AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

Sessions & Panels

List of Session Titles

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Posters

  • Astronomy

      • A Novel Way to Measure the Distance to an Asteroid

      • PST1A01
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Richard Dietz
      • Type: Poster
      • We have successfully measured the distance between the Earth and a main belt asteroid, 298 Baptistina. We used remotely operated telescopes in New Mexico and Spain to take simultaneous images of the asteroid. The position of the asteroid with respect to the background stars was slightly different in the two images, and application of the method of parallax to the images enabled an accurate determination of the distance to the asteroid.
      • Deliberately Building Spectroscopy into the Intro Astronomy Course

      • PST1A03
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Richard Gelderman
      • Type: Poster
      • We present and discuss a series of "minds-on" interactive student-centered exercises and activities built into an introductory astronomy course. The lessons are structured to help students improve their ability to recognize patterns and improve their ability to really see the details in front of them. Another goal is for students to realize there is "more than meets the eye" to learn how to discover "hidden" diagnostics, such as different sources of light their eyes see as white light. A curriculum that emphasizes spectroscopy also provides the opportunity to stress the story of the "Harvard Women," a tale that bridges gender gaps and often humanizes scientists in the eyes of non-science majors. Finally, with a solid foundation in spectroscopy, students are better prepared to understand exciting topics such as Hubble's law and the importance of primordial nucleosynthesis.
      • Effectiveness of Two Interactive Learning Techniques in Introductory Astronomy

      • PST1A05
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Jessica Lair
      • Type: Poster
      • As a part of the shift to active learning environments in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Eastern Kentucky University, we have implemented the use of a clicker system in all the introductory astronomy courses. The clickers were used in class on a daily basis to allow the students to actively participate in the lectures. We present pre- and post-test data from the solar system astronomy class utilizing the Astronomy Diagnostic Test (ADT) from the first semester of clicker use compared to previous semesters. We also present the differences in the ADT results between the laboratory and non-laboratory sections of the introductory astronomy course.
      • A 'Make and Take' Overnight Workshop at the SLL Observatory

      • PST1A07
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Steven Maier
      • Type: Poster
      • In the summer of 2011, an overnight astronomy workshop was held at the Selman Living Laboratory (SLL) Observatory [1]. In operation since 2000, the SLL Observatory regularly hosts summer programs for public groups, led by NWOSU faculty and members of a local astronomy club, SAS [2]. Located in northwest Oklahoma, many state park tourists and wildlife and nature conservation enthusiasts frequent the facility. For our summer 2011 program, several Oklahoma science teachers were invited to take advantage of our facility's dark skies, 12" Meade and 10" Dobsonian telescopes. Participants also took away numerous free instructional materials purchased through funding provided by the AAPT Bauder Fund grant program [3]. This poster will present some of the highlights of the workshop and summarize our efforts in making astronomy more accessible to teachers in a region where astronomy is very rarely included as part of regular HS/MS science curricula.
      • Robotic Telescope Observations and Active Learning Exercises in Introductory Astronomy

      • PST1A02
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Gintaras Duda
      • Type: Poster
      • This poster will describe the current and future implementation of an NSF CCLI grant at Creighton University to rebuild and re-imagine the introductory astronomy curriculum. Traditional introductory lectures will be transformed through the addition of RF clickers and other innovations such as tutorial-style active learning exercises. The capstone to the project will be the purchase, installation, and operation of a robotic telescope capable of remote observations that will be made available to students and faculty at local and regional institutions as well as middle and secondary students in the region. This addition will greatly enhance Creighton astronomy lab courses, bringing a hands-on science experience to our curriculum that is currently lacking. The robotic telescope will allow the implementation of project-based learning with emphasis on advanced observational astronomy techniques and instrumentation including imagery, photometry, and spectral analysis at the introductory and advanced levels.
      • Automating Small Observatory Domes

      • PST1A04
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Brian Hubbard
      • Type: Poster
      • Many small observatories have computerized telescopes housed in manually operated domes. As the telescope automatically slews to another part of the sky, the operator must activate a motor to move the shutter of the dome to allow the light from the target object to enter the telescope. Retrofitting an observatory dome for automated tracking, the direction the telescope is pointed is likely to be too expensive for a smaller institution. Using an Arduin microcontroller, a compass module, and Xbee wireless communications, we were able to track an independently operated telescope without the use of bulky and expensive rotary encoders. This demonstration is a low-cost solution of consumer microcontrollers and accessories and is a viable wireless solution to observatory dome automation.
      • Stellar Bar Codes

      • PST1A06
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Doug Lombardi
      • Type: Poster
      • Astronomers classify stars based on the major components of their spectra. Much like bar-codes on store items, stellar spectra are each slightly different. The study of spectra provides scientists with important information about stars that is otherwise inaccessible, including composition, temperature, mass, luminosity, age, and evolutionary history. Spectroscopy is the study of starlight -- which is analyzed and plotted by intensity versus wavelength -- and visually represented as spectra. The stellar classification system of O,B,A,F,G,K,M is based upon spectral analysis. Spectra also determine the position of an object on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram; each location on the diagram has a unique combination of magnitude and temperature, which gives information about the evolutionary stage of the star. This poster discusses an activity that uses real stellar spectra to help students learn about star properties and characteristics.
      • Service Learning in Introductory Astronomy at Misericordia University

      • PST1A08
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Michael Orleski
      • Type: Poster
      • Misericordia University's Introduction to Astronomy course during the fall 2010 semester incorporated a service learning component. The students in a service learning course use course content in a service project. They then reflect on the service and how it affected their learning. The astronomy students held observations for two groups of local elementary school students. This poster provides details on service learning, the observation sessions, and a summary of comments made by the astronomy students regarding the service learning experience.
  • Favorite Activities from the TYC Classroom

      • Math Machines: Connecting Physics with Math and Engineering

      • TYC01
      • by Fred Thomas
      • Type: Poster
      • 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.
      • Using a Slinky as a Solenoid in an Open Ended Lab

      • TYC02
      • by Dwain Desbien
      • Type: Poster
      • This poster will show the lab my students perform using a Slinky as a solenoid to investigate the magnetic field inside the solenoid. This is an open-ended lab with little instruction given to the students. The basic equipment is a Slinky, D cells, a 10 Ohm resistor, wires and a way to detect the magnetic field. Student results from the lab will be shown.
      • Visualizing and Conceptualizing Linear Momentum

      • TYC03
      • by Michael Faleski
      • Type: Poster
      • Linear momentum is one of the concepts that students have the most difficulty understanding. Beyond applying a simple equation or a memorized result for specific scenarios, students seem to forget about using linear momentum and do not have a "feel" of what it is. This presentation will show some simple in-class questions to pose to students with quick activities that immediately demonstrate the results. In addition, a possible way to look at linear momentum from a conceptual/visualize point of view with extensions into ideas of energy will be presented.
  • Innovative Labs for Introductory Courses

      • Using Low-friction Carts to Measure Viscosity

      • PST1F06
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Mark Reeves
      • Type: Poster
      • The subject of continuum mechanics is often avoided in the IPLS class, as is a meaningful discussion of nonconservative forces. This is unfortunate since viscosity is essential to understanding the physical aspects of cellular motion and heart disease. I will describe a lab in which students determine viscosity from measurements of the velocity vs. time for metal balls dropped in liquids of various viscosities from air to glycerin, and measure kinematics of the balls falling under the influence of gravity. The balls pull low-friction carts, which allows for a very small driving force and also to measure the position and velocity of the ball continuously. The students observe a variety of behaviors ranging from free fall to reaching terminal velocity. Students measure the position of the cart by an ultrasonic transducer or a photogated pulley, as the weight pulls it down the track. There are a number of non-ideal experimental aspects such as viscous drag on the string and the short drop that doesn't allow attainment of terminal velocity in less viscous liquids. These allow the students to think more deeply about the physics of realistic conditions and make use of Taylor series for their data analysis, should this be desired.
  • Labs/Apparatus

      • The Double Compound Pendulum

      • PST1D01
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Joel Berlinghieri
      • Type: Poster
      • The double compound pendulum consists of two arms usually of uniform mass per unit length. The upper arm is attached to a rigid pivot by a frictionless bearing. One end of the lower arm is attached to the bottom end of the upper arm by a frictionless bearing. The bearings in our case are PASCO rotation sensors with the lower sensor using a Bluetooth wireless connection. DataStudio is used to record the initial angles and angular velocities and the subsequent angles, angular velocities, and angular accelerations of both arms. The motion of the arms is very sensitive to the initial conditions and is often chaotic. There are ranges of initial settings in which the lower arm will eventually flip over the top of its pivot. The motion is compared to models through numerical solutions. This experiment* is performed as part of the junior-level classical mechanics and numerical methods courses.
      • A Hands-On Introduction to Quantum Mechanics for Sophomore Physics Majors

      • PST1D03
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by David Jackson
      • Type: Poster
      • 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 poster will describe our curriculum changes and discuss some of the successes and difficulties we have experienced.
      • A Systematic Error in a Boyle's Law Experiment

      • PST1D05
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Richard McCall
      • Type: Poster
      • Systematic errors can cause measurements to deviate from the actual value of the quantity being measured. Using a meterstick that is not marked off correctly, using a balance to measure mass that has not been properly zeroed, or misinterpreting the range of a voltmeter are all examples. A simple Boyle's law experiment seeks to show that the pressure of a gas multiplied by its volume is a constant. A first attempt results in an experimental difference of about 5%. However, when the proper volume is taken into account, the difference reduces to about 1%. A discussion of how to measure the correct volume by indirect methods is presented.
      • Mathematical Modeling-based Engineering Education through an Axiomatic Design Approach

      • PST1D07
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Rafael Gutierrez
      • Type: Poster
      • Many engineering students have difficulty resolving real life problems through traditional instruction. Most of them do not develop or apply the fundamental science-math knowledge to construct a functional understanding. A mathematical modeling learning approach named Axiomatic Design represents a didactical alternative to achieve not only the scientific skills but also the ability toward the design, creativity, and innovate of engineering processes based on an adaptive expertise for learning using mathematics and physics principles. We present an axiomatic design application in the context of a block stacking situation and the corresponding expected learning outcomes.
      • You Can Build a Scanning Tunneling Microscope for Your Classroom!

      • PST1D07
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Mark Plano Clark
      • Type: Poster
      • Two years ago the authors proposed to produce a low-cost room-temperature atmospheric-pressure scanning tunneling microscope (STM) with atomic resolution -- to be accessible to high school and college teaching labs. Project costs are currently less than $200. The techniques to produce the STM require access to a basic machine shop and materials, and some skill in producing low-voltage (<20 V) amplifiers to drive the piezos. Each of the components make great student projects. Flat piezoceramic sheets are cut and then formed into rectangular structures to provide the x, y, and z scanning motions. We are using the open-source Gnome X Scanning Microscopy (GXSM) software and a commercial digital signal processing board but hope to produce a much cheaper digital signal processing board to further lower the cost.
      • Development, Implementation, and Assessment of Ultrasound Physics Laboratory

      • PST1D09
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Karen Williams
      • Type: Poster
      • This poster will explain how an advanced laboratory, PHYS 3611 Ultrasound Physics, was developed, implemented, and assessed at ECU. Details about each laboratory exercise will be shown. The course was created to provide more laboratory experience for our medical physics majors in response to surveys done to assess the physics major. To my surprise, the course as taught so far seems to be populated by students in medical physics, physical therapy, and premedical students. This might be a lab that would attract students in your program as well. Several students have been so interested in the ultrasound lab that they have gone one step further and done research projects in the field.
      • Watching and Listening to the Coefficient of Restitution

      • PST1D02
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Marco Ciocca
      • Type: Poster
      • Video analysis is a research-proven effective tool in physics teaching. Students learning physics through video analysis projects show better data interpretation skills and gain deeper understanding on certain topics.[1,2] Most studies of video analysis have been focused on projects for introductory-level physics concepts. The benefit of using video analysis in upper-level physics courses is often neglected. To fill this gap, we used video analysis techniques to measure the coefficient of restitution of a ball. The results obtained compared favorably with more standard techniques, with the advantage of immediate visualization. [1] Beichner, R. J. (1996) "The impact of video motion analysis on kinematics graph interpretation skills." American Journal of Physics 64(10), 1272-1277. [2] Laws, P. and Pfister, H. (1998) "Using digital video analysis in introductory mechanics projects," The Physics Teacher 36(5), 282-287.
      • Wind Power Experiments Using an Electric Leaf Blower

      • PST1D04
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Stephen Luzader
      • Type: Poster
      • Some simple experiments demonstrating basic principles of wind turbine operation can be carried out using an electric leaf blower in vacuum configuration as a wind source. A small DC hobby motor fitted with a model airplane propeller or a small fan blade serves as the generator, which is placed in front of the air intake of the leaf blower. The equipment required for quantitative experiments include a resistance box and voltmeter, some means of controlling the air speed, and an instrument to measure the air speed. Most departments will have resistors and voltmeters and probably a Variac for controlling the blower speed. The only special piece of equipment we purchased was a hot-wire anemometer to measure wind speed. Experiments suitable for a wide range of students will be described.
      • Spring, String, and Inclined Plane: A Lab on Newton's Laws

      • PST1D06
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Carl Mungan
      • Type: Poster
      • Students in an introductory physics course are typically presented with homework problems and lab work that separately involve strings (e.g. an Atwood's machine), inclined planes (e.g. conversion of gravitational to kinetic energy), and springs (e.g. oscillations of a mass hanging from a spring). But to fully develop student understanding of Newton's laws, it is important to combine elements to build up more complex situations. To this end, I propose tying together two blocks on an inclined plane and then attaching the upper block to a spring whose other end is fixed. Students can first be challenged to draw relevant free-body diagrams, initially ignoring drag. Next, if this setup is assembled in lab, even using low-friction motion carts instead of blocks, it is immediately observed that damping cannot be neglected. However, simple speed-independent friction fits the measurements well, so that analysis of the situation remains within student capabilities.
      • Hubbert Peak and Radioactive Decay Activities Using Dice

      • PST1D08
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Mark Rupright
      • Type: Poster
      • We will outline two laboratory activities for an introductory "Energy and the Environment" course that use dice to model random behavior. In the first, we model the growth, peak, and decline in production of a resource to produce a Hubbert-type curve. In the second, we relate the random decay of individual nuclei to the exponential decay of a radioactive sample. We also show how to extend the latter activity to more complex cases in which parent/daughter isotopes have different decay rates.
      • What is the Relevance of Physics Education Research to the Advanced Lab?

