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Vernier Spectral Analysis 4 is Available!

Screenshot of Spectral Analysis 4

Spectral Analysis 4 is a powerful, new app that makes it easy to collect spectroscopy data with the Vernier Go Direct SpectroVis® Plus and other Vernier spectrophotometers. Simply connect a spectrometer, launch the app, and follow the intuitive interface to collect data. After data collection is complete, built-in curve fits and statistical‑analysis tools allow your students to quickly analyze their data.

Spectral Analysis for Chromebook is available in the Chrome Web Store. Download Spectral Analysis for your macOS® or Windows® computers from our website.

Download Spectral Analysis 4 »

Pivot Interactives Wins an ISTE 2017 Best of Show Award

Tech & Learning's ISTE Best of Show 2017 Award

Pivot Interactives was named a winner of Tech & Learning’s ISTE 2017 Best of Show Awards, which recognize standout products on display at the ISTE Conference & Expo. Winning products were selected by a panel of judges who rated their impressions on a sliding scale and then collectively decided which technologies could have the most impact in the classroom.

Unlike animated simulations, the Pivot Interactives high-resolution videos incorporate authentic experiences and data to help students learn physics. These classroom-ready, student-driven, open-ended investigations provide teachers with experiments that would otherwise be impossible, unsafe, impractical, or time consuming to set up for hands-on student instruction.

Learn more about Pivot Interactives »

Free Download for Climate Change Investigations

To help science and STEM educators teach students about the importance of climate change, we are offering four free inquiry investigations focused on climate change.

The investigations available in the zip file include:

Inquiry investigations include a preliminary student activity, extensive teacher information, suggested researchable questions, and sample data.

In addition, we offer a full range of experiments for all grade levels in our renewable energy lab books, including Renewable Energy with Vernier, Investigating Wind Energy, and Investigating Solar Energy. As part of our brainstorming process, we grouped several activities from these and other Vernier lab books into a shared google doc.

If you would like more information about probeware-related climate science activities, sign up to receive updates.

How to Collect Data from a Fidget Spinner and a Photogate

Animated GIF of fidget spinner spinning

By Dave Vernier

Like most people, I have heard the buzz about “fidget spinners”, so I could not resist buying one and taking some data with it. Here is a graph of data collected using Logger Pro, LabQuest Mini, and a Photogate.

Graph of a fidget spinner slowing down
A fidget spinner slowing down

To set up the experiment, I placed the fidget spinner on a LabQuest Mini so that the spokes trigger the photogate as the spinner spins.

Experiment setup with Photogate, LabQuest Mini, and fidget spinner

I opened the Pendulum Timer.cmbl file found in Experiment Files > Probes & Sensors > Photogates, which is included with every copy of Logger Pro. I chose the pendulum experiment file because I wanted to measure the time from the leading edge of one of the three spokes to the leading edge of the next spoke and wanted to skip the hole on each spoke.

The graph shows the period, which in this case is proportional to the inverse of the angular speed of the spinner.

Other things you could graph:

  • The angular speed of the spinner as a function of time—use that to determine the angular acceleration of the spinner to estimate how long it will spin from any starting speed.
  • Peak speeds as you start the spinner with different techniques—what technique gives the highest angular velocity?

There are lots of good discussion of the science of fidget spinners on the internet. Here are two articles by Rhett Allain, author of Geek Physics, and a 3D-printed photogate mount Steve Dickie designed for collecting data from fidget spinners.

LabQuest 1.7.6 Update

We’re pleased to release the latest update for Original LabQuest. The version 1.7.6 update is free and recommended for all LabQuest users.

New Features and Enhancements

Support for Go Direct SpectroVis Plus (USB connection only)

Download LabQuest 1.7.6 Update »

Vernier Sponsors 2017 National KidWind Challenge

To encourage hands-on learning and student innovation, Vernier is sponsoring the 2017 National KidWind Challenge in which students will create and test hand-crafted wind turbines. For the challenge, teams of students in grades 4–12 will compete at the AWEA WINDPOWER 2017 Conference & Exhibition for the chance to win the grand prize of $1,000 cash, second place prize of $500 cash, and third place prize of $250 cash.

