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ERIC Number: EJ1006900
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-2158-0502
Assembly and Validation of a Colorimeter
Hughes, Bill
Technology and Engineering Teacher, v72 n6 p32-36 Mar 2013
A low-cost and portable colorimeter kit has been designed and developed as an educational tool at Penn State University by Dr. Daniel Sykes for K-12 schools' integrated STEM learning. This scientific instrument allows students to learn how scientists utilize light as a means to study the chemical and physical properties of materials with an accuracy of instruments such as the Ocean Optics USB 4000 Spectrophotometer costing nearly $2000. In addition, it serves as a platform to introduce the topics of wet chemistry, nanotechnology, electronics, computer Excel graphing, and algebra in the classroom. Teachers at the Park Forest Middle School (PA) had previously developed an interdisciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) team. The cross-curricular nature of the group strives to reinforce each teacher's subject areas by developing curricula and projects that connect individual subjects into a bigger, real-world picture. During the summer of 2011, two of the Park Forest Middle School STEM team members were privileged to study with Dr. Daniel Sykes, Senior Lecturer, Director of Analytical Instructional Laboratories, Department of Chemistry and Forensic Sciences Program in the University's Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program. The RET program, mentored by Dr. Francelys Medina, MRSEC Education and Outreach Coordinator, immerses K-12 teachers in hands-on research with leading scientists. During the six weeks that followed, additional members of the Park Forest Middle School STEM team staff became actively involved in developing and participating in a cutting-edge STEM endeavor centered on Dr. Sykes' colorimeter. Working in teams, technology education students assembled the colorimeters and learned how the electronic components interact to quantify electromagnetic radiation in the visible light spectrum. When completed, students utilized the instruments in science classes to test properties of various solutions with a spotlight on nanoscale particles. The data collected was entered into Excel spreadsheets for graphing/analysis in their algebra class.
International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. 1914 Association Drive Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191-1539. Tel: 703-860-2100; Fax: 703-860-0353; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania