NSTA Vernier Award

I received the following note today!

Congratulations!  You have been selected by the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) Awards and Recognitions Committee as a recipient for the 2014 Vernier Technology Award. They reviewed many applications and yours was chosen as it showcased your exemplary science teaching skills.

The Vernier Technology Awards will recognize and reward the innovative use of data-collection technology using a computer, graphing calculator, or other handheld in the science classroom. A total of seven $5,500 awards will be presented:

One award at the Elementary Level (Grades K-5)
Two awards at the Middle School Level (Grades 6-8)
Three awards at the High School Level (Grades 9-12)
One award at the College Level

So this is pretty exciting.  NSTA is in Boston this year, so that will make traveling to the event a bit easier!

Here is the abstract for the lengthy application:


As a teacher I continue to learn and always display my passion for learning on center stage.  Although no longer a “student” in the traditional sense, I am engaged in research in science and engineering.  I am also involved in educational research.   As teachers we need to listen to what students are saying.  We need to try to understand what they are thinking, and to track the evolution of their thought processes. Every student learns differently, and by engaging in collaborative joint-sense making, we can make the learning experience a passionate experience for every child.  I employ an active learning environment where students collaborate to explore ideas, design solutions to problems, and share results.  Through my work at the Center for Engineering and Education Outreach at Tufts University, I am part of a team developing a software platform, called InterLACE, to aid students in collaborative inquiry based learning.  Students share their ideas through this cloud-based platform and then engage in class discussions.  My role as teacher is to moderate and steer learning

For my activity, students develop a model for the pendulum, a traditional high school physics experiment.   My activity is different because of the required use of collaboration and use of a wide variety of Vernier sensors, including photogates, Motion Sensors, accelerometers and image analysis.  Students also analyze data I gathered with a Vernier Wireless Dynamics System Sensor that I flew in an experiment on a NASA Reduced Gravity Flight.

Please see http://blogs.bu.edu/ggarber/2011/06/30/wednesday-in-houston/ to learn more about this activity