Vernier also sponsored the 2016 National KidWind Challenge where a total of 49 student teams built wind turbines, tested the energy output of their turbines, presented their design to judges, and performed several “Instant Challenges.” The 2016 winners were

High School Division

  • First Place: It’s Electrifying from Raisbeck Aviation High School in Tukwila, WA
  • Second Place: Catch My Drift from Raisbeck Aviation High School in Tukwila, WA
  • Third Place: 404 Name Not Found from The Hutchins School in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Middle School Division

  • First Place: Team Alpha Eagle from Minnetonka Middle School West in Chanhassen, MN
  • Second Place: High Voltage from Jack Jouett Middle School in Charlottesville, VA
  • Third Place: The Turbinators from Broadalbin-Perth Middle School in Amsterdam, NY

Learn more about the 2017 National KidWind Challenge and how to get involved »

Logger Pro 3.14 Update

Logger Pro 3.14 is now available for download. Logger Pro 3.14 is a free update to all Logger Pro 3 users.

Version 3.14 Features

Download the update »

LabQuest 2.7.2 Update

We’re pleased to release the latest update for LabQuest 2. The version 2.7.2 update is free and recommended for all LabQuest users. Download LabQuest 2.7.2 Update »

Vernier in the Journals (Spring 2017)

  • More than Meets the Eye – Infrared Cameras in Open-Ended University Thermodynamics Labs

    Emil Melander, Jesper Haglund, Matthias Weiszflog, and Staffan Andersson; Uppsala University, Sweden, The Physics Teacher, Vol. 54, No. 9, December 2016.

    This article shows the advantages of using IR cameras and explains five laboratory assignments to have your students investigate. While the authors used IR cameras costing between $500 and $1500, we think these topics can be investigated with our FLIR ONE camera for less than half the price. Also, our free iOS app, Thermal Analysis, would do a great job on the analysis.

  • Video Analysis on Tablet Computers to Investigate Effects of Air Resistance

    Sebastian Becker, Pascal Klein, and Jochen Kuhn; University of Kaiserslautern, Germany, The Physics Teacher, Vol. 54, No. 7, October 2016.

    The authors use video analysis and our Graphical Analysis for iOS to study falling coffee filters and terminal velocity. They demonstrate it is possible to show that the square of the terminal velocity is proportional to the mass of the falling object.

  • The Physics of Juggling a Spinning Ping-Pong Ball

    Ralf Widenhorn; Portland State University, American Journal of Physics, Volume 84, No 12, page 936, December 2016.

    Dr. Widenhorn does a thorough analysis of the act of juggling a ping-pong ball by using precise paddle angle and ball spin. He uses Logger Pro video analysis and our Dual-Range Force Sensor to measure the friction force between the ball and the paddle.

  • Titration and HPLC Characterization of Kombucha Fermentation: A Laboratory Experiment in Food Analysis

    Breanna Miranda, Nicole M. Lawton, Sean R. Tachibana, Natasja A. Swartz, and W. Paige Hall; J. Chem. Educ., 2016, 93, 1770–1775.

    The authors describe an experiment performed by their students to determine the fermentation kinetics of kombucha tea over a 21-day process. As the tea is fermenting, acetic acid is forming. Students took samples of fermenting kombucha every 2–4 days and titrated them with standardized 0.1 M sodium hydroxide solution using the Vernier pH Sensor and Logger Pro software. The class data were then shared in a Google Doc and a plot of total acid content as a function of fermentation time was produced.

  • Kinetic Explorations of the Candy-Cola Soda Geyser

    Trevor P. T. Sims and Thomas S. Kuntzleman; J. Chem. Educ., 2016, 93, 1809–1813.

    The physical and chemical concepts and processes involving change in CO2 concentration, mass, and pH as they apply to the NISD (nucleation-induced soda degassing) of carbonated soft drinks with Mentos® candy are studied. The author and his students carried out numerous experiments to set up and monitor these changes using a Vernier CO2 Gas Sensor, an OHAUS® balance using Logger Pro software, and a pH sensor. Arrhenius plots were also done to determine the activation energy, Ea, for the change.

  • Speed of Sound in Gases Measured by in Situ Generated White Noise

    Michael J. DeLomba, Michael D. Hernandez, and John J. Stankus; J. Chem. Educ., 2016, 93, 1961–1964.

    The authors present a student experiment to measure the speed of sound in various common gases as they generate white noise inside an acoustic tube. They mounted a Vernier Microphone to a sliding adapter on the side of their PVC tubular resonator. Then, data were collected using Vernier LabQuest 2. Fourier transform analysis was done using LabQuest 2 and after data were imported into Logger Pro software on computers. The results indicate a much lower percent error for the speed of sound than during experiments done in 2014 using a phase comparison technique that used a single frequency.

  • Measuring CO2: Students Learn Firsthand How Thawing Permafrost Adds to Global Warming

    Bruce Taterka and Rose M. Cory; The Science Teacher, 2016, 83(9), 29-35.

