Science and STEM Educators Win 2017 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards for their Innovative Use of Data-Collection Technology

Seven elementary through college level educators awarded prizes valued at $5,500 each

BEAVERTON, Oregon, March 27, 2017 — Vernier Software & Technology and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) announce the winners of the 2017 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards. The seven educators—one elementary teacher, two middle school teachers, three high school teachers, and one college-level educator—were selected by a panel of NSTA-appointed experts as recipients of this annual award for their innovative use of data-collection technology in the science classroom.

Each winner will be formally recognized at the NSTA National Conference in Los Angeles, CA on March 31, 2017 and will receive $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier products, and up to $1,500 toward expenses to attend the conference.

“Each of this year’s winners exemplify how data-collection technology can transform the teaching and learning process in science and STEM classrooms,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “From hands-on investigations about renewable energy to the study of electric and magnetic field lines, the winning projects incorporate data-collection technology in innovative ways to engage students in meaningful, hands-on scientific discovery.” 

This year’s Vernier/NSTA Technology Award winners include:

Category: Elementary School

Kathryn Eyolfson, Coyote Hills Elementary, Aurora, CO

STEM teacher Kathryn Eyolfson teaches her students about renewable and nonrenewable energy resources through inquiry and project-based learning. During one unit, fifth grade students utilize Vernier technology as they apply science and engineering practices to construct wind turbines with the KidWind Advanced Wind Turbine Kit. 

Category: Middle School

Carrie Herndon, Metro East Montessori School, Granite City, IL

Each week, Carrie Herndon’s students engage in various hands-on data-collection investigations at a nearby 260-acre farm. In one investigation, students carefully observed a beehive on the farm, took pictures, and used a Vernier Motion Detector and Temperature Probe to collect and analyze data after they noticed the bees were behaving in an unusual manner.

Terra McMillan, Thomson Middle School, Centerville, GA

Using her school’s solar array and the associated monitoring database, along with Vernier probeware, Terra McMillan plans to implement even more inquiry-based, data-collection labs across all three of her school’s grade levels. For example, in seventh grade Life Science, students will use CO2 probes to analyze how plants act like solar panels during photosynthesis. 

Category: High School

Amy Melby, Yuma High School, Yuma, CO

Physics students in Amy Melby’s class will participate in a study of the Greater Prairie-Chicken to better understand whether the addition of wind turbines in nearby sandhills pose an impact on the species. Students will record and analyze the various vocalizations produced by the birds, as well as the sounds generated by the turbines, using Vernier interfaces and sensors. 

Hannah Erickson, Boston Day and Evening Academy, Roxbury, MA

Hannah Erickson’s school is located in a neighborhood of Boston with an asthma rate six times higher than the state average. Using Vernier interfaces and sensors, Erickson plans to have her students gather data about atmospheric CO2 levels, both in the school’s neighborhood and in a variety of other neighborhoods throughout the city to study the potential cause of this problem. 

Dr. René Corrales, STAR Academic Center, Tucson, AZ

In Dr. René Corrales’ physics class, students use Vernier Voltage Probes and an LED as part of a hands-on investigation to study electric and magnetic field lines to see how those fields interact. 

Category: College

Donald Carpenetti, Craven Community College, New Bern, NC

In Donald Carpenetti’s Organic Chemistry II class, students are put in small groups to take part in original research projects involving data collection, such as developing a guided inquiry-based gas laws experiment incorporating pressure-sensing technology and evaluating a solid mixture. 

To learn more about the Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards and to find details for the 2018 application, visit http://www.vernier.com/grants/nsta/.  

About Vernier Software & Technology

Vernier Software & Technology has led the innovation of scientific data-collection technology for 36 years. Vernier was founded by a former physics teacher and employs educators at all levels of the organization. The company is committed to teachers and to developing creative ways to teach and learn science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) using hands-on science. Vernier creates easy-to-use and affordable science interfaces, sensors, and graphing/analysis software. With worldwide distribution to over 140 countries, Vernier data loggers are used by educators and students from elementary school to university. Vernier technology-based solutions enhance STEM education, increase learning, build students' critical thinking skills, and support the science and engineering practices detailed in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The Vernier business culture is grounded in Earth-friendly policies and practices, and the company provides a family-friendly workplace. For more information, visit http://www.vernier.com.

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