LabQuest Adds Scientific Accessories

Vernier Software & Technology is making new accessories available for its LabQuest system to help turn chemistry or physics classrooms into mini high-tech research labs. The announcement was made at the 2009 National Educational Computer Conference (NECC) last week in Washington, DC.

At last week's National Education Computing Conference (NECC) in Washington, DC, the company announced the release of both the Watts Up meter and the Vernier Mini Gas Chromatograph (Mini GC).

Watts Up allows students to collect data on energy used by electrically powered products. Users can then connect the device to a computer to examine measurements of current, potential, power, and energy, and to analyze the data collected. In this way, science students can learn about energy usage and costs and explore possible methods of conservation and increased efficiency.

The Mini GC, which is similar to larger and far more costly professional gas chromatographs, can analyze chemical compounds, separate the components of a mixture, and identify chemical components of an unknown compound. Gas chromatography has long been a significant tool in all facets of university and professional chemistry research and practical laboratory applications, such as forensics and pharmaceuticals.

Also newly available is the LabQuest Charging Station, a compact unit for storing and charging up to four handheld LabQuest units simultaneously, saving both time and energy.

The Watts Up meter will retail for $145, and the Mini GC will be priced $1,749. Vernier said it expects to have both available in time for the new school year beginning fall 2009. The charging station is currently available at $99.

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Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.