TI-Nspire Technology from Texas Instruments: A Catalyst for Interactive Learning in Chemistry Education

New Color Display Handheld and Data Collection Solutions
Bring Inquiry-Based Learning to Interactive Chemistry Classroom

DALLAS (July 1, 2011) – With summer in full swing, thoughts of beakers and Bunsen burners in chemistry class are far from most students’ thoughts. But with the Fourth of July holiday just around the corner, they might want to break out the Periodic Table of Elements to discover the colorful connections between chemistry and the brilliant displays overhead.

“The study of chemistry helps students see the visible world in a different way once they discover it’s 100 percent based on the physical and chemical properties of elements,” said Erick Archer, science subject matter specialist for Texas Instruments Education Technology. “From the fuel that supports our sun to the way in which our world is structured, those really big things are made from very small things.”

Texas Instruments is assisting students in their exploration by posting chemistry-themed activities on its Facebook page throughout next week (week of July 4). Through these activities, students will be able to discover everyday applications of chemistry. For example, one activity focuses on light wave frequency and the relation to color while another looks at how elements are charged and their interaction.

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 math and science activities will be posted throughout the summer.
“Chemistry is a subject where seeing the abstract is critical to exploring and learning key concepts,” Archer continued. “For example, TI-Nspire-based lessons, created by teachers, can feature dynamic, full-color simulations of chemical reactions. Color also helps students better visualize the data they collect and analyze during lab experiences, helping them explore and learn traditional concepts.”

When school reconvenes in the fall, chemistry teachers can take advantage of TI-Nspire technology in both the lab and the classroom. TI brings together a suite of interactive science teaching and learning tools including 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 chemistry solution in the classroom and in the lab. More than 60 data collection sensors by Vernier Software & Technology are compatible with TI-Nspire technology.

“The two main components of every chemistry class, the lab and the classroom, are now covered with a single technology,” Archer said. “Whether using TI-Nspire technology in a class lesson on periodicity or a lab-based exercise studying phase changes, TI-Nspire technology can help students more deeply engage in chemistry.”

Todd Morstein, a chemistry teacher at Glacier High School in Kalispell, Mont., understands how important that is for his students.

“I use data collection frequently in my classroom,” said Morstein, who also is an instructor for TI’s Teachers Teaching with Technology™ (T3 ™) professional development organization. “My students go into the lab with TI-Nspire technology and Vernier tools to collect data such as temperature and conductivity. When we return to the classroom, my students analyze that data graphically and numerically to make the real-world chemistry connections.”

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* Chemistry exam. It also is 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.

                                                                                                           # # #
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