Academic journal article The Science Teacher

LabQuest 2

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

LabQuest 2

Article excerpt


Manufacturer: Vernier Software and Technology

Price: $329


Grade level: K-College

In the not-so-distant past, many science teachers measured temperature with mercury-based thermometers and graphed the results of their experiments on graph paper. Perhaps some of you recall how problematic it was to clean up a broken mercury thermometer and cringe at the thought of a smeared pencil erasure after a correction was made to the graph paper of a lab report.

In stark contrast to the old-fashioned scientific laboratory equipment of the past, a new tool known as the LabQuest 2 is available to science teachers. The LabQuest 2, a standalone unit interface, can be used to collect data from a sensor. Slightly larger than a cell phone, the LabQuest 2 is equipped with built-in graphing and analysis applications that combine integrated software for data collection and inquiry. The hardware includes a USB port and three analog ports and can collect data from multiple sensors simultaneously.

Once data is collected, results can be saved on a USB fash drive for later transfer to a computer. In addition, the unit includes a built-in GPS, stopwatch, calculator, and even a microphone for remarks. The unit lends convenience to situations in which it's undesirable or problematic to carry multiple instruments into the field. In a field test, the device was easy to use and worked well with both Macintosh and/or Windows computer platforms. Moreover, it comes with easy-to-follow instructions for over a hundred labs and is compatible with more than 70 probes.

From my perspective, it is remarkable that a multifaceted device such as this is so easy to use. …

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