Exciting science lessons 'STEM' from $10,000 anniversary grant

Exciting science lessons 'STEM' from $10,000 anniversary grant

Vernier Software & Technology's 30-year anniversary is Harris MS science students' gain.

To mark this milestone, the company gave $10,000 grants to 30 innovative U.S. schools, 10 of which in the K-8 category. The only Texas
recipient was Javier De Hoyos, a 7th- and 8thgrade teacher at SAISD's in-district charter for the School of Scientific Inquiry.

"With nearly 2,000 applications in total, we were overwhelmed by the innovation and dedication demonstrated by educators nationwide
for the betterment of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education," said David Vernier, company co-founder and a former physics teacher.

"The 30 grantees are truly deserving of this recognition and the technology received through this grant will greatly assist with their ongoing efforts to expose students to many STEM disciplines in an engaging and hands-on manner."

Through their Vernier probe-ware and weather-monitoring stations and sensors, "Harris students are conducting a variety of highlevel environmental and material engineering experiments and studies, which can help prepare them for careers in ecology, physics, engineering, chemistry, GIS (geographic information system) and many other STEM careers," De Hoyos said.

In the meantime, they have their sights set on entering their work in next semester’s Junior Academy of Science and Alamo Regional Science fairs. In the latter, Harris was the 2011 Sister Joseph Marie Armer Award recipient for the year's most outstanding science program.

Harris MS teacher Javier De Hoyos observes 7th-grader Alejandro Martinez as he ascertains the effectiveness of different materials that can be used to muffle the sound of an air boat and also whethert here is an impact on speed.

Using a spectrophotometer to determine absorbance of light, 7th-grader Julianne Garcia compares toothpaste to whitening strips. Eggshells stained with tea served as her model for teeth.


Seventh-grader Victoria Reyes and 8th-grader Benjamin Figueroa test a wind turbine's varying lengths of blades to discover the best voltage output as it correlates to wind speed.