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SM13 Program

Sessions, Panels, Posters, Plenaries, Committee Meetings, and Special Events

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Sessions & Panels

  • A Modern Approach to Teaching Quantum Mechanics

      • A Modern Approach to Teaching Quantum Mechanics

      • FE
      • Wed 07/17, 12:30PM - 2:30PM
      • by Antje Kohnle
      • Type: Panel
      • Quantum mechanics is arguably one of the most difficult subjects students encounter in their study of physics. However, substantial progress has been made in elucidating student difficulties and tailoring activities to student needs. Single photon detectors are becoming more affordable, making single photon interference experiments viable for undergraduate labs. Simulations have the potential to enhance student exploration and conceptual understanding and to contrast classical and quantum behavior. There has been substantial work on quantum mechanics curriculum development both at the introductory and advanced undergraduate level. This panel aims to give attendees an overview of relevant work in the areas of research-based activity, lab and curriculum development for student learning of quantum mechanics. A discussion will be held after the presentations, considering how to best share expertise and to form closer links between these different areas of development.
      • Physics or Philosophy: Quantum Interpretations in the Undergraduate Curriculum

      • FE01
      • Wed 07/17, 12:30PM - 2:30PM
      • by Charles Baily
      • Type: Panel
      • The ongoing controversy surrounding the physical interpretation of quantummechanics has naturally influenced the ways in which interpretive themes are (or are not) discussed in the classroom. Interpretative agnosticism, and the tendency for instructors to favor mathematical proficiency over sense making ("shut up and calculate"), has been shown to negatively impact student thinking, and the unintended consequences of these kinds of instructional choices deserves greater consideration from teachers and education researchers. I argue that de-emphasizing interpretation and discouraging students from visualizing quantum processes denies them opportunities to develop important modeling skills, and deprives them of critical tools for deriving physical meaning from mathematical equations and algorithms. Moreover, our perspectives on the measurement problem have evolved significantly since the onset of the "second quantum revolution" -- the manipulation of single-particle systems and tests of local realism provide a context for students to learn about exciting developments in experimental science, not philosophy.
      • A New Introductory Quantum Mechanics Curriculum

      • FE02
      • Wed 07/17, 12:30PM - 2:30PM
      • by Antje Kohnle
      • Type: Panel
      • The Institute of Physics New Quantum Curriculum consists of learning and teaching materials for a first course in university quantum mechanics starting from two-level systems. This approach immediately immerses students in inherently quantum mechanical aspects by focusing on experiments that have no classical explanation. It allows from the start a discussion of interpretative aspects of quantum mechanics and quantum information theory. Texts, interactive animations and activities are freely available at http://quantumphysics.iop.org/ with multiple paths through the material.Texts have been written by researchers in quantum information theory and foundations of quantum mechanics. St Andrews has developed the interactive animations, building on the expertise of the QuVis project. The linear algebra needed for this approach is part of the resource. This presentation will describe the online materials and initial evaluation outcomes trialling animations in a St Andrews Modern Physics course.
      • Teaching Quantum Mechanics with Photon Labs

      • FE03
      • Wed 07/17, 12:30PM - 2:30PM
      • by Enrique Galvez
      • Type: Panel
      • Photon labs provide a way for students to see the connection between the algebra of unitary operations of quantum mechanics and physical systems. While spins and Stern-Gerlach apparatuses provide a good setting to learn the algebra, it is quite abstract. Photon labs' optical elements provide laboratory-based examples of quantum-mechanical operators, such as polarizers (projection operators), waveplates (basis rotation and transformation), mirrors (exchange operation), and polarization interferometers (tensor product of spaces). In addition, the labs address fundamental concepts, such as superposition and entanglement, which can be used to discuss the more challenging conceptual aspects of quantum mechanics.
      • Modern Quantum Mechanics in the Paradigms in Physics Curriculum

      • FE04
      • Wed 07/17, 12:30PM - 2:30PM
      • by David McIntyre
      • Type: Panel
      • Our approach to modernizing the teaching of quantum mechanics in the Paradigms in Physics program includes adopting a "spins-first" approach and incorporating modern pedagogical strategies. We introduce quantum mechanics through the analysis of sequential Stern-Gerlach spin measurements. The aims of the spins-first approach are: (1) To immerse students in the inherently quantum mechanical aspects of physics, and (2) To give students experience with the mechanics of quantum mechanics in the forms of Dirac and matrix notation. To facilitate our spins-first approach, we use Stern-Gerlach simulation software to study measurements, interferometers, spin precession in a magnetic field, and "which-path" detection. We build upon the spins-first approach by using the spin-1/2 example to introduce perturbation theory, the addition of angular momentum, and identical particles. We also use other methods of encouraging student engagement in the classroom, such as small group activities, white board activities, kinesthetic activities, and computer visualization.
      • Improving Students' Understanding of Upper-Level Quantum Mechanics

      • FE05
      • Wed 07/17, 12:30PM - 2:30PM
      • by Chandralekha Singh
      • Type: Panel
      • Learning quantum mechanics is especially challenging, in part due to the abstract nature of the subject. We have been conducting investigations of the difficulties that students have in learning quantum mechanics. To help improve student understanding of quantum concepts, we are developing quantum interactive learning tutorials (QuILTs) as well as tools for peer-instruction. The goal of QuILTs and peer-instruction tools is to actively engage students in the learning process and to help them build links between the formalism and the conceptual aspects of quantum physics without compromising the technical content. They focus on helping students integrate qualitative and quantitative understanding, and discriminate between concepts that are often confused. In this talk, I will give examples from my research. Supported by the National Science Foundation.
  • ALPhA Labs in the Classroom

      • Can Instructional Lab Resemble Science Lab? What and How

      • FG01
      • Wed 07/17, 12:30PM - 1:00PM
      • by Eugenia Etkina
      • Type: Invited
      • In this talk I will describe how one can use physics instructional laboratory to create the spirit of a science lab. To achieve this we need to a) rethink the goals of the labs; b) have a clear vision of what the achievement of these goals looks like; c) create experiences for the students that will help them reach the desired achievement level. In my talk I will describe a 10-year long journey of Rutgers ISLE [1] labs that allowed us not only to answer the above questions but to collect robust data that show what activities students can be engaged in a lab to learn to approach experimental problems like scientists and how we can help them be successful in this endeavor.[2, 3]
      • Doing Research in the Advanced Lab: A Hybrid Approach

      • FG02
      • Wed 07/17, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Martin Madsen
      • Type: Invited
      • We have adopted a hybrid approach to our junior/senior physics major laboratory classes that integrates components from a more traditional advanced lab-like course and a full undergraduate research experience in a research lab. We have limited resources both in terms of faculty and budget which make it difficult to give our students research experience in faculty labs. I will describe our alternative approach which is to integrate the process of doing science in our advanced lab. Since we moved to this format, we have found better engagement from the students, positive feedback on the class from alumni, and have even published several papers in the American Journal of Physics.
      • A National Assessment of Undergraduate Physics Labs: First Results

      • FG03
      • Wed 07/17, 1:30PM - 1:40PM
      • by H. Lewandowski
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey for Experimental Physics (E-CLASS) is a short multiple choice survey that assesses students' attitudes about conducting physics experiments in an instructional setting and in professional research. The survey is given at the beginning and at the end of a course, whereupon students are also asked about what helped to earn a good grade in the course. A variety of aspects of experimentation are explored, including students' sense-making, affect, self-confidence, and the value of collaboration. Over 4000 E-CLASS responses have been gathered from over 30 courses at 17 colleges and universities. We will present a broad overview of our findings, including which student views are the least expert-like, which views shift most over the course of a semester, and which have largest differences between introductory and upper-division courses.
      • Students' Use of Modeling in the Upper Division Physics Laboratory

      • FG04
      • Wed 07/17, 1:40PM - 1:50PM
      • by Benjamin Zwickl
      • Type: Contributed
      • Modeling, the practice of developing, testing, and refining models of physical systems, has gained support as a key scientific practice in the K-12 Next Generation Science Standards, and in curricula such as Modeling Instruction, RealTime Physics, ISLE, and Matter & Interaction. However, modeling has gained less traction at the upper-division undergraduate level. As part of a larger effort to transform upper-division physics labs to incorporate scientific practices, including modeling, we conducted a series of think-aloud experimental activities using simple electronic and optical components in order to investigate how students use modeling with minimal explicit prompting in a laboratory setting. We review general patterns in students' use of models, describe our coding scheme, and conclude with a discussion of implications for the design of modeling-focused lab activities and lab-appropriate assessments.
      • Reflecting and Evaluation In Physics Labs: Can It Be Done?

      • FG05
      • Wed 07/17, 1:50PM - 2:00PM
      • by Natasha Holmes
      • Type: Contributed
      • Sense making behaviours during experiments, such as reflection and evaluation, often require a mastery of subject matter, as well as considerable technical understanding of equipment being used. Students are novices in both of these areas and so require assistance in developing these important behaviours. We have recently studied if, when, and how students reflect during physics labs. Our work showed that while many students were able to reflect on their results and correct systematic errors when two nominally equivalent measurements differed from one another by about 30%, very few would make corrections when the difference was only about 5%. Rather than confront the discrepancy, students often would simply increase their stated uncertainties to reflect the inaccuracy, so that 5% was not a significant difference. During this talk, I will present our study and discuss some of the approaches we are taking to target these behaviours in an introductory physics lab.
      • Evaluating Scientific Learning Community Labs at The University of Toledo

      • FG06
      • Wed 07/17, 2:00PM - 2:10PM
      • by Adam Lark
      • Type: Contributed
      • For three years The University of Toledo has been piloting our version of The University of Maryland's Scientific Community Labs (SCL) with the intent of replacing our traditional Real Time Physics Labs. This semester (fall 2013) we are running a full study comparing the SCL to the Traditional Labs. Using standard measures such as the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) and Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey for Experimental Physics (E-CLASS) surveys as well as interviews meant to gauge a student's procedural learning, we can compare both classes for changes in each throughout the semester.
  • Affective Issues and How They Impact Equity in the Classroom

      • When Feist and Frustration Spark Substantive Engagement

      • FA01
      • Wed 07/17, 12:30PM - 1:00PM
      • by Jennifer Richards
      • Type: Invited
      • Accounts from practicing scientists indicate that a variety of affectivelycharged experiences are common in the course of scientific practice and may spur continued pursuit and the development of new ideas. Yet we tend to shy away from certain affectively charged experiences in the classroom, such as extended argumentation for fear of students acting up and extended frustration for fear of students shutting down. In this talk, we focus on classroom examples in which teachers support students in engaging in feisty debate over competing ideas and in experiencing frustration as part of the process of and motivation for discovery. We consider how these affectively charged experiences may actually turn some students on to science, and we stress the need to assess the potential productivity of such experiences for student engagement and learning on a case-by-case basis. We conclude by discussing implications for classroom practice.
      • Humor in the Classroom: More than Just Fun

      • FA02
      • Wed 07/17, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Sissi Li
      • Type: Invited
      • Humor is often used to foster a positive learning community by making the classroom fun. However, humor can have subtle side-effects that support participation, shape social dynamics, and communicate attitudes about science and scientists. In this study, we have examined humor use in a classroom and how it supports student learning and classroom social dynamics. Because humor is highly individualistic, we cannot tell you best practices for humor use in the classroom. Instead, we propose some ways to attend to how humor is used and how it can impact classroom learning in nuanced and unexpected ways. Using observations of an upper-division thermal physics course over a semester, we have identified some practices with elements of humor. We will provide examples of how these practices lower the stakes for participation, invite learners to be valued/legitimate members of the classroom community, and support identity development as scientists.
      • Attitudes and Beliefs about Physics from a UK Academics' Perspective

      • FA03
      • Wed 07/17, 1:30PM - 1:40PM
      • by Robyn Donnelly
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS), predominantly used to compare student attitudes towards physics, was distributed to members of the Institute of Physics (IOP) to gain a measure of "expert" views from UK physics graduates. We present a comparison of attitudes and beliefs of male and female academics, industry members, and people at different levels of academia. Data collected indicates a statistically significant gender difference between academics' responses to statements probing attitudes towards studying physics. Results show that female academics have a significantly higher agreement with the "expert" response to some survey statements than male academics. Considering statement categories, female academics show consistently different responses to males in each category. Furthermore, preliminary results suggest that the "expert" view for some statements, measured by UK academics' responses, may not be in complete agreement with those of US faculty members used to establish the "expert" responses to the CLASS survey.
      • Inductive Reasoning: Equalizing Opportunities for Linguistically Diverse Students

      • FA04
      • Wed 07/17, 1:40PM - 1:50PM
      • by Shelly Belleau
      • Type: Contributed
      • Students learning English as a second language tend to underperform their English-speaking peers on traditional assessments, contributing to the issue of underrepresentation in STEM fields. This research investigates the extent to which curricula designed around evidence-based inductive reasoning, such as Physics and Everyday Thinking, can equalize opportunities for linguistically diverse students. Specifically, we evaluate how linguistically diverse learners and native English speakers perform in four categories: (i) asking questions and defining problems; (ii) developing and using models; (iii) constructing explanations and designing solutions; and (iv) engaging in evidence-based argumentation. Preliminary results indicate that students from linguistically diverse and English-speaking backgrounds demonstrated comparable growth in these scientific practices within the inductive reasoning environment. Links between this growth and the particularities of this learning environment are considered. These include maintaining space for making sense of natural phenomena by integrating everyday language with the technical language and practices of the discipline.
      • Physics as a Mechanism for Engaging English Language Learners

      • FA05
      • Wed 07/17, 1:50PM - 2:00PM
      • by Enrique Suarez
      • Type: Contributed
      • English Language Learners (ELLs) are frequently left on the periphery of classroom interactions. Due to limited reading and/or spoken language skills, teachers and peers communicate with these students less often, decreasing the number of opportunities to engage. We argue that basic scientific practice provides a ready-made environment for increasing engagement among students marginalized from classroom discourse. Environments that privilege scientific inductive reasoning invite students who are learning English to participate. This study investigated first-grade students' discussions about factors that affect how an object floats. Students came from a variety of language backgrounds; all were considered beginner/intermediate ELLs. Results show that the goal of inducing principles from actual phenomena encouraged students to communicate their ideas and mechanistic reasoning, eventually increasing students' confidence in expressing themselves. Following the hybrid space argument of Vygotsky's theory of concept formation, external expression leads to students' conceptual development, as well as to English language skills.
      • Rethinking the Locus of Evaluation to Promote Classroom Scientific Induction

      • FA06
      • Wed 07/17, 2:00PM - 2:10PM
      • by Mike Ross
      • Type: Contributed
      • For over a century, physicists and physics educators have attempted to transform physics education to engage students in scientific induction. These efforts have largely failed to bring about evidence-based, inductive reasoning on a broad scale. This study investigates the role of nontraditional evaluative structures in promoting authentic scientific reasoning among students, as contrasted with more commonly observed failure-avoidance behaviors, in two physics classes. Prominent evaluative structures in this context consisted of (1) individual and small group reconciliation of students' ideas and explanations with available laboratory evidence and (2) whole class consensus building of explanations that can best explain the evidence collected. Findings suggest that the relocation of evaluative authority over students' ideas and explanations to laboratory evidence and social consensus, rather than with teacher and text, can promote more authentic engagement, enjoyment, and a sense of identification with physics.
      • Using Intersectionality to Investigate Students' Affective Reactions to College Mathematics

      • FA07
      • Wed 07/17, 2:10PM - 2:20PM
      • by Hilary Dwyer
      • Type: Contributed
      • Many women and students of color leave STEM fields because they do not feel an affective connection to the culture of these disciplines. These individuals do not lack cognitive ability; rather they choose not to persist based on personal responses to factors such as sense of community, interactions with professors and peers, and stereotypes among professionals in the field. We used one-on-one interviews and focus groups to provide a safe space for students to discuss sensitive topics such as being a woman or man of color among mostly European American students and faculty. Applying an intersectionality lens to the testimonies of 24 math majors, we analyzed how gender and ethnicity together could illuminate students' affective responses to college mathematics. This project provides important implications for physics educators as undergraduate physics or engineering majors may hold similar views as the math students in this study.
  • Apparatus for Beyond the First Year of Instruction

      • A Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation Experiment for Undergraduate Labs

      • AA01
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 8:10AM
      • by Carl Akerlof
      • Type: Contributed
      • The discovery and understanding of the 2.7° K cosmic microwave background has been a fundamental key to the remarkable advances of cosmology over the past 50 years. Ever more sophisticated measurements of these fingerprints from the early universe will play a major role in testing current theories. We have constructed a relatively inexpensive 12 GHz radiometer as an optional experiment for an advanced undergraduate lab to demonstrate this radiation and the basic principles of detection. The radiometer consists of a narrow beam horn coupled to a low noise amplifier followed by a diode detector all supported on a simple alt-az mount. Detection is inferred from careful comparisons with room temperature and liquid nitrogen baths as well as the variation of signal with zenith angle.
      • 34 Experimental Versions of a Device Demonstrating Kinetic Motion of Gas Molecules

      • AA02
      • Mon 07/15, 8:10AM - 8:20AM
      • by Jung Bog Kim
      • Type: Contributed
      • We have modified a commercial simulator for 34 experiments in eight categories, which are 6 for pressure and buoyancy, 1 for Brazil nuts effect, 8 for gas molecules motion-related, 2 for osmosis, 6 for changes in states of matter, 5 for dissolving, 4 for temperature and heat transfer, 2 for sound. The product was originally developed for showing kinetic motion of gas molecules to teach both Boyle and Charles laws. Many small metal balls can be randomly moving in a long cylindrical tube by a vibrator installed on the cylinder bottom. Speed of the vibrator can be increased to show higher pressure at the fixed volume. By changing the position of a stopper inside the tube, volume can be controlled. Visualizations of molecule motion help students, who may have misconceptions because molecular motion is invisible, understand and form a scientific concept.
      • Apparatus to Visualize Radiography without the Use of Ionizing Radiation

      • AA03
      • Mon 07/15, 8:20AM - 8:30AM
      • by Otto Zietz
      • Type: Contributed
      • A device was constructed to demonstrate principles of radiography without the use of ionizing radiation. The device projects infrared radiation from light emitting diodes through an enclosure onto an upconverting phosphor screen. The enclosure is surrounded by material that transmits infrared light but absorbs visible light causing the identity and position of any objects inside to be obscured from sight. By rotating the infrared emitting array and the phosphor screen around the enclosure, students can view the contents of the box from multiple angles and thereby discern the shape and orientation of objects contained within. The apparatus can be used when teaching x-ray imaging and the fundamental concepts of computed tomography to pre-health majors.
      • Specially Designed Geiger-Mueller Counter for Instrumentation Training

      • AA05
      • Mon 07/15, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by Yongkang Le
      • Type: Contributed
      • Instrumentation, defined as the art and science of measurement and controlof process variables within a production or manufacturing area[1], is one of the important contents in frontier research. However, training on instrumentation is far from sufficient in teaching laboratories. Geiger-Mueller counter is widely employed for radiation detection. Characterization of a Geiger-Mueller counter is a typical teaching laboratory for students beyond the first year. Due to the long resolution time (in the order of 100 microsecond), the dynamic range of a typical Geiger-Mueller counter is limited to about 3000 counts per second. With the help of a differential circuit, the resolution time could be reduced significantly, thus extends the dynamic range of the Geiger-Mueller counter. Teaching practice based on such a device aiming the basic training on instrumentation will be reported. Reference: [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrumentation
      • The Millikan Experiment Without Oil Drops

      • AA06
      • Mon 07/15, 8:50AM - 9:00AM
      • by Gerald Feldman
      • Type: Contributed
      • Students learn about the Millikan Oil Drop experiment in their Modern Physics courses. Some courses have associated labs in which students actually perform the experiment, at the risk of going blind by following tiny illuminated droplets for many minutes. Since the value of this experiment lies in the analysis, a clever way to circumvent the difficulties of using oil drops was developed [1] in which discrete masses are measured (instead of discrete charges). By weighing film canisters with a finite number of marbles hidden inside, the same analysis can be applied to determine the "unit mass" of an individual marble. The experiment is simple to execute, very little equipment is needed, and students are challenged to deduce an analysis method that will yield an accurate result. Since my course at GWU has no formal lab, this was an ideal classroom activity that required little time but provided a large pedagogical payoff. I report on such a trial in the spring 2013 semester, including student results and reactions.
      • Force-Distance Curve Reconstruction Experiments Using a Multi-Frequency Atomic Force Microscope

      • AA07
      • Mon 07/15, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Yingzi Li
      • Type: Contributed
      • The signals from atomic force microscope (AFM) contains all the information of an interaction. Analyzing these signals can be very useful for researchers to understand the interaction. In this paper, the force curve, which indicates the interaction status, was obtained from AFM signals. Its corresponding frequency spectrum is produced by using Fourier transform and higher harmonics are extracted from the spectrum to reconstruct the force curve. This method depends on the study of the motion of cantilever, which can be achieved using a platform built in the laboratory. A special external dual-frequencies driver was used in force curve reconstruction experiments to enhance the produced signals because they were too weak to detect. Consequently, the force curve can be obtained by this method and experimental platform. In the beginning of the paper, the method shown above was introduced and then the result of force curve reconstruction experiment based on it was subsequently discussed. The experiment is expected to be a part of physical experiment courses.
  • Assessment of Informal Science Education

      • Practical Approaches to Evaluating Informal Science Learning

      • CG01
      • Tue 07/16, 7:30AM - 8:00AM
      • by Scott Pattison
      • Type: Invited
      • The opportunities for science learning outside of school are rich and varied, including visits to museums and science centers, after-school programs and science clubs, outdoor experiences, conversations with families and friends, reading, surfing the web, watching educational television programs, and more. As educators and researchers increasingly recognize, these experiences are a critical part of the nation's science education infrastructure. In this session, the speaker will draw upon over a decade of experience in informal science education to discuss the unique opportunities and challenges associated with evaluating and studying informal learning and describe a variety of evaluation strategies used at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry as part of program and exhibit development. He will also introduce a more practical approach for non-evaluation professionals, called team-based inquiry, designed to empower educators to incorporate evaluation into their work in order to create more effective informal science learning experiences.
      • Little Shop of Physics: It's Fun, But Is It Effective?

      • CG02
      • Tue 07/16, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Brian Jones
      • Type: Invited
      • A glance at the energy and enthusiasm levels of the K-12 students working with Little Shop of Physics hands-on experiment stations reveals an obvious fact: They are having fun. But a decade of careful assessment shows that they are learning science concepts as well. In this talk I'll share the progress of our assessment program, from informal early efforts to our later more formal testing. I will also discuss how assessment of all aspects of our program has guided our efforts. How much time does a student spend with one of our experiment stations? What is the best level of engagement of our undergraduate interns? What is the best way to engage both male and female students? What is the benefit of taking part in the program to our undergraduate interns? The lessons we've learned may be useful to others as they develop their own informal science programs.
      • Evaluating Informal Learning Experiences

      • CG03
      • Tue 07/16, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by David Heil
      • Type: Invited
      • Evaluation is an increasingly important element of both public and privatefunded projects. This session will explore the nature of informal learning and the role that evaluation plays in helping a project team successfully meet their goals and objectives, introduce a variety of approaches used in informal education evaluation, and share lessons learned from the field. The presenter will describe the value and methodologies of three types of evaluation: Front End, which measures an audience's prior knowledge, interests, needs, and expectations as well as assessing the landscape within which a program or exhibit will be used; Formative, which helps inform the design and revisions of educational programs and exhibits with real data; and Summative, which measures the efficacy and impact of an educational experience. Examples from a range of informal learning experiences will be shared and attendees will be given the opportunity to ask questions about evaluating their own projects.
  • Best Practices in Educational Technology

      • RAWR: Rapid Assessment and Web Reports

      • DC01
      • Tue 07/16, 10:30AM - 11:00AM
      • by Scott Franklin
      • Type: Invited
      • Physics courses are structured so as to build upon prior knowledge. Kinematics concepts are used to learn dynamics, which themselves are used in the study of energy, momentum, and conservation. When this assumption fails, however, the results can be mystifying. Why, for example, should instruction in circuits hurt students' understanding of Newton's third law? Surprisingly, new knowledge can negatively impact student understanding (interference}, suggesting a more subtle dynamic than simple layering. In this talk I will describe recent technological advances that allow instructors to investigate student learning on a finer time scale than pre-/post-testing. RAWR (Rapid Assessment and Web Reports) contains web-based conceptual quizzes, the ability to upload extant data, and easy-to-use online analysis techniques. The pedagogical consequences are immense, allowing instructors to consider how new topics reinforce or interfere with prior knowledge, and adapt their instruction to the particular state of their students.
      • Flipping Intro Physics at the University of Illinois

      • DC02
      • Tue 07/16, 11:00AM - 11:30AM
      • by Mats Selen
      • Type: Invited
      • We have all faced the problem of students coming to class unprepared. Assigned readings from the textbook are often ignored, and many students are seeing the material for the first time as you present it. The Physics Education Research Group at the University of Illinois has developed a suite of online pre-lecture activities to address this problem. Before each class, animated Multimedia Learning Modules present students with all of the required concepts, and Just in Time Teaching questions provide feedback to both students and professor. This preparation allows peer instruction to transform a passive lecture into an active learning environment. In this talk I will describe our success with the above approach, and will provide a sneak peek at our current efforts to integrate hands-on activities into the same technological framework.
      • Integrating Direct Measurement Video into Physics Instruction

      • DC03
      • Tue 07/16, 11:30AM - 12:00PM
      • by Peter Bohacek
      • Type: Invited
      • The growing collection of Direct Measurement Videos for teaching physics will be presented, as well as methods to integrate them into physics instruction. Direct Measurement Videos are short videos of events that can be analyzed using physics concepts. Grids, rulers, frame-counters, and other overlays allow students to make quick and precise measurements directly from the video. Students use these measurements to answer questions and solve problems. Three ways to use direct measurement videos will be discussed. First, a series of related videos can be used as part of a guided inquiry where students develop and explore physics concepts. For example, students analyze a series of videos to develop and apply the concept of momentum conservation. Second, videos can be used for problem-solving practice, where students make measurements from the video to solve problems. Finally, a collection of questions based on Direct Measurement videos is available from WebAssign.
  • Best Practices in Educational Technology II

      • Clickers in Small Classrooms: A Help or Hindrance?

      • GG01
      • Wed 07/17, 2:40PM - 2:50PM
      • by Bradley Moser
      • Type: Contributed
      • Clickers are often viewed as beneficial to student learning, especially inlarge classes, where they help create an interactive environment. Are clickers unfailingly fruitful, or do they sometimes stymie successful instruction? At the University of New England, small Studio Physics classrooms and modeling instruction methods offer a highly engaging learning experience to students. In a classroom that already offers a compelling learning environment, are clickers a useful pedagogical tool or a redundancy? Drawing heavily upon Peer Instruction and PhET simulations, four instructors used a bank of questions aimed at ascertaining clicker effectiveness. Two instructors used clickers, while two others presented questions without the use of such technology. Style, implementation, and enthusiasm were varied. Gathering evidence in the form of clicker responses, assessment gains, student feedback, and instructor feedback, we scrutinized the relative contribution of clickers to student learning and offer our advice on best practices.
      • Creating a Community of Nerds with Facebook Groups

      • GG02
      • Wed 07/17, 2:50PM - 3:00PM
      • by Eugene Torigoe
      • Type: Contributed
      • In 2011 I was the second member of a Facebook group created for people in the Allegheny College Physics Department. The group has grown to over 50 members and has become a forum to discuss physics news, to share jokes, and to ask questions. It has lowered the barrier of communication between faculty, students and alumni. This year I started another Facebook group for the Thiel College Physics Department, and it has been a very important tool we use to recruit students and connect with others in the community. I'll discuss how to set up a group, the benefits of having a Facebook group, and some of the challenges I've faced building a community.
      • Improving Formative Assessment in High School Physics with Learning Catalytics

      • GG03
      • Wed 07/17, 3:00PM - 3:10PM
      • by Lisa Lamont
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Windward Science and Technology Department has implemented Learning Catalytics in its introductory physics classroom, utilizing this cloud-based audience-response platform to take formative assessment to the next level. Developed by Harvard researchers, Learning Catalytics greatly expands on existing clicker technology, offering additional means of assessing student comprehension. Windward faculty has integrated this tool into their existing student-centered, inquiry-based curriculum. The curriculum combines hands-on laboratory activities and demonstrations with formative assessments delivered via the Learning Catalytics platform. The program utilizes proven teaching strategies such as Physics Ranking Tasks and Interactive Lecture Demonstrations that are quickly delivered and evaluated using this unique system. The discussion will include Windward's experience with implementation, observed outcomes, and directions for future study, described in the context of two academic units.
      • Does Electronic Homework Impact Students' Performance in College Physics?

