You will find elsewhere on this Web site descriptions for several sun and atmosphere monitoring instruments developed for use by students. These are essentially research instruments that aren't available commercially. They are not complicated and they are relatively inexpensive in terms of hardware cost. With commercial instruments, calibration costs are signficant. This remains important for student instruments, too, but part of IESRE's mission is to provide reliable instruments for student use and the calibration cost is covered as an ongoing component of this mission.
ALL of the instruments described here will provide scientifically valid data when they are cared for and used properly. For most of the projects listed, some basic electronic construction skills are required. Unfortunately, it is increasingly rare to find teachers and other adults with these kinds of skills. Still, teachers, middle-, and secondary-school students participating in IESRE-sponsored programs have built hundreds of instruments. We believe this is a worthwhile undertaking that encourages authentic student science inquiry and research, teaches science and engineering content, creates a sense of data ownership, and integrates all components of STEM education.