      • PST1D10
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Benjamin Zwickl
      • Type: Poster
      • 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.
  • Lecture/Classroom

      • Students' Retention and Transfer of Problem Solving through Modeling Activities

      • PST2A01
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Bijaya Aryal
      • Type: Poster
      • The development of students' problem solving skills has been considered one of the major challenges in physics instruction. This study examined the effect of modeling activities on retention and transfer of problem solving skills. An instructional method was designed to help students make connections among ideas learned from various areas to solve physics problems. The method used plan-search-execute (PSE) as three stages of problem solving strategy. The students were expected to represent complex physics problems with simple physical models. The problem solving activity was integrated with abstractly related hands-on activities. Finally, to assess whether or not the students retained and transferred the desired skills, they were asked to solve new sets of related contextual physics problems individually. The results showed a positive influence of modeling activities on student retention of problem solving. The transfer was noticeable only when the modeling activities and related hands-on activities were appropriately sequenced.
      • Measurements of Students' Performance on Computational Exercises in Introductory Mechanics

      • PST2A03
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Marcos Caballero
      • Type: Poster
      • 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.
      • Verification of the Gravitational Equivalence Principles Using Video Modeling

      • PST2A05
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Carolina Galvis
      • Type: Poster
      • Some gravitational experiments need special conditions that are not available in the classroom (i.e. low friction, low air drag force or absence of gravitational field). Following video analysis by Persson and Hagen (Phys. Educ. 46,12) we verify the weak equivalence principle in our classroom. In addition, we verify the strong equivalence principle using the same technique and a low-cost experimental setup.
      • Engaging Non-STEM Majors in Authentic Problem Solving

      • PST2A07
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Daniel Loranz
      • Type: Poster
      • "PHYS 117: Intro to Space Science and Engineering" is a new course at Truckee Meadows Community College developed specifically to engage non-STEM majors in authentic problem solving. In this course, students earn science credits by completing hands-on projects in high-altitude ballooning, lighter-than-air vehicles, rocketry, and robotics. All course projects pose legitimate and unsolved problems that require students to balance multiple competing constraints in the search for optimal solutions. And each project takes students through a complete cycle of i) Design/Build, ii) Deploy/Evaluate, and iii) Reflect/Report.
      • Student Use and Perception of Tablet PCs; Are They Helpful?

      • PST2A09
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Charles Parker
      • Type: Poster
      • Research shows that learning is more effective when students are actively interacting with the professor and each other. To facilitate these interactions, the Technology in the Classroom Committee (TICC) at the Colorado School of Mines provides Tablet PCs to physics students in selected courses each semester. These Tablet PCs are used in conjunction with the InkSurvey tool, which allows for real-time feedback in the classroom. The Tablet PCs also allow for sophisticated student collaboration using notetaking software, providing a means for note sharing. In our poster, we explore how the Tablet PCs have been used in the physics classrooms at CSM and present preliminary data on student perceptions of having the Tablet PCs.
      • Fostering Computational Thinking: Computer Modeling Homework in Introductory Mechanics

      • PST2A11
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Michael Schatz
      • Type: Poster
      • 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.
      • Regularities in Real World Complex Trajectories Using Video Modeling

      • PST2A13
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Arturo Velasquez
      • Type: Poster
      • Regular high school kinematics courses use rectilinear, projectile, and circular paths to introduce the idea of composite path. However, it is possible to introduce the same notion using real-world trajectories in the classroom: motion of a tennis raquet grip during free fall and motion of selected points on a spinning ballerina are analyzed with video modeling and detailed here.
      • Learning from/with Physics 'Sniglets': Classroom Neologisms in College Physics

      • PST2A14
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Richard Zajac
      • Type: Poster
      • The words introductory students want to use don't always exist, but why should that stop them? A look at students' top wish list of useful "physics sniglets" provides some insight into their conceptual development. New contributions are also welcome.
      • Examining Correlations Between Lecture Conceptual Question Responses and Course Performance

      • PST2C35
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Jeffrey Morgan
      • Type: Poster
      • 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 to student success than arriving at the correct answer.
      • Turning the Tables: Letting Middle Schoolers Teach College Students Science

      • PST2A04
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Jon Gaffney
      • Type: Poster
      • Seventh graders at a local, low-income serving middle school developed instructional presentations for simple natural phenomena such as acid/base reactions and crushing soft drink cans. Typically, they share these interactive lessons with elementary school students. However, I invited them to turn the tables on my students, elementary education majors enrolled in a required physics course during the spring of 2011. The 7th graders taught their lessons to the future teachers, demonstrating an energizing confidence and enthusiasm. The activities encouraged the pre-service teachers to think about science in new ways, and many even reported the visit as being their favorite day of class. Hopefully, we will be able to capture and build upon that enthusiasm. In the future, we intend more reciprocal visits, where the middle school students get to both teach and learn physics lessons from the university students.
      • What Is a Quantum?

      • PST2A06
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Art Hobson
      • Type: Poster
      • Electrons, photons, etc., are field quanta, yet we continue to teach students that they are particles, thus making quantum physics into a topic that's not only difficult but, much worse, logically inconsistent. An elementary field quantum is a discrete, spatially extended, highly unified, bundle of field energy. Quantum field theorists understand that "particles" are quanta of various fields. The Schroedinger equation describes nonrelativistic material field quanta. But this understanding has not seeped through to most teachers and so students are stuck with all sorts of wave-particle paradoxes. How can particles exhibit all these extended, non-local effects? Not only these paradoxes, but such vacuum phenomena as the Lamb shift and Casimir effect, testify to the primacy of a field picture. This poster presents a simple method of teaching these fundamentals, along with supporting statements by Maxwell, Einstein, Weinberg, and Robert Mills.
      • Assessing Learning Beyond Content

      • PST2A08
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Gina Merys
      • Type: Poster
      • Introductory undergraduate education in physics frequently involves large classroom instruction and the assessment of student learning using content- and skill-based tests. This is not the case in certain other disciplines. (It is also not the case in workshop-type courses or in physics research experiences.) The development of an interdisciplinary program in Energy Studies created the need for non-traditional evaluation techniques that could be used in a project-based curriculum. These assessment methods draw on the best practices in English, Communication Studies, Engineering and Physics. The methods developed have applicability to the measurement of life-long learning skills, teamwork skills, and innovation ability as well as for the assessment of content knowledge and problem solving skills.
      • Concept-Mapping Mechanics

      • PST2A10
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Andrew Pawl
      • Type: Poster
      • One reason that introductory mechanics is a required course in many disciplines is that it has a very narrow focus but a very rich conceptual structure. Students of mechanics are expected to see the flexibility that is gained by developing many different descriptions for the same physical process (e.g. the motion of an object under the influence of gravity). Unfortunately, physics education research suggests that most students fail to appreciate this central aspect of the curriculum and instead view kinematics, momentum, and energy as completely separate ideas. Used properly, a concept map can be an ideal means of communicating the structure of physics to students. In this poster, we present a novel approach to designing a concept map for mechanics and indicate how student use of this tool can be tracked and studied.
      • Why Should I Learn This? Addressing Student Motivation with Relevant Professional Examples

      • PST2A12
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Laura Tucker
      • Type: Poster
      • Student learning hinges on motivation. [1] However, many students don't enter our classrooms knowing why learning physics has value, often asking, "Why should I learn this?" As instructors, we can help our students develop motivation. However, effectively conveying the power of physics principles and thinking is challenging, especially when directed at non-physics majors. Specific examples may not be readily available, and take time to research. Furthermore, testimonies from many individuals working in fields relevant to students can have more power than words from the instructor alone. Addressing this need, we have created a series of slides to be projected before lecture or used as handouts. These materials include profiles of professionals explaining how studying physics has helped them in their diverse careers. We hope to demonstrate relevance beyond the classroom of studying physics by providing answers from many relevant figures to the students? Questions about why learning physics is useful.
  • Physics Education Research

      • Determining the accuracy of an ultrasonic motion detector velocity calculation.

      • PST1F01
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Dan Beeker
      • Type: Poster
      • Although the ultrasonic motion detector is ubiquitous in the first year physics labs, only rarely is the accuracy of this device examined. A simple method for determining the accuracy of motion detector velocity calculations using photogates and a Mindstorm robot is demonstrated. In addition to providing a simple way to determine the accuracy of an important parameter, the Mindstorm robot introduces a very high "play factor" to the activity.
      • Using Analogical Problem Solving to Learn about Friction

      • PST1F03
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by ShihYin Lin
      • Type: Poster
      • 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 learn from analogical problem solving between two problems that are similar in the application of physics principle (Newton's second law) but one problem involves friction which often triggers the misleading notion. 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. We will discuss the types of scaffolding support that were effective in helping students learn these concepts. Supported by NSF.
      • Gender Matters: The Gender Gap at the University of Michigan

      • PST1F05
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Kate Miller
      • Type: Poster
      • While we expect that some background factors, such as prior test scores and academic preparation, should influence student success, we are concerned about inappropriate impact of uncontrollable factors, such as gender, socio-economic status, and race. In particular, there is a nationally recognized gender disparity in introductory physics performance. We describe analysis of data for 48,579 students who have taken introductory physics at the University of Michigan over 14 years. We clearly detect the presence and persistence of a gendered performance gap in all courses and in all terms considered. We find that differing mathematical preparation as reflected in SAT Math scores accounts for some of this gender gap, especially in the female dominated life science sequence. The physical science and engineering sequence, which is substantially male dominated, shows a strong gender difference even after differing mathematical preparation is accounted for.
      • Correlation between students' performance on free-response and multiple-choice questions

      • PST1F02
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by ShihYin Lin
      • Type: Poster
      • When it comes to assessing students' learning in physics, there is always concern about the format of the assessment tool. While a multiple-choice test provides an efficient tool for assessment because it is easy to grade, some instructors are concerned that a free-response format facilitates a more accurate understanding of students' thought processes. In addition, free-response questions allow students to get partial credit for displaying different extent of understanding of the subject tested. Here, we discuss a study in which two carefully designed research-based multiple-choice questions were transformed into free-response format and implemented on an exam in a calculus-based introductory physics course. Students' performance on the free-response questions was graded twice, first by using a rubric, and second by converting the answers back to one of the choices in the original multiple-choice format (which was not provided to the students). We found that there was an excellent match between the different free-response answers and the original choices in the multiple-choice questions. The strong correlation between the two scores graded using different methods suggests that carefully designed multiple-choice assessments can mirror the relative performance on the free-response questions while maintaining the benefits of grading and ease of quantitative analysis. This work was supported by NSF.
      • Uniform circular motion lab apparatus with persistence of vision display

      • PST1F04
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Zengqiang Liu
      • Type: Poster
      • In uniform circular motion, if angular speed doubles then centripetal acceleration quadruples. A physics lab apparatus and demonstration has been constructed to demonstrate and accurately prove the above relation in an elegant and creative way. The apparatus measures angular speed and centripetal acceleration simultaneously and reports the results using a persistence of vision (POV) display. A POV display eliminates the need for wireless communication or complicated mechanical contacts between the rotating apparatus and a data collection system. Hall Effect switches are used to sense angular speed while an accelerometer is used to sense acceleration. The POV display is constructed with light-emitting diodes. The entire system is controlled by an Arduino microcontroller. Detailed measurements with the apparatus proved its accuracy. The POV display appealed to lots of younger children when it was presented at various campus activities, making it a point of attraction for future physics public outreach activities.
      • Influence of Sequencing Individual and Group Activities on Student Learning

      • PST2C01
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Bijaya Aryal
      • Type: Poster
      • Previous research findings have documented the positive impact of group interaction on student learning. Much of the previous work has focused on the use of group activities and assignments. However, it is equally important for students to develop the skills to make decisions individually, which suggests the necessity of individual activities and assignments in the learning space. I have integrated individual and group learning activities in the design of a three-stage learning sequence. The learning sequence involves two individual assignments and one group assignment. As a part of the assessment of this instructional strategy, the correlation between the sequence of the individual and group assignments and enhanced student learning will be evaluated. This presentation describes the learning activity sequence with some examples. In addition, preliminary results of the effects of variations in the sequence of group and individual activities on student learning is presented.
      • Assessing Student Affect in Learning Computation in Introductory Mechanics

