Professional Development Seminar

Using Probes in your classroom

Educational Benefits of using probes

Probes and the software that comes with it can be an extremely beneficial piece of equipment that can add versatility to any lesson. The purpose of this professional development is to educate teachers as to the benefit that can be gained by using probes in the classroom. Vernier is on the cutting edge of providing usable probes in the classroom and they have an extensive array of different probes that can be used. Using probes can be a way to get students excited about science. Lets face it, some labs can be boring and the students are disinterested. However, using probes can be a way to invigorate the students and get them to want to participate in the lab. Using probes also encourages a project or inquiry based learning atmosphere. You take a look at the problem and let the students have at it to get the results. Lastly as the chart shows below using probe and data collection software has average science scores.

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Different Probes that can be used in the classroom

There are a large variety of different probes that can be used in the classroom. I will highlight a couple. The first one is a simple temperature probe. The temperature probe is a device that allows the user to record changes in temperature at a constantly updating basis. I can envision using this in a wide variety of science lessons. Using temperature to determine relative humidity and dewpoint temperatures. Also, comparing how the texture and color of a landscape causes differences in solar absorption rates. Each of these lessons would make excellent use of temperature probe technology.

Another probe that would be well suited for all of your major sciences would be the spectrometer probe. Being able to break down components into their different wavelengths would be a bonus in living environment, earth science, chemistry, and physics. Living environment could use this spectrometer to measure the absorption rates of samples of DNA, proteins, and other household items such as aspirin. Earth science could use this to make determinations about the electromagnetic spectrum of the suns energy. Chemistry could use this identify elements based upon the spectral lines that the elements leave behind. Lastly, physics could use a mass spectrometer to determine the molecular weight of a sample.

Lesson Plan demonstrating the Use of a Probe

This lesson incorporates temperature probes in order to determine the relative humidity and dewpoint temperature of the air. The students will use the probe to determine the air temperature. Then the students will use another probe that has a wet wick attached to it. As they spin the wet probe the water will evaporate and cool the temperature of that probe. The students will make determinations as to how much water evaporated and determine the relative humidity and dewpoint temperature of the air. Here is the link to the lesson I created using Taskstream:

Student Activity within my Lesson Plan

Here is the link to the student activity using probes within my lesson plan:

Teacher Task

Your job here is to look up at the vernier website linked below this paragraph and find a probe that you would incorporate into a lesson of your teaching content. I want you to write a paragraph explaining how you would use this probe in your lesson and how by using a probe your lesson will be enhanced from normal.

Google Form Survey for Professional Development Seminar

Here is the link to my google form survey for the end of the seminar: