AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

Sessions & Panels

List of Session Titles

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Sessions & Panels

  • Adjunct Faculty Issues

      • Use of Contingent Faculty and the Effect on Student Success

      • DB01
      • Tue 08/02, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Vann Priest
      • Type: Invited
      • On average, contingent (part-time) faculty teach nearly half of the courses at community colleges. The effect of this on student retention, success, and graduation rates is either assumed to be negative or remains unknown to most faculty and college officials. In this presentation, I will review the latest research on the effects that extensive use of part-time faculty has on student success, retention, transfer rates, and graduation rates.
      • Part-Time Faculty, Student Success, and Public Policy

      • DB02
      • Tue 08/02, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Representative Michael Dembrow
      • Type: Invited
      • This talk will review significant public policy issues regarding the over-use of part-time positions generally and in physics in particular in higher education. Along with the negative effects on individual faculty and on departments, these include a number of negative impacts on students: on retention and degree completion, on efforts to prepare students for success in meeting STEM education goals, and on initiatives to move college physics pedagogy in a more student-focused direction. Finally, the talk will review and explore legislative approaches to this growing problem.
      • Structural Consequences of the Over use of Part-Time Positions

      • DB03
      • Tue 08/02, 9:30AM - 10:00AM
      • by Maria Knudtson
      • Type: Invited
      • The widespread use of part-time positions has serious structural implications for faculty, departments, and the overall health of higher education. The discussion will cover several broad issues including the effects on faculty infrastructure, equity, academic democracy, and academic freedom, as well as model approaches for correcting dependence on contingent faculty. The pervasiveness of part-time positions provides physics faculty members with allies in addressing this issue as well as promising approaches based on the broad and diverse faculty experience.
  • Alternative Assessments and Practicums

      • Using Chapter Challenges in Active Physics

      • CD01
      • Mon 08/01, 6:30PM - 7:00PM
      • by John Roeder
      • Type: Invited
      • The Chapter Challenges in Active Physics provide an alternative way to assess student learning. The author will share how he has used them in his 17 years of teaching Active Physics to ninth graders at The Calhoun School in New York City.
      • Project-based Curricula in the Active Learning Environment

      • CD02
      • Mon 08/01, 7:00PM - 7:10PM
      • by Simon Huss
      • Type: Contributed
      • Windward's Science and Technology Department has incorporated several unit-long, hands-on projects into the introductory level through AP Physics level curricula. Project-based learning provides more meaningful context for instruction and creates opportunities for teamwork, limited competition, and the activation of multiple learning modalities. Student role selection, differentiated instruction, methodologies for varied assessment, and project inspiration are all discussed. Specific strategies for implementation of a few select projects are discussed in detail.
      • Problem-based Learning in Physics Instruction

      • CD03
      • Mon 08/01, 7:10PM - 7:20PM
      • by David Schultz
      • Type: Contributed
      • Problem-based learning (PBL) focuses on experiential learning organized around the investigation and resolution of a real-world, or "messy" problem. The problem is typically one that is closely tied to students' communities and involves stakeholders from both within and outside of a particular school building. We present several examples of how the PBL methodology has been successfully applied to secondary-level physics instruction. In these examples, students 1) investigated how to incorporate renewable energy technologies within their school district, and 2) evaluated the impacts of noise pollution upon the school environment. In PBL projects, student evaluation relies heavily upon final presentations to stakeholders, and is more authentic than traditional pencil and paper tests. Students master curricular goals while at the same time achieving deeper levels of understanding through inquiry and the exploration of multifaceted problems.
      • What Are the Effects of Self-Assessment Preparation?

      • CD04
      • Mon 08/01, 7:20PM - 7:30PM
      • by Sara Severance
      • Type: Contributed
      • This research was conducted by an urban middle school science teacher who sought to investigate the effects of self-assessment on student performance. A group of students were asked to give themselves a score on each learning target assessed in class and to provide evidence for their decision. Student self-assessment scores were compared to scores given by the teacher to see if students who accurately assessed their own learning scored higher on final assessments than students who did not. Assessment scores between groups of students who completed the self-assessment preparation and students who did not were also analyzed. Preliminary findings will be discussed in this presentation as well as further implications for this teacher's classroom.
  • Assessment Beyond Conceptual Inventories

      • Why Conceptual Inventories Are Insufficient Assessment of Our Instructional Methods

      • FH01
      • Wed 08/03, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Beth Thacker
      • Type: Invited
      • We present data on written pre- and post-testing and conceptual inventory pre- and post-testing in introductory labs as part of a large-scale assessment project. We address the benefits and drawbacks of each kind of assessment and discuss the need for a more comprehensive assessment to evaluate our instructional methods.
      • Sustaining and Improving through Programmatic Assessment and Feedback Loops

      • FH02
      • Wed 08/03, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Vincent Kuo
      • Type: Invited
      • As the fifth largest undergraduate physics program in the country, the ABET-accredited Engineering Physics degree at the Colorado School of Mines currently has 240 majors, representing substantial growth over the past decade. A shift in program philosophy contributed to our current status. But are we successful? To better understand how we got here, and how best to proceed into the future, we turn to both horizontal and vertical assessments at the programmatic level. As is well known in the engineering education community, accredited programs must implement a process for developing program goals and objectives, along with a delivery plan that makes use of assessment and feedback to demonstrate continuous improvement. In this talk I will provide an overview of our undergraduate degree program, highlight some of the changes we have made, and describe our three overlapping assessment/feedback loops at the scale of individual courses, program learning objectives, and overall program goals.
      • What Stops a Person from Successfully Solving a Physics Problem?

      • FH03
      • Wed 08/03, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Wendy Adams
      • Type: Invited
      • Physics educators regularly make use of concept inventories and perceptions surveys (aka: attitudes and beliefs) to evaluate instruction. However, these two types of evaluation only touch on a fraction of what is learned in a course. Students apply a range of processes, expectations and bits of knowledge when solving a physics problem and some of these are impacted by the course. The question is how can we identify what these processes, expectations and bits of knowledge are, how can we teach them and then how can we measure them? While developing the CAPS (Colorado Assessment of Problem Solving), I identified 44 processes, expectations and bits of knowledge used to solve an in depth real world problem. In this presentation I will present these skills, ideas on how to teach them and measure them.
      • Formative Assessment of Hypothetico-deductive Reasoning by Directly Challenging Student Epistemology

      • FH04
      • Wed 08/03, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by James Moore
      • Type: Contributed
      • A critical skill necessary for practicing scientists is the application of the hypothetico-deductive model and the use of all available epistemological resources to determine new truths. Hypothetico-deductive reasoning can be assessed via written tests; however, these types of assessments avoid situations where students have deeply held pre-conceived knowledge. We present a case study where first-year physics majors are confronted with epistemic complexity; their pre-conceived "knowledge" is directly challenged, forcing them to apply different epistemological resources towards the design of an appropriate experiment. Students struggle with developing hypothetico-deductive models that probe strongly held beliefs, whereas they do not for unknown or weakly held assumptions. For strong beliefs, students limit themselves to certain modes of knowledge construction, specifically those that led to the beliefs in the first place. These challenges can be used to probe the depth of student reasoning, and explicit confrontation of this dichotomy can make students stronger truth seekers.
      • Measuring Conceptual Understanding in Kinematics by Problem-Solving

      • FH05
      • Wed 08/03, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Daniel Smith, Jr.
      • Type: Contributed
      • To solve kinematics problems, students are usually advised to (1) draw a diagram or graph, (2) write down known and unknown quantities, (3) choose kinematic equations that will allow the determination of the unknown quantities, and (4) solve that equation. Frequently this prescription does not result in the student finding a problem solution, but why? Often student difficulties are attributed to their inability to choose the correct equation, or to weak skills in algebra. Evidence is presented from a calculus-based physics class, however, that students fail to solve problems because they lack a conceptual understanding of the problem, as determined by their ability to relate the problem data to a diagram. The limited roles that "choosing the right equation," and weak algebra skills play in problem-solving is further explored by having students solve problems graphically by using interactive software designed especially for one-dimensional kinematics problems.
      • Phased-Array Homework: Used to Shape and Steer Student Understanding

      • FH06
      • Wed 08/03, 9:50AM - 10:00AM
      • by Stacy Godshall
      • Type: Contributed
      • Students demonstrate different levels of preparation and understanding of material which often coincide with how diligent the students are with their daily preparation prior to class. Having them attempt homework problems prior to class enables them to be better prepared to ask specific questions about concepts and also better prepared to perform on exams. This paper will introduce "phased-array homework" which is a flexible system of assigning homework that also incorporates specific timing of publication to students of "partial solutions" for reference by the students. As the name of the homework system implies, phased-array homework allows an instructor to shape and steer student understanding in much the same way that a phased-array antenna allows for the shaping and steering of a transmitted electromagnetic signal to yield its subsequent effective radiation pattern. Implementation method and results will be presented as well as student perspective on the system.
  • Astronomical Image Processing

      • Observational Astronomy: Adverse Conditions and Teachable Moments

      • DD01
      • Tue 08/02, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Eddie Guerra
      • Type: Invited
      • This presentation describes the efforts to operate an observatory atop a science building, on the suburban Rowan University campus, in the northeastern portion of the country. An outline of adverse conditions arising due to the placement of the observatory will be presented. Imagng techniques and strategies to mitigate these conditions will be presented. A gallery of images produced by college students will be displayed. The Rowan University course "Observational Astronomy" will be detailed, including its audience of both science and non-science majors. Also, the prospects for research in photometry and outreach to high schools at this and similar sites will be discussed.
      • Chandra X-ray Astronomy Data Analysis in Educational Settings

      • DD02
      • Tue 08/02, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Terry Matilsky
      • Type: Invited
      • How can we provide an authentic research experience to students who want to find out what science is REALLY about? We couple DS9 imaging software, a user friendly, fun-to-explore environment with a "virtual observatory" that allows analysis to be done remotely on UNIX-based computers, regardless of the platform employed by the user. All of NASA's archived satellite observations can be accessed by any interested student. Furthermore, by adapting VNC (Virtual Network Computer) software, we can enhance this flexibility enormously and allow instructors to view, comment on, and debug any analysis task in real-time, from anywhere in the world, and across all computing platforms. This makes these programs especially useful in distance learning environments.
      • An Undergraduate Astronomy Research Class to the High School Level

      • DD03
      • Tue 08/02, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Eric Hintz
      • Type: Contributed
      • For over 10 years now we have taught an observational astronomy class at an advanced undergraduate level. This class teaches the methods of data acquisition, data processing, data analysis, and writing for publication, using optical data obtained on a CCD camera. The class is designed around teaching students the skills used for professional astronomical research, including the use of the IRAF reduction package developed at NOAO. The question then arises, can we train a younger group of students to perform full astronomical reductions? Over the last year we have begun development of a workshop for local high school teachers, or teachers from small colleges, to give them the tools to fully reduce astronomical data. We also had a local high school student come to us as an intern. He became our first test subject. We will report on our experiences.
      • Using Science Images to Make Pretty Pictures for the Classroom

      • DD04
      • Tue 08/02, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Michael Joner
      • Type: Contributed
      • We have demonstrated that research images from the BYU West Mountain Observatory can often be combined to produce images that are suitable for classroom use. This process can usually be completed with little or no effort being made to secure additional image data after the completion of a research project. Results will be shown for images processed from frames obtained for science investigations and compared with images where the data were obtained specifically to produce an instructional image. We also present two amimations where the data frames are from nightly monitoring projects. Images can be previewed at the website in the abstract footnote.
      • MircoObservatory Image: Astronomical Image Processing for the Public (free software)

      • DD05
      • Tue 08/02, 9:50AM - 10:00AM
      • by Patricia Sievert
      • Type: Contributed
      • We teach families to use the free software, MicroObservatory Image, to process images that they request online from NASA's MicroObservatory. The software is freely available online and the learning curve is relatively easy, making it an ideal introduction to astronomical image processing for outreach. I'll present a quick overview of the program's features and locations for additional resources.
  • Astronomy Teaching and Learning

      • Near-Earth Asteroids: Risk Assessment with Middle School Students

      • BJ01
      • Mon 08/01, 1:00PM - 1:10PM
      • by Kathryn Devine
      • Type: Contributed
      • The College of Idaho (C of I), located in Caldwell, ID, runs a cooperative summer program with Syringa Middle School (Caldwell, ID). This program, titled The C of I/Syringa Math and Science Summer Institute (MSSI), is now in its third year. MSSI is an educational enrichment program for Caldwell 7th and 8th grade students that specifically targets students who demonstrate potential for academic success but who are at risk for dropping out of school. The MSSI provides enrichment activities in science/engineering with a strong mathematical component. The 8th grade students spend the week-long program studying near-Earth asteroids and probability. The students discover what types of asteroids pose a risk to civilization, and apply their knowledge of probability to determine whether civilization is, indeed, at risk. This talk will focus on the misconceptions MSSI students have about probability and asteroid collisions, as well as the benefits of a summer enrichment program for these students.
      • Astronomical Imaging for Introductory Honors Astronomy Students

      • BJ02
      • Mon 08/01, 1:10PM - 1:20PM
      • by Robert Moore
      • Type: Contributed
      • The University of West Georgia has acquired several astronomical cameras and guided telescopes to accommodate an increasing number of introductory astronomy students and projects that are being conducted by students. This equipment was purchased using local Tech Fee grants. Beginning in the fall semester 2010, honors astronomy students are required to image two celestial objects and to process those images. A majority of these students are non-science majors. Students are given a CD with their images and the images made by their classmates. During the first two semesters of this requirement, the images made by students are excellent, and the student attitudes about the work are positive.
      • Problem Solving and Epistemology in Nonquantitative Introductory Science Classes

      • BJ03
      • Mon 08/01, 1:20PM - 1:30PM
      • by Bradley McCoy
      • Type: Contributed
      • General-studies science classes at many universities, such as physical science, earth science, or astronomy, stress memorization and repetition of concepts. This approach leaves students with little appreciation for how science is used to explain phenomena from general principles. We present a novel instructional technique for an earth science class in which the students are instructed in the use of a general problem-solving strategy, adapted from well-known quantitative problem-solving strategies, in order to train the students in how to apply physical principles. Preliminary data using the Epistemological Beliefs Assessment for Physical Science has shown that explicit training in problem solving significantly improves students' epistemology.
      • Astronomy, History, and Computer Simulations: Teaching the Nature of Science

      • BJ05
      • Mon 08/01, 1:40PM - 1:50PM
      • by Todd Timberlake
      • Type: Contributed
      • Introductory astronomy courses are among the most popular science courses taken by non-science majors in college. As a result, these courses represent a crucial opportunity to educate students about the nature of science. I have developed two courses that focus on teaching the nature of science through an exploration of the history of astronomy. One course examines the development of planetary astronomy from Aristotle to Isaac Newton. The other course follows changing notions about our place among the stars from Aristotle to Hubble. In both courses, students make frequent use of computer programs to simulate observations and to visualize theories. The goal of these activities is to help students see how scientific theories are judged against empirical data, consistency with other knowledge, and aesthetic criteria. Course materials are available at http://facultyweb.berry.edu/ttimberlake/copernican/ and http://facultyweb.berry.edu/ttimberlake/galaxies/.
  • Best Practices in the Use of Educational Technologies

      • Arduino as a tool for lab development and student learning

      • GA02
      • Wed 08/03, 1:10PM - 1:20PM
      • by Zengqiang Liu
      • Type: Contributed
      • Since its debuted in 2005, the Arduino microcontroller platform has enabled artists and novice electronics hobbyists worldwide to construct unique electronic gadgets, lots of which appear as if they were created by engineers. With Arduino, constructing your own lab equipment becomes very practical, and economical. It is also very educational to students and instructors alike. With beginner-friendly programming environment, strong community support, and sensors, cheaply mass produced for modern electronics (cell phones, tablets, video game systems etc.), we can design and construct high-quality lab equipment to suit out teaching goals and improve student learning experience. Going through the process of constructing even simple equipment should be beneficial to teaching physics content, hands-on skills and convincing our students that physics principles and their applications power our world. A brief introduction of Arduino will be followed by examples of such equipment we created with it.
  • Best Practices in the Use of Educational Technologies I

      • Minds-On Audio-Guided Activities in Introductory College Physics Courses

      • AH01
      • Mon 08/01, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by James Brian Hancock, II
      • Type: Contributed
      • Minds-On Audio Guided Activities (MAGA) are Podcast-delivered instruction designed to engage students in all-body experiments and foster long-term conceptual learning. These Podcasts guide students through experimentation, prompt group discussion, and lead students toward connecting daily experiences with the activity. Instruction by MAGA has undergone preliminary testing in an introductory physics course at Central Michigan University. The experiment is designed according to the standard protocol of learning assessment and involves pre- and post-tests and student interviews. Topics are currently focused on mechanics and range from discovering the differences between distance and displacement to momentum to the Coriolis effect. The session will include details of the approach and a discussion of preliminary results.
      • The Monty Hall Problem Using Clickers

      • AH02
      • Mon 08/01, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by Stephen Irons
      • Type: Contributed
      • In the lecture setting, clickers make the collection of student-generated input quick and easy. Though traditionally employed in conjunction with conceptual questions and peer instruction, clickers can also be used to perform statistical experiments in real time. We describe an activity that combines clickers and a simple paper prop to conduct rapid and multiple statistical experiments. The eponymously named Monty Hall problem is an excellent exercise in conditional probability for students as it has a counterintuitive solution, but the actual outcomes can be dramatically demonstrated. Here we describe the problem and its solution and then discuss the results of an in-class implementation conducted during a lecture on probability. In addition to expanding the activity to include variations on the initial problem statement, instructors can also model radioactive decay using students, clickers, and a random number generator.
      • Tweetment of Twitter in the Classroom

      • AH03
      • Mon 08/01, 8:50AM - 9:00AM
      • by John Miller
      • Type: Contributed
      • How do I better connect with and appropriately communicate with my students? Twitter should be considered as part of the solution. This presentation is about unleashing the power of Twitter to better educate, inform, and connect your students to your classroom and curriculum. This talk will be focused on how Twitter is being used in a high school setting and strategies to make it successful. Educators of all levels will find this talk informative.
      • Using Simulations to Help Prepare Students for the Lab

      • AH04
      • Mon 08/01, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Mark Paetkau
      • Type: Contributed
      • For the past few years we have been using online simulations to help students prepare for their Introductory Physics labs. We have written online animations allowing students to simulate the lab before arriving, which, ideally, more effectively prepares students for the lab. To test whether the simulations are more effective than traditional pen-and-paper questions as pre-lab exercises, we attempted to measure the "level-of-preparedness" of our students. Using our preparedness measure, we compare the preparedness for the two forms of pre-lab exercises. A statistically significant change in "preparedness" is found with the use of online simulations over the pen-and-paper pre-labs.
      • Using Web-based Multimedia Prelectures in Introductory Physics

      • AH05
      • Mon 08/01, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Homeyra Sadaghiani
      • Type: Contributed
      • For the last two years, I have been using Multimedia Learning Modules (MLM)* developed by University of Illinois at Urbana Champagne as online Pre-lecture assignments in introductory physics courses at Cal Poly Pomona. By exposing students to the key ideas of lecture prior to class, MLMs allow instructors to focus on more in-depth application of the physics concepts during class. I will discuss the impact MLMs had on student preparation for class discussion and exam performance.
      • Math Machines: Connecting Physics with Math and Engineering

      • AH06
      • Mon 08/01, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Fred Thomas
      • Type: Contributed
      • Math Machines is a unique technology that establishes explicit links to mathematics and engineering within physics labs and student-focused classrooms. Students design and test free-form mathematical functions to control engineering-style physical systems and complete immediate, physical and dynamic tasks. Examples include programming a light to follow an accelerating object, programming an astronomical clock to replicate the motions of the Moon, programming motions of a platform to simulate earthquakes of arbitrary magnitude, and programming red, green, and blue lights to display oscillating colors in various combinations. Equipment is inexpensive, consisting primarily of such things as a hobby servo motor and a 3-color LED in combination with a SensoDAQ or NI myDAQ computer interface. Schools are encouraged to build similar equipment and share it with math, science, engineering and technology teachers in their region.
      • Teaching with a TabletPC in Introductory Physics

      • AH07
      • Mon 08/01, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Krista Wood
      • Type: Contributed
      • Students in introductory physics often need significant support to develop the thought processes to be successful in physics. A TabletPC, similar to a SMART Board, can be used to create screencasts (videos) of worked out problems or even complete problem-solving sessions. If the instructor records the audio with the writing, students can watch the videos or replay parts they don't understand. The TabletPC can also be used to record Interactive Lecture Demonstration (ILD) results using the screen capture function or screencasts of complete video analysis demonstrations. Since ILDs particularly focus on helping students develop concepts, these videos are effective reinforcements for what occurs during the ILD in class.
  • Best Practices in the Use of Educational Technologies II

      • Teaching with Clickers: How, for What, and with What Mind-Set?

      • BB01
      • Mon 08/01, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Ian Beatty
      • Type: Invited
      • Clickers are a powerful tool for classroom instruction, but like any tool, they may be used skillfully or clumsily, for more or less fruitful purposes. What purposes are fruitful? Why do some teachers give up, some muddle along, some succeed, and some entirely transform their teaching? Based on personal teaching experiences, mentoring of others, and several years of research with teachers learning to use clickers, we offer some hard-won answers to these questions. Clicker use is best aimed at supporting question-driven instruction, dialogical discourse, formative assessment, and meta-level communication in the classroom. How teachers *frame* classroom activity -- their deeper attitudes, models, and professional thought habits -- is the most important factor determining their results. Explicit, concrete yet flexible "question design patterns" for creating clicker questions and "pedagogical patterns" for using them in class help teachers avoid common traps, get unstuck from ruts, and take full advantage of clickers' potential.
      • EJS and Open Source Physics: Teaching with Interactive Materials Across the Curriculum

      • BB02
      • Mon 08/01, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Mario Belloni
      • Type: Invited
      • Over the past dozen years Davidson College has produced some of the most widely used interactive curricular materials for the teaching of introductory and advanced physics courses. These materials are based on Open Source Physics (OSP) programs and applications, such as Easy Java Simulations (EJS). This talk will focus on three distinct areas of using simulations: teaching introductory physics and astronomy courses using EJS-based materials, modeling in intermediate classical mechanics with EJS, and teaching computational physics using EJS to develop Java simulations.
      • Technology Use in the Laboratory -- One TYC Instructors' Perspective

      • BB03
      • Mon 08/01, 2:00PM - 2:30PM
      • by Todd Leif
      • Type: Invited
      • It's really hard to believe but, I've never taught a physics lab without using some sort of computer interfacing equipment. As a 25-year veteran teacher, doing labs with Vernier data-collection technology has been a career-long process. In my small college setting, I can have students do very traditional problem solving labs, PER-Activity Based Labs or I can even have them create their own student designed and driven experiment. Computer Interfaced Lab Equipment has enhanced and supplemented my lab activities for the past 25 years. This talk will discuss the origins, the changes, the advancements and what I now consider the best practices for using computer technology in the introductory physics laboratory.
      • The Assessment Continuum -- Before, in, and After Lecture

      • BB04
      • Mon 08/01, 2:30PM - 3:00PM
      • by Gerd Kortemeyer
      • Type: Invited
      • This talk will discuss strategies for formative and summative assessment using LON-CAPA (http://www.lon-capa.org/). It will cover the implementation of pre-lecture questions that are embedded in the online reading materials (including Just-In-Time teaching strategies), LON-CAPA-graded clicker questions during lecture (using i>clicker and i>clicker2), online homework problems after lecture, practice exams, and exams as summative assessment (including online retakes for partial credit). For each of these elements of the assessment cycle, experiences, proven implementation mechanisms, and research results, gathered over the last 10 years, will be shared.
  • Best Practices in the Use of Educational Technologies III

      • PhET Sims for Middle School -- Design, Use, and Classroom Implementation

      • CC01
      • Mon 08/01, 6:30PM - 6:40PM
      • by Noah Podolefsky
      • Type: Contributed
      • The PhET Interactive Simulations project is a collection of more than 100 simulations of physical phenomena that create animated, interactive, game-like environments in which students learn through scientist-like exploration. While the sims are designed and tested with introductory college-level courses, anecdotal data from middle school teachers suggested that PhET sims could be used effectively with fifth-eighth graders -- with teachers citing the intuitive controls and engaging, game-like style. These reports motivated us to study how sims can be best designed for and used in middle schools more systematically. We have conducted numerous interviews with middle school students using PhET sims, and collected video and observational data from middle school classes using sims. We will present our findings from these studies, including effective design principles for middle school sims, insights into how middle school students learn from sims, and benefits of and challenges to using sim-based activities in middle school classes.
      • Going Beyond End of Chapter Problems in LON-CAPA

      • CC02
      • Mon 08/01, 6:40PM - 6:50PM
      • by Boris Korsunsky
      • Type: Contributed
      • We describe the open-source library of physics problems we are collecting in LON-CAPA (http://loncapa.mit.edu). Currently, the library features both traditional and research-based problems intended to expose students to various contexts, problem features, knowledge and cognitive processes. We are adding conceptual questions and challenge problems that require out-of-the-box thinking. The conceptual questions were developed at Ohio State University and MIT. The challenge problems are inspired by various tasks published in The Physics Teacher. 1-3] We are planning to evaluate the difficulty and pedagogical effectiveness of those problems using Item Response Theory (IRT). This permits determination of a student's skill independent of which problems they do. We welcome collaborators willing to add their problems to our library.
      • First Assessment of the Integrated Learning Environment for Mechanics

      • CC03
      • Mon 08/01, 6:50PM - 7:00PM
      • by Raluca Teodorescu
      • Type: Contributed
      • We present the first evaluation of our open-source Integrated Learning Environment for Mechanics (ILEM)[1] - http://loncapa.mit.edu. The centerpiece of this environment is a collection of multi-level research-based homework sets organized by topic and cognitive complexity, whose design helps students learn physics problem solving. These sets are associated with learning modules that contain short expositions of the content supplemented by integrated open-access videos, worked examples, simulations, and tutorials. In our evaluation of homework problems, we analyze student attempts, preferences, and performance on different types of problems (e.g. representation, ranking and strategy writing problems). In our evaluation of content, we analyze observations generated by student comments in the discussion boards and during critical thinking activities. We continue to expand and improve the content and we welcome users and collaborators.
      • Expanding LON-CAPA Homework Sets to Include Student-Generated Graphs

      • CC04
      • Mon 08/01, 7:00PM - 7:10PM
      • by James Laverty
      • Type: Contributed
      • The ability to work with graphs is a necessary skill in all of the sciences, yet students still struggle with it. Previous graph-related problems in LON-CAPA (http://www.lon-capa.org/) required students to pick the correct graph from a set of graphs or infer data from a given graph. Data gathered from the Test of Understanding Graphics -- Kinematics (TUG-K) confirms that these problem types only minimally improve representation translation skills. A new problem type has been developed in LON-CAPA that allows students to construct (draw) graphs for themselves, in response to a given textual (or formulaic) description. These graphs are then checked by the server, which determines whether or not the student submitted graph is correct or incorrect. We present some preliminary experiences with this new problem type, while a study is under way to test the effectiveness of this approach.
      • Item Response Theory Analysis of the Mechanics Baseline Test

      • CC05
      • Mon 08/01, 7:10PM - 7:20PM
      • by Carolin Cardamone
      • Type: Contributed
      • Item Response Theory (IRT) algorithms are being developed to better assess student performance in our Integrated Learning Environment for Mechanics (ILEM; [1]). A student's skill, as determined by IRT, provides more information than the traditional student score because it takes into account universally calibrated problem difficulties. Importantly, it allows determination of skill on a universal scale independent of which questions the student answers. Our approaches seek to dynamically update student and class skill level in ILEM throughout the course based on their performance, rather than relying primarily on the gain from pre/post testing. We present results comparing IRT and pre/post gain analysis of the Mechanics Baseline Inventory Test, including discussion of item parameters for the 26 questions on the MBT exam.
      • Integration of Computer-based Pre-, in- and Post-lecture Activities in Physics

      • CC06
      • Mon 08/01, 7:20PM - 7:30PM
      • by Kelvin Cheng
      • Type: Contributed
      • Monitoring and assessing the students' learning activities before (pre-), during (in-) and after (post-) lecture teaching in a large (more than 150 students) introductory physics class are important to evaluate the efficacies of new teaching pedagogies and methods. At Texas Tech, an online and integrative computer-based approach of using an interactive pre-lecture Just-in-Time tutorial, in-lecture Peer-Instruction clickers, and post-lecture Lab and online homework was implemented in the last two semesters. Using standard mechanics concepts and baseline surveys as well as independent classroom observations, the effects of these computer-based technologies on students' learning of physics concepts and problem-solving skills among different student subgroups taught by TAs and lecturers using different levels of student interactive engagement in class are investigated. Comparisons among computer-based technology interventions and their predictive roles in learning outcomes will be examined using Pearson correlation and multivariate analysis methods. (This work was supported by an NIH-STEM grant 1RC1GM090897)
      • PASE: A Professional Development and Equipment Loaner Program

      • CC07
      • Mon 08/01, 7:30PM - 7:40PM
      • by Susan Engelhardt
      • Type: Contributed
      • Learn about the Portable Advance Science Exploration (PASE) program and how it provides professional development and equipment loans to middle and high school teachers, allowing over 40 teachers to have engaged 3,500+ students with inquiry-based labs using technology at no cost to the teachers. PASE is an outreach program sponsored by the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM). Also learn about other outreach initiatives conducted by GSSM which reach hundreds of teachers and thousands of students.
      • Teaching Kids to Create Computer Simulations Using EJS

      • CC08
      • Mon 08/01, 7:40PM - 7:50PM
      • by Larry Engelhardt
      • Type: Contributed
      • Easy Java Simulations (EJS) is a free, open-source tool for creating interactive computer simulations. This summer (June 2011) I will be using EJS to teach 9th and 10th graders to create computer simulations in a week-long (summer science camp) course. Will we succeed? What will they create? Come find out! During the past year I have also used EJS for teaching multiple undergraduate courses in computational physics, so I will address the specific challenges and opportunities that arose when teaching high school students versus college students.
      • Electricity and Magnetism Self-Testing and Test Construction Tool

      • CC09
      • Mon 08/01, 7:50PM - 8:00PM
      • by John Stewart
      • Type: Contributed
      • This talk presents an online resource for teaching and evaluating introductory electricity and magnetism classes. The resource contains a library of highly characterized, multiple-choice, conceptual, and quantitative electricity and magnetism problems and solutions all linked to a free online textbook. The library contains over 1000 classroom tested problems. Each problem is characterized by the complexity of its solution and by the fundamental intellectual steps found in the solution. Exam construction, administration, and analysis tools are provided through the resource's website. Problems may be downloaded for use in exams or as clicker questions. A self-testing tool is provided for students or instructors, an excellent tool for brushing up on conceptual electricity and magnetism. Conceptual inventory scores produced by the site are normed against the Conceptual Survey in Electricity and Magnetism. There is no cost associated with using any of the facilities of the site and you can begin to use the site immediately. Supported by NSF - DUE 0535928. Site address http://physinfo.uark.edu/physicsonline.
  • Cross Campus Collaboration: What I Learned From the Liberal Arts About Teaching Physics

      • Brigham Young University's 15-Week University Course

      • BI01
      • Mon 08/01, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by R. Steven Turley
      • Type: Invited
      • Brigham Young University's "15-Week University" course brought together students and faculty with diverse backgrounds and wide-ranging ability to experiment with learning principles as they applied to physics, calculus, English, and music. The challenge was to explore core ideas with enough depth and rigor to ensure that gains in learning could be retained, improved, and applied for long-term growth. A learning community emerged as everyone became a learner and teacher engaged in: 1) identifying key elements and core ideas, 2) maximizing resources through innovative use of technology, and 3) solving challenging problems that connected fundamental pinciples to concrete skills and personal values. Results included substantial (in some cases dramatic) increases in quantitative skills and writing ability, and enthusiasm for learning in general. The synergy of this wide-ranging learning experience happened as participants rotated their teacher/learner roles, connected ideas and information, and reframed their knowledge from multiple perspectives.
      • Behind the 15-Week University

      • BI02
      • Mon 08/01, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Susan Gong
      • Type: Invited
      • The 15-Week U was an experience of re-imagining classroom relationships, content, and time. Rather than treating the inevitable spread in ability and background as a hindrance, this class emphasized and heightened the differences by shifting learner and teacher roles. Teachers from the various disciplines of the course became model learners as the topics shifted. Students with certain strengths became teachers as the course emphasis changed. Such shifts created a rich source of individualized input for every member of the community and multiplied the sources of energy and motivation for learning. The interdisciplinary nature of the course meant that content was viewed from multiple perspectives. Rather than dilute content, this framework intensified both quantitative and non-quantitative thinking. Students with little science background made surprising leaps forward in their engagement and competence, and students with a stronger background consolidated the magnified their grasp of skills and subject matter.
      • The Physics of Theatre: Influences on Teaching and Research

      • BI03
      • Mon 08/01, 2:00PM - 2:10PM
      • by Eric Martell
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Physics of Theatre project was started to address a clear need within the theatrical community for better understanding of physics concepts in order to design and build increasingly more complex and potentially dangerous equipment safely and efficiently. My efforts within the project are in two main areas: 1) experimentally studying the properties of materials commonly used in theatre and 2) educating theatre technicians about the principles of physics through lectures, workshops, and the development of pedagogical materials. Through this project, we have developed lecture materials and labs that I use in both introductory and advanced undergraduate classes. I have also been able to expand my research interests into areas which are accessible to undergraduates as early as their sophomore year. The physics in these projects is not particularly advanced, but students can develop a much deeper understanding of what they did and have true ownership of their projects.
      • Introductory Physics at a Small Campus

      • BI04
      • Mon 08/01, 2:10PM - 2:20PM
      • by Gabriela Popa
      • Type: Contributed
      • Traditionally, introductory physics courses require a good handling of mathematical manipulations. Many students come to college with a desire to learn physics, and they say that they like it. But when they take college physics they find the mathematics involved in it challenging. However their desire to do well is not enough sometimes to solve problems. Many students have a good feeling for the concepts and like laboratory experiments. In an introductory physics class at a small college, the student population is very diverse in background and expectations. Talking with my colleagues from other disciplines I learn about their type of assignments, and I offered my students choices. I will present different types of choices for in class and at home assignments.
      • Development of Active Learning Tools for a Course on Physics and Music

      • BI05
      • Mon 08/01, 2:20PM - 2:30PM
      • by Heather Whitney
      • Type: Contributed
      • The physics education research literature provides a wealth of information on active-learning procedures, such as interactive lecture demonstrations (ILDs), peer instruction facilitated with clickers, or tutorial systems. However, much of this material has been focused on their use in courses that cover the canon of topics, such as introductory physics courses designed for science majors or conceptual physics courses. Courses that investigate the connections between physics and music are common in physics department course offerings for general education purposes, and they provide an important opportunity to instruct students who may not otherwise take a course in the field. A suite of these tools has been developed for a course on physics and music. Discussion will include clicker ILDs, clicker questions, and lab-based activities, all designed to enhance the learning of students in topics such as motion, oscillations and waves, and sound.
      • Physics for Filmmakers: Goals, Tracker Labs, and Projects

      • BI06
      • Mon 08/01, 2:30PM - 2:40PM
      • by Timothy McCaskey
      • Type: Contributed
      • Columbia College offers an introductory, algebra-based mechanics course called "Physics for Filmmakers." The course is for students who wish to learn how to use the laws of physics in making more accurate and/or artistically deliberate choices in their filmmaking. We debunk common movie errors and misconceptions, and students must also complete a film project that demonstrates correct physics in some way. In this talk, I will discuss how we use Tracker (http://www.cabrillo.edu/~dbrown/tracker/) in our labs to teach both filming ideas and physics concepts, some final film projects we have seen, and how we use PER-influenced ideas to further support our learning goals.
  • Developing Teacher Leaders

      • Evolving into a Teacher Leader

      • FE01
      • Wed 08/03, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Kenneth Wester
      • Type: Invited
      • This talk will address various aspects of teacher leadership, including the roles of teacher leaders, the importance of teacher leaders, ways of preparing future teacher leaders and the evolution of the classroom teacher into that of a teacher leader. I will address the path I took in becoming a teacher leader and eventually a physics teacher educator at the university level.
      • 'OMG, You Want Me to Teach WHAT?'

      • FE02
      • Wed 08/03, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Karen Matsler
      • Type: Invited
      • How does the professional community go about developing the local leaders to help reluctant recruits to teach physics effectively? The discussion will share experiences and data relevant to the effectiveness of professional development focusing on what we need, what we have, what we know, and what works.
      • Reflections of a PhysTEC Physics Teacher in Residence

      • FE03
      • Wed 08/03, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Rod Ziolkowski
      • Type: Contributed
      • Identifying, encouraging, and mentoring prospective/beginning high school physics teachers is my primary role as PhysTEC physics teacher in residence at California State University-Long Beach. I will describe the leadership role I play when interacting with the physics department faculty, developing curriculum and programs, and interacting with beginning physics teachers. After 25 years teaching high school students, I see my physics-teacher-in-residence position as equal parts responsibility and opportunity and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you.
      • Inquiry and the Use of Technology in Teaching Physics

      • FE04
      • Wed 08/03, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Mark LaPorte
      • Type: Contributed
      • Effective implementation of technology within the context of inquiry instruction has been known to enhance the meaningful learning of physics by both enhancing the conceptual understanding and the motivation of students. Students who are explicitly aware of the questions they are trying to answer are more intellectually engaged in the design of the procedures to answer those questions. Mentoring pre-service teachers in the effective use of technology within the context of inquiry instruction is an important function of the TiR's role in preparing high-quality physics teachers. Examples of current technologies used in physics classrooms and how these technologies can be effectively used in inquiry-based curriculums are discussed.
      • Feeling Connected

      • FE05
      • Wed 08/03, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by James Overhiser
      • Type: Contributed
      • A sense of feeling connected is part of being human. This is especially true for a young teacher. Involving pre-service and freshman teachers in content-specific networks early in their career helps them understand the connections that can be made to support their work in the classroom. This can also remove the anonymity that teachers work under and place them in a cooperative group of professional development. Doing this early in the career of a teacher will help them see the importance of such networking and teach them the responsibility of moving into leadership roles to keep the network active and viable.
  • Digital Textbooks: Possibilities and Perils

      • Why Not Make Physics Textbooks Free?

      • DC01
      • Tue 08/02, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Justin Peatross
      • Type: Invited
      • We have authored an upper-division optics textbook that is freely available at www.optics.byu.edu. We call on physicists everywhere to join the Internet age and share their knowledge without charge. Electronic tools make it easy to produce and distribute a professional product. The small royalty from traditional publishing comes with a huge overhead that makes your work pricy for students. Why not forego it?
      • The Future of the Introductory Physics Textbook

      • DC02
      • Tue 08/02, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Stuart Johnson
      • Type: Invited
      • The format of today's introductory physics textbook has been in place for over 100 years, but there are many indications that this format may be approaching the end of its useful life. This paper will explore the reasons why change is imminent and what the next generation of "textbooks" might look like.
  • Don't Put That Phone Away: Personal Electronics in the Classroom

      • Physics apps for the iPhone, the Touch, and the iPad

      • BA01
      • Mon 08/01, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Andrew Duffy
      • Type: Invited
      • This talk will discuss physics apps for the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and the iPad. You can create your own apps and make them available through the App Store, and we will address that process briefly. However, there are a significant number of physics-related apps already available through the App Store, and we will talk about some of these and about ways in which you can use them in your own classes. Finally, some lucky attendees will receive a code so they can download a physics app for free.
      • VCalc: An iPhone app for Intro Physics Courses

      • BA02
      • Mon 08/01, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Steve Spicklemire
      • Type: Invited
      • VCalc is an RPN vector calculator for the iPhone/iPod designed to help in performing various vector-intensive computations on a portable device. VCalc was created out of a need to perform vector calcuations like those required in intro physics courses, particularly the great "Matter and Interactions" curriculum developed by Ruth Chabay and Bruce Sherwood. This talk is a "behind the scenes" view of the development of an iPhone application intended for student use and the likely potentialities and limitations of such an approach. Alternative approaches and related apps are also discussed.
      • Student Choices: Podcast or Text Preferences of Elementary Science Methods Students

      • BA03
      • Mon 08/01, 2:00PM - 2:30PM
      • by Cathy Ezrailson
      • Type: Invited
      • As part of an ongoing study with digital methods of content delivery, students in an Elementary Science Methods course were given the choice of content type: Podcast and/or text while studying assessment models. Student choice of and comfort level with digital media were examined. Student choice yielded some surprising results and interesting feedback.
  • Educating the Larger Public about Science: Lessons from Public Institutions

      • Attracting the Public: Lessons from the Magnet Lab

      • EC01
      • Tue 08/02, 1:15PM - 3:15PM
      • by Jose Sanchez
      • Type: Panel
      • The Magnet Lab and other facilities, large and small, can provide the infrastructure that translates science research for students, teachers, and the general public. In addition, an educational programs group with science educators as staff, provides support for scientists as they expand their involvement with science outreach. CIRL addresses this mission by providing a broad range of programs at traditional and nontraditional venues: For example, K12 outreach to schools, middle school mentorships, high school internships, internships for undergraduates, internships for teachers, teacher professional development, Science Café, Barnes & Noble Science Nights, and Chick Fil A Family Nights. CIRL educators take any and all opportunities to help teachers bring real-world research into classrooms.
      • Discovery to Understanding: The National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory

      • EC02
      • Tue 08/02, 1:15PM - 3:15PM
      • by Michael Thoennessen
      • Type: Panel
      • The National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) is a world leaderin rare isotope research and education. Broadening the impact of scientific discovery and enhancing the public understanding of science are among the main objectives of the laboratory. Every year more than 4000 visitors participate in tours of the facility and we developed hands-on demonstrations for open houses and science fairs. For example, the Marble Nuclei Project offers a hands-on approach to learning about matter on the atomic and subatomic scale by comparing and contrasting different isotopes. This project helps visitors and students understand the various types of decay associated with different isotopes, and become aware of the goals of nuclear science and how it is applied in everyday situations.
      • Physics for the Public

      • EC03
      • Tue 08/02, 1:15PM - 3:15PM
      • by Marge Bardeen
      • Type: Panel
      • We probably all agree that the public should know something about the nature and value of scientific research. Through outreach and education activities, scientists can communicate understandings of the natural world and how we come to those understandings. The setting could be a library, lecture hall, museum floor, or even a book store. The experience should build understandings and relationships. The approach should involve engagement and when possible exploration. We discuss several activities for the general public from the particle physics community.
      • Outreach from a Small Observatory

      • EC04
      • Tue 08/02, 1:15PM - 3:15PM
      • by James Conwell
      • Type: Panel
      • In the fall of 2004 the Eastern Illinois University Physics Department dedicated its new observatory. Built with student help and private donations, it has been central to the department's community outreach through its monthly open houses. More than 1600 visitors came in the year 2010 alone. Community support in 2009, during the UN International Year of Astronomy, allowed us to have a year-long celebration, centering on a lecture series, an observatory blog (EIU Astro at 240,000 visitors), and in cooperation with the art department, a museum exhibit on Art and Archeo-astronomy.
  • Energy and the Environment

      • Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage

      • BG01
      • Mon 08/01, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Richard Flarend
      • Type: Invited
      • A large demand for energy in Pennsylvania is for space heating. Unfortunately, this demand coincides with low winter solar insolence making traditional solar thermal energy impractical for space heating. However it is possible to collect this solar energy in the summer and to store it for later use in the winter using a seasonal thermal energy storage system (STES). Existing STES systems have had a variety of problems due to cost, thermal losses, and/or slow thermal time constants of the storage field. This research has focused on designing and locating a potential site for a solar STES system using an abandoned coal mine that solves many of these problems. The design, dynamic simulation, and estimated performance of such a system will be presented. Construction estimates and return on investment will also be presented for a potential site in which a favorable abandoned mine has been found very close to a K-12 school.
      • Energy and Power Density in Society

      • BG02
      • Mon 08/01, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Abigail Mechtenberg
      • Type: Invited
      • From the dawn of civilization, energy density and power density has been sought and fought after. This talk will walk through the foundation civilization has built for ourselves throughout the technological and nontechnological world and compare it to how nature has evolved. We will ponder if economics has broken a historical global symmetry by making the lowest energy state not the preferable state and ask ourselves why? Ten interactive Societal Ragone Plots will be presented and passed out: from vehicles to robots to hummingbirds. Results from an agent-based model of African electricity microgrids will be presented and juxtaposed to policy implications in the U.S. for our centralized grid with and without nuclear power. Monte-carlo simulation results for a designed U.S. military forward operating base in Afghanistan will be presented to discuss the risk that explains an amazing quote that "the U.S. loses one person, killed or wounded, for every 24 fuel convoys it runs in Afghanistan to run air-conditioners and power diesel generators." Energy and power density engages with society -- from African health care to U.S. military risk to everyday U.S. civilian activities.
      • A Broad Look at the Energy Curriculum

      • BG03
      • Mon 08/01, 2:00PM - 2:30PM
      • by Shawn Reeves
      • Type: Invited
      • Having consulted a broad sweep of educators teaching about energy for several years for EnergyTeachers.org, Mr. Reeves will comment on the integration of energy curriculum into the physics curriculum as well as the possibility of energy becoming its own field to rival the importance of physics. Learning new and even traditional energy concepts presents a challenge in the world of standardized or traditional curriculum, especially concerning sequence and rigor. Textbooks, professional development, lesson plans, field experiences, workforce training, and academic pathways need to be developed further. The content and structure of EnergyTeachers.org represents the wide range of answers to such challenges for K-16 and informal educators, but there is much work to be done. What role will physics educators have in this work?
      • Growth, Population, Resources, and the Meaning of Sustainability

      • BG04
      • Mon 08/01, 2:30PM - 3:00PM
      • by Albert Bartlett
      • Type: Invited
      • Because they are used carelessly and indiscriminately, the words "sustainable" and "sustainability" have lost their meaning. The reasons for this loss of meaning range from simple carelessness to commercial greed. The ultimate contradiction is the oxymoron "sustainable growth." We will examine the definition of "sustainability" and then will look at what it has to mean in terms of growth, population, and the extraction of mineral and fuel resources from the Earth.
  • High Performance Computing

      • High-performance Computing with Undergraduates: From Classrooms to Conferences

      • GB01
      • Wed 08/03, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Michael Roth
      • Type: Invited
      • In the last 20 years, computational physics has become a separate branch of study, right along with theoretical and experimental physics. As our computing resources have advanced, we now rely on massively parallel high-performance computing techniques to simulate and model physical systems. There are many interesting research topics in physics spanning a wide range of length and time scales that are accessible to undergraduate students through direct extension of concepts learned in their sequence of courses. Several such research problems will be discussed in context of their importance and effectiveness in equipping physics undergraduates for success in research environments and promoting interdepartmental collaboration.
      • Research with Undergrads in Computational Molecular Biophysics: Successes and Challenges

      • GB02
      • Wed 08/03, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Patricia Soto
      • Type: Invited
      • The computational molecular biophysics group at Creighton University aims at deciphering the biophysics of pathological folding processes of proteins and peptides, a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and prion diseases. To this end, high-performance computer (HPC) simulations are implemented in which the motion of individual protein and solvent atoms is mimicked by using techniques from classical statistical mechanics. The multidisciplinary nature of the research appeals to college students from diverse academic backgrounds, each student working on a project tailored to their interests and skills. Students are thus engaged for the very first time and have the opportunity to contribute to a project that utilizes scientific computing to tackle cutting-edge science questions. Remarkably, students build upon their computer literacy and develop enthusiasm in further exploring the HPC technology. A likely explanation of such attitudes is that students are challenged to interact actively with HPC resources and applications. The role as users the students develop empowers them and brings a whole new perspective on the potential use of computing in science, technology, and medicine.
  • Impact of New K-12 Standards on Teachers and Teacher Training

      • Getting Ready for the New Generation of K-12 Physics Standards

      • EA01
      • Tue 08/02, 1:15PM - 2:15PM
      • by Patricia Heller
      • Type: Panel
      • Compared to the current K-12 science standards, the new research-based physics standards: (a) have more explicit statements of the physics principles and concepts students should understand; (b) require more application of these principles and concepts to real world situations; (c) require increasing intellectual sophistication and higher levels of abstraction as grade levels progress from elementary to middle school to high school, and (d) reflect a current (modern) view of physics. These differences will impact how we prepare future teachers. This presentation outlines how the new standards will affect the physics content of courses for teachers.
      • Impact of National Science Standards on Teachers and Teacher Training

      • EA02
      • Tue 08/02, 1:15PM - 2:15PM
      • by Jim Woodland
      • Type: Panel
      • A perspective from a state department of education on the impact of state science standards on classroom instruction, curriculum, assessment, and teacher preparation.
      • New Physics Standards in Texas

      • EA03
      • Tue 08/02, 1:15PM - 2:15PM
      • by Jill Marshall
      • Type: Panel
      • As of 2009 Texas physics teachers are teaching under a revised set of standards for what students should be able to do, the revised Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills or TEKS for physics. Although changes to the TEKS were "evolutionary not revolutionary," a new structure organizing the topics was imposed and a new emphasis was placed on conceptual understanding. New standards relating to optics and nuclear physics were added.
  • Indigenous Astronomy

      • Ethnoastronomy: Exploring Native Astronomy on the Great Plains

      • CG01
      • Mon 08/01, 6:30PM - 7:00PM
      • by Mark Hollabaugh
      • Type: Invited
      • Ethnoastronomy is the study of an indigenous people's astronomy. Through legends, winter counts, and second-hand reports, we know a great deal about astronomy on the Great Plains in the 19th century. This talk will explore how ethnoastronomers use many well-known tools of astronomy to understand phenomena, events, and beliefs of a native people. Focusing primarily on the Lakota people of the western Dakotas, examples will include eclipses, meteor showers, and the aurora borealis.
      • Ways of Seeing: Native Perspectives in Astronomy

      • CG02
      • Mon 08/01, 7:00PM - 7:30PM
      • by Diana Wiig
      • Type: Invited
      • While attending a cultural festival at the Wind River Reservation, I brought my telescope to share with the students and their parents. During our night sky navigation, I began to hear murmured stories that were unfamiliar to me. I was intrigued; so began my journey into the rich oral/written narratives of Northern Arapaho and Shoshone cultures. This presentation will share some of the stories, resources, and websites to further enhance the astronomy experience from a native perspective.
  • Induction and Mentoring of Physics Teachers

      • The Best of Both Worlds

      • BH01
      • Mon 08/01, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Doug Panee
      • Type: Invited
      • I have a unique perspective of "Developing a Network of Cooperating Teacher." I've been a cooperating teacher for the past 18 years for 20 student teachers and now I am a CFA, Clinical Faculty Assistant or TIR, at BYU. I have the best of both worlds because now I have the wonderful opportunity to support many of my friends that are cooperating teachers as a university mentor. I will share how this network has supported me as a cooperating teacher as well as how I and BYU help support the cooperating teachers in our network.
      • Mentor Me...Mentor You

      • BH02
      • Mon 08/01, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Jon Anderson
      • Type: Invited
      • New physics teachers need mentoring! In addition to the need to know and understand their content, they need direction deciding upon appropriate demonstrations, analogies, examples, and labs, pacing of topics, seniors in the spring, classroom management, lab supply budgets, and much more. This talk will explore the role that mentors play in attracting new physics teachers, in helping them through those critical first years, and in retaining them in the profession. As a former mentee, I can speak to the value of all of these.
      • Training the Future

      • BH03
      • Mon 08/01, 2:00PM - 2:30PM
      • by Jan Mader
      • Type: Invited
      • As I near retirement I am beginning to panic. Who will take my place? Will they care as much as I do? Will teaching be their passion not just a job? With the diminishing number of science teachers entering the "pool" and even fewer in physics, what can veteran teachers of science do to encourage beginning teachers to enter the profession and remain in the profession when the going gets tough?
      • A Case for Induction--Keeping New Teachers in the Classroom

      • BH04
      • Mon 08/01, 2:30PM - 3:00PM
      • by Duane Merrell
      • Type: Invited
      • Mentoring from a master teacher during student teaching may be the most important semester in the preparation of a new teacher. But even this mentoring does not prepare a student for what happens during the first year when they have a classroom full of their own students. I want to follow the story of two students who without induction after they graduated most likely would not be teaching now. Retention of these new teachers is as important as training new teachers. I think our role in helping with the mentoring and induction of these new teachers is as important and on par with the efforts that we make to help these students get their teaching licenses. I know these students have graduated from our teacher preparation programs but they still need to see that friendly face, hear that friendly voice. These students just need to know you as their teacher preparation mentor are still there and care. I will try to show how I think that the two students I have talked about above may not be teaching if they had not been confident that a university mentor would help.
      • Connecting Teacher Preparation to Professional Practice

      • BH05
      • Mon 08/01, 3:00PM - 3:10PM
      • by Eugenia Etkina
      • Type: Contributed
      • In this talk I will describe how the Rutgers Physics Teacher Preparation program connects pre-service training to post-graduation professional development and practice. The key here is to use social networks and face-to-face meetings as two components of a professional learning community. I will show how one can maintain such a community with very little time investment and no additional funding. The learning community not only supports beginning teachers during their most difficult years of teaching but also allows pre-service teachers to have high quality student teaching experience. I will share the achievements of the community and the difficulties that arise. Rutgers has been producing large numbers of physics teachers for the past eight years. Over 90% of these teachers remain in the profession.
  • Innovative Labs for Introductory Courses

      • The Mash-up Report: A New Physics Lab Assessment Tool

      • FC01
      • Wed 08/03, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by Larry Bortner
      • Type: Contributed
      • We have developed an online, partial credit multiple choice lab report designed to reduce the student's composition time and virtually eliminate the grader's time. For each section of the report (called a centort), students are presented with snippets that have been previously graded with a rubric, with at least one choice for each level of the rubric. Each snippet is drawn randomly from a pool so that no two students have the same choices for the full centort. Grading is automatic but can be withheld from the student until after a submission deadline.
      • Introductory E&M Labs Based on Challenge Projects

      • FC02
      • Wed 08/03, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by Michael Burns-Kaurin
      • Type: Contributed
      • We changed the structure of the laboratory portion of the second semester of the calculus-based introductory course to center on two challenge projects, the design of the wiring for a house and the construction of a simple radio. Each challenge is broken down into sub-challenges that each include rounds of planning, performing, analyzing, and interpreting experiments. Moreover, each group typically performs a different experiment and shares the outcome with other groups (distributed expertise). Although the experiments end up similar to the experiments students performed before this change, the experiments are now in the context of complex, ill-formed problems, with the goal of improving the students' skills in the actual process of scientific investigation. This presentation will focus on the implementation of this approach, including some discussion of instructors' impressions and assessment of content knowledge; another presentation will focus on the rationale for this structure. Supported by NSF-CCLI DUE-0837216.
      • Video-based Introductory Mechanics Labs Learning Effects

      • FC03
      • Wed 08/03, 8:50AM - 9:00AM
      • by Sergio Flores
      • Type: Contributed
      • Many introductory physics students have understanding problems when they try to learn physics concepts through the knowledge mathematical representations during lab sessions. The research group named Physics and Mathematics in Context from the University of Ciudad, Juarez, Mexico, has developed a research approach based on videos to detect, analyze, and categorize students' understanding of problems to recognize and learn the properties of concepts such as forces as vectors. These videos are projected during the lab sessions to allow a direct interaction between the object knowledge (physical concepts) and the knowledge subject (the students). These videos show the materials, instruments, procedures, and the corresponding description of the cognitive and physical abilities students demand to develop the labs successfully. This didactic design is based on the theories of mathematical representations and visualization. We will show and describe samples of these videos and the corresponding learning effects found during lab sessions.
      • The Physics of Rube Goldberg

      • FC04
      • Wed 08/03, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Joseph Nothnagel
      • Type: Contributed
      • The popular 1963 board game "Mouse Trap" provided the inspiration for a creative assessment of the first two semesters of a three-semester calculus-based physics course. The game was fashioned from the cartoon images created by Rube Goldberg. The Merriam-Webster dictionary adopted the word "Rube Goldberg" as an adjective defined as accomplishing something simple through complex means. Physics is laden with "complex means" exemplified in the myriad of equations introduced in the first two semesters of classic physics. The lab involves the construction on paper of a "Mouse Trap." Twenty independent steps are to be constructed leading to the dropping of a net on the mouse. Each step must be one of the many equations studied in classic physics. The utility of the equation demonstrated in the action within each step along with complete calculations will be used to validate sufficient input force to output force to move from one step to the next of the mouse trap.
      • Lab Experiments Using Radioisotopes with Wide Range of Half-Lives

      • FC05
      • Wed 08/03, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by John Tansil
      • Type: Contributed
      • There are two common techniques for experimentally determining the half-life of a radioisotope. The first method involves measuring activity as a function of time and is limited to isotopes whose half-lives are short compared to time of measurement, yet long enough so that activity is well above background during time of measurement (a few minutes in a typical lab period). The second method is for long-lived isotopes and requires measuring activity and calculating the number of radioactive atoms from the known chemical composition of the sample. We have been using two radioisotopes whose half-lives differ by a factor of E14. The short-lived radioisotope is Barium-177m (T = 2.55 min) and the long-lived radioisotope is naturally occurring Potassium-40 (T = 1.277 E9 yr) which is found in a variety of common potassium compounds. We will discuss specific procedures with these lab experiments and how they fit in the overall nuclear science curriculum.
      • Teaching Physics Related to an Early Attempt at Medical Imaging

      • FC06
      • Wed 08/03, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Dean Zollman
      • Type: Contributed
      • When President Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881, physicians could not determine the location of the bullet. Alexander Graham Bell proposed that he use his newly invented telephone and another relatively new development, the induction balance, to locate it [1]. This early attempt at nonintrusive medical imaging ultimately failed. The apparatus provides students with a way to learn several aspects of electromagnetism and AC circuits in a context that should be motivating to medical students who are studying physics. Even the reasons for the failure are directly related to understanding magnetic fields. Our progress toward developing a teaching activity on this topic has included creating an induction balance with readily available materials and detecting the location of hidden pieces of metal. This project is funded by NSF under grant DUE 04-26754.
      • Using a WiiMote to Track Multiple Objects in Two Dimensions

      • FC07
      • Wed 08/03, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Eric Ayars
      • Type: Contributed
      • We will present a method of using the built-in camera on a Wii game controller with LabVIEW to track two-dimensional motion of up to four objects simultaneously in real time. We will show you how to do it (it's CHEAP!) and demonstrate some potential applications of this method to introductory lab experiments.
      • Terminal Velocity of High-Altitude Balloon Payloads: Experiment Versus Theory

      • FC08
      • Wed 08/03, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Paul Seifert
      • Type: Contributed
      • The terminal velocity of a high-altitude balloon payload descending under a parachute can be calculated using the Prandtl expression for the drag force and knowing the force of gravity (weight) on the payload. A simple model of the terminal velocity versus altitude has been developed, accounting for the changing density of the atmosphere during descent. This model will be compared to the actual terminal velocity of payloads launched by the University of Minnesota, Morris and ConHAB (Concordia College) balloon groups. We will also compare results between our two different parachute designs. The model and flight data will be used to develop an undergraduate laboratory activity illustrating differences between experimental real-world data and theoretically modeled data.
      • A simple calibrations lab.

      • GA01
      • Wed 08/03, 1:00PM - 1:10PM
      • by Dan Beeker
      • Type: Contributed
      • A simple laboratory exercise to determine the accuracy of a meter stick and ultrasonic motion detector using homemade calibration bars is described. This lab exercise makes an ideal first lab as it is simple to do yet provides a reliable value for the accuracy of measuring devices commonly used in the first year physics labs.
  • Interactive Lecture Demonstrations: Physics Suite Materials that Enhance Learning in Lecture

      • Interactive Lecture Demonstrations: Active Learning in Lecture

      • DA01
      • Tue 08/02, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by David Sokoloff
      • Type: Invited
      • The results of physics education research and the availability of microcomputer-based tools have led to the development of the activity-based Physics Suite.1 Most of the Suite materials are designed for hands-on learning, for example student-oriented laboratory curricula such as RealTime Physics. One reason for the success of these materials is that they encourage students to take an active part in their learning. This interactive session will demonstrate “through active audience participation” Suite materials designed to promote active learning in lecture and Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs).2 The demonstrations will be drawn from second semester topics.
      • Interactive Lecture Demonstrations: Effectiveness in Teaching Concepts

      • DA02
      • Tue 08/02, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Ronald Thornton
      • Type: Invited
      • The effectiveness of Interactive Lecture Demonstrations in teaching physics concepts has been studied using physics education research-based, multiple-choice conceptual evaluations.1 Results of such studies will be presented. These results should be encouraging to those who wish to improve conceptual learning in lecture.
  • Interactive Lecture Demonstrations: Physics Suite Materials that Enhance Learning in Lecture

      • Circular Motions

      • DA03
      • Tue 08/02, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Cheng Ting
      • Type: Contributed
      • Camcorders can help students to observe simple circular motions of a bicycle wheel and a simple pendulum. Video analysis will be used to study the circular motions, and allow students to build up concepts of vectors involved in the kinematics of circular motions, such as angular velocity and angular momentum. How to build the mathematical formula for students based on their observation will be discussed.
  • Introductory Courses

      • The Law of Refraction without Trigonometry: Beaten to it by Descartes!

      • FF01
      • Wed 08/03, 8:00AM - 8:10AM
      • by David Schuster
      • Type: Contributed
      • Investigating and discovering a law for refraction is potentially an ideal activity for inquiry-based physics. However, the law of refraction involves sine functions; this complicates an empirical search for a law (as it did historically) and may also seem to preclude it for students with no trigonometry. Wanting a guided-discovery approach nonetheless, we "invented" a geometrical representation: incident and refracted ray directions can be specified not only by angle but by semi-chords in a reference circle. This proves very successful: students discover that various possible relationships, such as angle ratios, are initially promising but do not work at large angles; and they finally arrive at a simple and visually elegant law: the ratio of semi-chords for incident and refracted rays is constant. We then found that we had been beaten to this form of the law by nearly 400 years, by Descartes among others! Thus in the case of refraction, exemplary inquiry pedagogy has a counterpart in history. Note that the approach also reveals the underlying meaning of sine functions and a reason why trigonometry was invented. Students then go on to use the semi-chord representation to solve refraction problems by geometrical construction.
      • Discovering the Law of Refraction

      • FF02
      • Wed 08/03, 8:10AM - 8:20AM
      • by Adriana Undreiu
      • Type: Contributed
      • Refraction can serve as a wonderful example of a guided-discovery approach to a physics topic. Yet many textbook treatments remain the antithesis of this, despite the fact that physics is more than just a body of knowledge. Our inquiry-based approach involves exploring refraction behavior and tracing rays, then testing for possible relationships between incident and refracted ray directions, seeking a law that works at all angles. (A semi-chord representation for ray directions makes the task easier and less abstract). If a course has no lab, students still use graphic ray-direction data to seek a law, as a valuable inductive discovery problem. Note that conventional problems are purely deductive, missing an important facet of real science. We will contrast the approach, both epistemologically and pedagogically, with direct didactic presentations common in textbooks. Refraction has proved to be one of the most successful inquiry-based topics in our course for prospective teachers, for learning both the physics and the nature of scientific inquiry.
      • Characterizing Iconic Problems of the Introductory Physics Course

      • FF03
      • Wed 08/03, 8:20AM - 8:30AM
      • by Juan Burciaga
      • Type: Contributed
      • The introductory physics course has a backbone of problems that form the basis of future study, that is problems that physics students see again and again throughout their study of physics, each time approaching a given problem in greater depth and complexity. Characteristics of these iconic problems may offer insight into some of the "habits of mind" employed by physicists as they approach problem solving in the discipline and perhaps shed some light on the intractable nature of the curriculum. The paper reports on a census of the iconic problems from the introductory sequence and identifying the characteristics that make these problems valuable to the physics discipline and the physics curriculum.
      • Measurements of Students' Performance on Computational Exercises in Introductory Mechanics

      • FF04
      • Wed 08/03, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by Marcos Caballero
      • Type: Contributed
      • The impact of laboratory and homework exercises on the development of computational thinking is evaluated using a proctored end-of-course computational exercise. We present the motivation for and development of this proctored assignment, an analysis of erroneous student code, and the implications for teaching computation to introductory physics students.
      • The Answer Is in the Back of the Book

      • FF06
      • Wed 08/03, 8:50AM - 9:00AM
      • by Stephanie Magleby
      • Type: Contributed
      • One plus one is three; because three is the answer in the back of the book. Sound familiar? We have seen increased instances of this kind of "wishful math" in our undergraduate physics and engineering courses. In this talk I will discuss the pedagogical pros and cons of having the answer readily available in the back of the book. Also, we discuss different teaching and grading techniques to counteract this "creative math" trend.
      • Reforming Undergraduate Course for Engineering/Physics Majors: Factors Influencing Students' Performance

      • FF07
      • Wed 08/03, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Deepika Menon
      • Type: Contributed
      • There has been emphasis on reforming traditional undergraduate physics courses for science/engineering majors. This study was conducted with 273 undergraduate students, enrolled in calculus-based course for physics majors at a large Midwestern University. The focus was to understand the factors that influence students' performance within the course. The course has weekly 2½ hours of lecture, 2½ hours of laboratory, and a small group recitation section focusing on problem solving. Students are assigned weekly online homework and pop-up quizzes (counts towards attendance). Regression analysis shows that students' average exam score is neither influenced by gender nor their major (engineering/physics/other sciences). However, students' average exam score is highly significant with their lab score, pop quizzes, and online assignments. Findings of the study would help science faculty design courses for science/engineering majors with emphasis on factors that strongly contribute towards their average grade. Reform-based courses would further help reduce drop outs, providing "preparatory classes" for students at risk.
      • Computer Simulation vs. Demonstration in the Introductory Physics Lecture

      • FF08
      • Wed 08/03, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Monica Pierri-Galvao
      • Type: Contributed
      • Students today belong to a computer generation. They grew up playing video games and using computers for all their learning and entertainment needs. In view of this new student profile, it is worth asking the question if learning can be enhanced by replacing traditional demos with computer simulations in the lecture setting. To investigate this issue, we replaced four demonstrations with simulations in an introductory physics course and compared the learning outcomes with a pre- and post-test.
      • Student Difficulties Using Graphs Required for a Materials Science Course

      • FF09
      • Wed 08/03, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Rebecca Rosenblatt
      • Type: Contributed
      • We report on a number of student difficulties with standard graphs and diagrams used in an university-level introductory materials science and engineering course. We investigated student understanding of a variety of graphs and diagrams including atomic bonding potential energy graphs, material concentration and diffusion graphs, stress-stain plots, and phase diagrams. Some of the difficulties with graphs are similar to those previously found in studies of introductory physics topics, such as students confounding slope with height and the failure to attend to the axis labels. However, we have identified a number of other difficulties specific to the type of graph or diagram used. For example, many students have difficulties both using the boundaries of an alloy phase diagram to derive information about the microstructure of the alloy and understanding the physical meaning of the boundaries between phases. We also report on the effectiveness of some graph activities implemented in recitation.
      • Tracking Student Focus During Lectures

      • FF10
      • Wed 08/03, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by David Rosengrant
      • Type: Contributed
      • This study investigates the gaze patterns of undergraduate college students attending a lecture-based physics class to better understand the relationships between gaze and focus patterns and student attention during class. The investigators used a new eye-tracking product, Tobii Glasses with infrared markers, which eliminate the need for subjects to focus on a computer screen or carry around a backpack-sized recording device, thus enabling a broader range of research questions to be investigated. This investigation includes when, for how long, and what students focus on in the classroom (i.e. demonstrations, instructor, notes, board work, and presentations) during a normal lecture. After the lectures, most subjects attended an interview at which they were shown part of their video of their gaze patterns and were asked to reflect on their thinking and attention. We report on the subjects as a whole and then in subgroups based upon grades and specific courses.
      • Fostering Computational Thinking: Computer Modeling Homework in Introductory Mechanics

      • FF11
      • Wed 08/03, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Michael Schatz
      • Type: Contributed
      • Introductory physics courses typically fail to provide students with significant opportunities to use a computer to solve science and engineering problems. We present an overview of recent work to develop laboratory and homework exercises on numerical modeling, simulation, and visualization for students in introductory mechanics in both high school and large enrollment university courses.
      • The Educational Pitfalls of 'Plug-In' Physics

      • FF12
      • Wed 08/03, 9:50AM - 10:00AM
      • by Hiro Shimoyama
      • Type: Contributed
      • In the field of physics teaching and learning, university students' performance on exams sometimes does not effectively indicate their understanding. Namely, due to ill-conceived approaches to academic tasks, some students can obtain a higher score without actually learning scientific concepts. One typical approach is so called "plug-in" physics, by which students focus on only the values and related formulas. From an instructor's point of view, it is often difficult to identify this problem. Although this method may enable students to obtain "correct" answers, such students do not necessarily acquire the basic principles of physics and they cannot deal with certain types of problems in authentic "real world" contexts. This talk depicts some real examples of "plug-in" physics and explores possible solutions to this widespread problem, including the requirement of partial and sequential answers and use of visual stimuli-based problems in the design of assessments.
      • Successful Strategies for Teaching Physics II (Electromagnetism, Optics, Modern Physics)

      • GA03
      • Wed 08/03, 1:20PM - 1:30PM
      • by Deepthi Amarasuriya
      • Type: Contributed
      • Teaching calculus based Physics II (EM, optics, introduction to modern physics) in one semester is difficult - especially when classes meet for three 50 minute lecture sessions, and one 2.5 hr lab per week. Having many mathematically underprepared students adds to the challenge. By judiciously combining "old fashioned" blackboard lectures with concise but comprehensive printed lecture notes, Power Point slides, Java applets and labs that work in tandem with lectures, I have covered the designated topics well enough so that over 75% of my students continue with Engineering and Physics programs.
      • Will the fox catch the rabbit? Non-Cartesean Thinking in Introductory Mechanics.

      • GA07
      • Wed 08/03, 2:00PM - 2:10PM
      • by Mikhail Kagan
      • Type: Contributed
      • As we typically teach in an introductory mechanics course, choosing a 'good' reference frame with convenient axes may present a major simplification to a problem. Additionally, knowing some conserved quantities provides an extremely powerful problem-solving tool. While the former idea is typically discussed in the context of Newton's Laws, the latter starts with introducing conservation of energy even later. This work presents an elegant example of implementing both aforementioned ideas in the kinematical context, thus providing a 'warm-up' introduction to the standard tools used later on in dynamics. Both the choice of the (non-orthogonal) reference frame and the conserved quantities are rather non-standard, yet at the same time quite intuitive to the problem at hand. Two such problems are discussed in detail with two alternative approaches. The first approach does not even require knowledge of calculus. In the appendix, I also present the brute-force solution involving a coupled system of differential equations. In addition, a few exercises and another similar problem for students' homework are provided.
  • Laboratories for Astronomy

      • Engineering Innovative Curricula for Inquiry in an Undergraduate Astronomy Laboratory

      • GC01
      • Wed 08/03, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Daniel Lyons
      • Type: Invited
      • The literature argues that students do not develop deep understandings of the structure or nature of the scientific discipline of inquiry unless the underlying ideas are taught explicitly. In response the Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research CAPER Team has developed an introductory astronomy lab curriculum with a backwards faded-scaffolding approach to support student engagement in authentic inquiry experiences. Backwards faded-scaffolding is a strategy where the conventional and rigidly linear "scientific method" is turned on its head and students are first taught how to create conclusions based on evidence, then how experimental design creates evidence, and only at the end introduces students to -- what we believe is the most challenging part of inquiry -- inventing scientifically appropriate questions. To assess the curriculum we are using the Views of Scientific Inquiry (VOSI) survey and the Test of Astronomy Standards (TOAST).
      • Results from a Study of Inquiry in Undergraduate Astronomy Laboratories

      • GC02
      • Wed 08/03, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Kendra Sibbernsen
      • Type: Invited
      • This talk will focus on the results from a mixed-method quasi-experimental study that was designed to determine if students in an undergraduate astronomy laboratory increase their understanding of inquiry. A backward-faded scaffold (BFS) format was used for the laboratory exercises. The measure of increase in inquiry was determined by the examining pre-tests and post-tests of the Views of Scientific Inquiry (VOSI) survey, scores on laboratory exercises at the beginning and end of the course, and observations from the instructor. Information will be given outlining how these results are being used to guide recommendations for practice and for further research, including online implementation of the astronomy laboratory exercises and development of a physical science survey laboratory class using the BFS format.
      • Balloon Data and Planetary Temperature Profiles

      • GC03
      • Wed 08/03, 2:00PM - 2:10PM
      • by Gordon McIntosh
      • Type: Contributed
      • Atmospheric temperature measurements during a balloon flight provide a basis for the comparison of temperatures and the variation of temperatures with altitude in the atmospheres of solar system bodies. The altitudes and temperatures are measured and transmitted to Earth thorough the StratoSAT system. Data from a launch on the morning of Saturday, 6 November 2010, will be presented and compared to temperature profiles from Mars, Venus, and Titan. The data indicate the effects of the Earth's surface, the lapse rate in the troposphere, the altitude of the tropopause, and the increasing temperature of the stratosphere. These data and comparisons form the basis for an astronomy, meteorology, or Earth science laboratory activity.
      • Measuring the Temperature of a Star from Its Continuous Spectrum

      • GC04
      • Wed 08/03, 2:10PM - 2:20PM
      • by John Shaw
      • Type: Contributed
      • One way to measure the surface temperature of a star is to measure the ratio of intensities of light through a blue filter compared to a green filter. Assuming the star behaves as an ideal blackbody, Planck's formula can be used to calculate the temperature at the surface of the star. A similar activity can be done in the laboratory by measuring the intensities of light from an incandescent light bulb through infrared, red, green, and blue filters. The students can use the ratio of two of these as a way of determining the temperature of the tungsten filament of the light bulb. A spreadsheet is used to illustrate the predictions of the spectra of a blackbody at different temperatures from Planck's formula.
  • Labs/Apparatus

      • Reflectance Properties Ground Surfaces: Implications for Night-time Light Pollution

      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Jennifer Birriel
      • Type: Poster (cancel)
      • Light pollution is a pervasive form of environmental pollution that affects much of the world today. Light from artificial night-time light sources such as street lamps (even properly shielded ones) is reflected skyward from ground surfaces. We use the Vernier "ALTA II" Reflectance spectrometer to examine the spectral reflectance properties of "ground" surfaces such as concrete, asphalt, grass, sand, leaves, and brick. These properties will be discussed in relation to observed in night sky brightness levels. We discuss briefly the implications of our work for light pollution studies.
  • Learning Progressions

      • Linking Research with Practice: How Learning Progressions Guide Instructional Decisions

      • AF01
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Karin Hess
      • Type: Invited
      • This session will address the question: What are learning progressions (LPs) and how can they be used in the classroom to determine the "next steps" for instruction? Several hands-on activities will illustrate how classroom teachers can use science LPs to: (1) evaluate the scope of current assessments across the year; (2) plan curriculum sequences using research-based learning continua; and (3) use ongoing assessment data to monitor student progress. Examples of how teachers in several states are designing assessments to determine where students are along the continuum of learning using LPS will be shared.
  • Major Consequences of Minor Dishonesty in Physics Classes

      • Making Homework Easier to Do Than to Copy

      • GE01
      • Wed 08/03, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Gerd Kortemeyer
      • Type: Invited
      • Using the example of LON-CAPA (http://www.lon-capa.org/), this talk presents mechanisms and examples for randomizing introductory physics questions beyond merely inserting random numbers and shifting around answer options. Strategies on how to randomly generate scenarios with desired properties (including different graphs, images, formulas, setups, boundary conditions, data drawn from libraries, and the use of student input for later problem parts), as well as input mechanisms beyond numbers and multiple choice (e.g., formula input and graph input checked for properties rather than correspondence to a given answer), will be presented. Once scenarios and expected inputs are sufficiently different from student to student (while still dealing with the same physics), it becomes harder to reverse-engineer the problem than to deal with the physics -- collaborations between learners morph from cheating into peer-teaching.
      • Consequences of Participation in Unmoderated Discussion Forums

      • GE02
      • Wed 08/03, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Wolfgang Bauer
      • Type: Invited
      • While sophisticated course management systems and homework engines like LON-CAPA can prevent simple student-to-student copying of answers and cheating a la Cramster, dedicated groups of students will still be able to reverse-engineer most homework problems. We analyze one such case and show that cheating on homework has a quantifiable negative impact on exam performance. We also present a new approach of correlating weekly homework with weekly exams. First indications are that this approach curtails cheating on homework, and that it leads to greater student satisfaction with the course and with the exam framework.
      • Comparing an Academic Dishonesty Survey with Reality

      • GE03
      • Wed 08/03, 2:00PM - 2:30PM
      • by Young-Jin Lee
      • Type: Invited
      • An anonymous survey containing questions frequently used in self-reported academic dishonesty studies plus more sharply worded questions was administered to a large introductory physics class at MIT. The actual copy rate, which was inferred from the log files of the Web-based learning environment students used, was found to be 43% higher than the self-reported copy fraction. Among several contextual and situational factors often examined in the previous academic dishonesty studies, gender, and major were found to be positively correlated with the observed copying of electronic homework problems. Also, student motivation for learning was found to be negatively correlated with self-reported copying. Students report 70% more copying of written homework than online homework, consistent with easier availability of answers for written homework. The survey and a few interviews suggest that time pressure on students who do not start their homework in a timely fashion is the proximate cause of copying.
      • Patterns, Consequences, and Reduction of Homework Copying

      • GE04
      • Wed 08/03, 2:30PM - 3:00PM
      • by David Pritchard
      • Type: Invited
      • Homework copying was detected in the online homework tutor MasteringPhysics.com. Copying increased as each weekly deadline approached, for problems later in each assignment, and dramatically over the semester. The majority of students copied less than 10% of their problems and worked steadily over the three days before the deadline, whereas repetitive copiers (>30% of problems) exerted little effort early. Importantly, copying homework problems that require analytic answers correlates with a 2.4 standard deviation decline for similar problems on exams but did not significantly correlate with gain on the Mechanics Baseline Test. Repetitive copiers initially had comparable ability in math in physics to non-copiers. Changes in course format and instructional practices that previous self-reported academic dishonesty surveys and the observed copying patterns suggested would reduce copying have been accompanied by more than a factor of four reduction of copying from about 11% of all electronic homework problems to less than 3%.
  • Methods to Improve Conceptual Learning in Quantum Mechanics I

      • Teaching Quantum Mechanics in the Paradigms in Physics Curriculum

      • AG01
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by David McIntyre
      • Type: Invited
      • To improve conceptual learning, the Paradigms in Physics program has reordered material from the subdisciplines and incorporated modern pedagogical strategies. In the quantum part of our curriculum, we adopt a "spins-first" approach by introducing quantum mechanics through the analysis of sequential Stern-Gerlach spin measurements. The aims of the spins-first approach are: (1) To immerse students in the inherently quantum mechanical aspects of physics, and (2) To give students experience with the mechanics of quantum mechanics in the forms of Dirac and matrix notation. To facilitate our spins-first approach, we use Stern-Gerlach simulation software to study measurements, interferometers, spin precession in a magnetic field, and "which-path" detection. We build upon the spins-first approach by using the spin-1/2 example to introduce perturbation theory, the addition of angular momentum, and identical particles. We use Dirac notation and matrix notation throughout our five quantum courses, emphasizing the importance of fluency in multiple representations.
      • Ask, and It Shall be Given You

      • AG02
      • Mon 08/01, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Daniel Styer
      • Type: Invited
      • Conceptual learning in a quantum mechanics course can be promoted by a balanced, interwoven treatment of concepts, formalism, and applications so that each thread reinforces the other. In particular, it is important that most problems, no matter how technical, contain conceptual elements as well.
      • Turning Quantum Mechanics Course Notes into Tutorials

      • AG03
      • Mon 08/01, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Todd Timberlake
      • Type: Invited
      • Efforts have been under way for many years to introduce active engagement strategies in the teaching of introductory physics. More recently there have been attempts to expand the use of active engagement into upper-division physics courses. In this talk I will discuss my efforts to employ active engagement in an upper-level quantum mechanics course, using a series of tutorial activities covering many of the standard topics in quantum mechanics. I will discuss some of the challenges of using active engagement to teach quantum mechanics, as well as my process for creating the tutorials, most of which were simply adapted from the derivations and sample problems that I had previously presented in lecture format. In addition, I will comment on the overall success of this approach, mention some topics for which I still make use of traditional lecture, and share the reactions of my students to the tutorials and the class as a whole. The tutorials (in pdf and LaTeX format) can be found at http://facultyweb.berr.edu/ttimberlake/active_quantum/.
  • Methods to Improve Conceptual Learning in Quantum Mechanics II

      • Operators and Measurements in Paradigms in Physics, Part 1

      • CI01
      • Mon 08/01, 6:30PM - 6:40PM
      • by Corinne Manogue
      • Type: Contributed
      • Operators have a central role in the formalism of quantum mechanics. However, many students have trouble using operators in computations related to quantum measurements. Many students erroneously believe that, for operators representing observables, the linear transformation of the quantum state vector corresponds to the process of making a measurement on the system. The upper level quantum mechanics curriculum at Oregon State University takes a "spins first" approach that emphasizes quantum measurements. Within this curriculum, we have developed a variety of activities to help address this common student difficulty.
      • Operators and Measurements in Paradigms in Physics, Part 2

      • CI02
      • Mon 08/01, 6:40PM - 6:50PM
      • by Elizabeth Gire
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Paradigms team at Oregon State University has developed a series of activities that emphasize quantum measurements. Some of these activities specifically target students' conceptual understanding of the role of operators in computations related to measurements. We will discuss evidence of how these activities help students develop productive conceptual understandings of operators. This evidence is gathered from classroom video of students working through the activities in small group, whole class discussions, and clinical interviews, as well as students' homework and exams.
      • A Hands-On Introduction to Quantum Mechanics for Sophomores

      • CI03
      • Mon 08/01, 6:50PM - 7:00PM
      • by David Jackson
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Physics Department at Dickinson College has re-designed its curriculum for physics majors to take advantage of recently developed single-photon experiments in quantum mechanics.* The ultimate goal is to bring students face to face with some of the fascinating and subtle features of quantum mechanics in a hands-on setting. This is mainly accomplished in a sophomore-level course titled "Introduction to Relativistic and Quantum Physics." Experiments include the behavior of a photon at a beam splitter--it "must" go one way or the other--and the behavior of a photon at a Mach-Zehnder Interferometer--it "must" go both ways. This talk will describe our curriculum changes and discuss some of the successes and difficulties we have experienced.
      • Illustrating Quantum Non-Locality with the Two-Slit Interferometer

      • CI04
      • Mon 08/01, 7:00PM - 7:10PM
      • by Scott Johnson
      • Type: Contributed
      • The classic demonstration of interference is the two-slit interferometer, so students are generally comfortable with this system and the calculations that go with it. This familiarity makes it a good system for illustrating new concepts, such as the non-local correlations seen in quantum entanglement. These can be illustrated with a modified interferometer that uses two sets of slits, one on each side of a source of momentum-entangled photons. (This actual system has not yet been realized, but a similar Mach-Zehnder interferometer has been constructed.) This system shows interference-like correlations between photons detected on opposite sides of the source, which can be very far away from each other. These correlations change with the spacing of both sets of slits, illustrating Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance.”
      • A New Multimedia Resource for Teaching Quantum Mechanics Concepts

      • CI05
      • Mon 08/01, 7:10PM - 7:20PM
      • by Antje Kohnle
      • Type: Contributed
      • Since 2009, we have been developing and evaluating visualizations and animations for the teaching of quantum mechanics concepts [Kohnle et al., Eur J Phys, 31 6 (2010) 1441]. This new resource builds on existing education research as well as our lecturing experience, and aims to specifically target student misconceptions and areas of difficulty in quantum mechanics. Each animation includes a step-by-step exploration that explains key points in detail. Animations and instructor resources are freely available at www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~qmanim, and can be played or downloaded from this site. Animations have been used and evaluated in several quantum mechanics courses. Recent work includes extending the range of topics and levels of the animations, and a study of students' interactions with a previously unseen animation, aiming to test whether interface and content make sense, and whether the animations encourage interaction and exploration. Results of this work will be used to optimize the animations.
      • Assessment of Student Understanding in Modern Physics

      • CI06
      • Mon 08/01, 7:20PM - 7:30PM
      • by Jessica Uscinski
      • Type: Contributed
      • A number of tools are widely available to assess student understanding of key concepts in introductory physics, but less so for modern physics and quantum mechanics. The Modern Physics course at American University presents an ideal opportunity for conceptual assessment given its somewhat atypical student composition. In this study, student understanding of the photoelectric effect is probed using a variety of measures. A quantitative assessment was first performed using the Quantum Physics Conceptual Survey (QPCS)*. A series of both qualitative and quantitative exam questions were then developed and given as additional assessment measures of the photoelectric effect. In this presentation we summarize the pre-/post-gains of the assessments and correlate them with academic background and performance. The preliminary results from these assessment methods will be discussed in the larger context of how assessment measures can be maximized to enhance student understanding in a modern physics course.
      • Educational Proposal for Teaching QED

      • CI07
      • Mon 08/01, 7:30PM - 7:40PM
      • by George Kontokostas
      • Type: Contributed
      • The session will focus on mentoring and induction programs for new physicsteachers. Students need and desire to know the latest scientific knowledge. Quantum is introduced in order to give students an understandable qualitative view of the origin of Feynman diagrams as representations of particle interactions. Elementary diagrams are combined in a simple way in order to understand the standard Model. In this presentation we examine how an alternative way of teaching can help students to design, predict interactions, and understand how the diagrams work. Using special pedagogical methods and with the help of technology, we note that most students were able to design the three interactions and to predict the formation of some particles. Without using much math, the students were allowed to develop an understanding of QED. Some misconceptions were dealt with successfully.
  • New AP B Where Are You?

      • Part I. The New AP Physics B Curriculum

      • DG01
      • Tue 08/02, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Gay Stewart
      • Type: Invited
      • The latest information released by College Board in regard to the new AP Physics B courses--Physics 1 and Physics 2 will be presented, including an overview of the curriculum framework along with the division of content between Physics 1 and Physics 2. Currently, Physics B is supposed to follow a preparatory course. Now, the material is divided up and deepened to make each year a stand-alone, rigorous, conceptual and problem-solving course. These courses can be placed flexibly into a school's curriculum; examples, alignment of the courses with college courses and possible ramifications for college credit will be discussed.
      • Part II. Teaching the New AP Physics B

      • DG02
      • Tue 08/02, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Connie Wells
      • Type: Invited
      • The conceptual level for the newly designed course will be significantly deeper, thereby allowing teachers more time for inquiry-based, student-centered learning. Suggested approaches to the incorporation of elements of the redesigned courses into current AP Physics courses will be offered as teachers plan during the interim between now and first year of implementation of the new curriculum. New teachers will discover an approach to physics teaching that merges conceptual development with scientific practice. Experienced teachers will see how their current practices merge with the goals of Physics 1 and Physics 2. Participants will gain insight into what impact these changes may have on their current teaching practices. Participants will be given examples of how these new courses can be placed flexibly into a school's curriculum, and the teacher support materials that will accompany both courses will also be discussed.
  • New Avenues for Collaboration and Mentoring

      • New Avenues for Collaboration and Mentoring

      • FG
      • Wed 08/03, 8:30AM - 10:00AM
      • by Todd Leif
      • Type: Panel
      • Leslie Huling Austin writes in her article "Research on Learning To Teach:Implications for Teacher Induction and Mentoring Program" that to survive the shock of classroom reality, novice teachers need collegial support from experienced teachers and peers. Providing such a mentor in physics proves especially difficult in high schools and two-year colleges that only employ one physics instructor. The panelist will discuss their use of technology to mentor new physics instructors at institutions other than their own, and how successful it has been. Two of the panelists mentor new high school teachers while the third panelist mentors new two-year college instructors.
  • Objectives and Assessment of the Physics Graduate Program

      • Changes and Challenges in Physics Graduate Programs

      • AB01
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00AM - 8:20AM
      • by Michael Thoennessen
      • Type: Invited
      • Many physics departments have made significant changes to their graduate programs in the last few years. These changes were partly driven by the increasing specialization of the field and the increasing number of interdisciplinary programs. Changes included modifications of the core curriculum and the comprehensive exams. Are these changes effective? Are the students better prepared for non-academic/industry careers? Are these changes improving the traditionally high drop-out rates? It is still too early to answer these questions, but the departments are encouraged to document and analyze the results of the implemented changes carefully so that the "best practices" can be implemented in other departments.
      • Defining and Assessing Goals of a Graduate Physics Program

      • AB02
      • Mon 08/01, 8:20AM - 8:40AM
      • by Chandralekha Singh
      • Type: Invited
      • In this talk, I will discuss and encourage participants to consider how success should be defined for a graduate physics program and how departments can assess it. A particular focus will be on the inclusion of underrepresented students in the physics graduate programs.
      • The Challenge of Setting Objectives in Physics PhD Programs

      • AB03
      • Mon 08/01, 8:40AM - 9:00AM
      • by Thomas Cohen
      • Type: Invited
      • It is particularly challenging in the context of physics PhD programs to construct objectives and schemes to systematically assess whether these objectives are met. This is for two reasons. The first is that these programs focus on research. It is probably true that there is broad agreement the purpose of these programs is to train students to become independent and highly competent researchers. The challenge is to articulate in a precise and measurable way precisely what skills and/or knowledge an independent and competent researcher needs to acquire. The second challenge is related to the great diversity of research subfields that exist in Physics PhD programs. Students who work on experimental "big science'' such as an LHC experiment need to learn a radically different set of skills than students working in say biophysics or computational plasma physics. Given the disparate needs of these subfields, it is particularly difficult to construct meaningful objectives that apply to all of these.
      • Graduate Education as Vocational School: Industrial and Entrepreneurial Physics

      • AB04
      • Mon 08/01, 9:00AM - 9:20PM
      • by Robert Brown
      • Type: Invited
      • Three decades of my industrial partnerships with more than 10 companies have led to significant publications, patents, start-ups, and jobs. My 20 graduated PhD students have upwards of 150 patents and 200 publications and abstracts, and have worked in remarkably diverse areas, from radiation, imaging, and heat transfer physics, to magnetic particle ferrofluids, and sensor development for contaminated industrial fluids. I am connected to three new manufacturing companies with more than 100 employees, 20% of whom have been trained in my computational laboratory. This is aligned with a national award-winning master's program in physics entrepreneurship, where I've been co-advisor for 25 graduates. As an outgrowth of a unique imaging course, my former students and I have co-authored a 900-page textbook referred to as the "daily companion of the MRI scientist." I discuss the relevance of all of this to general physics graduate education, especially in today's funding climate.
  • Online Courses and Simulated Learning

      • Multivariable Regression Analysis of Online Physics Success

      • CE01
      • Mon 08/01, 6:30PM - 7:00PM
      • by Erik Jensen
      • Type: Invited
      • I used a multivariable regression to analyze success (grades) in six years of online and campus-based introductory physics classes at Chemeketa Community College. I analyzed independent variables including incoming GPA, grade in trigonometry, gender, age, home institution, and delivery method to determine their effects on success. I found that incoming GPA, home institution (Chemeketa students fared worse than outside students), and delivery method (there was an online "penalty" of about half a grade) significantly impacted success while other independent variables did not. In addition to presenting the multivariable regression analysis, I will provide both evidence of academic honesty and evidence that my students conduct substantive labs at home; these appear to be points of considerable skepticism among physics educators. I will also provide data and practices regarding retention, a challenge for any class with any delivery method at a community college.
      • Taking Advantage of Sensor Technology to Create a Home-Based Kinematics Class

      • CE02
      • Mon 08/01, 7:00PM - 7:10PM
      • by Richard Gelderman
      • Type: Contributed
      • Sonic ranger sensors have been successfully used in physics labs and play a major role in the design of reformed introductory physics classes. We have recently taken advantage of advances in the portability and ease of use of sonic rangers to develop a lab-based kinematics course delivered completely online. Following established curriculum plans utilizing progressively scaffolded interactive labs, this course uses digital data collection and analysis as the foundation of an interactive peer learning experience. Students in our online "Concepts of Force and Motion" course are required to purchase an equipment kit that includes a USB-interface motion detector and data collection and analysis software. The overwhelming success of this effort is how much students enjoy using this lab equipment at their home. Our experience is that every student has managed to overcome any initial trepidation, to complete the class with a positive reaction to both the technology and the emphasis on experimentation.
      • Simulations of Mechanics with DynaMo

      • CE03
      • Mon 08/01, 7:10PM - 7:20PM
      • by Michael Duffy
      • Type: Contributed
      • DynaMo is a program for developing, editing, and delivering simulations of a wide range of physical systems typically encountered in introductory physics and classical mechanics classes. I will be demonstrating a variety of newly created simulations and discussing various ways they can be delivered to students.
      • Student Use of Geometer's Sketchpad to Model Physics Concepts

      • CE04
      • Mon 08/01, 7:20PM - 7:30PM
      • by Dale Yoder-Short
      • Type: Contributed
      • Geometer's Sketchpad by Key Curriculum Press was created as a tool for teachers and students to model geometric situations. We have adapted it to create dynamic models of physics phenomena. We will show how to create an illustration and give examples of teacher and student sketches. We suggest the student is learning physics by building the sketch and then by using it as a tool to explore and analyze physics concepts.
  • PER in the High School

      • Effects of Physics and Everyday Thinking in an Urban High School

      • GD01
      • Wed 08/03, 1:00PM - 1:10PM
      • by Shelly Belleau
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Physics and Everyday Thinking (PET) curriculum is based on educational research and consists of carefully sequenced sets of activities intended to help students develop physics ideas through guided experimentation and questioning with extensive small group and whole class discussion. A high school physics teacher has adapted and implemented the PET curriculum in two urban high schools with the aim of removing barriers that typically limit student access to, and identification with, physics. Though PET was not designed for secondary physics students, this teacher has worked closely with physics education research faculty and graduate students to simultaneously implement and investigate the impact of PET on students' physics learning. Preliminary results indicate that an adapted version of PET has great potential to provide greater opportunities for access and success in understanding physics as well as the nature of science.
      • Impact of the Learning Assistant Experience for High School Physics Students