      • PST2C03
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Marcos Caballero
      • Type: Poster
      • An introductory physics course at Georgia Tech requires students to learn numerical computation for describing physical phenomenon that are not amenable to being solved using analytic methods. Students' motivation to learn computation and anxiety about solving computational exercises varies greatly. The attitudes, interests, and values that students exhibit when learning a subject can play a role in their motivation to and anxiety about learning the subject. We present a brief overview of the development of a new tool, the Computation Modeling in Physics Attitudinal Student Survey (COMPASS), aimed at helping to characterize students' attitudes about, interests in, and values concerning computation, as well as preliminary measurements derived from this instrument.
      • An Optics Concepts Test

      • PST2C05
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Alex Chediak
      • Type: Poster
      • A series of conceptual tests exist that allow educators to compare their normalized gains to those of other educators, and together determine best practices (e.g., FCI, MBT, FMCE, ECCE, CSEM, and DIRECT). But a standard conceptual test for optics is a seeming omission in the PER literature--this in spite of the common observation, by physics educator and students alike, that optics is perhaps one of the most conceptually challenging areas of undergraduate physics. The math is often simple (a few equations, no vector algebra), but the concepts easy to confuse. This poster presents a multi-choice question optics conceptual test, consisting of 20 questions, each having five choices. Topics covered include reflection, refraction, mirrors, lenses, interference, cameras, human eye maladies, and optical corrections. I seek partners to join me in using these questions on pre- and post-tests with their students.
      • Evaluation of Student Exam Note Sheets in Introductory General Physics

      • PST2C07
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Fredrick DeArmond
      • Type: Poster
      • An ongoing study is being performed involving the collection and evaluation of note sheets prepared by students for use on exams in a first-year algebra-based physics courses of 120-200 students. The note sheets are evaluated based on organization, quantity, the use of examples and diagrams, and the number of topics covered. In addition, a Likert scale survey was given to students regarding how they generated and used their note sheets. Preliminary results are presented and suggest negative correlations between exam grades and the quantity of equations on note sheets, and those who most strongly agreed with the statement "I referred to my note sheet many times during the exam." Positive correlations are found between exam grades and organization, and students who most strongly agreed with the statement "making my note sheet helped me review for the exam."
      • Rasch Model Analysis of a Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment (BEMA)

      • PST2C09
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Lin Ding
      • Type: Poster
      • The Brief Electricity & Magnetism Assessment (BEMA) is a 30-item multiple-choice test, designed to measure student understanding of basic electricity and magnetism (E&M) concepts at the introductory physics level. It differs from concept inventories, such as the FCI, in that it covers a broad spectrum of sub-topics in a specific knowledge domain. A great deal of research previously has been conducted to evaluate its validity and reliability, as well as to apply it for gauging student performance. These efforts all utilized the Classical Test Theory (CTT) for analyzing quantitative information extracted from a large collection of data. In the present study we used the Rasch model, an item response-based theory (IRT), to analyze BEMA. Specifically, we investigated the extent to which the BEMA items can measure a single underlying construct--students' understanding of E&M. We also attempted to seek multiple latent constructs in BEMA for comparison with the single-construct case.
      • Towards a Better Understanding of Confusion

      • PST2C11
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Jason Dowd
      • Type: Poster
      • Physics instructors typically try to avoid confusing their students. However, the truism underlying this approach, "confusion is bad," has been challenged by educators dating as far back as Socrates, who asked students to question assumptions and wrestle with ideas. This begs the question: Are confused students lost, or does their confusion indicate more critical thinking than less-confused learners? In previous work, we focused on a single reading assignment, a snapshot. Insights from this work allowed us to refine and expand our study to more than 40 snapshots that span two semesters of introductory physics, which involved Just-in-Time Teaching and research-based reading materials. We evaluated performance on assignments while simultaneously asking students to self-assess their confusion over the material, and then probed whether "confused" students were correct more or less frequently than "not-confused" students. We highlight our results and draw some conclusions about confusion. Is it really as bad as it seems?
      • Case Studies of Increasing Participation in a Physics Learning Community

      • PST2C13
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Renee Michelle Goertzen
      • Type: Poster
      • 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 implement 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.
      • Probing Student Understanding with Alternative Questioning Strategies

      • PST2C15
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Jeffrey Hawkins
      • Type: Poster
      • 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.
      • Influence of Prior Preparation on Students' Use of Online Hints

      • PST2C17
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Dehui Hu
      • Type: Poster
      • How do students combine their existing resources and invent new strategies when facing a challenging physics problem? In our study, we examine student use of resources and transfer of problem-solving skills in the context of differentiation and integration. Physics problems that use integration and differentiation require students to coordinate their understanding of mathematics as well as physics concepts, procedures, and representations. After a 50-minute tutorial session, students work through a challenging physics problem over a 30-minute testing period. By using an online environment to control and monitor their progress through a series of hints, we assess their use of resources and the impact of hints and previous learning. We also compare students' performance under different preparations by giving different tutorial materials prior to the testing period.
      • Students' Response Characteristics on Sequences of Phenomenological Demonstration in Electric Connections of Light Bulbs

      • PST2C19
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Myung Su Hwang
      • Type: Poster
      • We found an effective sequence of phenomenological demonstration by analyzing the levels of cognitive conflict and the types of student's response according to presenting orders of series and parallel connection of electric light bulbs. Parallel connection ahead caused a higher score in cognitive conflict than series connection ahead. Also, we found that earlier representation of questions different from students' predictions is more efficient for causing cognitive conflict than earlier representation of predictable questions. Students solving questions about series circuit first and then parallel circuit recognized the difference of connections more easily compared to the opposite sequence. However, students experiencing the parallel connection first tried to find out more the scientific reasons in mixed connection questions. Presenting a parallel circuit before series circuit turned out to be more effective for strategy for higher cognitive conflict.
      • Online Pre- and Post-Diagnostic Testing Across Multiple Classes

      • PST2C21
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Stephen Irons
      • Type: Poster
      • Over the last several years we have instituted diagnostic pre- and post-testing in our three primary introductory physics classes (life sciences, engineering, physics majors). For the fall semester we developed and used a conceptual test that is broader than the standard FCI. This decision was based on our discovery that FCI scores for the tested cohort were quite high, leaving little room to measure improvement. For the spring semester we administered the Conceptual Survey in Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM) in its unaltered form. Our data reveal that students as a whole self-select fairly reliably in terms of which introductory course is best for them. In addition, we found teaching methods that involve interactive engagement led to larger normalized gains than using standard instructional techniques. We will also describe our experience in administering these tests in an online form and discuss the possible effect this had on our results.
      • Case Study of Student Pairs Working on Electronics Capstone Projects

      • PST2C23
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Nasser Juma
      • Type: Poster
      • We observed three pairs of students, each considered to be a different case, 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 lab activities building electronic circuits. In the second half of the course each pair worked on a different open-ended capstone project that required them to use their knowledge of electronics to improve the measurements done on a physics experiment they have worked on in a previous semester. The student pairs brainstormed ideas to improve the measurement design and built circuitry to implement their design. Our data sources included observations of groups work, interviews with instructors and students, as well as artifacts produced by the students. We present the results of our case study focusing on comparisons between the student pairs.
      • Students Reconciling Contradictory Commitments in Damped Harmonic Motion Problems

      • PST2C24
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Adam Kaczynski
      • Type: Poster
      • In intermediate and advanced physics courses, students are expected to use mathematical, graphical, and physical reasoning, as well as their intuitions. These intuitions may contradict each other and can be inconsistent with ideas developed during small group learning activities. On the topic of damped harmonic motion, students have intuitions about the mathematics, the physics, and the way the graph of the motion should look. Students remain committed to some of these intuitions to the point of not using provided instructional resources. They also deal with contradictions when their commitments to one kind of reasoning conflict with their commitments to another (e.g., the analysis of a mathematical derivation conflicts with that of a free-body diagram summarizing physical reasoning). These multiple commitments have an effect on students' classroom discussion and the way that students reconcile contradictory commitments and conclusions.
      • Self-Reported In-Class Emotional Responses: A Trial Run

      • PST2C27
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by W. Brian Lane
      • Type: Poster
      • It is important for physics teachers to understand the impact of students' emotional responses to class discussions and activities. In an upper-level electromagnetic theory course, we asked students to report their emotional states in class using flashcards and clickers, with each card or button corresponding to one of the emotions most commonly experienced while learning physics (curiosity, frustration, happiness, anxiety, boredom, and confusion), and based the flow of class discussion on these responses. The students responded very positively to this teaching strategy, indicating that their learning experience was enhanced and that they perceived a great level of support from the instructor. In this poster presentation, we describe the outcomes of this teaching strategy, outline the lessons learned for future refinement, and propose an implementation in multiple introductory physics courses with the goal of comparing students' in-class emotional states with their learning gains and learning attitude shifts.
      • Investigating Students' Understanding of Magnetism

      • PST2C29
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Jing Li
      • Type: Poster
      • We are investigating the difficulties that students have in learning about magnetism. A 30 item research-based survey was developed. During the development of the survey, we administered free-response questions to a large number of students in the classroom and interviewed a subset of students individually. We will discuss the reliability and validity issues and present our findings about difficulties with magnetism concepts after traditional instruction.
      • Physical and Virtual Manipulatives' Effect on Students' Models of Pulleys

      • PST2C31
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Adrian Madsen
      • Type: Poster
      • Several studies have investigated differences in students' learning with physical and virtual manipulatives. However, not as many studies have looked into the process by which any differences in learning occur. In this study, we look closely at the process of conceptual change as students interact with either physical or virtual pulley systems. Students in five conceptual physics laboratory classes investigated various pulleys systems over two consecutive laboratory classes, each nearly two hours long. Half of the students in each class learned with a computer simulation while the other half used actual pulleys, strings, and weights. All students were given identical instructions that prompted them to construct their own understanding of pulley systems by comparing and testing different systems. We report on how students' ideas about pulleys changed as they progressed through the activities and compare learning with physical and virtual manipulatives.
      • Do Students Reason Better in Interactive Courses?

      • PST2C33
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Mojgan Matloob Haghanikar
      • Type: Poster
      • As part of a study on the science preparation of elementary school teachers, we compared students' reasoning skills in courses with inquiry-oriented teaching strategies and their counterparts in traditional courses. We devised content questions that are open-ended and probed students' ability of applying recently learned concepts in a new context. Inspired by Bloom's revised taxonomy [1], we designed a rubric to analytically examine students' responses. Our rubric describes seven traits that we consider as the evidence of understanding for which we defined three levels of accomplishment. In this paper we present our analysis of five inquiry-oriented and traditional pairs of classes from five different universities. The classes came from a variety of disciplines. We will also investigate if the differences between the classes are statistically significant. Supported by National Science Foundation grant ESI-055 4594
      • Development Strategies for Interactive Online Learning Environments in Physics^1

      • PST2C37
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Christopher Nakamura
      • Type: Poster
      • The Pathway Active Learning Environment (PALE) is part of an ongoing program of research aimed at investigating how to use interactive multimedia technology to facilitate online instruction in physics. Our research efforts are in part directed at uncovering and codifying general strategies to develop and implement online learning environments in efficient ways. PALE relies heavily on pre-recorded video both as a means of conveying verbal explanations and as a way of demonstrating physical phenomena. To function optimally it also requires significant input from students. Both of these requirements imply significant amounts of effort over prolonged periods of time are needed to create systems that respond appropriately to students' actions. This effort may be organized and distributed via the Internet by a larger group of developers. In this way an efficient and ongoing development cycle may be implemented. This poster discusses strategies for implementation.
      • Using Online Homework Data to Assess Student Confidence

      • PST2C39
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Joseph Peterson
      • Type: Poster
      • 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.
      • Reflection about Negative Introduction of Technology in Physics Classes in Mexican Universities

      • PST2C41
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Mario Humberto Ramírez Díaz
      • Type: Poster
      • In recent years there has been much discussion about the idea that we must improve or optimize the learning processes in the traditional technologies classes. This idea in part has been inspired because of the fact that the new generation of students has grown up with direct technology interaction. However, in our experience as physics teachers in different universities in Mexico, we can't deny that occasionally the incorporation of technologies into the classroom is beneficial, for example we have used graphic software in the physics process, numeric simulations of experimental evidence, or applets available on the web. But, in our experience the students think the problems are monotone, furthermore they don't conceive that a problem could be solved with a mix of equations that describe the physics phenomena. In this work we give reflections on the introduction of technology in the physics class and its negative aspects on students' learning of physics in some universities in Mexico.
      • Increasing Confidence by Characterizing Self-Efficacy Experience Opportunities

      • PST2C43
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Vashti Sawtelle
      • Type: Poster
      • We present the analysis of a qualitative investigation of three women from a Modeling Instruction (MI) classroom completing a problem-solving task as a discussion of self-efficacy experience opportunities (SEOs). Self-efficacy, or confidence in one's own ability to perform a task, has been shown to strongly correlate with persistence and success in science fields. At Florida International University, we have demonstrated that the MI class has a positive impact on introductory students' physics self-efficacy. To further investigate this development, we focus on one of the key elements of the MI classroom: modeling physical phenomena. This presentation will focus on characterizing SEOs and linking them to the development of self-efficacy as well as the Modeling process. Further, we believe this analysis provides a partial explanation for how the MI classroom positively impacts self-efficacy.
      • Peer Instruction for Quantum Mechanics

      • PST2C47
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Chandralekha Singh
      • Type: Poster
      • We are developing and evaluating resource material for "Peer Instruction" in quantum mechanics. A central component of the resource material is research-based concept tests that can be used by instructors as a formative assessment tool. The instructors can use these tools for bridging the gap between the abstract quantitative formalism of quantum mechanics and the qualitative understanding necessary to explain and predict diverse physical phenomena. Asking questions during the lecture and asking students to discuss it with each other before polling the class has already been shown to be effective at the introductory level. This method provides a mechanism to convey the goals of the course and the level of understanding that is desired of students and also helps students monitor their learning. We will discuss the development and assessment of these tools. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF-PHY-0653129).
      • Problem Solving in Kinematics as a Measure of Conceptual Understanding

