PASCO Capstone interface

Getting Started with PASCO Capstone

The ease of use of digital laboratories depends primarily on software. PASCO CAPSTONE online training recording from September 26, 2018 now is available in YouTube.

Also you can watch online training.

Full list of Capstone feature in video format  is also available in YouTube.

What is PASCO Capstone?

It’s a feature-rich data acquisition, visualization, and analysis program designed by PASCO scientific for advanced science education. In addition, Capstone contains the tools needed for the creation and execution of structured scientific inquiries, by allowing simple drag-and-drop integration of rich text, graphics, video, and data displays on multiple page displays called workbooks.
It is completely compatible with all PASCO USB Interfaces, including the 850 Universal Interface, Xplorer GLX, SPARKlink, SPARKlink Air, SPARK SLS, USB Link and older interfaces such as the ScienceWorkshop 750 or 500.

You can download 60 days trial version of PASCO Capstone for MS Windows or Mac OS X here. It will behave exactly as a fully licensed version. You can buy digital license and activate the software late on.

If you have a questions about connection with sensors download user manual here.

Second aspect of successful training for students it is methodical approach. You do not need to spend your time for preparation it is already done. Check digital-library here and find PASCO CAPSTONE file icon  to download. 


Some Physics Experiments for Mechanics, Oscillations, Thermodynamics, Electromagnetism, Waves and Optics, Quantum topics are available here.

More information about PASCO CAPSTONE features, license types, data Importing and Exporting look here.

Essential chemistry – digital resources Chemistry e-Book

Nowadays e-books for studying become more popular. And from many sides, it is a very wise decision to use a centralized solution, which could be updated immediately if didactic or article author will found it necessary.

Worst practices

I have seen a lecturer who tried to make an e-book with students. It was fun for them to find materials on the internet. It really helps students to study. But soon lecturer recognized a very deep problem. The material chosen by students carefully verified. As a sample, you can find in YouTube video “How to make a MONOPOLE MAGNET”. In Brief in a Video to make monopole magnets recommended to take a regular magnet to freeze it in the refrigerator and cut it in half. If the student read it as a true source of information then he gets to know nonsenseand believe in that. .

Another group of lecturers from different countries agreed to make internal wiki by topics in English for Software development course. It was also very nice idea. And at the beginning it works fine, because of enthusiasms. But on the second year they start to find that materials is going old very quickly. So, it was a problem who will update the topic. Because every lecturer has they own style of giving materials to students. And appears different versions of topic. After that problem went deeper. Because it was already work routine and nobody was interested to edit an articles for free.

All that attempts shows that necessity in that tool exists, but it should be properly organized.

Best practices of E-books

The proper electronic book consists of two parts. One for the teacher and a second one for students. Of course, both parts are linked. And it gives the opportunity for young teachers to give lessons in a proper way immediately after becoming a lecturer. Just because the electronic book is the fully prepared tool for study subject. The properly prepared electronic book has a theoretical block, presentation for lessons, exercise book, test question, tips, video materials, files to research lab equipment and methodical guidance to a teacher. No doubt, that it should be allowed to control students study progress and trough tests and tasks and remotely help if they will need help.
According to that and educational standards are build up PASCO SCIENTIFIC Essential chemistry e-book. More information is here.

Pasco Scentific sensors and PC or tablet bluetooth connection schema

How to connect one PASPORT sensor via Bluetooth® or through a direct USB connection?

The wireless sensor is much more convenient to use. If you have in use wired PASCO SCIENTIFIC Pasport sensors order Airlink. AirLink PS-3200 connect one PASPORT sensor via Bluetooth® or through a direct USB connection. Just plug the sensor in Airlink and collect data in or out of the classroom using computers, tablets or smartphones.


Need more than a single PASPORT sensor per lab station? Multiple AirLinks can be used simultaneously. Watch the video below to see sensor Airlink combo and data acquisition device wireless pairing.

USB Bluetooth Adapter – PS-3500. Simply connect it to an open USB port and then up to three PASCO devices (wireless sensors, Smart Carts, AirLinks) can be connected via Bluetooth. Windows computers, Chromebooks and older Macs can utilize these devices with the help of this low-cost adapter.

