program_wb_i - page 108

Tuesday afternoon
We focus on the design and study of a meta-cognitve approach to the pro-
fessional development (PD) of high school physics teachers. We designed
and study a courses that is a part of a two-year M.Ed. program designed
for experienced high school science teachers. The teachers were asked to
develop teaching units in physics and were given the opportunity to teach
and apply their units to children participating in an enrichment program
in the college. The goals of our study were to characterize the design prin-
ciples of the teaching units and to examine the changes in the design that
followed the interactions between the participants in order to understand
the teachers’ meta-cognitive knowledge about designing teaching units in
physics. The data included: interviews with the teachers; reflections of the
researchers; the teachers’ teaching units and activities; and observations of
the teachers’ physics lessons.
2:30-2:40 p.m. The State of the Union in UK Physics
Contributed – Ross K. Galloway, University of Edinburgh, School of Physics
and Astronomy, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH9 3JZ UK;
Judy Hardy, Olivia Johnson, Sally Hancock, Marsali Wallace, University of
The Fostering Learning Improvements in Physics (FLIP) project has
examined in detail the state of Physics Education Research in the UK,
how PER has impacted on the teaching and learning of physics, and how
physics teaching develops in practice. The project was commissioned by
the Institute of Physics (the UK’s professional body in physics) and by the
Economic and Social Research Council to determine how best to facilitate
the growth of PER in the UK. FLIP has provided a detailed and compre-
hensive picture of UK PER and also of the key challenges facing effective
teaching and learning of physics. We will present some of the key findings,
contrasting them with the situation in the US and elsewhere in the world,
and discuss the wider implications.
2:40-2:50 p.m. Spatial Reasoning Ability and the
Construction of Integrals in Physics
Contributed – Nathaniel Amos, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Andrew Heckler, Ohio State University
Numerous studies indicate that spatial reasoning can play a role in STEM
field success. Introductory university physics frequently requires students
to construct integrals, a skill that may be influenced by spatial reasoning
proficiency. We administered a straightforward physics problem requiring
the construction of an integral to students enrolled in calculus-based intro-
ductory physics, and additionally measured their spatial reasoning ability
using the Santa Barbara Solids Test. We found that the spatial reasoning
score correlates moderately with overall performance on the integration
task, as well as with various components of integral setup, such as correctly
identifying cross-sectional area. Furthermore, we found that students
who demonstrated a physical understanding of the integrand, via a simple
multiple-choice question, were significantly more successful in construct-
ing the integral, independent of spatial reasoning ability.These results
suggest that, separately, both spatial reasoning and physical understanding
of the integrand are important for constructing integrals in physics.
2:50-3 p.m. Understanding Factors Impacting FCI Gains
Contributed – Michele McColgan, Siena College, Loudonville, NY 12211;
John Moustakas, George Hassel, Rose Finn Siena College
This study aims to determine critical factors that explain differences in FCI
gains among sections of algebra-based and calculus-based classes. In this
study, FCI pre-test scores are found to be only moderately correlated with
FCI post-scores and normalized gains, and Lawson CTSR scores are only
weakly correlated. We conclude that measures of scientific reasoning ability
and the level of prior knowledge of physics are not the most important fac-
tors in explaining course section differences. We report also on the devel-
opment of a rubric for quantifying the degree of FCI content coverage. This
work contributes to the PER community’s efforts to identify a sufficiently
complete set of factors impacting FCI gains and to determine the rela-
tive importance of the factors. Work in this area could guide curriculum
reform to reduce students’ misconceptions about Newtonian Thinking and
allow them to learn more physics beyond the topics addressed by FCI.
Session EE: Same Physics Other
Location: Tate Lab 170
Sponsor: Committee on Apparatus
Date: Tuesday, July 29
Time: 1–3 p.m.
Presider: David Kardelis
1-1:30 p.m. Restaging Classic Physics Demonstrations
with Illumination and Virtual Instrumentation
Invited – Urs Lauterburg, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5
Bern, BE 3012 Switzerland;
Demonstrations are a vital part of the introductory physics lectures for sci-
ence majors at the University of Bern, Switzerland. Performing the demos
using a mix of modern techniques such as video projections, alterna-
tive lighting, and LabVIEW virtual instrumentation helps to emphasize
the physical content. This allows the students to focus on the concepts
involved. Some examples of how classic demonstration experiments are
performed at the University of Bern’s physics department are shown and
1:30-2 p.m. Some Student-Centered Ways to Teach
Physics Concepts
Invited – Duane B. Merrell, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602;
Physics teaching to a first-time student should be an exciting adventure.
Using the idea of the “Same Physics Different Ways” I will outline how a
rural high school grew its physics programs from one class to seven classes
of physics. Highlighted will be physics activities and projects that my stu-
dents still ask me about when I run into them 30 years later. The big ideas
of the class from projects to problems all will be shared.
2-2:10 p.m. Using Direct Measurement Videos to Teach
Introductory Mechanics
Contributed – Matthew Ted Vonk, University of Wisconsin, River Falls, River
Falls, WI 54022;
The video format has many advantages over other forms of information
transfer. Videos lend themselves to group work and generate more discus-
sion than written problems because the real world is more compelling,
opened-ended, and messy than the sanitized versions of reality that physics
students often deal with. For this reason (as well as many others) my col-
laborators and I have been working to create a library of short, high-quality
videos of real situations that allow students to directly analyze and measure
phenomena. In this talk I will discuss the advantages of using Direct Mea-
surement Videos and will share highlights from our video library.
2:10-2:20 p.m. Ten New Physics Experiments with
iPhone Slow Motion
Contributed – James J. Lincoln, Tarbut V’ Torah HS, Irvine, CA 92603;
We have seen for many years the iPhone being a useful tool in the Phys-
ics Classroom. But now, there is a new feature that is ready to make big
changes. The slow motion feature on the iPhone 5s provides a convenient
enhancement for many physics demonstrations, both old and new, and
in some cases it enables experiments that were previously impossible! In
this talk I highlight 10 of these and provide tips for successful slow motion
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