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Vernier in the Journals (Fall 2017)

  • Facile Method To Study Catalytic Oxygen Evolution Using a Dissolved Oxygen Optical Probe: An Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratory To Appreciate Artificial Photosynthesis

    Genesis Renderos, Tawanda Aquino, Kristian Gutierrez, and Yosra M. Badiei, J. Chem. Educ., 2017, 94 (7), pp. 922–927.

    The goal of this activity was to study aspects of artificial photosynthesis, where water would be split by sunlight to produce oxygen and hydrogen. The oxygen produced would replenish the global supply, and the hydrogen produced could be used as a source of clean energy. The authors have developed a protocol to use various transition metal oxygen-evolving complexes to increase the rate of production of oxygen gas from the decomposition of water molecules in the presence of a chemical oxidant. The rate of change in concentration of dissolved oxygen over time is plotted using a Vernier Optical DO Probe and LabQuest Mini on computers using Logger Pro software. Students study the kinetics of the decomposition reaction to determine the effectiveness of the oxygen evolution complexes.

    Featured Products: Vernier Optical DO Probe, LabQuest Mini, and Logger Pro software

  • A Glowing Recommendation: A Project-Based Cooperative Laboratory Activity to Promote Use of the Scientific and Engineering Practices

    Justin H. Carmel, Joseph S. Ward, and Melanie M. Cooper, J. Chem. Educ., 94 (5), 2017, pp. 626–631.

    This article discusses how to incorporate NGSS skills and processes into studies involving glow sticks. Students used the Vernier SpectroVis® Plus Spectrophotometer and Logger Pro software to collect fluorescence spectra from glow stick reactions. This was done by placing the software in intensity mode and then monitoring the spectrum produced by the reaction in the cuvette. The authors proposed experiments to study the kinetics of the reaction involving catalysts, temperature, acids, and bases. One goal was to extend the period of emission from the glow sticks. In another experiment, students attempted to mix the dyes from the glow sticks to produce more intense emissions. Solvent-resistant plastic cuvettes were used to avoid damage to the SpectroVis Plus.

    Featured Products: SpectroVis Plus and Logger Pro software

  • Polymeric Medical Sutures: An Exploration of Polymers and Green Chemistry

    Cassandra M. Knutson, Deborah K. Schneiderman, Ming Yu, Cassidy H. Javner, Mark D. Distefano, and Jane E. Wissinger, J. Chem. Educ., Articles ASAP (As Soon As Publishable).

    The article describes an activity developed to support engineering and science integration in response to changes proposed by NGSS. In this activity, students synthesize their own medical sutures from various polymers and then use a Vernier Dual-Range Force Sensor and LabQuest 2 to measure the tensile strength of their fibers. Commercially available sutures are also tested and subjected to various degrees of degradation by exposure to phosphate buffer for different periods of time. The force required to break the sutures is measured and compared.

    Featured Products: LabQuest 2 and Dual-Range Force Sensor

  • Determining a Solubility Product Constant by Potentiometric Titration to Increase Students’ Conceptual Understanding of Potentiometry and Titrations

    Lauren E. Grabowski and Scott R. Goode, J. Chem. Educ., 94 (5), 2017, pp. 636–639.

    In this activity, students titrated a solution of copper(II) sulfate with sodium oxalate to produce a precipitate of copper(II) oxalate. A custom-built electrode was attached to a Vernier Electrode Amplifier and LabQuest 2. The electrode was comprised of a Ag/AgCl reference electrode from a modified pH electrode and a copper wire. The potential difference between the copper wire and reference electrode was measured and a titration curve of potential vs. volume was graphed as the titration progressed.

    Featured Products: LabQuest 2 and Electrode Amplifier

  • Measurement of Chlorophyll Loss Due to Phytoremediation of Ag Nanoparticles in the First-Year Laboratory

    Kurt Winkelmann, Leonard Bernas, Brendan Swiger, and Shannon Brown, J. Chem. Educ., 94 (6), pp. 751–757.

    In this activity, the effect of nanoparticles of silver on chlorophyll was studied. Students subjected samples of Egeria densa, a waterweed, to low concentrations of silver nanoparticles. The absorbance spectrum of the chlorophyll from the waterweed could then be collected using any one of Vernier’s visible spectrophotometers, such as SpectroVis Plus or the Vernier Spectrometer. Students were able to quantitatively show the depletion of the chlorophyll as the concentration of silver nanoparticles was increased.

    Featured Products: Vernier Spectrophotometer, LabQuest 2

  • Playing with the Bulb Lamp: RTL Measurements and Modelling

    G Torzo (Padova, Italy), M D’Anna (Locarno, Switzerland), and B Pecori (Bologna, Italy), Physics Education, 51 (5), September 2016.

    This article describes many aspects of the operation of an incandescent lamp, including how light level, current, and potential vary. With the 50 or 60 Hz AC applied to the filament, a lot of interesting things are going on.

    Featured Products: Go Direct Voltage Probe, Go Direct Light and Color Sensor

  • Using Flatbed Scanners in the Undergraduate Optics Laboratory—An Example of Frugal Science

    Thomas Koopman and Venkatesh Gopal (Elmhurst College, Illinois), American Journal of Physics, 85 (5), May 2017.

    This article describes using low-cost commercial flatbed scanners to scan and study interference and diffraction patterns. The authors used the Vernier Diffraction Apparatus to produce the diffraction patterns.