      • PST2C49
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Daniel Smith, Jr.
      • Type: Poster
      • Student difficulties in solving kinematics problems are often attributed to students' 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.
      • Is This Good Teaching? Assessment Challenges for Both Faculty and Institutions

      • PST2C51
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Chandra Turpen
      • Type: Poster
      • 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 poster, 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.
      • Exploring Student Interpretations of Worked Examples

      • PST2C53
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Judy Vondruska
      • Type: Poster
      • This project will present results of a qualitative research study undertaken in the spring of 2011 which focused on how students interacted with worked problem examples in physics and the level to which they understood the worked examples. While many textbook publishers are now providing worked examples in various forms with varying degrees of explanation and interactivity, it is unclear to what extent these are truly useful to the learner. This study undertakes the effort to explore this level of understanding more deeply.
      • Math Preparation for Under-prepared Students in Physics Courses

      • PST2C55
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Jing Wang
      • Type: Poster
      • Previous studies suggest that students enrolled in introductory physics courses are usually not well prepared in mathematical skills. Math placement tests and course prerequisites are the two frequently adopted methods in dealing with the issue. Unsatisfied by either method, the Department of Physics and Astronomy (PHAS) at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) decides to offer an alternative solution by offering an auxiliary short course taken concurrently with introductory physics. Recommendations are made to students with relatively-low math pre-test scores. However, the course is open to anyone who is taking introductory physics. This work will discuss PHAS's practice of assisting math-unprepared students through this course called Success in College Physics.
      • Correlation between FCI Gains and Interactive Engagement

      • PST2C57
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Philip Young
      • Type: Poster
      • Introductory physics classes at the University of Wisconsin - Platteville moved from a traditional lecture hall environment to studio classrooms in spring 2009. To assess the transition, we have been administering the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) to all sections of calculus-based Physics I beginning in spring 2008. We have also defined an Interactive Engagement Index (IEI) for each section. This index is based on self-reported information on six factors: time spent lecturing; student engagement with concepts, problem solving, and hands-on learning activities; the degree of integration of the lab with the lecture; and large-group discussions. The correlation between FCI gain and IEI for all 20 sections between S08 and F10 is 0.92. This poster will present details on the IEI, update the data to include in spring 2011, and look at the correlation in more depth. This work was supported by NSF-DUE CCLI 0633583.
      • New Pictorial Representations and Supporting Text of Sound Standing Waves of Air Columns in a Tube

      • PST2C59
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Liang Zeng
      • Type: Poster
      • New pictorial representations of sound standing waves of air columns in a tube were drawn for the first three harmonics in an open-open tube as well as in an open-closed tube. Supporting text describing air molecule motion over time was also provided. These representations and supporting text were designed to reveal the main characteristics of the physical mechanisms of sound standing waves in these two different types of tubes. Through a pilot study utilizing surveys and student interviews, we investigated the differences in the effects on student learning of underlying physics concepts between the new pictorial representations and the existing ones in an introductory physics textbook. The implications of our results for teaching were discussed.
      • Improving Students' Understanding of Quantum Measurement

      • PST2C61
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Guangtian Zhu
      • Type: Poster
      • The measurement of a physical observable in a quantum system is very different from the measurement in a classical system. Understanding the properties of quantum measurement is essential for interpreting quantum mechanics. We investigate the students' difficulties related to the quantum measurement by giving written tests and interviewing advanced undergraduate and graduate students in the quantum mechanics class. We also discuss the students' improvement of interpreting quantum measurement after they use the research-based learning tools. Our data shows that the Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) and Peer Instruction Tools will enhance students' understanding of the quantum measurement. *Supported by NSF
      • Student-Generated Diagrams for Understanding Chemical Equations

      • PST2C63
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Dyan McBride
      • Type: Poster
      • It is clear that students have difficulty creating a physical interpretation of equations. This project is part of a larger study involving the interactions of physics, math, and chemistry learning. In this poster, we present findings from a study of student-generated diagrams that represent chemical equations. The results of the study indicate that while many students have difficulty creating representations of the equations, they are able to adapt and improve their model to include a variety of features.
      • Learning about Teaching Physics: New Podcast on Education Research Results

      • PST2B04
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Stephanie Chasteen
      • Type: Poster
      • Want to get the inside scoop on the latest research on teaching and learning? Curious about physics education research results, but don't have the time to keep up with the journals? Now you can keep up with the literature during your daily commute or trip to the gym with a new audio podcast, "Learning About Teaching Physics." Each short, well-produced podcast pairs education researchers and teachers to talk about an interesting result from the field, such as research on lecture demos, new research on the use of clickers, and whether tests can help students learn. What do these results mean? How does it relate to classroom practices? What challenges might a teacher face in trying to use such an idea? Stop by the poster to learn about the project, talk about the need to communicate between PER and practicing teachings, and to pick up a CD with the podcasts.
      • Student Reasoning about Graphical Representations of Definite Integrals

      • PST2C02
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Rabindra Bajracharya
      • Type: Poster
      • 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 they have with 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 be put into roughly 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.
      • Teaching Assistants' Reasons for the Design of Problem Solutions for Introductory Physics: Rationale and Methodology

      • PST2C04
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by William Mamudi
      • Type: Poster
      • As part of a larger study to understand how instructors make teaching decisions, we investigated how graduate teaching assistants (TAs) 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. This talk will focus on the methodology used to study TAs 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.
      • Concentration Analysis and Item Response Theory

      • PST2C06
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Li Chen
      • Type: Poster
      • Both Concentration Analysis and Item Response Theory (IRT) are useful tools in education assessment. In concentration analysis, the concentration factor gives a scaled value describing how students' answers to individual questions are concentrated. Perfectly concentrated responses will produce a concentration value of 1 while random responses will produce 0. In IRT, an estimated parameter, the guessing parameter, also describes the chance of guessing in response to a question. Then it is meaningful to find out if these two factors are related. Based on the college students' FCI data collected at The Ohio State University, the concentration factor and guessing parameters for all 30 FCI questions are calculated. The results show a weak correlation between these two measures (Sig.=0.222). After comparing the algorithms, we find that concentration factor focus on all of the choices, while in IRT only the binary score (right or wrong) are used. The implications of the differences will be discussed with suggestions on revisions of the algorithms.
      • Teaching Assistant and Student Interactions in a SCALE-UP Classroom

      • PST2C08
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by George DeBeck V
      • Type: Poster
      • In the spring term of 2010, Oregon State University began using a SCALE-UP-style classroom in the instruction of the introductory calculus-based physics series. Instruction in this classroom was conducted in three two-hour sessions facilitated by the primary professor and either two graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) or a graduate teaching assistant and an undergraduate learning assistant (LA). During the course of instruction, two of the eight tables in the room were audio and video recorded. We examine the practices of the GTAs and LAs in interacting with the students through both qualitative and quantitative analyses of these recordings. In particular, we examine changes in the practices of the GTAs and LAs as they gain experience in the SCALE-UP environment, as well as differences between the practices of the individual GTAs and Las.
      • Solving Synthesis Problems through Analogical Encoding

      • PST2C10
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Lin Ding
      • Type: Poster
      • Real-world physics problems often require a solver to apply several concepts jointly to reach a coherent solution. In an effort to enhance students' problem solving abilities, we developed and used synthesis problems, which combine multiple topics that are taught at sufficiently different time points in the introductory physics course or beyond, to help students with recognition, coordination, and integration of fundamental physics concepts. To further provide appropriate scaffolding, we employed the analogical encoding approach by presenting to and asking students to compare two examples of similar underlying structure yet differing surface features prior to their solving a target problem. We investigated the effects of analogical encoding on students' solving physics synthesis problems through three training conditions: example problems with comparison, examples without comparison, and no examples. All students solved the same target synthesis problem at the end of training. Preliminary results show an advantage for analogical encoding.
      • E-Games and Graph Problems: Helping Students Play the Game

      • PST2C12
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Elizabeth Gire
      • Type: Poster
      • An epistemic game is a structured activity used to guide inquiry or solve a problem. For example, list making is an epistemic game one might use to identify and organize items needed for making a meal. Physicists often (implicitly) use a graphical analysis epistemic game to analyze data or to solve problems involving graphs. In analyzing a set of interviews with introductory physics students, we use the framework epistemic games to characterize students' abilities to solve graph problems and how a tutor helps these students become more competent players of this e-game.
      • Enhancing Student Interest through Increased Autonomy in the Physics Classroom

      • PST2C14
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Nicholas Hall
      • Type: Poster
      • We perform an experiment involving 300 students in an active-learning introductory physics course for biological science undergraduates at the University of California, Davis. The students are divided into 10 discussion/labs (DLs) that meet for 140 minutes twice a week and are taught by five teaching assistants (TAs). Five DLs are "autonomy-supportive" in that during the second half of each class the students choose how to apply, expound on, or clarify what they have learned. We compare this experimental group to a control group of five "traditional" active-engagement DLs. Each TA teaches one autonomy-supportive and one traditional DL. We hypothesize that increased autonomy-support will help improve attitudes, increase interest, and enhance performance. We measure these effects with grades and specially designed surveys. This study could have important implications for introductory physics class design by testing whether the positive effects of increased student autonomy in class outweigh the benefits of the alternatives.
      • Increasing the Impact of PER: Recommendations from Typical Faculty

      • PST2C16
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Charles Henderson
      • Type: Poster
      • 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 poster 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.
      • Johnson-Laird Cognitive Framework: Its Application During Problem Solving

      • PST2C20
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Bashirah Ibrahim
      • Type: Poster
      • The study explores the categories of cognitive structures constructed by engineering students taking a calculus-based physics course at Kansas State University. A sample of 19 students completed 10 non-directed tasks, with different representational format, on the topics of kinematics and work. Individual interviews were conducted immediately following these tasks. The Johnson-Laird (1983) cognitive framework was applied to classify the participants' mental representations. The framework proposes three main types of internal constructs: propositional representations constituting syntactic structures that connect a series of symbols together, mental models that are analogical representations of a real-world situation or objects, and mental images that are internal views of mental models with greater visual spatial features. We will discuss the importance of this framework in the classification of students' mental representations in this study.
      • Nonscience Majors' Thinking about Ionizing Radiation

      • PST2C22
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Andy Johnson
      • Type: Poster
      • We have been developing materials to teach nonscience majors about ionizing radiation in a science literacy course. The Radiation by Inquiry Project (DUE 0942699) is uncovering problematic learned and spontaneous ideas about radiation, atoms, radioactivity, and the interaction of radiation with matter. This poster identifies some of the common ideas, our tools and strategies for getting students beyond them, and provides evidence of substantial learning. Http://www.camse.org/andy/radiation
      • Gender Differences in Psychological Factors and Interventions to Address Them

      • PST2C25
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Lauren Kost-Smith
      • Type: Poster
      • Despite males and females being equally represented at the college level in several STEM disciplines (biology, chemistry, mathematics), females continue to be under-represented in physics. Our research attempts to understand and address this gender gap by focusing on introductory physics courses. We characterize gender differences in performance, psychological factors, and retention that exist in Physics 1 and 2 [1,2]. We find gender differences in performance can largely be accounted for by differences in the physics and mathematics backgrounds and incoming attitudes and beliefs of males and females. But these background factors do not completely account for the gender gaps. We hypothesize, based on gender differences in self-efficacy, that identity threat is playing a role in our courses. Working with researchers in psychology, we implemented an identity threat intervention in three offerings of Physics 1 [3]. We report on the effectiveness of the intervention to alleviate gender gaps in performance.
      • Mentoring Undergraduate Physics Majors at a Hispanic Serving Institution

      • PST2C26
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Laird Kramer
      • Type: Poster
      • We present an overview of the undergraduate physics learning community at Florida International University. The number of intended and declared physics majors at FIU has increased by 1500%, when comparing three-year averages to the early 1990s. This is most compelling as FIU is a minority-serving urban public research institution in Miami, serving more than 42,000 students, of which 60% are Hispanic, 12% are Black, and 56% are women. We attribute this dramatic growth to a number of factors, including strategic mentoring activities integrated into our programs. This poster will highlight the mentoring activities within FIU's Physics Department, how those strategies integrate into other research-based approaches, and how multiple faculty have developed into effective student mentors.
      • Successes and Constraints in Enactment of One Relatively Successful Reform

      • PST2C28
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by May Lee
      • Type: Poster
      • Although nearly two decades of research documents the potential positive impact of research-based reforms on conceptual understanding, the American Institute of Physics found that less than 30% of high school physics teachers in the U.S. enact reforms in their classrooms. One of the more successfully disseminated reforms is Modeling Instruction. Students taught by expert modeling teachers have gains on the Force Concept Inventory that are at least 30% greater than the students taught through traditional instruction. Our primary research question is "Why has this reform been relatively successful?" We interviewed five people who played critical roles in the development of Modeling Instruction. In this poster, we discuss significant aspects of the reform that led to its successes and constraints as identified in the interviews.
      • Teaching Assistants' Reasons for the Design of Problem Solutions for Introductory Physics: Findings

      • PST2C30
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by ShihYin Lin
      • Type: Poster
      • As part of a larger study to understand how instructors make teaching decisions, we investigated how graduate teaching assistants (TAs) 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 TAs 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 TAs valued solutions where reasoning was explicitly explained, they also valued concise solutions. We'll present the reasons behind these preferences and discuss the implications for the professional developments of physics Tas.
      • Effectiveness of Prescribed Prompts at Priming Sensemaking During Group Problem-Solving

      • PST2C32
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Mathew Martinuk
      • Type: Poster
      • 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 poster will describe the setting, research methods, and results.
      • The PER User's Guide: A New Web Resource for Consumers of Physics Education Research

      • PST2C34
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Sarah McKagan
      • Type: Poster
      • The PER User's Guide is a web resource to help physics educators learn about the results of physics education research (PER) and apply those results in their classroom. We are launching a pilot site this year with guides to a small selection of research-based teaching methods. We plan to extend this site to become a comprehensive guide to all aspects of PER that are relevant to educators. This will help educators by summarizing, condensing, and translating the vast web of knowledge contained in the field of PER into a format that is easily accessible, enabling educators to quickly find and use the information they need. The PER User's Guide design is based on user testing and research into faculty adoption and adaption of research-based teaching methods.
      • To What Extent Is Seeing Not Believing?