AirLink is the most economical way to use PASPORT sensors. The 550 Universal Interface is second option. It also offers Bluetooth compatibility and can be used with SPARKvue software as well as PASCO Capstone software.

Pasco Agreecultural Sciense

Agricultural Science Bundles

To study intrinsically Agricultural Science Pasco Scientific developed Bundles PS-7621 and PS-7622A.

Ag Science Starter Bundle – PS-7621


Agricultural wireless Starter Bundles – PS-7621 includes:

  • pH Sensor (PS-3204)
  • Conductivity Sensor (PS-3210)
  • CO2 Sensor (PS-3208)
  • Colorimeter And Turbidity Sensor (PS-3215)

Ag Science Extension Bundles PS-7622A

Agricultural Science Extension Bundle PS-7622A expands on the starter bundles. It adds the ability to model ecosystems and the greenhouse effect, study environmental conditions, perform mapping / GIS activities, track weather conditions for extended periods, and perform additional water quality studies.


There are twelve new agricultural science labs that are designed to use wireless sensors and which are free to download. Each lab includes an editable student file and a SPARKvue configuration file which streamline data collection and enable students to spend more time on analysis.

It adds the ability to model ecosystems and the greenhouse effect, study environmental conditions, perform mapping / GIS activities, track weather conditions for extended periods, and perform additional water quality studies.

With two bundles you can make Experiments:

  1. Monitoring Soil Quality
  2. Water Treatment
  3. Freshwater Quality Monitoring
  4. The acidity of water (pH)
  5. Respiration of Germinating Seeds
  6. Plant Pigments and Photosynthesis
  7. Plant Respiration and Photosynthesis
  8. Modelling an Ecosystem
  9. Greenhouse Gases
  10. The energy content of Food
  11. Diffusion
  12. Soil pH 

Here is a video about PASCO’s Wireless Weather Sensor with GPS. It provides 17 measurements for tracking environmental conditions. Learn about these measurements from the built-in weather, light, compass, and GPS sensing elements and see quick demonstrations of the setups for two applications: mapping measurements and set up a temporary weather station.

Concentration determination by colour

The Wireless Colorimeter and Turbidity Sensor – PS-3215 allows students to set up in seconds and collect measurements with ease.

How can you use light and color to determine the concentration of a solution by Beer’s Law? Explore and quantify the relationship between concentration and absorbance of light with the Wireless Colorimeter and SPARKvue software. Apply the relationship to determine the concentration of an unknown solution.

Read more about Wireless Colorimeter And Turbidity Sensor in product catalogue.

For purchase questions, e-mail ask@ste(.)education. (You must remove the brackets from the email address before sending).

STEM in Chemistry

Tie-dying is always a great year-end experiment and as chemists. A real bonding experience is fun to guess which student will end up with the most dye on their arms. Students also have an opportunity to incorporate chemistry in a meaningful way while creating a nice keepsake.

First, you’ll want to purchase reactive dyes since they are very brilliant and colourfast. They actually bond with the fabric, making the colour on the shirt last longer and the chemistry more interesting. Despite student protest that this is “just supposed to be fun”, tie-dying is an opportunity to review concepts of concentration, absorbance and transmittance. With a PASCO Wireless Spectrometer (PS-2600), you can explore the absorbance of the different coloured dyes before you start the process of colouring your shirts.

To really engage students in the technique of dying and in engineering process skills, the experiment can be opened up to student inquiry. Some things they could investigate as they try to create more vibrant colors include:

  • Comparison of reactive dyes, union dyes and acid dyes
  • Preparation and use of natural dyes
  • Comparison of synthetic and natural fabrics
  • Dying conditions like temperature, time and pH

To explore natural dyes create a yellow dye using turmeric, a red dye using beets, a purple dye using blackberries and a blue dye using red cabbage. It is possible to change the red cabbage blue by adjusting the pH of the solution. The results on the fabric are mixed, but because of the real-world application of science and engineering practices, the student learning is very real.  And if nothing else, everyone gets to take home a really cool shirt.

