Vernier, NSTA Technology Awards Go to 7 Teachers

The 2016 Vernier/National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) Technology Awards have gone to seven educators, ranging from one teaching fifth-graders to a college professor.

The seven educators — one elementary school teacher, two middle school teachers, three high school teachers and one college-level educator — received awards for their innovative use of data-collection technology using a computer, tablet or other handheld device in the science classroom.

The winners received $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier products and up to $1,500 in expenses to attend the NSTA National Conference in Nashville.

"We believe providing opportunities for science students to engage in practical experience will better prepare them for real-world science exploration," said Vernier Software & Technology CEO John Wheeler.

The winners are:

  • Sherie Ryan-Bailey, of Oakley Elementary School. Using Vernier probes, a weather station and resources from a local university, Ryan-Bailey's fifth-grade students learned weather patterns and how different factors influence weather conditions in their area.
  • Greer Harvell, of Walton Middle School. Harvell's seventh-graders used Vernier's probeware to act as "citizen scientists" and monitor the water quality of a lake located less than a block from their middle school.
  • Aaron Mueller, of Scullen Middle School. Mueller's cross-grade-level collaborative project encouraged students to use Vernier probeware to explore the causes of non-point source pollution in retention ponds and natural waterways near their school.
  • Richard Erickson, of Bayfield High School. Erickson and his students spent the school year investigating the seiches in Lake Superior, a standing wave oscillation created by atmospheric forces.
  • Dan Starr, of Green Lake School. Starr's students used Vernier data-collection technology to study the Big Green Lake's water resources and determine which management decisions are necessary to improve the watershed.
  • Ben Smith, of Peninsula High School, Smith's project encouraged students to launch inquiry-based field and laboratory investigations that explore the relevance of insects to fundamental ecological issues.
  • Kasey Wagoner, of Philadelphia University. Wagoner, a physics professor, created a project-based physics course for non-science majors that incorporates Vernier probes and software.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.