By Robert O. Grover
Not too long ago, we traveled to North Idaho and the beautiful town of Coeur d’Alene where the annual Idaho Science Teachers Association (ISTA) was holding the great Idaho STEM Together! Over 300 educators and STEM enthusiasts showed up to partake in activities, professional development sessions, and field trips. Of course Team databot™ was there!
As advertised, we held a competition to see who could deliver the highest CO2 level possible. The prize for the highest level? A complete databot™ kit!
The CO2 Contestants
We had a total of 25 entrants who competed, giving it their all in some very colorful efforts. Musicians and runners with advanced training in breath control were certain they would be the champions. One participant was confident a trained swimmer would likely come out on top. Angela, the Director of the Idaho STEM Action Center, seemed a strong contender due to her role lobbying for funds for STEM education in Idaho—constantly being surrounded by hot air would seemingly be a good training ground for this exercise!
The results? Well, we are happy to report that science was the real winner here, and the top three candidates were thoughtful about how they approached the exercise.
Second Runner Up: Pat
Our second runner up, Pat, was a veteran science teacher from the Moscow School District. He very calmly held his breath and delivered a slow steady exhale into databot’s™ CO2 sensor. The result? A whopping 15,938 parts per million (PPM) of CO2, which was many times higher than all the contestants before him.
First Runner Up: Kristy
Mullan Schools proved themselves to be a small—but mighty!—district, as their teacher Kristy represented them well and landed the first runner up position. Kristy also took a thoughtful approach. While many had huffed and puffed and blew a small gale, Kristy gently cradled databot™ in her cupped hands and filled the contained space with her breath. She delivered a crowd pleasing powerhouse entry of 24,753 PPM! Wow! As you might expect, given the confines of the cupped hand cavern, her delivery was also the juiciest of the winners, with a humidity reading of 81% RH.
Grand Prize Winner! Megan
Our grand prize winner truly demonstrated the power of science as she looked around the display for a few minutes then started asking questions. “Do I have to breathe on it?” was her first inquiry. Well, no, the rules say nothing about how you deliver the CO2.
Her next question: “What is that?” She was pointing at our activity display, which just happened to be using vinegar and baking soda to demonstrate an endothermic reaction.
To make a long story short, Megan, a first year science teacher from the Coeur d’Alene School District, brought home the bacon by stirring up a chemical reaction that produced pure CO2.
Captured in a bright pink balloon, she released the gas into databot’s™ CO2 sensor for the winning recording: 38,630 PPM!
We Had a BLAST!
Congratulations, Megan, and thanks to all the educators who participated! We had a lot of fun, and it was a great opportunity for everyone to see how easy Google Science Journal is to use with databot™. As a tool for making the invisible world of data around us visible, databot™ and Science Journal are a fantastic combination.
About the Author
Robert O. Grover is a proponent of STEAM education and educational technology that helps turn today’s students into tomorrow’s thoughtful leaders.