Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology
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News and Announcements

Olympic Gold Medal Experiment

Animated GIF of gold medal being dipped.

Jessie Diggins, who won a gold medal in the recent Winter Olympics, allowed Pivot Interactives to use the medal in a version of the Archimedes experiment. A new activity challenges students to identify the real gold medal from an inexpensive copy and to determine if an Olympic gold medal is actually made of gold. Give it a try here.

Go Direct® Sensors Can Be Used with LabQuest® 2!

Photo of students using LabQuest 2 and Go Direct Light and Color in a baseball field.

You already know that Go Direct sensors are the most versatile sensors around—they can be used via USB or Bluetooth® wireless technology on Chromebooks, computers, iOS®, and Android devices. But did you know that they can now be used with LabQuest 2?

Imagine studying motion with Go Direct Sensor Carts, testing acids and bases with Go Direct pH, or wading into a stream with the Go Direct Optical Dissolved Oxygen Probe, all without wires. You can even mix and match Go Direct sensors and LabQuest sensors on LabQuest 2 for maximum flexibility. Just update your LabQuest App to version 2.8.3 or newer, and your students can connect Go Direct sensors wirelessly or by USB. (Some older LabQuest 2 interfaces require additional hardware to communicate with Go Direct sensors wirelessly.)

NSTA Blog Reviews Go Direct® Respiration Belt

Go Direct® Respiration Belt

NSTA Recommends’ Edwin Christmann recently reviewed the Go Direct® Respiration Belt. In his review, Edwin demonstrates using the Go Direct® Respiration Belt during different exercises, including boxing, jumping rope, and weight lifting. He also provides screenshots of the free graphing and analysis software, Graphical Analysis 4, to showcase his results.

In the review, Edwin says:

“After reviewing the Go Direct® Respiration Belt, we found that its user-friendly data-collection capabilities have many practical uses both in and outside of the classroom. Moreover, the included rechargeable battery is reliable and offers long battery life for experiments.”

He concluded by saying:

“The Go Direct® Respiration Belt is reasonably priced and connects directly to mobile devices. Without doubt, we found it to be a great tool for science and mathematics students to become active and motivated learners. Hence, the Go Direct® Respiration Belt is highly recommended for classroom use!”

The complete Go Direct family of sensors offers teachers and students the versatility to collect scientific data both wirelessly or via a USB connection. These sensors can be used in more than 300 teacher-tested experiments developed by Vernier.

Read more about the Go Direct Respiration Belt on NSTA Recommends »

Vernier Software & Technology’s Go Direct® Sound Sensor Wins Best of Show Award

Tech & Learning Best of Show Award 2018

Vernier Software & Technology won the Tech & Learning Best of Show Award for the new Sensor at the 2018 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference last month. The judges recognized Vernier Software & Technology’s newest addition to the Go Direct family of sensors for being an impactful, effective learning tool that will be beneficial for students in the classroom.

Vernier sensors are rugged and provide consistent, high-quality results for the demands of student instruction. Students will enjoy the opportunity to take Go Direct® Sound Sensor outside to discover sounds in their natural environment.

Go Direct® Sound Sensor:

  • Allows students to capture and evaluate waveforms
  • Helps students measure wave amplitude and sound intensity level at the same time to investigate the decibel scale
  • Includes both wired or wireless options
Read more about the Go Direct Sound Sensor »

Introducing Go Direct® Sound

Go Direct Sound

Our new Go Direct® Sound Sensor is an all-in-one sound sensor capable of capturing waveforms and measuring sound levels. Like many of our other Go Direct sensors, it packs a variety of sensors into a single unit and connects to any device you might have in your classroom, lab, or pocket.

