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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!

Hands-On Summer Institutes

Most schools may close for the summer, but the learning never stops at Vernier. Join us for a full-day exploration of our award-winning line of computer and handheld data-acquisition technology. Explore our line of interfaces and sensors, including our new Go Direct sensors with options for wireless and USB connectivity. You’ll leave the workshop ready to enhance your students’ learning with data collection.

The cost of the institute is $99, which includes an electronic lab manual of your choice.

Two-Day, Subject-Specific Institutes

Held in Beaverton, OR at the Vernier Office

Biology Institute
June 26–27, 2017
The $199 registration fee includes lunch and a copy of the lab book, Investigating Biology through Inquiry, a $48 value.

Chemistry Institute
June 29–30, 2017
The $199 registration fee includes lunch and a copy of a chemistry lab book of your choice, a $48 value.

Physics Institute
July 10–11, 2017
The $199 registration fee includes lunch and a copy of the lab book, Physics with Vernier, a $48 value.

One-Day, Subject-Specific Institutes

Held in Beaverton, OR at the Vernier Office

Environmental Science Institute
June 28, 2017
The $99 registration fee includes lunch and a copy of the lab book, Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry, a $48 value.

Engineering for Science Classrooms Institute
July 12, 2017
The $99 registration fee includes lunch and a Vernier Digital Control Unit, a $61 value.

Vernier Sensors with Arduino Institute
July 13, 2017
The $99 registration fee includes lunch and a SparkFun Arduino RedBoard with a Vernier Interface Shield, a $54 value.

Renewable Energy Institute
July 14, 2017
The $99 registration fee includes lunch and a copy of the lab book, Renewable Energy with Vernier, a $48 value.

Announcing the 2017 Vernier/NSTA Technology Award Winners

Portraits of the winners

Congratulations to the seven winners of the 2017 Vernier/NSTA Technology Award! This award recognizes the innovative use of data-collection technology in the science classroom or laboratory. Each winner is selected by NSTA and receives $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier products, and up to $1,500 toward expenses to attend the annual NSTA National Conference.

  • Kathryn Eyolfson
    Coyote Hills Elementary, Aurora, CO
  • Carrie Herndon
    Metro East Montessori School, Granite City, IL
  • Terra McMillan
    Thomson Middle School, Centerville, GA
  • Amy Melby
    Yuma High School, Yuma, CO
  • Hannah Erickson
    Boston Day and Evening Academy, Roxbury, MA
  • Dr. René Corrales
    STAR Academic Center, Tucson, AZ
  • Donald Carpenetti
    Craven Community College, New Bern, NC

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

Introducing Vernier Thermal Analysis Plus App for iOS

We have released a new version of our popular Vernier Thermal Analysis app. Vernier Thermal Analysis Plus for FLIR ONE is designed for anyone who wants to create infrared time-lapse video and temperature data sets. Without the time-lapse feature, videos are limited by device capacity to several minutes at most. With time-lapse capabilities and an external power source, you can collect thermal video data for hours.

The Plus version includes all the features of our original Thermal Analysis app, so students can also observe temperature changes on the skin, illustrate convection, track heating due to friction, analyze the transparency of materials in infrared vs. visible light, and much more.

Vernier Thermal Analysis Plus is available in the App Store.

This year, FLIR is introducing two new models of FLIR ONE: The 3rd generation FLIR ONE and the FLIR ONE Pro. Both versions of Thermal Analysis will support both new versions of the camera soon after they are released.

Using the time-lapse feature, cooling water is tracked by Thermal Analysis Plus for almost 2 hours
Using the time-lapse feature, cooling water is tracked by Thermal Analysis Plus for almost 2 hours.

Ecology/Environmental Science Teaching Award Winner

Photo Doug Anderson

Doug Anderson of Brentwood High School in Nashville, Tennessee, was the 2016 recipient of the National Association of Biology Teachers’ NABT Ecology/Environmental Science Teaching Award. This award, sponsored by Vernier, was presented at the 2016 NABT Professional Development Conference in Denver, Colorado. Mr. Anderson is an AP Environmental Science teacher who uses a place-based approach in his environmental science course. Each month, his students conduct field work in local forests or streams. Field work includes freshwater macroinvertebrate testing, habitat inventories, and service work such as restoring riparian buffer zones and removal of exotic invasive species. In addition to teaching Environmental Science, Mr. Anderson designed and implemented his high school’s ecology and AP Environmental Science programs and served as a district leader in the development of the Ecology and Environmental Science curriculum for his school district.

This award is given to a secondary school teacher who has successfully developed and demonstrated an innovative approach in the teaching of ecology/environmental science and has carried his/her commitment to the environment into the community. Our sponsorship of this award includes $500 toward travel to the NABT Conference and $1,000 of Vernier equipment. The recipient also receives a recognition plaque and one year of complimentary membership to NABT.

The application deadline for the Ecology/Environmental Science Teaching Award is March 15 of each year. While it has just passed for 2017, start thinking about applying in 2018. Applications will be available after the NABT Conference in November. For more information, visit

Join the Vernier Biology Department

The Vernier Biology Department is hiring! If you want to be part of the future of biology at Vernier, consider applying for our Biology Educational Technology Specialist position.

We’re looking for someone who is currently teaching or has recently taught biology using Vernier products. If you want to live in Oregon and be part of one of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon” (17 times!), consider applying today. We’d love to have you join our team.

Application deadline is May 30, 2017. Learn more and apply today!

Can I preview Vernier equipment before purchasing?

If you are considering incorporating our technology into your classroom or laboratory, we offer a 30-day preview (or longer, if needed) for most of our products.

To get the most out of your preview, we recommend pairing the preview with a free one-hour, web-based training session with one of our specialists.

Contact Vernier Technical Support at or 888-837-6437 to arrange a preview and a web-based training session.

Additions in the Vernier Building

If you are in Portland, Oregon, stop by our office to see two new additions: an augmented-reality sandbox and an update to our giant periodic table to include the four recently named elements.

Photo of Vernier's giant periodic table

The Great American Eclipse

Dave Vernier in the Australian Outback collecting data during a 2002 total solar eclipse with a very old laptop and a Palm Pilot

On August 21st, many people in the United States will have their first chance in 38 years to experience a total solar eclipse. Called the Great American Eclipse, it is a total eclipse only in the United States. The path of totality extends from Oregon to South Carolina. We are very excited about this eclipse and have two special events related to it: data collection pooling and eclipse viewing glasses.

Learn more about Vernier and The Great American Eclipse »

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