      • GG04
      • Wed 07/17, 3:10PM - 3:20PM
      • by Emily Roth
      • Type: Contributed
      • The purpose of this study is to get a better understanding of the impact that online homework versus hard-copy homework assignments have on performance in introductory algebra-based physics at Bradley University. An initial step in this study was to examine online homework effectiveness by analyzing factors such as homework completion time, homework scores, individual exam scores, average test scores, and initial Force Concepts Inventory (FCI) scores (N=29, Fall 2012), taught in the traditional format. In the spring of 2013 two sections of the course were conducted in a similar format; however one section used handwritten assignments, while the second used online assignments from Mastering Physics with the same problems (N~27). The results are presented in this work.
      • Effective Use of LaTeX in High School Physics Assessment

      • GG05
      • Wed 07/17, 3:20PM - 3:30PM
      • by Joshua Gates
      • Type: Contributed
      • LaTeX markup language is used widely in academia and by college and university professors, but it isn't as widely known among high school teachers. The easily learned/easily Googleable syntax can make beautiful and flexible assessments. The author will present some basics, offer templates and libraries for use, and demonstrate how Python programming can be used to manage a database of problems -- creating, displaying, and assembling them into assessments much more quickly than can be done with word-processing software (and with better results).
      • Using Tablets in a Large-Enrollment Introductory Course

      • GG06
      • Wed 07/17, 3:30PM - 3:40PM
      • by Todd Ruskell
      • Type: Contributed
      • Many large-enrollment introductory physics courses now use personal response devices (clickers) to engage students during class and collect data for real-time formative assessment. However, most systems only allow for multiple-choice or in some cases numeric or simple text answers. A program called inkSurvey allows faculty to ask more open-ended questions and students can submit both text and graphical responses from tablet computers. This provides faculty much greater insight into a student's problem-solving process.  In our pilot project standard clickers were used in the first half of a calculus-based physics I course, and in the second half of the semester, tablets and inkSurvey were used to collect formative assessment data. We will report on impressions of both the faculty and students regarding the relative utility and effectiveness of each tool in promoting higher-order thinking and improved class performance.
      • Wireless Open Source Physics Laboratory Data Acquisition System

      • GG07
      • Wed 07/17, 3:40PM - 3:50PM
      • by Zengqiang Liu
      • Type: Contributed
      • A data acquisition system (DAQ) is critical to laboratory physics teachingbut is often viewed as a black box and is expensive, which limits time and location for experiential learning to one to three hours of weekly scheduled session in lab rooms. With the AAPT award-wining open source physics laboratory (OSPL) DAQ, the cost is drastically reduced. OSPL promotes experiential learning beyond lab sessions and lab rooms, and provides students opportunities to learn "what's inside the box". The cost and labor of the newly designed OSPL 2.0 DAQ are $60 and one hour. OSPL 2.0 also features Bluetooth wireless data transfer and a polished new look. OSPL 2.0 includes a variety of accurate low-cost home-made sensors and an expanded list of compatible sensors from existing vendors. This provides huge opportunity for introductory physics laboratory curriculum development, cost effective lab equipment improvement and lab components in online education.
      • Social Media in the Public H.S. Physics Classroom

      • GG08
      • Wed 07/17, 3:50PM - 4:00PM
      • by Fran Poodry
      • Type: Contributed
      • Issues abound when high school teachers communicate with high school students over social media. How can social media be used effectively at the high school level without violating school/district policies? What can be accomplished through social media that would not happen within the classroom? Why should a teacher use social media at all with one's students, given the issues involved? I use Facebook and Twitter with high school students in a public school setting and will share guidelines and tips. You can follow me on Twitter by searching for the username MsPoodry.
      • Using Piazza in an Introductory Physics Class

      • GG09
      • Wed 07/17, 4:00PM - 4:10PM
      • by Andrew Duffy
      • Type: Contributed
      • At Boston University, we have been using Piazza, a free social-media tool,in our large introductory physics classes. The idea is that, instead of sending course-related questions in individual e-mails to the instructors, the students post the questions on Piazza, where they can be answered by other students or by members of the course staff. All students have access to the information, and are able to take part in follow-up discussions. The result, over a semester, is a large collection of threaded (and searchable) discussions. The talk will give a brief introduction to Piazza, and discuss the benefits of using Piazza in a large-enrollment class.
      • SkyDrive and Office Web Apps for Student Research Project Management

      • GG10
      • Wed 07/17, 4:10PM - 4:20PM
      • by Changgong Zhou
      • Type: Contributed
      • Undergraduate research projects provide students with valuable research experiences. However, for the young researchers, especially those first-timers, the lack of project management skills can make it difficult to remain motivated and organized. Meanwhile, simultaneously supervising several projects that are usually different in many aspects, such as project scopes, research methods, student readiness and etc., can pose a challenge to a professor who often has other academic and administrative duties. In this presentation, a project management practice centered on Microsoft SkyDrive and Office Web Apps is described. This practice, by integrating centralized management with shared responsibilities, can make project supervising less demanding for professors, and has the potential to foster project management skills for student researchers.
      • Instructors Take Note: Course Structure Impacts Student Use of Etexts

      • GG11
      • Wed 07/17, 4:20PM - 4:30PM
      • by Daniel Seaton
      • Type: Contributed
      • The overall amount, and the manner, in which students use e-texts depends strongly on course structure, but weakly on class size or on whether the online environment is blended, distance learning, or open. Analyzing tracking logs from the LON-CAPA and edX platforms, we determine the use of etexts in more than 16 introductory physics courses at Michigan State University and MIT, plus four non-physics courses from MITx. A two -parameter model of usage distributions reveals that traditional course structure (few exams, other learning resources besides the e-text) generally correlates with the average student viewing less that 20% of the text, whereas reformed structure (frequent exams, embedded assessment in the assigned e-text) correlates with students viewing over 70%. Our data-mining techniques also analyze the temporal pattern of e-text use, distinguishing weekly reading from review immediately before (or during open book) exams.
  • Broader Perspectives: Students' Understanding

      • Claims, Arguments and Evidence: Examples from Qualitative and Quantitative PER

      • AB01
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Paula Heron
      • Type: Invited
      • The Physics Education Group at the University of Washington investigates student learning in an iterative cycle in which basic research, classroom instruction, and the development of instructional materials are inextricably linked. In talks and presentations we make (at least) two types of claims: we attribute student errors made in response to tasks posed in writing or during interviews to underlying thought patterns, and we attribute improved performance on such tasks to the instructional interventions we design. In this talk I will use examples to discuss the nature of these claims and the evidence required to support them.
      • Students' Difficulties in Learning the Field Theory in Electromagnetism at First Year of University

      • AB02
      • Mon 07/15, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Jenaro Guisasola
      • Type: Invited
      • This study examines first-year engineering students' understanding of the field theory in classical electromagnetism. It is assumed that significant knowledge of the field theory is a basic prerequisite when students have to think about electromagnetic phenomena. We made an epistemological analysis of the Maxwell's field theory that show the principal conceptual knots of the theory. From the analysis we have raised questions to test students' understanding. We found that most of students failed to distinguish between field concept and forces, to recognize that field cannot change instantaneously, identifying the source of magnetic field, to confuse the imaginary representation of the field lines with real lines in the space. It is concluded that although the questionnaire and interviews involved a limited range of phenomena, the identified can provide information for curriculum development by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of students' conceptions.
      • Student Difficulties with Implications of the Buoyant Force

      • AB03
      • Mon 07/15, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by DJ Wagner
      • Type: Contributed
      • One "standard" buoyancy question asks about the effect on the water level of an enclosed container, when objects are removed from a floating boat and sink to the bottom of the container, or when objects from the bottom are placed in a floating boat. We have used several versions of this question during the development of a static fluids assessment, in an attempt to find one that students with a reasonable understanding of buoyancy can answer correctly. This talk will discuss results for different versions of this question and present the results for different populations.
      • Similar Density Questions with Very Different Results

      • AB04
      • Mon 07/15, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Ashley Lindow
      • Type: Contributed
      • While developing a standardized fluids assessment covering buoyancy and pressure, we discovered deficiencies in student understanding of density. In particular, many college students do not recognize that density is a fixed property of a solid substance, such as aluminum or gold. We added questions to our diagnostic exam to probe the extent of student difficulties. In one of our questions, only 50-60% of students recognize that the density of gold is a fixed value. When similar questions from an existing diagnostic [1] are used, however, 85-90% of students correctly identify the density of a piece of wood and of a diamond as fixed values. In this paper we discuss the differences between these questions and how those differences affect student responses.
      • An Evaluation of the Translated Version of the FMCE

      • AB05
      • Mon 07/15, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Michi Ishimoto
      • Type: Contributed
      • This study assesses the Japanese translation of the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation (abbreviated to FMCEJ). Because of differences between the Japanese and English languages, as well as between the Japanese and American educational systems, it is important to assess the Japanese translation of the FMCE, a test originally developed in English for American students. The data consist of the pre-test results of 1095 students, most of whom were first-year students at a mid-level engineering school between 2003 and 2012. The basic statistics and the classical test theory indices of the FMCEJ indicate that its reliability and discrimination are adequate in assessing Japanese students' pre-concepts about motion.The pre-concepts assessed with the FMCEJ are quite similar to those of American students, thereby supporting its validity.
      • Introductory Physics Students' Abstraction Levels

      • AB06
      • Mon 07/15, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Sergio Flores
      • Type: Contributed
      • We present results related to students' abstraction levels in learning situations through the concept of variation in the context of one-dimensional motion. This investigation was conducted in the University of Juarez. The main goal was the exploration of the relationship between the different representation systems, and the mathematical and physical contexts. The collected data show that this relationship represents an ultimate tool to improve the development of the mathematical abstraction levels during the students' understanding of physics. We calculated correlation coefficients as indicators of the functionality and transference level of the evaluated topics.
      • Using PER-based Curriculum to Non-STEM Students Under Difficult Conditions

      • AB07
      • Mon 07/15, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Julio Benegas
      • Type: Contributed
      • The general subject of how to implement effective pedagogy in settings very different to those where they were developed is addressed in this presentation. The case study is the general physics course for pharmacy students at a National University in Argentina whose main subjects are mechanics, E&M, optics, sound and fluids. Course evaluation is problem-solving based. An extra difficulty is the very low initial students' knowledge of basic math and physics, compounded with their very poor scientific reasoning abilities. Results show important learning gains obtained by using PER-based curriculum in lectures, problem solving, and lab sessions, while the previous traditionally oriented courses obtained low reduced gains, resembling those previously obtained by STEM students of American colleges and universities. The measuring instruments are a conceptual math and physics diagnostic, built up with selected questions of a multiple-choice, single answer PER-based test and the Lawson test of scientific reasoning.
      • The Trouble with Logarithmic Algebra

      • AB08
      • Mon 07/15, 9:50AM - 10:00AM
      • by James Day
      • Type: Contributed
      • The ability to handle real data is a key skill for students to develop. Scientists communicate using various representations of data (i.e. tables, graphs, and equations) and must be fluent in translating between them. The ability to analyze data has been given prominence in the descriptions of the goals of physics teaching by policy bodies such as the AAPT: one specific learning goal states that "students should be able to graph data and describe the relationships between quantities both in their own words and in terms of the mathematical relationship between the variables." In-class assessments have shown us that major obstacles for students in translating from a graph or table to a mathematical model stem from deficiencies in basic logarithmic algebra ability. In this talk I will share the concepts that students struggle with most and suggest strategies to target this base skill.
  • Crackerbarrel: Bringing Apparatus to Conferences and Organizations Nationally

      • Crackerbarrel: Bringing Apparatus to Conferences and Organizations Nationally

      • CKRL08
      • Tue 07/16, 1:00PM - 2:00PM
      • by David Sturm, University of Maine
      • Type: Ckrbrl
      • An observation of AAPT meetings has been the reduction of apparatus on display in as many sessions as once was common. How can organizers, presenters and attendees work together to encourage the demonstration of apparatus at AAPT national meetings, and also at section meetings, APS and NSTA meetings? Can we increase familiarity with apparatus in the community? Join us for a crackerbarrel to develop ideas on how to broaden the reach of demonstration of apparatus.
  • Crackerbarrel: For Solo PER

      • Crackerbarrel: For Solo PER

      • CKRL11
      • Wed 07/17, 11:00AM - 12:30PM
      • by Steve Maier
      • Type: Ckrbrl
      • Are you the only professional active in PER within your department? Are there only one or two colleagues in close proximity you can talk ?PER shop? with? The membership of Solo PER is larger than you may think, and more diverse than most suspect. Join us for this crackerbarrel to connect with other Solo PER professionals and learn what is being done to help our/your endeavors. As in the past, bring questions, ideas and professional concerns to share.
  • Crackerbarrel: Graduate Student

      • Crackerbarrel: Graduate Student

      • CKRL03
      • Mon 07/15, 7:10PM - 8:30PM
      • by Ben Van Dusen
      • Type: Ckrbrl
      • This session is the primary opportunity for members of the PER graduate students community to meet and discuss common issues.
  • Crackerbarrel: Next Generation Science Education Standards

      • Crackerbarrel: Next Generation Science Education Standards

      • CKRL10
      • Wed 07/17, 11:00AM - 12:30PM
      • by Cathy Ezrailson
      • Type: Ckrbrl
      • This is a Crackerbarrel session.
  • Crackerbarrel: Physics and Society

      • Crackerbarrel: Physics and Society

      • CKRL01
      • Mon 07/15, 12:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Steve Lindaas
      • Type: Ckrbrl
      • Join your colleagues for an informal discussion about physics-related societal issues such as energy use, global warming, nuclear power and weapons, resource extraction, and pseudoscience. Contribute your ideas about teaching these issues and communicating such information to the general public.
  • Crackerbarrel: Planning Future TYC Meetings

      • Crackerbarrel: Planning Future TYC Meetings

      • CKRL06
      • Tue 07/16, 12:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Renee Lathrop
      • Type: Ckrbrl
      • The Two-Year College committee has been coordinating and planning tandem meetings that focus on two-year college concerns and interests. This session will be a planning session where we are looking for ideas and suggestions on topics for future TYC meetings.
  • Crackerbarrel: The State of the Instructional Lab

      • Crackerbarrel: The State of the Instructional Lab

      • CKRL09
      • Wed 07/17, 11:00AM - 12:30PM
      • by Timothy Grove
      • Type: Ckrbrl
      • This will be an open discussion where current issues affecting the instructional lab will be discussed. The floor is open to lab goals, workload issues, equipment costs vs. funding, etc.
  • Crackerbarrel: There's an App for That

      • Crackerbarrel: There's an App for That

      • CKRL07
      • Tue 07/16, 12:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Andrew Duffy
      • Type: Ckrbrl
      • The world of apps has exploded in recent years, and there are now many apps, on different platforms, that are useful for both the teaching and learning of physics. If you have a favorite physics app, please come and take a few minutes to demonstrate what it can do and how to use it. If you'd just like to see what other people are doing with mobile devices, this cracker-barrel session is also for you.
  • Crackerbarrel: Vidshare: Motivating and Elucidating Short Videos You Can Use!

      • Crackerbarrel: Vidshare: Motivating and Elucidating Short Videos You Can Use!

      • CKRL05
      • Mon 07/15, 7:10PM - 8:30PM
      • by Michael Meyer
      • Type: Ckrbrl
      • At this cracker barrel, 15-20 contributors will be given 3-5 minutes to show a short (2-3 minute) video segment and then explain and answer questions about how it could be used in class. A list of all submitted videos and descriptions will be compiled and made available online after the session. Those wishing to contribute a video to the session should contact Bruce Mason, bmason@ou.edu. Participants will also be able to sign up at the session, if time is available. Videos should be online and easily accessible over the web.
  • Crackerbarrel: Web Resources for Astronomy

      • Crackerbarrel: Web Resources for Astronomy

      • CKRL02
      • Mon 07/15, 12:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Kevin Lee
      • Type: Ckrbrl
      • The growth of the Internet has placed an abundance of wonderful teaching resources at our fingertips. Simulations, data repositories, wikis, opencourseware, web-based assessment engines, and many other types of resources are transforming how we teach. This crackerbarrel will provide an opportunity for astronomy educators to see a number of these new technologies and participate in discussions of how the technologies can be incorporated into their teaching.
  • Crackerbarrel: Writing in the Laboratory

      • Crackerbarrel: Writing in the Laboratory

      • CKRL04
      • Mon 07/15, 7:10PM - 8:30PM
      • by Mark Masters
      • Type: Ckrbrl
      • In this crackerbarrel we (as in all attendees) will discuss the value and importance of writing in the laboratory and the use of writing as an assessment tool.
  • Curriculum, Assessment, and Student Outcomes in the Undergraduate Program

      • Curriculum, Assessment, and Student Outcomes in the Undergraduate Program

      • BA
      • Mon 07/15, 4:00PM - 6:00PM
      • by Andy Gavrin
      • Type: Panel
      • The AAPT has established a task force to consider the future of the undergraduate physics curriculum. The task forced is charged with ?developing specific, multiple recommendations for coherent and relevant undergraduate curricula (including course work, undergraduate research, mentoring, etc..) for different types of physics majors in collaboration with the APS and AIP, and with developing recommendations for the implementation and assessment of such curricula.? The Panelists will address topics under consideration by the task force, and lead a discussion with the audience.
  • Demo and Lab Ideas for the H.S. Physics Classroom

      • Fun and Insightful Demonstrations for High School Teachers

      • BB01
      • Mon 07/15, 4:00PM - 4:30PM
      • by Ralf Widenhorn
      • Type: Invited
      • We will present a number of demonstrations for the high school physics classroom covering a range of topics. The presentation is done by Portland State University's Science Outreach Society and physics high school teachers and demonstrators from Oregon, led by Ralf Widenhorn of Portland State University. The presentation includes time for discussion and questions and contributions throughout the half hour.
      • More Demonstration Ideas for the H.S. Physics Classroom

      • BB02
      • Mon 07/15, 4:30PM - 5:00PM
      • by David Sturm
      • Type: Invited
      • We continue the presentation of demonstrations for the high school physicsclassroom. This presentation includes PIRA and national physics demonstrators, led by D. Sturm (PIRA representative to AAPT). Includes time for discussion and questions, and contributions from participants throughout the half hour.  (Part 2 of 2).
      • Exploring Electricity and Circuits from a Battery's Perspective

      • BB03
      • Mon 07/15, 5:00PM - 5:30PM
      • by John Lewis
      • Type: Invited
      • Exploring electricity from the perspective of the battery provides a rich,data-driven, laboratory-centered experience for students which propels them to understand practical applications of electrical energy including battery life, energy storage, and the difference between power and work. Connecting batteries in series and parallel while measuring the potential difference and current provided in each case leads students to experimental revelations that far exceed more traditional approaches to the studies of electric circuits. Students put batteries to the test to determine answers to real-world questions like, "Which battery provides the greatest value for my dollar?" "Why doesn't a flashlight give me a hint when it is about to fail?" or "How does the cost of energy provided by a commercial battery compare to that provided by our electrical power companies?" This session will share the benefits and challenges of undertaking this type of study and will provide ample time for participants to reflect, question and discuss.
      • A Common "Cents" Lab

      • BB04
      • Mon 07/15, 5:30PM - 6:00PM
      • by Duane Deardorff
      • Type: Invited
      • This simple laboratory activity provides a basic introduction to measurements and their uncertainties while challenging students to use critical thinking and reasoning skills. By taking measurements of mass, diameter, and the thickness of pennies, students calculate the average density of these coins and often find that their results do not agree with other students or the theoretical value based on the metal composition. The reasons for these discrepancies provide valuable lessons for students. An overview of this activity along with typical results will be presented.
  • Education Research at the Boundary of Physics and Biology

      • Designing an Interdisciplinary Physics Course to Support Scientific Reasoning Skills

      • BF01
      • Mon 07/15, 4:00PM - 4:30PM
      • by Vashti Sawtelle
      • Type: Invited
      • Our course in Introductory Physics for Life Science (IPLS) majors at the University of Maryland works to bridge the disciplines of biology and physics with a primary focus on developing students' scientific reasoning skills. These include developing students' abilities (1) to know when and how to use different concepts, (2) to make and justify modeling decisions, and (3) to make implicit assumptions visible. Our interdisciplinary course provides students an opportunity to examine how these decisions may differ depending on canonical disciplinary aims and interests. Our focus on developing reasoning skills requires shifting course topics to focus on core ideas that span the disciplines as well as foregrounding typically tacit disciplinary assumptions. In this talk we present concrete examples from our IPLS course to give a sense of what it looks like to implement a vision focused on these reasoning skills in an interdisciplinary classroom.
      • Introductory Physics in Biological Context

      • BF02
      • Mon 07/15, 4:30PM - 5:00PM
      • by Catherine Crouch
      • Type: Invited
      • Physics is an increasingly important foundation for today's life sciences and medicine (hereafter "the life sciences"). However, the physics content and ways of thinking identified by life scientists as most important for these fields are often not taught, or underemphasized, in traditional algebra-based college physics courses. Furthermore, such courses rarely give students practice using physics to understand the life sciences in a substantial way. Consequently, students are unlikely to recognize the value of physics to their chosen fields, or to develop facility in applying it to biological systems. In this talk I will present common themes among reformed introductory physics for the life sciences (IPLS) courses that are organized around significant life science applications of physics, describe the guiding pedagogical principles and the process of developing and implementing such courses, present initial assessment data, and identify directions for further development and research.
      • Preparing to Teach IPLS: Motivations, Challenges, and Resources

      • BF03
      • Mon 07/15, 5:00PM - 5:30PM
      • by Juan Burciaga
      • Type: Invited
      • The physics community is experiencing a growing pressure to reform the Introductory Physics Courses for the Life Sciences (IPLS). Part of this pressure for reform is external (e.g., the changing nature of biological research or the revision to the MCAT) and part is internal (e.g., faculty dissatisfaction with the traditional course). And as faculty turn their attention to reform efforts, we encounter many challenges and barriers, some expected but many unexpected, and far too many intransigent. What is the source of this demand for reform? How can an individual faculty respond to this demand? What are the barriers to both local and community-wide reform? What resources exist, or are being developed, to aid individual faculty and the physics community as a whole to respond to the groundswell of change? The paper will summarize, and expand on, the discussions that members of the physics community have been pursuing over the last four years.
      • Exploring "Thinking Like a Biologist" in the Context of Physics

      • BF04
      • Mon 07/15, 5:30PM - 6:00PM
      • by Kimberly Tanner
      • Type: Invited
      • University biology education aims to produce students with biological expertise, which includes not only accrual of biological knowledge, but also organization of that knowledge into a biological framework. The recent publication of "Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education" includes such a framework that can be used to prioritize what biology students are learning and to help them organize this information. This framework asserts only five fundamental biological principles: 1) structure-function relationships, 2) pathways and transformations of energy and matter, 3) interconnected systems, 4) information flow, and 5) evolution. So, how might these principles inform the development of physics courses for life science students? To what extent might these fundamental organizing principles of biological expertise align with physics principles? To what extent might they be in conflict? And how could we begin to measure how students navigate, integrate, or segregate these organizing principles across the disciplines of physics and biology?
  • Engineering in the Physics Classroom

      • Strategies for Bringing Back the "T&E" in STEM

      • BC01
      • Mon 07/15, 4:00PM - 4:30PM
      • by Duane Crum
      • Type: Invited
      • When modern physics was first introduced to high schools in the 1950s, it provided much better alignment with college physics but introduced a number of unintended consequences. Most importantly, the "T&E" in STEM was largely removed from high school course offerings. Today, as the STEM phenomenon grows exponentially, schools struggle to reincorporate "T&E". Our economy is driven by Technology and fields of Engineering that didn't even exist 20 years ago. Introducing our students to this information is critical but, with budget cutbacks and reductions in class periods, adding this material is difficult at best. Adding such material to a physics class is nearly impossible without changes to the standards. Successful strategies for dealing with this problem in high schools and middle schools will be discussed. Project Lead the Way will be described as one example of a successful program that is helping to solve these problems.
      • Teaching Green Engineering and Physics with Project Lead the Way

      • BC02
      • Mon 07/15, 4:30PM - 5:00PM
      • by Michael Waltz
      • Type: Invited
      • Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is primarily known as a source of Pre-Engineering curriculum which helps students in grades 7-12 prepare for college through hands-on, project-based learning. Many of the engineering topics in this curriculum overlap with the high school physics curriculum. Additionally, the PLTW curriculum contains many projects that already have "Green" components or that can be modified to teach renewable energy, energy efficiency, and recycling. The Green Engineering Academy at Livermore High School has combined PLTW, Physics, and Green Engineering topics in an innovative new course.
      • Research Experience for Teachers: Creating an Automated Waste Sorting Device

      • BC03
      • Mon 07/15, 5:00PM - 5:10PM
      • by James Hancock II
      • Type: Contributed
      • Based on the automated waste sorting competition from the American Societyof Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the participants in this Research Experience for Teachers (RET) designed and fabricated a device used to sort recyclable materials. The purpose of the RET was to expose current and future teachers to engineering processes and how they relate to content standards covered in the NGSS. Working closely with an undergraduate engineering student and a CMU faculty member, the pre-service and in-service teachers developed a plan to create a robot with the capability of autonomously sorting glass, plastic, aluminum, and tin recyclables. Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 were used as the computer and sensing devices for the project. Extensive fabrication and revision were required to create the final waste sorter. The principles of engineering research to be incorporated in a 7-12 grade classroom include research, development, fabrication, and prototyping elements.
      • Designing a Model Rocket to Deliver Air Quality Sensors

      • BC04
      • Mon 07/15, 5:10PM - 5:20PM
      • by Kathleen Melious
      • Type: Contributed
      • In 2013 the EPA estimates that it will spend close to $1 billion on projects related to improving the air quality of the United States 1. While the air quality across a community is easily monitored at ground level, crucial data about the health of an area's atmosphere can be obtained by monitoring conditions at low altitudes (100 - 800 meters) across a community 2. The goal of our project is to construct a delivery system for air quality sensors from commonly available amateur rocketry supplies. The delivery system must be reliable in delivering the payload to a constant and reproducible altitude as well as allowing for safe and reliable recovery of the system after each flight. Additional Author: Blake Compton T Wingate ANdrews High School
      • Ice Investigations for Physics Students -- A Post AP-Exam Opportunity

      • BC05
      • Mon 07/15, 5:20PM - 5:30PM
      • by Mark Buchli
      • Type: Contributed
      • How can a year of physics instruction be topped? Take those bright students into a complex research setting and see what they can do. Ice Investigations for Physics Students challenges AP physics students in two areas: a) the physics of sea ice (experiments in thermodynamics & light transmission) and b) working with Arctic Sea Ice data in predicting and analyzing spatial and temporal trends in sea ice extent. Experiments will be described, resources will be presented, and design possibilities will be discussed in an engaging format. This project is supported by a National Science Foundation grant through the Polar Science Center at the Applied Physics Lab - University of Washington.
      • Promote the "E" in STEM: Renewable Energy Connect Engineering Research

      • BC06
      • Mon 07/15, 5:30PM - 5:40PM
      • by Lisa Grable
      • Type: Contributed
      • Power-related activities from The Science House, NC State University (in partnership with the NSF FREEDM Systems Center) will be presented. Learn techniques for middle and high school hands on wind, solar, capacitors, and more! Renewable energy activities will be presented as eight crosscutting concept stations. The activities are appropriate for middle or high school and include endothermic reaction; batteries, bulbs, and capacitors; solar panel; wind turbine; fruit battery and more. The activities connect to the electrical engineering research being done by the FREEDM Systems Center (Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management). The activities are based in inquiry (scientific and engineering practices) and include data collection and analysis. They are intended to introduce students to the renewable energy work of power engineers. (www.science-house.org/freedm) Project is supported in part by NSF Award #EEC-0812121.
  • Evolving Practices of Teacher Preparation to Meet the Next Generation Science Standards

      • Scientific Practices in NGSS and Physics Courses for K-12 Teachers

      • BJ01
      • Mon 07/15, 4:00PM - 4:30PM
      • by Paul Hutchison
      • Type: Invited
      • With the arrival of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) it is important to consider how physics content courses for K-12 teachers can support NGSS-envisioned science instruction. The NGSS is the first significant science education reform document to place the learning of scientific practices on equal footing with the development of conceptual understanding. While teachers are skilled in assessing students' conceptual understanding, we expect many current and future science teachers "even those with undergraduate degrees in science" are ill-prepared to assess the quality of student engagement in scientific practices. That is an ability teachers will need if implementation of NGSS is to be successful. Physics content courses provide an ideal venue for developing that ability, but only if we shift our assessment in them away from conceptual correctness and toward the authentic use of scientific practices. We provide examples from courses we and others have taught.
      • Preparing Teachers for the Next Generation Science Standards

      • BJ02
      • Mon 07/15, 4:30PM - 5:00PM
      • by Jennifer Docktor
      • Type: Invited
      • The release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in spring of 2013 not only dramatically impacts K-12 science education, but also requires institutions of higher education to reform the preparation of pre-service science teachers. I will describe the efforts we have made at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse to integrate the NGSS into the physics for elementary school teachers course and the secondary science methods course. I will also describe a project funded by a U.S. Department of Education Math Science Partnerships program grant to provide professional development for in-service elementary and middle school teachers during summer institutes and weekend workshops which has been explicitly designed to integrate the draft NGSS into physical science activities and pedagogy instruction.
      • Physics in the Earth and Space Science Strand of the Next Generation Science Standards

      • BJ03
      • Mon 07/15, 5:00PM - 5:10PM
      • by Ramon Lopez
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Next Generations Science Standards (NGSS) will guide K-12 science instruction in many states. Earth and space science comprises a significant amount of the NGSS content, and much of that content will likely be distributed among typical courses as opposed to the creation of new Earth and Space Science courses in high school. This has enormous implications for high school physics classes since much, if not most, of the space science content is based in physics. This presentation will provide an overview to the NGSS and illustrate the kinds of space science content that high school physics teachers may be asked to include in their classes.
      • Pre-service Teachers' Understanding of the Nature of Science vs. Engineering

      • BJ04
      • Mon 07/15, 5:10PM - 5:20PM
      • by Jill Marshall
      • Type: Contributed
      • Physics teachers at the introductory level are aware that the majority of their students will not ultimately become professional physicists. Future engineers comprise a large fraction of our students at the introductory university level, and likely at the high school level as well. The Framework document for the Next Generation Science Standards explicitly includes engineering practices, and engineering is increasingly being offered as a high school course, but many of our preservice teachers are not well prepared to represent engineering as a career or as a practice to their students, and to articulate differences between engineering and science. I will present results of a study of UTeach preservice teachers' understanding of engineering as a discipline and how incorporating a design challenge into their preservice training affected that understanding. Student understanding is probed pre and post-instruction with previously developed instruments assessing knowledge of engineering design, supplemented by interviews.
      • Educational Data Mining: An Approach in Physics Education Research

