Sensor-Enabled Science Learning Experience from PASCO

According to a recent announcement made at the annual convention of the National Science Teachers Association by PASCO scientific, SPARKscience has created the foundation that would promote a global science learning experience for the 21st century.

SPARK Science Learning System

This combines a complete research-based learning method and real scientific research. The method incorporates sensor-enabled data collection, instructional content and assessment, data analysis and interactive visualization.

According to Wayne Grant, PASCO’s chief education officer, the SPARKscience platform empowers teachers to build a hands-on, fruitful, learning environment by utilizing latest digital technologies such as Mac and Windows-based computers, the all-in-one SPARK Science Learning System, handheld devices like the iPad and the iPod touch of Apple, netbooks, and interactive whiteboards. He also added that SPARKscience backs up a discovery process that reflects the actual working methodology of scientists. The SPARKscience environment is specially designed for learning science as well as working on science to prepare the scientist fraternity and users for working and living in a modern, worldwide economy that values engineering, technology, and science skills.

The SPARKvue software that forms the backbone of SPARKscience is a new-generation learning environment and a scientific tool. SPARKvue is a user-friendly, engaging, and simple interface that helps students concentrate on doing science rather than focus on the technology used. SPARKvue encourages scientific investigations in real time, discussions having in-built tools for annotation, and student reflection.

The environment created by SPARKvue incorporates various widespread classroom technologies that can be utilized for several tasks including the visualization of data in several ways, easy data analysis, gather and display sensor data in real time, making electronic student journals, and making predictions on graphs.

An enhanced and new SPARKvue version, initially developed for the SPARK Science Learning System, is also available currently for the Mac and Windows operating systems. The enhanced SPARKvue software application currently supports PASCO's PASPORT analog and digital adapters, thereby enabling users to link ScienceWorkshop photogates and sensors. Any computer that executes SPARKvue with SPARKlinkTM can be connected to sensors. The SPARKlinkTM is a sensor interface that has in-built voltage and temperature sensors along with probes, ports, and a USB connection inside a sturdy polycarbonate case.

New features include a submit button, data and calculations entered by users, an authoring framework, and an integrated help system. SPARKvue software is currently available in 11 languages.


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