      • GD02
      • Wed 08/03, 1:10PM - 1:20PM
      • by Susan Nicholson-Dykstra
      • Type: Contributed
      • An ongoing partnership was formed between the conceptual physics classes at an urban high school and the second-grade classes at an elementary school in the same district. During the latter half of the course, students in the high school classes learned how to create backward design lesson plans and utilize formative assessments to measure student understanding. The physics students then created lesson plans pertaining to four units of study (Newton's Laws, conservation of energy, electrostatics, and circuits), which they implemented in their partner elementary classroom. Participating physics classes were comparatively evaluated for effects on content understanding and retention, engagement, motivation, and perception of learning. Data from four classes will be presented with recommendations for continuing the elementary-secondary physics partnership. Project was partially funded by NSF grant #DUE 934921 and ING Financial Service's Unsung Hero Award.
      • Assessment Preparation: Impacts of Explicit Reflection Prompts on Learning

      • GD03
      • Wed 08/03, 1:20PM - 1:30PM
      • by Emily Quinty
      • Type: Contributed
      • This research study addresses urban high school students' struggles with preparing for assessments. In this study, students completed a questionnaire immediately following all quizzes and tests reflecting on several aspects of test preparation: how well they thought they did and why, how they knew what to study, what specific activities helped them prepare for the assessment, and what they will do differently to prepare for the next assessment. Responses were analyzed for patterns in student language and metacognitive statements, examining trends in both individual students and classes over time. Responses were also correlated to assessment data and changes in instructional strategies. Results from this study provide insight into what students do to prepare for a quiz or test, and also reveal trends in how students interpret the purpose of reflective activities.
  • PER: Investigating Classroom Strategies I

      • Understanding the Variable Effect of Course Innovations on Student Learning

      • AE01
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00AM - 8:10AM
      • by Heidi Iverson
      • Type: Contributed
      • Over the last several decades, research has challenged the efficacy of the traditional lecture-based instructional model of undergraduate physics education. As a result, a large number of reform-oriented instructional innovations have been developed, enacted, and studied in undergraduate physics courses. While previous work has shown that the impact of course innovations on student learning has been overwhelmingly positive, it has also been highly variable. The purpose of this analysis is to investigate this variability. For this analysis 170 published studies on undergraduate physics course innovations were coded with respect to the characteristics of the innovations as well as the methodological characteristics of the study designs. The findings of this analysis have indicated that nearly half of the variability can be accounted for by study design characteristics rather than by characteristics of the innovations used. However, a subsequent analysis has highlighted some of the critical characteristics of more effective innovations.
      • Teaching Creativity and Innovation to Physicists Using Tablet PCs

      • AE02
      • Mon 08/01, 8:10AM - 8:20AM
      • by Patrick Kohl
      • Type: Contributed
      • As the rest of the world catches up to the U.S. in industrial output and technological sophistication, our continued economic prosperity will depend on strengthening our historical success in generating new ideas. While there are limited efforts to foster creativity and innovation through formal and informal instruction in the business world, few efforts exist in science or engineering education. To address this, the Colorado School of Mines has recently created a dedicated Tablet PC classroom where we hold an elective physics course for the purpose of improving creativity in our students. In this talk, we report on the structure of the course and the technologies used. The latter include pedagogical implementations of InkSurvey, a free web-based software package that enables detailed, real-time interactions with the instructor. We assess student progress via the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, and discuss early work towards developing a physics-specific instrument for measuring creativity.
      • Clickers 2.0: Managing Classroom Interactions

      • AE03
      • Mon 08/01, 8:20AM - 8:30AM
      • by Brian Lukoff
      • Type: Contributed
      • Clickers are widely used for formative assessment in physics classrooms, but current clicker systems have numerous limitations. In particular, most clicker systems have limited question formats beyond multiple-choice, and provide only limited ways for instructors to use data to improve instruction. We will introduce a new web-based system we have developed that allows students to use laptops and smartphones to answer many different kinds of questions (e.g., indicating the direction of a vector, or entering an algebraic expression) and allows instructors to use the data in real time to automatically group students for peer instruction based on their responses and their reported geographical locations in the classroom. Based on an initial deployment of this system in an introductory electricity and magnetism course, we will show some examples of what can be learned about student understanding from non-multiple-choice items and what can be learned about peer instruction from automatic grouping.
      • Assessing Course-Integrated Problem Comparisons Activities Using Similarity Ratings Surveys

      • AE04
      • Mon 08/01, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by Frances Mateycik
      • Type: Contributed
      • Students in an algebra-based physics course were required to complete a compare and contrast activity each week. The treatment was used to examine whether direct problem comparisons are useful for facilitating student awareness of physical, deep-structure problem characteristics. Students were expected to write detailed arguments as to how two problems of their own selection from the weekly homework assignment were similar and different from one another. Handwritten feedback was offered after each assignment, and students were deducted points if their responses were considered too vague. Pre- and post-treatment similarity ratings surveys were used to evaluate the emphasis students placed on deep-structure. The survey required students to rate the similarities between eight pairs of problems of varying similarity, and write a description that supported their numerical rating. This talk will summarize student survey responses before and after treatment, and compare any trends with previous semesters where no immediate feedback was offered.
      • Adapting PER Strategies for Middle School Science Classes

      • AE05
      • Mon 08/01, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by David Meltzer
      • Type: Contributed
      • There is great potential in adapting, for the middle-school classroom, instructional strategies and curricular materials developed and validated for use with college students. Substantial modifications in content, format, and instructional design are needed and must conform to a variety of constraints such as time availability for instruction and grading, equipment and administrative resources, etc. I will describe my experiences in adapting PER-based materials and methods for weekly science classes taught to grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 during the 2010-2011 academic year. The context was a one-hour class taught each week to five different classes, all in the setting of a university instructional laboratory.
      • Examining Correlations Between Lecture Conceptual Question Responses and Course Performance

      • AE06
      • Mon 08/01, 8:50AM - 9:00AM
      • by Jeffrey Morgan
      • Type: Contributed
      • We have implemented peer instruction in an introductory level conceptual physics course for non-science majors, based on the success that others report with this method.(1) We expected to see that learning from peer conversation, as evidenced by answering conceptual questions correctly following discussion, would correlate with course grade, but did not observe any link. We did, however, note moderate correlation between answering a conceptual question correctly prior to peer conversation and course grade, indicating that while peer conversation improves the interactivity of a lecture course, interaction may be more important than arriving at the correct answer to student success.
      • Scaffolding Students' Development of Mental Models for Pulleys Systems

      • AE07
      • Mon 08/01, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Amy Rouinfar
      • Type: Contributed
      • Research has shown that students have several misconceptions about pulleys. To construct a mental model of how pulley systems work, students must elicit and confront these misconceptions. We report on a study with students in a conceptual physics laboratory investigating pulley systems using physical or virtual manipulatives. Written materials guided students through a sequence of activities designed to scaffold their model construction process. The activity sequences facilitated students' sense making by requiring them to make predictions about different pulley systems and testing these predictions by building and comparing different systems. At the end of each of the two weeks of the activity, students were given the task of designing the best pulley system for lifting a piano. We investigate the ways in which students use the manipulatives while navigating scaffolding activities and how the students' mental model development of pulley systems compares between the physical and virtual treatments.
      • Peer Instruction Self-Efficacy

      • AE08
      • Mon 08/01, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Julie Schell
      • Type: Contributed
      • Physics education research suggests that students' beliefs in their ability to complete physics tasks successfully--that is, their physics self-efficacy--may play an important role in explaining their learning and success in undergraduate physics classrooms (Fencl & Scheel, 2005; Kost, Pollock, Finkelstein 2005). Following this line of research, we introduce a new self-efficacy construct, Peer Instruction Self-Efficacy (PISE), which describes students' beliefs in their abilities to engage in specific Peer Instruction activities. For example, PISE includes physics students' beliefs that they can successfully convince their neighbors of the validity of their responses to conceptually based questions during Peer Instruction. In this talk, we will introduce our instrument for measuring PISE, as well as data on how students' PISE changes over the course of one semester of an introductory undergraduate electricity and magnetism course at one major research university. We will also report initial findings about the relationship between students' PISE and their eventual learning outcomes in the course.
      • Is this Good Teaching? Assessment Challenges for Both Faculty and Institutions

      • AE09
      • Mon 08/01, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Chandra Turpen
      • Type: Contributed
      • As part of a larger research study, we focus on the investigation of barriers to instructional change. One significant barrier that has emerged is that neither faculty nor their institutions know how to evaluate student learning (or teaching effectiveness) in introductory physics courses. In this talk, we will present results from telephone interviews with 70 physics faculty related to how faculty and their institutions evaluate teaching effectiveness. We will focus on the following research questions: 1) What information is gathered about instructors? teaching and students? learning? 2) How is this information used? 3) How are different sources of information perceived or valued by faculty? Helping faculty (and possibly institutions) make judgments about whether their instruction is working may be an integral part of supporting efforts to improve undergraduate physics instruction.
      • Teaching Assistant Impact on Student Understanding of Electrostatic Concepts

      • AE10
      • Mon 08/01, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Keith West
      • Type: Contributed
      • Teaching assistants were given a ranking problem in electrostatics to teach during recitation sections. The same problem was given on an in-class exam two weeks later. Student performance on the exam question is examined as a function of TA teaching style, which is ranked using the RTOP assessment.
      • Comparison of an Inquiry-based Algebra-based Course to Traditional Teaching

      • AE11
      • Mon 08/01, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Mahmoud Yaqoub
      • Type: Contributed
      • We present data comparing an inquiry-based, algebra-based introductory physics course to courses taught traditionally and by interactive engagement. The inquiry-based course was taught in a hands-on, laboratory-based classroom. It was taught without a text, using materials developed explicitly for the algebra-based population, supported by two NSF grants.(1) We present data both from conceptual inventories and written pre- and post-tests administered to all of the classes.
      • High-School Teachers' Implementation of 'Troubleshooting-Tasks' Presented in an In-Service Program

      • AE12
      • Mon 08/01, 9:50AM - 10:00AM
      • by Edit Yerushalmi
      • Type: Contributed
      • "Troubleshooting Tasks" require students to detect an error in a statement describing a situation, explain it, and correct it. Such tasks can serve as a context for refining interpretations of scientific concepts if designed appropriately. In particular, statements should include mistaken reasoning reflecting alternative conceptions known from the research literature, and feedback should highlight how a mistaken interpretation differs from the scientific one. "Troubleshooting Tasks" were presented in an in-service program for high school teachers from the Arab sector in Israel. We report how these tasks were implemented in the classrooms. Data sources consist of statements and sample solutions composed by the teachers, teachers' assessment of students' performance, and their reflections regarding their experience. In particular, we answer: To what extent did actual implementation confirm with the aforementioned guidelines? What challenges did teachers face when implementing these tasks? The results can inform the design of in-service programs presenting teachers with similar tasks.
  • PER: Investigating Classroom Strategies II

      • Collaboration Among Local Colleges to Build a Community of Expertise

      • FA01
      • Wed 08/03, 8:00AM - 8:10AM
      • by Dedra Demaree
      • Type: Contributed
      • In summer 2010, Oregon State University (OSU) received an NSF grant in collaboration with local community colleges (CC) to build pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). The purpose of this project is three-fold: to better coordinate our introductory courses, to develop and share the best of our curricular activities, and to document the shared knowledge in a way that helps incoming/rotating instructors adopt the courses. There is a large number of students who transfer between OSU and the CC's, and there is terrific reformed teaching (with common reform goals) going on at all three institutions with documented success. However, the professors with the most expertise teach only a fraction of the students within the system. This talk will discuss how we are sharing and documenting instructional knowledge and course materials to build a community of expertise that can pass PCK more readily to new instructors.
      • Developing Beliefs and Attitudes about Doing Physics in Introductory Classes

      • FA02
      • Wed 08/03, 8:10AM - 8:20AM
      • by Sissi Li
      • Type: Contributed
      • Learning to do physics is more than knowing the concepts and solving homework problems. Scientists know that doing science requires the conceptual understanding, problem solving, and critical thinking skills as tools; moreover, doing science is more than just using those tools, it also involves having appropriate attitudes and beliefs about doing science. These attitudes and beliefs include curiosity, skepticism, tenacity, creativity, and more. To examine how these attitudes are developed, we selected three teachers who teach calculus-based introductory college physics at a large research university and two community colleges. We observed their lecture classes, and conducted post-class interviews and student interviews. Through these three case studies, we will present how teachers build a learning community to support learners in developing beliefs and attitude for doing physics.
      • Transforming Assessment to Achieve and Measure Preparation for Future Learning

      • FA03
      • Wed 08/03, 8:20AM - 8:30AM
      • by Yuhfen Lin
      • Type: Contributed
      • One way to measure transfer is through assessing preparation for future learning, but how many of us are brave enough to test our students' ability to learn by giving them an exam question on a topic we have not covered? At the same time, have our physics classes prepared them for their future learning? When we gave our students a question on a brand new topic as their final exam, we wanted to believe they could learn on their own. They demonstrated not only the ability to find the correct equation to solve the problem, but they also were not satisfied until they were able to achieve deeper understanding by making sense of the new knowledge in terms of their current understanding. In the next talk, we will provide more details of how we created a learning environment that encouraged students to take charge of their own learning.
      • Building a Sustainable Learning Environment in a Physics Classroom

      • FA04
      • Wed 08/03, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by David Brookes
      • Type: Contributed
      • In the words of Sugata Mitra, “Education is a self-organizing system, where learning is an emergent phenomenon.” If we take this to the extreme: good teaching has little to do with what we teach or how we teach it. What we should be concerned with is designing a learning environment that will encourage the spontaneous emergence of learning. In this talk I will present a) some initial ideas about how we can model a physics course as a self organizing system, and b) an ongoing two-year experiment to design a physics learning environment that promotes emergent learning. Our initial results show that students are learning the content at a level that is comparable to other reformed courses, developing positive attitudes toward physics, and developing their identities as learners, knowers, and physicists. Most importantly, students have developed the ability to learn on their own.
      • Beyond the Standard Pedagogical Model

      • FA05
      • Wed 08/03, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by Paul Camp
      • Type: Contributed
      • For several years, the physics department at Spelman College has used project-based instruction as a central focus of our curriculum at all levels. This presentation will describe our work on the second-semester introductory course, in which we have moved all of the circuits material to a project-based investigation conducted entirely in the lab. There are several important differences between our implementation and similar efforts such as Workshop Physics, notably the use of complex, ill-formed problems as a central focus of the pedagogy, the use of distributed expertise to drive collaboration and communication, and the improvement of process skills through iterative refinement. We will describe the foundations of our pedagogical design in cognitive and learning science and previous similar efforts in other learning contexts, contrast it with other inquiry-based designs, and describe some of what we are observing in the test and comparison classes. Data collection and processing is currently ongoing so this presentation will necessarily focus more on the design rationale than on the results.
      • Adopt, Adapt, or Abandon? Instructors' Decisions to Use Research-based Materials

      • FA06
      • Wed 08/03, 8:50AM - 9:00AM
      • by Stephanie Chasteen
      • Type: Contributed
      • Physics education researchers often develop materials for classroom use. Instructors then choose which of those materials they would like to implement. We present a case study of University of Colorado's transformed junior E&M course. After the transformation work in Sp/Fa 2008, four subsequent instructors of this course decided which materials -- such as tutorials, clicker questions, or use of documented student difficulties -- to use. Based on detailed interviews of those instructors, we examine what was and was not sustained, and discuss aspects of the course materials that enabled sustainability across instructors. We also present examples of less successful implementation that provide useful feedback on the use of PER-based resources -- both for educational researchers and for the instructors making use of these instructional techniques.
      • Assessing the Algebra-based Electricity and Magnetism Studio: First Steps

      • FA07
      • Wed 08/03, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Jacquelyn Chini
      • Type: Contributed
      • The studio mode of learning combines the lecture, laboratory, and recitation components of a traditional course in an integrated, student-centered environment. Others have demonstrated the success of studio in introductory calculus-based physics. However, there have been fewer studies on the effectiveness of this strategy for algebra-based physics courses. In spring 2011, one instructor was assigned to teach both studio-mode and traditional sections of the second semester introductory algebra-based physics course at the University of Central Florida. We discuss the differences between the ways one instructor taught the same content in these two formats. Having the same instructor for both the studio and lecture courses allows for comparison between these formats without variations introduced by individual instructors. We begin to assess the effectiveness of our algebra-based studio by comparing the performance of students from these sections in common tasks, including the Survey of Electricity, Magnetism, Circuits and Optics (SEMCO) and quizzes.
      • Implementation of Research-based Instructional Strategies: Report from a Longitudinal Study of 15 Junior Faculty

      • FA08
      • Wed 08/03, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Melissa Dancy
      • Type: Contributed
      • As part of a continuing research program to better understand barriers and identify affordances toward increasing research-based teaching practices among university physics faculty, we have embarked on a five-semester study of 15 diverse faculty who recently participated in the Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop. Data collected includes: pre- and post-semester interviews, periodic web-based surveys, and collection of teaching artifacts. In this talk we will share findings from the first year of the study focused on the experiences faculty had with the New Faculty Workshop, what aspects of the workshop they decided to integrate into their teaching, how they went about implementing new ideas, and the outcomes of their efforts.
      • Teaching Mathematical Physics through Problem-based Learning

      • FA09
      • Wed 08/03, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Gintaras Duda
      • Type: Contributed
      • Problem-based and project-based learning (PBL) are two pedagogical techniques that have several clear advantages over traditional instructional methods: 1) both techniques are active and student centered, 2) students confront real-world and/or highly complex problems, and 3) such exercises model the way science and engineering are done professionally. This talk will present an experiment in project/problem-based learning in a mathematical physics course and an attempt (still in its infancy) to deliver an upper division physics course completely in the problem/project based format. More specifically, one group project in the course involved modeling a zombie outbreak of the type seen in AMC's ``The Walking Dead.'' Students researched, devised, and solved their mathematical models for the spread of zombie-like infection. Results of student interviews and surveys will be presented as well as an instructor's perspective on using PBL in upper division physics courses.
      • 'Implicit Action' -- Understanding Discourse Management in Modeling Instruction

      • FA10
      • Wed 08/03, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Jared Durden
      • Type: Contributed
      • We identify "Implicit Action," a discourse management tool, through a qualitative video analysis of a Florida International University Modeling Instruction Introductory Physics I class. Implicit Action in Modeling Instruction is where instructors deliberately create intellectual space in which students ideally see value and need for the construction of new classroom norms and tools that are productive in developing a learning community. This space is created by the implications expressed through the instructors' deliberate actions. Modeling Discourse Management is a technique to moderate student discussion in Modeling Instruction classes at the university level (Desbien, 2002). Implicit Action is one of eight Modeling Discourse Management tools that we have identified and, by means of qualitative analysis, have illustrated the effectiveness of its ability to implement Modeling Pedagogical Theory.
      • Increasing the Impact of PER: Recommendations from Typical Faculty

      • FA11
      • Wed 08/03, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Charles Henderson
      • Type: Contributed
      • In previous work [1,2], we found that most physics faculty in the United States are familiar with and value instructional strategies based on Physics Education Research (PER). Yet, we also found that use of these strategies lags considerably behind knowledge. We have attempted to understand this gap between knowledge and use from several perspectives. In this talk we will explore this issue from the perspective of typical faculty. As part of a larger study, we conducted telephone interviews with 70 physics faculty who indicated that they had some exposure to PER. Based on these conversations, we describe the actions faculty recommended that the PER community might take in order to have more of an impact on the teaching practices of typical faculty.
  • PER: Problem Solving

      • Investigating Patterns in Response Times to Graph Questions

      • GH01
      • Wed 08/03, 1:00PM - 1:10PM
      • by Andrew Heckler
      • Type: Contributed
      • We investigate patterns in response times as well as response choices to simple multiple-choice questions. In a series of experiments involving questions on graphs in which participants must compare the slopes of two points, we not only found (as expected) that many students consistently answered incorrectly, namely comparing heights rather than the slopes, but we also found that these students responded more rapidly than those answering correctly. Furthermore, by imposing a delay in responding of a few seconds, we found a reduction in incorrect responses, suggesting that many students were capable of answering correctly, but instead they tended to answer quickly. Repetitive training increases accuracy, and this may in part be due to a decrease in processing time of the relevant dimension, i.e. slope. However, providing students with an explicit rule also increases accuracy, but does not appear to change the time to process the correct response.
      • Rigging Your Card Games -- Re-examining Expert Categorizations of Physics Problems

      • GH02
      • Wed 08/03, 1:10PM - 1:20PM
      • by Steven Wolf
      • Type: Contributed
      • On its 30th anniversary, we are re-examining the seminal paper by Chi et al., which firmly established the notion that novices categorize physics problems by "surface features" (e.g. "incline," "pendulum," "projectile motion," ...), while experts use "deep structure" (e.g., "energy conservation," "Newton 2," ...). The paper has been cited more than 3000 times in scholarly articles over a wide range of disciplines. Yet, some details of the original research design of this card-sorting experiment and its analysis methods are not clear. In replicating the study, particularly the choice of problems seems to strongly influence the outcome; only a carefully "rigged" problem set will have a good signal-to-noise ratio. We replicated the experiment with an expert group, using a large set of problems, and noted the degree to which different specific subsets of problems lead to more or less clear-cut results.
      • The Relationship between Students' Mental Representations and their Translational Skills

      • GH03
      • Wed 08/03, 1:20PM - 1:30PM
      • by Bashirah Ibrahim
      • Type: Contributed
      • We report on the relationship between students' categories of mental representations and their handling of multiple external representations. It is assumed that the inability to relate and translate information across different representations is governed by the kinds of internal constructs that students operate with. A sample of 19 participants from a calculus-based physics engineering course completed 13 tasks (non-directed and directed) on kinematics, work, and energy. Individual interviews were conducted with the students immediately following the completion of these tasks. Profiles were designed based on the students' actions when solving the problems together with their interview responses. The Johnson-Laird (1983) cognitive framework was used to categorize the students' internal constructs and statistical analysis was performed to determine whether or not a link exists with the ability to translate information across representations. The consequences of this work for the teaching and learning of physics at introductory level will be discussed. Supported in part by NSF grant 0816207.
      • Should students be provided diagrams or asked to draw them while solving introductory physics problems?

      • GA04
      • Wed 08/03, 1:30PM - 1:40PM
      • by Alexandru Maries
      • Type: Contributed
      • Drawing appropriate diagrams is a useful problem solving heuristic that can transform the problem into a representation that is easier to exploit for solving the problem. A major focus while helping introductory physics students learn problem solving is to help them appreciate that drawing diagrams facilitates further problem solution. We conducted an investigation in which approximately 120 students in an algebra-based introductory physics course were subjected to three different interventions during the problem solving in recitation quizzes throughout the semester. They were either asked to solve problems in which the diagrams were drawn for them or they were explicitly told to draw a diagram or they were not given any instruction regarding diagrams. We developed a rubric to score problem solving performance of students in different intervention groups. We will present our findings including some surprising results for problems which involve final/initial situations. This work is supported by NSF.
      • Visual Cueing Influencing Eye Movements and Reasoning in Physics Problems

      • GH04
      • Wed 08/03, 1:30PM - 1:40PM
      • by Adrian Madsen
      • Type: Contributed
      • Visual cues overlaid on diagrams and animations can reduce cognitive load by drawing attention to relevant areas. Additionally, cues can increase speed and accuracy by causing learners to view a diagram in a pattern related to a problem's solution. We investigate the effects of visual cueing on students' eye movements and reasoning on introductory physics problems with a diagram. Students in the treatment group were shown an initial problem, and if they answered that incorrectly, they were shown a series of problems each with moving shapes cueing the correct solution. Students in the control group were also provided a series of problems, but without any visual cues. Students in both groups were asked to verbally explain their reasoning after each question, and were provided a transfer problem without cues at the end. We report on students' eye movements while answering the questions and verbal reasoning for their answers.
      • A Bi-directional Mapping of Faculty Perceptions with a Problem Solving Rubric

      • GH05
      • Wed 08/03, 1:40PM - 1:50PM
      • by Brita Nellermoe
      • Type: Contributed
      • We examine a categorization of written problem solving artifacts generated by interviews of 30 faculty members at institutions from a variety of higher education institutions in the Midwestern U.S. (Yerushalmi et al. 2007, Henderson et al. 2007). We determine how these categories map to dimensions of a rubric designed for analysis of student problem solutions (Docktor 2009). This mapping examines both the relationship of the rubric to the categories and the categories to the rubric. The results suggest that the rubric dimensions for student problem solutions designed by Docktor emerge naturally from faculty perceptions. References: J. Docktor (2009). "Development and Validation of a Physics Problem-Solving Assessment Rubric." Dissertation, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN. E. Yerushalmi, C. Henderson, K. Heller, P. Heller, and V. Kuo (2007). Phys. Rev. Special Topics-PER 3(2), 020109. C. Henderson, E.Yerushalmi, K. Heller, P. Heller, and V. Kuo (2007). Phys. Rev. Special Topics-PER 3(2), 020110.
      • Using Analogical Problem Solving to Learn about Friction

      • GH06
      • Wed 08/03, 1:50PM - 2:00PM
      • by Chandralekha Singh
      • Type: Contributed
      • Research suggests many students have the notion that the magnitude of the static frictional force is always equal to its maximum value. In this study, we examine introductory students' ability to perform analogical problem solving between two problems that are similar in the application of a physics principle (Newton's second law) but one problem involves friction which often triggers the misleading notion that is not applicable in that particular case. Students from algebra- and calculus- based introductory physics courses were asked in a quiz to take advantage of what they learned from a solved problem provided, which was about tension in a rope, to solve another problem involving friction. To help students process through the analogy deeply and contemplate the applicability of associating the frictional force with its maximum value, students in different recitation classrooms received different scaffolding. Students' performances in different groups are compared. Supported by NSF.
      • Enhancing the Problem Solving Abilities of Science Students

      • GH07
      • Wed 08/03, 2:00PM - 2:10PM
      • by Olga Stafford
      • Type: Contributed
      • It is evident from my own teaching experience, and supported by many instructors’ opinions [1-3], that students aren’t equipped with logical problem-solving techniques. I am studying the impact on student learning of using problem-solving sheets during recitation classes, with students working in groups and playing specific roles. I anticipate that successful use of problem-solving sheets will help students develop the necessary skills to solve science problems with conceptual understanding. 1. Polya, How t Solve It (Princeton University Press, 1945) 2. Edit Yerushalmi etc".Instructors' reasons for choosing problem features in a calculus-based introductory physics course," Phys. Rev. Phys. Ed. Research 6, 020108 (2010) 3. Johnson, Johnson & Smit, "Active learning: cooperation in the classroom," Interaction Book Company 1998
      • Students' Epistemological Beliefs vis-à-vis Problem Solving Sophistication in M&I Physics

      • GH08
      • Wed 08/03, 2:10PM - 2:20PM
      • by Wendi Wampler
      • Type: Contributed
      • In this study, we investigated the relationship between students' personal epistemological beliefs and problem solving sophistication within the context of a large-scale implementation of the M&I Curriculum. We utilized a mixed methods approach to follow the progress of nine student volunteers from the introductory mechanics course at Purdue University. The quantitative component used the CLASS survey to examine the epistemological beliefs of students over the semester. The qualitative component examined students' problem solving within the context of small group work, as well as epistemological beliefs in the context of the post recitation interviews. Results showed three major trends: a decrease in sophistication of both problem solving and epistemological beliefs, a high level of sophistication of both with little change throughout the semester, and increase in both epistemological beliefs and problem solving. The implications will help us better understand the importance of epistemological beliefs and their influence on students' problem solving.
      • Assessing Student's Ability to Solve Textbook-Style Problems

      • GH09
      • Wed 08/03, 2:20PM - 2:30PM
      • by Jeffrey Marx
      • Type: Contributed
      • Development of student' problem solving ability is commonly cited as one of the primary goals in introductory physics courses. However, there is no broadly agreed upon definition of what is meant by "problem solving". Most physicists ultimate want students to be able to successfully apply a logical yet flexible approach to solving real world problems significantly different from any they have seen before. Still, many introductory instructors are first and foremost concerned with how successfully and thoughtfully students solve standard textbook‑style problems. We have developed a 13‑item survey to help assess students' abilities at solving textbook‑style problems. In the Fall semesters of 2009 and 2010, we beta‑tested this instrument on introductory physics students (pre‑instruction and post‑instruction) at several institutes and on a pool of "experts." In this talk, we will present details of the survey instrument, its administration, and some results from our beta testing.
  • PER: Problem Solving I

      • Tutorials to Facilitate Physics Problem Solving with Differentiation and Integration

      • BC01
      • Mon 08/01, 1:00PM - 1:10PM
      • by Dehui Hu
      • Type: Contributed
      • Students in introductory-level physics encounter several difficulties when solving physics problems involving differentiation and integration. Physics instructors tend to assume that students have the prerequisite mathematical skills for success in the course, however, research has shown that most students do not know how to apply mathematical tools in a physics context. Based on the knowledge of the difficulties students with the use of differentiation and integration in physics encoutered from previous studies, we are developing instructional materials aimed at facilitating students to address these difficulties in several topics in introductory physics. We have implemented these materials in group problem-solving sessions aimed at enabling students to learn the mathematical concepts of tangent lines, slope, Riemann sum, and approximation in a physics context. We present a discussion about student difficulties on those concepts and the development of our instructional materials.
      • The Influence of Hints and Training on Student Resource Selection

      • BC02
      • Mon 08/01, 1:10PM - 1:20PM
      • by Joshua Von Korff
      • Type: Contributed
      • We consider physics problems that require students to combine their existing resources in new ways. When students do this in the context of integration and differentiation, they have many procedures, concepts, and representations to choose from. In addition, they may have varying degrees of understanding about the procedures they invent. We examine students' resource selection in problem solving situations, using an online environment to control and monitor their progress through a series of hints. Over the course of a 30-minute testing period, students work through a single problem; initially inventing their own strategies, then following our suggestions toward particular solutions. We will present results from our assessment of students' naïve understanding, as well as the impact of cues and training after a 50-minute practice session prior to the test. We will also describe students' ability to learn new ways of thinking about the problem.
      • Do Prescribed Prompts Prime Sensemaking During Group Problem Solving? Part One

      • BC03
      • Mon 08/01, 1:20PM - 1:30PM
      • by Mathew Martinuk
      • Type: Contributed
      • Many researchers and textbooks have promoted the use of rigid prescribed strategies for encouraging development of expert-like problem-solving behavior in novice students. The UBC Physics 100 course has been using context-rich problems with a prescribed five-step strategy since 2007. We have been analyzing audio recordings of students during group problem-solving sessions to analyze students' epistemological framing based on the implicit goal of their discussions. By treating the goal of "understanding the physics situation" as "sensemaking," we analyze the effectiveness of structured prompts intended to promote a shift to a sensemaking discussion. This talk will describe the setting and research methods, and a subsequent talk will discuss the analysis and results.
      • Investigating Sequencing Effect on Biomedical Physics Problem Solving

      • BC04
      • Mon 08/01, 1:30PM - 1:40PM
      • by Bijaya Aryal
      • Type: Contributed
      • This study focused on the effect of varying the sequence of problem solving and laboratory activities on the students' ability to solve subsequent biomedical contextual physics problems. A series of laboratory and problem solving activities were designed using concrete physical situations. Following the introduction of specific physics concepts, students worked in groups to complete related laboratories and problem solving activities. The order of problem solving and laboratory activities was regularly altered throughout the semester. Subsequently, the students were asked to solve related contextual biomedical physics problems. The result of the study indicated that altering the sequence of activities had a measurable impact on students' contextual problem solving performance and strategies.
      • How to Improve Transfer from Difficult Worked Examples by Designing a 'Good Looking' Animated Solution