      • BJ05
      • Mon 07/15, 5:20PM - 5:30PM
      • by Daniel Sanchez-Guzman
      • Type: Contributed
      • Educational Data Mining (EDM) is becoming a powerful tool to analyze the behavior of students and the practice of teachers; their implementation has been done in most cases with students that work with Mathematics, Learning Languages, and Social Topics. Present work shows the preliminary implementations of an EDM System with Physics Education Research. This implementation tries to support the research made with post-graduate students in the Physics Education Research field in Mexico; the goal is to have a website that lets the teacher upload and analyze data generated of the experiments and to offer a set of web tools to have a better granularity in the research.
  • Exhibit Hall Set-up

      • Exhibit Hall Set-up

      • EXH01
      • Sat 07/13, 10:00AM - 5:00PM

      • Type: Exhibit Hall
  • Exhibitor Set-up in the Exhibit Hall

      • Exhibitor Set-up in the Exhibit Hall

      • EXH02
      • Sun 07/14, 10:00AM - 6:00PM

      • Type: Exhibit Hall
  • Facilitating Faculty Change Through Research

      • Developing a Research-based Model for Educational Transformation

      • GC01
      • Wed 07/17, 2:40PM - 3:10PM
      • by Melissa Dancy
      • Type: Invited
      • Through multiple projects over many years, we have investigated why physics education-based reforms have had limited impact on mainstream faculty. Our research highlights limitations of the typical development and dissemination model of reform and offers insights into a research-based model for achieving effective and sustained reform. In this talk we summarize our findings, including reasons for the limited impact of reforms. We then offer suggestions, based on our findings, for a more effective change model.
      • Physics Faculty Expectations for Undergraduate Physics Majors

      • GC02
      • Wed 07/17, 3:10PM - 3:40PM
      • by Renee Michelle Goertzen
      • Type: Invited
      • As part of a project to investigate the goals that physics faculty hold for majors, 17 physics faculty were interviewed about what attitudes and abilities they expect students to have developed by the time they graduate with a Bachelor's degree. The various expectations that these professors have for their physics undergraduates fall into three groups: core knowledge and skills, broadly applicable skills, and culture of physics. The expectations that professors discuss in interviews contrast with the skills and knowledge typically assessed during an undergraduate physics degree, suggesting a need for more explicit dialogue among physics instructors about the expectations. The analysis suggests that some goals are both implicit and constructed in-the-moment in response to interview prompts. Understanding the nature of physics faculty expectations will allow us to better assess whether students meet these expectations, as well as whether physics programs' standards adequately capture faculty goals.
      • Moving Beyond Telling Individual Faculty About Educational Innovations

      • GC03
      • Wed 07/17, 3:40PM - 4:10PM
      • by Chandra Turpen
      • Type: Invited
      • Educational researchers who are trying to change the way other people teach usually do so through the following strategy: They develop new ways to teach and share their innovations through journal articles and talks. Using these one-way communication mechanisms, they focus on telling other educators why lectures don't work, explaining their new methods, giving data on effectiveness of their new method, and sharing materials that others can use. Four findings from interviews with 35 faculty members from across the country suggest needed changes to this strategy: 1) Innovations often spread through informal interactions, 2) Adopters and educational researchers don't share a common understanding about innovations, 3) Faculty adopting innovations sometimes modify them without understanding the underlying motivation and structure, and 4) Depending on where faculty are in either adopting or adapting a new way of teaching, educators may see aspects of the innovation as either a barrier or a motivator.
      • Complexity of Faculty Change in the FIU Science Collaborative

      • GC04
      • Wed 07/17, 4:10PM - 4:40PM
      • by Adrienne Traxler
      • Type: Invited
      • The FIU Science Collaborative is a four-year project to reform undergraduate science education across three departments at Florida International University. It drives institutional change through community building and faculty development. Interested professors and instructors apply to be "faculty scholars," undertaking major transformation of a class they teach to incorporate active learning. They also become involved in regular discipline-based education research (DBER) meetings with a wider community of STEM faculty. This project affords exciting opportunities and challenges in research on faculty change. I will discuss emerging themes from faculty scholars' work and how they tie in with current research on faculty development.
  • Fighting over Lab Goals

      • Fighting over Lab Goals

      • EC
      • Tue 07/16, 4:00PM - 5:00PM
      • by Richard Dietz
      • Type: Panel
      • Welcome to the Portland Physikz Pub which has been the home of many memorable arguments (mostly nonviolent) about contentious issues in physics. Who will ever forget the night devoted to tachyonic neutrinos? Today we have seated about the disputation table several experienced and opinionated physics laboratory mavens. The barkeep has already cut them off, so for the next hour they will be able to devote their entire attention to answering questions about one of their favorite subjects, the goals of physics labs. The presider will do his best to keep the proceedings provocative and perhaps even civil.
  • Friday Registration

      • Friday Registration

      • REG01
      • Fri 07/12, 4:00PM - 7:00PM

      • Type: Registration
  • Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Science

      • Engaging Undergrads in Meaninful Scientific Research with Small Telescopes

      • AK01
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Denise Stephens
      • Type: Invited
      • For the past several years we have been using a small 16 in telescope and a 0.9 m telescope to give our undergraduate physics and astronomy majors an opportunity to do meaningful scientific research that can lead to publication. These students have been able to operate both of the telescopes and collect their own data, and then have developed techniques to quickly reduce the data in order to analyze and study what they have found. With these telescopes we have followed up possible transiting planets, eclipsing binaries, and variable stars. I will discuss in more detail how we find our targets, work with the students to teach them data reduction, the analysis tools we use, and how easily this type of research can be implemented at any high school, college, or university with a small telescope and CCD camera.
      • Searching for Earth's Twin: NASA's Kepler Mission

      • AK02
      • Mon 07/15, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Edna DeVore
      • Type: Invited
      • Is Earth unique in the universe? Are Earth-size planets rare? Learn about NASA's Kepler Mission, which seeks to answer these questions by searching for exoplanets orbiting in the habitable zone of Sun-size stars. Launched in 2009, the Kepler spacecraft is a specialized telescope that acts like a very precise light meter, a photometer, that precisely measures changes in stars' brightnesses as planets transit. To date, Kepler has identified more than 2,700 candidate planets, with many small, Earth-size planets included. Kepler will continue to observe through 2016, and is closing in on Earth's twin.
      • The Effect of Host Star Spectral Energy Distribution and Ice-Albedo Feedback on the Climate of Extrasolar Planets

      • AK03
      • Mon 07/15, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Aomawa Shields
      • Type: Invited
      • When exploring the effect of ice-albedo feedback on planetary climate, most often what is considered is the interaction between ice and our own host star, the Sun. However, ice albedo has a spectral dependence, so the ice-albedo feedback mechanism on a planet is sensitive to the wavelength of light coming from its host star. We have explored this effect using a hierarchy of models. We find that terrestrial planets orbiting stars with higher near-UV radiation exhibit a stronger ice-albedo feedback. At a fixed level of CO2, M-dwarf planets remain free of global ice cover with larger decreases in stellar flux than planets orbiting hotter, brighter stars. At the outer edge of the habitable zone, where CO2 is expected to increase, the spectral dependence of surface ice and snow albedo is less important, and does not extend the traditional outer edge of the habitable zone given by the maximum CO2 greenhouse. Tyler D. Robinson, University of Washington, is additional author.
      • Zooniverse: Cutting Edge Research Your Students Can Participate In

      • AK04
      • Mon 07/15, 9:30AM - 10:00AM
      • by Laura Whyte
      • Type: Invited
      • The Zooniverse (zooniverse.org) is a collection of research projects that rely on public participation to succeed. Since it began in 2007 with galaxyzoo.org an army of 800,000 citizen scientists have classified galaxies, analyzed light curves to detect exo-planet transits, marked features on the Moon and Mars, and looked for star clusters in Andromeda. Please join Dr. Laura Whyte, an astronomer and educator from the Adler Planetarium, to hear about the cutting-edge research that is being done by the science teams in collaboration with the participants, and to learn about new resources that are being developed to support the use of these projects in the classroom, to give your students the opportunity to become citizen scientists and make a contribution to research.
  • Gender and Sexual Diversity Issues in Physics

      • Meeting the Needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Learners in the Physics Classroom

      • CI01
      • Tue 07/16, 7:30AM - 8:00AM
      • by Mary Hoelscher
      • Type: Invited
      • There is a high need for all teachers to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students in the K-12 classrooms to improve students' educational outcomes such as attendance; grades; pursuit of higher education; and to improve psychological health outcomes (Meyers, 2010; GLSEN, 2012; Robinson & Espelage, 2012 and 2013). This presentation provides an overview of recommended actions for teachers generally including advocating for explicitly LGBT-inclusive school policies; providing supports for LGBT learners; and generating LGBT-inclusive curriculum (GLSEN, 2012). Specific suggestions for how this translates into practices for physics teachers will be highlighted (Hoelscher, unpublished).
      • Women's Careers in Physics: Results from the Global Survey of Physicists

      • CI02
      • Tue 07/16, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Rachel Ivie
      • Type: Invited
      • Previous studies of women in physics have mostly focused on the lack of women in the field. The Global Survey of Physics goes beyond the obvious shortage of women and shows that there are much deeper issues. For the first time, a multinational study was conducted with 15,000 respondents from 130 countries, showing that problems for women in physics transcend national borders. Across all countries, women have fewer resources and opportunities and are more affected by cultural expectations concerning child care. We show that limited resources and opportunities hurt career progress, and because women have fewer opportunities and resources, their careers progress more slowly. We also show the disproportionate effects of children on women physicists' careers. Cultural expectations about home and family are difficult to change. However, for women to have successful outcomes and advance in physics, they must have equal access to resources and opportunities.
      • Transformative Teaching Techniques: A Women's Studies Course for STEM Majors

      • CI03
      • Tue 07/16, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by Elizabeth Holden
      • Type: Contributed
      • This session will benefit educators who are looking for transformative teaching methods to develop a better understanding of gender issues, more knowledge, and more strategies to become active in eliminating gender bias, specifically within the fields of physics and engineering. The presenter will discuss strategies to create a safe classroom environment to discuss issues related to women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). She will also discuss techniques to help college students understand their specific roles in gender diversity and how to introduce women and other underrepresented students to support networks, especially in the STEM fields.
      • SPS Leadership and Gender

      • CI04
      • Tue 07/16, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by Karen Williams
      • Type: Contributed
      • This research will examine the number of women within the Society of Physics Students leadership over time. Leadership in this research includes advising local chapters as well as leadership on the SPS National Council. As the number of women faculty has risen over the past few years, has the number of women mentoring female students in SPS risen as well? If not why?
  • High School

      • Engaging Students in the Scientific Practices Using the Patterns Approach

      • EH01
      • Tue 07/16, 4:00PM - 4:10PM
      • by Bradford Hill
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Patterns Approach for Physics is driven by the recurring question: "How do we find and use patterns in nature to predict the future and understand the past?" Students are continually engaged in scientific practices, starting with anchoring experiments that contextualize four common patterns in physics: linear, quadratic, inverse and inverse square. Inquiry and engineering experiences serve to spiral the anchoring patterns with new physics concepts, developing conceptual, graphical, and symbolic understanding. Each experiment begins with an initial guess that is contrasted with a data-informed prediction, found by extrapolation of the pattern in the data. This allows students to explicitly compare low- to high-evidence predictions and builds an experiential case for why we engage in scientific practices. Creating models and discussing their limitations is also key. The Patterns Approach has been used within freshman and IB courses and is published in the March issue of The Science Teacher.
      • Three Engineering Projects that Start with Inquiry Experiments

      • EH02
      • Tue 07/16, 4:10PM - 4:20PM
      • by Heather Buskirk
      • Type: Contributed
      • By structuring engineering projects so they start with inquiry experimentsstudents can experience STEM as a truly integrated experience. Three such engineering projects are presented in project-based learning model. In the Wind Turbine, Bridge Design, and Barbie Bungee Adventure students act as members of an Engineering Firm bidding to win a contract. The students must engage in the engineering cycle to address the problem, but then engage in the inquiry cycle to develop data to inform their design. The inquiry cycle often uses technology and mathematics, thus bringing STEM together. These projects, while familiar to many physics classrooms, are presented in the context of the Pattern Approach to teaching Physics so the supporting materials and examples discussed would allow a teacher to easily use them in their own classrooms.
      • Equilibrium of Levers with a 'Rolling' xis of Rotation

      • EH03
      • Tue 07/16, 4:20PM - 4:30PM
      • by Qiwei Zhao
      • Type: Contributed
      • The lever with a fixed axis is nothing new. But when the axis is movable, even the simplest structure can sometimes present surprise for high school students. In this demonstration a lever is put on an axis that can freely roll on plane, looking for balance between a pair of forces. Then it is shown, experimentally and theoretically, that for equilibrium a set of special conditions must by met (say the inclination of the rod), which are usually beyond the expectation of most students (and me). Although the explanation isn't straightforward, no advanced statics theory beyond the ability of most G11 students is required. The last feature is that the setup is extremely simple and no lubrication is needed at all. Rather, it requires friction to work properly!
      • Bring Wave Interference to Life with an Inexpensive Michelson Interferometer

      • EH04
      • Tue 07/16, 4:30PM - 4:40PM
      • by Dale Ingram
      • Type: Contributed
      • Interferometers can offer students an interesting view of some of the applications of wave interference, building upon understandings that arise from traditional slit interference experiments. In this session, LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) will introduce two versions of simple Michelson interferometers. Construction of each can be accomplished for roughly $100. These devices make a helpful bridge for teachers who introduce their students to the search for gravitational waves. Several uncomplicated experiments of high precision are possible once the instruments are successfully assembled. Session participants will receive interferometer parts lists and assembly instructions and will experiment with assembled examples.
  • If They Make it, They Will Learn

      • Series and Parallel Electric Circuits with XMAS Tree Lights

      • AI01
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 9:00AM
      • by Lynn Aldrich
      • Type: Contributed
      • Make an electrical circuit setup using XMAS tree lights, wire, and brass fasteners on a cardboard backing to use with batteries to show how brightness changes from connecting one light in a circuit to connecting two lights in series or in parallel with each other. Material will be provided to make one setup to take home with you (or more setups depending on the number of attendees).
      • Can You Hear Me Now?

      • AI02
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 9:00AM
      • by Nina Daye
      • Type: Contributed
      • Participants will receive materials to make a variety of low-cost musical instruments. The physics behind these instruments will be explained. The focus will be on the the connections with the Next Generation of Science Standards and the use of these instruments in the pre-high school classroom. Connections with literacy and trade books will be noted as well.
      • Lever It Up

      • AI03
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 9:00AM
      • by Kathleen Falconer
      • Type: Contributed
      • Last year at the 2012 OATP Conference, I went to a session with Marilyn Orszulik entitled Creativity and Hands-On Learning in Elementary Science, Design and Technology Programs. It was a wonderful session and using very simple hand tools I made a lever. Then my students made levers. We all had a wonderful time and I was surprised how empowering making a simple machine, like the lever, was for my students. So we are going to make levers. Also we will look at how this activity ties into the NGSS framework. Come join us and have a good time.
      • Paper Straw Pan Pipes and Oboes and their Standing Waves

      • AI04
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 9:00AM
      • by Daniel MacIsaac
      • Type: Contributed
      • Make beautiful music in your class with these simple to make instruments. We will make both straw pan pipes and paper straw oboes. We will look at the physics of sound illustrated by these cheap and easy instruments. This activity has been done with Grade 3 students to in-service teachers.
  • Implementations of Modeling Instruction for Different Audiences

      • Modeling Instruction in University Physics

      • BH01
      • Mon 07/15, 4:00PM - 4:30PM
      • by Eric Brewe
      • Type: Invited
      • We describe the ongoing process of adapting Modeling Instruction from the high school Modeling Instruction curriculum and workshop project to university physics. This project has highlighted the strengths of the high school project and has taken advantage of the opportunities to develop new materials and approaches to content and especially pedagogy. We describe the advantages and challenges of adapting the highly successful Modeling Instruction to university physics. In this talk we draw on the lessons learned from Modeling Instruction in high school and then we showcase our take on curriculum and dissemination efforts.
      • Modeling in Middle School: NGSS and the STEM Connection

      • BH02
      • Mon 07/15, 4:30PM - 5:00PM
      • by Colleen Megowan-Romanowicz
      • Type: Invited
      • For 20 years Modeling Instruction has helped high school physics students to ask questions, develop and use models, plan and carry out investigations, analyze and interpret data, use mathematics and technology to do computational thinking, engage in arguments from evidence, evaluate and communicate information...in short, to do science as scientists do. With the advent of the NGSS these practices are expected to frame the way science is done by ALL children at ALL grade levels. I will describe a new program of Modeling Instruction-based content courses for middle school science and mathematics teachers developed and piloted over the past four years. These courses are designed to help teachers re-model their teaching practice to incorporate the science and engineering practices mentioned above, improve their disciplinary content knowledge, and ground their teaching in engaging STEM applications.
      • Localized Physics Reform in a Cogenerative Modeling Learning Environment

      • BH03
      • Mon 07/15, 5:00PM - 5:10PM
      • by Natan Samuels
      • Type: Contributed
      • We describe research into CMPLE -- the Cogenerative Mediation Process for Learning Environments. CMPLE is a formative process that physics instructors have used to facilitate cogenerative dialogues, support local reform, and guide their changes in practice. Based on their collective learning preferences, students and instructors negotiate, develop, and implement changes to their classroom behaviors and structure. We have traced a high school Physics Modeling instructor's semester-long implementation of CMPLE through data sources such as classroom videos and artifacts, as well as interviews. The instructor's changes in practice developed from her expanding understanding of her students' preferences and classroom experiences. She also described a greater understanding of the modeling process. Our Activity Theory-based analysis has identified the instructor's general change process as 1) questioning about areas of concern, 2) analyzing the current state of affairs, 3) constructing a new model of behavior, 4) implementing the new model, and 5) evaluating changes.
      • Interactive and Constant Force Models Discourse for High School Freshmen and Seniors

      • BH04
      • Mon 07/15, 5:10PM - 5:20PM
      • by Igor Proleiko
      • Type: Contributed
      • Modeling Instruction could be used with both high school freshmen and seniors. The process for model deployment is the same, however the structure and scaffolding differs somewhat between the level of the class. The example of questioning for different classes is to be presented and discussed.
      • Whole Class "Board" Meetings in Modeling-based Introductory University Physics

      • BH05
      • Mon 07/15, 5:20PM - 5:30PM
      • by Brant Hinrichs
      • Type: Contributed
      • This talk describes whole-class whiteboard meetings and gives examples of how they are used in a calculus-based introductory physics course taught using modeling instruction. Students in one section of the course are divided into six groups of four to five students each. Each group creates a solution to the same problem on a small whiteboard. The groups then form a large circle in the center of the classroom with their whiteboards on the ground, resting against their knees, facing out to the rest of the group. The instructor is outside the circle and interjects only rarely, if at all. The goal of the discussion is to come to a consensus on the "best" answer to the given problem. Examples are given of some of the amazing conversations students can have in such a format. Students are learning the epistemology of science by actively engaging in it every class.
  • Implementing Competency-Based Grading in a Variety of Physics Classroom Settings

      • Implementing Competency-Based Grading in a Variety of Physics Classroom Settings

      • AC
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 10:00AM
      • by Aaron Titus
      • Type: Panel
      • What is Competency (or Standards) Based Grading and how can it be implemented? This panel consists of high-school and college physics teachers who are experienced with Standards-Based Grading (SBG) in a variety of different settings. They will define SBG, will describe the philosophy behind SBG, and will offer practical suggestions for applying SBG in physics classes of all levels.
      • The Logistics of Effective Implementation of Standards-based Grading

      • AC01
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 10:00AM
      • by Joshua Gates
      • Type: Panel
      • The pedagogical implications of standards-based grading are attractive to many teachers: increased student accountability for learning, lack of confounding variables in the grade, attention to sustained mastery, incentivizing student improvement, and clear expectations of learning objectives for students and teachers. The logistics of implementation can be a barrier to adoption or an impediment and distraction during use, obscuring the goals of SBG, however. There are many choices to be made, and the costs and benefits of a large variety of SBG implementation options will be presented: student-initiated or teacher-initiated reassessments? What type of grading scale will be used? How many standards should be used? What's necessary to demonstrate proficiency? How should reassessments be generated, tracked, and managed? Some digital tools to assist in these efforts, including Google forms, ActiveGrade, LaTeX, and custom software will be presented as well.
      • Student Voice-based Assessments

      • AC02
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 10:00AM
      • by Andy Rundquist
      • Type: Panel
      • Having grown to appreciate the oral exams that my department uses, I set about finding ways to craft assessments that allow me to get a feel for my students' understanding of, confidence with, and ability to apply the various concepts we're studying. I've come to rely heavily on student initiated assessments that involve their voice. They make either pencasts or screencasts of their work and submit the videos to me. I will talk about the logistics and benefits involved.
      • Switching To SBG -- It Can Work for You

      • AC03
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 10:00AM
      • by Stephen Collins
      • Type: Panel
      • For many, switching to a grading scheme that focuses on student learning ("standards") rather than tasks ("points") is philosophically attractive but logistically intimidating. The assessment system used in physics classes at Lusher Charter School is presented as a case study, highlighting aspects that enhance student learning, promote student accountability, manage teacher time commitment, and make the system easy for students and parents to understand. Alternative implementation approaches are also considered, with varying levels of technology integration. Learn how to make the change -- you and your students will be glad you did.
  • Innovations in Teaching High School Astronomy

      • GEARS Astronomy, Bring Astronomy into Your Science Classroom

      • DF01
      • Tue 07/16, 10:30AM - 11:00AM
      • by Lindsay Bearden
      • Type: Invited
      • The GEARS Project (Georgians Experience Astronomy Research in Schools) wasdeveloped with the goal of transforming the way high school astronomy is taught in Georgia's public schools. This NASA rich curriculum was created by two college professors and a team of high school teachers. It was dispersed throughout the state via professional development opportunities. Resource teachers were trained via workshops and graduate-level astronomy courses, then led their own workshops illustrating how astronomy can be used within the physical science, chemistry, and physics curriculum. Come and learn more about this program and how astronomy can be brought into your classroom! GEARS was Funded by NASA Office of Education Grant NNX09AH83A and supported by the Georgia Department of Education, Columbus State University, and Georgia Southern University.
      • Parallax and Aberration: Evaluating Robert Hooke's 1669 Parallax Measurement

      • DF02
      • Tue 07/16, 11:00AM - 11:10AM
      • by Todd Timberlake
      • Type: Contributed
      • The annual parallax of a star is a very slight apparent wobble caused by Earth's orbital motion around the Sun. In 1669 Robert Hooke sought to measure the annual parallax of the star gamma Draconis, and thus to prove the Copernican theory of an orbiting Earth. Hooke claimed success but his contemporaries were skeptical. Almost 60 years later James Bradley discovered the aberration of starlight and conclusively showed that Hooke could not possibly have detected the parallax of gamma Draconis. Bradley also showed that Hooke had not simply misinterpreted a detection of aberration (although later astronomers, like John Flamsteed, had done so). We will examine Hooke's claims and Bradley's evidence against them, offer some speculation about what it was that Hooke was seeing, and discuss how this episode can be used in an introductory astronomy course to illustrate important aspects of the nature of science.
      • Teaching the Nature of Science with 'The Pluto Debate' Role-Playing Game

      • DF03
      • Tue 07/16, 11:10AM - 11:20AM
      • by Anthony Crider
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Next Generation Science Standards call for students to learn the nature of science in addition to the core ideas of the disciplines. We have developed a series of science role-playing games that allow students to debate aspects of science from the perspective of scientists in real historical settings. One of these games, The Pluto Debate, introduces students to the nature of science, as well as the properties of the Kuiper Belt. Students argue passionately that science knowledge is not fixed but is revised with new evidence. The class uses both data and rhetoric to argue either that Pluto should or should not be a planet. Some students also argue that the 2006 vote on a definition of planet is itself unscientific. The Pluto Debate and many other chapter-length science games developed through our NSF-CCLI grant are suitable for use in either high school or introductory college classrooms.
  • Interactive Lecture Demonstrations - Whats New? ILDs Using Clickers and Video Analysis

      • Interactive Lecture Demonstrations: Active Learning in Lecture Including Clickers and Video Analysis

      • EF01
      • Tue 07/16, 4:00PM - 4:30PM
      • by David Sokoloff
      • Type: Invited
      • The results of physics education research and the availability of microcomputer-based tools have led to the development of the Activity Based Physics Suite.(1) Most of the Suite materials are designed for hands-on learning, for example student-oriented laboratory curricula such as RealTime Physics. One reason for the success of these materials is that they encourage students to take an active part in their learning. This interactive session will demonstrate "through active audience participation" Suite materials designed to promote active learning in lecture, Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs)(2), including those using clickers and video analysis.
      • Interactive Lecture Demonstrations: Effectiveness in Teaching Concepts

      • EF02
      • Tue 07/16, 4:30PM - 5:00PM
      • by Ronald Thornton
      • Type: Invited
      • The effectiveness of Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs) in teachingphysics concepts has been studied using physics education research based, multiple-choice conceptual evaluations.(1) Results of such studies will be presented, including studies with clicker ILDs. These results should be encouraging to those who wish to improve conceptual learning in their introductory physics course.
  • Introductory Course Laboratories and Hands-on Activities for Life Science Majors

      • Reinventing the Introductory Physics Laboratories for Future Biologists

      • DG01
      • Tue 07/16, 10:30AM - 11:00AM
      • by Wolfgang Losert
      • Type: Invited
      • We have developed a set of laboratories and hands-on activities to accompany a new interdisciplinary physics course that has been successfully developed and tested in a small class of students at the University of Maryland (UMD). With input from a large group of biologists, physicists, chemists, and education researchers at UMD, we have designed a course to be taken in the student's second year, with calculus, biology, and chemistry as prerequisites. This permits the laboratories to include significant content on physics at cellular scales, from chemical interactions to random motion and charge screening. We developed a lab that introduces the students to modern equipment such as microfluidics and microscopy and physics analysis tools in contexts relevant to biology, while keeping it simple enough to maintain the pedagogically valuable open-ended laboratory structure.
  • Introductory Courses

      • Singing the Harmonics

      • DB01
      • Tue 07/16, 10:30AM - 10:40AM
      • by Harold Stokes
      • Type: Contributed
      • When we teach students about harmonics of sound waves, we often allow the students to hear the harmonics. I go one step further: I sing the harmonics. The computer projects a sound spectrum of my voice onto the screen. The students clearly see the harmonics in the spectrum. I then sing the pitch of each of the first eight harmonics, spanning three octaves! The students are both enlightened and entertained.
      • Case Studies and Community-based Inquiry in Introductory Physics

      • DB02
      • Tue 07/16, 10:40AM - 10:50AM
      • by Bruce Palmquist
      • Type: Contributed
      • Students often complain that the physics in their textbook is not relevantin the real world. In addition, national stakeholders are concerned with the inability of college students to think critically. The authors set out to address both issues in their introductory physics course covering energy, waves, and simple harmonic motion. Using the interrupted case study approach, students were guided through papers from sports science and biology that utilized physics principles from the course. Students iteratively inferred and analyzed different aspects of each paper, reporting their ideas at each step. Using a community-based inquiry project, students analyzed sound level data from local wind turbines and shared their results with the community. The instructors developed a Google Docs template to facilitate the inquiry process. Case studies, templates, and rubrics will be displayed at this presentation. Student pre- and post-test scores on a critical thinking exam will also be shared.
      • Using Historical Case Studies in Introductory Physics

      • DB03
      • Tue 07/16, 10:50AM - 11:00AM
      • by Debora Katz
      • Type: Contributed
      • Physics derives much of its beauty and power from the process of discovery. But our traditional classrooms and textbooks are dogmatic and impersonal. We rarely tell the stories of historical discovery. I have written historical case studies to show students how people develop and apply the laws of physics. Case studies do the same things for physics education as they do in legal and business education. First, case studies tap into our natural love of stories. Second, case studies make abstract concepts more tangible. Finally, historical case studies give insight into how physicists think. I have written a case study based on Benjamin Franklin's research into electricity and his development of the lightning rod. While many students know that Franklin flew a kite during a storm; many don't know that he was trying to test one of his scientific hypotheses or that he subsequently invented the lightning rod.
      • The Cat Twist Explanation Simplified

      • DB04
      • Tue 07/16, 11:00AM - 11:10AM
      • by J. Ronald Galli
      • Type: Contributed
      • It is well established that cats can execute a torque-free 180-degree twist to successfully land on their feet from an inverted position. Leg motion is not required. Videos with various explanations are readily available on YouTube, etc. A working mechanical model (available through www.teachersource.com) can be observed on my website.¹ The first published correct explanation is given in a TPT article.² I will give a recently developed simplified explanation that will enable each of you (or a student) to perform the "cat twist" about a vertical axis by standing on your own lecture turntable and swinging your hips in hula-hoop fashion, assisted by a dumbbell weight which you swing full circle from hand to hand around your back.
      • The Aether: Past and Present

