Digital system sparks science inquiry - Tech Learning

Digital system sparks science inquiry

 One of the largest school districts in Oklahoma is adding digital handheld science learning systems to science classes at all nine of its high schools.
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One of the largest school districts in Oklahoma is adding digital handheld science learning systems to science classes at all nine of its high schools.

The adoption of the state-of-the-art data collection and analysis technology is part of Tulsa Public School District's commitment to provide students with the opportunities and experiences to ensure their success in a competitive global environment.

"The all-in-one, mobile SPARK Science Learning System is a perfect fit for our 'digital native' students because it provides them with the opportunity to engage in authentic science experimentation in real time," said Adrienne Elder, Tulsa Public School District's science specialist.

Providing the framework for the SPARK Science Learning System is SPARKscience™, a research-based learning platform that integrates sensor-based data collection, interactive visualization and data analysis, instructional content and assessment. It's designed around SPARKvue™, an integrated learning application that promotes real-time analysis and direct manipulation of data. SPARKvue supports multiple classroom technologies and enables classes to use SPARKscience in a mixed-technology environment common to most schools.

"SPARKscience lets students experiment and make discoveries using the same digital methods used by real scientists,” said Eric Johnson, vice president of sales and marketing at PASCO, maker of the science system.

The district cited several reasons for adopting SPARK, including its intuitive touchscreen, depth of curricula materials; data collection and analysis features;and online training, professional development and web support from PASCO Educator Resources.

"We chose SPARK because it is designed for all levels of learning," said Elder. "It's our mission to provide quality learning opportunities for every student, every day, without exception. Our adoption of SPARK is one of the ways in which we are honoring our commitment."

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Put to the Test: SPARK Science Learning System promo image

Put to the Test: SPARK Science Learning System

The SPARK Science Learning System is an all in one mobile device that integrates probeware with inquiry based content and assessment. SPARK can be used as a standalone science data collection tool or it can be connected to a computer

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Put to the Test : Spark Science Learning System

The SPARK Science Learning System is an all in one mobile device that integrates probeware with inquiry based content and assessment. The SPARK can be used as a standalone science data collection tool, or it can be connected to a

SPARK SCIENCE LEARNING SYSTEM

The SPARK Science Learning System is an all-in-one mobile device that integrates probeware with inquiry-based content and assessment. The SPARK can be used as a standalone science- data-collection tool, or it can be connected to a computer via a USB cable and used as a data-collection terminal for PASCO data-collection software. A teacher can assign the class an experiment, and the students can use their SPARK units and probes to develop hypotheses, collect data to prove or disprove the hypotheses, and then draw conclusions.PROS: The SPARK comes with more than 60 preinstalled experiments. It is rugged enough to be taken outdoors and handled by elementary-, middle-, and high-school students. The SPARKvue software permits the same interface to be displayed on a computer so a teacher can deliver pre-lab instruction to an entire class via a data projector. Additional probes are reasonably priced. The SPARK is battery-powered, so it can be used outside the classroom. It allows students to record their data directly to the device. The experiments included in the SPARK let students collect meaningful data in real time. The device also has helpful online educator-training resources.CONS: It would be nice to have one kit that included all the probes; PASCO does, however, offer kits that provide the probes necessary to perform the labs that are embedded on the SPARK Science Learning System.OVERALL IMPRESSION: Science is not a study of facts and dates; science is a process. The SPARK takes this discovery process into account in a fun, easy-to-use tool.www.pasco.comRetail price: $329

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