Texas School Adopts Wireless Sensors for STEM Ed

The British International School of Houston (BISH), a private pre-K–12 school in Texas, has purchased wireless sensors and dynamic carts from PASCO Scientific for its science classes in grades 6–12.

“We were seeking novel techniques to increase innovation and support a constructivist approach to teaching. We’re also now a 1-to-1 school, so we wanted tools that are compatible with multiple devices,” said Andrew Derry, BISH’s principal, in a prepared statement.

BISH selected the PASCO Smart Carts, a low-friction cart equipped with four built-in wireless sensors, to assist in inquiry-based experiential learning and hands-on problem solving. Students have already started using the wireless sensors, which can collect pH, temperature, pressure, conductivity and other data in real-time. Using Bluetooth Smart, the cart can quickly and easily connect all classroom devices (Mac and Windows computers, Windows tablets, iPads, iPhones, Android tablets and phones, Chromebooks) that run PASCO software through in-app pairing. BISH purchased the SPARKvue data collection and analysis software, which “combines rich standards-based content, data collection, visualization, analysis and assessment,” according to the company’s website.

“Because students can see the data and how they can directly connect their observations with scientific theory, we’re already starting to see students making deeper connections more quickly,” Derry said in a statement.

“This is just the beginning,” said Gavin Rayner, a BISH physics teacher, in a statement. “Our long-term goal is that students will be as familiar with using the wireless sensors for data collection as they are with using a pencil. We aim to blur the lines between subjects for a deeper a deeper conceptual understanding. These sensors are the first step in doing so.”

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].