An acquisition for enquiring minds

19 February 2001
Category: Data Acquisition

Promoting science in education: Dundee City Council purchases Pico Technology's DrDAQ data loggers for its schools.

  • Meeting revised National Guidelines
  • Investing in the future of engineering
  • Affordable and easy to use data logger

Cambridge, UK — 19 February 2001 — Pico Technology today announced that the Dundee City Council's Education Development Service has purchased 41 low-cost, PC-based DrDAQ data loggers: one for each of its primary schools. The Council, which hopes to purchase additional data loggers for its secondary schools in the near future, aims to provide pupils with the technology they will be using when they enter the job market and to provide teachers with the appropriate in-service training.

Revised National Guidelines propose that Information Communication and Technology (ICT) play a crucial role in future science curricula and National Grid For Learning (NGFL) developments require Educational Departments to provide guidance on how to build ICT into learning and teaching. Dundee City Council is of the opinion that incorporating Data Logging into science-based subjects is an excellent way to meet the new guidelines.

“DrDAQ is well suited for use in primary and secondary schools,” comments Alan Tong, Pico Technology's Technical Director. “Because the data logger is PC-based, the results of data acquisition experiments — be they to record sound, temperature, light levels or the pH of a solution — can be seen instantly. The days of litmus paper, stop watches, hand crafted results tables and plots are fast disappearing.”

There is widespread agreement among councils that by the time the pupils in their primary and secondary schools hit the job markets, high-tech tools will be the norm. The use of equipment such as DrDAQ will do much to prepare pupils for a world in which data is easily acquired, visualised and interpreted.

DrDAQ plugs into the parallel port of any lap-top or desk-top PC, requires no power supply and is supplied with Pico Technology's popular software packages, PicoLog and PicoScope: the former enables DrDAQ to be used as an advanced data logger over long periods of time, whereas the latter enables DrDAQ to be used as an oscilloscope to analyse rapidly changing signals such as sound waveforms.

In addition, Pico Technology has made available, free on its website (www.picotech.com,) a library of science experiments for use in primary and secondary schools. The experiments - all of which are underpinned by the use of oscilloscopes or data logging equipment - are written by science teachers and industry experts and are split into five key subjects: biology, chemistry, physics, electronics and general science.

DrDAQ

DrDAQ takes its power from the PC to which it is connected (via parallel port) so there is no need for separate power supplies.

The DrDAQ board features built-in sensors for light, sound waveforms, sound level, temperature, voltage and resistance. In addition, a socket accepts any standard pH electrode and there are two sockets for a range of optional external sensors such as humidity, pressure and magnetic field. DrDAQ recognises the presence of sensors and automatically scales and calibrates all readings.

The PicoScope and PicoLog software packages referenced above are compatible with Windows 3.1x, 95/98/2000 and NT.

Full details of DrDAQ can be found at !www.drdaq.com. From this site, teachers can download demonstration and full versions of PicoScope and PicoLog.

DrDAQ, retails for £59.00. Optional external sensors are competitively priced and a DrDAQ with two external temperature sensors and a pH electrode retails for only £99: all prices exclude VAT and delivery.

Pico Technology Ltd
Mill House
Cambridge Street
St Neots
PE19 1QB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1480 396395
Fax: +44 (0)1480 396296
Email: enquiry@picotech.com

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