By Ashley Pereira, MS Ed.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to engage your students in real world STEM (and declutter your prep room), you need the databot ™! As a science teacher, my prep room was literally stacked to the ceiling with stuff I never used—especially bulky probeware and attachments. While the potential was there, those materials were just too difficult to use in the classroom. No such problem with the databot ™!
Goodbye, prep room clutter. Hello, exciting STEM experiments!
The databot ™ comes equipped with all the sensors you could ever need to easily get students excited about STEM. Plus, this little cube will replace an entire room full of equipment— CO2, gyroscope, LUX, temperature, and much more! The best part? It fits in the palm of your hand.
A special approach to a special year
Like most parents in the teaching profession, I have been managing double-duty as a classroom educator and mom since my children’s school shut down in mid-March of 2020. While this time has certainly been replete with challenges, it has also provided the tremendous blessing of time. Specifically, I’ve had more time than ever before to learn and explore alongside my young children, ages 5 and 7.
Learning at home has always been part of our daily life, and even more now that my kids are confined to ‘distance learning.’ Yet even pre-epidemic, the fact is that most elementary schools offer only a limited amount of science instruction. Nationwide, schools spend 143 minutes a day on math and reading, but a mere 20 minutes on science (Banilower et al, 2013). Our school district here in eastern Connecticut is no exception. Thus, I have always made it a point to offer my children fun STEM learning experiences at home since I know they are not getting it at school. And as I mentioned, now I have more time than ever before to do so!
Introducing our new “buddy,” the databot ™!
When I came across the databot ™ in the Educational Innovations catalog, I was excited—both as a mom and as a science teacher! Not only did it look like something easy and engaging that my kids and I could use together at home, but I also knew it would replace my entire room of probeware when in-person instruction returned. A win-win! The databot ™ was clearly a wise, cost-effective investment.
Right out of the box, this gizmo was incredibly easy to operate. We launched databot ™ Basic Training and downloaded the free phyphox app, opening up yet another world of scientific exploration in the palm of our hands—this time through my smartphone! Through the phyphox app we had access to all ten sensors aboard databot ™:
- air pressure
If my five-year old daughter can do it, so can you! And as every good teacher knows, when something is easy to use, students will gravitate to it.
15 fun and easy things to do with your databot ™:
Here are a few of the things my kids and I did with databot ™ in the very first week:
1. Complete basic training.
2. Identify at least three of the sensors.
3. Download the phyphox app and sync all the databot ™ experiments.
4. Blow on it to measure your CO2. Then measure the CO2 from your pet!
5. Use the altimeter to find the highest place in your school/backyard.
6. Dance with databot ™! Use the gyroscope to graph your grooves.
7. Design an experiment to test face mask effectiveness with the CO2 sensor.
8. Make databot ™ chirp.
9. Find the hottest and coldest places in your home/school.
10. Take databot ™ for a car ride. What will you measure?
11. Take databot ™ to the park. What will you measure?
12. Make a comic strip to depict an experiment you did with databot ™.
13. Watch a YouTube video to learn how to interpret the gyroscope graphs.
14. Use databot ™ to develop your own definition of acceleration.
15. Ride your bike with databot ™. What will you measure?
But wait, there’s more!
And this is just the tip of the iceberg! My favorite thing about the databot ™ is that it truly inspires inquiry. Every item on the list above was my kids’ idea to try—not mine! The databot ™ makes it super simple for students of all ages to visualize and capture the kinds of real, scientific data that bring science, math, and technology into their daily life.
The 21st century workforce demands students who can think critically, analyze data, and make connections to the real world. Whether you are purchasing for yourself and your kids at home or for your classroom, the databot™ makes all of this possible from the palm of your hand!
Banilower, E. R., Smith, P. S., Weiss, I. R., Malzahn, K. A., Campbell, K. M., & Weis, A. M. (2013). Report of the 2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education. Chapel Hill, NC: Horizon Research, Inc.
About the author:
Ashley Pereira has been inspiring students through dynamic STEM learning experiences for the past 12 years. She is a former middle and high school science teacher, and now serves as adjunct professor of Science Education at Eastern CT State University and owner of careerinstem.com, a STEM career exploration platform used by over 1 million students annually.