program_wb_i - page 88

Monday afternoon
associated with radiation. This presentation will focus on what the physics
education communities in the world can learn from this Japanese case.
PST1D13: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Toward a Balanced Undergraduate
Curriculum: Theory, Computation, Experimentation, and
Poster – Marty Johnston, University of St. Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave., OWS
153, St. Paul, MN 55105
Adam Green, Jeff Jalkio, Marie Lopez del Puerto, Paul Ohmann, Gerry Ruch,
Elizabeth Wehner, University of St. Thomas
The University of St. Thomas Physics Department is engaged in an ambi-
tious, collaborative project to effectively embed computation, experiment,
and communication skills throughout the curriculum. Our sophomore-
level modern physics sequence provides an introduction to experiment and
computation, as well as informal and formal technical writing. We moved
our advanced laboratory course forward in the curriculum to give students
experimental design and instrumentation skills that they can build on, and
so they can get involved in research early. Experimental skills are further
developed in optics, with its rigorous laboratory. In many of our lecture-
based courses we have added short computational and /or experimental
projects that connect the idealized physical systems with real systems. In
all courses, written and oral communication skills are improved through
laboratory notebooks, papers, poster presentations, or talks. Through
continued exposure, our students learn computational techniques, gain
confidence in their experimental skills, and polish their communication
PST1D14: 9:15-10 p.m. A Series of Modules for Introducing
Computation into the Classroom and Laboratory
Poster – Jessie A. Petricka, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN
Presented are a series of modules for incorporating computation within
the pedagogy in the classroom and laboratory. The modules serve both
to introduce different computational platforms through intentional use
of varied programs, (spreadsheet/Excel, symbolic/Mathematica, and
LabView) and to teach concepts where those tools can be brought to bear.
The concepts covered here are numerical integration via Euler’s Method,
error analysis and chi-square, and the use and understanding of a lock-in
PST1D15: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Transitioning to “Department Chair” at
a College of Pharmacy
Poster – Richard P. McCall, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, St. Louis, MO
A recent restructuring at St. Louis College of Pharmacy has created a new
Department of Basic Sciences. As the only physicist at the college, my
appointment as department chair has led to some interesting challenges.
How do I continue to teach full time, chair a major college committee, and
chair the new department? How do I go from being a colleague to being a
supervisor/boss? How do I fulfill administrative duties and lead the depart-
ment? How do we change our thinking to include two new undergraduate
degree programs and not just pre-professional education? Several exciting
things are on the horizon: the department is hiring more faculty in all areas
(biological sciences, chemistry, math, and physics), we are developing more
BS degree programs, more physics is required in the new undergraduate
curricula, and a new physics lab is planned.
PST1D16: 9:15-10 p.m. Using CFAs in Inquiry-based Middle
School Science Teaching. I
Poster – Jennifer L. Esswein, Tennessee Department of Education, 710
James Robertson Pkwy., Nashville, TN 37243;
Caryn A. Palatchi, Ohio State University
Gordon J Aubrecht, Jessica G. Creamer, Ohio State University at Marion
Bill Schmitt, Science Center of Inquiry
As part of the Inquiry Model for Professional Action and Content-rich
ingful. We are a team of four teachers in three districts (two states) that has
successfully collaborated for three years. This group has been invaluable
in improving our instructional design and implementation of lessons.
Together, we align content on a near daily basis, use backwards planning,
and create common formative/summative assessments. Our success stems
from our group norms—(1) a commitment to instructional alignment, (2)
decisions made through consensus rather than majority, (3) a critical but
respectful approach towards new ideas and (4) a reflective stance of our
group processes. We will share tools, protocols, and technology that have
allowed us to be effective and efficient in our collaboration. This team is
supported by the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation which strives to
support new science teachers in becoming expert teachers.
PST1D10: 9:15-10 p.m. Assessing Undergraduate Physics Pro-
gram Learning Objectives at UC Merced
Poster – Carrie A. Menke, University of California, Merced 5200 N. Lake Rd.,
Merced, CA 95343;
Establishing and assessing program learning objectives (PLOs) provides a
research-based method to improve our undergraduate physics education.
We have five PLOs: (1) physical principles, (2) mathematical expertise,
(3) experimental techniques, (4) communication and teamwork, and (5)
research proficiency. We use a six-stage assessment cycle for each PLO
that either validates current practice or drives needed modifications to
our assessment process and/or program. We focus on one PLO each year
and have just finished our first assessment of each. Our approach strives
to maximize the ease and applicability of our assessment practices while
maintaining faculty’s flexibility in course design and delivery. A curriculum
matrix elucidates skills development and applicable evidence. Descriptive
rubrics result in higher inter-rater reliability and, in some cases, can be uti-
lized at the course and program levels. Utilizing existing campus resources,
challenges with evidence & rubrics, and strategies for increasing student
and faculty participation are also discussed.
PST1D11: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Workshop of Electric Circuits for
Mexican Preschool Teachers
Poster – Mario Humberto Ramirez Diaz, CICATA-IPN Legaria 694, Col. Ir-
rigación Mexico, MEX 11500 Mexico;
In the Mexican educational system, there is request for the preschool level
to have scientific knowledge, applications of scientific knowledge and tech-
nology, skills associated with science, and attitudes associated to science.
However, preschool teachers usually do not have these skills and therefore
don’t build strategies to develop in the kids this kind of competencies. On
the other hand, professional physicists hardly approach elementary levels,
especially in preschool, furthermore they didn’t develop in their profes-
sional life didactic skills for the learning of physics. This situation take us to
build workshops directed to preschool teachers in several topics of physics
designed by physicists, so that the teachers could try to take this experi-
ence in their classroom with their students. We will show the results of the
workshop in electric circuits with Mexican preschool teachers and their
posterior implementation with the kids. It is useful to develop science skills
not just with the teachers, but also with the parents and principals.
PST1D12: 9:15-10 p.m. What Japan’s Urgent Development of
Radiation Curricula Is Telling Us
Poster – Sachiko Tosa Niigata, University/Wright State University Faculty of
Ed., Niigata University, Niigata 950-2181 JAPAN;
The disaster of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after the huge
earthquake on March 11, 2011, has shaken the standards of science educa-
tion in Japan. People feared radiation because they knew almost nothing
about it. Through the urgent effort by governmental agencies and highly
motivated science teachers in Japan, a few curricula for teaching radiation
for middle school students were developed in the past three years. In the
process of curricula development, it became clear that Japan’s science
education at the middle-school level lacked teaching of 1) basic scientific
knowledge about radiation, 2) effects of radiation on the human body, 3)
risk and usefulness of radiation in society, 4) process skills to measure and
interpret radiation level, and 5) history and actual examples of phenomena
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