More labs with spectrometer

With the Wireless Spectrometer you can also perform these labs:

  • Emission spectra of light
  • Absorbance and transmittance spectra
  • Beer’s Law: concentration and absorbance
  • Kinetics
  • Fluorescence

Pasco Wireless Spectrometer

Watch the video below about Quick Start with PASCO Wireless Spectrometer (PS-2600).

Read more about PASCO Wireless Spectrometer in Product Catalogue.

For purchase questions, e-mail ask@ste(.)education. (You must remove the brackets from the email address before sending).

What for Pasco Wireless Light Sensor

The Pasco Wireless Light Sensor: See the Light. And Measure it too. By Martin Horejsi | Published: September 18, 2017 in National Science Teacher Association Blog

Pasco wireless light sensor is a plastic box with a dynamic and versatile sensor that effectively measures many forms of light, and gives the science class a peek into how we learn about the universe we live in. Yes, the Pasco Wireless Light Sensor could easily go unnoticed in the science room’s box of technology. It would be understandable to think that this is just another sensor designed to fit into a lineup of other sensors. In fact, there really isn’t much on the sensor to indicate. You just need to know how powerful and versatile this particular sensor really is. There is only one button, the on/off switch. There is a tripod socket, a few words here and there printed on the case, and two apertures, a short black tube for spot measurements, and a flat white circle for ambient measuring. Like I said, uneventful.

Light sensor measurement scope

But like most amazing gadgets these days, the real show begins when the device is paired with its software. So this little box measuring not much more than 2 x 4 x 7.5 cm actually has the capability to measure:

  • Red light
  • Green light
  • Blue light
  • White light
  • Illuminance in lux
  • Illuminance in lumens per square meter
  • PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) in sunlight
  • Solar Irradiance in watts per square meter
  • Ultra-violet A (UVA)
  • Ultra-violet B (UVB)
  • Calculate the ultra-violet index (UVI)

Further, the sensor can be so simple in appearance because the data leaves the sensor at the speed of light (in air) travelling over low energy Bluetooth radio waves to any receiving computer, tablet or phone. With a range of about 10m and an easily replaceable CR2032 battery. The Pasco Wireless Light Sensor is an about as perfect a light tool as a teacher can imagine. And speaking of light, it’s pretty much the only thing we get from the universe beyond the earth besides meteorites, solar wind, and sample return space missions, and that list is pretty short.

There is an abundance of concepts to study and light to measure so it follows that there is no shortage of traditional and innovative experiments for any grade level. The Pasco Wireless Light Sensor can easily measure the presence, absence and quantity of a different kinds of light. And with each measurement, there is an ever expanding realm of possibilities, variations, and real-world analogs.

For instance, measuring sunlight is an obvious use of the Pasco Wireless Light Sensor, but wait, there’s more. That same sunlight can be reflected off surfaces, filtered through an endless number materials, fabrics, lotions, and films. UV through clothing can be measured with the fabric dry and wet. Sunscreens can be tested. Sunglasses, auto glass, and windows can be explored. By applying variables of distance and angles you can refined all .

Mount accessories

A bonus about the size of this sensor is that it happens to be the right size to fit into cell phone cradle or tripod mount. This fact allows the Pasco Wireless Light Sensor to be used effectively in existing and handy stands that can aim Sensor as needed.

Wireless Light Sensor use cases

Pasco Wireless Light Sensor’s unique ability is measure four colors of light…well three colors and their combination totaling up to white. The quantity of light moving through a filter, say sunglasses, is rarely across a uniform distribution of visible wavelengths. While we often worry about the amount of UV and IR in our sun shades, there are implications for colors. If sunglasses change colors or make them look similar, say green and red, then horizontal traffic lights could be read backwards. Sunglasses is another example when you may need to filer much more light than sunglasses used for other sports.

Graphic of the inverse square law. Source: Wikipedia.
Graphic of the inverse square law. Source: Wikipedia.

The inverse square law can be verified using little more than a meter stick, light source, and of course the Pasco Wireless Light Sensor.

