Vernier’s 2013 Engineering Contest Winners Demonstrate Creative Teaching Using Vernier Sensors with NI LabVIEW Software

Vernier’s 2013 Engineering Contest Winners Demonstrate Creative Teaching Using Vernier Sensors with NI LabVIEW™ Software

College and high school winners awarded cash and technology prizes valued at $5,500 each

BEAVERTON, Oregon, April 18, 2013 – Vernier Software & Technology named Jonathan Aurnou and Peter Shimer from the University of California Los Angeles, and Nelson Nunalee from Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, North Carolina, as the winners of the 2013 Vernier Engineering Contest. These winning educators were selected by a panel of Vernier educational experts for demonstrating truly creative teaching using Vernier sensors with National Instruments (NI) LabVIEW™ software.

The winning team of college educators and the winning high school teacher received $1,000 in cash, a $3,000 gift certificate for Vernier technology, and $1,500 toward expenses to attend the 2013 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

“The use of Vernier sensors with the NI LabVIEW software provides educators with a variety of ways to teach students important engineering concepts and actively engage them in the process of solving problems from a software engineering standpoint,” said David Vernier, co-founder of Vernier and a former physics teacher. “The Engineering Contest showcased creative projects that other educators can implement in their own classrooms, as well as the true power of the technologies in the teaching and learning processes.”

In “Transiting Exoplanet: The Laboratory Experiment,” Aurnou and Shimer put a five-inch globe incandescent bulb in the center of a turntable and a “planet” out near the edge. Students set up their Vernier Light Sensors and recorded transit data as the table rotated. The students wrote NI LabVIEW programs to acquire and stack multiple transits of the exoplanet and then used their data to calculate the radius of the exoplanet using theories developed in class.

In “Virtual Trombone,” a group of Nunalee’s engineering students used NI LabVIEW software with Vernier sensors and applied mathematical functions, critical thinking, and problem solving to create a working demonstration of the virtual instrument. This culminating project is part of a unit Nunalee conducts each year on digital music and the principles of sound in creating digital music.

Other notable contest entries included:
● “Computed Tomography Simulation” by Elliott Mylott, Portland State University in Portland, Oregon
● “Impulse Momentum” by Justin Dunlop, Portland State University in Portland, Oregon
● “LabVIEW Laboratory 2” by Ken Reinhard, Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska
● “Robot Tug of War” by Gary Garber, Boston University Academy in Boston, Massachusetts
● “LabVIEW Maze Solver” by Nelson Nunalee, Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, North Carolina
● “A Virtual Game of Cornhole” by Nelson Nunalee, Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, North Carolina

To learn more about the 2013 Engineering Contest winners and notable entrants, and to watch videos of the projects in action, visit To learn more about the 2014 Engineering Contest, visit

About Vernier Software & Technology
Vernier Software & Technology has been a leading innovator of scientific data-collection technology for 32 years. Focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), Vernier is dedicated to developing creative ways to teach and learn using hands-on science. Vernier creates easy-to-use and affordable science interfaces, sensors, and graphing/analysis software. With world-wide distribution to over 130 countries, Vernier products are used by educators and students from elementary school to college. Vernier’s technology-based solutions enhance STEM education, increase learning, and build students’ critical thinking skills. Vernier’s business culture is grounded in Earth-friendly policies and practices, and the company provides a family-friendly workplace. For more information, visit
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