Investigating beat frequencies with Go Direct Sound
Investigating beat frequencies with Go Direct Sound

Go Direct Sound is designed to work for all sound investigations. Are your students studying wave characteristics, such as frequency and amplitude? Use the Microphone channel in the Graphical Analysis 4 app to sample at rates up to 100 kHz and capture a wide frequency range of sound waves. Are you investigating sound insulation? Choose either the A-weighted or C-weighted Sound Level channel to measure decibels. Are you discussing the logarithmic nature of the decibel scale? Collect data from both the Wave Amplitude and a Sound Level channel simultaneously. Go Direct Sound has the hardware to collect data for all of your sound investigations.

As with all of our Go Direct sensors, Go Direct Sound can connect to a computer, LabQuest®, Chromebook, or mobile device. For example, students can use Go Direct Sound with their Chromebook during an experiment or with their smartphone during a pep rally.

For more information, sample data, and details, see the Go Direct® Sound Sensor page.

Vernier Sponsors the 2018 KidWind Challenge

To inspire students to learn about renewable energy and hone their engineering skills, Vernier supported the 2018 KidWind Challenge, hosted by the KidWind Project. The challenge consists of dozens of local and regional competitions across the country, called KidWind Challenges, during which teams of students test the energy output of wind turbines they design and build. Students also present their design processes to a panel of judges and participate in short design or problem-solving tasks called “Instant Challenges.”


Teams that take top place at local challenges are invited to the National KidWind Challenge. This year, almost 300 students in grades 4–12 from across the country traveled to Chicago, Illinois, for the National KidWind Challenge on May 8–10, 2018. The event, held during the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) WINDPOWER 2018 Conference & Exhibition, hosted a total of 21 high school and 40 middle school teams competing for the chance to win the grand prize of $750, the second place prize of $500, and the third place prize of $250.



The 2018 National KidWind Challenge Champions are

High School Division:

  • First Place – Redwood Express from Bath County High School in Hot Springs, Va.
  • Second Place – Tuttle Windy’s from Tuttle High School in Tuttle, Okla.
  • Third Place (Tie) – Silver Bullet from Coachella Valley High School in Thermal, Calif.
  • Third Place (Tie) – iTurbine X from Old Donation School in Virginia Beach, Va.

Middle School Division:

  • First Place – Oxford Air Sharks from Oxford Middle School in Oxford, Kan.
  • Second Place – SPINNERS from Lanier Middle School in Fairfax, Va.
  • Third Place – The Birds from Darlington Elementary-Middle School in Darlington, Wis.

Learn more about the 2018 National KidWind Challenge and how to get involved »

All images provided by the KidWind Project.

Vernier Total Solar Eclipse Campaign Wins 24th Annual Communicator Award of Distinction

Communicator Award of Distinction 2018 Logo

The Vernier Total Solar Eclipse Campaign recently won a 24th Annual Communicator Award of Distinction in the Integrated Campaign—Business to Consumer category. The campaign was recognized for successfully demonstrating one theme through various forms of media, such as print, social media, video, and more.

With entries received from across the United States and around the world, the Communicator Awards is the largest and most competitive awards program honoring creative excellence for communications professionals. The awards are judged and overseen by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA), a 600-plus member organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts.

The multi-pronged Vernier Total Solar Eclipse Campaign celebrated last summer’s Great American Eclipse by providing tips, resources, and data that STEM teachers could use to teach students about the real-world physical phenomenon throughout the year. Examples of the data collected by educators using Vernier technology are available for free on the Vernier website. Sample data by Dave Vernier was also included in an article about the eclipse in The Physics Teacher.

In addition to the Communicator Award, the Vernier Total Solar Eclipse Campaign also won a One Planet Award and two Stevie® Awards.

Learn more about the Vernier total solar eclipse resources »

Vernier Total Solar Eclipse Campaign Wins Two Stevie® Awards

2018 Stevie Award Logo

The Vernier Total Solar Eclipse Campaign recently won two Stevie® Awards in the 16th Annual American Business Awards®. The campaign won a bronze in both the Branded Content Campaign of the Year and Small-Budget Marketing Campaign of the Year (<$3 million) categories.

This year’s awards program received more than 3,700 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry. More than 200 professionals worldwide participated in the judging process to select the winners.