Two different apertures allow the Pasco Wireless Light Sensor to measure ambient light and narrower directional light sensor. The ambient sensor measures UVA, UVB, and UV index. The spot sensor measures general light level in several units, as well as relative intensity of red, green and blue light, or all three together as white light.

Data reading from Wireless Light Sensor

Bluetooth 4 is the Pasco Wireless Light Sensor communication method with iOS and Android mobile devices, and Mac and PC computers. Here you can find compatible hardware and software.

By removing the cables and going wireless, it’s possible to put the sensor in places where it might not be safe to be within the usual meter of wire, such as out in the sun for an hour. The Pasco Wireless Light Sensor can also be set up as a lab station where students log into the sensor to gather their data, then move on to the next station.

The Pasco Wireless Light Sensor is an excellent tool to teach science, and to do science. Huge set of capabilities is tiny form factor, but what makes it even more of a go-to solution? The Pasco Wireless Light Sensor talks to smartphones putting a tremendous amount of science lab into a single pants pocket.

Light is an amazing thing. And even though it is wildly prolific in the known universe, it’s Wikipedia entry is still less than half the length of that of Michael Jackson’s entry. Or about the same as an avocado. But whether you think the light is a particle, a wave, a combination explained by electromagnetic, or quanta or likely all (or none) of the above, light is an important aspect of almost every scientific subject. Which, given that line of reasoning. The Pasco Wireless Light Sensor just might be the most universal sensor when learning science.

More information about Wireless Light Sensor – PS-3213 is here.

For purchase questions, e-mail ask@ste(.)education. (You must remove the brackets from the email address before sending).

What is pH? Test the Rainbow in Chemistry class

Source: Pasco Scientific Chemistry blog March 2, 2017

Students often struggle understanding pH. While we can tell them that it is a logarithmic function, students are more likely to associate “logs” with a calculator button or a piece of wood. So how do we get them to understand what the pH scale really means? Look for a lesson, instead of a pot of gold, at the end of a rainbow.

Let’s start with the acids. First have the students pour 10 mL of 0.1 M HCl into a test tube. Using graduated cylinders and pipets they can add 1 mL of that solution to another test tube with 9 mL of water making a 0.1 M solution. They should repeat the process of taking 1 mL of the previous solution and adding 9 mL of water until there are 5 solutions. They won’t know it, but they just performed a serial dilution. Now they can add some universal indictor to the solutions for a splash of color. 

Indicators are nice, but they really are just an indicator. In this case the indictor was not able to distinguish between the first four test tubes. (Note to self: get some new universal indicator!). Since the true colors aren’t shining through, it’s important to remember that to really understand pH, your students need to take actual pH measurements.

Now comes the pH un part! After recording the data for the solutions, it is important for students to try to make some meaning out of those measurements. Time to dust off those concentration calculation skills. They should be able to calculate the concentration, and write the concentration of the acids in scientific notation.

Test tube table:
Test tube #Molarity of HCl (M)Molarity of HCl in scientific notation (M)[H+]
Value of the exponent of the [H+]Negative value of the exponent of the [H+]Color of solution with indicatorpH
10.101 x 10-11 x 10-1-11red0.97
20.011 x 10-21 x 10-2-22red1.70
30.0011 x 10-31 x 10-3-33red2.62
40.00011 x 10-41 x 10-4-44red3.61
50.000011 x 10-51 x 10-5-55orange4.83

No need to travel somewhere over the rainbow, all your students need now are some good guiding questions and they should see that pH is primarily based on the negative exponent of the concentration of H+. With this understanding, pH=-log[H+] can be something more powerful than just a formula to plug and chug in calculator.

You can even extend this activity to pOH and its relationship to pH if you drop the base. Following the same procedure students can perform a serial dilution starting with a 0.1 M NaOH solution.

After this colourful and engaging activity with the Wireless pH sensor and some fresh universal indicator, your students will be able to find the rainbow connection: a better understanding of the pH scale, what it means and how it’s measured. More information about PH sensor is here PS-3204.

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