      • PST2C36
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Kelly Miller
      • Type: Poster
      • Demonstrations are vital components of most undergraduate physics courses. Despite their prominence, research has shown that students learn little, if anything from lecture demos. Worse, some research suggests depending on the delivery, demos can even contribute to students' misconceptions. We analyze one delivery method that requires students' predictions of lecture demonstration outcomes in introductory mechanics and electricity and magnetism at two large research universities. We compare students' predictions before having seen the demonstration to what they report as having observed both right after the demonstration and several weeks later. Students' post-demonstration explanations of the physics behind each demonstration are also analyzed. Triangulation of these data points leads us to better understand how students' pre-instructional beliefs influence their interpretation and memory of physics lecture demonstrations. This can mitigate the "disconnect" that has been shown to exist between what instructors think they are demonstrating and what students actually observe/remember.
      • The Physics Class: Challenges and Problems in College Teaching in Mexico

      • PST2C38
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Miguel Olvera Aldana
      • Type: Poster
      • This work studies the failures in a class of physics at Superior School on Computing from National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico (ESCOM-IPN), emphasizing that it is the only course of physics in the ESCOM curriculum. On the other hand, it was needed analysis and quantification on the influence of the physics course in the Computational Systems Engineers formation since perspective of developing their thesis. Finally, we show some actions by teachers from the basic science area in ESCOM to decrease these indices and motivate the students, including preparatory courses, problems, books, and electronic notes.
      • Perception of Model of Competences in Physics Teaching

      • PST2C40
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Mario Humberto Ramírez Díaz
      • Type: Poster
      • Since the '70s, two concepts from the business world have been adopted by education: innovation and competence. This talk will show how some physics educators are resisting or refusing to adopt the model of competence. This work is based on previous research made in Tabasco, Mexico, and directed to teachers in Law, History, and Sociology. We interviewed physics teachers, both college and high school, to get their opinion and experience with the model of competence. We present evidence about rejecting the model based on negative aspects of using the practice. However, some teachers found positive aspects of the model they can use in their daily practice, which we present in the talk.
      • Student Understanding of the Concepts of Substance and Chemical Change*

      • PST2C42
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Amy Robertson
      • Type: Poster
      • One of the fundamental notions in basic chemistry is that a chemical change is a process that transforms substances and conserves atoms. As part of a multi-year study on student reasoning about topics related to the particle nature of matter, a set of questions was designed to probe the extent to which university-level chemistry students apply the description of chemical change articulated above. Results from these questions will be presented and compared with results from previous studies involving K-12 students.
      • Using Cogenerative Mediation in Classrooms

      • PST2C44
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Natan Samuels
      • Type: Poster
      • This poster will present ongoing research on our cogenerative mediation process for learning environments (CMPLE). Student and teacher participants in CMPLE have the opportunity to be collectively engaged in modifying their learning environment based on their preferences. Our research question is "How does this mediation process help participants negotiate modifications to their learning environment?" We are addressing this question by focusing on both student and teacher participants. Our data includes interviews and classroom artifacts.
      • Improving Students' Understanding of Addition of Angular Momentum

      • PST2C46
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Chandralekha Singh
      • Type: Poster
      • We are investigating the difficulties that upper-level students taking quantum mechanics have in learning about the addition of angular momentum. To help improve student understanding of these concepts, we have developed quantum interactive learning tutorials (QuILTs) and tools for peer-instruction. We will discuss the common students' difficulties and the effectiveness of research-based tools in improving students' understanding of these concepts. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation grant NSF-PHY-0855424.
      • Student Understanding of Taylor Series Expansions in Statistical Mechanics

      • PST2C48
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Trevor Smith
      • Type: Poster
      • 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. As part of research investigating student learning in statistical physics, we are developing curriculum materials that guide students through a derivation of the Boltzmann factor, using a Taylor series expansion of entropy. Using results from written surveys, classroom observations, and both individual think-aloud and teaching interviews, we present evidence that, while many students can recognize and interpret series expansions, they often lack fluency with the Taylor series, despite previous exposures in both calculus and physics courses. We present students' successes and failures both using and interpreting Taylor series expansions in a variety of physical contexts.
      • The Positive Impact of Student Engagement on Learning and Retention

      • PST2C50
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Adam Tournier
      • Type: Poster
      • Student engagement in the classroom, laboratory, and outside of traditional course settings has a dramatic and real impact on both conceptual and practical understanding of the material in algebra-based physics courses. The small class sizes available at liberal arts institutions create an environment whereby students can have more access to their professors in all areas of the course. The students that are engaged more frequently in the classroom and lab setting have a more profound understanding of the material both conceptually and in application. Students who are engaged outside of the traditional course setting with both their instructors and peers demonstrate the greatest understanding and retention of the course material.
      • TAs' Judgments about Student Problem-solving Difficulties

      • PST2C52
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Joshua Von Korff
      • Type: Poster
      • Physics education researchers commonly judge students' behavior as "novice" or "expert" behavior. How do TAs make similar judgments about student problem solving ability? We report on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of focus group interview data from a study of TA discussions. In our study, TAs analyzed student problem solving, by reading transcripts of conversations and trying to anticipate or explain student difficulties. Our study classifies TAs' judgments about student problem solving using the "novice-centered" and "expert-centered" axis. We also consider Tas' justifications for their claims, and other features of their discussion. We describe the relative frequency of these different ways of speaking, both for individual Tas and in the aggregate.
      • Development of a Standardized Fluids Assessment

      • PST2C54
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by DJ Wagner
      • Type: Poster
      • We are developing an FCI-style assessment covering hydrostatic topics commonly included in introductory physics courses. Students from all three introductory tracks (conceptual-, trig-, and calculus-based) at Grove City College have completed draft versions of our assessment, both pre- and post-instruction, and we are ready to distribute a beta version for testing by other institutions. This poster will present the assessment, along with analysis of the questions and plans for the future. We're particularly interested in receiving suggestions from other educators and in recruiting beta-testers. Stop by and chat!
      • Using Computer Coaches for Problem Solving to Explore Student Decision-making Difficulties

      • PST2C56
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Qing Xu
      • Type: Poster
      • 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 poster, we will show the 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.
      • Students' Difficulties with Scalar Multiplication of a Vector and Vector Subtraction

      • PST2C58
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Genaro Zavala
      • Type: Poster
      • In this work we investigate students' understanding of: 1) scalar multiplication of a vector and, 2) vector subtraction. We administered two tests to 717 students completing introductory physics courses at a private Mexican university. In the first part, we used a modified version of a problem designed by Van Deventer [1] to investigate students' difficulties with multiplication of a vector by a positive scalar and we designed a problem to study students' difficulties with multiplication of a vector by a negative scalar. We compared the frequencies of the errors in these two problems to comprehend students' conceptions in these vector operations. In the second part, we designed a vector subtraction problem and identified errors that haven´t been reported in the literature.
      • Students' Ability in Constructing Formal Logical Reasoning

      • PST2C60
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Shaona Zhou
      • Type: Poster
      • While students seem to easily pick up the valid variables in a context of multi-variable situations, they often have difficulty in constructing the correct logical relations between variables and outcomes. This research investigated students' understanding about two kinds of logical thinking involving conditional relations. We found that students' reasoning in situations involving necessary conditions outperformed their reasoning involving sufficient conditions. Results from students at different grade levels showed steady improvement with age on picking the correct variables, while their logical thinking had no obvious changes. The results suggest that logical thinking is a higher level scientific reasoning ability that doesn't fully develop through our current education which emphasizes content knowledge.
      • Surveying Students' Understanding of Quantum Mechanics

      • PST2C62
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Guangtian Zhu
      • Type: Poster
      • Development of conceptual multiple-choice tests related to a particular physics topic is important for designing research-based learning tools to reduce the difficulties. We explore the difficulties that the advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with non-relativistic quantum mechanics of one particle in one spatial dimension. We developed a research-based conceptual multiple-choice survey that targets these issues to obtain information about the common difficulties and administered it to more than a hundred students from seven different institutions. The issues targeted in the survey include the set of possible wavefunctions, bound and scattering states, quantum measurement, expectation values, the role of the Hamiltonian, time-dependence of wavefunction and time-dependence of expectation value. We find that the advanced undergraduate and graduate students have many common difficulties with these concepts and that research-based tutorials and peer-instruction tools can significantly reduce these difficulties. The survey can be administered to assess the effectiveness of various intructional strategies. *Supported by NSF
      • ViPER: A Possible Model for Solo Physics Education Researchers

      • PST2C64
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Scott Bonham
      • Type: Poster
      • The Kentucky Virtual Physics Education Research (ViPER) group was formed in August 2010 by three solo physics education researchers in the state. Using Web 2.0 tools as well as periodic face-to-face gatherings, we conduct regular group meetings, share literature and data, and work collaboratively on several projects. The collaboration provides many of the benefits of a larger research group, such as complementary research skills, mentoring, interviewing each other's students, critical feedback and sharing resources. ViPER also significantly reduces the isolation we would have otherwise experienced as solo physics education researchers. These initial activities have been supported by a PERLOC mini grant and the chairs of our respective departments, and we are currently applying for larger collaborative grants. In this poster we will share specifics about how we conduct our virtual research group and what we believe to be the key factors, making it a model for other solo PER faculty.
  • Post-Deadline

      • Approaches to Address Persistent Misconceptions about Electric Current Among In-service teachers

      • PST1F07
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Jung Lee
      • Type: Poster
      • This paper explores the development of a tutorial emphasizing movement of charges, and analyzing the changes from teachers during implementing the tutorial. We did preliminary research to determine the elementary teachers’ specific difficulties and misconceptions about electrical currents. In the results from the data, we developed a tutorial and implemented it for in-service teachers. Multiple-choice questionnaires on the concept were given before the tutorial and after completing the tutorial, multiple-choice questionnaires were given again. To better observe some of the specific changes teachers make, all activities of the tutorial were recorded and transcribed. When the educators understood the characteristics of conductors and insulators, they were able to explain friction, induction, and the movement of charges at contact points. This ended the confusion between electric charge and current. These tutorials played an important role in correcting the idea that voltage is the same as current. By emphasizing the interaction of charges in a closed circuit, the teachers understood that current was not consumed but remained constant. Also, the tutorials corrected the misconception that the battery produces constant current in all situations; instead, the teachers began thinking in terms of the movement of charges through a battery in a series and a parallel circuit. Supported by SENS (Science Education for the Next Society), BK21
  • Pre-college/Informal and Outreach

      • What Does the Fukushima Disaster Mean for Nuclear Energy?