      • DB05
      • Tue 07/16, 11:10AM - 11:20AM
      • by Robert Close
      • Type: Contributed
      • Nineteenth-century scientists modeled the universe as an elastic solid "aether" in order to understand light waves. Thomas Young used the analogy to explain light's constant speed and polarization. Refraction was attributed to variations in aether density in the presence of matter. James MacCullagh assumed a "rotationally elastic" aether to derive an equation for transverse light waves. James Clerk Maxwell modeled the aether as elastic cells interspersed with rolling particles to derive the relativistic equations of electromagnetism. The "aether" rejected by Michelson and Morley was a solid-fluid hybrid, similar to a mixture of cornstarch and water. Although the aether is rarely invoked in modern times, it can still be a useful concept in modeling the behavior of matter. We will discuss how the simple model of an elastic solid aether may be used to explain a variety of phenomena including special relativity, atomic spectra, Dirac wavefunctions, quantum statistics, antimatter, and gravity.
      • Rethinking How We Teach Kepler's Law in the Exoplanet Age

      • DB06
      • Tue 07/16, 11:20AM - 11:30AM
      • by Kristen Larson
      • Type: Contributed
      • When we teach about orbits, we usually teach Kepler's third law as a proportionality between orbital size cubed and orbital period squared. Using Newton's law of gravitation, we derive the constant of proportionality to be the mass of the central object. While historically accurate and useful for our Solar System, this approach leaves students ill-prepared to apply their understanding of orbits to most modern astronomical discoveries. In particular, students cannot use this form of Kepler's law to explore how the Doppler velocity method is used to characterize newly discovered exoplanets. I propose an alternate path to Kepler's law that both preserves the observational importance of velocity and includes the motions of both objects, while still maintaining the elegance and pedagogical simplicity. With exciting developments in the news and real data easily accessible, exoplanet science presents a valuable new opportunity to motivate students and change how we teach about orbits.
      • On Equivalent Resistance

      • DB07
      • Tue 07/16, 11:30AM - 11:40AM
      • by Mikhail Kagan
      • Type: Contributed
      • One of the basic tasks related to electrical circuits is computing equivalent resistance. In some simple cases, this task can be handled by combining resistors connected either in series or in parallel, until the original circuit reduces to a single element. When this is not possible, one resorts to the "heavy artillery" of Kirchhoff's rules. What traditionally receives little to no attention in the introductory E&M class is the method of nodal potentials. At the same time, it may often be both mathematically and conceptually simpler. In this talk, I will review the method of nodal potentials and use it to find the unknown currents and voltages in the Wheatstone-Bridge-like circuit. At the end, I will derive -- in a closed form -- the equivalent resistance of a generic circuit. The latter result unveils a curious interplay between electrical circuits, matrix algebra, graph theory and its applications to computer science.
      • Modifying Gauss's Law for Two-Dimensional Electric Fields

      • DB08
      • Tue 07/16, 11:40AM - 11:50AM
      • by David Keeports
      • Type: Contributed
      • While the electric field due to a point charge is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the point, the electric field due to an infinite line of charge is inversely proportional to the distance from the line. This talk will consider charge configurations built from parallel infinite lines of charge. For such charge configurations, the electric field in the xy-plane fully determines the electric field everywhere in space, and Gauss's law can be reformulated in terms of an integral of the electric field around a closed planar loop. A proof of "two-dimensional Gauss's law" will be presented. This proof closely parallels the proof of Gauss's law from Coulomb's law and is well adapted to the instructor's planar blackboard and to the student's page.
      • Creative Exercises in Introductory Physics

      • DB09
      • Tue 07/16, 11:50AM - 12:00PM
      • by Delena Gatch
      • Type: Contributed
      • Creative exercises are a new alternative to traditional assessments. During creative exercises students are given a prompt and asked to write down as many distinct, correct, and relevant facts about the prompt as possible. The prompt does not pose a direct question for students to answer; instead the prompt is open ended. Students receive credit for each correct fact they include which is related to the prompt and distinct from the other facts they list. Creative exercises encourage students to focus on the physical situation presented instead of the question posed. Multiple examples of creative exercises developed and implemented in an introductory physics course will be presented. The benefit of using creative exercises to promote students' mastery of the course material will be described. In addition students' perceptions of the impact of creative exercises on the learning process will be discussed.
      • Making Learning Physics "Phun"

      • DB10
      • Tue 07/16, 12:00PM - 12:10PM
      • by Samya Zain
      • Type: Contributed
      • In a small liberal arts college, like Susquehanna University, students come to the Introductory Physics class with all backgrounds. For my classes, I prepared crosswords mostly comprising of important vocabulary words from the chapter. They were offered as a part of extra credit towards the final grade, and were due before the start of every chapter. The crosswords are structured such that they did not require a lot of effort; however they made a huge impact in terms of student's familiarity with the materials. The strategy for team ork is simple and recognized widely as a good way to engage the students. I have tweaked this to include "team quizzes." In a graded team quiz, all students make sure that their team members contribute, since the team is only as good as its weakest link. This strategy has delivered mixed results, depending on the individual student and the team dynamic, from panic to triumph to ah-ha moments.
      • Why Are Pigeons' Heads Purple or Green but Never Red?

      • DB11
      • Tue 07/16, 12:10PM - 12:20PM
      • by Lawrence Rees
      • Type: Contributed
      • We know that thin film interference is responsible for a number of effectssuch as the variable color of birds' feathers and the colorful reflection of soap bubbles. But it is a difficult thing to explain why a pigeon's green feathers look purple and its purple feathers look green when viewed at oblique angles or why there are alternate pink and green stripes between white bands in a soap film. A short PDF presentation (available online) with embedded animations shows how these phenomena can be understood in terms of the absorption spectra of cone pigments and pseudo-primary colors. Soap films are analyzed with reflection spectra that vary with film thickness. Pigeon feathers are analyzed with reflection spectra that vary with observation angle.
  • Introductory Courses II

      • Going to the Physical Situation: Making the Implicit Explicit - 1

      • ED01
      • Tue 07/16, 4:00PM - 4:10PM
      • by Dennis Gilbert
      • Type: Contributed
      • Dennis Gilbert will describe a pedagogical approach in which Calc-based General Physics Students are challenged and supported to explicitly implement a perspective of "going to the physical situation" in developing both conceptual knowledge and problem solving ability. This approach effectively engages a number of physics learning challenges, such as moving beyond "plug and chug" and moving to principle-based understanding. It also addresses student expectations about the nature of science and physics, the nature of knowing, and identity as physics learners. The talk will introduce a graphic chart presented during the course on problem solving.
      • Going to the Physical Situation: Making the Implicit Explicit - 2

      • ED02
      • Tue 07/16, 4:10PM - 4:20PM
      • by Jared Stenson
      • Type: Contributed
      • Jared Stenson will provide a deeper look at several practical issues from his experience implementing the perspective of "going to the physical situation" (see part 1) in developing conceptual knowledge and problem solving ability in the Classical Mechanics section of Calc-based General Physics. This presentation describes challenges and efforts of effectively engaging students who are sometimes resistant due to their familiarity and previous success using a different approach. These efforts include framing elements of the course, the choice of problems for discussion, and the exam structure. A joint working paper about the issues of this talk and the one above can be obtained from the presenters.
      • Supplemental Problem Solving Sessions in the Calculus-based Physics Sequence

      • ED03
      • Tue 07/16, 4:20PM - 4:30PM
      • by Julie Talbot
      • Type: Contributed
      • Problem solving is a skill that students are expected to master when taking physics courses. Many departments require their students to take physics because they want their students to gain problem-solving skills. However, this part of physics does not come naturally for many students. In order to give students extra opportunities to grapple with difficult physics problems, I have implemented problem-solving sessions where students work in groups to solve a variety of physics problems. In the sessions, the problems range from conceptual problems where students have to explain a situation using physics concepts, to estimation questions, to context-rich problems, such as the ones used at the University of Minnesota1,2. After three semesters, the DFW rates for the Physics I course are 25% for students who have attended workshop, while it is 75% for students who did not attend regularly.
      • Enhancing the Modern Physics Course by Including Waves

      • ED04
      • Tue 07/16, 4:30PM - 4:40PM
      • by Paul Weber
      • Type: Contributed
      • I describe a curriculum revision made at the University of Puget Sound, where a waves course and the sophomore modern physics class were merged into a yearlong "enhanced" modern physics sequence now required for the physics major. This approach has many pedagogical and experimental advantages including a stronger intuitive and mathematical foundation for quantum physics, more effective inclusion of error analysis and theory of distributions into the laboratories, and the ability to cover all the areas of the standard modern physics textbook. It is effective in bridging the gap from a freshman physics student to the junior-level physics major capable of taking upper-level classes and laboratory courses. A separate preamble of mathematical material for oscillations and waves was written to supplement the traditional modern physics text. I will discuss key lessons taken from teaching this sequence for four years at UPS, including challenges and successes of the method.
  • Introductory Physics for Life Science Majors

      • Lab Activities for Pre-health Majors

      • AD01
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 8:10AM
      • by Grace Van Ness
      • Type: Contributed
      • The majority of students taking algebra-based physics in the college classroom are pre-health and life science majors. Pre-health and life science majors would greatly benefit from effective teaching methods which connect physics to their future careers as health-care providers and life scientists. One way to address this issue is the development of hands-on physics exercises that engage students. With this in mind, we present hands-on exercises as part of our Physics in Biomedicine course at Portland State University. These labs are easily constructed using materials readily available in many colleges or high schools. Hard copies of lab descriptions will be available.
      • Randomness and Structure 1: Introductory-level Conceptual Framework for Biological Materials

      • AD02
      • Mon 07/15, 8:10AM - 8:20AM
      • by Edit Yerushalmi
      • Type: Contributed
      • Explaining the spontaneous formation of molecules into mesoscopic (nanometric) or even micron-sized structures that are important in biological materials (i.e. membranes, polymers, colloids), requires an understanding of cooperative behavior in interacting multi-particle systems. We present a conceptual framework for treating these phenomena with introductory-level students, which was tested in a pilot interdisciplinary course entitled "Soft and messy matter." We first discuss the competition of configurational entropy (that promotes randomness) and interparticle interactions (that promote order) in terms of a lattice model in the context of binary mixtures. The lattice model, allowing for concrete visualization, is later used to model the phase behavior of fluid mixtures, wetting, and self-assembly of surfactants via free-energy minimization. This approach can be incorporated into restructured introductory physics courses for life sciences, allowing students to understand how the competition between interactions and entropy is resolved to determine how molecules self-organize to form mesoscopic structures.
      • Randomness and Structure 2: Computational Modeling of Interacting Multiparticle Systems

      • AD03
      • Mon 07/15, 8:20AM - 8:30AM
      • by Ruth Chabay
      • Type: Contributed
      • The concepts of entropy and equilibrium are central to the understanding of the spontaneous formation of structure in soft matter systems such as membranes. We are developing a suite of computational modeling tools with a strong visual component to support the development of these concepts by students in an introductory-level course on soft matter. In the context of the lattice gas model, which is commonly used in the analytical treatment of such systems, students can explore the consequences of random motion, observe the dynamics of the approach to equilibrium, monitor bulk properties of the system, and observe that interparticle interactions are required for the spontaneous formation of mesoscale structures. These tools can be extended to allow students to do significant computational modeling projects by the end of the course. They provide, as well, a stimulus for discussion about the nature of scientific models.
      • Randomness and Structure 3: Explicating Nature's Choices with Computational Tools

      • AD04
      • Mon 07/15, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by Nava Schulmann
      • Type: Contributed
      • Understanding the balance between randomness and structure in multi-particle systems via statistical thermodynamics methods requires construction of a concrete mental model for the process of weighing between configurations. We present two computational tools intended to support introductory-level students in constructing such a representation. One tool allows students to explore the plausibility of the ergodic principle and the meaning of entropy by displaying systems evolving in time versus their corresponding sets of microstates; another tool provides insights into the crucial role of the Boltzmann factor in determining the behavior of multi particle systems by explicitly tracking the mechanism of the Metropolis algorithm. We integrate these tools in an introductory-level course on soft and biological materials, where the understanding of the spontaneous formation of structures such as polymers, colloidal dispersions and membranes, is grounded in statistical thermodynamics descriptions of matter.
      • Research on a Laboratory Curriculum for NEXUS/Physics

      • AD05
      • Mon 07/15, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by Kimberly Moore
      • Type: Contributed
      • In 2012-2013, the UMD PERG and Biophysics Program implemented a new laboratory curriculum for its introductory physics for biologists course in a pair of small test classes. These labs address physical issues at biological scales using microscopy, image, and video analysis, electrophoresis, and spectroscopy in an open, non-protocol-driven environment. We have collected a wealth of data (surveys, video analysis, etc.) that enables us to get a sense of the students' responses to this new approach, with a focus on: 1) the ways in which students see these labs as engaging the biology/chemistry concepts; and, 2) the student reaction and adaptation to the combination of "open-ended" labs with complex, technical equipment. In this talk, we will give a brief overview of what we have learned. (This work is part of the UMD PERG NEXUS/Physics and is supported by funding from HHMI and the NSF.)
      • Negative Energy: Why Interdisciplinary Physics Requires Blended Ontologies

      • AD07
      • Mon 07/15, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Benjamin Dreyfus
      • Type: Contributed
      • Much recent work in physics education research has focused on ontological metaphors for energy (metaphors for what type of thing energy "is"), particularly the substance ontology and its pedagogical affordances. The concept of negative energy problematizes the substance ontology for energy (because there cannot be a negative amount of a substance), but in many instructional settings, the specific difficulties around negative energy are outweighed by the general advantages of the substance ontology. However, we claim that our interdisciplinary setting (an undergraduate physics class that builds deep connections to biology and chemistry) leads to a different set of considerations and conclusions. In a course designed to draw interdisciplinary connections, the centrality of chemical bond energy in biology necessitates foregrounding negative energy from the beginning. We argue that the emphasis on negative energy requires a blend of substance and location ontologies. The location ontology enables energies both "above" and "below" zero.
      • Modeling Fluid Statics to Help Students Understand Fluid Dynamics

      • AD08
      • Mon 07/15, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by James Vesenka
      • Type: Contributed
      • The UNE PERG is investigating life science student preconceptions about fluid dynamics, specifically understanding the Bernoulli Principle (BP). We have identified important scaffolding content and laboratory interventions that improve student success at understanding BP. The key scaffold element appears to be a sound understanding of kinetic theory including the ability to model fluids as multiple interacting particles. A new modeling centered laboratory on ideal gasses with conceptually rich diagrammatic tools has been deployed. A tactile life science lab activity is currently being evaluated in order to help students address the paradox of high blood pressure and pressure drop within a restriction, e.g. a blocked blood vessel. Complicating effective instructional efforts are numerous incorrect applications of the BP found in many physics texts. The range of practical problems that BP is applicable to is narrow and frequently BP is employed when other dynamic processes are more important.
      • Like Dissolves Like: Unpacking Student Reasoning about Thermodynamic Heuristics

      • AD09
      • Mon 07/15, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Benjamin Geller
      • Type: Contributed
      • In our Physics for Biologists course at the University of Maryland, we areattempting to build interdisciplinary bridges that help students understand thermodynamics better. One aspect of this endeavor involves having students grapple with the physical processes underlying heuristics that they bring to our course from their biology and chemistry classes. In particular, we have implemented a series of activities and problems intended to unpack the hydrophobicity of oil, a key step in understanding the formation of cell membranes. Student reasoning about this process illustrates the challenges we encounter in trying to bridge physics and biochemistry curricula. Understanding the spontaneous separation of oil and water requires careful consideration of the sometimes competing effects of energy and entropy. Reconciling disciplinary distinctions in how these ideas are described is an important step in helping our students develop more coherent thermodynamics concepts.
      • Teaching Introductory Physics of Modern Medicine to Non-Science Majors

      • AD06
      • Mon 07/15, 8:50PM - 9:00AM
      • by Fang Liu
      • Type: Contributed
      • Medical Technology is a general studies course developed for non-science majors in the general natural sciences and mathematics (GNM) portion of the General Education curriculum at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. In this course the students are introduced to the topics of optics and endoscopes, lasers in medicine, ultrasound in medicine, x-ray & CT, gamma camera, radiation therapy and radiation safety, etc. In this paper I will present a brief overview of the curriculum development with an emphasis on the teaching and learning strategies employed in the course. Student perceptions regarding the course will also be presented.
  • Investigating Classroom Strategies

      • PER User's Guide Plus: PER-based Assessment Guide and Results Database

      • DH01
      • Tue 07/16, 10:30AM - 10:40AM
      • by Adrian Madsen
      • Type: Contributed
      • As part of the PER User's Guide (http://perusersguide.org), we are developing an online database of PER-based assessment instrument scores and an accompanying data explorer. Here physics instructors can upload their students' assessment data and compare it to the larger data set. The system includes "one-click analysis," enabling users to visualize their data, make comparisons, and view statistics such as gain scores, effect sizes, and statistical significance. Users can compare their data in a variety of ways, such as to data from peer institutions, national data, or before and after a change in teaching method. We plan to conduct a large-scale comparison of assessment data from traditional and interactive-engagement classes as the database is populated. Additionally, we are developing guides to these PER-based assessments, including information about their background, research validation, and guidelines for administration. We solicit your feedback on our system and your assessment data to include in our database.
      • Case Studies of Successfully Propagated Educational Innovations

      • DH02
      • Tue 07/16, 10:40AM - 10:50AM
      • by Raina Khatri
      • Type: Contributed
      • Research-based Instructional Strategies (RBIS) designed to improve scienceeducation are numerous but often not widely used. While most RBIS do not spread much beyond the original developers, there are some RBIS that have been successfully propagated. As part of a larger project we are conducting case studies of several well-propagated educational innovations. Through these case studies we hope to develop a better understanding of the conditions necessary for successful propagation. This talk will present the preliminary results of case studies of two RBIS: Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL), a small group-based instructional strategy originating in chemistry, and PhET, a set of flexible interactive simulations originating in physics. Through document analysis of publications and emergent analysis of interviews we construct a narrative of the propagation of each RBIS, including a timeline of events and the propagation strategies used. Implications for practice and for future work will be discussed.
      • The Mismatch Between Faculty and Their Institutions Regarding the Assessment of Teaching Effectiveness

      • DH03
      • Tue 07/16, 10:50AM - 11:00AM
      • by Charles Henderson
      • Type: Contributed
      • Assessment of teaching effectiveness is one part of the educational systemthat influences the use of research-based instructional strategies. We have previously reported that faculty and institutions use different assessment methods.* In this talk we expand the previous results to 72 physics faculty from diverse institutions and discuss qualitative differences in the ways that institutions and faculty use the same evaluation tools. For example, most faculty said that their institutions use student evaluations of teaching and many indicated that they also value feedback from student evaluations. Although this may appear like an area of agreement, the qualitative data shows that faculty find little value in the numerical results from student evaluation forms, but instead value students' open-ended comments. Institutions, though, primarily focus on the numerical results. We argue the mismatch between faculty and their institutions is an important barrier to educational change that the PER community can help to minimize.
      • The Interrogation Method: Framework for Helping Students Read a Textbook

      • DH04
      • Tue 07/16, 11:00AM - 11:10AM
      • by Robert Zisk
      • Type: Contributed
      • Being able to read and interpret scientific texts is an essential scientific ability for our students. One method that has been developed to enhance students' ability to read texts is a question-based reading strategy, the interrogation method. Students read a section of the text and then use the information found in the section to answer the question "Why is this sentence true?" for a paraphrased sentence from that section. Critical to the efficacy of this method is the selection of productive sentences for students to interrogate. Sentences that are highly interrogatable require students to reason through the text and connect concepts in order to completely respond to the prompt. We have explored the use of this method in an introductory physics course. In this talk we will discuss the framework we have developed for choosing productive sentences that are both highly interrogatable and have a high epistemological value.
      • The Interrogation Method and Its Effects on Student Learning

      • DH05
      • Tue 07/16, 11:10AM - 11:20AM
      • by Elana Resnick
      • Type: Contributed
      • The interrogation method is a strategy that has been developed to help students read and interpret science texts. In this method, students are prompted to read a section of the text, and then answer why a sentence from the text is true based on the reading. We have explored the use of this method in an introductory physics course for non-physics science majors. Students were required to respond to two to four interrogation sentences each week on their homework based on the sections there were reading each week. Each exam then included three sentences for the students to interrogate without the text. In this talk, we will discuss the student responses to the sentences, as well as the evolution of their responses throughout the semester. We will then discuss the relation between the students' homework responses and their responses on the exam questions as well as their overall performance in the course.
      • Reading Habits and Fragile Knowledge in Physics Introductory Courses

      • DH06
      • Tue 07/16, 11:20AM - 11:30AM
      • by David Pundak
      • Type: Contributed
      • The study deals with the freshman engineering students' perceptions of theimportance of textbooks. Two worrying phenomena concerning engineering students' reading habits emerged from previous studies (a) most students rarely derive assistance from textbooks for basic courses (b) knowledge learned in basic courses is 'fragile' knowledge that quickly dissipates. Students therefore gain little knowledge from introductory courses to prepare them for advanced courses. To overcome these phenomena, a teaching method was designed to guide students to derive regular assistance from textbooks. The method credits active reading in the final course grade. The research population comprised from engineering students studying a Physics course taught with the reading embedded approach. Respondents' attitudes were compared through an attitudes questionnaire administered at the course's end, with engineering students' attitudes from a previous study. Results indicated that students from the reading embedded course were helped by textbooks and thought they were very significant.
      • What Is Said Matters: Relating Voting Question Prompts to Participation

      • DH07
      • Tue 07/16, 11:30AM - 11:40AM
      • by Dedra Demaree
      • Type: Contributed
      • During four quarters of introductory physics at Oregon State University, participation and engagement in voting activities was measured in 200-person lecture settings. The measure was in part based on students turning to or discussing with neighbors, or gesturing during in-lecture activities. Episodes of high and low participation were selected and both the questions and the instructional prompts were analyzed using emergent coding. This presentation will focus specifically on the discourse analysis of the instructional prompts, and outline what prompts correlated with high participation and what prompts correlated with low participation. It was found that even subtle statements that can impact the students' affective experience impacted their participation. This presentation expands on previous findings that included only a fraction of the full data set. The author would like to acknowledge the entire research group that contributed to this project; too many to name as co-authors of this presentation.
      • Enculturation Using Contrastive Sets and Framing

      • DH08
      • Tue 07/16, 11:40AM - 11:50AM
      • by Paul Camp
      • Type: Contributed
      • I describe an instructional technique used in lab to learn how to write a scientific paper using contrastive sets to prepare for a discussion. This activity was implemented twice, once as an in-class discussion and once as out of class activities with an online discussion. I summarize the striking differences in performance and engagement, which I hypothesize is due to a framing effect, and is an extraordinarily striking example of how strongly the students' frame can alter their engagement and performance.
      • Introducing Students to Active Learning: "Framing" Strategies

      • DH09
      • Tue 07/16, 11:50AM - 12:00PM
      • by Stephanie Chasteen
      • Type: Contributed
      • How can we introduce our students to active learning strategies? An interactive course can challenge or even conflict with student views of learning, and of the roles of the instructor and students in the classroom. Instructors are often concerned about lack of engagement and sometimes face active push-back against interactive teaching strategies. How can we let students know what is expected of them, to support productive engagement and buy-in? How can we "frame" for them what the class is about? Through an informal poll, we have gathered a wide variety of materials from instructors around the country in order to provide shared resources for instructors. We will report on common themes and approaches in how instructors frame active learning classrooms for their students, and describe future work in this area.
      • Lecture Supported Mini-studio Approach to Algebra-based Physics: First Steps

      • DH10
      • Tue 07/16, 12:00PM - 12:10PM
      • by Jacquelyn Chini
      • Type: Contributed
      • We will describe and present evidence about the efficacy of the lecture-supported mini-studio we are designing to overcome some of the potential barriers to implementing reformed teaching structures at large universities. At our university, we offer up to 10 sections of studio-based introductory physics, but these courses serve only half of our introductory students. To improve learning in our lecture-format classes, we are redesigning our three-hour lab into a "mini-studio" that combines recitation and laboratory activities. We have multiple goals for the design of the mini-studio. To meet the barrier of disparity in instruction between students attending mini-studio at the beginning and end of the week, the curriculum must be flexible. The curriculum should build conceptual understanding as well as mathematical and problem-solving skills. Additionally, teaching mini-studio should develop the studio-mode teaching skills of faculty and graduate students. Our initial efforts have shown improvements in students? performance on standard assessments.
      • Examining the Use of Tutorials in a Large Lecture Environment

      • DH11
      • Tue 07/16, 12:10PM - 12:20PM
      • by David Smith
      • Type: Contributed
      • The implementation of Tutorials in Introductory Physics [1] has been widespread throughout the United States. Tutorials are typically implemented in recitation-style sections of an introductory calculus-based physics course, although their use has been extended to other modes of instruction. At UNC at Chapel Hill, we are examining the use of tutorials in a large lecture environment of an introductory algebra-based physics course. In each lecture, tutorial instruction is integrated with traditional instruction, with tutorial questions often serving as motivation for the introduction of new concepts. The efficacy of the instruction is currently being investigated through the comparison of online conceptual pretest results to those on post-test questions administered on course exams. Preliminary findings and relevant comparisons to data from other universities will be presented.
      • Comparing Problem-based Learning and Video Analysis as Strategies in Learning Concepts of Force and Motion

      • DH12
      • Tue 07/16, 12:20PM - 12:30PM
      • by Manuel Eusebio
      • Type: Contributed
      • Two groups of 20 students each from the Bachelor Engineering Technology Program of the Abu Dhabi Men's College, Higher Colleges of Technology, who are currently enrolled in Physics I in spring 2012-2013, will serve as respondents in this study.The groups will alternately be exposed to problem-based learning and video analysis instruction strategies. A pre-test and a post-test utilizing selected items from Forced Concept Inventory and researcher-constructed items in force and motion together with a perceptions inventory related to the use of the two strategies will be administered to the respondents. Mean achievement in each topic will be investigated and students' reactions regarding the use of the two strategies, specifically students' attitude, motivation, and enjoyment afforded by the two strategies in understanding the lessons will be extracted from the data.
  • Labs and Activities for Sustainability

      • Renewable Energy and Sustainability at Gustavus Adolphus College

      • AJ01
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Charles Niederriter
      • Type: Invited
      • We live in an era when student interest in energy, sustainability, and theenvironment is increasing, as it becomes clear that our current production and consumption of energy negatively impacts the environment and raises a number of potentially significant challenges for the future. Gustavus has taken advantage of this trend by integrating renewable energy and sustainability experiences into introductory science classes in order to increase interest and enthusiasm for science. We have found that this is an excellent way to educate students about this important area while teaching quantitative skills. We will report on our NSF-CCLI funded program, including new laboratory experiences in ground source geothermal heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal, fuel cells, wind turbines, and energy content of fuels. We will also report on efforts funded by other foundations and the college, such as campus-wide energy conservation projects, Gustavus' rooftop solar thermal and photovoltaic arrays, and our composter/greenhouse combination.
      • Inquiriy-based Investigations Using Wind Generators and Solar Panels

      • AJ02
      • Mon 07/15, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Jeremy Benson
      • Type: Invited
      • Environmental sustainability and green energy are popular topics in and out of today's classroom. In this session, we'll take a look at some hands-on activities and tools available to actively engage students in the study of alternative energy sources. Investigations into building wind generators and experiments with solar power can easily be tailored to suit elementary, middle or high school students depending on the concepts included. We'll also discuss ways to relate these activities back to other scientific topics being discussed, such as work and power as well as basic electricity and circuits.
      • Using Mathematical Modeling to Understand the Complexities Between Energy and Society

      • AJ03
      • Mon 07/15, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Pat Keefe
      • Type: Invited
      • The issues related to energy in our society can be complex. Understanding basic relationships between energy production, population, and lifestyles can stimulate greater discussion and deeper exploration into energy and our society. We will discuss two spreadsheet modeling exercises that can be used in a variety of classes, seminars, and workshop formats in order to motivate students toward a better understanding of energy and its impact upon our global society.
      • An Interdisciplinary, Project-based Class in Sustainable Energy

      • AJ04
      • Mon 07/15, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by David Feldman
      • Type: Contributed
      • We have developed and taught an interdisciplinary, project-based course onthe physics and mathematics of sustainable energy. The course's only pre-requisite is high school algebra. Students do a significant solutions-based, hands-on group project. This engages learners, teaches practical skills, and helps lessen feelings of despair that some students experience when learning about energy and climate change. We emphasize back-of-the-envelope calculations and estimations, so that students gain a feel for energy units. We include a unit on basic financial mathematics, including the time value of money, discounting, and the payback time of an investment. This knowledge is essential for seeking funding for a renewable energy project. We believe that the mix of topics and activities in our class teaches important STEM content and well serves students who want to advocate for sustainable energy use. We are writing a textbook based on our course.
      • Sustainability and Energy Consumption: Course Module for High School Students

      • AJ06
      • Mon 07/15, 9:50AM - 10:00AM
      • by Anindya Roy
      • Type: Contributed
      • Ms. Melissa Woods from Santa Barbara High School and I worked together to develop part of a course named "Green Engineering," which she is teaching in 2012-13 to advanced high school students. Some of the main goals of the first quarter were to help students understand the basic terminologies regarding energy, power etc., and about solar photovoltaics in greater detail. In the process, they learned how to handle different system of units, performed in-class research to find solar generation potential in California, filled out an online spreadsheet in real time to find approximate energy consumption and compared it with their classmates, and made raspberry solar cells. This exercise brought physics ideas in active, fun, and tangible forms to the students. And we learned this to be an effective way to teach them about more involved sociological concepts; e.g., the variation of individual energy consumption with socioeconomic status.
  • Learning Assistants and Supplemental Instructors in TYCs

