There is a branch of technology where
the product is not words, pictures or web pages but nevertheless offers to shift
what happens in classrooms onto a new level. Here electronic devices or sensors
take readings in science experiments as the computer displays them on a graph.
It is fun, enthralling and a core school activity. In primary schools, sensors are
incredibly handy tools for learning about graphs and measuring. Its not hard
to take a light sensor and measure the brightness of the room all day and night.
You can pop the graph into PowerPoint and get the pupils to label what happened
You can do the same with a temperature sensor to see
the heating comes on and off. You might even conclude that you're overheating
the building. A sound sensor can be unusually good value - if you leave the room you
can check if the class has been quiet. Or place it on your chest and you may
pick up a heartbeat. More forays into electronic measuring - seeing how
things cool, which clothes keep you warmest are the starting points of
investigating science. While some schools go far with this,
many will be happy with as basic a kit as possible. Price is a good guide to
whats appropriate with kits starting at £100 and rising to £200. Read below for
pointers to what we think is best at the moment. Then check out our Data logging pages for Equipment. You'll find some
experiment ideas here too and more primary oriented ideas in our book.
LogIT Explorer **** - www.dcpmicro.com
The LogIT Explorer Junior data logger has won awards and been the subject of
praise. It's the lead for the primary choice and it's won a BETT
award too. It has built-in
sensors and theres a choice of traditional serial or USB connectors (for the
newest PCs and Macs). Buy from Timstar www.timstar.co.uk
Earth, Sun and Moon is a set of five interactives designed for the QCA primary
science scheme of work 5e - 'Earth, Sun and Moon'. A clever, and sound set of
materials that I think you'll enjoy teaching with. Topics covered Day and
night; The Moon’s orbit ; The Earth’s orbit. A new title (2007) covers forces.
Data Harvest **
This firm also have a logger for primary schools - it's a tough choice
between theirs and LogIT Explorer
(above). Look up Data Harvest at Where do I get this stuff. The old
model - 'Ecolog' was a troublesome battery eater while the LogIT Explorer
(above) has the best battery performance that I've seen.
IT in Primary Science ** - now a free book
- Good ideas don't date You're probably doing a quarter of it already.
Junior Data logging Insight **
the supplier www.insightresources.co.uk
Classification with tree or branching database programs ***
The Dutch edition of IT in
Primary Science (out of print)