      • PST1B01
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Gordon Aubrecht
      • Type: Poster
      • The 9.0 earthquake, tsunami and its consequences will influence global acceptance of nuclear energy. We examine some of these.
      • Education Outreach Efforts of the Acoustical Society of America

      • PST1B03
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Wendy Adams
      • Type: Poster
      • 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/PTRAs (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 poster we will describe the type and breadth of material that's available and where to find it.
      • Cosmic Math Teacher Workshop

      • PST1B05
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Judy Vondruska
      • Type: Poster
      • Cosmic Math is a curriculum project designed to use astronomy as a means of motivating students in learning geometry, algebra, trigonometry, Earth and physical science concepts in middle school and high school. The project begins with a week-long summer workshop on the campus of SDSU and continues with follow-up sessions during the fall and spring semesters. During the week's summer workshop, teams of teachers are involved in inquiry-based activities focused on building models (space and shape concepts), collecting and analyzing data (manipulation of quantities), and sharing ideas for implementation of activities into the classroom. The workshop is offered to physical science and mathematics teachers at both the middle and high school level with the intent of building local partnerships in teaching math skills. Teachers are encouraged to develop projects that cross between their classrooms so that students see the connections between science and math in each class.
      • Opening up the Department: Day Camps and Workshops

      • PST1B07
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Timothy Grove
      • Type: Poster
      • We present information regarding two LaserFest events that happened at our home university (IPFW). Over the past two summers (2010 and 2011) we have had a day camp for high school age students and in 2010 we had a workshop for high school teachers. The day camps had several purposes: to teach about lasers as well as providing "fun" activities featuring lasers. The workshop was designed to have the teachers learn more about lasers and light so that they can incorporate them into their classes. We will present information regarding the activities we developed.
      • Conceptual vs. Numeric Problem Performance on the NY Regents Physics Exam

      • PST1B09
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Luanna Gomez
      • Type: Poster
      • We review and discuss student performance (1000 < N < 3000) on selected items from the NYS Regents Physics standardized physics examinations offerings in the past five years. Student difficulty on conceptual items, traditional problem-solving exercises, and more challenging non-traditional problems are analyzed and compared.
      • A Scientific Duty: Letters to the Editor

      • PST1B02
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Gordon Aubrecht
      • Type: Poster
      • The author believes that letters to the editor of his local paper trying to explain what science is and how scientists work in response to letters demonstrating ignorance of those characteristics is a duty of all working scientists in view of the anti-scientific tidal wave sweeping America.
      • Teaching and Intuitive Learning of Electronics Based Upon Projects

      • PST1B04
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Isabel Cárdenas
      • Type: Poster
      • Based on intuitive learning of electronics and programming, with minimum teacher intervention, two 12-year-old girls can develop two physics lab interfases using open source hardware and software: distance ultrasound monitor and water level monitor. Issues about cognitive processes, building processes and teacher intervention are detailed.
      • Math and Science Summer Institute for at Risk Students

      • PST1B06
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by James Dull
      • Type: Poster
      • The College of Idaho has collaborated with Syringa Middle School in Caldwell, Idaho, to promote the study of math and science in a population at high risk for dropping out of high school. Participants include the economically disadvantaged, rurally isolated, and traditionally under-represented students. The goal of the program is to engage these students with the potential for academic success by exposure to enrichment activities in science, engineering, and mathematics. Moreover, our program encourages these students to consider the importance of math and science in high school and promotes college as both a desirable and attainable goal through the participation of college student assistant role models.
      • Physics Outreach in Canada: A University-Industry-Government Collaboration

      • PST1B08
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Marina Milner-Bolotin
      • Type: Poster
      • In Canada, education is part of a Provincial Mandate, thus every province has its own curricula in every school subject. All across the country, physical science is included as an important part of K-12 curricula. However, for the most part, elementary school teachers have very limited physical science knowledge. They are generalists and most of them have not taken physics beyond grade 11 and very few took introductory physics in college. This is especially troubling, since most of the students decide on their most and least favorite subjects in upper elementary school (grades 4-6). To combat this problem, the government, industry, and universities and colleges all across Canada have established a country-wide physics outreach effort. The poster will describe Canadian physics outreach activities in K-16 classrooms and their effectiveness.
  • Reforming the Introductory Physics Course for Life Science Majors V

      • IPLS at Appalachian State University

      • EF04
      • Tue 08/02, 2:15PM - 3:15PM
      • by Patricia Allen
      • Type: Poster
      • At Appalachian State University, a new IPLS (Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences) course is currently being piloted with 21 students. In consultation with various on-campus pre-professional health-care programs, the author attempts to integrate the BIO2010 and SFFP recommendations with existing departmental resources to generate a course appropriate for future health-care professionals. For example, the overarching topic for the first semester course is ultrasound imaging, diathermy, and surgery, while defibrillators and diagnostic imaging (MRI, CT, etc) are used for the second semester. The roles of physics, physiology, and materials are introduced into the course as they are needed. The presentation will include course topics (including the order of coverage), resources for lecture and lab, and preliminary student performance for the pilot course. In addition, some of the issues associated with scaling up this type of course will be discussed.
      • Project-based Learning of Biomechanics

      • EF05
      • Tue 08/02, 2:15PM - 3:15PM
      • by Nancy Beverly
      • Type: Poster
      • Life and health science students taking the first semester of the algebra-based introductory physics course at Mercy College learn mechanics in the context of biomechanics through a semester-long project analyzing a human or animal motion of their choice. As each topic is explored in class, students apply that topic to their analysis. Kinematics, Newton's laws, rotation and torque, momentum, energy, heat and temperature, elasticity, and fluids are applied at different levels depending on the project. Students take data from force plates, goniometers, accelerometers, force sensors, motion sensors, and video analysis, to incorporate into their projects. Students are required to post updates to their projects online and to comment on each other's work in progress. Guidelines, rubrics, and student examples will be shown.
      • A Hybrid Lecture-Studio Implementation at Boston University

      • EF07
      • Tue 08/02, 2:15PM - 3:15PM
      • by Andrew Duffy
      • Type: Poster
      • Boston University has a new internal grant, sponsored by the provost, called RULE - Reforming the Undergraduate Learning Experience. The Department of Physics has received a RULE grant, and is using the funds to implement an experimental studio section of our algebra-based introductory physics class that is taken primarily by life science majors. That section will begin in a new 63-student classroom in fall 2010. To prepare for this implementation, in May and June 2010, the summer version of the course was taught in a hybrid lecture-studio format, with the lecture component having a number of interactive engagement features. In this poster, we will report on our experience with the hybrid format.
      • Introduction to Medical Physics for Physics Majors and Biophysics Minors

      • EF08
      • Tue 08/02, 2:15PM - 3:15PM
      • by Michael Nichols
      • Type: Poster
      • This course was developed for undergraduate students interested in the life sciences who would otherwise take only the required two-semester general physics sequence. The primary goal of this writing-intensive course is to develop a functional understanding of the physical principles on which many medical techniques and technologies are based. This includes radioactivity, the interaction of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation with living tissue, the physical mechanisms whereby radiation induces cell damage, biophysical cell survival models, and the principles of radiation treatment. In addition to this, students are introduced to medical imaging technologies including X-ray CT, SPECT, PET, MRI and Ultrasound. This is done both in the classroom and through tours of local hospitals. Altogether, these applications encourage students to extend and deepen their understanding of physics while illustrating how a little interdisciplinary ingenuity can lead to the development of medical technologies that can profoundly improve the quality of life.
      • From Brownian Motion to Random Walks: Diffusion in the IPLS Class

      • EF09
      • Tue 08/02, 2:15PM - 3:15PM
      • by Mark Reeves
      • Type: Poster
      • Diffusion and entropy are very important for understanding biophysical processes at the cellular level, but students have and maintain very strong misconceptions about these two topics. We have developed a first-semester IPLS course, in which roughly 1/3 of the class time is dedicated to teaching statistical physics. Students are introduced to statistics by considering simple coins flips. We move on from these to large numbers of coins and flips per coin and thereby to a meaningful physical model by connecting to Java-based simulations of the random walk problem. The class discussions and simulations are complemented by laboratories in which diffusion, Brownian motion, and laser trapping are directly observed and quantitatively measured. From the measurements and in-class discussions, the connection is made between the microscopic model/observation and its macroscopic realization. That is we connect by modeling and experiment Brownian motion to diffusion. The same line of argument is used to establish the equipartition theorem in terms of observations of laser trapping and this is then extended to discussions of protein folding and membrane formation. In this way the entire suite of hydrophobic forces are shown to have their origin in statistical models for entropy in thermodynamics.
      • Teaching Introductory Physics with Biomedical Applications

      • EF10
      • Tue 08/02, 2:15PM - 3:15PM
      • by Natalia Schkolnikov
      • Type: Poster
      • Often students from underrepresented groups in the biomedical sciences feel disconnected from physics. We report on some of our experiences teaching the introductory physics sequence for biology and pharmacy students at Hampton University. Since fundamental concepts of physics are central to an understanding of biomedical sciences, we include biomedical applications in most topics of the courses. In particular, the biological and medical fields are an ideal source of physics problems. We discuss how fast an animal can walk or run, how long a cardiac pacemaker can work, and how electrical signals travel along neurons. We cover various methods that are used to "look inside the body" such as ultrasound, MRI, and X-ray imaging. Encouraged by the opening of the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute in 2010, we discuss how energetic protons could provide an efficient cancer treatment. My experience shows that students find all these discussions stimulating and helpful.
      • Concept Mapping to Clarify Interdisciplinary Themes: An Example Using Osmosis

      • EF11
      • Tue 08/02, 2:15PM - 3:15PM
      • by Ji Shen
      • Type: Poster
      • Boundaries between traditional academic disciplines often hinder students from integrating "big ideas" across subjects. In response to the growing need for college-level interdisciplinary education, we have assembled a diverse team of educators and education researchers (in physics, biology, physiology, and other STEM subjects) to investigate student understanding of interdisciplinary science topics. Important early steps in this project include identifying the pivotal concepts associated with a given topic, and developing a common understanding of the discipline-specific explanations of these concepts. We illustrate these steps applied to the topic of osmosis, a phenomenon often poorly understood by students and educators alike. We share our results in creating several iterations of an "expert" group concept map for osmosis. This collaborative process highlights different and often imprecise use of terminology; the challenges of developing an accurate common model; and several problems in understanding and communicating the underlying physical mechanism of selective diffusion.
      • What Do We Want Our Life Science Majors to Learn?

      • EF12
      • Tue 08/02, 2:15PM - 3:15PM
      • by Guofen Yu
      • Type: Poster
      • The majority of students in my Introductory Physics Lecture course lack the interest in physics and the learning skills for science courses. Both my students and I struggled in the course when I first started teaching life science majors after years of teaching engineering students. Through this experience, I have come to realize that it is extremely important to set up appropriate overarching course goals (such as the skills I want students to develop) and make content objectives for each chapter to maximize life science applications. My pedagogical methods, topic selections, depth of discussions on each topic, class examples, homework assignments, and assessments are all built upon the course goals and chapter objectives. A list of my course goals and the pedagogical reforms in my course will be reported as part of this session. Data of students' performance and comments from online anonymous surveys over several semesters will also be presented.
      • Making Physics Lab Relevant to the Life Science Major

      • EF13
      • Tue 08/02, 2:15PM - 3:15PM
      • by Rona Ramos
      • Type: Poster
      • In current biological and biomedical research, the connections between the life sciences and the physical sciences are deepening. Increasingly, the methods of research and analysis in these fields depend on sophisticated instruments with strong roots in the physical sciences. However, many premedical and life science students feel their undergraduate physics courses are irrelevant to their chosen field. The Yale Physics Department has responded to these concerns by making major changes to the introductory laboratory courses for life science and premedical students. This talk will highlight some of the innovative demos and instructional laboratory experiments that have been developed to address this issue. Other changes include presenting lab experiments in the context of current biomedical and biophysical applications. Preliminary feedback suggests that students are more engaged and feel the laboratory course is more appropriate to the training of future life scientists and physicians.
  • SPS Undergraduate Research and Outreach (Posters)

      • Open-source Electronic Education Tools Using Tablet PCs

      • SPS01
      • Sun 07/31, 8:00PM - 10:00PM
      • by Zachary Boerner
      • Type: Poster
      • The Technology in the Classroom Committee (TICC) at the Colorado School of Mines provides and manages a number of electronic education tools available for anyone to access. These include the InkSurvey tool, a wiki for information on the software used by TICC, and a forum for users to discuss Tablet PCs and the classes in which they are enrolled. InkSurvey, in a manner similar to clickers, provides instructors with the means to pose open-format questions. Combined with the use of Tablet PCs, this allows the instructor to perform a real-time formative assessment of students' problem solving abilities. This poster will explore the utility of each of these tools and suggest how institutions outside of the Colorado School of Mines may use them to further their own educational programs.
      • Symmetry and Asymmetry in Physics

      • SPS02
      • Sun 07/31, 8:00PM - 10:00PM
      • by Yu-Chen Ding
      • Type: Poster
      • The investigation of symmetry and asymmetry runs through the history of the development of physics. Inspired by the course Bilingual Physics with Multimedia, we had a strong curiosity and interest on the topic Symmetry and Asymmetry in Physics, and conducted a research study on it. Our paper is divided into four parts. The first part introduces some typical examples of symmetry. Next, we focus on a significant example of asymmetry. The third part is mainly a brief analysis of the relationship between symmetry and asymmetry. Finally, we will present our personal thoughts on this subject.
      • Unveil the Mist of Magic Based on Physical Principles

      • SPS03
      • Sun 07/31, 8:00PM - 10:00PM
      • by Zhi-Qiang Hao
      • Type: Poster
      • Like two sides of a coin, physics and magic are born to be together. As an artistic form, while magic has gained a high popularity and attracts more and more people's attention, it has been prospering under influence of the development of physics. Inspired by the concepts of education in Introduction to Bilingual Physics, we conducted simple research on the nature of some fascinating magic phenomena and completed this course paper. Lots of interesting or even unbelievable magic tricks will be revealed and then we will illustrate the relation between those "seem-to-be-impossible" phenomena and physical principles.
      • An Explanation of the Origin of the Universe -- Superstring Theory

      • SPS04
      • Sun 07/31, 8:00PM - 10:00PM
      • by De-Yu Jiao
      • Type: Poster
      • After Einstein advanced the theory of relativity, because the Quantum Field Theory and General Relativity are not consistent with each other, people have been committed to finding a unified theory to explain all the interactions, which means Quantum Field Theory and General Relativity should be unified in a larger theoretical framework. This larger theoretical framework for the emerging trends is Superstring Theory. As a theory of quantum gravity, Superstring Theory has experienced a series of difficulties and changes. After learning Bilingual Physics with Multimedia founded by Professor Yun, we were encouraged and conducted a simple study on this topic. This paper briefly describes the study history of Superstring Theory, including two revolutions, the development and discusses the relevant physical model, theoretical framework and the physical concepts, and investigates the relevant issues according to their validity and significance of future development.
      • Dark Energy

      • SPS05
      • Sun 07/31, 8:00PM - 10:00PM
      • by Tian-Chen Jin
      • Type: Poster
      • Dark energy, a hypothetical concept, is one of the hottest topics in cosmology at the moment. Its negative pressure gives us the element we need to explain the accelerated expansion of our universe. But how does dark energy really work? Are there other things that may also have similar property? How will dark energy affect our universe if it really exists? Our team became really interested in this subject through studying the course of Introduction to Bilingual Physics. This article will give you our thoughts and understanding of dark energy and how it could affect the ultimate fate of our universe.
      • Skylight Polarization from a Balloon Flight

      • SPS06
      • Sun 07/31, 8:00PM - 10:00PM
      • by Jeffrey Lind
      • Type: Poster
      • This research project attempted to measure the polarization of skylight as a function of altitude using a balloon-based polarimeter. The hypothesis was that as altitude increases the model of a Rayleigh sky (single scatters from very small particles) improves because the likelihood of multiple scatters and the aerosol density decrease. The polarimeter utilized eight LED light detectors with seven detectors filtered by linear polarizers at increments of ~26 degrees and one unfiltered detector. The filtered detectors were calibrated by the unfiltered detector. Directional measurements were made using an accelerometer and compass. With directional information, the measured degree of polarization can be compared directly to the Rayleigh sky model. This experiment was sponsored by a University of Minnesota Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program grant.
      • Student Use and Perception of Tablet PCs; Are They Helpful?

