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Sensing Scientific Success


Mlt-bta_web Vernier has come out with a pair of new lab probes that can be used for measuring parameters with high precision, which work with the company’s LabQuest, LabQuest Mini, GoLink and LabPro equipment. The handheld impeller anemometer costs $89 can collect data on wind speeds from 1 to 67 miles per hour while Veriner’s $399 Melt Station is for measuring the melting point of substances from 30- to 260-degrees Centigrade.

 

The Calculator Cuts its Cord

TI-NspireNavigator_rightcol With so many classrooms relying on calculators for everything from solving quadratic equations to examining how fast things fall, isn’t it time for these mini marvels of math to be networked? TI’s Nspire Navigator can bring a classroom of calculators together so that teachers can check on student work, give them quizzes, send out assignments and help figure out why they got the wrong answer. By providing instant feedback, the calculator and network combo can also reduce the time a teacher spends managing a classroom and more on education. The system includes a cradle that works with TI’s Nspire and Nspire CAS calculators, a wireless access point that plugs into a teacher’s computer and all the software to make it work. It’s been trialed at several schools and personally I think this type of technology can transform the classroom and is overdue. There's a nice explanatory video and the equipment is on display at booth 1221.

Third Time’s the Charm

Linutop3-hand-frontll Hard to believe but the third generation of the Linutop Linux micro desktop PC is out and it looks like a winner to me. Priced at about $470, it is still a tiny, inexpensive desktop PC that can be screwed under a desk or attached to the back of a monitor with Velcro. The big difference is that it now has a more powerful Via C7 processor, 2GB of internal flash memory and graphics that can support up to 1,920 by 1080 resolution. It has 6 USB ports as well as a generous mix of included software and applications. The best part is that it uses only 8 watts of power, so it doesn’t need a fan and can cut a schools power bills. 
 

Letting Biology Teach Itself

Easyhatch_small_4For young students, seeing really is believing, and the best way to teach biology is by putting away the textbook and showing kids the magic of life. The GeoSpace Easy-Hatch Fish Hatchery is a great tool for teaching the details of aquatic reproduction and ecology. The fish eggs come dehydrated and grow into brightly colored tropical fish in a matter of days. The set costs $25 and includes the bowl, eggs, a magnifying glass and a supply of shrimp eggs for food.

Spring Cleaning

Labquest_lgo Spring not only brings rain and green growth just about everywhere but a new series of Vernier Software & Technology’s seminars on how to best use the company’s  handheld sensor units in science and math classes. The four-hour classes cover the basics of data collection and analysis as well as how to integrate Vernier’s LabQuest hardware with PCs, TI graphic calculators and Palm handheld computers. This semester has 41 workshops in a variety of cities and ends in early May.

Compass Announces Odyssey High School Program [FETC HIGHLIGHT]

FetcAs schools begin to get more pressure to offer credit recovery and intervention programs at the high school level, Compass reponds by offering a new program to support secondary market. The high school Odyssey program integrates its management and assessment features into eight core subjects, ranging from Algebra to U.S. Government.

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