Texas Instruments' TI-Nspire Technology Helps Spark Students' Interest in Physics

DALLAS (June 21, 2011) – From rollercoasters to the mechanics of lenses, summer presents an opportune time for students to explore physics in the world around them. To help students make the most of summer learning, Texas Instruments is posting physics-themed activities on its Facebook page throughout this week to aid students in connecting science concepts with real-world learning experiences.

Through these activities, students will be able to discover applications of everyday physics. For example, one activity explores acceleration on an amusement park ride while another looks at how images are created by the convergence of light rays.

The self-contained activities also help students explore the powerful teaching and learning capabilities of TI-Nspire™ technology even if they don’t own the TI-Nspire™ CX handheld or the TI-Nspire™ Software version 3.0. Students will be able to access the activities through the TI-Nspire Document Player, a free online tool that enables anyone to share and explore TI-Nspire documents created with TI-Nspire computer software. Additional activities in subjects such as biology and chemistry will be posted throughout the summer.

“The study of physics is important because it helps us understand the world around us using mathematics,” said Erick Archer, science subject matter specialist for Texas Instruments Education Technology. “The study of physics is critical in driving innovation.”

When autumn rolls around, educators can take physics learning to the next level with TI’s new suite of interactive science learning tools. TI brings together the color-display TI-Nspire CX handheld, TI-Nspire Software version 3.0, the TI-Nspire Lab Cradle and the new Vernier DataQuest™ application for TI-Nspire to create a powerful physics solution in the classroom and in the lab. More than 60 data collection sensors by Vernier Software & Technology and TI are compatible with TI-Nspire technology.
“The TI-Nspire Lab Station creates a single, integrated learning system that opens up the world of physics for students with classroom lessons, lab experiments and field study,” Archer said. “The TI-Nspire CX handheld’s full-color display and its ability to display color graphics, photographs, animations and simulations give educators more options than ever before to create interactive lessons for physics.”

Using the tools that make up the customizable TI-Nspire data collection solution, teachers can create inquiry-based labs and experiments for physics class to help students interact with the lessons. Concepts from gravity and motion to properties of heat, light and sound as well as electricity and magnetism can be explored with temperature and light sensors, motion and photogate sensors, accelerometers, gas pressure probes, and electricity and magnetic field sensors.

“Using the TI-Nspire Teacher Software physics educators can create lessons that help students explore the physical world around them from the thermal dissipation of a cooling liquid to the physics of a roller coaster,” said Sean Bird, a physics teacher at Covenant Christian High School and an instructor for TI’s Teachers Teaching with Technology™ (T3™) professional development organization. “TI-Nspire-based lessons also help students simulate and interact with the difficult-to-see universe from the organization of electrons to the motion of the planets.”

The new TI-Nspire CX handheld, with its 16-bit, 320 x 240 pixel, high-resolution color display, helps students better visualize formulas and scientific equations; interpret data, charts and graphics; and view full-color images and animations to highlight concepts and deepen understanding. The TI-Nspire CX handheld is permitted for use on the AP* Physics B and AP* Physics C exams. It’s also permitted on SAT*, AP*, PSAT/NSMQT*, IB®, and ACT® college entrance exams, as well as many state standardized tests.

At retail, the TI-Nspire CX handheld comes with the TI-Nspire Student Software for home use. The TI-Nspire Student Software includes the same features and functionality as the handheld enabling students to work either on the handheld or a computer and transfer documents between the two. TI-Nspire Teacher Software is included in the TI-Nspire CX Teacher Bundles, available through instructional product dealers. The software works on both Mac® and PC computers.

For a list of retailers and detailers where TI-Nspire products are available, visit http://education.ti.com/educationportal/sites/US/nonProductSingle/purchase.html. For more information on TI-Nspire CX handhelds, the TI-Nspire Lab Station or the full line of TI-Nspire technology and resources, visit http://education.ti.com/tinspire.

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About Texas Instruments
Education Technology, a business unit of Texas Instruments, provides a wide range of tools connecting the classroom experience with real-world applications, helping students and teachers to explore mathematics and science interactively. TI’s products and services are tested vigorously against recognized third-party research, which shows that the use of graphing calculators helps improve the mathematical skills of students and their attitudes toward mathematics. For more information, visit education.ti.com.
Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) helps customers solve problems and develop new electronics that make the world smarter, healthier, safer, greener and more fun. A global semiconductor company, TI innovates through manufacturing, design and sales operations in more than 30 countries. For more information, visit ti.com.

*SAT and AP are registered trademarks of the College Entrance Examination Board, which was not involved in the production of and does not endorse these products. PSAT/NSMQT is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation, neither of which was involved in the production of, nor do they endorse these products. Visit http://www.collegeboard.com/ for more information. ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc., which was not involved in the production of and does not endorse these products. IB is a registered trademark of the International Baccalaureate Organization, which was not involved in the production of and does not endorse these products. Policies are subject to change. 

Mac® is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.

DataQuest is a trademark of Vernier Software & Technology