      • BC05
      • Mon 08/01, 1:40PM - 1:50PM
      • by Zhongzhou Chen
      • Type: Contributed
      • It is well known that transfer from worked examples to new problems can be very hard for students. The goal of this research is to promote transfer by improving the quality of the example solution. According to our experience, elaborate verbal explanation often seems to have little, if not negative, effects on transfer. Therefore, we focus on designing a better visual representation. Based on knowledge from grounded cognition research, we designed several animated multimedia solutions for some difficult physics problems, in which the underlying logic is illustrated through visual perception. When compared to two other very similar versions of animated solutions that lack the critical perceptual elements, the designed solutions significantly improved transfer of the underlying physics principles to harder problems. Moreover, transfer is improved even when the target problem involves largely abstract logical reasoning, and little visual-spatial reasoning.
      • The Impact of Sample Size in Using IRT with FCI

      • BC06
      • Mon 08/01, 1:50PM - 2:00PM
      • by Li Chen
      • Type: Contributed
      • Item Response Theory is a useful tool for analyzing quantitative data. The sample size will impact the uncertainty of the estimated parameters. It is then important to find out the approximate minimum sample size, with which reliable results can be calculated. In this study, we choose R (with its LTM package) to estimate the parameters with different sample sizes, which are randomly selected from the college students' FCI data collected at The Ohio State University. The total number of the data is 3139. The results show an exponential relationship between sample size and the mean difference of the results obtained with subsets of the data. When sample size is larger than 1600, the difference is tolerable for most items and the mean total difference can be controlled within 5%. This can provide useful guide for future data analysis using IRT.
      • The Effect of Problem Format on Students' Answers

      • BC07
      • Mon 08/01, 2:00PM - 2:10PM
      • by Mark Ellermann
      • Type: Contributed
      • The same problem written in multiple formats was administered as a quiz in the large introductory physics sections in both the algebra-based and calculus-based classes. The formats included multiple choice only, multiple choice and explain your reasoning, explain your reasoning only, ranking and explaining your reasoning, and a few others. We present the data.
      • What Students Learn When Studying Physics Practice Exam Problems

      • BC08
      • Mon 08/01, 2:10PM - 2:20PM
      • by Witat Fakcharoenphol
      • Type: Contributed
      • We developed a web-based tool to provide students with access to old exam problems and solutions. By controlling the order in which students saw the problems, as well as their access to solutions, we obtained data about student learning by studying old exams problems. Our data suggest that in general students learn from doing old exam problems, and that having access to the problem solutions increases their learning. However, the data also suggest the depth of learning may be relatively shallow. In addition, the data show that doing old exam problems provides impor-tant formative assessment about the student's overall preparedness for the exam, and their particular areas of strength and weakness.
      • Using Problem-Solving Computer Coaches to Explore Student Decision-Making Difficulties

      • BC09
      • Mon 08/01, 2:20PM - 2:30PM
      • by Qing Xu
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Physics Education Group at the University of Minnesota has been developing Internet physics coaches to help students improve their problem-solving skills in introductory physics. In this talk, we analyze keystroke data collected from students' usage of the computer programs, including the identity and timing information for all students' keystrokes and mouse clicks while using the programs, as well as derived information such as the average time spent on each module. We use the data to try to determine how students use the computer programs, where they might have the most difficulty, and details of their decision-making behavior during the problem-solving process. Other data sources such as students' written solutions will be used as a consistency check.
  • PER: Student Reasoning I

      • Student Reasoning about Graphical Representations of Definite Integrals

      • CB01
      • Mon 08/01, 6:30PM - 6:40PM
      • by Rabindra Bajracharya
      • Type: Contributed
      • Physics students are expected to apply the mathematics learned in their mathematics courses to physics concepts and problems. Few PER studies have distinguished between difficulties students have with physics concepts and those with either mathematics concepts, application of those concepts, or the representations used to connect the math and the physics. We are conducting empirical studies of student responses to mathematics questions dealing with graphical representations of (single-variable) integration. Reasoning in written responses could roughly be put into three major categories related to particular features of the graphs: area under the curve, position of the function, and shape of the curve. In subsequent individual interviews, we varied representational features to explore the depth and breadth of the contextual nature of student reasoning, with an emphasis on negative integrals. Results suggest an incomplete understanding of the criteria that determine the sign of a definite integral.
      • Expanding the FCI to Concepts of Energy-Work, Momentum, and Rotational Dynamics

      • CB02
      • Mon 08/01, 6:40PM - 6:50PM
      • by Alex Chediak
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) has deservedly become a widely accepted assessment tool. The metric "normalized gain" can be used to evaluate conceptual mastery in a high school, college, or university-level mechanics course. Left out of this analysis, however, is student mastery of other physics concepts typically presented in the same course. For example, conservation of energy and momentum, as well as rotational motion, receive virtually no coverage on the FCI (or, for that matter, the Mechanics Baseline Test). The authors will present a revised assessment tool, one that incorporates the strengths of the FCI, but also assesses these other mechanics-related concepts. Our tool will preserve the straightforward multiple-choice format of the FCI. Ten additional questions have been written, in part inspired by material from the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington and in part inspired by the authors' own experiences with common student misperceptions.
      • The Impact of Virtual Experiments on Student Reasoning in Physics

      • CB03
      • Mon 08/01, 6:50PM - 7:00PM
      • by Jiawu Fan
      • Type: Contributed
      • Using computer technology, we develop a virtual reality (VR) platform that supports interactive physics activities. We use the platform to help students conduct guided explorations to learning physics concepts and reasoning. A teaching experiment with two random selected groups of students was conducted. Students were asked to complete a one-hour exploration on one dimensional motion (1D motion) and circular motion. Using a cross-controlled design, we find that students doing virtual experiments outperform their peers doing paper-based problem solving. Supported in part by NIH Award RC1RR028402 and NSF Awards DUE-0633473 and DUE-1044724
      • Probing Student Understanding with Alternative Questioning Strategies

      • CB04
      • Mon 08/01, 7:00PM - 7:10PM
      • by Jeffrey Hawkins
      • Type: Contributed
      • Common research methodology uses research tasks that ask students to identify a correct answer and justify their answer choice. We propose expanding the array of research tasks to access different knowledge that students might have. By asking students to discuss answers they may not have chosen naturally, we can investigate students' abilities to explain something that is already established or to disprove an incorrect response. The results of these research tasks also provide us with information about how students' responses vary across the different tasks. We discuss three underused question types and their possible benefits. Additionally, we present results from data gathered using these question types and contrast these with results gathered using a traditional question.
      • Students' Contradictory Commitments in Damped Harmonic Motion Problems

      • CB05
      • Mon 08/01, 7:10PM - 7:20PM
      • by Adam Kaczynski
      • Type: Contributed
      • Students working through the Intermediate Mechanics Tutorials on damped harmonic motion are expected to use mathematical, graphical, and physical reasoning, as well as their intuitions. We observe that students remain committed to assumptions they bring to the problem, not using the instructional resources provided by the tutorials. We also observe moments when commitment to an assumption in, for example, mathematical reasoning conflicts with a conclusion found through physical reasoning. We will discuss the effect of multiple commitments on students' classroom discussion and the way that students reconcile contradictory commitments and conclusions.
      • How Students' Conceptual Structure Relates to their Sophistication of Reasoning

      • CB06
      • Mon 08/01, 7:20PM - 7:30PM
      • by Mojgan Matloob haghanikar
      • Type: Contributed
      • While investigating the impact of interactive learning strategies on pre-service elementary science teachers, we devised open-ended content questions focusing on the application of learned concepts to new contexts. We designed a protocol to evaluate students' responses through different lenses. First, we classified concepts into three types: descriptive, hypothetical, and theoretical [1], and categorized the level of abstraction of the responses in terms of the types of concepts and the links between them [2]. Second, we devised a rubric based on Bloom's revised taxonomy [3] with seven traits (both knowledge types and cognitive processes) and a defined set of criteria to evaluate each trait. Looking at the same responses with both lenses we can investigate the correlation between the level of abstraction and the sophistication of students' reasoning as indicated by the traits of our rubric. Supported by NSF grant ESI-055 4594.
      • Learning Mathematics in a Physics Classroom

      • CB07
      • Mon 08/01, 7:30PM - 7:40PM
      • by Jing Wang
      • Type: Contributed
      • It has long been known that a students' entering mathematical skill level is one of the best indicators of success in introductory physics courses.[1, 2] Physics teachers expect that students who meet the prerequisite requirement of an introductory physics course will be well-prepared, however, this is not always the case. In reality, every physics teacher faces the challenging question: Can we identify and save the students who meet the required course prerequisite yet who are not really prepared? A recent study at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Eastern Kentucky University suggests that when students take physics, their mathematical skills improve significantly, perhaps even more so than they do in a traditional mathematics course. This work will focus on the analysis of what mathematical skills have been improved, and reveal the link between the course content and mathematical skill improvement.
      • Students' Understanding of the Concept of Sampling

      • CB08
      • Mon 08/01, 7:40PM - 7:50PM
      • by Shaona Zhou
      • Type: Contributed
      • Sampling is an important scientific reasoning ability frequently used in experimental design and data interpretation. As part of the research on assessment of students' scientific reasoning skills, we designed a series of multiple-choice instruments that probe students' understanding of the concept of sampling. The assessment was carried out among the students from grade four to grade 11 to study the development of students' understanding about sampling which was involved in the scientific context. Results from students at different grade levels indicated that students did not understand and consider the concept of sampling as a significant scientific reasoning skill until grade eight.
  • PER: Student Reasoning II

      • Intuitive Ontologies for Energy in Physics

      • DI01
      • Tue 08/02, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by Rachel Scherr
      • Type: Contributed
      • The nature of energy is not typically an explicit topic of physics instruction. Nonetheless, participants in physics courses that involve energy are constantly saying what kind of thing they think energy is, both verbally and nonverbally. The premise of an embodied-cognition theoretical perspective is that we understand the kinds of things that may exist in the world (ontology) in terms of sensorimotor experiences such as object permanence and movement [1]. We offer examples of intuitive ontologies for energy that we have observed in classroom contexts, including energy as a quasi-material substance; as a means of activation; as a fuel; and as an ineffable quantity which is not subject to further analysis. In the classroom, multiple and overlapping metaphors for energy complement one another in complex representations of physical phenomena. [2]
      • 'Productive Disciplinary Engagement' in the Context of Energy

      • DI02
      • Tue 08/02, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by Warren Christensen
      • Type: Contributed
      • The concept of "productive disciplinary engagement" [1] (PDE) provides a layered method for describing experiences in which learners are interacting with one another. The four principles of PDE align with much of the Physics Education Research community's effort in instructional design: 1) Problematizing Content, 2) Giving Students Authority, 3) Holding Students Accountable to Others and Disciplinary Norms, and 4) Providing Relevant Resources. Authentic experiences of this kind are not common in most classrooms and significant challenges arise when attempting to create them. We present examples of PDE from a summer Professional Development course on energy at Seattle Pacific University and consider both the observational criteria by which PDE is identified and the features of the instruction that contributed to making it possible.
      • Two Right Answers: The Difficulty of Reconciling Competing Physics Commitments

      • DI03
      • Tue 08/02, 8:50AM - 9:00AM
      • by Benedikt Harrer
      • Type: Contributed
      • In group settings, we sometimes see learners commit to arguments that, although seemingly contradictory, are both correct and appropriate. Groups may have difficulties reconciling these competing commitments. In a professional development course at SPU, secondary teachers are discussing the energy flow in a refrigerator to find out how refrigerators work. While one teacher shows commitment to the idea that refrigerators move heat from a relatively cold compartment to a hotter environment, two others appear committed to the second law of thermodynamics which states that heat flows from hot to cold. Video records of the discussion show that the teachers recognize the disparity of their commitments but do not spontaneously reconcile the contradiction. Our analysis shows why all group members are right to believe in their respective commitments, points out difficulties they have reconciling the contradicting commitments, and explores possible causes for these difficulties.
      • Understanding Forms of Energy through Testing Novel Cases

      • DI04
      • Tue 08/02, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Stamatis Vokos
      • Type: Contributed
      • National and state standards often list forms of energy that students should know, including gravitational, kinetic, potential, etc. Form can be a useful shorthand for describing the state of the system, or it can be a meaningless label to be memorized. Most physics instruction does not emphasize a deep understanding of the physical meaning of form. Are there ways that our instruction could more effectively help students gain an understanding of form? One way to develop and test understanding of forms of energy is to ask the question, "What must be considered when deciding whether a new form is legitimate?" We present case studies of students struggling with the legitimacy of forms of energy not listed in the standards, some of which they deem to be legitimate and some of which they do not. Finally, we suggest instructional methods to take advantage of this struggle.
      • Conservation of Energy vs. Conservation of Value in Energy

      • DI05
      • Tue 08/02, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Sarah McKagan
      • Type: Contributed
      • When teaching about energy in physics class, an important learning goal for students is an understanding of conservation of energy. Outside of physics class, the word "conservation" is often used with an entirely different meaning: In the real world, we care about "conserving" a finite and expendable resource. This resource is often referred to as "energy," but in the more precise language of physics we would call it "useful energy" or "value" in energy. We present results from a collaboration in which SPU visual communication majors, after extensive discussions with members of the physics department, produced posters to depict various energy concepts and to communicate their understanding. Many of these posters explicitly highlight the distinction between "energy" and "value," Illustrating how nonscientists struggle with this issue. We discuss how this struggle may play out for students in physics classes, and suggest a method for redirecting students' useful intuitions about value.
      • Interpretations of P.E. Diagrams by Introductory Students while Learning QM

      • DI06
      • Tue 08/02, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Brian Stephanik
      • Type: Contributed
      • In order for students to relate quantum and classical mechanics they must have a sufficiently strong foundation of some basic concepts in classical physics. We have found that students in introductory courses who are learning quantum mechanics sometimes struggle with these classical concepts in ways that can inhibit their ability to connect these two regimes. Examples of our findings in the context of potential energy diagrams, as well as preliminary attempts to address student difficulties, will be presented.
      • Characterizing Student and Teacher Descriptions of Pressure*

      • DI07
      • Tue 08/02, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Amy Robertson
      • Type: Contributed
      • A basic assumption of kinetic-molecular theory is that the pressure of a gas is generated by collisions of gas particles with the walls of the container. This assumption is often used to derive an expression that relates the pressure of a gas to the kinetic energy of the gas particles and ultimately connects the microscopic model for pressure to the ideal gas law. In a series of questions that were developed to elicit microscopic descriptions of pressure, student and teacher explanations revealed a variety of macroscopic and microscopic descriptions of pressure that had no obvious connection to collisions of gas particles with the container walls. Examples will be presented, together with a brief discussion of possible implications for instruction in physics and chemistry courses.
      • Pulling a Spring Taut Affects Students' Talk about Wave Propagation

      • DI08
      • Tue 08/02, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Michael Wittmann
      • Type: Contributed
      • Students' responses to questions about wave propagation along a taut spring indicate that many believe the effort exerted by the hand making a wavepulse affects the speed with which it moves.[1] We have previously suggested that these responses may depend on how the students imagine the physical scenario--is the hand creating a wavepulse on an already taut spring, or is the spring first pulled taut and then the wavepulse is created?[2] In the latter situation, we expect students to be more inclined to correctly think of the tension on the spring affecting the wave speed. We created two interview tasks to investigate our prediction. Evidence shows that students who pull the spring taut before creating a wavepulse do not answer questions about wave speed by discussing "the force imparted to the wave."
  • PER: Topical Understanding and Attitudes

      • Analysis of Multiple Choice Problems in Terms of Conditions in the National Test about Force and Energy

      • EB01
      • Tue 08/02, 1:15PM - 1:25PM
      • by Hyeon-Suk Choi
      • Type: Contributed
      • Multiple-choice tests are widely used and their importance seems likely to grow, due to their inherent suitability. Many diagnostic instruments have been developed often in the form of multiple-choice tests. This study was to survey setting up conditional terms on the choice items of the Force and Energy section in a high school physics test by Korea Institute of Curriculum & Evaluation (KICE). A total of 78 items were analyzed by a framework representing the conditional terms. 23 among 78 items contained connotative conditional terms. Expressed conditional terms presented 69 of the 78 items. On the other hand, nine of 78 items did not contain both connotative and expressed conditional terms. We were able to group conditional terms into preventing correct dispute, conditional terms of scientific error, or unnecessary conditional terms to get the correct answer to items.
      • Using Online Homework Data to Assess Student Confidence

      • EB02
      • Tue 08/02, 1:25PM - 1:35PM
      • by Andrew Pawl
      • Type: Contributed
      • A popular type of question in online homework involves a set of several true/false statements where students must submit their answer to all the statements at once. This discourages random guessing because although one true/false statement has only two possible answers, a question containing N such statements has two raised to the Nth power possible answers. We have studied student response patterns to a number of these questions with the goal of determining which of the individual true/false statements exhibit a large proportion of response switches (i.e. from true to false or from false to true) and which statements exhibit largely consistent responses. The tendency of students to change their answer to a statement or to remain consistent is one indication of student confidence in the knowledge tested.
      • Students' Views of Macroscopic and Microscopic Energy in Physics and Biology

      • EB03
      • Tue 08/02, 1:35PM - 1:45PM
      • by Benjamin Dreyfus
      • Type: Contributed
      • Energy concepts are fundamental across the sciences, yet these concepts can be fragmented along disciplinary boundaries, rather than integrated into a coherent whole. To teach physics effectively to biology students, we need to understand students' disciplinary perspectives. We present interview data from an undergraduate student who displays multiple stances toward the concept of energy. At times he views energy in macroscopic contexts as a separate entity from energy in microscopic (particularly biological) contexts, while at other times he uses macroscopic physics phenomena as productive analogies for understanding energy in the microscopic biological context, and he reasons about energy transformations between the microscopic and macroscopic scales. This case study displays preliminary evidence for the context dependence of students' ability to translate energy concepts across scientific disciplines. This points to challenges that must be taken into account in developing curricula for biology students that integrate physics and biology concepts.
      • Comparing Students, Individual and Group Work in an Electronics Lab

      • EB04
      • Tue 08/02, 1:45PM - 1:55PM
      • by Nasser Juma
      • Type: Contributed
      • We observed students as they worked on lab experiments in an upper-division electronics and instrumentation laboratory course. In the first half of the course the students learned about various analog and digital electronic components through mini-lectures and laboratory activities. They built various electronic circuits using their knowledge of these electronic components. In the second half of the course students teamed up to work on an open-ended capstone project that required them to use their knowledge of electronics learned in the first half of the course to improve the measurements done on a physics experiment they have worked on in a previous semester. As a group, the students thought of ideas to improve the measurement design and then built circuitry to implement this improved design. We describe findings from this study and highlight how the students' group work during the capstone project compares with their individual work before the capstone project.
      • Improving Students' Understanding of Coulomb's Law and Gauss's Law

      • EB05
      • Tue 08/02, 1:55PM - 2:05PM
      • by Jing Li
      • Type: Contributed
      • We discuss the development and evaluation of five research-based tutorials on Coulomb's law, Gauss’s law, and the superposition principle to help students in the calculus-based introductory physics courses learn these concepts. The tutorials were developed based upon research on students' difficulties on relevant topics. We discuss the performance of students on the pre-/post-tests given before and after the tutorials, respectively, in four calculus-based introductory physics courses. We also compare the performance of students who used the tutorials with those who did not use them. We find that students performed significantly better in classes in which tutorials were used than in the classes where students learned the material via traditional lecture only. We also found that the students who worked on the tutorials and performed differently in the pre-test all have improvement in the post-test.
      • Student Understanding of the Approach to Thermal Equilibrium

      • EB06
      • Tue 08/02, 2:05PM - 2:15PM
      • by Michael Loverude
      • Type: Contributed
      • This paper describes work that is part of an ongoing collaboration to study student learning of thermal physics and develop curricular materials suitable for upper-division courses. The current work describes research on student understanding of the approach to thermal equilibrium. In the hybrid "thermal physics" approach, thermal equilibrium is examined on the macroscopic level but also as a statistical phenomenon. We examine student understanding of these different treatments in the context of two interacting solids, and discuss implications for instruction.
      • Students' Perceptions of the Pathway Active Learning Environment^1

      • EB07
      • Tue 08/02, 2:15PM - 2:25PM
      • by Sytil Murphy
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Pathway Active Learning Environment (PALE) features a synthetic tutor that provides pre-recorded video responses to questions about physics. Additional multimedia in the form of images or video clips is used to supplement the synthetic tutors' video responses. As a context for interactions with the tutor, students working with the PALE complete online lesson activities organized in three-stage learning cycles. The activities focus on video observation and measurement. To evaluate the system, 22 students were interviewed. Complete participation consisted of three interviews over three weeks in the fall of 2010. Each interview was approximately 1.5 hours long. During the first hour the student worked through one of the lessons. In the last half hour, a researcher interviewed the student to explore the student's thoughts and opinions of the system and to probe their relevant physics knowledge. Themes emerging from a preliminary analysis of the interviews will be discussed.
      • Towards the Measurement of Undergraduate Students' Physics Identity

      • EB08
      • Tue 08/02, 2:25PM - 2:35PM
      • by Geoff Potvin
      • Type: Contributed
      • Prior research has found that students' attitudes toward physics, as embodied in their "physics identity," may play a strong role in their choices toward future physics course-taking and the likelihood of their choosing physics as a college major. Theoretical work in this area has identified several domains that constitute and influence physics identity; however, to date, quantitative research in this direction has not been based in an appropriate theoretical framework while establishing valid and reliable measures of relevant constructs. In the current work, we report on progress toward the establishment of a rigorously tested, theoretically grounded instrument to measure physics identity and its related subconstructs. Evidence for the reliability and validity of this instrument, including exploratory factor analyses, is provided using pilot data taken from 300 college students enrolled in one of two courses: introductory physics for physical science or life science majors.
      • A Qualitative Investigation of Opportunities to Influence Self-Efficacy

      • EB09
      • Tue 08/02, 2:35PM - 2:45PM
      • by Vashti Sawtelle
      • Type: Contributed
      • Considerable research has shown a connection between self-efficacy and success in science fields. The qualitative analysis we present in this talk focuses on the development of self-efficacy, and in particular on what types of activities provide opportunities for self-efficacy to develop. We focus this discussion on the qualitative analysis of three Modeling Instruction students in a single problem-solving session and the self-efficacy experience opportunities (SEOs) that were apparent in this session. After providing evidence that SEOs are abundant throughout the problem solving session, we also qualitatively analyze a post-hoc interview with one of the students from the session. The combination of these two sessions provides evidence that the opportunities to influence self-efficacy that we have characterized are in fact sometimes taken up by some students, and have a direct influence on their self-efficacy.
      • Student Difficulties with a Taylor Series Expansion in Statistical Mechanics

      • EB10
      • Tue 08/02, 2:45PM - 2:55PM
      • by Trevor Smith
      • Type: Contributed
      • One goal of physics instruction is to have students learn to make physical meaning of specific mathematical ideas, concepts and procedures, in different physical settings. We have reported on student difficulties with these connections in the contexts of integrals, total differentials, and partial derivatives in upper-division thermal and statistical physics. As part of research investigating student understanding and use of the Boltzmann factor, we are developing materials that guide students through a derivation of the Boltzmann factor that includes a Taylor series expansion of entropy. Using results from written surveys, classroom observations, and individual think-aloud and teaching interviews, we present evidence that while some students can recognize familiar expressions as Taylor expansions, students lack fluency with Taylor expansions at the level one might expect of advanced undergraduates, despite previous exposure to Taylor series expansions in both calculus and physics courses.
      • What College Students Don't Know about Density

      • EB11
      • Tue 08/02, 2:55PM - 3:05PM
      • by DJ Wagner
      • Type: Contributed
      • As part of the development of a fluid statics assessment, our research group conducted clinical interviews with students in both conceptual physics and calculus-based introductory physics courses. What were intended as "basic" questions about density quickly became a significant focus of those interviews, as only one of the eight students interviewed demonstrated a confident understanding of mass density. Questions were quickly added to the diagnostic exam given at the end of the semester, and the results confirm that many students have a poor grasp of density. In this talk, I will summarize our preliminary data and discuss future plans for the assessment and our instruction.
      • Relationship between Students' Predicted Score and Actual Score on Class Exams

      • EB12
      • Tue 08/02, 3:05PM - 3:15PM
      • by N. Sanjay Rebello
      • Type: Contributed
      • It has long been known that students' self efficacy can influence their performance of assessments. I conducted a study to investigate the relationship between students' predicted performance and actual performance on five exams in a second-semester calculus-based physics class. After completion of each of the five exams during the semester, students in the class were given about 72 hours to predict their individual and class mean score on the exam. As incentive, students were offered extra credit worth 1% of the exam points for each predicted score that was correct within 1% of the actual score. I compared students' individual and mean score predictions with the actual scores to investigate the relationship between prediction accuracies and exam performance of the students. I also examined trends in the prediction accuracies of students over the five exams. I report on the results and possible implications of this study.
  • PERC Bridging Session

      • Complex Interactions between Formative Assessment, Technology, and Classroom Practices

      • HA01
      • Wed 08/03, 3:15PM - 4:45PM
      • by Edward Price
      • Type: Invited
      • Interactive engagement (IE) methods provide instructors with evidence of student thinking that can guide instructional decisions across a range of timescales: facilitating an activity, determining the flow of activities, or modifying the curriculum. Thus, from the instructor's perspective, IE activities can function as formative assessments. As a practical matter, the ability to utilize this potential depends on how the activities are implemented. This talk will describe different tools for small group problem solving, including whiteboards, Tablet PCs, digital cameras, and photosharing websites. These tools provide the instructor with varying levels access to student work during and after class, and therefore provide a range of support for formative assessment. Furthermore, the tools differ in physical size, ease of use, and the roles for students and instructor. These differences lead to complex, often surprising interactions with classroom practices.
      • Assessment Lessons from K-12 Education Research: Knowledge Representation, Learning, and Motivation

      • HA02
      • Wed 08/03, 3:15PM - 4:45PM
      • by Lorrie Shepard
      • Type: Invited
      • For 30 years, research on the effects of high-stakes testing in K-12 schools has documented the negative effects of teaching to the test. Most obvious is the reduction or elimination of time spent on science and social studies instruction, especially in high poverty schools. Less obvious is the harm to student learning in reading and mathematics when instruction is limited to repetitive drill on worksheets that closely resemble test formats. The lack of generalized, flexible understanding of underlying principles in K-12 tested subjects is similar to Mazur's experience with plug-and-chug versus conceptual test questions. The PER community is well aware of the importance of more complete representation of learning goals as a remedy to this problem. Equally important, however, are the assessment "processes," especially feedback and grading, that can either promote or deter students' engagement and willingness to take responsibility for their own learning. In this talk, I summarize learning and motivation research that has particular bearing on effective classroom assessment practices in K-12 classrooms certainly and even in university courses.
  • Physics and Society Education

      • Dammit, Jim (Cameron), I'm a Screenwriter, Not a Physicist!

      • FD01
      • Wed 08/03, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Ann Merchant
      • Type: Invited
      • Science at its best is adventurous, creative, imaginative, and passionate. Indeed, given its propensity to explore uncharted territory, science is often the basis for provocative and compelling storylines in both film and television. But beyond good storytelling, entertainment channels possess the very real ability to affect opinions, inform ideas, and even change behavior. Recognizing the power of the popular media to shape society's outlook, in 2008 the National Academy of Sciences launched a new program called The Science & Entertainment Exchange to facilitate the connections between the entertainment industry and top scientists from around the country who can help bring the reality of engaging science to the creative arts. With more than 250 consultations to its credit, The Exchange has spent the last few years working with screenwriters, directors, producers, and set designers to bring more -- and better -- science to theaters and living rooms around the country.
      • Using the Performing Arts in Education and Communication of Science

      • FD02
      • Wed 08/03, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Brian Schwartz
      • Type: Invited
      • For the past 10 years, the author and his colleagues have been operating an outreach program for students and the public based on the theme of Science & the Performing Arts. Formal evaluations of the program indicate that using the performing arts to educate and communicate science is very effective in gaining the interest of students and a new audience of adults, typically not biased towards science. Approximately 10 events are presented each year under the heading Science & the Arts (see http://web.gc.cuny.edu/sciart). In this paper, we include results from an international conference held at the Graduate Center of CUNY in October 2010. The conference had invited sessions on the following themes: 1- Science and Theater; 2- Science and Dance; 3- Science and Music; 4- Science and Films, TV and Radio and 5- Science Festivals and Science Cafes. The program and videorecording of the sessions can be found at www.sciartconference2010.com .
      • Global Energy Resources: An Interdisciplinary, General Education Course

      • FD03
      • Wed 08/03, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Ernest Behringer
      • Type: Contributed
      • During fall 2010, we taught a new interdisciplinary course entitled Global Energy Resources: Physics, Philosophy, and Policy. This course fulfills a general education requirement in the area of global awareness. Students were introduced to energy concepts and technologies, theories of distributive justice, and national and international institutions that set and enforce policy, all applied to the distribution and use of global energy resources. Students were asked to complete homework assignments, in-class activities, a midterm exam, a group project, and a final exam. The group project included an oral presentation and written report describing a plan to manage the energy resources of a foreign nation from the present time through 2020. A detailed description of the course will be given, along with a summary of successes and challenges.
      • Energy and Public Policy: A Course in Science and Government

      • FD04
      • Wed 08/03, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Walter Cuirle
      • Type: Contributed
      • "Energy and Public Policy" is a one-semester science elective offered by the Page School of the U.S. House of Representatives. The course is a form of project-oriented inquiry: working in small groups, students pick a problem in the area of energy or the environment that they think can be solved by legislation, then they write the legislation. The focus on legislation changes the character of the syllabus. Students want to learn the science they need to solve their problem and they prefer to learn it in the order in which questions arise in their legislative process. The course does not use a conventional textbook. Instead, students are given an electronic library of documents of the sort they might use if they actually worked for a House committee and were drafting legislation.
      • Teaching Radiation Literacy and Nature of Science via Inquiry

      • FD05
      • Wed 08/03, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Andy Johnson
      • Type: Contributed
      • Most Americans know very little about ionizing radiation, nuclear power, and nuclear waste. What they do know is based on movies, cartoons, and video games. Non-science majors wonder? Will radiation make them radioactive mutants? What about cell phones and microwaves? Is radiation chemicals or waves? To top it all off, many students know very little about atoms. We are developing innovative materials for teaching nonscientists about radiation using inquiry. This approach also teaches students new ways to reason scientifically. I will present some ways we have developed to help students clarify types of radiation and contamination by direct experimentation, understand causes and effects of radiation using innovative online atom simulators, and apply their new knowledge to make sense of radiation health effects and nuclear waste. Find the materials at http://www.camse.org/andy/radiation. The Radiation by Inquiry project is supported by NSF DUE 0942699
      • Science in the News

      • FD06
      • Wed 08/03, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Matthew Koss
      • Type: Contributed
      • Much of the vital scientific information that we need to know for our personal or civic utility or for its cultural value comes to us via the popular press. How do we negotiate and evaluate all that scientific information in order to know what is true, what is important, and what we are to do? In the course Science in the News, I have attempted to teach key elements of scientific-technical literacy with the methods and effectiveness of the media that provides scientific and technical information to the general public. In this talk I will present a précis on this course.
      • Can We Deal with Societal Issues in an Introductory Course?

