Teaching pH in Schools and Colleges
Chemistry is an important subject taught at schools, colleges and universities all around the world. One component of chemistry that is vitally important is pH — one of the key properties of any substance, which has widespread implications in industrial, pharmaceutical, and other commercial applications, such as food and wine. pH also has many scientific and environmental applications. For example, it is a key parameter used to determine the properties of soils and water, and is closely monitored in agriculture, horticulture, aquaponics, and aquaculture to name a few. It is a concept that is not limited to scientists and professionals, even hobby aquarists who keep an aquarium of tropical, cold-water, or marine fish in their living room or a koi pond in the garden need to regularly monitor the pH of the water to ensure their fish survive and thrive.
Challenges of Teaching pH Using Benchtop pH Meters
While monitoring pH is vitally important to many industries, access to state-of-the-art pH monitoring equipment is expensive, and thus limited. Due to budget constraints, most educational institutions typically only have demonstration pH meters available to use for classroom instruction. Consequently, many students do not get hands-on experience using these devices during their education. This is unfortunate, especially considering that pH measurement is so widely used in both the workforce and leisure pursuits, as it essentially means that students enter the workforce with inadequate training on how to use this vital piece of equipment.
Take Advantage of Smart Devices to Teach pH
However, with advances in technology and the electronic age coming into its own, most students have access to electronic devices such as smart phones or tablets, and many academic institutions have labs equipped with smart devices too. The SAM-1 Smart Aqua Meter range of pH sensors offers an affordable way to give students the hands-on experience they need. The SAM-1 2000 starter kit plugs into the headphone jack of an iPhone, iPad or Android device, allowing students to convert their electronic device into a portable pH meter. Simply insert the sensor probe into water or any other substance to determine the pH.
The SAM-1 Smart Aqua Meter can be upgraded with additional SAM-1 smart sensors to measure parameters such as temperature, total dissolved solids (TDS) / conductivity, and oxidation reduction potential (ORP).
Portable pH Meters for Field Projects
The SAM-1 Smart Aqua Meter bundle includes a free mobile app that allows students to record data, including a timestamp and the GPS location, which they can share via email. This feature, together with its complete portability, makes the SAM-1 Smart Aqua Meter particularly handy for students undertaking fieldwork as part of their studies. It makes recording, capturing, and sharing pH data (and/or other environmental data) related to specific sites a breeze, making it an invaluable tool for research projects that require on-site data measurements.
If you are a professor, educator or student that needs to measure pH and/or other environmental parameters in the classroom or in the field, contact us for advice on choosing the best starter kit to meet your needs.