TIRP Report - Science Probes

Rick Mrazek & Jeff Meadows (2003)

Below is a report by a teacher who used the probes in their school:

Last Spring/Summer I borrowed the USB Microscope, the computer probes and the hand-held probe readers for use in a pond study activity that I did with my students. We dedicated a half-day to the observation and collection of samples (both biotic and abiotic) from a local slough. The students were asked to take multiple readings and observations of temperature (at varying depths), pH, water color, odour and appearance using both traditional methods (thermometers, pH paper) as well as the new probes that Rick has. They were also asked to collect and identify specimens from the pond, and a few of these specimens were taken back to the lab. The data and samples were then taken back into the lab where they were pooled to try and create an accurate data map of the pond. Students were also allowed to view the specimens that they collected using traditional microscopes as well as the USB microscope which was connected to a projector to show unique or special items to the whole class at one time.

My students absolutely loved this activity and I hope to be able to use the peripherals again in the future to do the same activity again. Our school division has been talking about purchasing a shared resource (with peripherals like these) that can be booked out by schools. I would like to be able to demonstrate some of these items at our next science teachers meeting in hopes of helping move this idea along.

If you require any further information on how we used them materials, do not hesitate to ask.

Thank you for letting me use them - it is appreciated (by both myself and my students).

Jeff Meadows

Sessional Instructor

University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education

Lethbridge, AB