      • The Colorado LA Model: Variations, Trade-Offs, and Differential Goals

      • DI01
      • Tue 07/16, 10:30AM - 11:00AM
      • by Valerie Otero
      • Type: Invited
      • The Colorado Learning Assistant (LA) model was designed with an adaptable but definite structure and with specific goals for student, faculty, and institutional learning. Throughout the past decade, multiple variations have been adopted in different departments throughout CU Boulder and at different universities throughout the nation. We have begun to systematically study these variations in efforts of understanding which features are critical for which end goals. Some models use LAs to facilitate active discussion in lecture while others use LAs to help students make inferences from data. Still others take advantage of the programs' community aspect and use it to facilitate students' transition from two-year colleges to large research universities. I will discuss foundations of the model and how different types of goals are embraced and enacted by faculty members using the LA model. Finally, I will describe some institutional and economic benefits with a focus on sustaining the program.
      • One Program, Two Sites: A Collaborative University-TYC Learning Assistants Program

      • DI02
      • Tue 07/16, 11:00AM - 11:30AM
      • by Edward Price
      • Type: Invited
      • Learning Assistants (LA) programs are catalysts for course transformation and teacher recruiting. These goals are important at four-year universities and two-year colleges, and LA programs are relevant for both institutions. However, the particular features of each institution present distinct challenges in establishing and maintaining an LA program. We are exploring the effectiveness of a single, unified LA program at two sites -- a four-year university and a two-year college. We have extended the CSU San Marcos LA program to nearby Palomar Community College, with the goals of promoting course transformation and teacher recruiting at both institutions, and building inter-institutional connections. The LA program thus takes on an additional role of promoting institutional collaboration and facilitating student transfer. This talk will describe the program, challenges, and early outcomes from this effort.
      • Reflecting On the Experiences of LAs in an Evolving, Collaborative, Teacher Preparation Effort

      • DI03
      • Tue 07/16, 11:30AM - 12:00PM
      • by Mel Sabella
      • Type: Invited
      • The City Colleges of Chicago and Chicago State University have been collaborating on physics education projects for over five years and have been involved in the National Science Foundation CCLI Program and the APS PhysTEC Program. Throughout this period, the collaboration, involving Harold Washington College, Malcolm X College, Olive Harvey College, and Chicago State University, we have implemented a Learning Assistant (LA) Program that builds on the ideas from the LA Program at the University of Colorado. The Chicago LA Program has evolved over the years to fit our particular set of shared needs and resources. In this talk we explore the evolution of the model and share data on the experiences of students who are exploring physics teaching through our LA Program.
      • A Collaboration to Introduce Physics Teaching to Two-Year College Students

      • DI04
      • Tue 07/16, 12:00PM - 12:30PM
      • by Anthony Escuadro
      • Type: Invited
      • The City Colleges of Chicago and Chicago State University have recently partnered to provide early teaching experiences to two-year college students through the Chicago Learning Assistant Program, which provides participants the opportunity to learn about, practice, and reflect on physics teaching. Through this collaboration, the City Colleges community has been able to address some of the challenges that many two-year colleges face when attempting to establish and sustain peer teaching programs. In addition, we have found that incorporating Learning Assistants has helped to cement a culture of active learning and cooperative engagement in the classroom. We describe this shared effort as a potential model for four-year institutions to broaden their efforts to reach out to and recruit from their larger communities, while two-year colleges can obtain access to financial resources, pedagogical support, and mentoring that may not otherwise be available.
  • Lessons from Successful Professional Development for Successful Teacher Preparation

      • AAPT/PTRA Professional Development for 4th-8th Grade Teachers

      • GF01
      • Wed 07/17, 2:40PM - 3:10PM
      • by Steven Shropshire
      • Type: Invited
      • The Physics Teaching Resource Agents (PTRA) program developed by the AAPT has served as a successful professional development (PD) model for high school physics teachers since 1985. In Idaho, this model has been applied to PD for middle school teachers in physical science from 2008 to 2011, and to PD for elementary teachers in physical science and mathematics since 2011. Support from both programs has been provided by the Idaho Math Science Partnership. An overview of the AAPT/PTRA model for PD and how it was adjusted in Idaho to serve the needs of 4th-8th grade teachers will be presented. The impact of the program on teacher content knowledge and confidence, and on the academic performance of students of teachers who participated will be summarized.
      • Lessons from GaDOE MSP and Improving Teacher Quality Professional Development

      • GF02
      • Wed 07/17, 3:10PM - 3:40PM
      • by Bob Powell
      • Type: Invited
      • The University of West Georgia has been successful during the last six years in receiving grants to provide professional development for area teachers from both improving teacher quality and the Georgia Department of Education MSP programs. The key characteristics of the proposal preparation are strong partnerships, justification for the need of professional development, letters of support, and meaningful content emphasizing hands-ion activities. The AAPT/PTRA units on Kinematics and Dynamics, Energy and Momentum, Electricity and Magnetism, and Waves and Geometric Optics have been used for the curriculum and have been well received. Evaluations indicate improvement of both content knowledge and pedagogy skills.
      • The AAPT/PTRA ToPPS Program at NWOSU

      • GF03
      • Wed 07/17, 3:40PM - 4:10PM
      • by Steven Maier
      • Type: Invited
      • In 2011, Northwestern Oklahoma State University began hosting AAPT/PTRA [1] summer institutes for Teachers of Physics and Physical Science (ToPPS)[2]. Aligned with the state's STEM vision, ToPPS seeks to better prepare Oklahoma's future workforce through relevant professional development and to serve as a source of support for rural districts. While most participants are middle school teachers, others include teachers from elementary and secondary schools. For many participants, the NWOSU ToPPS program serves as the only physics teacher preparation they have had access to. The challenge of striking a balance among participants' varied expectations, prior knowledge, and teaching experiences has turned out to be the greatest asset of this program. In this talk, data on the effectiveness of the program will be presented followed by discussion of long-term goals (such as sustainability) and the implications/impact this program has already had on HS physics teaching in Oklahoma [3].
  • Massively Open Online Courses

      • Massively Open Online Courses

      • BD
      • Mon 07/15, 4:00PM - 6:00PM
      • by Danny Caballero
      • Type: Panel
      • Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a new part of the 21st century educational landscape. MOOCs provide free access to instruction in many areas (including physics) and have been heralded as a major positive change in higher education. However, many MOOCs employ ineffective and impersonal instructional methods (e.g., lecture) and have been written off as just another educational fad. As we begin to make sense of these new environments, we must discuss how to incorporate educational best practices into MOOC instruction and investigate the outcomes of such instruction. In this panel discussion, Dave Pritchard (MIT) and Michael Schatz (Georgia Tech) will discuss the design of two different introductory physics MOOCs and present preliminary data on how students participate and succeed in these new online learning environments. Each speaker will present for 30 minutes and a 1-hour open discussion will follow. This session will be broadcast online as part of AAPT's alternative access initiative.
      • MIT Open Online Physics Courses Are Research Goldmines

      • BD01
      • Mon 07/15, 4:00PM - 6:00PM
      • by David Pritchard
      • Type: Panel
      • MOOCs offer research opportunities based on data mining from their time-stamped log of everything students do in a complete learning environment. We report on student distribution of time on various tasks, fraction of each resource used, and particularly on e-text usage. e-text usage depends dramatically on course structure, but is similar for OOCs, distance courses at MSU, and blended courses at MSU and MIT. Data will be drawn from ~14 MSU physics courses on LONCAPA.org, ~8 MIT courses on edX, and the 2 RELATE administrations of Mechanics ReView (http://relate.mit.edu/physicscourse/), an open enrollment course that uses the MAPS Pedagogy [2] to develop both more expert-like organization of core mechanics knowledge and more systematic problem solving skills. ReView includes hundreds of assessment questions, many based on results from physics education research, most of them available on LON-CAPA. The previous and current summer versions of ReView are aimed at practicing teachers and offer CEUs.
      • An Introductory Physics MOOC with a Lab

      • BD02
      • Mon 07/15, 4:00PM - 6:00PM
      • by Michael Schatz
      • Type: Panel
      • Numerous Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been devised for advanced/upper level coursework; by contrast, relatively few MOOCs have, to date, focused on introductory courses. We describe a Gates Foundation supported effort to develop a college-level introductory physics course that will offer bona fide laboratory experiences that are arguably superior to experiences in laboratories for typical large lecture introductory physics courses. The course will be offered on Coursera in Summer 2013.
  • Methodologies for Identifying and Investigating Cognitive 'Resources' in Physics Thinking

      • What Are Resources and How Can We Tell?

      • DD01
      • Tue 07/16, 10:30AM - 11:00AM
      • by Eleanor Sayre
      • Type: Invited
      • I study how physics students become physicists through both identity development and content knowledge learning. My work focuses on upper division physics lab and theory classes, where students must learn to coordinate physics and mathematics content resources with cultural and epistemological resources for becoming a physicist. I take two complementary perspectives on how to find resources in data. In a loose sense, the idea of resources is an epistemological choice on the part of the researcher to look for little bits of reusable good ideas in student thinking. It's a framing away from evaluating veracity and towards investigating how people are being productive. In a stricter sense, resources have specific properties: they are reusable, nestable, networkable, and nameable. To illustrate these properties and their entailments in observational, video-based data, I discuss a class of resources that bridge cultural physics shibboleths with technical physics and mathematics content.
      • Methods for Identifying Students' Knowledge About Complex Systems

      • DD02
      • Tue 07/16, 11:00AM - 11:30AM
      • by Lauren Barth-Cohen
      • Type: Invited
      • In my work I focus on students' competencies in generating scientific explanations within the domain of complex systems, an interdisciplinary area in which students tend to have difficulties. I have data from open-ended clinical interviews with students who have a variety of academic backgrounds from 8th grade through PhD in physics and astronomy. These students were asked to reason about seven problem contexts, all of which exhibit behaviors associated with complex systems (e.g. the movement of sand dunes, the formation of traffic jams, and the diffusion of juice in water). In this talk I discuss how I used the microgenetic learning analysis cycle of observation, schematization, and systematization (OSS) (Parnafes and diSessa, 2013) to build a mini-theory of four categories of intuitive prior knowledge students activate about complex systems in this context.
      • Identifying Knowledge-In-Use and In-Development: The Dialogue between Data and Theory

      • DD03
      • Tue 07/16, 11:30AM - 12:00PM
      • by Mariana Levin
      • Type: Invited
      • This talk will engage the issue of honing our ability to analyze video records of real-time reasoning processes from a "resources" perspective. In qualitative analyses of reasoning processes we face several methodological challenges, in part because as analysts, we have no direct access to learners' conceptual systems. So, then, how do we argue that our descriptions of resources capture something psychologically real for subjects? How can we operationalize our descriptions of resources so that they can be useful beyond local analyses? In my talk, I will discuss the theoretical constraints a heuristic epistemological framework (e.g., diSessa, 1993) puts on the identification and characterization of relevant knowledge resources, systems, and their dynamics. To illustrate this interplay between the development of local descriptions of knowledge-in-use and in-development and the orienting epistemological framework, I will discuss data from a recent study investigating the emergence of new strategies during episodes of mathematical problem solving.
      • Using The "Resources" Framework Without Identifying Specific Resources: Huh?

      • DD04
      • Tue 07/16, 12:00PM - 12:30PM
      • by Andrew Elby
      • Type: Invited
      • What counts as evidence that a proposed cognitive resource exists? Other speakers in this session provide thoughtful answers. I, by contrast, argue that it's often OK to sidestep the question, because the resources framework does productive intellectual work even when specific resources aren't identified. An analogy with atomic theory clarifies my argument. Even without identifying specific atoms, atomic theory helps explain phenomena such as why the pressure of a gas increases with temperature. But other phenomena, such as the relative stabilities of different chemical bonds, cannot be explained without identifying and characterizing particular atoms in detail. Similarly, thinking in terms of the resources framework without identifying specific resources "like thinking in terms of atomic theory without identifying specific atoms" is generative for addressing some research questions but not others. I illustrate this point using work on student and teacher epistemologies, and explore methodologies appropriate for such research agendas.
  • Modern Physics in the High School Classroom

      • Exploring Elementary Particles with Masterclasses and e-Labs

      • AF01
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Shane Wood
      • Type: Invited
      • What is the Higgs boson? What is antimatter? What is the Large Hadron Collider? These questions are in popular culture to the point where even many non-physics students are asking them. How can we take advantage of this historic opportunity to engage more students in the exciting field of physics? The international particle physics masterclass is designed for high school students to analyze LHC experimental data to better understand the world of quarks and leptons. Learn how teachers and students have the opportunity to work directly with particle physics data and to collaborate with physicists and other students doing similar work across the country and around the world. They need not stop there: with a classroom cosmic ray detector and an accompanying e-Lab, students can take their own data and share data and analyses worldwide.
      • Activities from QuarkNet's Data Portfolio

      • AF02
      • Mon 07/15, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Kris Whelan
      • Type: Invited
      • You may not have the expensive instrumentation for modern physics experiments in your classroom, but your students can analyze date from these experiments. QuarkNet is developing a portfolio containing instructional resources and data from the Large Hadron Collider, LHC, experiments and cosmic ray studies. Students build on what they are learning in their physics classes, especially conservation of momentum and energy, to develop new conceptual constructs. The portfolio contains fundamental (paper and pencil) data analyses and more challenging, online ones as well. We will explore these fundamental activities. Funded by the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Energy, QuarkNet is a long-term, national teacher development program that brings high school teachers and their students into the particle physics research community.
      • Hands-on Simulations for Modern Physics with Video Supplements

      • AF03
      • Mon 07/15, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Beverly Cannon
      • Type: Contributed
      • Modern Physics can be a puzzlement in a "hands-on" environment. There are some activities that fall into the simulation genre that can be done and that work without computers. Calculators and computers can be used to analyze the data obtained. This presentation will have at least five that you can use in a high school class.
      • Reaching Modern Physics in an Inquiry-based Physics-First Curriculum

      • AF04
      • Mon 07/15, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Richard Piccioni
      • Type: Contributed
      • To prepare students for chemistry, physics-first curricula should introduce some key aspects of modern physics. Maximizing student opportunities to construct durable understandings of concepts such as the photon model of light requires carefully structured group work, creative use of technology, and courageous deferral of some material traditionally "covered" in introductory physics courses. The 9th-grade inquiry-based physics-first curriculum at our school now takes the form of a series of investigations conducted by students in small groups (1). Early in the course, students encounter a comprehensive conservation of energy equation along the lines recommended by Jewett (2) and learn to apply that equation under more than one system definition. By the end of the course, application of energy conservation principles to simple electric circuits enables students to estimate the average photon energy of an LED in electron-volts, paving the way to a deeper appreciation of atomic energy levels in chemistry.
      • Students? Videoconference to Compare their LHC Particle Event Analyses

      • AF05
      • Mon 07/15, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Dave Trapp
      • Type: Contributed
      • The U.S. Masterclass, part of the International Masterclass program, engages students to analyze recent high-energy collision data from the LHC including possible Higgs events. Students share, compare, and discuss their analyses via videoconference with physicists and other groups of students around the U.S. and often other countries in the Americas, Europe, and around the Pacific rim. By encouraging students to emulate the processes physicists use, it helps them understand what is science and what it has and can accomplish. This talk will discuss the details of these video conferences, their features and their success.
      • Using the CMS e-Lab with High School Students

      • AF06
      • Mon 07/15, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Michael Fetsko
      • Type: Contributed
      • This talk will highlight my experiences using the CMS e-Lab with my high school students and with high school students in Beijing, China. The CMS e-Lab is an online tool that provides authentic data from the CMS detector at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. The CMS e-Lab provides students with an opportunity to analyze data to calibrate the detector and participate in discovery science (as particle physicists do). Students have the opportunity to use the tools and the histograms to "discover" particles and, if they are really determined, discover physics that goes beyond simple calibration. The e-Lab is easily adaptable to a short-term project or as a long- term inquiry project. Even if you do not teach particle physics, the e-Lab could be an excellent addition to your curriculum.
  • Monday Afternoon Break in the Exhibit Hall

      • Monday Afternoon Break in the Exhibit Hall

      • EXH06
      • Mon 07/15, 3:30PM - 4:00PM

      • Type: Exhibit Hall
  • Monday Exhibit Hall Open

      • Monday Exhibit Hall Open

      • EXH04
      • Mon 07/15, 10:00AM - 5:00PM

      • Type: Exhibit Hall
  • Monday Morning Break in the Exhibit Hall

      • Monday Morning Break in the Exhibit Hall

      • EXH05
      • Mon 07/15, 10:00AM - 10:30AM

      • Type: Exhibit Hall
  • Monday Registration

      • Monday Registration

      • REG05
      • Mon 07/15, 7:00AM - 5:00PM

      • Type: Registration
  • Other

      • Introducing Research Experiences in a Community College

      • GH01
      • Wed 07/17, 2:40PM - 2:50PM
      • by Chitra Solomonson
      • Type: Contributed
      • As more students seek to gain admission to universities, fewer seats are becoming available to them due to increasing budget cuts. Thus admission is becoming increasingly competitive. At the same time, more and more students are relying on community colleges to serve as a stepping stone to college. Experience in research is becoming an important component of STEM undergraduate programs in four-year schools. Research experiences have been shown to deepen students' resolve in persisting in STEM fields especially for underrepresented populations1. In this project (funded by NSF DUE-1141339), faculty members at Green River Community College are collaborating with faculty members at the University of Washington to develop and implement lab modules in the cutting-edge fields of Organic Photovoltaics (OPVs) and Organic Light Emitting Devices (OLEDs). Results of a pilot study involving a small group of Green River in the calculus-based physics course will be discussed. Russell, S.H.; Hancock, M.P.; and McCullough, J. (2007). Benefits of undergraduate research experiences. Science, 316(5,824): 548?549.
      • Acronym Usage 4 Physics Equations

      • GH02
      • Wed 07/17, 2:50PM - 3:00PM
      • by Shannon Schunicht
      • Type: Contributed
      • Physics instruction using acronyms are always remembered. Examples include FOIL (First, Outside, Inside & Last). Another: My (Multiplication)- Dear (division)- Aunt (Addition) & Sally (subtraction). Others, forgotten soon thereafter, if not continually used. This author was in a plane crash rendered unconscious for three weeks culminating with BA & BS. Pragmatic discoveries were made to compensate for memory deficits. The most valuable was having each vowel: mathematical operation, i.e. a:@ =>multiplication, o:over =>division, i:minus =>subtraction, u:plus => addition, and e:equals. Most consonants and variables are indeed consonants, e.g. c: speed of light & z: altitude. Using this technique, any formula may be manipulated into a word/series of. ADDITION LETTERS may be added to enhance letter combinations intelligibility, but need be CONSONANTS. An acronym for The Quadratic Equation: exCePT i buiLD rabbiTS 4 caTS oN 2HaTS. Everyone remembers Dr. Seuss? The possibilities of this mnemonic technique are limitless as ?X=> 0
      • Incompatibility of Relativistic Definition of Force

      • GH03
      • Wed 07/17, 3:00PM - 3:10PM
      • by Bharat Chaudhary
      • Type: Contributed
      • The relativistic definition of force is incompatible with the Newtonian definition of force and doesn't conform to the physical condition. In Newtonian mechanics, force is mass times acceleration. If the force is zero, the acceleration becomes zero. That is, there is no effect without cause. But in relativistic mechanics, force is defined as the rate of change of momentum. In this case both mass and speed are variables. Therefore, the force equation in this case contains two terms on the right side. If the force is made zero, left side becomes zero. Right side also becomes zero. Since there are two terms on the right side, acceleration doesn't become zero when force is made zero. That is, the effect is there without the cause. Thus the relativistic definition of force doesn't fulfill the physical condition. Therefore relativistic definition of force is untenable.
      • Ransacking the Physics Lab for Astro101 Classroom Demos

      • GH04
      • Wed 07/17, 3:10PM - 3:20PM
      • by Louise Edwards
      • Type: Contributed
      • Demonstrations can help to increase the level of learner-centered teachingin the classroom in many ways. They break up the lecture, allow for peer interactions, and give the students a chance to grapple with physics concepts using their hands. Non-science majors especially, may not otherwise have a chance to take a physics lab, or experiment with many of the classic hands-on physics activities to which the science major has access. In this talk, I outline 10 demonstrations I have taken from our campus planetarium as well as from the physics laboratory. Covering topics from the nature of light, to the solar wind and Earth's magnetic field, these demonstrations are all highly portable, and applicable specifically to the common concepts covered in an Astro 101 class for non-science majors.
      • 'Hobab Theory' Theory of Everything, Including Social Aspects

      • GH05
      • Wed 07/17, 3:20PM - 3:30PM
      • by Shahrad Faghihi
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Universe started with Big Explosion-Jump. It started from a certain point of extremely contracted space holding energy. If one contracts space, then sspace gets folded, like a three-dimensional spring. Space resists contraction and contracted space tends to expand. Space reaction to contraction is becoming denser and starting to roll and make curls right from the middle, where it bears the maximum pressure. Almost like coil. It starts boiling and rotating. If contracting continues it starts to split itself in two, four, eight and so on--the same way a cell divides itself. Space Balls look like a bubble full of space. One could see these Bubbles as spherical space surfaces or space membranes near each other and fully touching and pushing each other, as we know from geometry. The boiling of Space Bubbles and the folds give its membranes a vibrating motion. It has a wavy form. All particles and phenomena in physics can be explained as different form and interaction of these contracted Space Bubbles.
  • PER: Classroom Strategies and Problem Solving Using Online Tools

      • Implicit Scaffolding for Student Learning with Computer Simulations

      • AH01
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 8:10AM
      • by Noah Podolefsky
      • Type: Contributed
      • We introduce implicit scaffolding, a research-based theoretical framework we use to design PhET interactive simulations (sims) for inquiry learning. Scaffolding is usually explicit, consisting of prompts, questions, and other forms of guidance. Implicit scaffolding leverages affordance and constraints carefully chosen and built into PhET sims in order to guide without students feeling guided. By making scaffolding implicit, we aim to specifically address affective goals such as student agency, ownership, and productive, self-directed exploration. When scaffolding is implicit, student epistemological framing of their exploration with a sim can be more aligned with the self-directed, personally rewarding exploration done by scientists than when scaffolding is explicit. Additionally, implicitly scaffolded sims provide opportunities for instructors to design and facilitate classroom activities that are 1) more student-centered, and 2) more focused on conceptual learning. Implications for learning tools beyond PhET sims will be discussed.
      • Flipping a College Physics Class Using Video Lectures and PER Tutorials

      • AH02
      • Mon 07/15, 8:10AM - 8:20AM
      • by Roberto Ramos
      • Type: Contributed
      • An introductory college physics class was taught using a "flipped format" in a liberal arts college setting. Outside class, students viewed over 75 online video lectures on introductory mechanics prepared by this author using an inexpensive high-definition webcam and Relay Camtasia software. Videos ranging from five to 20 minutes long were made available via Blackboard, which enabled tracking of viewing. Inside the class, the students mostly worked through PER-based, activity-based tutorials and occasionally solved problems. A professor with one or two undergraduate TAs served more as facilitators in student-centered, peer-learning-based activities. I will report on the learning gains, which were significant, as measured by standard pre- and post-learning physics diagnostic tests. I will also report on student response and feedback as measured by surveys and online video interviews. Interesting aspects of the viewing behavior of students, as measured by Blackboard tracking statistics will be reported as well.
      • The Role of an Online Collaborative Textbook Annotation Tool in a Flipped Introductory Physics Class

      • AH03
      • Mon 07/15, 8:20AM - 8:30AM
      • by Kelly Miller
      • Type: Contributed
      • In the age of digital learning and flipped classrooms, there is an open question as to how online participation facilitates learning. We investigate the role of NB, an online collaborative textbook annotation tool, in a flipped introductory physics class. NB serves as both the primary content delivery mechanism and provides a discussion forum for students. We analyze the relationship between students' level of online engagement and traditional learning metrics to understand the effectiveness of NB in the context of flipped classrooms.
      • Engaging Non-Majors through Student-Generated Assessment Content

      • AH04
      • Mon 07/15, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by Simon Bates
      • Type: Contributed
      • We describe the first investigation of student-generated assessment content using the PeerWise online system in an introductory physics course composed exclusively of non-majors. Implemented across three concurrent sections of the course (N=700), we have utilized the same scaffolding and instructional design implementation to that which had previously yielded a very high standard of question quality. This is, therefore, a replication study in a very different course context: the final, and for many, only physics course these students will take. We report details of the students' engagement with the online system, together with an investigation of the quality of the questions that students author, by categorizing them into the levels in the cognitive domain of Bloom's taxonomy. Through sampling of questions authored at distinct points in the course, we are able to track changes in the quality of submissions as the course progresses.
      • A New Framework for Computer Coaching of Problem Solving

      • AH05
      • Mon 07/15, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by Evan Frodermann
      • Type: Contributed
      • The physics education research (PER) group at the University of Minnesota has been developing online computer programs intended to aid students in developing problem-solving skills by coaching them in the use of an expert-like problem-solving framework. An early version was tested in a large calculus-based introductory physics class and judged to be helpful by students. The PER group is now working on a second generation of coaches which is more flexible for both students and instructors. The new coaches will allow students to make the decisions critical to problem solving in a non-linear path, more closely resembling the actual way they solve problems. It will also allow instructors without any programming experience to modify both the structure and content of existing coaches and to create new ones. In this talk we will demonstrate the new interface and discuss the rationale behind its design. This work is supported by NSF DUE-1226197.
      • Online Computer Coaches for Introductory Physics Problem Solving -- Usage Patterns and Students' Performance

      • AH06
      • Mon 07/15, 8:50AM - 9:00AM
      • by Qing Xu
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Physics Education Research Group at the University of Minnesota has been developing Internet computer coaches to help students become more expert-like problem solvers. During the fall 2011 and spring 2013 semesters, the coaches were introduced into large sections (200+ students) of the calculus-based introductory mechanics course at the University of Minnesota. In this talk, we will discuss the different usage patterns of the coaches and their correlations with student problem-solving performance and attitudes toward problem solving in physics. This work was supported by NSF DUE-0715615 and DUE-1226197.
      • Improving Exam Performance for Diligent but Failing Students

      • AH07
      • Mon 07/15, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Zhongzhou Chen
      • Type: Contributed
      • For instructors, it is distressing to see students who spend a considerable amount of time and effort learning physics still end up performing poorly on exams. At university of Illinois, we observe in our introductory physics courses that a substantial fraction of students who receive failing grades actually completed over 80% of all course-related activities. In order to improve the exam performance for those students, we initiated a three-year project aiming at better understanding the causes of their poor exam performance, and developing a computer-based online tool to better guide those students through the process of preparing for an exam. One year into the project, we have identified a number of possible causes leading to the poor exam performance of those hard-working students, including inaccurate self-estimation, lack of basic knowledge/skills, and insufficient ability to learn from worked out solutions. In this talk, we will also demonstrate how we designed our exam-preparation tool to help students address these issues.
      • Practice Exam

      • AH08
      • Mon 07/15, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Witat Fakcharoenphol
      • Type: Contributed
      • It has been shown that practicing on exam-liked problems and getting worked out solutions through an online system can improve students' performance on similar problems both on similar practice problems, as well as on the actual exam. However, the improvements were restricted to problems closely related to the practice problems. In an effort to increase the effectiveness, we performed a clinical study that included two additional treatments, providing targeted homework activities, and one-on-one tutoring. Results of this study and its implications for helping students prepare for the exam will be presented.
      • Capitalizing on Digital Natives' Technological Skills

      • AH09
      • Mon 07/15, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Angela Cannava
      • Type: Contributed
      • The PER community has developed materials that build on students' conceptual and epistemological resources. However, little attention has been given to students' technological resources, which are becoming increasingly important. As "digital natives" make up the majority of our student population, a simple change of replacing paper and pencil lab notebooks with digital notebooks may have a dramatic impact on the extent to which students feel valued and respected. Additionally, digital notebooks are more aligned with the way digital natives have learned to do their work. Initial results suggest that digital lab notebooks lead to increased student achievement, engagement, and quality of work. Survey results revealed that students preferred digital notebooks because they allow for "easier data sharing" and increased "versatility." These results will be discussed along with implications for instruction and further research.
      • Addressing Conceptual Problems in 1D Kinematics Using Interactive Online Laboratories

      • AH10
      • Mon 07/15, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Katie Ansell
      • Type: Contributed
      • Over the past 20 years, microcomputer based laboratories (MBLs) have become a common part of introductory physics courses, either in a formal laboratory setting or as part of the flipped classroom model. While student learning gains have been shown in the classroom context, little work has been done to explore the role and effectiveness of MBL technology for physics instruction outside of the classroom. In this talk we present research in which students used a brief, software-guided lesson with an Interactive Online Laboratory (IOLab) system developed at UIUC to review one-dimensional kinematics. The lesson and hands-on activities were designed to address student graphing skills and common conceptual difficulties that persisted after students received classroom instruction on the topic. This group was compared to an equivalent group that read a textbook excerpt addressing the same issues. Results of this study and implications for future work will be presented.
      • Evaluations of Video Lab Reports in an Introductory Physics MOOC

      • AH11
      • Mon 07/15, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Shih-Yin Lin
      • Type: Contributed
      • Assessing student performance becomes challenging when course enrollment becomes very large (~10^5 students). As part of an introductory physics Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) offered via Coursera in summer 2013, students submit video reports on force and motion labs. Peer evaluation of reports provides the primary method for evaluating student laboratory work. This paper describes the methods developed and used to guide students in evaluating each others' video lab report. 1) There are additional authors for this presentation. Please find below the full list of authors. Shih-Yin Lin, Georgia Institute of Technology; John M. Aiken, Georgia State University;
  • PER: Problem Solving

