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.
Goldsboro Elementary Magnet School, Sanford, FL
Goldsboro Elementary Magnet School’s Space Lab engages students in thinking about space science and working as scientists, astronauts, and engineers. Space Lab teacher Rachel Hallett-Njuguna will have students in grades K–5 model complex systems, such as a Mars habitat, using LabQuest 2 devices and an assortment of Vernier sensors to collect authentic data.
Richmond Hill Middle School, Richmond Hill, GA
Science teacher Robert Hodgdon engages students in real-world ecological investigations to help them develop STEM career readiness skills. An example of this includes students using Vernier data-collection technology, such as a pH sensor, to understand the biotic and abiotic factors relevant to their local habitats such as tidal marshes, ephemeral wetlands, and relic forests.
McCormick Junior High School, Huron, OH
Leah LaCrosse believes it is important for students to understand the short- and long-term implications of being responsible citizen scientists in the community. As such, 8th graders will participate in a year-long project that involves the use of Vernier technology to collect air, water, and soil samples to study the community’s impact on nearby Lake Erie.
Richardson High School, Richardson, TX
As part of a STEM-based project, George Hademenos challenged his students to design, model, construct, test, and navigate a robotic vehicle. Students used the ROAVEE (Remotely Operated Amphibious Vehicle for Environmental Exploration), which was equipped with Vernier sensors, to collect environmental data from areas not easily or safely accessible to students, such as in a lake and inside a drainage tunnel.
Los Fresnos High School, Los Fresnos, TX
As a teacher at a predominately Hispanic, economically-disadvantaged school, Misty Heredia believes expanded access to hands-on technology will help all students improve their comprehension and district assessment scores. Heredia plans to engage her physics students in various inquiry-based investigations utilizing Vernier technology, including an “Impulse and Falling Cell Phones” activity in which students design labs based on their experiences with broken cell phones due to accidental falls.
Kearney High School, Kearney, NE
The collection and analysis of data is a crucial component of the learning environment in Bob Talbitzer’s high school biology classroom. To understand how oxygen is correlated to the creation of energy at the cellular level, students will use Vernier technology to design a fish respirometer that allow them to collect and analyze data on goldfish oxygen usage in water currents of different velocities.
Southern Vermont College Bennington, VT
Assistant professor Marielle Postava-Davignon plans to implement a long-term ecological study in which students will map the campus’ maple trees and track how climate change will affect the trees and their syrup production. Student will use Vernier technology to measure soil moisture and temperature, soil pH, air humidity and temperature, and more, as well as to track the amount of photosynthetically active radiation available to the trees.
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.
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