      • SPS07
      • Sun 07/31, 8:00PM - 10:00PM
      • by Charles Parker
      • Type: Poster
      • Research shows that learning is more effective when students are actively interacting with the professor and each other. To facilitate these interactions, the Technology in the Classroom Committee (TICC) at the Colorado School of Mines provides Tablet PCs to physics students in selected courses each semester. These Tablet PCs are used in conjunction with the InkSurvey tool, which allows for real-time feedback in the classroom. The Tablet PCs also allow for sophisticated student collaboration using notetaking software, providing a means for note sharing. In our poster, we explore how the Tablet PCs have been used in the physics classrooms at CSM and present preliminary data on student perceptions of having the Tablet PCs.
      • Addressing Students' Math Deficiencies in Introductory Physics with Online Tutorials

      • SPS08
      • Sun 07/31, 8:00PM - 10:00PM
      • by Cameron Zahedi
      • Type: Poster
      • Introductory physics courses are mathematically demanding, even those for non-physics science majors. Students must become adept at solving a wide variety of quantitative problems. However, even students with calculus experience often lack facility with basic pre-calculus skills. A large contributing factor to the problem is the students' generally poor retention of working math skills, but they may also be struggling to transfer their math knowledge to unfamiliar problem domains. In either case, these students should benefit from early intervention that continues to scaffold throughout the term. We report on our efforts to create math-related, online formative assessment modules for first-semester introductory physics. These online tutorials target specific mathematical skills that are essential to success in physics, and are designed to progress from a purely math-centered review of each basic skill, to problems of increasing generality and complexity, and ultimately toward a transfer of these skills to physics problem domains.
      • Alternative Energy Is Everywhere

      • SPS09
      • Sun 07/31, 8:00PM - 10:00PM
      • by Yi-Qi Zhao
      • Type: Poster
      • With the modernization of the world economy, fossil fuel is going to dry up. The status of energy is so austere that exploitation and utilization of alternative energy is becoming a major issue of concern for countries all around the world, especially for the Asian countries that have enormous populations. As Chinese students, we also take Bilingual Physics as an opportunity to do some research on alternative energy. In our opinion, besides the energy provided by nature--in various daily activities like walking, driving, or even making a call--humans are providing energy all the time. In this paper, we will mainly elaborate on the theories of generating power with these energies, which can be seen everywhere but are easy to neglect. On this basis, we will show some relevant applications as well as our guesses and expectations.
      • Quantum Entanglement and its Application

      • SPS10
      • Sun 07/31, 8:00PM - 10:00PM
      • by Ying-Hong Zhao
      • Type: Poster
      • 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 is endless and we also come up with some deep thoughts about the coming era of quantum information.
      • Field-line to Build the Formal Thinking in Induction Law

      • SPS11
      • Sun 07/31, 8:00PM - 10:00PM
      • by Marisa Michelini
      • Type: Poster
      • Electromagnetism has its own cognitive basis in phenomenology whose presentation, often fragmentary to highlight the variables involved, has its own interpretation in complex formal expressions. This is the case of electromagnetic induction, when it's proposed as fruitful exploration of variables (field, surface, relative orientation during time) while the conditions in which one experiences an induced current in a coil are identified. Some conceptual knots, like the meaning of the sign of the induced electromotive force, remain unresolved. Waiver is also to the building of the angle of formal reading which gives meaning to the properties of the phenomena. The magnetic field flux, its constancy in a flow pipe, and the physical meaning of its variation take in the most deep differences between the magnetic and electric case, establishing the inseparability of the poles and the nature of the closed lines for zero divergence field. The experimentation of an educational proposal based on the representation of field lines as interpretative reference, shows that it's possible to produce learning outcomes that are held strongly related the descriptive and interpretive plans.
      • Partners in Physics with Colorado School of Mines' Society of Physics Students

      • SPS12
      • Sun 07/31, 8:00PM - 10:00PM
      • by Shirley Moore
      • Type: Poster
      • The Colorado School of Mines (CSM) Society of Physics Students (SPS) revitalized in 2008 and has since blown up with outreach activity, incorporating all age levels into our programs. In spring 2010, CSM SPS launched a new program called Partners in Physics. Students from Golden High School came to CSM where they had a college-level lesson on standing waves and their applications. These students then joined volunteers from CSM in teaching local elementary school students about standing waves beginning with a science show. The CSM and high school students then helped the children to build make-and-take demonstrations incorporating waves. This year, rockets are the theme for Partners in Physics and we began with demonstrations with local middle school students. In spring 2011, CSM SPS will be teaching elementary school students about projectile motion and model rockets along with these middle school students.
  • Teacher Training/Enhancement

      • Recruitment of High School STEM Teachers through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program at Buffalo State College

      • PST1C01
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Luanna Gomez
      • Type: Poster
      • In January 2011, the National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Scholarship Program awarded up to $750,000 to the NSF-Noyce New Math and Science Teacher Partnership of Western New York at SUNY-Buffalo State College. The partnership builds on existing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teacher preparation programs designed to address the shortage of math and physics teachers in New York's high needs schools by increasing the number of pre K-12 STEM teachers who are both certified and well-qualified. Noyce scholarships have been used to recruit and foster the development of new STEM teacher candidates through a variety of paths of entry into teaching. In return for receiving financial support, participants are committed to teach for two years in high needs districts for each year of scholarship support.
      • Examining High School Physics Teachers' Use of Resources

      • PST1C03
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Matthew Hanselman
      • Type: Poster
      • The Iowa Physics Teacher Instruction and Resource (IPTIR) program is a three-year professional development program offered at the University of Northern Iowa. IPTIR's aim is to introduce physics teachers to a research-based inquiry style of teaching. In addition, teachers may use program credit to work toward a physics teaching endorsement. Two curriculum packages, Physics Resources and Instructional Strategies for Motivating Students (PRISMS) Plus (1) and Modeling Instruction (2), are used to teach both content and pedagogy. Participants are also given the opportunity to borrow computers and laboratory equipment, and are provided with additional resources that they can use to complement their teaching or to help analyze different aspects of student performance. We discuss the provided resources and the extent to which program participants utilized each and viewed its effectiveness.
      • Content, Process, Affect, and Physics Courses for Future Teachers

      • PST1C05
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Paul Hutchison
      • Type: Poster
      • 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.
      • Investigative Science Learning Environment in the Pre-Service Teacher Science Classroom

      • PST1C07
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Eric Rowley
      • Type: Poster
      • Changes to the physics instruction for our pre-service middle level science teachers began in fall 2010. The core of these changes has been the Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE). This initial implementation of an ISLE-based curriculum provided an opportunity for qualitative investigation. Students were asked a complex question requiring multiple representations and higher order thinking on their end of the quarter exam. Approximately 75 student responses were analyzed for qualitative patterns. This poster will discuss the course, the question with student responses, and implications for further refinement of the use of ISLE in the pre-service teacher physics content courses.
      • Streamline to Mastery Teacher-Driven Professional Development

      • PST1C09
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Samson Sherman
      • Type: Poster
      • Streamline to Mastery is an NSF-funded learner-centered professional development program that seeks to capitalize on teachers' knowledge and experience to move newer physics teachers toward mastery. In this model, teacher participants choose their own goals and areas of growth and conduct research into their own teaching practices. Classroom research is conducted in close collaboration with pre-service teacher undergraduates, graduate researchers, and university faculty in a collaborative effort that benefits all partners in the pursuit of more effective and equitable K-12 physics education. Teachers will share their research findings, describe efforts to recruit and design professional development experiences for the next cohort of Streamline to Mastery teachers, and describe plans to scale this highly effective model of physics teacher education beyond the current funding structure.
      • Comparing Conceptual Understanding of Physics Teachers and Students

      • PST1C11
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Emily Stumpff
      • Type: Poster
      • The University of Northern Iowa's IPTIR (Iowa Physics Teacher Instruction and Resources) program introduces high school physics teachers, most of whom are out-of-field, to inquiry-based approaches to physics teaching. Numerous activities help develop participants' skills and track their progress in learning the content and the pedagogy emphasized in this program. All participants and their students complete various conceptual exams as pre-tests and post-tests. Three tests common to both populations are the Force Concept Inventory (1), the Test of Understanding Graphs - Kinematics (2), and the Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (3). Because instructors as well as their students take these exams, we can compare the raw scores and gains of the instructor during summer workshops and the raw scores and gains of their pupils during the academic year. We present the relationships between the knowledge of the teacher, as measured by these tests, and the learning gains of their students.
      • The Characteristics of a Thriving Secondary Physics Teacher Education Program

      • PST1C13
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Courtney Willis
      • Type: Poster
      • The physics department of the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) typically graduates two to four secondary physics teachers each year. Since 2005 the UNC physics department has graduated 16 physics majors who have become teachers, and at present we have eight additional undergraduates who are planning on secondary teaching as a career. These are rather high numbers for any size university. Most universities have difficulties attracting physics majors into secondary teaching, which has led to the national shortage of qualified physics teachers. The exceptional productivity of our bachelor's-only program has been recognized by the American Institute of Physics. We examine possible causes for our success from the perspectives of both our faculty and our graduates.
      • Creating a Conceptual Understanding of the Wave Nature of Light

      • PST1C02
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Andrew Boggs
      • Type: Poster
      • The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Eastern Kentucky University offers an inquiry physics course for middle and elementary pre-service teachers. This course uses procedures produced by Lillian C. McDermott and the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington, specifically the textbook Physics by Inquiry. Over the past decade, we have found it is particularly helpful to address some common misconceptions students hold at this level. We have adapted several units to fit the requirements of the Kentucky Core Content. One requirement at the middle school level is student understanding of the wave nature of light, which is not addressed by McDermott's textbook. Using techniques parallel to McDermott and her group's work we developed an inquiry unit for introducing this topic to pre-service teachers. In this unit, we are using affordable items to provide tools for future educators to present this material to their students.
      • Using the RTOP to Gauge Implementation of IPTIR Program Goals

      • PST1C04
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Jeremy Hulshizer
      • Type: Poster
      • 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.
      • Science Education in Road Safety Education

      • PST1C06
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Marisa Michelini
      • Type: Poster
      • Physics in context fulfills the training and motivation task for a basic science education as a citizenship right. We therefore faced the challenge of designing curriculum materials for primary and junior high school teachers for an action-research project aimed at road safety education. Starting from motion and relative motions, with a conceptual grounding of the role of the frame of reference, trajectory and kinematics vectors, in a bi- and tri-dimensional space of the real environment, and its two-dimensional representation on a road map, we proposed an analysis of the safety distance, based on human reaction time and dynamic parameters of the motion on the road, such as momentum and sliding and rolling friction. Cameras and motion sensors, tape timer and paper and pencil games or trials on the track accompanied the planning of teachers, who through microsteps of experimentation proposed a more detailed analysis of the physics of collisions and the involved energy, of the rigid body motion and of the conservation of angular momentum. We proposed the curriculum and the teacher training model as an example of educational innovation development based on inquiry learning regarding physics in context, made possible by institutional collaboration.
      • 2011 New Faculty Conference for Two-Year Colleges Physics Instructors

      • PST1C08
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Scott Schultz
      • Type: Poster
      • In March of 2011 Butler Community College hosted the New Faculty Conference for Two-Year College Physics Instructors. Twenty-nine new physics instructors attended the four day conference. This poster will present data on the the demographics of the participants, the content covered and the evaluation of conference.
      • Connecting Three Pivotal Concepts in K-12 Science State Standards and Maps of Conceptual Growth to Research in Physics Education

      • PST1C10
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Chandralekha Singh
      • Type: Poster
      • We discuss three conceptual areas in physics that are particularly important targets for educational interventions in K-12 science. These conceptual areas are force and motion, conservation of energy, and geometrical optics, which were prominent in the U.S. national and four state standards that we examined. The four state standards that were analyzed to explore the extent to which the K-12 science standards differ in different states were selected to include states in different geographic regions and of different sizes. The three conceptual areas that were common to all the four state standards are conceptual building blocks for other science concepts covered in the K-12 curriculum. We discuss the nature of difficulties in these areas along with pointers toward approaches that have met with some success in each conceptual area.
      • From Learning Assistant to Physics Teacher: Perspectives from Minority Students