      • Influence of Visual Cueing and Feedback on Physics Problem Solving

      • GA01
      • Wed 07/17, 2:40PM - 2:50PM
      • by Amy Rouinfar
      • Type: Contributed
      • Research has demonstrated that using visual cues to focus students' attention on relevant areas in diagrams and animations can increase comprehension and facilitate problem solving. In this study we investigate the effectiveness of visual cues and correctness feedback in conceptual physics problems containing a diagram with respect to comprehension and transfer of physics concepts. Students enrolled in an introductory physics course were individually interviewed. During each interview students worked through sets of problems containing a diagram. Each problem set contained an initial problem, six isomorphic training problems, and a transfer problem. Answers and explanations were given verbally. Students in the cued conditions saw visual cues on the training problems, and those in the feedback conditions were told if their responses were correct or incorrect. We discuss the influence of both cueing and feedback on students' answers and attention.
      • Tracking Eye Movements While Viewing Motion Graphs

      • GA02
      • Wed 07/17, 2:50PM - 3:00PM
      • by Jennifer Docktor
      • Type: Contributed
      • Multiple representations are important for learning physics concepts and solving problems (e.g. interpreting text, equations, pictures, diagrams, and/or graphs), yet students often struggle to make sense of these representations. This study investigates how introductory students and graduate students view and interpret motion graphs. Participants viewed several graphs of position, velocity, or acceleration on a computer screen and were asked to match a region of the graph with a description of the object's motion. We compare performance on the questions with audio-recorded explanations and eye movements recorded using an eye tracker.
      • A Meta-analysis of Brain-behavior Correlations in Problem Solving

      • GA03
      • Wed 07/17, 3:00PM - 3:10PM
      • by Jessica Bartley
      • Type: Contributed
      • Human brain mapping methods offer the opportunity to provide biological evidence of student engagement in physics conceptual reasoning and problem solving tasks. We identified brain networks associated with physics problem solving via a quantitative meta-analysis of component cognitive processes such as deductive reasoning, spatial skills, and mathematical calculations. This study assembled functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from the BrainMap database [1] and used computational data mining techniques to identify the neural correlates associated with these cognitive processes. The present results were designed to provide groundwork for larger fMRI work in the domain of PER. Ultimately, we aim to use this work as the first phase of a study seeking to identify biological evidence to operationalize engagement, embodied experience, and conceptual metaphor in physics problem solving.
      • Emphasis on "Basic" Skills in Problem Solving Sessions

      • GA04
      • Wed 07/17, 3:10PM - 3:20PM
      • by Brianne Gutmann
      • Type: Contributed
      • In a supplementary class that aims to help struggling students with problem solving, I have replaced some of the problem practice with basic skill practice, instead. Most of the students are potentially high risk to fail our introductory mechanics class, as flagged by a diagnostic test given to incoming freshmen. They have completed a preparatory class prior to this course, and take this extra class concurrently with mechanics. It is usually focused on problem-solving strategies and lots of practice solving problems. This time, I am treating half of the sections traditionally, while the other half spend some of their time working "easier" problems: old exam problems that most students did really well on, but failing students did poorly on. This work includes a short quiz and a packet of related problems. I will discuss how this affected their performance in their mechanics course.
      • The Role of Participation in Experimental Design and Problem Solving

      • GA05
      • Wed 07/17, 3:20PM - 3:30PM
      • by Binod Nainabasti
      • Type: Contributed
      • The context of this study is a calculus-based introductory college physicscourse that is a studio-format course implementing the Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE). Our study analyzes students' interactions as they work together in groups, engaging in experimental design and how their interactions are related to their problem-solving performance in exams. Students are first given an experimental design problem. They must solve the design problem and learn new physics by working together in groups of three and collaborating together as a whole class. A day later they take an individual exam in which one of the problems is related to the experimental design problem they encountered previously. Using video data, we identify different ways in which students participate in group discussions when they engage in the experimental design problem. We then see if there are patterns in their participation that are connected to their performance on the related exam question.
      • Team-based and Project-based Learning in a Flipped Introductory Physics Class

      • GA06
      • Wed 07/17, 3:30PM - 3:40PM
      • by Carolann Koleci
      • Type: Contributed
      • Have you ever considered doing away with lectures and traditional exams? Imagine a class in which there are no formal lectures and no exams. Envision students coming prepared for class. Instead of memorizing strands of equations or regurgitating concepts, students take ownership of their learning. They become passionate about learning physics because month-long projects provide the motivation for the learning. What if conceptual learning gains in such a class were more than double that of a traditional class? Welcome to Applied Physics 50, our introductory applied physics course that is team-based and project-based.
      • Lens to Learning: Class-wide Video Analysis of Peer Instruction Dscussions

      • GA07
      • Wed 07/17, 3:40PM - 3:50PM
      • by Laura Tucker
      • Type: Contributed
      • Numerous studies show courses taught using Peer Instruction have higher learning gains than traditional courses on standardized assessments. Yet we have very few measurements of what actually happens during the peer discussion component of this pedagogy. To address this need, we recorded every student discussion in nearly every lecture of an introductory physics course at a major research university. We will present results from analysis of these student conversations, providing insight on discussion behavior over different questions. In addition, we will illustrate the interesting case of "discovery conversations," in which all students in a group answer incorrectly in the initial poll and discuss only among their group, but one or more group members answer correctly after discussion.
      • Investigating the Construction and Effectiveness of Student Notecards

      • GA08
      • Wed 07/17, 3:50PM - 4:00PM
      • by Timothy McCaskey
      • Type: Contributed
      • In a previous study, I allowed introductory physics students to create a notecard for their midterm and final exams in an attempt to remove equation memorizing as a focus of the course. I hoped to use the study of these cards as an epistemological lens that would uncover their perceptions and attitudes about the course. Without follow-up questions, though, epistemology remained unclear. I have continued the study by adding anonymous survey questions that probe why students chose to include what they did, how (if at all) the card was helpful, and how their card preparation changed throughout the semester.
      • A Zero Transfer Worked Example Experiment

      • GA09
      • Wed 07/17, 4:00PM - 4:10PM
      • by Noah Schroeder
      • Type: Contributed
      • Worked example research often measures effectiveness by assessing student understanding through a near transfer problem. Failure has been attributed to many things, among them student overconfidence in understanding a given worked example. This experiment directly measured this overconfidence by assessing students with a "zero transfer" task. In this experiment, students were shown a worked example to a homework problem, and then asked later on to reproduce the worked example. Results, including student performance and confidence ratings, will be shown.
      • Exploring Different Course Formats Via AP Scores and Epistemic Games

      • GA10
      • Wed 07/17, 4:10PM - 4:20PM
      • by Jonathan Mahadeo
      • Type: Contributed
      • For this project we used the advanced placement (AP) grading system to evaluate university student responses for an AP Physics problem on a common final exam given to six separate introductory course sections. The sections were grouped into Inquiry based (IQB), lecture/lab/recitation (LLR), and lecture/lab (LL) course formats. Via the AP grading rubric, we found that each of the course types scored statistically differently with IQB highest, lecture/lab second, and lecture/lab/recitation third. To extend the interpretation of these differences, student work was subjected to a secondary analysis using the framework of epistemic forms and epistemic games [1]. In this secondary analysis, we interpret written student responses as evidence of student moves in six types of knowledge-constructing games. We code differences between student problem solutions to identify different epistemic games being played. These data are interpreted in conjunction with scores on the AP problem to identify trends by course format.
  • PER: Reasoning, Mathematics, and Representations

      • Measuring Proportional Reasoning with a Research-based Assessment Suite

      • EI01
      • Tue 07/16, 4:00PM - 4:10PM
      • by Andrew Boudreaux
      • Type: Contributed
      • Recent work in PER has examined the impact of scientific reasoning abilityon student learning gains in introductory physics courses. Proportional reasoning is typically included as an important part of scientific reasoning. Proportional reasoning, however, is not well defined or monolithic, but rather consists of a variety of components, with expertise characterized by skill in selecting from among these components and fluency in shifting from one to another. An ongoing collaboration between Western Washington University, New Mexico State University, and Rutgers seeks to map the cognitive terrain in this area by developing a set of proportional reasoning components and designing assessment items to probe ability along those components. Free-response versions of these items have been tested extensively with students. Responses have been used to develop a suite of multiple choice items. This talk will describe the assessment suite and present results from a variety of introductory physics courses.
      • Math in Math, Math in Physics

      • EI02
      • Tue 07/16, 4:10PM - 4:20PM
      • by Steve Kanim
      • Type: Contributed
      • The degree to which students struggle with basic mathematics in introductory physics is often surprising, even to experienced instructors. As part of an ongoing investigation into student use of proportions in introductory physics, we have been looking at student responses to questions about proportions in physics and in everyday contexts. At times it seems that the difficulties we are observing have less to do with the proportions themselves than with fundamental differences between how students and physics instructors think about the purposes of mathematics and about the meanings of mathematical expressions. This in turn has led us to look for ways that math as it is taught in math classes is different from math as it is used in introductory physics classes. In this talk I will describe some of these differences.
      • Discourse Analysis of Students' Use of Mathematical Idioms in Physics

      • EI03
      • Tue 07/16, 4:20PM - 4:30PM
      • by Ying Chen
      • Type: Contributed
      • As students develop their physics identity, their ability to successfully understand the relationship between mathematics and physics plays an integral role. What are their expectations about how mathematics should be done in physics classes? How do they understand typical idiomatic expressions such as "far away" or "blows up"? In this talk, these questions will be discussed using observational video-based data of upper-division physics students using micro-genetic analysis of discourse. Starting with how students become aware of mathematical idioms and use them in problem solving and sense-making, this analysis will give insight into how students understand mathematics in physics using mathematical idioms as a lens.
      • Understanding External Representations as Computational Tools

      • EI04
      • Tue 07/16, 4:30PM - 4:40PM
      • by Elizabeth Gire
      • Type: Contributed
      • In physics, external representations (like graphs or free-body diagrams) are used to document and communicate information about a physical situation, and also as tools for computation. An important instructional goal is to teach students to solve problems using physical representations. Yet, while experts use representations fluently and productively, novices often struggle to interpret them and may not value their utility. In addressing this, we use conceptual blending theory and distributed cognition to gain insight into how meaning and computational power arise from the material and conceptual features of representations. In this talk, we apply these ideas to understanding how students create and use external representations for solving problems. In particular, we discuss how conflicts among material and conceptual elements of representations may lead students to misuse or misunderstand external representations, and how looking for such conflicts may help to identify potential areas of student difficulties.
      • Student Difficulties in Translating between Mathematical and Graphical Representations

      • EI05
      • Tue 07/16, 4:40PM - 4:50PM
      • by Alexandru Maries
      • Type: Contributed
      • We investigate introductory physics students' difficulties in translating between mathematical and graphical representations and the effect of scaffolding on students' performance. We gave a typical problem that can be solved using Gauss's law to 96 calculus-based introductory physics students. Students were asked to write an expression for the electric field in various regions and graph it. We implemented two scaffolding interventions to help them: (1) students were asked to draw the electric field in each region first (before having to plot it at the end) or (2) asked to draw the electric field in each region and asked to evaluate the electric field at the beginning, mid and end points of each region. The comparison group was only asked to plot the electric field at the end of the problem. We also conducted interviews in order to better understand how the interventions impacted them. We will present some surprising results.
      • Student Interpretation of Multi-Variable Expressions: Transfer Between Different Contexts

      • EI06
      • Tue 07/16, 4:50PM - 5:00PM
      • by Mila Kryjevskaia
      • Type: Contributed
      • Student reasoning difficulties with applying and interpreting multi-variable expressions have been reported previously. In the context of a math course, for example, it may be appropriate to reason that, for the given relationship y = x/a, if x increases, y must also increase; in such cases, it is commonly assumed that variables (e.g., x and y) and constants (e.g., positive a) have been clearly established. However, a direct mapping of the same reasoning in the context of physics (namely, for the given relationship f= v/lamda, if the propagation speed v increases, frequency f must also increase) leads to an erroneous conclusion. In this investigation we are probing the impact of targeted instruction on student ability to apply multi-variable expressions and to transfer their knowledge and skills between different contexts. Data from introductory calculus-based physics courses will be presented and discussed.
  • PER: Student Reasoning and Topical Understanding

      • Probing Inconsistencies in Student Reasoning: Formal vs. Intuitive Thinking

      • GD01
      • Wed 07/17, 2:40PM - 2:50PM
      • by Nathaniel Grosz
      • Type: Contributed
      • Even after targeted instruction, many students still struggle to productively and consistently analyze unfamiliar situations. We have been designing sequences of questions that allow for an in-depth examination of inconsistencies in student reasoning approaches. Our results indicate that even those students who do possess the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze many challenging situations correctly often fail to utilize relevant ideas and skills productively; students tend to "abandon" their correct formal reasoning approaches in favor of more intuitive solutions (perhaps more appealing to them at that moment). We will present results from sequences of questions administered in introductory calculus-based physics courses.
      • Physics Reasoning: Biases toward the Most Available Variable

      • GD02
      • Wed 07/17, 2:50PM - 3:00PM
      • by Andrew Heckler
      • Type: Contributed
      • It has been demonstrated in a number of everyday contexts that when reasoning about causes of simple phenomena, people tend to only consider explanations that are the most available in their memory. Thus, even if people know that two factors can influence an outcome, they often only consider the one that is most available. We demonstrate this phenomenon in the physics education context. Specifically, when students are asked to determine explanations for the variation of some quantity, such as the tipping of a balance scale, or the mass density of a material, they tend to only consider the most available variable that causes the variation, even in cases when that variable is physically non-causal. However, when interviewed further, students are often able to reason about alternative explanations and other potential variables. We discuss a range of known student difficulties in physics in terms of this reasoning bias phenomenon.
      • Effects of Belief Bias on Causal Reasoning from Data Tables

      • GD03
      • Wed 07/17, 3:00PM - 3:10PM
      • by Abigail Bogdan
      • Type: Contributed
      • Students often fail to draw valid conclusions from simple tables of experimental data. Our research suggests that part of their struggle might be caused by the influence of prior beliefs. In this study, students were asked to either verify or construct a claim about a causal relationship between several variables based on information presented in data tables. We found that students demonstrated belief bias in the ways they chose to cite data, frequently treating their own theories as a source of evidence to be supplemented by or illustrated with examples from data. Because of this tendency to hunt piecemeal through the tables for supporting examples, contradictory data was often simply overlooked. However, even when noticed, data that contradicted their theories was often ignored, misinterpreted to conform, or discounted in some way.
      • Effects of Training Examples on Understanding of Force and Motion

      • GD04
      • Wed 07/17, 3:10PM - 3:20PM
      • by Daniel White
      • Type: Contributed
      • We examined the effects of various kinds of training tasks on student responses to questions about the relationship between the directions of net force and velocity, and between acceleration and velocity in one dimension. The four training conditions were constructed in a 2x2 design (abstract vs. concrete contexts) x (acceleration-velocity vs. force-velocity question types), and a control (no training) was also included. We found that all training conditions significantly improved performance on all question types compared to control, however acceleration-velocity training resulted in higher performance on all question types compared to force-velocity training. Additionally we found that the degree of abstraction of the training (that is, the number of concrete details included in the example) has no significant effects on student scores. These results are consistent with hierarchies of student understanding of force and motion in previous works, which we also discuss.
      • Effectiveness of Computer-based Training on Vector Products

      • GD05
      • Wed 07/17, 3:20PM - 3:30PM
      • by Brendon Mikula
      • Type: Contributed
      • Computer-based training on dot products and cross products was given to N=223 students in an introductory level, calculus-based electromagnetism course at The Ohio State University. The level of feedback in training was varied as follows: no training (control), correctness feedback, correctness and correct answer feedback, correctness and explanation feedback. Training lasted for approximately 10 minutes, and a paper assessment was given immediately afterwards. This assessment consisted of both arrow format questions, similar to those in the training, and conceptual/transfer questions related to vector products selected from the Vector Concept Test (Zavala & Barniol). All training conditions significantly outperformed control on both question types (d > 0.46). Consistent with VanLehn's interaction plateau hypothesis, high-level feedback was significantly more effective than low-level feedback for arrow notation questions (d = 0.35) and no significant difference was observed between the high-level feedback conditions for either question type.
      • Student Reasoning on Gravitational and Electrostatic Potential Energy

      • GD06
      • Wed 07/17, 3:30PM - 3:40PM
      • by Beth Lindsey
      • Type: Contributed
      • Potential energy is a conceptually rich topic presenting many difficultiesfor students. Recent research has identified many difficulties relating to work, energy, and systems. Failure to reason correctly about potential energy may underlie many of these difficulties. I will describe an investigation into student understanding of potential energy as typically presented in the context of universal gravitation or electrostatics. I will discuss the connections between student understanding of potential energy in mechanics and their subsequent performance in electricity and magnetism. I will present data from written questions and from one-on-one student interviews, and discuss the implications these data have for instruction on energy in introductory courses.
      • Students' Initial Representations of Light in College Physics

      • GD07
      • Wed 07/17, 3:40PM - 3:50PM
      • by Craig Wiegert
      • Type: Contributed
      • We report on college physics students' prior diagrammatic knowledge about light propagation and optics. At the beginning of the second semester of introductory college physics, students were asked to draw a diagram of light being emitted in all directions from a small source. An analysis of these initial diagrams demonstrates the diversity of students' prior knowledge as well as the relative prevalence of some initial misconceptions in geometric and physical optics.
      • How Students Combine Resources to Understand Solar Cells

      • GD08
      • Wed 07/17, 3:50PM - 4:00PM
      • by AJ Richards
      • Type: Contributed
      • We use the framework of resources to investigate how students construct understanding of a complex modern physics topic that requires mastery of several concepts. Specifically, we are interested in how students combine multiple resources as they reason about a solar cell. We video recorded pre-service physics teachers learning about solar cells, analyzed their interactions, and studied how they activated and combined resources. Our findings show that certain combinations of resources can dramatically improve students' understanding and insight. This presentation will reveal these combinations and discuss possible implications for instruction.
      • Cognitive Resources and Varied Expertise

      • GD09
      • Wed 07/17, 4:00PM - 4:10PM
      • by Darrick Jones
      • Type: Contributed
      • We compare the reasoning of individuals from different backgrounds with varying levels of physics expertise as they attempt to solve novel physics problems about solar cells, which incorporate advanced physics topics including complex circuits and semiconductor physics. By performing a fine grained analysis on the video recordings of the problem-solving sessions, we determine what resources individuals used when reasoning about solar cells. We analyze how resource activation differed between individuals and how this influenced overall reasoning strategies. We present the results of the study and discuss implications they have for instructional design.
      • Transfer of Physics Learning to Various Disciplinary Contexts

      • GD10
      • Wed 07/17, 4:10PM - 4:20PM
      • by Bijaya Aryal
      • Type: Contributed
      • This study reports on the utility of using various disciplines as vehiclesto deliver concepts within physics classes. Specifically we explore the degree to which students' transfer concepts from physics into various disciplinary contexts such as anatomy/physiology, chemistry, mathematics, and public health. The research design includes three phases of learning activities: concept learning, context introduction, and transfer of physics learning task incorporated into multidisciplinary integrated learning modules. Qualitative and quantitative data will be presented to describe the impacts of the various strategies employed at one or more stages of the learning activities used. We report on the impact of altering the level of concreteness of activities at concept learning stage and real world vs abstract example in the context stage on student transfer of physics learning. We also discuss our finding that the extent to which students use or transfer physics concepts varies with disciplinary contexts.
  • PER: The Birth of a Subdivision of Physics

      • Are We There Yet?

      • FH01
      • Wed 07/17, 12:30PM - 1:00PM
      • by Dewey Dykstra, Jr.
      • Type: Invited
      • The story from participation in what we now call Physics Education Research (PER) reveals challenges faced by the field since its beginnings in the late 1960s, early 1970s. PER is not from a bifurcation of an existing field of physics. Instead, it is a brand new field in physics. As such, PER has faced, and still faces, challenges of a different sort than one would expect in a bifurcation. Some of these challenges will be described from the perspective of a member of the field since near its beginning.
      • Physics Education Research in Tecnologico de Monterrey: A Case Study

      • FH02
      • Wed 07/17, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Genaro Zavala
      • Type: Invited
      • The history of Physics Education Research (PER) in other countries is shorter than that in the United States. In some countries the activity is non-existent and/or PER is not recognized as a research subdivision of physics by physics communities. In this talk I will present the case of Mexico focusing in a city, Monterrey, and in an Institution, Tecnologico de Monterrey. Although the emphasis will be on only one institution, however, the history of PER in Tecnologico de Monterrey is strongly linked to the history of PER in Mexico since PER, unlike Physics Education which has a long tradition, is present in a small number of institutions in the country.
      • A Community-based Report of the Developmental History of PER

      • FH03
      • Wed 07/17, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Karen Cummings
      • Type: Invited
      • In the fall of 2010 I was asked to put together a report on the developmental history of the field of Physics Education Research which I presented to the National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences, Committee on the Status, Contributions, and Future Directions of Disciplined-Based Education Research (DBER). A goal of the committee (with funding from the NSF) was to gain a broad view of the historical development, current status, and future directions of the various DBER fields. The history that I compiled and reported is information I gathered from more than 20 people who are, or were, active in the development of the PER community. In this talk I will summarize this work and compare the development of PER with other DBER fields. Unique developmental aspects of PER that I believe have been crucial in the relative success of the field will be highlighted.
      • Establishing a PER Group in a Physics Department: An Example

      • FH04
      • Wed 07/17, 2:00PM - 2:10PM
      • by Lillian McDermott
      • Type: Invited
      • From the early 1970s onward, the Physics Education Group in the Physics Department at the University of Washington (UW) has worked toward establishing physics education research (PER) as an appropriate field for scientific inquiry in physics departments. In 1999 APS and AAPT issued a joint resolution in strong support of PER by physics faculty, post-docs, and graduate students. Since then, the field has grown rapidly. It is still difficult, however, to establish a viable group in PER, especially at research-intensive universities. The experience at UW may provide some helpful insights to others who may want to establish a PER group.
  • PER: Upper-Division Courses

      • Examining Student Understanding of Diode Circuits*

      • FB01
      • Wed 07/17, 12:30PM - 12:40PM
      • by MacKenzie Stetzer
      • Type: Contributed
      • As part of an ongoing investigation of student understanding of analog electronics, we have been examining student learning of canonical topics in upper-division electronics courses. A major goal of this multi-institutional investigation has been to probe student thinking in sufficient detail to guide the development of instructional materials that can help address underlying conceptual and reasoning difficulties. In this talk, I will focus on our efforts to probe student understanding of basic diode circuits using free-response questions and interviews. Specific examples from our work with both introductory and upper-division students will be used to highlight some of the implications for instruction that continue to emerge from this investigation. *This work has been supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. DUE-0618185, DUE-0962805, and DUE-1022449.
      • Investigating Student Understanding of Transistor Circuits

      • FB02
      • Wed 07/17, 12:40PM - 12:50PM
      • by Kevin Van De Bogart
      • Type: Contributed
      • An upper-division laboratory course on analog electronics is a required component of many undergraduate physics programs and often serves as a gateway to other advanced laboratory courses and undergraduate research experiences. Ongoing research in such upper-division electronics courses has revealed persistent student difficulties with foundational circuits concepts (e.g., Kirchhoff's junction rule) as well as canonical topics in analog electronics (e.g., op-amp circuits). We have recently extended our investigation to examine student understanding of fundamental bipolar-junction transistor circuits. Specific examples will be used to highlight our findings and to provide insight into student reasoning about such circuits. In addition, implications for instruction will be discussed.
      • Student Understanding of Electric Circuit Theory as a Tool for Modeling Physical Networks

      • FB03
      • Wed 07/17, 12:50PM - 1:00PM
      • by Christian Kautz
      • Type: Contributed
      • Courses on circuit analysis for students in electrical or mechanical engineering often focus on algorithms for solving circuit problems that are presented in the form of standard circuit diagrams. Research has shown that many students have difficulty developing a conceptual understanding of basic concepts such as current and voltage. At Hamburg University of Technology, we have begun to investigate to what extent students are able to recognize the model aspects of (linear) circuit theory. In particular, we probe student understanding of (1) the connection between graphical and mathematical representations of circuits, (2) the connection between the elements of circuit theory and their real-world correspondents, (3) the "syntax" (i.e., set of rules) underlying circuit diagrams, and (4) the limitations of the linear circuit model and its idealized elements. We will present some initial results, indicate how these relate to previously identified conceptual difficulties, and show their relevance for instruction.
      • Assessing Student Learning in Middle-Division Classical Mechanics/Math Methods

      • FB04
      • Wed 07/17, 1:00PM - 1:10PM
      • by Marcos Caballero
      • Type: Contributed
      • Reliable and validated assessments of introductory physics have been instrumental in driving curricular and pedagogical reforms that lead to improved student learning. As part of an effort to systematically improve our sophomore-level Classical Mechanics and Math Methods course (CM) at CU-Boulder, we are developing a tool to assess student learning of CM concepts in the upper-division. The Colorado Classical Mechanics/Math Methods Instrument (CCMI) builds on faculty-consensus learning goals and systematic observations of student difficulties. The result is a nine-question open-ended post-test (with two additional, optional questions) that probes student learning in the first half of a two-semester sequence that combines classical mechanics with mathematical methods. In this paper, we describe the design and development of this instrument, its validation, and measurements made in classes at CU Boulder and elsewhere.
      • In-between Multiple-Choice and Open-ended: Large-scale Assessment for Upper-division Physics?