      • FD07
      • Wed 08/03, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Peter Lindenfeld
      • Type: Contributed
      • Yes, it is possible to include societal issues in an introductory course. It helps to have a textbook that includes them. Studies show that texts are rarely read, but perhaps this is not completely the fault of the students. A new book (1) attempts to deal with both questions. It includes chapters on Energy in Civilization and Laws and their Limits. It incorporates mathematics as part of the conversation, and includes a Guided Review that encourages reading. Perhaps surprisingly, although it includes material not usually in such books, it is less than half as massive as the standard texts.
      • Physics of Energy -- from Uganda to U.S.

      • FD08
      • Wed 08/03, 9:50AM - 10:00AM
      • by Abigail Mechtenberg
      • Type: Contributed
      • We introduce an internationally developed and implemented curriculum that opens the eyes of physics education practitioners to the vast array of teaching and learning possibilities for the application of the physics of energy. This curriculum and research has been implemented in the U.S. and also in Uganda, East Africa, and Liberia West Africa (and now Guatemala). The academic level is suited for undergraduate physicists, engineers, and professional technicians; however, the astute teacher can easily apply this to other students as we have applied it to U.S. junior energy camps. From this innovative and institutionally transforming curriculum, the Ugandan participants built large-scale bicycle electric generators, merry-go-round generators, a back-up hand crank surgical lamp, hydroelectric generator, incinerator generator, and vertical wind turbines from local parts and materials. The U.S. participants have built classroom working devices such as a solar-powered car with i-pod player, steam engine, and many more devices. During our workshops multiple designs have been executed in groups. Participants leave with a clear understanding of the creativity they possess within themselves and realize the importance of (1) the knowledge of physics and (2) ease of designing these devices themselves. Mixing DIY (design it yourself) with the physics of energy has created an unexpected synergy.
  • Physics Education Research Around the World

      • Does Reading Physics Textbooks Help Resolve the Contradictions?

      • GA05
      • Wed 08/03, 1:40PM - 1:50PM
      • by Sevda Yerdelen-Damar
      • Type: Contributed
      • Students' intuitive knowledge about physical phenomena influences their learning. However, inappropriately activated intuitive knowledge leads to contradictions with formal physics knowledge. This study explored whether students become aware of those contradictions when reading textbooks. Firstly, 36 tenth grade students responded to a questionnaire designed to activate their intuitive knowledge about the relation between force and velocity. Specifically, students were asked to compare, intuitively, the magnitude of the push force and friction force exerted on a cup moving at steady speed. 29 students answered the push force should be greater than the frictional force. Secondly, the students read textbook pages explaining explicitly that the net force exerted on an object moving at constant velocity must be zero. Finally, they answered whether they felt any inconsistency between their intuitive knowledge and what they read. Only five students reported they felt contradiction. This result indicates that simply reading the textbook does not guarantee that they will realize the inconsistencies between everyday thinking and formal physics knowledge.
  • Physics Education Research Around the World I

      • Diagnosing Student Understanding of Data Analysis Techniques

      • AC01
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Ross Galloway
      • Type: Invited
      • Physicists acquire data from a multitude of sources, ranging from their own experimental equipment or numerical simulations to the outputs of large experimental collaborations. However, the mere acquisition of this data is not enough: it is essential to know how to analyse and interpret it once it has been gathered. We expect that physics degrees will equip our students with the necessary analysis skills, but do they? We have formulated a diagnostic test of data-handling skills, and have deployed it in a number of universities across the UK and Ireland. Our findings suggest that student abilities in data handling are not being strongly developed by typical laboratory instruction, and that explicit tuition of the required techniques is needed. Furthermore, we find that part of the problem may be that the graduate teaching assistants we rely on may themselves not possess fully developed skills in this area.
      • Can Student Generated Content Enhance Engagement and Learning in Physics?

      • AC02
      • Mon 08/01, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Simon Bates
      • Type: Invited
      • We describe a pilot study undertaken in a first-year physics class at the University of Edinburgh, in which students were tasked with creating their own assessment content in the form of multiple- choice questions. Using the PeerWise online system, a regular homework assignment was substituted for one in which students were required to author at least one original question, answer five others contributed by their peers, and rate and comment on a further three. The question repository was not moderated during the assignment, with tutors merely observing. The talk will discuss the scaffolding we provided for students in order to help them create questions and illustrate examples of engagement with the task and the exceptionally high quality of questions and comments provided by the student community. We also present correlations of degree of engagement with the task with end-of-course assessment performance.
      • Perceptions and Beliefs of Undergraduate Physics Majors toward Physics in Saudi Arabia

      • AC03
      • Mon 08/01, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Hisham Alhadlaq
      • Type: Contributed
      • In the last decade, physics researchers around the world have studied student perceptions and beliefs on physics and learning physics. Several instruments have been used to measure these perceptions and to identify how close they are to perceptions of experts. Recently, we have administered a newly developed Arabic version of the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) to a sample of senior physics-major students at King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The survey was distributed to about 100 male and female students over a three-year period (2009-2011). We will present our findings of perceptions and beliefs of undergraduate physics majors about physics and learning physics at KSU. We will take a closer look at how their perceptions compare to those of experts. An analysis of how these perceptions compare to the perceptions of a sample of freshmen students will also be presented.
      • The Effect of Formative Assessment in Brazilian University Physics Courses

      • AC04
      • Mon 08/01, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Emerson Cruz
      • Type: Contributed
      • Most post-secondary physics courses in Brazil offer no meaningful formative assessment opportunities. We implemented online homework with immediate feedback in two courses, one with traditional learners at a public university, and one with nontraditional learners at a private university. In addition, at the public university, clickers were used in lecture. While surveys showed broad acceptance of these techniques by the students and the belief that they helped in learning, grades did not significantly improve - instead, we observed a narrowing of the grade distribution toward mid-range grades at the public university, and no difference at the private university. Our study also identifies a number of logistical and organizational hurdles that need to be overcome before a hopefully more successful implementation of these techniques should be attempted.
      • Mathematics in Cameroon: from Text to Talk in the Classroom

      • AC05
      • Mon 08/01, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Anne Emerson
      • Type: Contributed
      • Mathematics is a gateway for learning science and thus limits the number of students choosing physics as a discipline of study. In Cameroon, this limitation is exacerbated by the introduction of algebra and early math and science tracking in secondary school. Textbooks prescribe classroom practices and relationships between content, teachers, and students, especially in Cameroon where they have strong foundations in European pedagogy and are often the sole resource in the classroom (Fonkeng, 2007). In this study, we examined how a mathematics textbook served to mediate the structure and interactions for two classes at a secondary school in Yaoundé, Cameroon. This research provides insight into how a textbook informs algebra instruction in an effort to better understand its role in supporting or constraining access to the fields of math and science.
      • Contextual Elements in Translation of Force Concept Inventory into Japanese

      • AC06
      • Mon 08/01, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Michi Ishimoto
      • Type: Contributed
      • We create a new Japanese version of the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) by combining three existing versions administered at three universities in Japan. The new version is for distribution to high schools and universities to assess students' preconceptions. The three existing versions are quite dissimilar because of differences in the interlingual translation stemming from large variation of expression in the translator's personal sense of language. We identify three elements of the interlingual translation that can alter the context of the questionnaire. The first element is the coining of scientific terms, such as velocity and acceleration, for school use so as to differentiate from everyday language. The second element is the use of gender expression, which is not necessary to describe in questionnaires in Japanese. The third element concerns lifestyle and cultural differences. For example, a car pushing a truck at cruising speed does not occur in Japan.
  • Physics Education Research Around the World II

      • High School Students Formalize the Quantum Concepts

      • EI01
      • Tue 08/02, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Alberto Stefanel
      • Type: Invited
      • Almost a century after its formulation, whether and how to teach quantum mechanics in high schools is still open. Focusing on the construction of theoretical thinking, we built an educational proposal following a Dirac approach. The polarized light phenomenology is the context for the foundation of the superposition principle and its main consequences. Extensive literature shows that the main learning knots are just these basic concepts and the probabilistic interpretation of its formal representation. Several studies have been conducted on students' learning processes during research-based experimentations in 14 classes with 340 high school students. A case study, carried out by means of tutorials, audio-recordings, tests, and data acquisition, aimed at analyzing students' approach to the formalism. We individuated three ways to consider formalism: physical, when it acquired meaning through a link to physical processes; geometrical, when a geometrical lecture is given; and conceptual/descriptive, when it is translated in words/sentences.
      • Physics Education Research in Canada

      • EI02
      • Tue 08/02, 1:45PM - 2:15PM
      • by Tetyana Antimirova
      • Type: Invited
      • One may ask why there are only a few Physics Education Research groups in Canada, unlike in the U.S., Europe, Australia, or Latin America, where PER has blossomed. The main reason is the virtual absence of PER funding at the national and provincial levels. As a result, graduate programs in PER cannot be established. Another problem that hinders the development of PER in Canada is a deep disconnect between the Physics Departments and Faculties of Education. Almost all PER initiatives in Canada today happen despite the lack of sustainable PER funding. These efforts are initiated by the individuals, small groups, and some universities, resulting in a patchwork of short-term PER research projects. I will provide a few case studies of recent successful PER-related initiatives in Canada. Despite the difficulties we face, PER movement in Canada is building slowly from the ground up. However, the long-term future of PER in Canada remains uncertain.
  • Physics of Sports

      • Using Physics for Baseball Analysis

      • CF01
      • Mon 08/01, 6:30PM - 7:00PM
      • by Alan Nathan
      • Type: Invited
      • The trajectory of a baseball moving through the air is very different from the one we teach in our introductory classes in which the only force is that due to gravity. In reality, the aerodynamic drag force (which retards the motion) and the Magnus force on a spinning baseball (which causes the ball to curve) play very important roles that are crucial to many of the subtleties of the game. These forces are governed by three phenomenological quantities: the coefficients of drag, lift, and moment, the latter determining the spin decay time constant. In past years, these quantities were studied mainly in wind tunnel experiments, whereby the forces on the baseball are measured directly. More recently, new tools have been developed that focus on measuring accurate baseball trajectories, from which the forces can be inferred. These tools include high-speed motion analysis, video tracking (the so-called PITCHf/x and HITf/x systems), and Doppler radar tracking via the TrackMan system. In this talk, I will discuss how these new tools work, what they are teaching us about baseball aerodynamics, and how they have the potential to revolutionize the analysis of the game itself.
      • Making Sport of Physics

      • CF02
      • Mon 08/01, 7:00PM - 7:30PM
      • by John Goff
      • Type: Invited
      • The sports world provides an unlimited number of introductory physics examples. I will use a few of those examples to illustrate how an introductory physics teacher (high school or college/university) can use sports to not only teach physics but to help motivate students. Students in need of a little push may find connections to sports a way to make physics more "real world" than traditional examples.
      • The Physics of Kubb

      • CF03
      • Mon 08/01, 7:30PM - 7:40PM
      • by Erick Agrimson
      • Type: Contributed
      • If one defines a sport as an activity of diversion in which one engages in relaxation, Kubb or otherwise known as "Viking chess," is a sport to many Scandinavians. The physics behind this Viking game will be discussed such as forces involved, inertia of batons as well as a short synopsis of the game for the uninitiated.
      • Student Projects with Video Analysis

      • CF04
      • Mon 08/01, 7:40PM - 7:50PM
      • by Aaron Titus
      • Type: Contributed
      • Using video analysis software such as Tracker and inexpensive high-speed video cameras, students can do very interesting projects at the introductory level. In this presentation, I will demonstrate two projects completed by students in my introductory calculus-based physics class. (1) High-speed video analysis of a soccer ball kicked with backspin was used to measure the force and torque on the soccer ball by the foot. The force and torque were used to calculate how far off center the foot impacted the ball, i.e. the moment arm. (2) A mechanical device was used to model a hula hoop rotating around a person's arm. High-speed video analysis of a hula hoop rotating on the device showed that a point on the hoop travels in a spiral-like path. A graph of x-position vs. time for a point on the hoop was a sum of two sine curves of similar frequencies, similar to a beat pattern in acoustics.
  • PIRA: Outreach from the Ground Up

      • Outreach from Higher Ed to K-12: Collaboration and Engagement

      • AA01
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Lisa Grable
      • Type: Invited
      • University departments in the STEM fields often work to develop partnerships and collaboration with K-12 school districts and other community partners. What are the issues with building a bridge from current research and practice in physics and other science and engineering to inquiry-based activities for the K-12 classroom? What are challenges to be addressed when working with teachers or students? How can one go from one-shot, feel-good demonstrations to sustained support and student achievement? What are the possible sources of funding for developing programs? How can university faculty and students be engaged in outreach work? Examples from The Science House at NC State University and other programs will be presented. See http://www.science-house.org/ for information and resources.
      • Physics Phenomena as a Catalyst and Context for Cultivating Community and Camaraderie

      • AA02
      • Mon 08/01, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Erik Herman
      • Type: Invited
      • Over the past year, Cornell's Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences and Education has been field-developing its science outreach mobile programming. An iterative process based on existing models, our expansion includes a theatrical kid-powered physics demonstration show, the use of informal venues for science experiences, and bringing science into family conversations with make-and-take exploration. Each component is driven by core motivations: illuminating the simple intrinsic beauty of physical phenomena, making physics familiar and accessible, and bringing people together in the context of science. Practical considerations include: the use of cheap and available resources, establishing a brand, building and maintaining a enthusiastic team of volunteers, and building a following. There are also challenges: how to teach without being didactic, how to provide problem-solving experiences that aren't frustrating, and how to measure success.
      • Gravitational Waves from the Ground Up

      • AA03
      • Mon 08/01, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Kathy Holt
      • Type: Invited
      • The LIGO Lab in Livingston, LA, searches for gravitational waves or ripples in space-time caused by massive objects undergoing incredible accelerations -- such as colliding neutron stars. LIGO Science Education Center seeks to connect this active scientific research to the public through simple science activities and demonstrations. At LIGO-SEC students of all ages learn about gravity waves by developing their understanding of mechanical waves, sound waves, light waves, and general wave properties. Kathy Holt, LIGO Science Educator, will provide an overview of several low-cost demonstrations and activities that LIGO-SEC uses to explain wave properties and how an interferometer works. Demonstrations will bridge the gap from interference in a hanging wave machine to lissajous patterns from a membranophone. Material will be provided for participants to build at least one demonstration.
      • Taking Physics to the Next Level: Physics in Multimedia

      • AA04
      • Mon 08/01, 9:30AM - 10:00AM
      • by Angella Johnson
      • Type: Invited
      • Opportunities are expanding for physicists and physics technicians to be involved in outreach efforts in the media. There is a growing interest amongst the general public to truly understand physics concepts and to see it presented in an interesting way. Improving the public's understanding of physics can lead to a greater appreciation for science. This will be illustrated with snippets from recent projects and other colleagues' involvement at USC.
  • Potpourri of Teacher Preparation Programs I

      • A Teacher Preparation Model that Cultivates Student Success and Diversity

      • AI01
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Laird Kramer
      • Type: Invited
      • We present the rationale and results driving Florida International University's (FIU's) new physics teacher preparation program, a program designed to cultivate success for all students. FIU implemented yhe University of Colorado's Learning Assistant (LA) model in 2008 through a PhysTEC Grant. The LA model is an experiential teaching program for undergraduates that recruits and prepares future teachers while driving departmental reform, as LAs must experience research-validated curricula in order to make informed decisions about their future in teaching. The program now supports 45 LAs, impacts over 2,000 introductory physics students per year, and is now fully sustained by department funding. The LA program's success has prompted a spread to chemistry, earth science, mathematics, and biology. The impact is most compelling as FIU is a minority-serving urban public research institution in Miami, serving over 42,000 students, of which 64% are Hispanic, 13% are black, and 56% are women.
      • 100 Physics Teachers 7 Years, How Does BYU Do It?

      • AI02
      • Mon 08/01, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Duane Merrell
      • Type: Invited
      • Brigham Young University restructured the physics teaching program in 2004. Since that time, this year we will reach our 100th physics-certified teacher. The highlights and heartaches of this program will be discussed. The efforts of the College of Math and Physical Science to bring the Physics Teaching Program back to the Department of Physics and the support this came with from the College of Education will be discussed. The working relationships between the two colleges and the local school districts will be shared. How we fund a teacher in residence and the value of the mentor teacher network to develop our students as teachers will be highlighted as one of the strengths of the program. We will also share the efforts that are made with mentoring and induction of new physics teachers as part of this talk.
      • Physics Teacher Preparation at Buffalo State College

      • AI03
      • Mon 08/01, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Luanna Gomez
      • Type: Invited
      • The physics department at Buffalo State College offers both a BS and MS Ed. degree that lead to New York State certificate for teaching high school physics. There are two MS Ed. degree programs. One is designed for currently certified professional teachers who wish to add physics as a second certification area, and the other is designed for career changing science and engineering professionals who wish to become New York state physics teachers through a two-year alternative certification process. We will discuss the rationale behind the programs and describe the course offerings.
      • Cogenerative Teaching in a Physics and Everyday Thinking Course

      • AI04
      • Mon 08/01, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Natan Samuels
      • Type: Contributed
      • We present the results of a cogenerative teaching experience in an elementary science content and methods course. This course implemented the Physics and Everyday Thinking (PET) curriculum, which we adapted to meet student and programmatic needs. In this talk we will discuss the cogenerative mediation process for learning environments (CMPLE) by which those adaptations occurred. Implementing CMPLE helped us to identify the needed course changes and effective teaching practices for this student population. Having done so was worthwhile, and provided us with a valued experience.
      • Developing a Biology Extension within Physics and Everyday Thinking

      • AI05
      • Mon 08/01, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Seth Manthey
      • Type: Contributed
      • We present the results of a cogenerative teaching experience in an elementary science content and methods course. This course implemented the Physics and Everyday Thinking (PET) curriculum, which we adapted to meet student and programmatic needs. In this talk we will be discussing a specific adaptation we made to the PET curriculum. This change was achieved by uncovering the students' needs using the Cogenerative Mediation Process for Learning Environments (CMPLE) and then creating an extension from the infrared portion of the PET curriculum. This extension connected PET and physics in general to biological concepts. This extension was a result of cogenerative discussion regarding the needs of the students.
      • Interface Physics Education with Science Education

      • AI06
      • Mon 08/01, 9:50AM - 10:00AM
      • by Celia Chow
      • Type: Contributed
      • Physics education is an essential part of science education. Physical and biological sciences should be introduced to young students as early as possible in elementary schools and kindergardens. Then physical science will be divided into physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, etc. in senior high schools. Later, at the college/university level, they are sharply divided as different fields and highly specialized to particular topics. For high school teachers-to-be, it is challenging to teach with some areas combined at high school level due to the sharp specialization at college studies. How do we help new teachers apply physics laws to chemical, geological, and biological processes. And above all, how to apply physics laws to environmental issues. This task is for both teachers, high school and college levels.
  • Potpourri of Teacher Preparation Programs II

      • Science Teachers Acquired through New Directions in New Mexico (STAND-NM)

      • CJ01
      • Mon 08/01, 6:30PM - 6:40PM
      • by Jennifer Neakrase
      • Type: Contributed
      • Traditionally the certification of physics teachers at New Mexico State University has been part of the secondary education program in the College of Education. Students select a specific science discipline (e.g., physics) as part of a general science certification, in which they declare secondary education as their undergraduate major or receive their license through a Master of Arts program as graduate students. As part of the traditional program, students take a limited number of discipline specific courses. Previously there was no option for science majors to receive a secondary science teaching license without switching majors away from their science discipline or entering the Masters program. STAND-NM, an NSF Noyce-funded program, provides a new option for science majors to pursue secondary science licensure while finishing their undergraduate degree within their science major. This talk introduces the program at NMSU and discusses difficulties in recruitment, especially with our physics majors.
      • Florida PROMiSE: The Perspective of Three Physics Faculty Participants*

      • CJ02
      • Mon 08/01, 6:40PM - 6:50PM
      • by Mark Meisel
      • Type: Contributed
      • Florida PROMiSE (http://www.flpromise.org/) has a mission "to improve Florida student achievement in mathematics and science through professional development for Florida's Educators and to build capacity to sustain quality implementation of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS)." We participated in the design and inaugural deliveries (Summer 2009) of two institutes: Matter and Energy for K-8 teachers and Force and Motion for 6-12 teachers. With our continued participation, these institutes were revised and held again in summer 2010. This brief presentation serves to increase awareness of PROMiSE and to provide an overview of our participation, especially as it relates to "increasing the content knowledge of the participants." One outcome is our increased awareness of the "misconceptions" that K-12 students and teachers possess, and the role that a faculty member plays in reversing these misconceptions.
      • A First Attempt at a Physics Methods Course

      • CJ03
      • Mon 08/01, 6:50PM - 7:00PM
      • by Michael Meyer
      • Type: Contributed
      • High school physics teachers have historically been certified at Michigan Technological University with only a general “teaching science” methods course in their education curriculum. In the spring semester of 2011 I piloted the first physics teaching methods course specifically designed to give pre-certification teachers exposure to and practice in PER-supported pedagogies. This presentation will review the curriculum and results of the new course, discuss lessons learned and take a quick look toward the future.
      • Helping Middle and High School Teachers' Students Do Inquiry

      • CJ04
      • Mon 08/01, 7:00PM - 7:10PM
      • by Gordon Aubrecht
      • Type: Contributed
      • An Ohio Department of Education-supported project has concluded three years of funding, with a fourth pending. Student scores on the Ohio Achievement Test have climbed from the original poor level to a higher poor level in a district with about 80% of students receiving free or reduced-cost breakfast and lunch. Teachers want to continue to change. Details of the project will be presented.
      • Core Knowledge Movement Inspired Teachers Preparation in Middle School Physics

      • CJ05
      • Mon 08/01, 7:10PM - 7:20PM
      • by Ana Rita Mota
      • Type: Contributed
      • We present a study involving physics teaching in Portuguese schools (seventh and eighth grades) inspired by the Core Knowledge movement (CKM), which defends the need for common curricula, well-defined teaching objectives and carefully planned classes. The project combined this approach with teacher training and weekly lab work, and required careful preparation of teaching materials (lesson plans and proposals for experimental activities), which were an outcome of the project. It was assessed with an analysis of the results of two groups; the experimental group under this instruction (CKM) and the control one, where the classes were taught the traditional Portuguese way. Data sources included analysis of the students' pre- and post-tests and interviews with the teachers involved. We found that the CKM instruction, inserted in an interactive and well-designed teaching environment, was more effective in promoting conceptual change and scientific understandings than the instruction in a traditional course.
      • Attracting Undergraduate Physics Majors into Becoming High School Physics Teachers

      • CJ06
      • Mon 08/01, 7:20PM - 7:30PM
      • by Michael Prim
      • Type: Contributed
      • How do universities and colleges attract undergraduate physics majors into becoming high school physics teachers? It has been my task at UNC-Chapel Hill to talk to the physics majors and present the reasons why teaching high school physics can lead to a satisfying career as well as making a major social contribution to the planet. Few careers offer the enormous influence and satisfaction as does teaching high school physics. Many people look back on their life and wonder what they have given to the planet. An effective physics teacher can influence the manner in which a person thinks and lives their life. Now is the time to create a new breed of extraordinary high school physics teachers.
  • Preparing Minority Students for Graduate School

      • Physics at Morehouse College: Making a Major Difference!

      • BE01
      • Mon 08/01, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Willie Rockward
      • Type: Invited
      • Physics is Phun! Physics needs everyone and everyone needs physics! With physics, the UNIVERSE is the limit! These statements are the underlying principles that we, the physics faculty at Morehouse College, embed in our students through experiences in the classroom, laboratory, advisement, mentoring, and outreach programs. How are we making a positive difference by consistently increasing the number of under-represented minorities, especially African American males, in physics? We will present our antidote which includes curriculum, research, advisement, and a few hidden ingredients.
      • Preparing Minority Students for Graduate School: Timbuktu Academy Approach

      • BE02
      • Mon 08/01, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Diola Bagayoko
      • Type: Invited
      • The Timbuktu Academy is a comprehensive, systemic mentoring program at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA (SUBR) (www.phys.subr.edu/timbuktu.htm). To date, the Academy has assisted in the production of 170 minority undergraduate scholars who have earned a Bachelor of Science degree. Seventy of 83 physics graduates, 20 of 29 chemistry graduates, and 22 of 49 engineering graduates have earned graduate degrees or are successfully enrolled in graduate school, with an emphasis on the pursuit of the PhD. The aim of this presentation is to discuss key factors that explain the success of the Academy. They include the rigorous implementation of the Ten-Strand Systemic Mentoring model of the Timbuktu Academy, with extensive research participation on and off campus. They also include standard-based curriculum, teaching, and learning (i.e., SBC, SBT, and SBL). The Timbuktu Academy received several national awards for the above model and results.
      • APS Minority Bridge Program: Overview, Findings and Directions

      • BE03
      • Mon 08/01, 2:00PM - 2:30PM
      • by Peter Muhoro
      • Type: Invited
      • Physics provides a fundamental foundation for nearly all major technical innovations, groundbreaking research, and policy recommendations. Physics also ranks at the bottom when considering the fraction of students completing either baccalaureate or doctoral degrees. In addition, the fraction of PhDs awarded to underrepresented minorities has not increased in the past decade despite the growing population of such groups. This talk will discuss some data on the current situation and describe a number of actions by the American Physical Society (APS) and its partnering organizations in addressing these issues, primarily the Minority Bridge Program, a new national initiative that seeks to dramatically increase the number of underrepresented minorities who receive PhDs in physics.
  • Recruiting Students to High School Physics

      • Recruiting Strategies for High School Physics

      • EJ01
      • Tue 08/02, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Mike Kennedy
      • Type: Invited
      • There is a need to increase the number of students that take physics in high school, especially when you consider the President's national goal of preparing all students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. The success of students in the 21st century workforce will depend on students' education in the STEM fields and in many cases their exposure to physics. While at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, IL, I have helped to create a large interest in the physics courses. When I started at Neuqua Valley 10 years ago, I only had nine students in one section of AP Physics. This year there are five full sections of AP Physics that are taught by three teachers. To meet the student demand for physics courses at all levels, we have doubled our physics teaching staff from five teachers to 10 teachers during my tenure at Neuqua Valley. Come learn some strategies that will help you recruit students to your physics classes.
      • Why Am I Here? The Development of a Physics Identity through Meaningful High School Physics Experiences

      • EJ02
      • Tue 08/02, 1:45PM - 2:15PM
      • by Zahra Hazari
      • Type: Invited
      • This talk addresses the ways in which high school physics experiences shape students' physics identities and their subsequent persistence, particularly for females and underrepresented minorities. The framework for this work is based upon the concept of a physics identity that is shaped by individuals' performance, competence, interest, and recognition by others. The talk will include results from multiple research studies, including a large national survey study and focused case studies of successful physics teachers (NSF Grant No. 0952460 and 0624444). In particular, the discussion will examine the link between physics identity and physics-related career choices, identify high school physics experiences that quantitatively predict physics identity development, and examine qualitatively what these strategies look like in the classrooms of successful high school physics teachers.
      • One Mad Man's Campus Campaigns

      • EJ03
      • Tue 08/02, 2:15PM - 2:25PM
      • by Dean Baird
      • Type: Contributed
      • In good times you should advertise, in bad times you must. As the son of an advertiser and a marketer, I have always valued advertising as a recruitment tool. As a high school physics teacher, I have been motivated to maintain or increase my "market share" each year. I have used "dog and pony shows," personalized direct mail campaigns, and a variety of flyer and poster designs. I will detail the relative efficacy of the various campaigns and share specific designs and slogans I have used over the years.
      • Can Math Oriented Physics Classes Really Increase Your Number of Students?

      • EJ04
      • Tue 08/02, 2:25PM - 2:35PM
      • by Donald Franklin
      • Type: Contributed
      • With 27 years of high school physics experience in five states, which includes eight years of private school, I have a lot of information with which to build my model. Using math as the major emphasis can only work if there is constant review. This can be done by using a textbook or online homework. Here is where they differ: Online homework does away with copying down someone's answers as they are not yours. The teacher becomes a conceptual teacher so that students can solve their problems. Getting the students to follow the problem solving format is the hardest part. Constant review: Giving the same problems to the entire class and then testing them on the new material and review material every week to two weeks allows for students to make up for their mistakes, which they feel they can show that they have learned the material rather than cramming material for the test.
      • The Peer Pressure of Student Physics Commercials

      • EJ05
      • Tue 08/02, 2:35PM - 2:45PM
      • by Elizabeth (Tommi) Holsenbeck
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Alabama Section of AAPT is attempting to have current high school physics students influence their younger peers with an advertising campaign. The First Annual Physics Commercial Competition will be held in the fall of 2011. It is funded by the Alabama Section of AAPT, Huntingdon College, and small donations from members and other interested parties. AMSTI (Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative)/Science in Motion Physics Specialists developed the contest and will take the leadership role in administering it. An added dimension comes from a co-sponsor, Huntingdon College. Their college physics students will create sample commercials to use as a guide and be in teachers' hands by spring 2011. A unique perspective will come from these college students as they look in hindsight at their high school physics experience or non-experience. The hope for Alabama public schools is physics classes' enrollment will increase in 2012-13.
      • The Amazing World of Physics (and Science), Demonstrated to Students by Students

      • EJ06
      • Tue 08/02, 2:45PM - 2:55PM
      • by Stacia Kelly
      • Type: Contributed
      • This year marks the fifth Annual Physics Show hosted by students in my high school course. Originally implemented as an alternative summative assessment tool, the Physics Show has become an anticipated event for our district's fifth and sixth grade students. Physics students collaborate as teams in and out of class, abiding by specific guidelines and pre-determined timelines, to generate and perform a Physics "Magic" Show at the end of the academic year. The show is judged by faculty members based upon several criteria, including the Physics students' ability to clarify phenomena in an age-appropriate, yet accurate explanation. Examples of guidelines, judging rubrics and student demonstrations will be provided.
      • Campaign for Recruiting Students to High School Physics

      • EJ07
      • Tue 08/02, 2:55PM - 3:05PM
      • by Melissa Lapps
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Why Physics? campaign is a joint effort between AAPT, the American Physical Society and the Society of Physics Students to help high school physics teachers recruit students, and to inform students, parents, and guidance counselors about the many benefits of taking a physics course. The campaign includes the "Why Physics?" poster and the "7 Myths About High School Physics" brochure. In addition, we are designing a large part of our campaign around enlisting and empowering physics teachers to be strong advocates for physics in their schools. In this talk I will briefly describe our campaign, and share some of the strategies for success that we have learned from teachers around the country.
  • Reflections on the Gordon Conference on Experimental Research and Labs in Physics Education

      • Using Experiments to Foster Conceptual Understanding: Insights From PER*

      • AD01
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by MacKenzie Stetzer
      • Type: Invited
      • The Physics Education Group at the University of Washington has been investigating student learning in an upper-division laboratory course in analog electronics. Our findings indicate a need for research-based instructional materials that are expressly designed to help deepen student understanding and to address specific difficulties identified through research. As we begin this curriculum-development effort, we plan to draw on our extensive experience designing research-based and research-validated materials for use in special laboratory-based, inquiry-oriented courses for K-12 teachers.1 In this talk, I will highlight the role of experiments in instructional strategies that have been shown to strengthen the conceptual understanding of K-12 teachers. I will also reflect on how such approaches may be implemented in upper-division laboratory courses.
      • Dynamic Interferometric Measurements: Acoustical/Mechanical Resonators and Changing Magnetic Fields

      • AD02
      • Mon 08/01, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Richard Peterson
      • Type: Invited
      • Physical optics combines with computational physics to make three experimental project areas especially rich in experimental breadth (optics, electronics, acoustics, fluid dynamics, along with structural and magnetic properties of materials), in addition to facilitating year-to-year student/faculty creativity. Stroboscopic holography techniques with a high (130 - 160) dB gas resonator allow real-time imaging of sound patterns at resonance as gas density variations impact the index of refraction and produce quantifiable fringe motions at pressure antinodes. A steel tuning fork is rich in torsional and transverse modes that yield to spectral analysis and computational FFT work with COMSOL. Stroboscopic holography produces quantifiable video images of these modes that may be compared to spectral and COMSOL predictions. Rapidly changing magnetic fields in a material produce Faraday-effect induced interferometric phase shifts between circularly polarized beams, and real-time fringe readouts can measure rapidly changing fields at the level of a few gauss in TGG.
      • Quantum Mechanics with a Lab

      • AD03
      • Mon 08/01, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Enrique Galvez
      • Type: Contributed
      • I report on an undergraduate course on quantum mechanics with a lab component. The lab consists of five experiments with correlated photons for students to learn applications of quantum mechanics. Optical components are represented by matrix operators. Hilbert spaces can be momentum modes (propagation along x or y directions), polarization modes (horizontal or vertical), or combinations of these for one or two photons, forming two or four-dimensional spaces. The experiments explore basic quantum mechanical operations such as basis projection, basis rotation, superposition and measurement. Experiments also touch modern themes such as the concepts of qubits and entanglement. We use two optical layouts, each set up on a 2' x 5' optical breadboard.
      • Fundamental Instructional Labs in Quantum Mechanics for Undergraduate Physics Majors

      • AD04
      • Mon 08/01, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Gabriel Spalding
      • Type: Contributed
      • Many students have a difficult time grasping quantum mechanical models and, particularly given that the most popular undergraduate text on quantum (Griffiths) forgoes references to real experiments, a new generation of instructional experiments is deemed to provide the absolutely critical visualization and tangible proof that are needed to convince students of key elements of quantum theory. Such instructional labs have been featured highlights of the 2009 Advanced Lab Topical Conference in Ann Arbor and of the 2010 Gordon Conference on Physics Research and Education, and have also been incorporated into the ALPhA Immersion Program, which provides hands-on training for lab instructors (e.g., in demonstrating the existence of photons, single-photon interference, indistinguishability and the quantum eraser, entanglement and tests of Bell's inequalities, etc.). This led us to establish a group focused on furthering efforts to make these sorts of labs more affordable.
      • What Is the Relevance of Physics Education Research to the Advanced Lab?

