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Controlling Science Equipment in Teaching Labs Remotely with LabVIEW

Page history last edited by Molly Hepworth 6 years, 4 months ago

Controlling Science Equipment in Teaching Labs Remotely with LabVIEW

 

Primary Presenter: Paul (PJ) Bennett

Co-Presenter: Daniel Branan

Organization: Colorado Community College System

Role: NANSLO Lab manager

Track: Demonstration

Topic: Global Education Science Technology 

Level: Advanced

 

Abstract: A major limiting factor to remote science lab courses is the availability of equipment that is accurate enough to produce meaningful results. In this presentation we will show how the graphical programming language LabVIEW can be used to provide remote access to science equipment in teaching labs. We will demonstrate a final online web interface and then walk through the modules and steps needed to create that interface and deploy it to the web.

 

Bio: Paul (PJ) Bennett is currently the North American Network of Science Labs Online (NANSLO) Lab Manger for the Colorado Community College System. Previously he served as an Academic Technology consultant (2012), Assistant Director of the Graduate Teacher Program (2011-06), and while a graduate student (1999-06), the Lead Graduate Teacher for the Graduate Teacher Program (2001-03) all at the University of Colorado Boulder. He received his bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Oregon, and my PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado.

 

Description: The equipment used in modern science teaching laboratories occupies a space somewhere between the cutting edge equipment used in modern research labs and the home science kits you can buy in the larger craft and toy stores. The advantage of the equipment used in teaching abs is the level of precision available to the student with a cost that is low to the institution, compared to state of the art equipment. However, this equipment is still much more costly than a typical remote student can afford. The result is that many science classes are simply not offered remotely. However, even if these classes are offered remotely, the students are often restricted to equipment that is no better than that available in home science kits. The precision of the equipment in these kits often makes it difficult to calculate universal constants, let alone explore scientific phenomena. One solution to this problem is to creating remote labs where students control teaching lab equipment over the web. However, unlike a lot of the cutting edge scientific equipment, most teaching lab equipment does not have a web or remote interface built in to it; we will discuss the creation of these interfaces.

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