    The authors present an experiment for students to explore the phenomenon that thawing permafrost contributes to global warming due to carbon dioxide release. Students first measure the rate of cellular respiration of microbes in thawing permafrost or garden soil using a CO2 Gas Sensor. Students then go into the field to carry out their own investigation of carbon flux using the CO2 Gas Sensor in both terrestrial and aquatic environments.

  • The Microscopic World of Diatoms

    Molly Sultany and Rebecca Bixby; The Science Teacher, 2016, 83(8), 55–63.

    This article describes a class investigation exploring the link between diatom populations and fresh water quality. Students measure water quality data at a variety of locations while also collecting diatom samples. The diatoms are processed, visualized, and classified. Students then correlate the diatoms present with different levels of water quality at each site.

  • Measuring Metabolism: Examining the Effects of Temperature on the Metabolic Rates of Beetles

    Angela Chapman, Aaron Chila, Tracy McAllister, and Victor Aguilar; The Science Teacher, 2016, 83(7), 55–60.

    This article describes a laboratory activity in which students determine the effect of temperature on the metabolic rates of bess beetles. Using a CO2 Gas Sensor, students measure the production of CO2 from beetles at 4°C, 25°C, and 32°C. From this data, students then mathematically determine the metabolic rate of the beetles.

  • “Greening” a Familiar General Chemistry Experiment: Coffee Cup Calorimetry to Determine the Enthalpy of Neutralization of an Acid-Base Reaction and the Specific Heat Capacity of Metals

    A. M. R. P. Bopegedera and K. Nishanthi R. Perera; J. Chem. Educ., Articles ASAP (As Soon As Publishable).

    The authors investigate the use of paper cup calorimeters to replace polysteyrene foam and a measure to reduce the impact on landfills and the environment. Experiments tested were heat of neutralization of acids and bases and heat capacity of metals. They suggest that polysteyrene foam could also be replaced in experiments such as heat of sublimation of dry ice, heat of decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, heat of formation of magnesium oxide, and other chemical and physical changes traditionally involving constant pressure calorimeters that use polysteyrene foam cups. Data were collected with Vernier Stainless Steel Temperature Probes interfaced to a computer through LabQuest 2. Their results were comparable to those they tested side by side with polysteyrene foam and concluded that paper cups were a good alternative.

  • Naked-Eye Detection of Reversible Protein Folding and Unfolding in Aqueous Solution

    Tess M. Carlson, Kevin W. Lam, Carol W. Lam, Jimmy Z. He, James H. Maynard, and Silvia Cavagnero; J. Chem. Educ., 2017, 94, 350–355.

    The authors describe a demonstration to help students with the concept of folding and unfolding proteins. They varied the pH, temperature, and cosolutes to see how the fluorescence of bovine serum albumin (BSA) in the presence of 8-anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonate (ASA) changes. They used Vernier pH Sensors and Logger Pro software to monitor the effect of pH on the fluorescence, noting that at pH of 6.5 to 7.5 the solutions fluoresce brightly. Fluorescence dims considerably over pH of 10 and below pH of 3.5.

  • Improving Student Results in the Crystal Violet Chemical Kinetics Experiment

    Nathanael Kazmierczak and Douglas A. Vander Griend;J. Chem. Educ., 2017, 94, 61–66.

    Many high school chemistry teachers use this familiar reaction to help teach chemical kinetics. The authors of this article provide some insight and suggestions on how to minimize or avoid common errors students make as a result of chemical flooding, solution concentration errors, signal processing errors (which the authors noted was reduced if Logger Pro was used to process the data), spectrometer limitations, and interference from particulates formed by the reaction of OH and crystal violet. The authors did most of the experimental work for this article using a Vernier SpectroVis Plus Spectrophotometer and Logger Pro software. They said that for data analysis they preferred Logger Pro over Excel.

Winners of the Vernier $5,500 Engineering Grant

Congratulations to the 2017 winners! Vernier Software & Technology sponsors a contest for educators who creatively use Vernier sensors to introduce engineering concepts or engineering practices to their students. The prizes for the winners include $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier technology, and $1,500 toward expenses to attend either the NSTA STEM conference or the ASEE conference.

  • Carl Stoltz Hononegah High School, Rockton, IL
  • Tate Rector Beebe Junior High, Beebe, AR

Learn about the winning entries and start planning your 2018 entry now!

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We will be closed on August 21 to allow our employees to enjoy the Great American Eclipse.