      • AD05
      • Mon 08/01, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Benjamin Zwickl
      • Type: Contributed
      • The University of Colorado Boulder is in the early stages of a 2.5-year research-based redesign of our upper-division physics lab courses. There has been a nationwide resurgence of interest in advanced physics labs among instructors and faculty, but the PER community to date has focused on introductory and lecture-format classes. Little research has been conducted on these uniquely sophisticated and resource-rich learning environments in terms of goals, measurements of learning, and outcomes of modification. We are applying the existing research-base and methods of PER as a tool to make our labs better with the dual purpose of finding generalizable lessons about effective instruction in advanced lab courses. We will report preliminary outcomes that include our process of modification, learning goals, assessment frameworks, and a revised lab example.
  • Reforming the Introductory Physics Course for Life Science Majors V

      • Taking a Biologist to Lunch

      • EF01
      • Tue 08/02, 1:15PM - 1:35PM
      • by Dawn Meredith
      • Type: Invited
      • It is often suggested that instructors of algebra-based introductory physics courses take a biologist to lunch, with the goal of finding out what a practicing biologist needs to know about physics. We sat down with faculty from several different life sciences at our institution to find out what physics their students need: a microbiologist, a zoologist, a kinesiologist, a physiologist, and a geneticist. We will share what we learned from these articulation cross-disciplinary conversations. One need expressed by biology faculty was for physics problems that have significant biology context and content; we have developed problems to address this need. A second need is for lecture modules from our IPLS course that biology instructors can use to refresh students' memories of specific physics content. This enables the students to apply those physics principles in specific biological contexts and build upon what they learned in the IPLS course.
      • Reforming Physics for Biologists and Pre-Meds: Disciplinary Barriers

      • EF02
      • Tue 08/02, 1:35PM - 1:55PM
      • by Edward Redish
      • Type: Invited
      • The calls from the biology and medical communities for reform of undergraduate biology education [1] requests that support courses be reformed as well. At the University of Maryland, the Physics and Biology Education Research Groups [2] have been discussing these issues and interviewing students in physics and biology classes. We find that adapting physics classes for biology students and including physics in biology classes is going to be harder than it appears on the surface. There are epistemological differences in the way both students and professionals in biology and physics think about their science, differences in the way they use math, and differences in the way they think about fundamental concepts. These differences create barriers to reform. Additional barriers arise when chemists and mathematicians are included. Bridging these disciplinary barriers to create effective reform is going to require creativity, open minds, and a willingness to communicate.
      • Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences and the Revised MCAT

      • EF03
      • Tue 08/02, 1:55PM - 2:15PM
      • by Robert Hilborn
      • Type: Invited
      • The Association of American Medical Colleges is in the process of reviewing and revising the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) with the expectation that the new exam will go "live" in 2014 or 2015. At the same time, the AAMC Committee on Admissions has recommended that medical schools drop the traditional course requirements and replace them with a list of competencies: what entering medical students should know and be able to do, particularly in the natural and mathematical sciences. I will review the current status of the MCAT revision and discuss how changes in the MCAT and in admissions requirements for medical schools may affect introductory physics courses for the life sciences.
  • Research in Undergraduate Math Education

      • Seeing Through Symbols: Personal and Cultural Semiotic Systems in Algebra

      • GF01
      • Wed 08/03, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Aaron Weinberg
      • Type: Invited
      • Algebraic symbolism plays a prominent role in mathematics. We try to teach our students to "see through the symbols" to focus on the underlying meaning of variables, functions, systems of equations, and other algebraic notation. Despite our best efforts, students frequently struggle to use algebraic notation meaningfully. The idea of personal and cultural semiotic systems gives us a new way of understanding how students work with algebraic symbols. Previous research on algebraic representation has attempted to describe either the ways students interpret symbols or the ways they produce symbols. In contrast, viewing students' work as part of a semiotic system unifies these perspectives, enabling us to describe the interaction between symbol production and interpretation. This presentation will introduce the idea of semiotic systems and look at examples of student work to illustrate the concept and show how it can be used to understand students' mathematical activity.
      • The Functions of Examples in Instruction

      • GF02
      • Wed 08/03, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Tim Fukawa-Connelly
      • Type: Invited
      • Examples are an important part of our teaching of mathematics and physics. Some of the ways that we might use examples in our teaching are to show how to use a formula, perform an algorithm, illustrate a theory, or help understand concepts. While these are relatively common, there are less common uses to which we might put examples that include having students recreate the fundamental ideas of our disciplines, develop their own original ideas, and develop ways of reasoning that support innovative thinking. In this presentation I will show examples of teachers in mathematics and physics drawing on different scientific functions that examples might serve in teaching at the university level. I will then suggest how instructor's uses of examples can communicate to students what it means to be a scientist, and, perhaps convey the wrong message about our respective disciplines. Or, good teaching may be leading to bad results?
      • How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Applications

      • GF03
      • Wed 08/03, 2:00PM - 2:30PM
      • by Michael Oehrtman
      • Type: Invited
      • Subtitle: Confessions of a Mathematician. In this talk I present findings from my design research using numerical methods and error analyses to establish a strong conceptual foundation for an introductory calculus and differential equations sequence. I will intersperse this discussion with reflections on my own experiences as a student of both mathematics and physics, as a mathematics faculty, and as an education researcher that led me to this approach. I will present results indicating that properly developed, an applied approach to calculus and differential equations can 1) be based on natural language and ideas directly accessible to students, 2) provide a coherent approach to the range of topics covered in the entire sequence, 3) be coherent in meaning and structure across multiple representations, and 4) establish a foundation for subsequent formal mathematical development. A natural hypothesis is that such an approach should also support modeling in science and engineering.
      • Learning for Transfer: How Much Does Context Matter?

      • GF04
      • Wed 08/03, 2:30PM - 3:00PM
      • by Joseph Wagner
      • Type: Invited
      • “Transfer in pieces” is a theory of knowledge transfer that stands in contrast to longstanding theories of “transfer by abstraction.” It seems almost self-evident that knowledge of mathematics or science should be applicable across different contexts by virtue of its abstractness or distance from the contexts in which it was learned. Surely this has served as a basis for traditional instructional practices in mathematics and science. A transfer-in-pieces approach, however, suggests that the utility of abstract knowledge is somewhat illusory, and that the cognitive mechanisms of transfer are much more attuned to specific features of the contexts in which knowledge is applied. For learning theorists, this presentation offers an introductory tour of the basic tenets of a transfer-in-pieces consideration of the problem of transfer. For teachers, it suggests that the role of learning contexts and initial applications of knowledge may be both more significant and more limiting than we think.
  • Research on Learning Assistants and TA's

      • Teaching Assistants' Reasons for the Design of Problem Solutions for Introductory Physics: Rationale and Methodology

      • DH01
      • Tue 08/02, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by William Mamudi
      • Type: Contributed
      • As part of a larger study to understand how instructors make teaching decisions, we investigated how graduate teaching assistants (TA's) perceive features of written problem solutions. TA's are an important population to understand; they often provide significant instruction and they also represent the pool of future physics faculty. This talk will focus on the methodology used to study TA's enrolled in a training course. Data were collected via a series of tasks related to concrete instructional artifacts (solutions to the same physics problem that vary in their representation of expert problem solving as well as in their instructional approach). Important aspects of the design were a) using artifacts from a previous study of faculty to allow for comparison of results, b) developing a written questionnaire that requires respondents to explicitly connect problem features with preferences and reasons, and c) documenting respondent ideas both pre- and post-discussion within their training course.
      • Teaching Assistants' Reasons for the Design of Problem Solutions for Introductory Physics: Findings

      • DH02
      • Tue 08/02, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by Shih-Yin Lin
      • Type: Contributed
      • As part of a larger study to understand how instructors make teaching decisions, we investigated how graduate teaching assistants (TA's) perceive features of written problem solutions. TAs are an important population to understand; they often provide significant instruction and they also represent the pool of future physics faculty. Twenty-four first-year graduate TA's enrolled in a training course were provided with different instructor solutions for the same physics problem and asked to discuss their preferences for prominent solution features. Preliminary findings reveal that providing a schematic visualization of the problem, listing knowns/unknowns, and explaining reasoning in explicit words were the most valued features. Preferences for different features were sometimes in conflict with each other. For example, while the TA's valued solutions where reasoning was explicitly explained, they also valued concise solution. We'll present the reasons behind these preferences and discuss the implications for the professional development of physics TA's.
      • Assessing Reflective Practice through Learning Assistant Reflections

      • DH03
      • Tue 08/02, 8:50AM - 9:00AM
      • by Geraldine Cochran
      • Type: Contributed
      • We have analyzed reflections from our chemistry, mathematics, and physics undergraduate learning assistants (LAs) seminar to examine their development of reflective teaching practices. One goal of Florida International University's (FIU) LA seminar is to help our participants develop as reflective practitioners. We endeavor to reach this goal by means of classroom activities, classroom discussion, and reflective homework assignments. Weekly reflective papers on course readings and teaching experiences are assigned to help our students reach higher levels of reflection. To assess our Las' level of reflection, we analyzed reflections using Hatton and Smith's (1995) [1] "criteria for the recognition of evidence for different types of reflective writing." The three discipline-based LA programs at FIU utilizing the LA seminar are structurally different and include different kinds of teaching experiences. Thus, we have also investigated whether or not participation in the various programs may result in different levels of reflection for the Las.
      • Engaging Instructors in Discussing Student Difficulties: A Model for Preparation

      • DH04
      • Tue 08/02, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Benjamin Spike
      • Type: Contributed
      • We report on the results of a recent effort to modify graduate Teaching Assistant (TA) preparation for the Tutorials in Introductory Physics by focusing instructor attention on potential student difficulties rather than simply the mastery of content. We track shifts in instructor awareness of student difficulties with Tutorials as a result of a simple intervention during TA preparation sessions. We share findings from this semester-long effort, and conclude by discussing broader implications for teacher preparation in both traditional and transformed environments.
      • Effects of the Learning Assistant 'Treatment' on In-Service Teachers' Practices

      • DH05
      • Tue 08/02, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Kara Gray
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Colorado Learning Assistant (LA) Program serves as a content-specific supplement to standard teacher preparation programs. In addition to transforming undergraduate STEM courses, it recruits and prepares math and science majors for teaching careers by involving university STEM faculty. The research reported here compares the teaching practices of in-service teachers who had the LA "treatment" as undergraduates to colleagues who did not participate in the LA program as undergraduates but were certified through the same program. We report on teachers' views of assessments, their views of learning, and differences in their teaching practices. This analysis is based on interviews with approximately 30 teachers and observations of their classrooms throughout their induction years of teaching. This work considers how the LA program may help improve current teacher preparation models.
      • Comparing Learning Assistants' Classroom Practices to Colleagues Using Artifact Methodology

      • DH06
      • Tue 08/02, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Stephanie Barr
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Scoop notebook [1] is an instructional artifact package developed to assess teachers' use of reform classroom practices. It is one of the tools used by University of Colorado's LA-Test research group to characterize differences in the classroom practices between former Learning Assistants (Las) teaching at the secondary level, and their colleagues. Analysis of these artifacts indicate significant differences between LA and non-LA groups. Other data sources corroborate these findings [2]. We will discuss the implications of this study and make inferences about the role of the LA experience in teacher preparation. We will also describe the method of using artifact packages to study classroom practice, discussing the pros and cons of this type of data.
      • Case Studies of Increasing Participation in a Physics Learning Community

      • DH07
      • Tue 08/02, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Renee Michelle Goertzen
      • Type: Contributed
      • We present a case study of two introductory undergraduate physics students' increasing participation in the physics learning community at Florida International University (FIU). An implicit goal in the reforms implemented by the Physics Education Research Group at FIU has been the establishment of multiple opportunities for entry into and participation in a community of physics learners. These opportunities include classes using research-based curricula (Modeling Instruction and Investigative Science Learning Environment), a Learning Assistant program, and a growing cohort of physics majors. Using interviews conducted across a year of introductory physics, we explore the trajectories of two students who have successfully increased their participation in a physics learning community.
      • Assessing Laboratories through Pre- and Post-testing: Optics

      • DH08
      • Tue 08/02, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Drew Baigrie
      • Type: Contributed
      • We present the results of written pre- and post-tests administered in large algebra-based and calculus-based introductory physics laboratories and a small inquiry-based, laboratory-based, algebra-based course. We also examine student performance as a function of TA teaching style, which is ranked using the RTOP assessment.
  • Research on Student Learning of Energy

      • Speciation of Energy Concepts through Speech and Gesture in Interaction

      • EH01
      • Tue 08/02, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Hunter Close
      • Type: Invited
      • When energy is added to a liquid to evaporate it, what is the form of energy in the gas? Is it thermal energy, which is indicated by temperature? Is it chemical energy, which is indicated by chemical composition of a substance [1]? Maybe something else? In a summer professional development course in the Energy Project [2] at Seattle Pacific University, secondary teachers posed this question while cooperating in Energy Theater [3] in order to figure out the energy transfers and transformations in a real refrigerator. Their negotiation of the name of this form of energy boiled down to a discussion of the difference between kinetic and potential energy. We show how the speech and gesture that mediated the negotiation display different levels of distinction of energy concepts among the teachers, and we suggest how dynamic refinement, or "speciation," of these concepts might be promoted strategically in instruction.
      • Cultivating Energy Conceptual Resources for Productive Reasoning

      • EH02
      • Tue 08/02, 1:45PM - 2:15PM
      • by Eric Brewe
      • Type: Invited
      • The conceptual resources related to energy in the typical introductory physics curriculum are inadequate for robust analysis of energy. In this talk, I describe the implementation, in the context of a Modeling Instruction university physics course, of a curricular framework designed to promote the development and use of conceptual resources for analyzing physical phenomena. The curricular framework involves both a reorganization of the content of introductory physics as well as a renewed focus on energy. Reorganizing includes treating energy early and spiraling back to energy treatments. The refocusing includes emphasizing energy's role in modeling phenomena and attending to the tools for representing energy conservation, storage, and transfer. Qualitative evidence is presented showing student use of energy conceptual resources that are promoted in the curricular implementation.
      • A Teaching Proposal about Energy for Students Aged 11-14

      • EH03
      • Tue 08/02, 2:15PM - 2:45PM
      • by Nikos Papadouris
      • Type: Invited
      • Teaching about energy is an inherently complex and challenging task, especially in the elementary and middle school. We briefly discuss the epistemological barriers that tend to perplex attempts to introduce energy and we propose an alternative teaching approach, for students aged 11-14, that seeks to provide a means for bypassing or overcoming those obstacles. This approach rests on the premise that the elaboration of energy could be more usefully framed in an epistemologically oriented, rather than a conceptually oriented, context. The emphasis in this approach is placed on (a) helping students appreciate that, in science, we invent theories in order to account for observations and (b) guiding them to elaborate energy as a theoretical framework for interpreting changes in physical systems. In the concluding part, we discuss the potential effectiveness of this teaching approach on the basis of empirical data on students' learning gains, collected through implementation in three sixth-grade classes.
      • The Problem with Systems: Factors Underlying Student Difficulties with Energy

      • EH04
      • Tue 08/02, 2:45PM - 3:15PM
      • by Beth Lindsey
      • Type: Invited
      • The first law of thermodynamics states that doing work on an otherwise isolated system will cause its energy to change. A set of curricular materials1 has been developed, designed to help students interpret and apply the relation between work and energy, but many difficulties persist even after targeted instruction. This persistence may be related to a failure to choose an appropriate system of interest and identify the interactions of that system with its environment. I will present data on student thinking about systems, and the connection to student thinking about energy in contexts from introductory mechanics and beyond. Data presented will be from pre-tests, post-tests, and video recordings of classroom interactions and one-on-one interviews at three institutions of differing sizes and student populations.
  • Research-based Pedagogy in the High School

      • Modeling Instruction in the High Schools: A Research-based Curriculum

      • DF01
      • Tue 08/02, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Dwain Desbien
      • Type: Invited
      • This talk will focus on the Modeling Theory of Physics as developed by the modeling group at ASU (led by David Hestenes). I will discuss the research underpinnings of the curriculum, the curriculum itself, and the models used in the curriculum. Discussion of the workshops where teachers can learn the modeling technique will be discussed and information on how to apply will be given. Finally some results from the modeling workshop project on student learning will be given.
      • PRISMS PLUS -- A High School Physics Curriculum

      • DF02
      • Tue 08/02, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Lawrence Escalada
      • Type: Invited
      • Physics Resources and Instructional Strategies for Motivation Students (PRISMS) is a high school physics curriculum that utilizes a learning cycle pedagogy. PRISMS originated in 1982 as a collection of 130 high interest activities related to real-life student experiences. PRISMS was revised and enhanced with funding from the National Science Foundation and made available as PRISMS PLUS. PRISMS PLUS is based on physics education research and the recommendations of national science education initiatives. Students are guided through high-interest activities that engage them in exploring patterns and relationships; formulating concepts based on evidence; and applying these concepts to new phenomena, using the concepts to predict the behavior of physical phenomena. PRISMS PLUS includes more than 40 complete learning cycles with conceptual support materials to help students develop conceptual understanding of the basics physics ideas introduced. PRISMS provides the pedagogy for many of the UNI Physics preparation and professional development programs for science teachers.
      • Helping Your Students Learn Physics and Think Like Scientists

      • DF03
      • Tue 08/02, 9:30AM - 10:00AM
      • by Eugenia Etkina
      • Type: Invited
      • We often spend the first week of classes teaching our students how science works and then switch to our traditional delivery mode telling them what the laws of physics are and how to use them to solve back-of-the-chapter problems. Is it possible for our students to learn physics concepts and laws by actually practicing science? What does it mean to practice science in a high school classroom? In this talk I will describe two curricula, "Investigative Science Learning Environment" (ISLE) and Physics Union Mathematics (PUM), that engage your students in the processes mirroring scientific practice when learning physics. These curricula help them experience physics first hand as their own creation. They engage the students in data collection and analysis, help them learn how to devise their own explanations, how to test them with new experiments, and how to make meaningful connections to mathematics.
  • Science and Society

      • Do Physics Best-Sellers Sell Physics Short?

      • CH01
      • Mon 08/01, 6:30PM - 6:40PM
      • by Craig Wiegert
      • Type: Contributed
      • There are many examples of non-technical physics and astronomy books that top the charts on Amazon and make it to the New York Times best-seller list. The most popular books often explore mind-bending topics like string theory, general relativity, and cosmology. While these books certainly generate excitement and fascination with physics among the general public---and future students---their prominence has the unfortunate side effect of misrepresenting the discipline as a whole. I'll discuss the sometimes unrealistic perceptions that our beginning college physics majors have about areas of research in physics and astronomy, and what we're doing to modify those perceptions without (hopefully!) diminishing students' interest in the field.
      • The Haunted Physics Lab at Creighton University

      • CH02
      • Mon 08/01, 6:40PM - 6:50PM
      • by Thomas Zepf
      • Type: Contributed
      • For over 25 years at Creighton University, "Dr. Zepf's Haunted Physics Lab" has been a popular outreach attraction for teaching basic principles of physics to students and the general public. Currently it is an annual Physics Club project at Creighton University during the Halloween season. In 2004 an article* about it in TPT generated wide interest. Today, applications of the haunted lab theme for teaching science are widespread both in this country and abroad. In this presentation one of the exhibits in Dr. Zepf's Haunted Physics Lab will be explained and a video of it that was made during an actual session will be shown. Watch as visitors are greeted by a seemingly bodiless "Department Head." It talks. It answers questions. It's alive!
      • Data from the Use of a Domestic Ground-Source Heatpump

      • CH03
      • Mon 08/01, 6:50PM - 7:00PM
      • by Tom Carter
      • Type: Contributed
      • During last summer’s Physics and Society session, there was a discussion of the benefits of the use of ground source (a.k.a “geothermal”) heatpumps. In this talk, I will briefly review how a ground source heatpump works and present some historical energy data from the use of my own unit in northern Illinois. I will also point out some reasons why these units are not the best green technology for all situations.
      • A Physics of Energy Course by Train, West Coast, USA

      • CH04
      • Mon 08/01, 7:00PM - 7:10PM
      • by Katrina Hay
      • Type: Contributed
      • Inspired by concern for sustainability and environmental impact of conventional fuel usage, an introductory interdisciplinary travel course was designed. The course provides students with an understanding of the underlying physical principles of traditional and alternative methods of energy production. The Western United States is an ideal region to study practical use and research of hydroelectric, wind, nuclear, solar, ocean wave, and geothermal energy. This course, taught for the first time in January 2011, traveled by Amtrak Coast Starlight train, making stops in Washington, Oregon, and California. Students became aware of their impact on global energy by experiencing first hand the physics connection between communities and energy. This presentation will include learning objectives, energy source locations, an interdisciplinary connection to geology, and discussion of the unique opportunity for faculty to connect with students in an off-campus environment.
      • Integrating Sustainability Across the Science Curriculum of Gustavus Adolphus College

      • CH05
      • Mon 08/01, 7:10PM - 7:20PM
      • by Charles Niederriter
      • Type: Contributed
      • We live in an era when student interest in energy, sustainability, and the environment is increasing, as it becomes clear that our current production and consumption of energy negatively impacts the environment and raises a number of potentially significant challenges for the future. The primary goal of this CCLI project is to improve science education at Gustavus and other colleges across the country by taking advantage of this trend. Integrating sustainability across the science curriculum is an excellent way to educate students about this important area while teaching quantitative skills and increasing interest and enthusiasm for science. We will report on our first summer's work developing laboratory and classroom experiences and discuss plans for future work.
      • Physics and the Sewing Machine

      • CH06
      • Mon 08/01, 7:20PM - 7:30PM
      • by Courtney Willis
      • Type: Contributed
      • Few products of the industrial revolution have had as much impact on modern society as the sewing machine. The sewing machine, sometimes referred to as the "Queen of Inventions," was the first home appliance but it also brought us the "American System" of manufacturing with interchangeable parts, ready to wear clothing, the modern department store, the time payment plan, and the sweat shop. Introduced in the mid 1800s, the scientifically inclined were kept informed of each new development in the pages of "The Scientific American," and by the turn of the 20th century high school physics curriculum was being developed utilizing the sewing machine. Since most schools had little scientific apparatus and the sewing machine was rather ubiquitous, many hands-on activities were designed around the sewing machine for use in physics classrooms.
      • Gender Bias in Faculty Hiring and Promotion: A Research Proposal

      • CH07
      • Mon 08/01, 7:30PM - 7:40PM
      • by Ramon Barthelemy
      • Type: Contributed
      • According to the AIP, in 2006 only 10% of faculty at Physics PhD-granting institutions were female. One potential contributor to this underrepresentation of women is gender bias in the hiring and promotion process. This talk will discuss a study of such gender bias in the field of psychology* and present a proposal for a similar study in physics. In the psychology study, a curriculum vita from a faculty member at the beginning or tenure phase of their career was sent to randomly selected faculty. Participants were asked to rate the content of the CV along with their decision for hiring the individual or granting tenure. The CVs were identical except that some had a traditionally male name and others had a traditionally female name. The psychology results found significant gender bias in hiring. Feedback will be invited on the design of a similar study in physics.
      • A Project-based Curriculum in Energy Studies

      • CH08
      • Mon 08/01, 7:40PM - 7:50PM
      • by Theresa Edmonds
      • Type: Contributed
      • A new program in Energy Studies at Creighton University recently welcomed its first students. This STEM program addresses energy issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. The new bachelor of science curriculum develops applied scientists with communications skills, knowledge of public policy, law, and the human factors relevant for implementing their work. In addition to a strong emphasis on problem solving, the program seeks to instill life-long learning skills, augment team work talents, reward innovation, and enhance communication abilities. The project-based curriculum works to tailor the experience to the student. Students are asked to identify what they want from a particular learning experience and to establish expectations. Projects are formulated so that students are required to work on the areas where they need development. Projects are structured to involve active participation of the students. Students are expected periodically to reflect on their work and follow up appropriately. A BA program is also offered.
      • Education Outreach Efforts of the Acoustical Society of America

      • CH09
      • Mon 08/01, 7:50PM - 8:00PM
      • by Wendy Adams
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Acoustical Society of America has recently been focusing effort on K-12 (note: the HS material works well for intro college students) outreach through a partnership with the Optical Society of America and AAPT/PTRA (Physics Teaching Resource Agents). This year the acoustical society has created a website with activities for students and materials for teachers at http://exploresound.org. The material addresses the science of sound including physics, music, our ears, animal bioacoustics, architectural acoustics, underwater acoustics, speech and medical acoustics. We've also put together a poster series with guidebooks and are working on an activity kit that will be freely available to teachers. All materials are research based and tested with students. In this presentation we will show the type and breadth of material that's available and where to find it.
  • Spacetime Physics

      • Completing John Wheeler's Vision: Undergraduate General Relativity

      • BF01
      • Mon 08/01, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Edwin Taylor
      • Type: Panel
      • John Archibald Wheeler was a radical conservative: Take the laws of physics seriously, then drive them to their limits. He drove general relativity to its limits with the black hole, our "little jugged apocalypse." Wheeler's Rules of Writing include "Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!" For undergraduate general relativity this means (1) Describe curved spacetime with the metric instead of the field equations, which reduces required mathematics to simple calculus. (2) Command the moving stone to obey the Principle of Maximal Aging, a simple extension of the Twin "Paradox." A second edition of Exploring Black Holes with cosmologist Edmund Bertschinger treats the wealth of recent cosmological observations and repairs the first edition's neglect of the dark side of General Covariance: We can choose global coordinates with (almost) complete freedom, so they need have no direct relation to physical measurements and observations.
      • Einstein for Everyone?

