Vernier data logging - first impressions
Friday 11 July 2014
Having already struggled to use Phillip Harris, Data Harvest and XLlogger data loggers with students, it was with an expectation of rushing around solving lots of little problems that I embarked on a simple respiration rate activity with some new Vernier gas pressure sensors. The software LoggerPro and the sensor with its LabQuest mini connection box worked like a dream. I have never had such a problem free data logging lesson with respect to the sensors.
The most complicated thing was the worksheet of instructions. Perhaps I'm too kind to my students, or the restrictions of one hour lessons force me to make instructions quick and simple to follow, but we found the lab method sheet provided by Vernier a bit complicated. http://www.vernier.com/experiments/bwv/11c/cell_respiration_pressure/
The critical thing with using the gas pressure sensors to measure rate of reaction is to get the balance between the rate of reaction and the size of the test tube/conical flask just right. Too fast or too small a vessel and the pressure builds up too quickly. If this happens the cork pops off when the pressure goes too high.
The setup was easy and the graphs produced were good enough to calculate the slope of the curve for an initial rate of reaction estimate. Loggerpro software is really quite a powerful analytical tool but despite that most students were able to calculate a rate of reaction estimate with a little help.