pasco.com■Retail Price: SPARK Element: starting at $199 (can also be bundled with your choice of interface)
The SPARK Element is an Android-powered science learning device. It allows students to conduct hands-on, inquiry-based STEM, science, and physics experiments right out of the box or via a variety of sensors. It comes preloaded with lab activities, software, and applications so students can start learning right away.
Quality and Effectiveness: The SPARK Element is a well made and thoughtfully designed device. The power of the device comes from the SPARKvue (software for data collections, visualization, and analysis), which is what makes it shine. The built-in lab activities and software make it easy for teachers to assign labs and for students to conduct them, either alone or collaboratively. SPARKvue, paired with the correct accessories, allows students to connect older sensors as well as PASCO’s interface-free wireless spectrometer and polarimeter, so you can continue to use your legacy sensors.
Ease of Use: Since the SPARK Element comes ready to use right out of the box, teachers can have the devices up and working in a very short amount of time. It’s very easy to follow a guided built-in lab and to collect and analyze data in real time.
Creative Use of Technology: PASCO has taken the stable and widely adopted Android platform and layered its own interface over it to create a device that is specifically designed for STEM learning. This focus eliminates the possibility of students straying away from their assigned task and getting distracted. Although the SPARK Element does not have a built-in Web browser, it does have a nice assortment of applications (including a calculator and stopwatch) as well as an online store for teachers to add apps.
The form factor is very nice and it’s small enough that even younger students can hold it in one hand. The device is also encased in a rugged outer layer that is water-resistant so it will stand up to the rigors of daily student use. Its sturdiness and size also make it ideal to take out in the field to conduct on-site experiments and data logging.
PASCO makes this device for ease of use and collaboration. Since science is such a collaborative field, this feature means that students can gain real-world experience in the classroom.
When paired with USB Link or AirLink2, the SPARK Element can be connected to over 70 sensors at an economical price. PASCO also offers wireless interface options, including the SPARKlink Air and 550 Universal Interface, which further increase the device’s wireless and data collection capabilities. The 550 Universal Interface even includes a built-in signal generator.
PASCO SPARK Element is a well designed tool created specifically for STEM, science, and physics education. The device is fun and easy to use and brings relevance to data logging and analysis.
• Ruggedly designed device is easy to set up and use right out of the box.
• Teachers and students can use built-in experiments or design their own.
• Enables collaboration so data can be shared and compared.