergraduate Mechanical Engineering “Engineering Applications Lab.”

Notable Entry – High School

Pi in the Sky

Jeremy Peterson

Northern Lakes Regional Academy
Rice Lake, WI,

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Jeremy Peterson of Northern Lakes Regional Academy, Rice Lake, WI, had students send a helium balloon into the stratosphere so they could learn about environmental gasses and open-source hardware.

Notable Entry – High School

Solar Cell Challenge

Linda Rost

Baker High School
Baker, MT

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Linda Rost at Baker High School, Baker, MT, is the high school winner and also receives honorable mention for her second entry where she had her biology students create solar cells using extracted pigments from plants and berries.

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