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STEM Without All the Wires

5424cad3-b81e-4085-b569-28db0be53ccbNeed a set of STEM data sensors that work across the board with Androids and iPads as well as PCs, Macs and Chromebooks? Pasco’s latest wireless sensors can stream data for everything from pressure, temperature and pH to acceleration, light level and electrical current and voltage. They don’t require a wireless connection box, have year-long batteries and they cost between $39 and $99 each.


Let it Grow

Click n growForget about trying to grow an avocado pit or potato on toothpicks because Click & Grow’s Smart Herb Garden kit has a free iOS app for iPhones and iPads to monitor growth, create a watering schedule and teach about plants. The kit has LED lighting, sensors that keep an eye on soil conditions and comes with soil already set up and for those with brown thumbs who can only grow weeds, the company guarantees that plants will germinate. It all costs between $100 and $160, depending on which wood the base is made out of. There are also refills for growing new plants every year.

Freebee Friday: (Almost) Back to School, Part II

Chemistry 2It’s summertime and the classrooms are either empty or very close to it. So, it’s time to think about the new school year that's coming, with Vernier leading the way with a slew of tips, tricks and summer services. To start, you can check out the company’s available grants to help outfit a new lab for the incoming class, watch any of its 180 videos or look over the company’s 1,000 sample experiments online.


From Minecraft to STEM

PiperOne way to get kids excited about learning about engineering, math and science is to use Piper as an entry point. Based on a Raspberry Pi processor and a slew of components and programming software, it lets kids comfortably try out engineering and technology ideas by advancing through the Minecraft game and creating electronic projects. There’s no soldering and Piper is smart enough to let kids know when they’ve made a mistake. It costs $300. 

Best of ISTE: The Heat is On, Part II

Product.thermal-analysis.flirone-ios._ipad._ice._blocks.001Vernier now has a free app that can now work with the inexpensive FLIR One thermal camera add-on that makes it perfect for an elementary through high school science lab. It’s good for watching ice melt, an exothermic chemical reaction and how infrared light acts. The labs range from looking at the thermal conductivity of materials to an examination of how evaporative cooling works. See it at Booth 3300.



Best of ISTE: Suite Pricing

Learning suiteRather than licensing Smart’s Notebook, Lab, Response and Amp separately, the Learning Suite combines these programs into a unified whole. There’s a common entrance link to all four apps and annual pricing starts at $129 per teacher, but drops quickly with school- or district-wide volume licensing. You can see it in action at Booth 2106.


Freebee Friday: From Experiment to Lab Report

Science journalThe big news from Google’s IO tech-fest is the company’s Science Journal app. As its name implies, it is a full-service science app that lets you tap into sensors on the phone or tablet or connect external ones. You can record data, graph it and make notes right on the screen. Think of it as the easiest way to assemble all a student needs to put together a cogent lab report. Best of all, it’s free.

Up, Up and Away

Drone edWe see drones everywhere but these flying robots can help with STEM Education. The first step should be getting several copies of “Drones in Education: Let Your Students’ Imaginations Soar.” Written by Chris Carnahan, Kimberly Crowley and Laura Zieger, the book will be published this summer by ISTE press and is a complete look at how drones fly, how you can control them and where they fit into the modern school. More to the point, the book details the current legal structure surrounding drones as well as which type to get for indoor or outdoor use. The authors will present a program on the book and their curriculum at this summer’s Denver ISTE show. It costs $21.95 (for nonmembers) and $19.76 (for ISTE members).



Let the Sun Shine

SolarInvestigating Solar Energy” is Vernier’s latest printed lab activity book. As the name implies, its 11 experiments are all about using the sun to power our world. Aimed at K-through eighth graders, the $25 book looks at everything from solar energy and its variables to series and parallel circuits and require Vernier’s KidWind Solar Energy Exploration Kit, Vernier Energy Sensor and Surface Temperature Sensor


Let ‘Em Roll

Smart cart in useWhen it comes to recording and analyzing motion for a STEM project, there’s nothing like using automated sensors that are much faster and more accurate than human eyes and fingers. Pasco’s Smart Cart does this and more by providing a plastic cart with low-friction wheels that can take collisions of up to 100-Newtons. Able to carry a variety of objects, the cart’s sensors transmit its speed, acceleration and force data wirelessly. Its internal battery can be charged with a microUSB cord and the cart communicated via Bluetooth so you don’t need any special equipment on the receiving end. The $159 cart can be used to teach everything from the force of gravity and the conservation of energy to the difference between elastic and inelastic collisions.


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