Brian Lamore, physics teacher at the Chinquapin School, Highlands, Texas, has his students build a “Beakman’s” Motor to study electromagnetic induction. This simple motor can be built in a single class period and the activity is always a favorite of his students. But nothing makes an activity more interesting than a little competition, so Brian challenges his students to build the motor that will spin the fastest.
10 year-old Ben Carter of Nashville, Tennessee, was curious about the light given off by a firefly. Ben has inherited his natural curiosity and love of science from his father, Vernier consultant David Carter. Ben borrowed his dad’s Vernier Spectrometer and used it to capture the emission spectra of the fireflies.
Clarence Bakken, a retired physics teacher from California, explored insulating capabilities of different wall materials. Clarence used an Infrared Thermometer to study the rate at which heat is transferred through the walls in a model house.
Have you ever seen an LED-based headlamp that has selectable brightness? Sometimes the brightness change is from turning on more or fewer LEDs, but sometimes the individual LEDs seem to change brightness. How does this work? Usually when you reduce the voltage across an LED, it just goes out. We looked into this question using a Vernier Light Sensor and a LabQuest.
Peter O’Connor, a teacher from Boonsboro High School in Maryland, described a situation facing many teachers—lots of students and only a few computers.
“Having used Logger Pro for many years dating back to the ULI days, my school has been happy using it in our labs. However, as class size increased, we have had issues with maintaining a small lab group size for each lab. This is a large issue when it comes to doing Vernier labs with computers.”
Vernier consultant, Walter Rohr, came across an article published in the February 1989 Journal of Chem Ed that described a method of resolving mixtures with overlapping spectra without determining molar absorptivities or complicated mathematics. The method developed by Blanco called Multi-Wavelength Linear Regression Analysis, or MLRA, allows the composition of a binary mixture with overlapping spectra to be resolved with only three measurements—the absorbance of a standard solution for each component, and the unknown mixture itself.
Brillion Middle School teachers Ryan Peterson and Matt Van Thiel have their 8th grade Earth Science students do a fun and engaging activity on topographic mapping. The activity is based on the Earth Science with Vernier activity “Ocean Floor Mapping.” Using plastic utility tarps, they create a simulated lake in their classroom.
Vernier recently attended the GLOBE annual conference in San Antonio, TX, where we sponsored a field trip to Natural Bridge Caverns, a limestone cave. Sixty teachers made their way through the wet, drippy tour of the caverns and collected relative humidity, temperature, and barometric pressure data along the way.