What Are Sensors?
Sensors are devices that convert a physical parameter such as room temperature, blood pressure or wind speed into a signal that can be measured electrically. (www.sensorsweb.com)
Sensor technology holds great potential value for education, it can be used to improve teaching and learning in science across a broad range of age and ability. There are a vast number of sensors available including heart rate, electrical voltage, gas, light, sound, temperature and distance sensors which are connected to a data-logging device or directly to a computer.
The data is collected by the sensors and then transmitted to the computer. The computer uses software to collect, display and store the experimental data. The software can then display this data in different formats - such as graphs, tables or meter readings, which make it easier for the students to understand the process and bring science to life.
Sensors in Action
To get an idea of how sensors can be used in Junior Science, please take a look at the following short videos. These videos demonstrate how sensors can provide real life data which can easily be collected and analyzed in the classroom.
Matching the Graph
Using a Motion Sensor to study distance rate and time relationships.
Using a pH Probe
Using a pH Probe while titrating an acid and a base.
Spinach Leaves Reaction to Light
Using an oxygen probe to measure photosynthesis in spinach leaves.
Bouncing Ball Investigation
Using a Motion Sensor to measure the height and rate of a ball bouncing.
Why use sensors?
Sensors are used to gather data in a fast and efficient manner. They can be used in numerous experiments, whether in the classroom, science laboratory or on field trips. By using sensors, experimental data is gathered, processed and analyzed by students at greater speed, enhancing the student’s involvement in the experiment……(read more)
Sensor technology facilitates an investigative approach to science. Greater speed, accuracy, range of measurement and the capacity to store and retrieve results are all great reasons to use sensors. Discover the latest range of sensors, how they work and how they can be used as part of classroom experiments…..(read more)
CLARITY is a research centre that focuses on two important research areas - Adaptive Sensing and Information Discovery. The Adaptive Sensors Group (ASG) is the sensor element of CLARITY. The ASG is located in the National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR), at Dublin City University (DCU). Here a team of scientists and engineers work to develop new sensing materials and build sensor networks to monitor the world around us……(read more)
Sensors in Everyday Life
Sensors allow us to monitor our surroundings in ways we could barely imagine a few years ago. Sensors, if used appropriately, can be extremely useful in detecting important information in Industry, the Environment and the classroom. This section gives prime examples of different experiments in which sensors come to the fore in these areas…..(read more)
Exemplars using Sensors
Designed to familiarize users with various sensors, data-loggers and graphs, teachers involved in Discover Sensors have created several practical examples of how sensor equipment can be used in the investigative approach. This section provides exemplars that focus on the technology itself……..(read more)
Discover Sensors has established a partnership with the three platforms currently in use in Irish post primary schools i.e. Data Harvest, Pasco and Vernier. In this section you will find useful links to these platforms. Also, you will discover further links to three different sensor projects, Roger Frost’s Dataloggerama, Eco Sensor Web and Xplora………(read more)
Updates from Sensor Suppliers
Read all the latest news from Sensor suppliers……………(read more)