      • FB05
      • Wed 07/17, 1:10PM - 1:20PM
      • by Bethany Wilcox
      • Type: Contributed
      • Multiple-choice assessments are a standard tool for achieving reliable measures of certain aspects of students' conceptual learning in large introductory physics courses. However, upper-division physics involves greater emphasis on assessing students' reasoning in addition to their conceptual knowledge. In order to capture elements of student reasoning, the Colorado Upper-division Electrostatics (CUE) diagnostic was designed as an open-ended assessment. Unfortunately, the training required to score the CUE accurately limits its scalability. Using our extensive database of CUE responses to construct distractors, we created a multiple-choice version of the diagnostic. Our principal goal was preserving insights afforded by the open-ended format while exploiting the logistical advantages of a multiple-choice assessment. This new version explores the viability of a novel test format where students select multiple responses and receive partial credit based on the accuracy and consistency of their selections. Here, we present the development, scoring, and preliminary analysis of the multiple-choice CUE.
      • Students' Dynamic Geometric Reasoning About Quantum Spin-1/2 States

      • FB06
      • Wed 07/17, 1:20PM - 1:30PM
      • by Hunter Close
      • Type: Contributed
      • Quantum states are traditionally cognitively managed exclusively with algebra rather than geometry. One reason for emphasizing algebra is the high dimensionality of quantum mathematical systems; even spin-1/2 systems require a 2-d complex number space for describing their quantum states, which can be hard to visualize. Using "nested phasor diagrams," which use nesting to increase the dimensionality of graphic space, we taught undergraduate students to represent spin-1/2 states graphically as well as algebraically. In oral exams, students were asked to identify which spin-1/2 states, expressed numerically, would generate the same set of probabilities as each other (i.e., they are the same except for a different overall phase factor). Video records of oral exams show that no students (N=13) performed this task successfully using an algebraic method; instead, all students solved the problem graphically. Furthermore, every student who succeeded used a certain gesture to solve the problem.
      • Effects of a Wave Function Manipulative on Subsequent Student Gesturing

      • FB07
      • Wed 07/17, 1:30PM - 1:40PM
      • by Catherine Schiber
      • Type: Contributed
      • We compare student gestures from oral exams in an undergraduate quantum mechanics course for two academic years, 2012 and 2013. In both years, students were asked to show with their hands the quantum wave function for various one-dimensional potentials by assigning the three available spatial dimensions to the real part of the function, the imaginary part of the function, and the scenario's single spatial coordinate. In 2012, the students' instructor encouraged visualization of the wave function in these terms by gesturing frequently and by explaining 2-d quantum simulations in 3-d. In 2013, instruction included several in-class activities involving building a 3-d representation of the quantum wave function for several potentials using pipe cleaners. The oral exam in 2013 did not, however, include the pipe cleaners. We present evidence of the influence of the pipe cleaners on students' cognitive management, including embodied action, of the wave function.
      • Teaching Undergraduate Quantum Mechanics Courses: Contents, Textbooks, and Teaching Methods

      • FB08
      • Wed 07/17, 1:40PM - 1:50PM
      • by Homeyra Sadaghiani
      • Type: Contributed
      • Quantum mechanics suggests a new picture of physical systems that often isin conflict with students' classical views. For example, the underlying principle of orthonormality of state vectors is not necessarily aligned with student mental models of three- dimensional space vectors. Researchers have found that these classical views can create barriers in student learning of quantum concepts. Some researchers have postulated that introducing quantum ideas in an unfamiliar context such as spin (that does not have a classical counter part) might reduce the likelihoods of activating students' classical resources. To test this, we have experimented with teaching quantum mechanics using two different textbook approaches: (1) traditional approach (starting with continuous basis); (2) spin first approach (starting with discrete basis). We have investigated student learning of the core concepts using classroom concept questions and end of quarter diagnostic tests. We will discuss the implications of this study for choices of initial context, the order and emphasis of content being taught, as well as how Physics Education Research-based curriculum could be utilized to increase student engagement and learning in these courses.
      • Investigating Student Difficulties with Measurements in Quantum Mechanics

      • FB09
      • Wed 07/17, 1:50PM - 2:00PM
      • by Gina Passante
      • Type: Contributed
      • The concept of measurement is a fundamental idea in quantum mechanics. Ideas pertaining to quantum measurement have been shown to be difficult for both introductory and advanced students. This is understandable, since in learning quantum mechanics, students must successfully interpret a new mathematical and conceptual formalism and recognize how this new model differs from classical physics. We discuss some of the conceptual and reasoning difficulties that we have identified related to measurement in quantum mechanics, using illustrative examples from written and online pretests and from post-tests administered on course examinations.
      • Analysis of Faculty and Student Interviews on Undergraduate Quantum Mechanics

      • FB10
      • Wed 07/17, 2:00PM - 2:10PM
      • by Christopher Oakley
      • Type: Contributed
      • Characterizing faculty expectations is important to produce a comprehensive understanding of what knowledge students should acquire before and during a quantum mechanics course (QMC). We analyzed interviews conducted with faculty and students entering a QMC in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Georgia State University. The interviews examine expectations regarding preparation, course material, and instructor's goals for a QMC. The goals of the interviews are to locate conflicts in perspective and to provide students with a "map" for areas that will help strengthen the knowledge and skills to be obtained before they enter a QMC. We report on contradictions and similarities in perceptions from interview data determined by coding the interviews and through the use of Activity Theory.
      • Qualitative Understanding of Entropy Changes in Upper-division Thermal Physics

      • FB11
      • Wed 07/17, 2:10PM - 2:20PM
      • by Michael Loverude
      • Type: Contributed
      • As part of an ongoing project involving research and curriculum development in upper-division thermal physics, we have investigated student understanding of the concept of entropy and the approach to thermal equilibrium. Previous talks from this project have described student interview responses concerning models of entropy in the approach to thermal equilibrium and the quantitative connections between mathematical models of entropy that are macroscopic and particulate in nature. In the current talk, we present data from written problems in which students are asked to reason qualitatively about changes in entropy as well as about reversibility.
  • PER:Teacher Preparation and Professional Development

      • Comparison of In-Service and Pre-Service Teachers

      • BE01
      • Mon 07/15, 4:00PM - 4:10PM
      • by Karen Matsler
      • Type: Contributed
      • The UTeach program is answering the urgent call for more qualified math and science instructors across the nation, including physics teachers. The program is a collaborative effort between university science and education departments designed to produce teachers who are confident and competent in STEM subject matter. A recent study revealed that between 2003-2008, 39% of all science teachers in Texas taught more than one subject and approximately half of those were certified in composite science but ended up teaching physics upon graduation. Hence the need in the physics community to engage in helping future teachers develop in both content knowledge and knowledge of how students learn. We will report on a study by UTeach programs at the University of Texas Austin and Arlington to compare content understanding and confidence of UTeach pre-service physics majors and non-majors to in-service teachers who participated in the national PTRA program between 2003 and 2008.
      • Analysis of Pre-Service Teachers' Reflections on Teaching

      • BE02
      • Mon 07/15, 4:10PM - 4:20PM
      • by Marianne Vanier
      • Type: Contributed
      • Pre-service physics teachers at Rutgers University teach laboratories and recitations in a reformed introductory physics course as part of their teacher preparation program. They reflect on their weekly teaching experiences on a Google group page. We developed a coding scheme to analyze their reflections and analyzed patterns in the reflections (total of 300 journal entries). We focused on the dependence of the content and depth of reflection on the class material and the time of teaching (before or after student teaching). In this talk we will present the patterns that emerged.
      • Content Knowledge for Teaching Energy: An Example from Middle-school Physical Science

      • BE03
      • Mon 07/15, 4:20PM - 4:30PM
      • by Rachel Scherr
      • Type: Contributed
      • "Content knowledge for teaching" is the specialized content knowledge thatteachers use in practice -- the content knowledge that serves them for tasks of teaching such as making sense of students' ideas, anticipating conceptual challenges students will face, selecting instructional tasks, and assessing student work. We examine a middle school physical science teacher's interactions with a group of students for evidence of content knowledge for teaching energy (CKT-E). Our aim is not only to better understand a single teacher's practices but also to develop criteria for observational assessment of CKT-E.
      • Learner Understanding of Energy Degradation

      • BE04
      • Mon 07/15, 4:30PM - 4:40PM
      • by Abigail Daane
      • Type: Contributed
      • Learners' everyday ideas about energy often involve energy being "used up"or "wasted." In physics, the concept of energy degradation can connect those ideas to the principle of energy conservation. Learners' spontaneous discussions about aspects of energy degradation have motivated us to introduce new learning goals into our K-12 teacher professional development courses. One of our goals is for teachers to recognize that since energy degradation is associated with the movement of some quantity towards equilibrium, the identification of energy as degraded or free depends on the choice of the objects involved. Teacher discussions of a particular energy scenario (about a wind-powered heating system) led to productive conversations about the nature of energy degradation and its possible dependence on the choice of what to include in the scenario.
      • Interactive Laboratory Experience - Closing the Knowledge Gap

      • BE05
      • Mon 07/15, 4:40PM - 4:50PM
      • by Mark Greenman
      • Type: Contributed
      • During the summers of 2008 through 2012 five cohorts totaling 114 secondary school teachers responsible for teaching physics concepts enrolled in a Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education funded summer institute hosted at area universities to enhance the teachers' physics content knowledge and to improve their use of research-based best practices in teaching physics. The content knowledge gap between male and female science teachers was reduced from a gap of 25% to 6%, and the gap between physics majors teaching physics and other science majors teaching physics was reduced from a gap of 31% to 8%. The average paired fractional gain (measured using the FMCE) for these participants was .68 with teachers in every comparison group showing strong gains (.57 to .74). Just as encouraging, these gains showed little decay over time.
      • From "Cookbook" to Inquiry-based Laboratory: Assessing Physics Teachers' Professional Development

      • BE06
      • Mon 07/15, 4:50PM - 5:00PM
      • by Zehorit Kapach
      • Type: Contributed
      • This study was carried out in a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program for high school physics teachers aiming to integrate Inquiry-based Laboratory activities into their practice. How can one assess teachers' development in such a program? Discourse analysis of interviews with teachers and audiotaped CPD meetings indicate that during the program the criteria used by teachers to describe their views and experiences changed. For example, in discussing views about the essence of inquiry teaching: initial narrow literal interpretations ("inquiry is carrying out an experiment"), then reflective descriptions about the role of inquiry in meaningful learning and finally considering inquiry beyond the laboratory (transfer). Similar changes were observed for various inquiry skills such as communication: initial literal interpretation ("communication is preparing a ppt"); then reflective negotiation of meaning with peers; and finally transfer to additional applications. We suggest that this kind of analysis is a powerful tool for assessing teachers' professional development
      • Navigating Disequilibrium between Pedagogy and Epistemology: Exploring Preservice Teacher Tensions

      • BE07
      • Mon 07/15, 5:00PM - 5:10PM
      • by Richard Hechter
      • Type: Contributed
      • The purpose of this paper is to explore the tensions of preservice teachers in terms of their pedagogical orientations towards integrating different modes of representation, namely; visual, graphical, symbolic, and numerical, to enhance student learning against their self-reported epistemological framework. Data were collected from preservice physics teachers (n=8) through semi-structured problem-solving and critical-thinking interviews before and after their teaching practicum experience. Data were analyzed through qualitative research methods to identify emerging themes and positions. Results indicate that although preservice teachers were aware of their individual tendencies towards integrating multiple modes of representation into their pedagogy, participants reported low-efficacious behaviour towards helping students who deviated from their own epistemological framework and perspective. As this disequilibrium tends to manifest frequently for novice and beginning secondary-level physics teachers, especially where students' mathematical and conceptual fluency vary, the implications of this research includes physics teacher preparation and professional development strategies.
      • Why They Cannot Solve the Problem Although They Know How Already

      • BE08
      • Mon 07/15, 5:10PM - 5:20PM
      • by Ji Won Lee
      • Type: Contributed
      • We investigated through an atypical problem the features of science teachers' problem solving process and why they cannot solve the problem even though they already have the key knowledge needed. We found that they could solve another typical problem using the key knowledge. We analyzed the problem solving process of 18 science teachers in explaining the contradictory situation. Science teachers had not been able to solve the problem because they cannot recall the answer although the key knowledge exists in their knowledge structure. And they rejected the scientific model even though they heard the correct explanation. Also, they made ad hoc hypotheses upon ignoring their existing knowledge structure. But because sometimes ad hoc hypothesis has been the key for problem solving in science history, so we propose that it is related with creativity.
  • PERC Bridging Session

      • Affect Not as an Afterthought: Coupling Content and Social-Psychological Aspects in Physics Learning

      • PL0901
      • Wed 07/17, 4:30PM - 6:00PM
      • by Noah Finkelstein
      • Type: Invited
      • Learning is a matter of socialization. As such, we can build on efforts over the last couple of decades to further expand the goals of physics teaching and learning beyond the historic measures of content mastery. We are now poised to examine how social and psychological domains impact and are impacted by the traditional content we so dearly love. Drawing from a theoretical tradition that takes play seriously, I explore a few environments where play and "messing about" simultaneously develop student affect and content mastery. At CU we are involved in: research documenting the engagement of youth in science to promote identity and content mastery; studies linking psychological effects to student performance and retention in college physics; and, investigations of the impacts of advanced undergraduate and graduate experiences that encourage productive messing about as scientists. These studies challenge the historical divides between formal / informal, content/ form, and content/ affect.
      • Having the Journey: Physics Education and Transformative Experiences

      • PL0902
      • Wed 07/17, 4:30PM - 6:00PM
      • by Kevin Pugh
      • Type: Invited
      • John Dewey argued that the curriculum should be a guide and not a substitute for having our own journey with the content. I agree and believe the purpose of science education should be to transform the way we see and experience the world, an outcome I refer to as a transformative experience. In this talk, I explain the nature of transformative experiences and present a model of fostering transformative experiences in science. This model has roots in Dewey's theory of aesthetic experience and was refined through design-based research. Instructional principles central to the model include: (1) artistically selecting and crafting content, (2) scaffolding re-seeing, and (3) modeling transformative experiences.
  • PERTG Town Hall Meeting

      • PERTG Town Hall Meeting

      • PER
      • Tue 07/16, 1:00PM - 2:00PM
      • by MacKenzie Stetzer
      • Type: Panel
  • PIRA Session: Managing Instructional Resources in an Era of Increasing Enrollments

      • Demonstrations in Larger Lecture Halls

      • CA01
      • Tue 07/16, 7:30AM - 8:00AM
      • by Samuel Sampere
      • Type: Invited
      • We can find most any apparatus desired to teach any physics course in commercial catalogues. These items are typically intended for smaller classroom environments. Large enrollments make small classrooms rare at larger colleges and universities. Certainly at my institution, such small-scale apparatus is less than impressive when viewed in a room filled with 300 students. Instructional resource managers must make use of increasingly smaller budgets while still meeting the educational needs of our instructors and students. Fortunately it is often cheaper to construct apparatus in-house, and of equal or superior quality, to that obtained commercially. While you're at it, you may as well scale up the apparatus, giving the audience an improved view. I will show several examples of apparatus that are more flexible and impressive than their commercial counterparts, constructed at Syracuse University, and even some not found in catalogs, but certainly in every introductory physics textbook.
      • Using Students' Personal Electronic Devices in Teaching Laboratories

      • CA02
      • Tue 07/16, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Michael Paesler
      • Type: Invited
      • In the current academic environment, educational institutions are often forced to respond to increased enrollments. Laboratory courses that involve space, equipment, and personnel resources are particularly stressed. The introduction of kitlabs can ease this stress. Furthermore, synchronous kitlabs where students live video-chat with their lab TA can provide a laboratory experience much like traditional laboratories. Data collection and manipulation, however, often suffer due to a lack of electronic equipment associated with kits. An effort at NC State exploits the rapidly emerging capabilities of the students' own personal electronic devices to address this issue. Employing smartphones (as well as tablets and laptops), the program utilizes students' electronic devices' internal sensors for data collection. We describe this program initially designed for the first semester of a college-level general physics course, showing how specific laboratories can be developed with no sacrifice in data-taking or manipulation as compared to the traditional laboratory experience.
      • Labs Outside the Lab: Addressing Enrollment Increase with Portable Labs

      • CA03
      • Tue 07/16, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by William Sams
      • Type: Contributed
      • eTALK, Enhanced Teaching Assistance to aid Learning with Kitlabs, is a teaching laboratory reform under development at NC State University. It offers an alternative to traditional laboratory courses that use proprietary loggers and probes. eTALK instead utilizes students' personal electronic devices, portable kits, and online teaching assistant contact. An eTALK lab thus allows students to focus on the experiment rather than on the mastery of a learning curve associated with unfamiliar probes and equipment. Furthermore, a portable eTALK lab does not sacrifice the important real-time TA interactions that characterize traditional lab courses and are often missing in endeavors to develop distance learning labs. The eTALK project is currently deployed in first-semester calculus-based general physics labs at NC State. Results from the project, including a comparison with traditional labs, will be presented.
  • Physics & Society

      • The Internet, the Information Age and Climate Science

      • FI01
      • Wed 07/17, 12:30PM - 1:00PM
      • by Andrew Rice
      • Type: Invited
      • The Internet has led to an unprecedented availability of information and, with the emergence of "smart" phones, this information is literally at our fingertips at all times. This accessibility of information facilitates an open exchange of ideas and opinions through online dialogs between like-minded citizens who share similar core values and world views. Yet this is not without repercussions. Much of the information available online is without filter, subject to author bias and, at worst, intentionally misinformative. There are few scientific fields today more subject to this than climate science. In this talk we examine the origins of information on climate science on the Internet and how it is disseminated. We also discuss different pedagogical approaches for addressing questions on climate science stimulated from online material. Finally, we examine widely circulated statements as case studies of the challenges educators face in addressing the spread of online misinformation about climate science.
      • Wacky or Real: What Are YOU Doing About It?

      • FI02
      • Wed 07/17, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Erik Bodegom
      • Type: Invited
      • There are 7 billion people on Earth, most with crazy ideas, beliefs, and superstitions that spread quickly far and wide by e-means. Prior to the Pony Express, ideas spread slowly, haphazardly. Because of the today's flood of misinformation, junk science, and woo-woo, it is necessary that people are vaccinated against moronity. It is the mission of the sciences and philosophy to inoculate the masses, but are we failing? Even many notable scientists have shown a shocking lack of understanding, e.g., Josephson, Pauling, Shockley, Mullis, Lenard, Mullis, Watson, Giaever, P. Curie, and Collins. Why? We live under the pretense that we are more than "Cro-Magnon." But are we?
      • Another Look at Surprising Facts about Earth's Current Population

      • FI03
      • Wed 07/17, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by A. James Mallmann
      • Type: Invited
      • Simple arithmetic can be used to present what would seem to be convincing evidence that Earth's current population should not be viewed with any concerns that would inspire us to worry. But equally simple arithmetic can be used to show that that seemingly convincing evidence should be questioned. Which of these examples of contradictory evidence should be used as a guide to think about the current and future population of Earth?
      • Using NYTimes Environmental Articles to Teach Physics

      • FI04
      • Wed 07/17, 2:00PM - 2:10PM
      • by John Cise
      • Type: Contributed
      • For five years I have been using NYTimes articles on the environment to assist in teaching physics concepts. NYTimes articles are: pasted into word, edited to fit on one page, graphics added. Introduction, questions, hints, and answers are then added to the standard printable word page. All pages are available and printable at: http://CisePhysics.homestead.com/files/NYT.htm. I use these NYTimes Physics concept applications for: introducing new contepts in class, quizzes, extra credit material for students to be done on own and submitted to me. Many other (than environment) NYTimes physics concept applications exist at this site. The site is listed as a resource for physics teachers at ComPADRE. http://CisePhysics.homestead.com/files/NYT.htm
      • Using da Vinci's Machines to Demonstrate Physics at a Planetarium

      • FI05
      • Wed 07/17, 2:10PM - 2:20PM
      • by Pamela Maher
      • Type: Contributed
      • This study seeks to address the nation's science, technology, engineering,and math (STEM) education needs by providing undergraduate students an opportunity to present physics concepts to patrons at a planetarium. Thirty (N=30) students taking a program of pre-engineering and calculus-based physics self-selected to participate in a grant-funded study at a two-year college in the Southwest. These student participants built a model of a da Vinci machine from a kit, designed an informational flyer aligned to state K-12 physical science standards, and presented informally to the general public attending a planetarium. Data were collected and qualitative analysis performed to assess students' perceptions toward speaking about physics concepts. Data were also collected from the general public to determine effectiveness of the presentations in communicating physics concepts. Results reveal the extent to which an opportunity to engage in scaffolded informal public speaking enhances participants' confidence and creates links between theory and practice.
      • Teaching About the Electrical Grid in a First-Year Seminar

      • FI06
      • Wed 07/17, 2:20PM - 2:30PM
      • by Jack Dostal
      • Type: Contributed
      • The First-Year Seminar program at Wake Forest University consists of smallclasses (15-19 students) for students of all disciplines. An emphasis is placed upon critical thinking, developing and deconstructing arguments, and considering different points of view through group discussions, presentations, writing, etc. I created the seminar "Power and the U.S. Electrical Grid" for this program. Students learn about the grid's history, nature, and underlying physics, including mechanisms of power generation (green and otherwise). Alternative power distribution systems in other countries are also investigated. Political and ethical issues are robust and far-reaching; we discuss historic issues ("War of the Currents") as well as current and future ones. In this talk I will describe the course structure, activities, and some lessons learned from teaching the course to a combination of prospective science and non-science majors.
  • Physics Majors: High School to Doctorate

      • Supporting Students in their Transition from High School to University

      • EB01
      • Tue 07/16, 4:00PM - 4:10PM
      • by Dimitri Dounas-Frazer
      • Type: Contributed
      • Given the size of the UC Berkeley Physics Department, integrating with thecommunity and developing a physics network can be a daunting task for incoming freshmen. To fold students into the Physics Department and promote retention of students from all backgrounds, the Compass Project offers a wide range of services, including a residential summer program for incoming freshmen. The Compass Summer Program incorporates aspects of Modeling Instruction, Complex Instruction, and philosophies which have developed organically within our organization. We describe our pedagogical approach in the context of the 2011 program on non-Newtonian fluids, and we show that the Compass Summer Program is having a positive impact on retention, diversity, and community in the Berkeley Physics Department.
      • Undergraduate Research as Curriculum: Perspective from a Physics Department

      • EB02
      • Tue 07/16, 4:10PM - 4:20PM
      • by Michael Braunstein
      • Type: Contributed
      • The physics department at Central Washington University currently requiresmajors to complete an undergraduate research project. This initiative is supported by a variety of resources both within the department and at the university. Our experience suggests that a valuable perspective on undergraduate research programs in such an environment is explicit consideration of them as curriculum. There are a number of implications of this perspective, ranging from identifying learning outcomes and assessment mechanisms, to allocation of resources and establishing criteria for selecting appropriate research projects, and we will present some of the results, benefits, and consequences of our efforts to frame undergraduate research in this manner.
      • Redesign of Introductory Labs to Increase Retention of STEM Students

      • EB03
      • Tue 07/16, 4:20PM - 4:30PM
      • by Nina Abramzon
      • Type: Contributed
      • Programs aimed at increasing retention and graduation rates have been implemented at Cal Poly Pomona and at Norco College. As part of these programs there were interventions done to the freshman physics labs. The new labs were designed to follow the inquiry- based approach. The design elements will be presented in detail together with assessment of student learning and student attitudes.
      • Physics on the Levels

      • EB04
      • Tue 07/16, 4:30PM - 4:40PM
      • by Stacy Palen
      • Type: Contributed
      • Non-academic models of teaching and learning sometimes have interesting parallels to academic practice. I will present the model of teaching and learning that has been in use in dressage training for more than 3000 years, and compare it to physicist preparation in the U. S. today. This comparison has led me to think about physicist preparation (from novice to PhD) in a new way. I will present a possible model for a physics "learning pyramid," and some thoughts about how this model might inform the response of the community to the brave, new world of academic instruction.
  • Physics Preparation of Preservice Elementary Teachers

      • Teaching the Process of Science to Pre-service Elementary Teachers

      • DJ01
      • Tue 07/16, 10:30AM - 11:00AM
      • by Courtney Willis
      • Type: Invited
      • During a revamp of the pre-service elementary teacher program at the University of Northern Colorado several years ago the concern was raised that the future elementary teachers were learning only "facts" of science and not the "process" of science. A new capstone elementary course (SCI 465) was developed for the purpose of teaching the future teachers how science is actually done and not just its discoveries. The class looks at science from a variety of science disciplines and requires the students to apply the knowledge they have learned in other classes to new situations and actually do science. SCI 465 has now been taught for several semesters by numerous professors and a number of activities have been developed particularly for this course. Several of these activities will be discussed along with others successes and a few failures.
      • Coordinating Instruction Across the Sciences for Preservice Elementary Teachers

      • DJ02
      • Tue 07/16, 11:00AM - 11:30AM
      • by Leslie Atkins
      • Type: Invited
      • In 2007, the College of Natural Sciences at CSU, Chico hired three tenure-track faculty in biology, physics, and geoscience education and launched the Science Education Department in 2008. Over the past five years, these faculty have focused their efforts on the science content preparation of preservice elementary students, establishing a core sequence of content courses that all preservice students take. Our initial approach was to divide-and-conquer: ensuring that each standard was addressed in at least one of our core courses. With NGSS and Framework in mind, we have recently begun work to coordinate instruction, presenting core ideas, representations, and scientific writing in greater depth throughout our sequence. In this talk I will present some of our early work in coordinating this instruction, including challenges and preliminary outcomes.
      • Pedagogical Content Knowledge in a Course for Future Elementary Teachers

      • DJ03
      • Tue 07/16, 11:30AM - 11:40AM
      • by N. Sanjay Rebello
      • Type: Contributed
      • We integrate pedagogical content knowledge into the fabric of a course forfuture elementary teachers structured around an instructional model called the pedagogical learning bicycle (PLB) -- an adapted two-layered 3E learning cycle. This model intertwines the construction of science content knowledge (CK) with the development of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). This course aims to provide opportunities for future teachers to develop skills reflecting on their own learning of physical phenomena, understanding how children talk and learn about physical phenomena, and learning how research literature describes ways in which children think about physical phenomena. It also expects future elementary teachers to apply their integrated understanding of CK and PCK to developing age-appropriate lesson plans to teach physical science concepts in an elementary science classroom. We describe the results of the first implementation of the course and its impact on student learning.
  • Physics Students' Identity and Community Building

      • Sustainability and Physics Identity: Revitalizing Physics Education for Traditionally Marginalized Groups

      • EE01
      • Tue 07/16, 4:00PM - 4:10PM
      • by Zahra Hazari
      • Type: Contributed
      • There is a growing need to help students better understand global sustainability issues while also empowering them in their science learning. The goal of this work is to explore how sustainability topics are addressed in high school physics classes and how addressing these topics might impact students' self-perceptions towards learning physics, particularly for students from traditionally marginalized groups. We employ a physics identity theoretical lens tat incorporates students' perceptions of being recognized, interested, and competent in physics. Drawing on data from a large national survey of college students about their high school science experiences, we found that, compared to biology and chemistry, physics classes are reported to cover sustainability topics far less frequently, including topics such as energy supply. Regression results reveal that for female, black, and Hispanic students, coverage of certain sustainability topics in high school physics was positively correlated to their physics identity.
      • Student Collaborative Networks and Academic Performance in Physics

      • EE02
      • Tue 07/16, 4:10PM - 4:20PM
      • by David Schmidt
      • Type: Contributed
      • Undergraduate physics students commonly collaborate with one another on homework assignments, especially in more challenging courses. However, it is not well known if the types of collaboration students engage in affect their performances. We empirically investigate collaborative networks and associated performances through a required collaboration reporting system in two sophomore- level and three junior-level courses during the 2012-2013 academic year. We employ social network analysis to quantify the structure and time evolution of these networks, which involve approximately 140 students. Analysis includes analytical and numerical assignments in addition to exam scores. We discuss results from this analysis.
      • Research on Building Supportive Undergraduate Communities Through Physics Seminars

      • EE03
      • Tue 07/16, 4:20PM - 4:30PM
      • by Gina Quan
      • Type: Contributed
      • Many universities have created programs to improve undergraduate retentionthrough problem solving and community building. At the University of Maryland, we are running a pilot seminar for freshman physics majors that seeks to give students opportunities for meaningful collaboration. One component of the seminar has students develop physics disciplinary problem-solving skills by working on Fermi-style estimation problems, developing explanations of natural phenomena, and making sense of equations in small-group and whole-class discussions. The second half of the seminar actively works on building a community by having students discuss what it is like to be a physics major, which includes how to form study groups and students' sense of identity as physicists. In this talk, we will present classroom and interview episodes to discuss how the classroom community evolved as well how students' sense of community relates to attitudes and approaches toward learning physics.
      • Coming Out of the Physics Closet

      • EE04
      • Tue 07/16, 4:30PM - 4:40PM
      • by Paul Irving
      • Type: Contributed
      • As part of an ongoing investigation into identity development in upper-level physics students, we present the case study of Sally. Upon entering our study, Sally is a sophomore chemistry major and physics minor. She identifies as a "chemist." As the study progressed, Sally began working part time in a physics research group and developed a greater affinity for physics as a discipline. She struggles with reconciling her identity as a chemist and chemistry major with her growing aspiration to do physics and be a physicist. In her junior year, Sally "comes out of the closet" and declares a physics major, to her delight and relief. In this talk, we discuss Sally's development in light of a framework that conceptualizes identity as having three integral aspects -- personal, practice, and participation -- by examining both interview and observational data.
      • Interdisciplinary Connections and Physics Identity

      • EE05
      • Tue 07/16, 4:40PM - 4:50PM
      • by Tyler Scott
      • Type: Contributed
      • Interdisciplinary thinking is important for the future of science and engineering as it will help foster broader thinking, open new avenues for research, and increase engagement amongst those who view science as narrow and unconnected. However, it is not well understood how interdisciplinary thinking can be fostered within the current culture of science education, nor how this thinking is related to students' science interests. Drawing on data from a national study, we use a physics identity framework to investigate the relationships between characteristics of interdisciplinary thinking among students and their attitudes towards physics. Furthermore, this study also examines how pedagogical techniques, particularly in physics classes, and school characteristics are related to fostering interdisciplinary thinking.
      • A Case Study in Leveraging Biology Experiences in Physics

      • EE06
      • Tue 07/16, 4:50PM - 5:00PM
      • by Vashti Sawtelle
      • Type: Contributed
      • When we discuss courses designed to be interdisciplinary, such as our course in Introductory Physics for Life Science (IPLS) majors, we often focus on what students can gain from taking a course (physics) outside their chosen discipline (biology). Rarely do we consider what advantages might be gained from students' experience with biology in learning physics. At the University of Maryland we have designed an introductory physics course that attempts to leverage students' biology experiences in an authentic interdisciplinary manner. In this presentation, we will examine case study data of a student who initially describes herself as hating physics. We will look at longitudinal data across her experiences with our yearlong IPLS course and explore how, in an interdisciplinary classroom, her prior experiences as a biology student came to influence her evolving relationship with physics.
  • Post-Deadline Papers

      • Developing Self-Learning Ability in a Bilingual College Physics Course

      • GI01
      • Wed 07/17, 2:40PM - 2:50PM
      • by Hou Jixuan
      • Type: Contributed
      • When freshmen students enter the universities from high school, they immediately encounter many changes and challenges, especially in the ways of teaching and learning. They are not used to the learning styles in the university, which are more flexible and very different from what they have experienced in high schools. It's important for the teachers to help students develop the ability to conducted self-motivated and controlled learning. We have been working on this goal in our physics courses for the past 10 years. We introduce the new development in a Bilingual Physics course that used both Chinese and English to teach physics. We describe the teaching methods designed to foster students' self-learning ability and discuss the results and implications of this new course format.
      • Experiences in Teaching Sport Science

      • GI02
      • Wed 07/17, 2:50PM - 3:00PM
      • by Blane Baker
      • Type: Contributed
      • My experiences in teaching a course based on the science of sport over thepast decade are presented. A general overview of the topics covered, along with examples of how athletic performance can be analyzed by physics and other scientific disciplines, are discussed. In addition, classroom assignments, laboratory work, and readings are summarized to show what is expected of students. Finally, writing goals and rubrics for grading are described.
      • Growing a Major from Scratch: The CSUSM Experience*

      • GI03
      • Wed 07/17, 3:00PM - 3:10PM
      • by Charles De Leone
      • Type: Contributed
      • Six years ago the Physics Major at California State University, San Marcoswas nothing but a plan. Today the program has more than 80 majors and has already graduated 10 students, bucking the trend of low enrollments in physics majors at small and mid-sized institutions. This talk will attempt to analyze the successful and less successful elements of this program, including curriculum choices, student-faculty interactions, and student recruitment, via data from student interviews and survey responses. The talk will also report on how elements of the major align with successful strategies identified in the Strategic Programs for Innovations in Undergraduate Physics (SPIN-UP) report. Lastly, we will report on current and future challenges to the program in an age of budgetary constraint.
      • Assessing the Developing Curriculum of an Upper-Level Physics in Biomedicine Course

