Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

2017 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

Sound Proofing Box

Carl Stoltz

Hononegah High School
Rockton, IL

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Carl Stoltz, an engineering, physical science, and physics teacher at Hononegah High School in Rockton, Illinois, wanted to integrate NGSS HS-PS4-1 (use mathematical representations to support a claim regarding relationships among frequency, wavelength, and speed of waves traveling in various media) into both his conceptual and general physics classes. He created a project for learning the physics of sound waves while practicing engineering principles. The project challenges the students to reduce the intensity of a sound travelling through a box, as measured by a Vernier Sound Level Sensor. Groups of 4 to 5 students spend 3 to 4 days researching materials, testing decibel levels, logging results, and brainstorming ideas to iterate their box design. The project ends with all groups testing their final design and explaining their materials and reasoning. He believes the low cost and flexibility of this project allows it to fit the needs of any physics class level.

Winner – Middle School

Baby Saver 2000

Tate Rector

Beebe Junior High
Beebe, AR

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Tate Rector, an engineering and Project Lead The Way teacher at Beebe Junior High in Beebe, Arkansas, has his students attempt to solve a problem facing their community. One group of students wanted to design a safety device for cars that warns operators when the interior is becoming too hot for infants. After performing research on this potential life-threatening condition, the students had to define the problem, generate concepts, and document ideas. Once they chose a method to pursue, they began iterating design prototypes. They used a range of technology, including a Vernier Temperature Probe, LEGO® EV3, and Arduino™ hardware. In addition, they created some 3-D printed parts to help attach the parts to an infant’s car seat. They completed the project with a presentation video that he says highlights not only how much they learned, but also that they have the ability to solve problems in the world using technology that is readily available.

Notable Entry – High School

Soaring to New Heights in Environmental Science

William Anderson

St. Louis University High School
St. Louis, MO

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William Anderson at St. Louis University High School in St. Louis, Missouri, will be launching a weather balloon twice each school year to understand the structure and function of the atmosphere and to investigate seasonal and altitudinal changes in atmospheric conditions.

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