STEM Educators Recognized for Data-Collection Innovation in the 2013 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards

Award winners receive prizes valued at $5,500

BEAVERTON, Oregon, April 10, 2013 – Vernier Software & Technology and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) awarded seven educators – including two middle school teachers, four high school teachers and one college-level educator – with 2013 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards. Each of these winners was selected by an NSTA-appointed panel of experts for their innovative use of data-collection technology.

Each winner will be formally recognized at this year’s annual NSTA Conference in San Antonio, Texas on April 12, 2013, and receive $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier products and up to $1,500 toward expenses to attend the conference. 

“The use of data-collection technology in the classroom helps foster students’ interest in STEM education and provides them with engaging, hands-on opportunities for scientific investigation,” said David Vernier, co-founder of Vernier and a former physics teacher. “For ten years Vernier and NSTA have recognized innovative STEM educators through this award and this year’s winners are no exception – their projects and programs truly utilize the power of data-collection technology as part of the teaching and learning process.”

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

Category: Middle School

Christine Herald, Eisenhower Middle School, Manhattan, KS

Herald’s students use pH sensors to investigate the pH of different cake mixes and chemical reactions in the ‘Easy Bake Oven® Heat Transfer Lab.’ She will add Light Sensors for physics investigations, as well as Temperature Probes.

Kristy Schneider, La Center Middle School, La Center, WA

Schneider’s engineering students work with a local scientist to construct and to wire control boxes for underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).  From monitoring and analyzing nitrate levels to conducting water quality tests at wetlands, students use Vernier sensors and LabQuest 2 devices to conduct experiments with their ROVs.

Category: High School

Cara Hale-Hanes, Long Beach Polytechnic High School, Long Beach, CA

Based on the World Water Monitoring project that delivers potable water to people around the world, Hale-Hanes’ ‘Design a Biological Buffer for Water Treatment’ lab challenges students to design a buffering system that allows water to be consumable for humans and animals. As part of the investigation, students use the Vernier pH sensor and LabQuest data-collection interface to test the buffering capacity of their selected buffer.

Crystal Sengstaken, The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles, CA

After the study of the anatomy and physiology of the muscular system, students in Sengstaken’s System Biology and Disease class design their own unique experiment utilizing the Vernier EKG Sensor in order to answer a question of their choice about muscle function and neuromuscular reflexes.

Darrell Coston, Goldsboro High School, Goldsboro, NC

In ‘The Effects of UV Radiation on Bacterial Cell Growth’ lab, Coston’s chemistry students utilize Cell Theory with a wide variety of Vernier sensors to conduct an inquiry-based investigation that involves the utilization of UV radiation and its effects on cellular growth. 

Katherine Schenkelberg, West High School, Torrance, CA

In Schenkelberg’s Muscular System unit, anatomy and physiology students complete a series of technology-based, inquiry labs using Vernier’s EKG Sensor and Hand Dynamometer to investigate the electromyogram (EMG).

Category: College

Heidi Bulfer, Colby Community College, Colby, KS

Bulfer plans to extend a photosynthesis and respiration lab from Vernier by having biology students use data-collection technology skills to create and test hypotheses looking at the photosynthesis and respiration rates of different agricultural crops grown in northwest Kansas, which is the home of the college.

To learn more about the Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards and to find details for the 2014 application, visit  

About Vernier Software & Technology

Vernier Software & Technology has been a leading innovator of scientific data-collection technology for 32 years. Focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), Vernier is dedicated to developing creative ways to teach and learn using hands-on science. Vernier creates easy-to-use and affordable science interfaces, sensors, and graphing/analysis software. With world-wide distribution to over 130 countries, Vernier products are used by educators and students from elementary school to college. Vernier’s technology-based solutions enhance STEM education, increase learning, and build students' critical thinking skills. Vernier’s business culture is grounded in Earth-friendly policies and practices, and the company provides a family-friendly workplace. For more information, visit

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