At Vernier, we recognize that educators partner with dependable providers that they have come to know and love. We strive to do the same, which is why we work closely with providers like Google Workbench.
Track progress, access lessons, and keep a living record of work for students through Google Workbench. Free student-ready experiments from Vernier that explore chemistry, biology, physiology, and physics are available through Google Workbench.
This fall will mark Dave Vernier’s 50th year in education. From starting his career as a physics teacher, first at an inner-city school in Cleveland and later in Oregon, to ultimately co-founding Vernier Software & Technology, science education and technology have always been passions for Dave.
Over the past 38 years, Vernier Software & Technology has supported thousands of science educators through the use of reliable hands-on technology. We asked Dave about science education and the changes he’s seen in edtech over his years in the business.
Q: 50 years is a long time in education. During that time, how did the use of technology in schools get started? How has it changed and evolved?
A: When I started teaching, there was not very much of what you would call “technology” being used. Thankfully, there is a lot more and better-quality equipment now.
During my teaching, I loved to do experiments, and the students did a good job taking data, but then they had to graph the data by hand on paper. This often took them a long time to complete. By the time they had the graph completed, they saw very little connection between the graph and the experiment they had done 15 minutes earlier. It was just “busy work” to them. Having a computer graph the data as they are taken makes all the difference in having students understand graphs.
The computer speeds up every aspect of the experimental process—the data collection, the graphing, the data analysis, and even the write-up. Now, students can do an experiment and repeat it with varying conditions to look for patterns, as well as even design their own experiments.
By Josh Ence, Engineering Education Technology Specialist
In the summer of 1969, NASA launched the Apollo 11 space mission from Kennedy Space Center. Four days after launch, Neil Armstrong (Mission Commander) and Edwin (“Buzz”) Aldrin (Lunar Module Pilot) were the first two men to walk on the moon.
As a former physics and engineering teacher, I know that incorporating current events and hands-on activities into the classroom is an excellent way to engage students. This anniversary gives educators an opportunity to incorporate past, present, and future events into timely activities.
As part of their commitment to STEM education and hands-on learning, Vernier sponsored this year’s National KidWind Challenge in which teams of students test the energy output of wind turbines they designed and built. This event strengthens students’ critical thinking skills by introducing them to renewable energy solutions with real-world applications.
The environmental community certainly has its hands full with all the issues facing our planet today. While climate change is a popular issue, many related, yet commonly overlooked problems in the ocean, particularly ocean acidification, are becoming increasingly hot topics.
Now, with World Oceans Day coming up on June 8th, you have a great opportunity to focus your students’ attention on our oceans by engaging them in an investigation that highlights how life in the ocean is impacted by changes in the environment.
By Fran Poodry, Director of Physics, and Sam Swartley, Director of Engineering Education
With coding becoming increasingly important in both engineering and physics research, the free and adaptable Python programming language can be a powerful tool in teaching coding activities in your physics and engineering courses.
The periodic table has been an essential tool for teachers and students since its creation in 1869 by Dmitri Mendeleev. Now 150 years later, 2019 has been designated the International Year of the Periodic Table. With all the information that can be gleaned from the periodic table, chemistry instructors face the challenge of helping students understand the significance of the different arrangements.
In today’s classrooms, you’ll see an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Educators and administrators are having discussions about how to prepare their students and ensure they have the skills to be successful in our technology-driven world. There’s no denying that technology has changed the workforce and classroom. A report from the Institute for the Future and Dell Technologies estimates that 85% of the jobs that today’s students will be doing in 2030 haven’t been created yet. Currently, 20% of U.S. jobs require significant STEM knowledge and skills, according to STEMconnector. While students are still in the classroom, it’s important that they’re provided the opportunity to learn the skills they need for the growing and changing demands of the future.