Did you have to walk two miles to and from school uphill each way? Neither did I. But I do remember the dark ages of 7th grade science class when I had to determine the pH level of various liquids using little strips of paper. The color of the paper indicated the level of base or acid in the liquid. (Discovering that milk is a base came in handy 10 years later when I burned my mouth eating a whole red pepper hiding in my Szechuan chicken dish and needed to offset the acid burn.)
Now, owing to the efforts of Professor Tom Higgins, those days of dipping little strips of paper may be gone forever, at least at our college. Harold Washington College has just been awarded a grant to purchase some really cool new electronic pH sensors, or a gas chromatograph, or a bunch of other snazzy new gadgets from Vernier Software & Technology.
Dr. Higgins was one of over 2,000 applicants for the Vernier 30th Anniversary Grant, and one of only 10 college or university winners. Congratulations Dr. Higgins!
If you have some time, you may want to surf the product catalog of Vernier. For those of us who lust after gadgets, the thought of new accelerometers, ion-selective electrodes, or turbidity sensors just sets my heart pounding. Have no fear, though, because Vernier also carries EKG machines.
And thanks to the good people at Vernier for recognizing us with this grant. The funds will go toward the purchase of equipment to enable students to monitor water quality. It also has a cross-disciplinary aspect with Geographic Information Sciences and Service Learning.
Congratulations again to Professor Higgins, and thanks to Leslie Villasenor for her second grant win of the week. Looks like Leslie is on a roll.