Investigating the Biological Sciences using ProScopes
The NPEF has awarded several grants over the last four years for the purchase of ProScopes (digital microscopes) and Vernier Probes that help increase the technological skills of the students, bring a more modern and realistic setting to the classroom laboratory, increase the students’ observational, analytical, and drawing skills, and raise the students’ critical thinking skills.
To date, the grants from the NPEF have provided students with the opportunity to quickly acquire real-time data and facilitate inquiry-based learning.
This year, the Biology department purchased a high-resolution digital microscope that is able to provide immediate images that can be captured, modified, saved and transferred to other computers and these images can be seen by the entire class at a resolution of up to 1000x. The department also used the grant to purchase Vernier handheld LabQuest interfaces, which will increase the utilization of the Vernier Probes purchased in the past.
The LabQuest software enables the Vernier probes to be used independently from a computer outside the classroom and can graph and analyze much of the data collected right in the field.