Students in Olney Central College’s Physics Department are utilizing a new data-collection device purchased with funds from the OCC Foundation.
Professor Rob Mason said the LabQuest 2 gives the program a valuable tool for students to utilize in the lab.
“It is a great addition,” Mason said. “We can use it to collect and analyze data and save the results for future use.”
Because the hand-held device can stand alone, it is reducing the need for tablets, laptops or personal computers in the lab.
“It is eliminating some expenses in the lab without compromising any of the versatility,” Mason said. “It even allows us to collect data using sensors we already had.”
Mason said the equipment will be utilized most by students in the trigonometry- and calculus-based physics courses.
“It is also being used for demonstrations in the astronomy and meteorology classes,” Mason added. “I’m always looking for ways to maximize its use for instruction.”
The LabQuest 2’s portability also makes it a useful tool outside the classroom. In August, Mason took the equipment with him when he traveled to Saline County to view the solar eclipse.
 “I was able to use it to collect data on light intensity, temperature and to test if there were any changes in the magnetic field,” he said. “The data collected gave people, who couldn’t see the path of totality, an idea of what it does to temperature and how dark it gets.”