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Professional Development and Training with Vernier Technology

An map of the US with markers where we will have workshops in 2019.

Are you looking for professional development using Vernier technology? We offer free hands-on workshops across the country, online training opportunities, and options for personalized professional development. Each option allows you to immediately apply your new learned skills in the laboratory with students.

4-hour Professional Development Workshops​

These free workshops are hands-on, 4-hour data-collection workshops for science educators available nationwide during the school year. One of our knowledgeable training specialists will work right alongside you, providing guidance and inspiration as you explore classroom-ready experiments. You’ll leave the workshop ready to excite your students about learning using data collection technology. And, to make it even easier, you’ll receive instructions to download the Workshop Training Manual, which includes ready-to-use experiment handouts for all science disciplines.

Video Training Library

We have a free online library of introductory and advanced videos featuring experiments and product demonstrations. Because the library is available any time and anywhere and is accessible on a variety of platforms, you can choose what works best for you.

Personalized Interactive Webinars

Another popular option is our free webinars. We know instructors want a voice and choices when professional development opportunities are offered, and our customized webinars make it possible to tell us what to focus on. These are interactive, web-based sessions for your department to deliver basic or advanced training on Vernier data-collection technology.

On-Site Workshops

We also offer a fee-based option, if you prefer to have a full day of training on-site. This training takes place at your school and uses the equipment you already own. To request this option, please fill out the online request form.

When Will I Use Forensic Chemistry in Real Life?

A graph showing the absorbance spectra for fresh wine and crime scene wine
Absorbance spectra for fresh wine and crime scene wine

While teaching chemistry and physics for 34 years in public schools in Maryland, nearly every semester, students asked, “When will I use this in real life?” When I supplied a scenario for a lab activity, students could see how a topic studied in their chemistry lab could have real-world application.

For instance, it might be difficult for a student to see where absorbance spectroscopy and Beer’s law could be useful to a chemist. But, what if the technique is used to analyze poisoned wine from a crime scene? This definitely piqued the interest of my students.

The scenario: At a local dinner party, some of the guests became ill and had to be transported to the hospital. Most of the stricken guests recovered, although it took varying amounts of time for them to recover. Some guests even died. What could have stricken these people and why was the effect different?

Go Direct SpectroVis Plus

Using a Go Direct® SpectroVis® Plus Spectrophotometer, students can compare samples of fresh wine to those collected at a crime scene. Samples of tainted wine will show absorbance spectra different from those of fresh wine. By comparing the spectra of suspected toxins with those from the crime scene, the nature of the poison can be determined.

Once the identity of the poison is determined, Beer’s law can be used to determine the concentration of poison in the tainted wine. From additional evidence from the crime scene, including estimates of the wine consumed and body mass of the victims, students then calculate the amount of poison consumed and compare this to the LD50 for that poison.

Due to the local restrictions on the presence of alcohol containing products in schools, the poisoned wine and suspected poisons are all created using food dyes. A similar activity called “Killer Cupa Joe” in the Vernier lab manual Forensics with Vernier uses coffee. My students and I did this lab and used food dye as the poison.

Vernier sensors can also be used for other forensic scenarios. Future blog postings will discuss more activities.

To get a free copy of this activity, email us at chemistry@vernier.com

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