Altona Science Teacher Wins NSTA Technology Award

A BIG congratulations goes out to Ms. Rachel Arbor, 7th and 8th grade science teacher at Altona Middle School for being awarded the NSTA (National Science Teacher Association) Vernier Technology Award.  She was selected to receive this prestigious award because of the innovative use of data-collection technology in her science classroom.

In her submission for this award, she wrote about how her students utilized data-collection technology throughout the Energy and Waves unit in order to access deeper thinking and analyze the major concepts at play. Rachel discussed the Rube Goldberg machines and how students were calculating the velocity of spheros in order to program them within the machines. During this project, students also used infrared thermometers to analyze the temperature at which different colored balloons would pop, as to catalyze the movement within the rest of the machine (the pop’s energy cause the nearby domino to roll down a ramp and make dominoes fall, etc.). She then discussed how students used the infrared temperature data collection during the solar oven project to analyze how the temperature of the object changed based on its albedo. Finally, Rachel talked about the waves project she created, in which students used slo-motion videos to analyze the frequency and wavelength of different strings on various instruments in Altona’s Orchestra room.

What did she win?

$1,000 cash, $3,000 in Vernier Products for my classroom, free NSTA membership and attendance at the upcoming spring conference, and $1,500 in expenses towards room and board, flights, NSTA activities, and workshops during the NSTA National Conference Weekend.


Altona Middle School