In what has been an extremely challenging year for educators nationwide, many educators have worked hard to engage students in hands-on science activities under unusual circumstances. Four of these educators are being honored with the 2021 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards from Vernier Software & Technology and the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). Chosen by a panel of NSTA-appointed experts, this year’s winning educators—three high school teachers and one college professor—demonstrated how they innovatively use data-collection technology to engage students in science and STEM learning.
“All of this year’s winning educators have done a terrific job at increasing students’ interest and awareness of STEM through real-world applications,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “We applaud their innovation and look forward to supporting their ongoing work as they engage students in new and innovative ways through data collection and hands-on learning.”
Each of the winning educators will receive $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier products, and funding to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education or other science conference.
The 2021 Vernier/NSTA Technology Award winners include:
Category: High School
Jacob Bowman, Western High School, Russiaville, IN
By providing technology-supported learning opportunities, in part using Vernier data-collection solutions, physics teacher Jacob Bowman has greatly increased student enrollment in physics classes. Activities such as a Biot-Savart Law experiment engage students as they design and carry out investigations. With this award, Bowman plans to utilize probeware that interfaces directly with students’ iPad® tablets in new and innovative ways, both in and out of the traditional lab setting.
Joe Muise, St. Thomas More Collegiate, Burnaby, BC
Science teacher Joe Muise frequently engages his students in small-scale investigations using data-collection technology—from measuring temperature during a specific heat experiment to measuring current and voltage during a range of circuits experiments—to show his students that physics is all around them. Newly acquired digital sensors will help students more accurately collect data during these experiments. Additionally, they will be used during a student-driven research project Muise is creating in which students will be able to apply their knowledge and explore areas of personal interest.
Benton Shriver, Canadian Valley Technology Center, Yukon, OK
Anatomy and physiology instructor Benton Shriver has used Vernier data-collection technology in multiple settings over the past eight years, including during in-the-field biology experiments sampling freshwater at turtle communities and most recently as part of the Career Technology Center’s Health Careers program. As part of this program, Shriver uses the technology to provide engaging hands-on learning opportunities to teach highly relevant and practical skills and content to students planning to enter the medical field.
Katrina Henry, Virginia Wesleyan University, Virginia Beach, VA
Katrina Henry, an assistant professor of physics and Earth/environmental studies, plans to incorporate physiology probeware and equipment into the labs in the recently created Physics of Sound class for non-science majors. Students previously benefited from standard physics probeware the university already had but will now be able to focus more on the biological aspect of physics of sound and making music—such as the amount of oxygen used while singing and playing wind instruments—in a hands-on, data-driven way.