    Featured Products: Diffraction Apparatus

3D-Printable Eddy Current Brake for Dynamics Cart and Track System Carts

An eddy current brake is a non-contact braking system, most commonly used in trains and roller coasters. In an eddy current brake, magnets are used to induce eddy currents in a metal rotor or another metal part of the vehicle. According to Lenz’s law, those induced currents create a magnetic field opposing the original field. The two opposing magnetic fields work to slow the vehicle in contrast to the frictional force used in a traditional braking system.

Read more »

Vernier and Mathematica®

You can now use Mathematica to collect data using a Go!Link and different Vernier sensors, thanks to our work with Wolfram Research. In the graph below, we used the peak finding feature of Mathematica to do further analysis on data collected with a Dual-Range Force Sensor.

Force measurement as a spring oscillates
Force measurement as a spring oscillates
Peak force readings
Peak force readings

You can also import data taken in a different Vernier data-collection program, such as Logger Pro. The graphics below show results from our Advanced Physics with Vernier – Beyond Mechanics Experiment 8, “Mapping Electric Potential,” displayed in Mathematica.

Electric field from a dipole shown as vectors
Electric field from a dipole shown as vectors
Potential map from a dipole, 2D
Potential map from a dipole, 2D
Potential map from a dipole in 3D
Potential map from a dipole in 3D

We are also working with Wolfram Research with a goal of supporting data collection using LabQuest and Mathematica.

Logger Pro 3.14.1 Update

Logger Pro 3.14.1 is now available for download. Logger Pro 3.14.1 is a free update to all Logger Pro 3 users.

Version 3.14.1 Features

  • Updated USB driver signing for Windows
  • Support for importing data from Graphical Analysis 4

Download the update »

New NI LabVIEW Installer Includes Bluetooth® Support for LabQuest Stream®

A new LabVIEW installer is now available for LabVIEW versions 2016 and 2017, which makes it possible for you to collect data with LabQuest Stream connected to a computer via Bluetooth. So now, in addition to being able to create LabVIEW programs that take sensor measurements with LabQuest Stream connected via USB, you can create your own custom LabVIEW program and wirelessly stream data to your computer in real time!

The new wireless support can be found in our latest LabQuest and SensorDAQ installer for LabVIEW 2016 and 2017.

Vernier has a longstanding tradition of providing National Intruments’ LabVIEW software support for our hardware, including LabQuest 2, LabQuest Mini, SensorDAQ, and Go! devices.

You may also be interested in our two LabVIEW lab books to help you start programming and doing projects.

Simplify Arduino™ Programming with the New Vernier Library

One of the best features of Vernier sensors is that they have built-in auto-ID capability. We have created an Arduino library for our sensors that takes full advantage of this powerful feature. The programming required to automatically detect the sensor, identify sensor parameters (such as units), and apply the correct calibration equation is all handled by the library. As Arduino programmers, you or your students can simply connect a sensor to the Vernier Arduino Interface Shield, add one or two simple function calls to the Arduino sketch (program), and instantly retrieve and plot sensor measurements in the correct sensor units.

In addition to identifying analog sensors, such as a pH Sensor, the library has the ability to read position data from a Motion Detector, control digital output from a Digital Control Unit (DCU), control a pulse width modulated (pwm) line from a DCU output, or even control a stepper motor.

We think this new library makes it very simple to introduce Arduino programming to your students. See more information on importing and using the Vernier library, and to view example Arduino sketches »

New Face in the Biology Department

Sara Tallarovic

We are excited to announce that Sara Tallarovic has joined the Vernier team as a Biology Educational Technology Specialist. Sara has over 15 years of teaching experience at the college level. She received her PhD at Oregon State University and was a Professor of Biology at the University of the Incarnate Word, a small liberal arts college in San Antonio, Texas. Sara used Vernier sensors in all of her courses, which included Introductory Biology, Human Physiology, Animal Physiology, and Animal Behavior. As an advocate for science education, Sara was also involved in K–12 outreach activities throughout her career, including STEM summer programs for middle and high school students. She is an avid hockey fan, hiker, home brewer, gardener, musician, artist, and occasional actress. We are excited to welcome Sara to the Vernier team and hope she enjoys everything Oregon has to offer.

Vernier Engineering Award

Win a $5,500 Award from Vernier

Are you using Vernier sensors to introduce engineering concepts or engineering practices to your students? Maybe you are reading Vernier sensors with Scratch to introduce programming, controlling digital outputs with Logger Pro software, integrating NGSS engineering practices, or using your Vernier sensors with a robotics platform such as LEGO®, VEX®, or Arduino. Tell us about how you are using Vernier technology in your classroom or lab and you could win one of two $5,500 awards (one for middle school and one for high school)! Each award consists of $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier technology, and $1,500 toward expenses to attend either the 2018 NSTA STEM Forum or the 2018 ASEE Annual Conference.

See the complete rules, examples from past winners, and an online application »

Vernier Sponsors 2018 NABT Ecology/Environmental Science Teaching Award

Each year, Vernier sponsors the NABT Ecology/Environmental Science Teaching Award. The award includes $500 toward travel to the NABT Professional Development Conference and $1,000 in Vernier equipment. Applications for the 2018 award will be available on the NABT website soon after the November conference, and the deadline for submission is March 15, 2018.

Learn more about this award and apply today!

Applications Open for 2018 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards

Vernier Software & Technology and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) are now accepting applications for the annual Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards. The 2018 awards program will recognize up to seven educators—one elementary teacher, two middle school teachers, three high school teachers, and one college-level educator—who promote the innovative use of data-collection technology.

Prizes include $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier products, and up to $1,500 toward expenses to attend the 2018 NSTA National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Award recipients are chosen based on their application, which is judged by a panel of NSTA-appointed experts. All applications must be submitted by December 15, 2017.

Learn more about the award, past winners, and how to apply »

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