The Pasco Computer Interface and the Science Workshop Software


The operation of the Pasco interface and Science Workshop program are very straight forward.We will use these to take data in most of the lab experiments during the semester.One can use the Pasco interface with a large number of devices including: a photogate, a smart pulley, a sound sensor, and a motion sensor (Sonic Ranger).


Plugging in Sensors

First open up the Science Workshop software program on the desktop. The general use of the sensors will first require plugging a sensor into either the digital or analog inputs on the front of the black Pasco interface box. Match the sensor plug to the type of plug in Science Workshop and then choose the appropriate plug and device with the software.The software is setup so that you can click and drag an icon which looks like the actual object you are using.If you want to know the properties or change the properties of the piece of equipment, you can often just double-click on it with the mouse.

Choosing What to Record

Once you have the hardware settings correctly setup with the Science Workshop program, you need to tell it what kind of data you want to take.Usually this will consist of a table of data or a graph.Again, all you need to do is to click and drag either the table or graph icon and drop it onto the appropriate sensor.The program will then ask you which variable you want to display, and you choose that which is appropriate to the experiment.

Taking Data

Once you are ready to take data, you can click the monitor (mon) or record (rec) buttons.The monitor function will monitor the inputs to your particular sensor without recording, while the record function will save the data in a data file.Remember to click the stop button when you are finished taking data.


Moving Data to an Excel Spreadsheet

Once you take data in a table, you are going to want to copy it to the Excel spreadsheet in order to do some analysis.This is done by click-dragging the data in Science Workshop (highlighting the data) then control-c to copy the data to the computerís clipboard. Open up Excel by double-clicking the icon on the desktop, and bring it to the front by clicking the spreadsheet. Next control-v to paste the data into your Excel spreadsheet.



If you want to unplug sensors (within the software) or delete data files (which you must do to unplug sensors), highlight the appropriate data file or sensor by single clicking with the mouse, and hit the delete key.

Note: if science Workshop is not quite doing the right thing, quit out of the program and reopen it. Science Workshop is a bit buggy and can crash (sometimes big crashes and sometimes small ones). To be safe, when not using Science Workshop, quit out of the program.