BRONXVILLE, N.Y. Students at Bronxville High School have a surprise waiting for them when they return to their science classrooms in September.
In June, the Bronxville school board accepted a $32,298 grant for several Vernier Lab Quest systems, which will be delivered to the school this summer. The grant was from the Bronxville Foundation.
"We're really excited to have them come in in September," said Charles Ippolito, chair of the science department at Bronxville High School. "Probably, in the first year, there is going to be a learning curve for the teachers on how to use them."
The students typically collect data and later input it into a computer. The Lab Quest 2 systems will allow the students to send recently collected data to their tablets, smartphones and laptops. They also can share their data right away, Ippolito said. It grants immediacy, allowing the children to work from home after school once they download the analysis software.
In addition, unlike laptop or desktop computers, the Lab Quest 2 systems are portable. Notes can be taken directly onto the device. Ippolito anticipates the students will go to the Bronx River to measure water turbidity or the water's level of dissolved oxygen.
"Eventually, it looks like we'll be able to not have to use lab handouts," said Ippolito, as the systems will conduct the labs, which can be modified by teachers as needed.
In the past, Bronxville High School used TI calculators to use probes for temperature, gas sensors and oxygen sensors. With the new systems, students will be free from using the non-Wi-Fi calculators, Ippolito said.
Ippolito had the idea to equip the science labs with the Lab Quest 2 systems after he visited a Manhattan school in March 2011 where he used to teach. He noticed the students were using iPads with research and wanted to do something similar at Bronxville High School.
"When I saw how they were using it," Ippolito said, "I thought that this would be ideal for us to get into at Bronxville."
However, after the technology department did not approve of iPad use, Ippolito sought another method to bring new technology to the students.
"It's sharp," he said of the Lab Quest 2. "Big things are going to happen."
To watch a video tutorial of the Lab Quest 2 system, click here .
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