      • PST1C12
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Leanne Wells
      • Type: Poster
      • Florida International University confers more bachelor and master degrees on Hispanic students than any other university in the country. It is also the main source of high school teachers for the country's fourth and sixth largest school districts. For the first time in a decade, FIU will graduate physics teachers who have discipline-specific pedagogical training and field experiences. We explore the impact of FIU's Learning Assistant (LA) program, transformation of the science education program, Introductory Physics course reform, and Teacher-in-Residence presence on student views on studying science, attitudes toward teaching and learning, and the evolution of career choices. This presentation will focus on: (1) what LAs from underrepresented groups bring to the table when studying physics and start to think about teaching as a career and (2) how these students view and use the programs and support structures as they pass through the program and as they begin teaching.
  • Technologies

      • Open-source Electronic Education Tools Using Tablet PCs

      • PST2B01
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Zachary Boerner
      • Type: Poster
      • The Technology in the Classroom Committee (TICC) at the Colorado School of Mines provides and manages a number of electronic education tools available for anyone to access. These include the InkSurvey tool, a wiki for information on the software used by TICC, and a forum for users to discuss Tablet PCs and the classes in which they are enrolled. InkSurvey, in a manner similar to clickers, provides instructors with the means to pose open-format questions. Combined with the use of Tablet PCs, this allows the instructor to perform a real-time formative assessment of students' problem solving abilities. This poster will explore the utility of each of these tools and suggest how institutions outside of the Colorado School of Mines may use them to further their own educational programs.
      • MAPS: Augmenting Attitudes and Transfer of Problem-solving Skills

      • PST2B03
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Carolin Cardamone
      • Type: Poster
      • We present the ongoing implementation and assessment of our Modeling Applied to Problem Solving (MAPS) Pedagogy [1,2]. MAPS helps students develop expert-like problem solving skills. In particular, strategic skill is imparted by specifying the relevant systems and interactions as a guide to selecting the appropriate physical model for solving the problem. After taking a review course in mechanics using the MAPS pedagogy, students show significant improvement in three major categories: 1) problem solving ability measured by a calibrated final exam, 2) attitudes toward science in general (and specifically toward problem solving) measured by the CLASS [3], 3) transfer of problem solving skills to following courses, measured by enhanced exam performance in the subsequent Electricity and Magnetism course. We are expanding the implementation of MAPS in introductory courses inside and outside MIT, and looking for collaborators.
      • An Inside Look: Practical Strategies for Personal Response Systems ('clickers')

      • PST2B05
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Stephanie Chasteen
      • Type: Poster
      • I never would have understood how clickers could be used to transform classroom teaching if I hadn't watched them in the hands of experienced instructors. Not every teacher has that opportunity. This poster will give you an overview of some of the resources we have created on clickers: Get a glimpse inside our classes at the University of Colorado with short videos, grab a copy of our instructor handbook, and come discuss any challenges you've had in implementing this powerful technique. I'll share ideas and strategies for success with clickers, from writing questions to facilitating discussion. In many ways, clickers help us support student achievement of higher order thinking skills, which are the hallmark of deeper learning.
      • Using Virtual Experiments to Help Student Reasoning in Physics

      • PST2B07
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Jiawu Fan
      • Type: Poster
      • We develop a computer 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. Show specific cases --One group of students did the 1D motion task in problem solving form and the circular motion task in VR form, and the other group did the 1D motion in VR form and the circular motion in problem solving form. Students in both groups liked the VR form more than problem solving form and perform better in VR form. Supported in part by NIH Award RC1RR028402 and NSF Awards DUE-0633473 and DUE-1044724
      • Going Beyond End of Chapter Problems in LON-CAPA

      • PST2B09
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Boris Korsunsky
      • Type: Poster
      • 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 are 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.
      • PhET: An Expanding Resource of Free Online Interactive Simulations

      • PST2B11
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Noah Podolefsky
      • Type: Poster
      • The PhET Interactive Simulations project is expanding in new directions. We are building new connections to our teacher-user community -- get the latest news by following our new blog, joining us on Facebook, or receiving Twitter updates. We're also making sims for middle school science -- adapting existing sims, creating new ones, and partnering with teachers to investigate their use in classrooms. We now have more than 100 simulations of physical phenomena that create animated, interactive, game-like environments in which students learn through scientist-like exploration. Our simulations emphasize the connections between real-life phenomena and the underlying science, make the invisible visible, and include the visual models used by expert scientists. New sims include: Gravity and Orbits, Capacitor Lab, Density, Buoyancy, Bending Light, Fluid Pressure and Flow, and Resonance Lab, along with a growing collection of chemistry simulations. Visit http://phet.colorado.edu.
      • First Assessment of the Integrated Learning Environment for Mechanics

      • PST2B13
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Raluca Teodorescu
      • Type: Poster
      • 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.
      • Ready for Classroom Use? Assessment of the Andes Homework System

      • PST2B15
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Brett van de Sande
      • Type: Poster
      • The Andes intelligent tutor homework system has been used in the classroom at the U.S. Naval Academy and elsewhere since 2000. It now contains more than 500 problems covering most of the topics in a standard introductory physics course. During the last few years, we have developed a new version of Andes that runs in a web browser. We describe new data-mining techniques for automatically detecting, and correcting, errors and weakness in the tutor system. Also, we present evidence from both laboratory and classroom studies that new web-based Andes is ready for classroom use.
      • Electricity and Magnetism Self-Testing and Test Construction Tool

      • PST2B17
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by John Stewart
      • Type: Poster
      • This poster 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.
      • Attitude Effects through Procedural Videos in Introductory Mechanics Lab Sessions

      • PST2B18
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by Monica Quezada
      • Type: Poster
      • Many introductory physics students have problems understanding when they try to learn physics concepts through the knowledge real representation during lab sessions. The research group named Physics and Mathematics in Context from the University of Ciudad, Juarez, Mexico, has developed an instructional approach based on videos to help students to recognize and learn the properties of concepts as forces, Newton's second law, and tension force. 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 their students' attitude effects.
      • Item Response Theory Analysis of the Mechanics Baseline Test

      • PST2B02
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Carolin Cardamone
      • Type: Poster
      • 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.
      • Thermo-economics Optimization and Ecological Tax

      • PST2B06
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Eduardo Chávez Lima
      • Type: Poster
      • Today, thermodynamics allows modeling processes that are innovative, added to this, the development of economic processes allows us to create links to the explanation of formulations in a different social, ethical, and historic context. So the relationship between thermodynamics and economics tries to solve conditions on the border of both sciences, proposing thermo-economics as a new branch of knowledge like econophysics, sociophysics, or quantum computing. In this work, we will determine the economically optimal operating point to models of power plants, using different energy transfer laws, similar to Curzon-Ahlborn, through the study of several operation regimes (optimization criteria) such as maximum power out, maximum ecological function, and maximum efficiency.
      • Open Source Physics in the Amusement Park

      • PST2B08
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Michael Gallis
      • Type: Poster
      • There are a variety of tools from the Open Source Physics project appropriate for use in typical amusement park physics activities. The Tracker Video Analysis tool can be used to extract data from video clips that can be taken with almost any modern digital camera. The Easy Java Simulations tool allows users to easily build simulations of varying levels of complexity. This poster presents the use of these tools for "High School Physics Day" activities at local amusement parks and in a special topics course offered to advanced local high school students in a dual enrollment special topics course.
      • Harnessing Technology to Help Students Learn

      • PST2B10
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Taha Mzoughi
      • Type: Poster
      • In an attempt to improve student learning in introductory physics courses, we have used active learning methods focused on the use of technology. The courses follow a hybrid format where most of the learning occurs outside of class. Lecture time is used to answer and discuss questions and to explore the topics students find interesting. The technologies used include computer-mediated and hands-on activities. Instead of lectures, students complete online multimedia quizzes, embedding both lecture type recording segments and simulations. The quiz is intended to help students focus on the intricacies of the topic covered. Homework is also completed online. It includes both traditional end of the chapter questions and simulation mediated questions. Hands-on laboratory activities are preceded by pre-laboratory simulation-mediated activities. We will describe the methods used and preliminary results on the effectiveness of the approach.
      • Teaching Physics Across Grades with Sustainable Energies via Digital Technologies

      • PST2B12
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by David Rosengrant
      • Type: Poster
      • Many college and high school students do not understand the basic physics behind sustainable energies. As a result of this, students have erroneous beliefs about sustainable energies. Thus, the "Sustainable Homes: Building 'Smarter' Houses Today for a Better Tomorrow" project aims to combine physics with environmental science so that students can better understand both sciences. We have updated our website (http://ihome21.kennesaw.edu/) with new activities and videos in the past year. Through these exercises, students will: see detailed descriptions of sustainable housing technologies and how they differ from conventional systems; use data from actual sustainable homes, including the "Weatherford Place" development in Roswell, GA, to critically analyze the performance of these technologies; and conduct hands-on activities that demonstrate how these sustainable technologies operate on a smaller scale. We also report on how teachers in our professional development sessions have utilized these resources.
      • A Meteorological Network Using Open-source Hardware and Software

      • PST2B14
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Sergio Trujillo
      • Type: Poster
      • We design a weather monitoring network in Bogotá, Colombia, using semiconductor devices, Arduino platform, and plotting software developed with open source software processing. Using some open license schematics, teams of high school physics teachers and students build Arduino-based interfaces and plotting/data storage software to install and set up meteorological stations at several schools along the city. We obtain temperature, wind velocity, humidity, barometric pressure and precipitation vs. time plots over variable time intervals to study weather behavior in our city.
      • The Studies in Motion Videodisc: New Uses for Old Media

      • PST2B16
      • Tue 08/02, 6:00PM - 6:45PM
      • by Christopher Wentworth
      • Type: Poster
      • "The Studies in Motion" videodisc was an early example of interactive multimedia produced by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and The Annenberg School of Communications for educational use in an introductory college lab setting. While videodisc technology is obsolete, the media produced for this videodisc remains a rich source of material for introductory physics students to explore and analyze. We present several examples of using digitized clips from the original videodisc for introductory physics activities using modern digital video analysis software such VideoPoint and Tracker. All of the original video media and suggested activities are available on the web at the Humanized Physics Project website*.
  • Upper Division and Graduate

      • Mentoring Graduate Students at a Hispanic Serving Institution

      • PST1E01
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Eric Brewe
      • Type: Poster
      • This poster describes the approaches we have taken to building a community of graduate students in Physics Education Research at Florida International University. Building a research group in the context of a Hispanic Serving Institution has unique features including an imperative to consider inclusive models of education. The current group of students includes students from the physics department and the College of Education. The primary approach to mentoring these students from diverse backgrounds has been to establish a learning community. We describe efforts toward building the learning community.
      • Socratic Dialogs and Clicker Use in Upper-Division Mechanics Courses

      • PST1E03
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Lincoln Carr
      • Type: Poster
      • 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.
      • Stages of Participation as Stages of Expertise

      • PST1E05
      • Mon 08/01, 8:00PM - 8:45PM
      • by Idaykis Rodriguez
      • Type: Poster
      • 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.
      • Temperature Changes in Food: An Upper-Level Project

      • PST1E02
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Michael Burns-Kaurin
      • Type: Poster
      • In the Advanced Experiments, Theory, and Modeling capstone course for physics majors at Spelman College, students work on projects that bring together principles and techniques from the intermediate-level theory and laboratory courses. In one of these projects, students measure the temperature change of a piece of food as a function of time and position as they heat or cool the food. They also work through the theory of the heat equation by looking at successively more complex situations to arrive at the full heat equation, solve the equation analytically, and create a computer simulation with parameters chosen to describe their data.
      • Teaching Creativity and Innovation to Physicists Using Tablet PCs

      • PST1E04
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by Patrick Kohl
      • Type: Poster
      • 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 poster, 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.
      • The Third Semester - Advantages of a Dedicated Waves/Fourier Course

      • PST1E06
      • Mon 08/01, 8:45PM - 9:30PM
      • by David Kaplan
      • Type: Poster
      • Keeping physics majors is a national priority today. Yet, many are currently lost in a transition for which they are not adequately prepared - that from first-year physics, for which the main mathematical and physical prerequisites are well defined, to modern physics and other intermediate and upper-division courses in which students are expected, with rapid on-the-fly "coverage," to quickly become proficient with properties of wave equations, wave superposition, concepts of Fourier analysis, Fourier integrals, the bandwidth theorem and more. All too often, the result has been memorization, frustration and exodus. The introduction of a third-semester dedicated course on waves and Fourier analysis as a prelude to modern physics and quantum mechanics helps in this. In this presentation we describe some of the distinct advantages of such a course for retention of physics majors and aspects of the curriculum for such a course that we have developed.
      • Three Undergraduate Experiments in Rubidium-Argon Collision Spectroscopy

      • PST2C65
      • Tue 08/02, 5:15PM - 6:00PM
      • by David Olsgaard
      • Type: Poster
      • Many laser spectroscopy experiments utilizing rubidium vapor cells have been demonstrated in the undergraduate laboratory. We introduce three new undergraduate spectroscopy experiments using rubidium vapor cells back-filled with an argon buffer gas. These experiments introduce students to the role elastic and inelastic collisions can play in the absorption and emission spectrum of atoms. The first experiment is a dramatic demonstration of hyperfine optical pumping aided by velocity-changing collisions with the buffer gas in which we observe 100% transfer of population to one hyperfine level. The second experiment shows an unexpected modification of the rubidium fluorescence spectrum as a function of argon pressure and laser intensity. A simplified 3-level rate equation model predicts the unusual feature. The third experiment is the observation of a decrease in the excited state lifetime of the 6P3/2 level as function of buffer gas pressure. A Stern-Volmer plot yields the inelastic collision cross-section.

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