The Vernier Total Solar Eclipse Campaign celebrated last summer’s Great American Eclipse by providing tips, resources, and data that STEM teachers could use to teach students about the real-world physical phenomenon throughout the year. Examples of the data collected by educators using Vernier technology are available for free on the Vernier website. Sample data by Dave Vernier was also included in an article about the eclipse in The Physics Teacher.

Learn more about the Vernier total solar eclipse resources »

Voluntary Recall on the Vernier Circuit Board 2

Vernier Circuit Board 2

Due to potential safety concerns, Vernier is conducting a voluntary recall of the Vernier Circuit Board 2 (order code VCB2). The issue is that it is possible to place the switch between two positions. When this happens, the power can short circuit and overheat the switch to dangerous temperatures. While no injuries have been reported, this affects Vernier Circuit Board 2 units that were purchased between August 2015 and April 2018.

Those who own one or more Vernier Circuit Board 2 units need to:

  1. Stop using the Vernier Circuit Board 2 immediately.
  2. Remove all batteries from the battery holders immediately.
  3. Arrange for a retrofit of the circuit board to eliminate this problem by providing your information in the Vernier recall form.

Once the recall form is filled out, Vernier will send the customer a prepaid UPS label to return the unit(s) for a free upgrade.

This recall was conducted, voluntarily by Vernier, under the Consumer Protection Safety Commission’s Fast Track Recall process. Fast Track recalls are initiated by firms who commit to work with CPSC to quickly announce the recall and remedy to protect consumers.

Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles Module

The topic of self-driving vehicles is one that combines diverse issues ranging from engineering to federal regulations. While it may be years before you have a self-driving car in your driveway, you can use mBot in your classroom today! Equipped with ultrasonic distance, line-following, and light-level sensors, mBot is an affordable, easy-to-program robot designed to bring coding and computer science education into the real world. With our new Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles module, a set of nine guided coding activities that build upon each other, you and your students can successfully learn to program mBot to mimic many self-driving car actions.

In Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles, students write programs to make mBot perform activities such as following a line, avoiding an obstacle, and parallel parking. Along the way students learn basic coding and troubleshooting skills. The activities are aligned with the Computer Science Teachers Association’s K-12 Computer Science Standards, and require only an mBot, the free mBlock software (based on the popular block-based programming language Scratch), and some patience for the occasional traffic jam.

In the first activity “Driving mBot,” students are introduced to mBlock software and write a program that allows them to control mBot’s movement in four directions, make sound with mBot’s buzzer, and turn on the built-in LEDs. Teaching tips and example programs in the accompanying Instructor Information support you as you facilitate student learning.

Download Activity 1, “Driving mBot,” as a free preview at www.vernier.com/mbot-msdv-e

Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles will be available soon as an electronic download and is included free with your purchase of one or more mBots from Vernier. If you already own mBot, you can purchase Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles separately (order code: MBOT-MSDV-E).

At the heart of mBot is the mCore, a microcontroller based on the Arduino Uno. In addition to the ultrasonic, line-following, and list-level sensors packaged with mBot, mCore has four RJ25 sensor ports, two motor ports, two RGB LEDs, a buzzer, and an IR transmitter/receiver. Students make use of all of those features while programming mBot to act as an autonomous vehicle. For instance, set up the RGB LEDs to work as turn signals. In addition, to help keep mBot on its track, the line-following sensor can serve as a trigger for a car alarm. mCore’s IR transmitter and receiver allow messages to be passed between mBots, making it possible to coordinate their motion and stop them from colliding.

The activities in Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles can be completed using the free mBlock app (iOS/Android) or with the more advanced mBlock software (Windows/macOS/ChromeOS). More experienced students can work even their way through the activities using the Arduino IDE.

Everyone from Google to GM® is interested in self-driving cars today. Bring that enthusiasm into the classroom with mBot and the activities in Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles. Learn more at www.vernier.com/mbot-msdv-e

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