The award, co-sponsored by Vernier and NSTA, is part of the NSTA Teacher Award Program. Each year, educators are recognized for their planned or current innovative use of data-collection technology.
Hominy Valley Elementary School, Candler, NC
Amy Atkinson created a project that focuses on healthy lifestyle choices in diet, exercise, and relaxation, which culminates with a fourth-grade health and wellness fair. As part of the project, students work with local health professionals to explore different facets of healthy living and use Vernier sensors to measure and collect real-time heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration data.
Northland Preparatory Academy, Flagstaff, AZ
To help students in grades 6–12 explore how climate change affects lichen growth and diversity, Susan Brown created a long-term research project in partnership with a local arboretum and Northern Arizona University. The project utilizes gardens along an elevation gradient, as well as an on-site one at the school. Students will use Vernier sensors to collect weather-related data from the gardens and then make their own observations and inferences about climate change and its effects.
Dennis Pevey, Jr.
eSTEM Public Charter School, Little Rock, AR
Dennis Pevey, Jr. engages his students in science education by infusing STEM concepts into projects that focus on the environmental issues impacting central Arkansas. In one particular project, students will create biofiltration units for the school’s parking garage to help prevent the leaching of chemicals into the Arkansas River. They will use Vernier Ion- Selective Electrodes and SpectroVis spectrophotometers to monitor and analyze water samples over a three-month period.
Poudre High School, Fort Collins, CO
During a project that introduces the physics of sound, Kristy Bibbey’s physics students—as well as a local musician—bring in an instrument that they play and use a Vernier Microphone to record sounds of various wavelengths. The data is shown in real time on the classroom’s whiteboard so that students can analyze data, recognize properties of a wavelength, and understand the inverse relationship between period and frequency.
The Pine School, Hobe Sound, FL
To help make kinematics and dynamics more accessible and relatable to students, Karlheinz Haas adapted a series of commonly used physics labs to incorporate the use of the TI-Nspire CX handheld in combination with Vernier sensors and TI-Nspire’s DataQuest software. These labs include a marble activity that teaches students about horizontal velocity and an investigation involving echoes that teaches students about the speed of sound.
William C. Overfelt High School, San Jose, CA
In Ann Shioji’s “Beauty and the Yeast” unit, students explore how chemicals affect their daily lives. At the beginning of the unit, students conduct preliminary research on the gestation period and respiration rates of yeast and then conduct a class investigation using a Vernier CO2 Gas Sensor to determine the rate of respiration of glucose by Saccharomyces to monitor a closed population of yeast. Then, students are provided the opportunity to design their own inquiry-based experiments to test the effects of chemicals on living yeast cells.
Muskingum University, New Concord, OH
Muskingum University partnered with the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District to assess the water quality in nearby Salt Creek Watershed. They used Vernier sensors and spectrometers, which were instrumental in helping students conduct a variety of analyses on these water samples. Through this partnership, students worked with local environmental professionals. The community won a grant for conservation efforts based on the water quality assessments.
Seven awards are available: one elementary, two middle school, three high school, and one college level. The awards, each valued at $5,500, include $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier technology, and up to $1,500 in expenses for attending the NSTA convention.
It's not too early to start planning your 2018 entry. Learn more »