      • BF02
      • Mon 08/01, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Anne Cox
      • Type: Panel
      • Special relativity for the nonscience student: In an introductory freshman seminar course “Einstein for Everyone” Yes! We know that the physics of special relativity does not require mathematics beyond high school trigonometry, but how often do we offer nonscientists the chance to explore the intuitive and nonintuitive implications of the ideas at the core of spacetime physics? Using one course as an example, we will explore questions of its depth of coverage and its role in the curriculum. This will include examples of sample assignments, student projects as well as simulations that stand at the heart of the course and serve as the course "laboratory."
      • Visual Aids for Teaching Special Relativity

      • BF03
      • Mon 08/01, 2:00PM - 2:30PM
      • by Thomas Moore
      • Type: Panel
      • In my experience, successfully teaching special relativity to introductory students is much easier if one extensively uses (1) the geometric analogy for spacetime, and (2) visual aids based on that analogy, including (but not limited to) multiple-observer spacetime diagrams. In this presentation, I will describe some of these visual aids and how such tools can help students reason more intuitively about relativity and thus avoid many common errors and misconceptions, and describe resources one can use in special relativity courses at any level.
  • Teacher Recruitment, Training and Enhancement

      • Expectancy Violation in a Physics Course for Education Majors

      • FI01
      • Wed 08/03, 8:00AM - 8:10AM
      • by Jon Gaffney
      • Type: Contributed
      • At the University of Kentucky, an interactive, hands-on physics course is required of pre-service elementary and middle school teachers. This pedagogically reformed course is substantially different from their other science courses and could be a touchstone for science education methods classes. In a previous presentation (AAPT Jacksonville 2011), I relayed the differences in goals for students and instructors, claiming that students reported the most success meeting the goals they valued highest. Deeper investigation revealed satisfaction with many aspects of the course but confusion about its role in the teacher preparation process. In this presentation, I will discuss the role that student expectations and expectancy violations play in their perceptions of the course, which may in turn affect whether they deem it relevant to their future careers. I will present additions to the course that I have introduced to facilitate necessary shifts in student expectations.
      • Using the RTOP to Gauge Implementation of IPTIR Program Goals

      • FI02
      • Wed 08/03, 8:10AM - 8:20AM
      • by Jeremy Hulshizer
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Iowa Physics Teacher Instruction and Resources (IPTIR) program at the University of Northern Iowa trains physics teachers in research-based inquiry strategies; many out-of-field teachers also use the program to gain certification to teach physics. As part of their program activities, participants submit two video lessons each academic year, which the staff use to evaluate the degree to which participants are employing methods emphasized by the program. The Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (1) is used to rate each submission. We discuss trends observed in examining the RTOP scores of program participants, as well as correlations between RTOP scores and student performance on various standardized conceptual assessments and other measures. 1. 1. Sawada, Daiwo, et al. "Measuring Reform Practices in Science and Mathematics Classrooms: The Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol," School Science and Mathematics 102(6), pp. 245-253.
      • Content, Process, Affect, and Physics Courses for Future Teachers

      • FI03
      • Wed 08/03, 8:20AM - 8:30AM
      • by Paul Hutchison
      • Type: Contributed
      • A physics class must have some physics knowledge in it. This self-evident statement hides complexity worth examining. It is important to think about the role of physics knowledge and the role of students in relation to it. This study explores how different knowledge-student relationships interact with the multiple goals in physics courses aimed at pre-service elementary teachers, though the findings bear on any course for future teachers. I draw on analyses of existing curricula, scholarship from the science education and teacher education research communities, and data collected when I taught such courses. My study indicates different relationships between students and physics knowledge can create classroom environments that prize some goals over others. It's not clear this must necessarily be a zero-sum game, where the most important goal is identified and supported. I speculate how a physics course for teachers might be organized to simultaneously support multiple instructional goals.
      • Training of In-service Science Teachers Using Peer Instruction (PI)

      • FI04
      • Wed 08/03, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by Jongwon Kim
      • Type: Contributed
      • Using peer instruction in introductory physics courses is growing at institutions across the U.S., however, this approach is rarely used for training in-service science teachers. We have been incorporating peer instruction for training in-service science teachers since 2010. This has been aimed to 169 teachers in five classes (two elementary schools, two middle schools and one combined). We surveyed 135 teachers from these classes to research their perspectives and recommendations for using peer instruction, and investigated 56 of them with six conceptests for light propagation. We found that 93% of the teachers acknowledged the value of peer instruction to develop their concept of science. Through analysis of teachers' answers to these questions, we identified that the percentage of correct answers increases significantly after peer instruction. Finally, we found broad agreement of about 91% for using peer instruction for training in-service science teachers.
      • PTRA ToPPS Project at NWOSU

      • FI05
      • Wed 08/03, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by Steven Maier
      • Type: Contributed
      • In the summer of 2011, a PTRA ToPPS science institute for Oklahoma middle and high school teachers was hosted at Northwestern Oklahoma State University [1]. This institute is the first of its kind for the state of Oklahoma and will be a major step forward for establishing a network of resources and cooperating teachers across northwest Oklahoma. In this presentation, an update of a continuing four-year study that served as the motivation for pursuing an ITQ grant [3] will be presented. How the program is expected to address the needs of "out of field" teachers and the call for additional professional development for physical science teachers across the state will also be discussed. Finally, preliminary results of the institute's effectiveness in building upon participants' content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, instructional strategies, professional networking and recourses to help their districts and students in their classrooms will be shared.
      • Promoting Changes to Teachers' Classroom Practices

      • FI06
      • Wed 08/03, 8:50AM - 9:00AM
      • by Jeff Phillips
      • Type: Contributed
      • One hundred eighteen high school and college teachers in Southern California completed a web-based survey that asked them to self-report what they do in the classroom and answer questions that might shed light on who is adopting various research-based instructional strategies (RBIS). The use of RBIS and a fraction of the course devoted to student-student interaction often correlated with the teachers' view of intelligence (incremental versus entity) and the degree to which they self-regulate their teaching. It was also observed that the teachers' classroom practices do not correlate with many one-way interactions, including attending conference presentations or reading journals. Implications for those looking to promote change in teachers, including AAPT Sections, will be discussed.
      • Teacher-Driven Professional Development and the Pursuit of a Sophisticated Understanding of Inquiry

      • FI07
      • Wed 08/03, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Michael Ross
      • Type: Contributed
      • The need for quality physics teaching in the U.S. is well established, and efforts are under way to develop innovative teacher professional development experiences to improve physics education. The physics education research reported here investigates how an innovative program has facilitated growth in physical science teachers' views of scientific inquiry. Streamline to Mastery is an NSF-funded teacher-as-learner-centered professional development program that capitalizes on teachers' knowledge and experience as they move toward mastery in their fields. Teacher participants explicitly chose to focus on their understandings of "inquiry" through the development and implementation of inquiry-oriented curricula. Preliminary findings indicate that teachers' conceptions of inquiry and the relationship of physics classroom inquiry to scientific inquiry have changed significantly as they continue to engage in a variety of experiences around the topic. These results will be discussed along with implications for physics instruction and physics teacher professional development.
      • Scientific Reasoning Abilities in Pre-service Teachers in the Capstone Science Course 

      • FI08
      • Wed 08/03, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Eric Rowley
      • Type: Contributed
      • Prior assessment of our pre-service teachers' understanding of the nature of science (NOS) and scientific reasoning (SR) abilities were found lacking for candidates exiting our program after having completed as many as 11 science content courses. For three years we have implemented a new course to start the science sequence and collaborated to enhance our existing courses. Evaluation of the curriculum indicated that students made significant shifts in understanding and abilities as a result of this one-quarter course. In spring 2011, another year of students were post-tested to determine the longitudinal impact of the revised foundations course. This talk will provide a brief overview of the course along with the findings of this longitudinal study, as well as a discussion of implications of the transitions to semesters in fall 2012.
      • Changing Roles and Identities in a Teacher-Driven Professional Development Community

      • FI09
      • Wed 08/03, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Ben Van Dusen
      • Type: Contributed
      • In a climate where teachers feel de-professionalized at the hands of regulations, testing, and politics, it is vital that teachers become empowered both in their own teaching and as agents of change. This physics education research study investigates the "Streamline to Mastery" (S2M) professional development program, in which teachers engage in action research while designing future professional development opportunities for themselves and for fellow teachers. The research reported here describes the process of empowerment through changes in roles and identities over time. Videotaped data were analyzed to glean insight in language, practice, and participation shifts as secondary physical science teachers participated and formed the S2M community and engaged in their own classroom research. Implications for the role of PER in teacher professional development and teacher preparation will be discussed. This research is partially funded by the NSF DUE grant #934921.
  • Teaching Physics Around the World

      • Physics Teacher Certification in Brazil: Who Said Reforming Is Easy?

      • FB01
      • Wed 08/03, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Katemari Rosa
      • Type: Invited
      • One of the fundamental questions to improve physics education is related to teacher education, particularly physics teacher's certification programs. In the United States, these programs vary not only in their curriculum but in their format and requirements. This presentation brings the contribution of a distinct tradition for preparing physics teachers, providing ideas for new experiences. Specifically, we examine the curriculum reform of a physics teacher certification program in Brazil, focusing on the process of the reform, and how physics education research informed the creating of new disciplines, the departmental debate, and the development of a new view for the role of a physics educator. Our goal is to take the physics teacher education discussion to all the professionals involved in this process, not only curriculum experts, share our failures and success, and establish a venue for expertise exchange between Brazil and United States.
      • Stimulating Creative Ideas and Developing Self-learning Ability of Freshman Students

      • FB02
      • Wed 08/03, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Zhi-Yong Zhou
      • Type: Invited
      • Creative ideas and the ability to do independent study are important characteristics for students to be successful in their university lives and careers thereafter. These two aspects are also what we wish to cultivate in freshman students through "Introduction to Bilingual Physics," which was designed by Prof. Ying Yun for physical engineering students. The main contexts about classical and modern physics are organized through the "key line" method and are introduced in several ways, including blackboard presentations, multimedia materials, experiment demonstrations, and network simulations. Following that, students are encouraged and guided to do scientific research with suitable complexity by working in a self-organized group, and then they are asked and selected to present their ideas or discoveries in class and even at international occasions. This teaching model has proven to be effective over a 10-year teaching practice, during which the performance of the students has been tracked.
      • The Global Laboratory at SUNY Oswego

      • FB03
      • Wed 08/03, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Shashi Kanbur
      • Type: Invited
      • A key competency required for graduates in today's highly competitive job market is skill in solving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) based problems in an international context. Increasingly, scientific and technological innovations occur as a result of teams of multinational researchers working in many different global settings. The Global Laboratory at SUNY Oswego aims to provide our undergraduates with these skills by providing 6-8 week STEM-based cutting-edge research experiences at a number of leading research driven universities worldwide (UFPB, UFAL, UFMGS in Brazil; Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India; National Central University, Taiwan; University of Kinshasha, DRC). As a specific example, between 2011-2013, we will take six students per summer to work on cutting-edge astrophysics research projects at the Graduate Institute of Astronomy, National Central University, Taiwan. In this talk, we describe the pedagogical/cultural/cognitive benefits to students and our plans to expand the Global Laboratory.
      • Quantum Entanglement and its Application

      • FB04
      • Wed 08/03, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Ying-Hong Zhao
      • Type: Contributed
      • Nowadays, the discussion about the inharmony between the local effect of relativity and the non-local effect of quantum mechanics raised by quantum entanglement has become one of the most difficult problems in physics. By taking a course called Bilingual Physics with Multimedia last semester, we have some new ideas about independent and explorative study. Inspired by the concept of education, we decided to study quantum entanglement and its application from a freshman's view. This essay mainly talks about exploring the history of quantum entanglement, the basic principles and the experimental facilities of quantum teleportation, as well as the latest scientific development on it. At last, we conclude that the exploration of science as endless and we also come up with some deep thoughts about the coming era of quantum information.
      • My Experience with Physics Students and Teachers in Vietnam

      • FB05
      • Wed 08/03, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Asim Gangopadhyaya
      • Type: Contributed
      • During this summer I hope to have an opportunity to meet with teachers and students in South Vietnam. In particular, I would like to see their curricula and compare it with ours, and with an older curriculum in India that I am familiar with. I would also like to find out their way of teaching and see whether it has substantial differences from ours.
      • Computer Simulations in Promoting Physics in Jamaica

      • FB06
      • Wed 08/03, 9:50AM - 10:00AM
      • by Michael Ponnambalam
      • Type: Contributed
      • After attending an AAPT Workshop in the Summer Meeting of 2006, we had our first computer-simulation-based experiment in the Algebra-based Freshman Physics course in November 2006, using two borrowed computers. The success of that venture led us to a Virtual Lab with 25 computers by October 2008. The use of the computer simulations in promoting the teaching of physics to the university students as well as in enhancing physics outreach to high schools, and even to the primary schools, will be discussed.
  • The Art and Science of Teaching

      • Doing Your Best with the Class You're Given: Efforts to Intellectually Engage General Education Science Students in a Mega-Course

      • EG01
      • Tue 08/02, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Edward Prather
      • Type: Invited
      • At the University of Arizona, members of the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) are working to create effective interactive learning environments in general education Earth and Space Science courses with enrollments as large as 1200 students. Which research-validated instructional strategies still work in these mega courses? What educational resources are needed and how do you facilitate learning? These are two of the questions that are driving our group of educators and researchers to explore the boundaries of the "Art and Science of Teaching." Examples of interactive learning strategies we use, the pedagogical issues we face, and the results on the effectiveness of these courses will be presented (1,2). (1) Prather, E. E., Rudolph, A. L., & Brissenden, G. (2009) Teaching and learning astronomy in the 21st century, Physics Today, 62(10). (2) This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0715517, a CCLI Phase III Grant for the Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS)
      • Teaching Physics Using and Misusing Groups

      • EG02
      • Tue 08/02, 1:45PM - 2:15PM
      • by Kenneth Heller
      • Type: Invited
      • Teaching physics has always involved students working in groups. In labs students traditionally worked together, usually in groups of two. Students often formed study groups outside of class to do difficult assignments or study for high-stakes tests. Today, many research-validated modes of teaching depend on students working together. There is even a continuing pressure from employers to graduate students who have the skills to collaborate productively. Nevertheless, many teachers and students do not have beneficial experiences when classes involve group work. This talk will outline the utility of group work based on research-backed learning theory and discuss some common practices that can enhance or destroy that utility.
      • Responsive Teaching and the Beginnings of Energy Ideas in Third Grade (1)

      • EG03
      • Tue 08/02, 2:15PM - 2:45PM
      • by Fred Goldberg
      • Type: Invited
      • As part of a project aimed at describing children's progress in their science inquiry and in their development of energy (and other) ideas we have been working with grade 3-6 teachers to help them change their teaching from focusing on achieving specific district or state standards to focusing on responding to their students' ideas and reasoning. This change in focus has coincided with teachers seeing science inquiry as a pursuit of coherent, mechanistic accounts of phenomena (2). In this talk I will use some examples from third-grade classrooms to illustrate how this new focus has promoted the emergence of energy ideas.
  • The Big Bang Effect: Representation of Physicists in Popular Culture

      • Evil Geniuses: The Portrayal of Scientists as Villains

      • DE01
      • Tue 08/02, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Rebecca Thompson
      • Type: Invited
      • From Doctor Octopus from Spiderman to Maggie Walsh of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 4, scientists are often portrayed as evil geniuses intent on using their high IQs to take over the world. Does this affect how the public views scientists? Science in general and physics specifically is so often thought of as "scary." Misconceptions about talking robots and world eating black holes can turn people against physics and the "evil genius" scientists that will destroy the world, either by accident or on purpose.
      • Speaking of Physics: The Art of Science Communication

      • DE02
      • Tue 08/02, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Stephanie Chasteen
      • Type: Invited
      • Why leave it up to the"experts" (i.e., the media) to portray physics accurately and positively? Speak for yourself, without the need for a translator who may "or may not" get it right. As a scientist, you can talk about what your work means and why it's important with an authority that a science writer doesn't bring to the table. While we can't all be Brian Greene, you can have control over how your work, and physics in general, is presented to the public. In this talk, I'll share some best practices of science communication, gleaned during my time as a science reporter at NPR and elsewhere. These simple tips can take a lifetime to master, but can help you get your message across, to the public, the media, and even Aunt Mabel.
      • The Big Bang Theory Effect Conjecture

      • DE03
      • Tue 08/02, 9:30AM - 10:00AM
      • by Jacob Clark Blickenstaff
      • Type: Invited
      • It could be argued that physics and physicists have not had such popular exemplars as Sheldon and Leonard (the main characters on CBS' Big Bang Theory) since the death of Albert Einstein. Dr. David Salzberg consults on the physics shown on white boards in the show so that material is trustworthy. But how "true" is the representation of physics and physicists that Sheldon and Leonard present to the general public on television every week? How about the female scientists who show up in recurring (though generally not starring) roles? Does it really matter if a TV comedy re-enforces stereotypes about science and scientists? What effect could this show have on students? Interest in learning physics in high school or college? As a physics educator I am concerned that this show and others like it will exacerbate the trend of undergraduates moving away from the physics major.
      • 'Physicists and Scientists' on TV....Is THAT Really US?

      • DE04
      • Tue 08/02, 10:00AM - 10:10AM
      • by Karen Williams
      • Type: Contributed
      • Most of us have watched the "Big Bang Theory" on television and thought at times, this reminds me of Dr. X or Dr. Y. Other scenes make us think that isn't true of physicists we know….or is it? Are these depictions characteristic of us? Greater discussion of physics and science from my students seems to come from "Mythbusters" and some other science shows on television now hosted by real physicists. How do TV shows portray scientists? This will examine how various groups (physics majors, nonmajors, etc.) perceive physics/science (i.e. the endeavor) based upon watching physicists/scientists on television. How do they perceive those that do science? Is this perception negative so that it might persuade a high school student to change his mind about becoming a physicist? Is this perception positive for male students? For female students?
  • Upper Division Laboratories: Ideas, Equipment and Techniques

      • Teaching Scientific Writing -- What I Learned from a New Approach

      • EE01
      • Tue 08/02, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Brian Houser
      • Type: Invited
      • In my most recent running of our Advanced Laboratory, I set the writing of scientific reports as a principal objective. My new approach included a class discussion of two actual papers (one published and one rejected), student comments on each others' work, and a requirement that the third and final report be subject to the refereeing process before resubmission for a grade. Though the writing abilities of the students varied widely, all showed improvement. This talk will give an overview of the course and present how students progressed in writing abstracts, procedures, and analysis sections of their papers. I will also include problems I encountered and improvements that can be made for the next offering.
      • ALPhA's Laboratory Immersions Program -- Plunging into New Experiments

      • EE02
      • Tue 08/02, 1:45PM - 2:15PM
      • by Lowell McCann
      • Type: Invited
      • In this talk, I will report on the first two years of the Advanced Laboratory Physics Association's (ALPhA) Laboratory Immersion program. ALPhA initiated this program to help faculty and teaching staff learn new instructional-physics experiments. Each Laboratory Immersion is two to three days in length, with the entire time devoted to learning one experiment well enough to teach it confidently. I will discuss the first round of Immersions, which took place during summer 2010, and the impact these offerings have had on the participants based on the results of our preliminary evaluation. The slate of upcoming Immersions for summer 2011 will also be presented.
      • Electron Mobility in Silicon: Surprising Facts and Temperature Dependence Determination

      • EE03
      • Tue 08/02, 2:15PM - 2:25PM
      • by A. James Mallmann
      • Type: Contributed
      • The mobilities of the current-carrying free charges in transistors influence switching speeds, the operating temperatures, and the rate of battery drain for laptop computers and other portable electronic devices. After a brief discussion of the scattering of electrons by lattice vibrations, I will describe a simple, inexpensive experiment to determine how the mobility of free electrons in lightly doped n-type silicon depends on temperature.
      • The Radio Astronomy Laboratory: Another Way to Learn Physics and Astronomy

      • EE04
      • Tue 08/02, 2:25PM - 2:35PM
      • by Victor Migenes
      • Type: Contributed
      • The field of Radio Astronomy was founded essentially by unemployed military radar engineers after World War II. Radar research had left unanswered questions and unsolved problems. The 1950-60s saw a big growth in the design and construction of radio antennas by universities and private laboratories. In the 1970-80s new developments in the area of interferometric radio astronomy and synthesis arrays created instruments that increased the spatial resolution and sensitivity of the observations. National Laboratories was born. The 1990s radio interferometry added baselines to a radio antenna in Earth orbit. New exciting instruments and opportunities will be available in 2015-2020 such as ALMA and SKA. National observatories in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Japan (among other countries) offer wonderful opportunities to conduct research, in basically all the research fields known, with the latest technology available. Radio Astronomy is an interesting and exciting way to teach physics and astronomy concepts to intermediate and upper-level undergraduate students and even graduate students. It also offers the opportunity for "hands-on" experience in research. Setting up a small Radio Astronomy laboratory is an easy and cheap way to expose K-12 students to physics and astronomy, and research work. We present our efforts, so far, in establishing a Radio Astronomy Laboratory at Brigham Young University and involving undergraduate and graduate students in class and research work.
      • Relativistic Electron Experiment for the Advanced Laboratory

      • EE05
      • Tue 08/02, 2:35PM - 2:45PM
      • by Michael Vineyard
      • Type: Contributed
      • We have developed an advanced laboratory experiment at Union College to make independent measurements of the momentum and kinetic energy of relativistic electrons from a beta source. The momentum measurements are made with a magnetic spectrometer and a silicon surface-barrier detector is used to measure the kinetic energy. A plot of the kinetic energy as a function of momentum compared to the classical and relativistic predictions clearly shows the relativistic nature of the electrons. Accurate values for the rest mass of the electron and the speed of light are also extracted from the data. I will describe the experimental apparatus, discuss the analysis, and present some results.
  • Upper Division Undergraduate

      • Percolating the Classroom: Using Mathematica to Introduce Percolation Concepts

      • DJ01
      • Tue 08/02, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by Timothy Hooper
      • Type: Contributed
      • More than 12,000 articles have been published on the physics of percolation, yet only a handful have attempted to teach the concept to undergraduate students. However, with increases in computing power and widely available software packages, getting started on the study of percolation is a much simpler task today than it was 30 years ago. In this presentation, we show how undergraduate science and engineering students can use a standard desktop computer running Mathematica to perform sophisticated investigations of two-dimensional lattices. In a special topics research course, second-year students learned how to simulate percolation in various lattice geometries, calculate cluster statistics, and extract critical exponents from the simulation data. These students made fundamental connections between the mathematics and physics of percolating systems and reached an understanding of a fundamental physical process that unfortunately, is not often part of a typical undergraduate curriculum.
      • Displaying Sounds with Real-Time Frequency Analyzers

      • DJ02
      • Tue 08/02, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by David Keeports
      • Type: Contributed
      • Real-time frequency analyzers (RTFAs) are available as free online downloads, and they are incorporated even in entry-level music production programs such as Apple's GarageBand. Outputting the sound of a drawbar organ though an RTFA clearly shows the analyzer's function. I will present some ways in which this software can be used to display spectral subtleties of sounds that single instantaneous Fourier transforms cannot reveal. When a string is plucked, harmonics initially decay at different rates. Real-time spectral analysis of speech exposes difficulties in representing vowel and consonant sounds as Fourier series. An RTFA provides a useful tool for showing how "resonance box beating" extends to the beating of harmonic waves. Additionally, an RTFA explains why the sound of harmonic waves beating resembles sound processed by a musical phase shifter.
      • Magnetic Resonance (MR) Analogy for a Charged Particle Dynamics in a Magnetic Field

      • DJ03
      • Tue 08/02, 8:50AM - 9:00AM
      • by Michael Partensky
      • Type: Contributed
      • An analogy between the Bloch Equations (BE) of the MR theory (MRT) and the dynamics equations (DE) for a charged particle in a magnetic field allows for a unified description of two different groups of electromagnetic phenomena. In a static magnetic field B0, BE for magnetization M and DE for the velocity V, are formally equivalent. Hence, V(t) performs Larmor precession around the direction of B0, resulting in a familiar helical trajectory. With oscillating magnetic field, this analogy still holds under certain conditions, e.g., if the Lorenz force due to the induced electric field can be neglected. This bridges the MRT and the particle dynamics. The resonant behaviors of V are described in the rotating reference frame [1]. The particle trajectories are discussed and compared with the solutions accounting for the effects of the induced electric field. [1] I.I. Rabi, N.F. Ramsay, J. Schwinger, Rev. Mod. Phys., 64, 167 (1954)
      • Stages of Participation as Stages of Expertise

      • DJ04
      • Tue 08/02, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Idaykis Rodriguez
      • Type: Contributed
      • Expertise research in physics has focused heavily on differences between experts and novices. In an effort to extend the scope of expertise research, we are engaged in an ongoing study of the development of expertise in a physics research group. To capture the features of the development of expertise in physics, we present an ethnographic, qualitative study within a physics research group. We utilize video recordings of the physics research group's weekly research meeting and guided interviews with each of eight participants in the group. These data are analyzed using Lave and Wenger's [2] perspective of learning as legitimate peripheral participation within a community of practice. We present data from this study to characterize stages of expertise and posit a trajectory novices take toward expertise.
      • Graduate Students' Perceptions of Scientific Collaborations after Researching in China

      • DJ05
      • Tue 08/02, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Anne Collins
      • Type: Contributed
      • Scientific practice is increasingly a collaborative endeavor, especially as the world becomes more global (Katsouyanni, 2008). While research thrives on scientific partnerships, few studies look beyond publication counts and, instead, investigate what constitutes such an alliance (Lee & Bozeman, 2005). Although publications certainly motivate collaboration, studies that measure collaborative networks solely by counting publications are limited since they do not provide a comprehensive picture of the collaborative process. With this in mind, we examined U.S. and Chinese graduate students' motivations and perceptions of collaboration as a result of participation in a research-abroad program in the fields of electron chemistry, catalysis, and electron microscopy. Our findings provide insight into what motivates science partnerships and the features of successful collaborations. Our study has implications for those looking to develop and foster international collaborations.
      • Socratic Dialogs and Clicker Use in Upper-Division Mechanics Courses

      • DJ06
      • Tue 08/02, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Lincoln Carr
      • Type: Contributed
      • The general problem of effectively using interactive engagement in non-introductory physics courses remains open. We present a three-year study comparing different approaches to lecturing in an intermediate mechanics course at the Colorado School of Mines. In the first two years, the lectures were modified to include Socratic dialogs between the instructor and students. In the third year, the instructor used clickers and Peer Instruction. All other course materials were nearly identical to an established traditional lecture course. We present results from exams, course evaluations, the CLASS attitude survey, and a new conceptual survey. We observe little change in student exam performance as lecture techniques varied, though students consistently stated clickers were "the best part of the course" from which they "learned the most." Indeed, when using clickers in this course, students were considerably more likely to become engaged than students in CSM introductory courses using the same methods.
      • Light Reflection from a Uniformly Moving Mirror, a General Principle

      • DJ07
      • Tue 08/02, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by J. Ronald Galli
      • Type: Contributed
      • When light is reflected from a uniformly moving mirror, the reflected and incident angles are equal only for special cases. Reasons for this will be presented and a more basic principle of reflection will be suggested.
  • Use and Misuse of Lasers

      • How Physics Teachers Learned to Love the Laser

      • CA01
      • Mon 08/01, 6:30PM - 7:00PM
      • by Thomas Greenslade, Jr.
      • Type: Invited
      • One can become almost incoherent trying to remember how we taught physics without the laser. In April 1963 the first issue of The Physics Teacher appeared, and the journal soon began to carry seductive advertisements for lasers showing how the physics teacher could use this wonderful new device in the lecture room and the laboratory. Two years later the Kenyon College physics department paid $1,650 for a relatively short-lived laser, and I was hooked. In this talk I will use advertisements from TPT to show how the prices decreased and our expertise in using the laser increased. Soon it became as indispensible to teaching physics as a multimeter or a meter stick.
      • Laser Safety

      • CA02
      • Mon 08/01, 7:00PM - 7:30PM
      • by Thomas Machacek
      • Type: Invited
      • Laser safety is not always given the attention it might warrant. When one evaluates the level of laser safety required, using a laser pointer is substantially different than aligning a Class 4 laser. This presentation will emphasize basic laser safety when using Class 3B or Class 4 lasers in a university setting but could easily be applied to any similar facility or classroom environment. Laser safety information presented and practices described will be in accordance with the American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers (ANSI Z136.1 - 2007) and CLSOs' Best Practices in Laser Safety (Laser Institute of America - 2008).
  • Using Literature to Teach Physics

      • My Best NYTimes Physics Applications on Web

      • BD01
      • Mon 08/01, 1:00PM - 1:10PM
      • by John Cise
      • Type: Contributed
      • From three years developing over 400 physics applications from the NY Times I will show the best applications rich in data verifying physics concepts. Most applications are on mechanical concepts. The site is: http://CisePhysics.homestead.com/files/NYT.htm. The site lists 12 pages with 40 single one page applications per page. Each single page application contains: brief edited text and graphics from the NY Times, introduction,questions,hints, and answers. I use these pages as: introduction to new concepts in general college physics, extra credit for students, and quiz questions. Students enjoy verifying physics concepts using NY Times current physics applications as seen at this site: http://CisePhysics.homestead.com/files/NYT.htm
      • The Physics in Einstein's Dreams

      • BD02
      • Mon 08/01, 1:10PM - 1:20PM
      • by Donald Franceschetti
      • Type: Contributed
      • Einstein's Dreams by physicist/author Alan Lightman has for years been a popular selection for high school and college summer reading programs and for student presentations as narrative theater. The book describes a number of "dreams" that the young Swiss patent clerk Albert Einstein might have had during the "miracle year" of 1905. While the dream narratives can be read for their entertainment value by people with little knowledge of physics, any physicist reading them will find numerous references to relativity theory, quantum theory, thermodynamics and cosmology. A few of the dreams also reflect aspects of physics student culture and quips that Einstein is believed to have made. These references can be used for teaching and to demonstrate the creative element in physics, which clearly bridges C. P. Snow's two cultures or the alleged left brain/right brain duality. It provides an opening for interaction with literature and history teachers as well. The presentation will discuss a number of the "dreams" and their allusions to physics, and will provide some suggestions for further reading.
      • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Physics

      • BD03
      • Mon 08/01, 1:20PM - 1:30PM
      • by Igor Proleiko
      • Type: Contributed
      • In a Sherlock Holmes adventure "The Sign of Four" the culmination is the race along the Thames. The relative speeds could be analyzed to discuss the possibility and feasibility of this part of the story. Also a discussion of projectile motion could be made from the data mined from Sir Arthur's description. The exercise is well within the grasp of introductory physics students.
      • Storytime Science: Another Look at Teaching Physics through Childrens' Literature

      • BD04
      • Mon 08/01, 1:30PM - 1:40PM
      • by Bill Reitz
      • Type: Contributed
      • Once upon a time your students' imaginations and curiosity were unleashed through the fantasy of their first picture books. We can recapture some of that excitement if we reopen the classic books and allow them to guide us as we explore the real world in our high school classes. Let us examine some new examples of how children's books can model science processes, lead to science investigations and even act as assessment. This paper is follow-up to the "Seuss Science" presentation given at the Portland Summer Meeting. Additional books not mentioned in that paper will be used.
  • What Do We Know about Web 2.0?

      • Enhancing Introductory Student Motivation with a Major-Managed Course Blog

      • ED01
      • Tue 08/02, 2:15PM - 2:25PM
      • by W. Brian Lane
      • Type: Contributed
      • Students typically begin an introductory physics course without the important motivational factors of relevance and confidence, such that many students do not fully engage with learning activities. Instructional technology can provide a venue for developing student motivation by extending the classroom discussion and incorporating into the learning community outsiders at different stages along the novice-to-expert journey. To leverage these benefits, we implemented an instructional strategy that used a course blog to create a community of learners made of upper-level physics seminar students (who wrote a variety of articles for the blog) and non-major introductory physics students (who read and commented on the articles). Using various surveys (including the CLASS) and post-instruction interviews, we examine the impact of this strategy on the introductory students' senses of relevance and confidence and propose further developments of this instructional strategy.
      • Combining JiTT with Wikis in Physics Classrooms

      • ED02
      • Tue 08/02, 2:25PM - 2:35PM
      • by Hashini Mohottala
      • Type: Contributed
      • I report the combined use of Just in Time teaching (JiTT) and Wikispace (wikis) in an introductory-level physics class. Wikis helps students, instructors and technology to interact with one another. A core element of JiTT is interactive lectures. Although these teaching tools have been used separately in physics classrooms over the years, the combination will be a new experience for both physics instructors and students. During this exercise, I carefully picked relevant physics problems and posted them on the Wikis weekly, using it as a platform for students to meet online and discuss problem solving strategies. The students were supposed to discuss and find the methods to solve the problems and not get the final answer in numerical forms. This activity helped students enhance their critical thinking abilities and as the Wiki page administrator, I was able to track all the write-ups, edits and allocate the necessary grades.
      • Automated Analysis of Students' Responses to Short-Answer Physics Questions^1

      • ED03
      • Tue 08/02, 2:35PM - 2:45PM
      • by Christopher Nakamura
      • Type: Contributed
      • Online learning environments and synthetic tutoring systems are of interest as potential resources in physics education. These systems may allow many students to study physics in interactive ways at times and in locations of their choice. To effectively promote authentic learning, these environments must be able to present students with open-ended, conceptual questions, as a tutor would. The ability to interpret and respond automatically to students' responses would increase the interactivity of these systems considerably. It would also present a powerful analysis tool to address the large data sets these systems can generate. Vector-space based methods of text indexing and lexical network approaches to text analysis may be useful for this purpose. Here we discuss work exploring these types of approaches to interpreting student responses to short-answer questions. In particular we investigate the combination of qualitative coding methods with computerized text analysis to provide robust automated interpretation of responses.
      • Collaborative Problem Solving in the Presence of an Expert Tutor

      • ED04
      • Tue 08/02, 2:45PM - 2:55PM
      • by Brett van de Sande
      • Type: Contributed
      • We know that, in the right circumstances, pairs of problem solvers can work more effectively than a student working alone. In a previous lab study, we found that pairs of students, working under the direction of an expert (computer) tutor, was a particularly effective combination. We have embarked on a project to develop technology that extends this paradigm to pairs of students working remotely from one another. We discuss the status of the project and the prospects for education experiments using this new tool.
      • Online Homework: Identifying Problem-solving Strategies and Misconceptions for Contextualized Problems

      • ED05
      • Tue 08/02, 2:55PM - 3:05PM
      • by Aaron Wangberg
      • Type: Contributed
      • Students who struggle to solve problems often utilize a variety of creative solution strategies that go beyond mimicking previously worked examples. These strategies are sometimes incorrect generalizations of a particular example or invented based on superficial properties of the problem. Recently, advances in the open-source online homework system WeBWorK have allowed us to capture not only the final answer that students provide but also the work, including incorrect attempts, used to complete the problem. We will share how we have used the system to better understand and characterize how calculus students with weak understandings of function composition attempt to solve contextualized, e.g. extreme value and rate, problems in the course. In addition, we will share how we are using this information and technology to provide interactive interventions focused on these students' weaknesses.

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