      • GI04
      • Wed 07/17, 3:10PM - 3:20PM
      • by Elizabeth Anderson
      • Type: Contributed
      • Portland State University's Physics in Biomedicine is an undergraduate upper-level physic course designed for a biology or pre-health major to address the need for medically relevant situations to enhance students' understanding of the physics application. To assess the effectiveness of the instruction, a modified backwards design was used to create learning goals for each individual module. Student understanding of the learning goals was assessed through open response pre and post quizzes. These students' quizzes were then summarized and categorized for emerging patterns of student understanding. The goal of understanding this data is to determine a student's conceptual understanding of each module and overall interpretation of physical phenomenon such as light absorption and emission, atomic energy levels, and electromagnetism. This insight into student thought is to help improve the development of the course and optimize assessment questions.
      • Learning How to Listen: The Interview Project in LA Pedagogy

      • GI05
      • Wed 07/17, 3:20PM - 3:30PM
      • by Eleanor Close
      • Type: Contributed
      • Texas State University-San Marcos has recently begun implementation of a Learning Assistant (LA) program in our introductory calculus-based physics sequence. In addition to their teaching responsibilities, LAs enroll in a course on Physics Cognition and Pedagogy (for upper-division physics elective credit). A central theme of this course is learning both the nature and the value of students' existing ideas in physics. This is accomplished in part through the Interview Project assignment, for which LAs conduct a clinical interview of a non-physics student with the goal of listening to the interviewee' ideas about physics without attempting to change them - that is, to ask questions to learn, without attempting to teach. We will present evidence of the effect of this experience on LAs perceptions of the nature of teaching and learning, the challenge of developing skills of listening for alternative ideas, and the intellectual value of "incorrect" thinking.
      • Team-based Assessment in a Flipped Introductory Physics Class

      • GI08
      • Wed 07/17, 3:50PM - 4:00PM
      • by Junehee Yoo
      • Type: Contributed
      • In a flipped introductory physics class, teamwork is regarded as a core competency and even reflected to assessment method. Reading Assurance Assessments, the high stakes component of the course are performed by team based rather than individually isolated. Three research questions; is the team-based assessment methods fair, especially for the high achievers, can team-based assessments measure teamwork as it intended and how can improve a teamwork are approached by analyzing 34 students' individual and team scores longitudinally during one semester. As a result, team-based assessments seemed to measure teamwork as it intended and to be fair when we accept that teamwork is important as well as conceptual mastery, even though the portions are not the same. Team composition for effective teamwork will be discussed.
      • Forced Vibration of Nonlinear Oscillator System

      • GI09
      • Wed 07/17, 4:00PM - 4:10PM
      • by Zeyang Shen
      • Type: Contributed
      • Linear harmonic oscillator is a classical model for simple harmonic vibration. When applied by an external force with a stabilized frequency, the closer the frequency of the external force comes to natural frequency of the oscillator, the larger amplitude can be observed. For non-linear harmonic oscillator system, numerical results show something distinguishing. The ball, which is set between two springs, moves in a frequency identical to the frequency of the external force applied to the system. By increasing the frequency of the external force from very small, the ball vibrates with an increasing magnitude of amplitude. When the frequency reaches a certain level, a jump can be clearly seen on the amplitude of the ball. A realistic experiment is being conducted to verify the results.
      • Theoretical Calculation of a New Type Superconductor

      • GI10
      • Wed 07/17, 4:10PM - 4:20PM
      • by Jingrong Ji
      • Type: Contributed
      • Human beings have been exploring the superconductors with critical temperature at room temperature since the discovery of the super-conduction phenomenon about one hundred years ago. Although the superconductors have some profound and lasting significance in many fields, there are still various factors that will limit the superconductors from being widely used in our daily life in each period of the research process. This thesis is based on the pre-existing superconductivity theories and improves the calculation formula about the transition temperature about the superconductors and puts forward a new type superconductor: metal-copper-based-iron-based superconductor material and calculates the formula and simulates the molecular structure of this kind of superconductor material with these theories so that we can get a special kind of the superconductor with the critical temperature at the even higher temperature. We hope this research can broaden our train of thought of discovering this potential material and help us find the superconductors that can be widely used in our daily life.
      • Introduction and Research on Touch Screen Technology

      • GI11
      • Wed 07/17, 4:20PM - 4:30PM
      • by Yupeng Wang
      • Type: Contributed
      • Recently, touch screen technology has been more and more widely used in production and living. With the improvement of people's living standard, there will be a continuing increase in demand for electronic products, so touch screen technology has good development prospects. Our paper is based on the principles of different types of touch screen and we focus on the projected capacitive touch screen. We design a principal experiment to have a better understanding of the projected capacitive touch screen and do the preliminary search on it. Introduction about three newest touch screen technologies, "sol" , "on-cell", and "in-cell", is presented in the paper. Ideas about how to make the touch screen thinner, more sensitive and user-friendly are discussed, which is based on "in-cell" technology. We hope this paper will have a positive effect on the research of optimizing the structure of future touch screens.
      • Mpemba Effect in Water

      • GI12
      • Wed 07/17, 4:30PM - 4:40PM
      • by Yuxin Wang
      • Type: Contributed
      • Mpemba effect, referring to a phenomenon that hot water freezes faster than cold under certain conditions, has been under discussion for a long period of time. Based on the freezing mechanism, we first figure out that the Mpemba effect is scientific by deducing the Newton's law of cooling, and then discuss the mechanism of Mpemba effect in theory. Experiments about Mpemba effect were done on our own specific and certain conditions. Via the experimental phenomena and data, we make further analysis of the mechanism of the mMpemba effect. In addition, we make assumptions of a type of phenomenon about high energy level back to ground state, and imply the applications from both microscopic view and macroscopic view.
  • Post-Deadline Papers II

      • Garage Physics: Flexible Space for Innovative Student-Focused Research and Education

      • GJ01
      • Wed 07/17, 2:40PM - 2:50PM
      • by Duncan Carlsmith
      • Type: Contributed
      • Garage Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison provides a new flexible space for innovative student-focused research and education. In the Garage, a student (undergraduate or graduate) is encouraged to explore his or her passions, to find new passions, to learn practical skills, to study in new ways, and to take an active role in their education. The Garage mode of learning compliments the structured learning environment of the regular curriculum. A wide variety of projects are possible in the Garage: basic scientific research, projects for entrepreneurs interested in developing or exploiting new gadgets, and "steAm" projects merging STEM and Arts fields. (www.physics.wisc.edu/garage)
      • Supporting Middle School Teachers with Standards-Aligned Formative Assessments

      • GJ02
      • Wed 07/17, 2:50PM - 3:00PM
      • by Andrew Dougherty
      • Type: Contributed
      • The state-led revision of the National Science Standards aims to increase student achievement by shifting focus towards a deep understanding of scientific concepts. Changes in expectations have created a need for new standards-aligned assessments. School Year Based Inquiry Learning (SYBIL), a professional development partnership between The Ohio State University and a large district in central Ohio, created a year-long program to aid K-8 teachers in developing common formative assessments (CFAs). The program is designed to equip a committee of teachers to produce high quality assessments. SYBIL has also helped assess test items, using IRT, in order to improve the assessments. The design of the program is presented, as well as data showing the improvements made to formative assessments. Evidence is also presented that shows the program has improved the teachers' abilities to create and analyze formative assessments, as well as to watch for bias against minorities and gender.
      • Penetration of Electrostatic Field into Metals: Theoretical Conundrums and Their Resolution

      • GJ03
      • Wed 07/17, 3:00PM - 3:10PM
      • by Michael Partensky
      • Type: Contributed
      • One of the most distinctive characteristics of the metals is the strong screening of the electrostatic field F by the conduction electrons, limiting the penetration of F into the metal to the first few atomic layers. This property is exaggerated by the perfect conductor model of the classical electrostatics with vanishing "field penetration length" L=0. The penetration of electrostatic field into metals was first discussed at a microscopic level by Rice (1928) using Thomas-Fermi approach. The predicted effect increased the effective gap of thin film capacitors and electric double layers, leading to drastic contradiction with experiment. Paradoxically, in order to comply with the experimental data, the penetration length L should have become negative! We describe the solution of this conundrum, address the fundamental discrepancies of Thomas- Fermi-type theories, and briefly review modern Density Functional studies of surface electron screening.
      • STEM Skill Building in the Physical Sciences -- 2Y College Prep

      • GJ05
      • Wed 07/17, 3:20PM - 3:30PM
      • by Capitola Phillips
      • Type: Contributed
      • Non-science majors enrolled in the Introduction to Physical Science courseat Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) engage in skill building, and project-based activities (EMPACTS) in STEM disciplines, as they complete "Educational Outreach Teaching Projects." Teams of diverse learners (including pre-service teachers) collaborate in teams of two to four as they create their own learning experiences. Each team uses skills developed within the framework of physical science course assignments and activities to create lesson plans, activities, and demonstrations, which they share as they teach and present in area schools. College and K-12 faculty mentors offer experience and advice as students adapt college-level concepts for the K-12 learner, using common core standards. The EMPACTS (Educationally Managed Projects Advancing Curriculum, Technology/Teamwork and Service) program at NWACC is a curriculum driven, project-based learning model, which creates a learning environment where college learners of all backgrounds collaborate to create their own learning experiences.
      • The Elitzur-Vaidman Bomb Paradox as a Fun Lab Exercise

      • GJ06
      • Wed 07/17, 3:30PM - 3:40PM
      • by Patrick Hecking
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Elitzur-Vaidman bomb thought experiment involves a quality test for a bomb, which is triggered by the absorption of a photon. Classically it is impossible to test a "good" bomb and certify that it will work without exploding it and therefore making it useless. Quantum Mechanics makes such a test possible by shifting from the wave to the particle picture. A lab exercise using dice and a score sheet has been developed to simulate a fun-filled game with "good" and "bad" bombs and a study of probabilities.
  • Pre-college PER

      • Teaching and Learning of Physics in Grades 5-8

      • FC01
      • Wed 07/17, 12:30PM - 1:00PM
      • by David Meltzer
      • Type: Invited
      • For the past five years I have taught regular weekly science classes to students in grades 5-8. This has allowed me to follow the development of many students over periods of years. I have used modified versions of various research-based college-level curricula, and have developed my own materials. Assessment materials included items from state-mandated tests, from standard instruments such as the CSEM, and from other sources. I will focus discussion on several themes: (1) there is great potential for significant physics learning at the middle-school level, but (2) the time and effort required to achieve such outcomes are enormous and perhaps underappreciated; at the same time (3) there are grounds for skepticism regarding the appropriateness of many common grade-level standards and expectations, and (4) assessment of learning by middle-school students must take into account a very substantial decay rate in student learning gains over time, a point emphasized by Piaget.
      • Middle-School Student Achievement Correlates with Teachers? Knowledge of Energy

      • FC02
      • Wed 07/17, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Michael Wittmann
      • Type: Invited
      • In the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership we are studying teachers' thinking about energy as well as what teachers know about their students' ideas about energy. Before and after all instruction on energy, students answered a validated survey constructed primarily of questions from the AAAS Assessment database. Teachers took the same survey, answering the questions and predicting the answers their students would give. In two instances, differences in teacher responses are correlated with student achievement on those questions. Teachers with the most detailed content responses on one question as well teachers with the most complete understanding of common incorrect answers on another question had students with the highest gains on each of those questions. We discuss the design or our survey, our data, and how we analyzed the results.
      • Adapting a Novel Curriculum in a Traditional High School Environment

      • FC03
      • Wed 07/17, 1:30PM - 1:40PM
      • by Emily Knapp
      • Type: Contributed
      • Adopting novel curricula is difficult in high schools that have strict pacing criteria and standards set forth by the district for general physics classes. In order to adapt a PER-based approach to teaching physics, we alternated novel and traditional classroom structures to capture the essence and pedagogy of an innovative curriculum while still maintaining compliance with district policies. This study investigates how students responded to the alternating implementations of Physics and Everyday Thinking; an innovative curriculum based on the inductive method. The curriculum involves student-centered investigation, group discussions, collecting and interpreting evidence, and generating inferences and principles from observations. Findings include students' trust in their own investigations and data, students' views on working in research groups, and the impact of decentralized authority in the classroom. These findings and lessons learned from adapting a novel curricular approach in a traditional environment will be discussed.
      • Effects of Flexibility on Homework Completion and Student Performance

      • FC04
      • Wed 07/17, 1:40PM - 1:50PM
      • by Alisa Grimes
      • Type: Contributed
      • Research has shown that student choice and flexibility in the learning environment are linked to motivation and agency. This education research investigates the effect of choice and flexibility in impacting homework completion rate. Two different classroom treatments were applied over two terms of an urban high school chemistry course. The first treatment involved flexible, supportive classroom structures that theoretically would lead to a greater homework completion rate. The second treatment (or control) involved the traditional, authoritative structures that had been in place--students were penalized for not completing homework within the designated timeframe. Initial results suggest that the flexible supportive structures led to greater homework completion rates and to higher performances on the district assessment over the non-flexible homework condition. These results will be discussed along with instructional implications, explanatory conjectures, and lessons learned.
      • Effective Ways of Using Interactive Whiteboards in a Physics Classroom

      • FC05
      • Wed 07/17, 1:50PM - 2:00PM
      • by Bor Gregorcic
      • Type: Contributed
      • This talk will discus how Interactive Whiteboards are used in a high school physics class. While IWB use has already been studied from a general perspective, few studies have addressed the specifics of their use for teaching physics. We investigate effective ways of using IWB in instruction and in curriculum design. The framework for our study is based on the Design Based Research approach. A unit is designed, implemented, evaluated, redesigned and used in class again. As the cycle is repeated, the result is an improved unit and emergence of principles for IWB use and curriculum material design. We put special emphasis on using the interactive surface of the board, as this is one of the main advantages of the IWB over a standard computer-projector setup. The surface, when used in combination with dynamic interaction software (Algodoo, for example) makes possible a creative graphical and kinesthetic input from the students.
      • Mechanistic Reasoning in an Informal Physics Program

      • FC06
      • Wed 07/17, 2:00PM - 2:10PM
      • by Rosemary Wulf
      • Type: Contributed
      • Informal science education has the potential to help students engage in active learning in physics. Providing students with the chance to experiment and to have students externalize their reasoning to explain their experiments, rather than being told a correct answer, will help students to take on the role of an active learner in science. Building on prior efforts in studying and promoting mechanistic reasoning, [1] we apply a modified coding scheme to examine mechanistic reasoning in middle school students' scientific notebooks in an informal setting. We compare students' mechanistic reasoning in two inquiry physics curricula, one that is very guided and the other that is more open inquiry. We find that students in the more open inquiry-oriented curriculum use more varied types of mechanistic reasoning. We discuss the role that such active expert learning and reasoning may play in the promotion of children's positive scientific identities.
      • Student Understanding of Newton's 2nd Law with Computational Modeling

      • FC07
      • Wed 07/17, 2:10PM - 2:20PM
      • by John Aiken
      • Type: Contributed
      • With any representation of a physical model (e.g., graphs, diagrams, computation), students must learn to connect the model to the individual representation. This paper follows previous work where computational modeling (using VPython) was integrated into a high school Modeling Instruction physics course. To characterize student understanding of Newton's second law, five representative students were recruited in a think-aloud session with a follow-up interview. During the think-aloud session, students wrote a program modeling the motion of a baseball. Students' understanding of the physics concepts behind the computational model will be reported. In particular, we will focus on students' ability to relate Newton's second law to the velocity update in a computational model of force and motion. additional authors: Brian D. Thoms Georgia State University Michael F. Schatz Georgia Institute of Technology
      • Spatial Skills and High School Physics and Math Performance

      • FC08
      • Wed 07/17, 2:20PM - 2:30PM
      • by Alfonso Hinojosa
      • Type: Contributed
      • We are investigating the effect that student spatial skills have on student success on statewide Texas Physics and Math assessment exams and STEM course grades. Previous work indicates an increase in a student's cognitive load when mentally manipulating three-dimensional images. To investigate if there is a broader academic impact, we conducted a study (nine sections) of student spatial intelligence and the relationship to academic performance during the fall 2012 semester using the introductory Pre-AP and AP Physics courses. All students were administered the Mental Rotation Test (MRT) which consists of 20 spatial intelligence problems. The scores were then statistically correlated with the corresponding student state physics and math assessment scores, as well as physics and math class grades. We will contrast those correlations with the correlations between student exam performance and high school courses taken.
  • Quantum & Condensed Matter Labs Beyond the First Year

      • Measuring the Phonon Spectrum of Silicon Using a Tunnel Diode

      • GB01
      • Wed 07/17, 2:40PM - 3:10PM
      • by Kurt Vandervoort
      • Type: Invited
      • An experiment was developed for our senior-level laboratory to examine theproperties of a tunnel diode. Tunnel diodes were invented in the late 1950s and represented the first way to produce a junction that allowed reproducible measurements of the tunneling current. The students perform two experiments to examine the properties of this unique device. They measure the room temperature current vs. voltage curve which reveals a region of negative dynamic resistance (where increasing voltage leads to decreasing current). They also measure the first and second derivatives of the I-V curve for a diode immersed in liquid nitrogen, revealing peaks at voltages associated with energies of phonons assisting in the tunneling process. As a primary goal of the course, students are introduced to precision circuits and instrumentation, namely, a dual-phase lock-in amplifier, and precision multimeters interfaced through the LabVIEW programming language.
      • Diode Laser-based Experiments in Rubidium Vapor for the Advanced Laboratory

      • GB02
      • Wed 07/17, 3:10PM - 3:40PM
      • by Shannon Mayer
      • Type: Invited
      • Saturated absorption spectroscopy, performed on the 5S1/2 - 5P3/2 transition in rubidium vapor (wavelength = 780.24 nm), has become a common experiment in the advanced laboratory. We describe three additional experiments that can be performed in rubidium using grating-feedback diode lasers. The first experiment uses a single laser operating at 778.1 nm to investigate the 5S1/2 - 5D5/2 two-photon transition in rubidium. The experiment yields Doppler-free spectral features and provides students with an opportunity to investigate electric dipole selection rules. The second experiment uses two lasers (wavelength = 780.24 nm and wavelength = 776.0 nm) to coherently control photons via electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). In the third experiment two lasers are used to generate a collimated beam of blue light with high temporal and spatial coherence. This collection of experiments introduces students to contemporary topics in nonlinear optics and quantum coherence while utilizing equipment from the absorption spectroscopy laboratory.
      • Numerical Experiments for Statistical Physics: Adjuncts to the Laboratory

      • GB03
      • Wed 07/17, 3:40PM - 3:50PM
      • by Norman Chonacky
      • Type: Contributed
      • Based upon a national survey (1) of the use of computation in undergraduate physics departments, there is clear evidence that computational methodology is not an integral part of courses as are theory and experiment. This is most marked at the upper-division level where experiments are also under-represented and theory dominates. I ask, does this service our undergraduate majors well? I present computational statistical physics exercises (2) as examples appropriate for both lecture and laboratory, and that aspire to bridge that gap between theory and experiment while better serving the needs (3) of all undergraduate physics majors.
      • Two-Dimensional Advanced Laboratory Thermodynamics Experiment

      • GB04
      • Wed 07/17, 3:50PM - 4:00PM
      • by Patrick McDougall
      • Type: Contributed
      • We present a novel apparatus for two-dimensional heat flow measurements inan undergraduate Advanced Lab or thermodynamics course. The apparatus uses an Arduino microcontroller to measure temperatures to high precision at 100 points on a square metal plate in real time. This temperature and time data can then be compared with computational solutions to the heat equation for the metal plate. The combination of thermodynamics, computational modeling, and experimental measurement provides an interesting (and challenging!) Advanced Lab experiment.
      • The Rich Physics of the Semiconductor Diode I-V Characteristics

      • GB05
      • Wed 07/17, 4:00PM - 4:10PM
      • by Herbert Jaeger
      • Type: Contributed
      • Recording the I-V characteristics of a semiconductor diode sounds like a simple enough task, yet it is rich in physics and provides a multitude of learning opportunities for students at every level. At the basic level, the measurement can be performed at room temperature with a battery and a multimeter. A more sophisticated approach could involve an electronic current-to-voltage converter with variable gain and automated data acquisition. Data analysis ranges from simple observation of the turn-on voltage to a complex non-linear fitting procedure. This talk will present variations on the theme and show how this simple experiment can be used at the introductory level as well as make appearances at the more advanced level.
  • Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education

      • Analyzing Student Understanding in Linear Algebra Through Mathematical Activity

      • CF01
      • Tue 07/16, 7:30AM - 8:00AM
      • by Megan Wawro
      • Type: Invited
      • The purpose of this study is to investigate how students conceptualize span and linear (in)dependence, and to utilize the construct of mathematical activity to provide insight into these conceptualizations. The data under consideration are portions of individual interviews with students in an inquiry-oriented linear algebra course. Through grounded analysis via the framework of concept image (Tall & Vinner, 1991), the range of student conceptions of span and linear (in)dependence are organized into four concept image categories: travel, geometric, vector algebraic, and matrix algebraic. To further illuminate participants' conceptions, a framework was developed to classify engagement in types of mathematical activity: defining, proving, relating, example generating, and problem solving. The coordinated analysis of concept image with engagement in mathematical activity facilitates a nuanced and rich characterization of students' connections within and between the concepts of span and linear (in)dependence.
      • Beliefs and Strategies for Comprehending Mathematical Arguments

      • CF02
      • Tue 07/16, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Keith Weber
      • Type: Invited
      • In the upper-level collegiate mathematics courses taught for mathematics majors, lectures largely consist of having professors prove theorems for their students. An important assumption behind this instruction is that students can learn mathematics from studying the proofs of others. Unfortunately, both mathematics educators and mathematicians question whether this assumption is true. In this talk, I present strategies that students can use to understand the mathematical arguments that they read as well as unproductive beliefs that students hold that may inhibit them from gaining this understanding. These strategies and beliefs were hypothesized based on qualitative studies in which students were observed reading proofs and confirmed by a quantitative survey with 83 mathematicians and 175 mathematics majors that demonstrated that mathematicians desired that their students use strategies that they did not hold and that students held beliefs that mathematicians found undesirable.
      • Three Interpretations of the Matrix Equation Ax=b

      • CF03
      • Tue 07/16, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Michelle Zandieh
      • Type: Invited
      • Over the past years we have come to reflect on the nature of the cognitivedemands that a sophomore or junior level linear algebra course places on students. Many of the central ideas in introductory linear algebra can be interpreted through the lens of the matrix equation Ax=b where A is an mxn matrix, x is a vector, and b is a vector. We describe a framework that highlights the challenges involved in interpreting Ax=b both symbolically and graphically as (1) a system of equations, (2) a vector equation and (3) as a linear transformation. In particular we note how differently the vector x must be viewed in each of these interpretations. We present vignettes of student thinking that illustrate how the framework may be used to make sense of the ways in which students blend ideas as they begin learning linear algebra.
  • Saturday Registration

      • Saturday Registration

      • REG02
      • Sat 07/13, 7:00AM - 4:00PM

      • Type: Registration
  • Science and Society

      • Great Issues in Science & Society -- An Interdisciplinary Science Course

      • EA01
      • Tue 07/16, 4:00PM - 4:10PM
      • by Andrew Hirsch
      • Type: Contributed
      • A core requirement for College of Science students at Purdue University isthe completion of a "great issues" course in which critical thinking and analytical skills developed through discipline specific studies are applied to the global conversation of the impact of science on society and the ramifications of scientific advances. Several "flavors" of such courses arose. At one extreme were those dealing in depth with a single topic such as oil. At the other extreme was a course that examined the interrelated issues involving energy, climate change, food, and water. We will describe the content, organization, and functioning of the latter, as well as its challenges, assessment of learning outcomes.
      • Teaching About Cosmic Timescales When the Creation Museum's Your Neighbor

      • EA02
      • Tue 07/16, 4:10PM - 4:20PM
      • by Richard Gelderman
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Creation Museum opened near Cincinnati in May 2007 as a $27 million, 70,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, high-tech facility with the goal of presenting a "young Earth" account of the origins of the universe and life on Earth according to a literal reading of the Book of Genesis. The founders proudly claim a million visitors in the museum's first three years "exposed the bankruptcy of evolutionary ideas." We report on interviews and open-response surveys collected before and after a tour of the museum with a group of middle-school science teachers. The results provide some reassurance but also suggest cautionary warnings for those who wish to help their students appreciate the vast distances and ages that comprise our majestic cosmos.
      • The Physics of AP Environmental Science

      • EA03
      • Tue 07/16, 4:20PM - 4:30PM
      • by James Lincoln
      • Type: Contributed
      • For the past four years I have been teaching AP Environmental Science fromthe unusual perspective of a physicist (the class is normally taught by biologists). To my delight and surprise the class involved a lot of physics, and I was able to use my physics content knowledge to enhance the science of the class. In this talk I outline what to expect and how to structure a successful AP Environmental Science class from the perspective of a veteran physics teacher.
      • Capacity Building in Energy Sector: The Role of Physical Sciences

      • EA04
      • Tue 07/16, 4:30PM - 4:40PM
      • by Nnabugwu Peace
      • Type: Contributed
      • Today, our nation finds itself in an energy/power crisis as a consequence of a complex interplay of factors, some of which will take years to unravel and straighten. The universally accepted knowledge that Energy Efficiency and Conservation can be employed to ameliorate the situation is gradually being given a chance in the country but capacity building in this sector has to be rigorously pursued to make the necessary impact. In this presentation, we outline a roadmap that will ensure that more young Nigerian graduates invest their mental acuities in academic pursuits in physical sciences so as to earn a livelihood in Energy Efficiency and Conservation. The role of the physical sciences is to prepare students for effective professional careers in the many new career areas available in today's technologically and globally interdependent society. Physical science integrates physics, mathematics and chemistry as core components of its curriculum.
      • Marie Anne Paulze Lavoisier: An 18th Century Woman Learns Science

      • EA05
      • Tue 07/16, 4:40PM - 4:50PM
      • by Ruth Howes
      • Type: Contributed
      • Marie Anne Paulze met Antoine Lavoisier, the great French chemist, who wasa friend and business colleague of her father's when she was 13 years old. She had been brought from a convent school to act as her father's hostess. She married him a year later and began to learn chemistry as well as other skills such as drawing and foreign languages so that she could act as his assistant. Although Marie's training was certainly hands-on, she also learned, as was typical of the time, by acting as hostess for the leading scientists of the day. After Lavoisier died by the guillotine on May 8, 1794, Marie managed to escape death herself and to edit and publish Mémoires de chimie, her husband's final multivolume work.
      • Western Science and the Social Context in 19th Century India

      • EA06
      • Tue 07/16, 4:50PM - 5:00PM
      • by Rajive Tiwari
      • Type: Contributed
      • Modern science was introduced in India in the 19th century during the British colonial rule. The native response to this science was influenced by several political, social, and cultural factors. By way of exploring these responses, science-related articles in contemporary popular Hindi magazines and newspapers were investigated. It was found that the reception offered to the new science was not one of simple acceptance or rejection. Instead, a complex and nuanced response was observed which was shaped by the prevailing nationalist climate, spread of Christian missionary activities facilitated by colonial rulers, growth of Hindu reform movements, and the preexistence of a body of indigenous scientific scholarship. Excerpts from relevant articles that illustrate a range of attitudes towards European science will be presented.
  • Seeking Employment In Academia

      • Seeking Employment In Academia

      • AE
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 10:00AM
      • by Sytil Murphy
      • Type: Panel
      • Applying for career in academia can be an art form. You have to catch the eye of the employer based on a few pages of written words. You must be able to interpret the ad, gather pertinent information quickly, and tailor your materials to the position. There are many questions such as how long, personal, specific, etc. your materials should be. How should you tailor materials when applying to a field specific position versus a general announcement? What do small private schools look for that large public universities are not interested in? This session features a panel of experts that will provide their opinions on how to adjust your materials to positions at their type of school.
  • Session to Honor the Contributions of Bob Fuller to Physics Education

      • Instructional Media Development

      • PL0401
      • Mon 07/15, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Charles Lang
      • Type: Invited
      • Bob Fuller and Chuck Lang worked together on four week-long workshops, nine media products, and multiple physics education presentations. The development of many of the media products involved Chuck doing the rough drafts and Bob doing much "fine tuning." Even though both spoke Nebraska English, sometimes the translations between Bob and Chuck became distorted. These situations frequently resulted in further communications, translations, and sometimes at much better product, but always an interesting story. Only some of these anecdotes will be presented
      • Versatile ICT-Learning Environment to Enable Context-rich and Authentic Physics Education

      • PL0402
      • Mon 07/15, 2:00PM - 2:30PM
      • by Ton Ellermeijer
      • Type: Invited
      • Decline in interest for physics at high school stimulated curriculum innovation in the last decade. How could we make physics more relevant, challenging and more attractive? In several European countries we decided to go for context-rich curricula and authentic practices. ICT-learning environments integrating powerful tools for measurements with sensors, advanced video-analysis and numerical modeling facilitate realistic and authentic research projects by students. Examples of these projects will be shown. These ideas are not new. With their pioneering work in the 1980s, Fuller and Zollman showed us the educational potential of the use of video in bringing reality and meaningful context in the physics classroom. Still many teachers around the world have not been able to apply these possibilities, also due to lack of training. In the framework of the ESTABLISH project (EC-funded) we now develop training and support for teachers as much as possible suitable for online use.
      • Games that Teach Physics Concepts to Pre-K through Third Grade Children

      • PL0403
      • Mon 07/15, 2:30PM - 3:00PM
      • by Scott Stevens
      • Type: Invited
      • RumbleBlocks and Beanstalk were developed by the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University to teach scientific reasoning and the principles of tower stability and center of mass (RB) and beam balancing and torque (B) to children ages 4-8. These Unity games were designed with feedback from early childhood educators and learning researchers and were influenced by pioneering educational games developed by Robert Fuller and colleagues in the 1980s. The ETC is known for an iterative, organic approach to the development of games designed to teach. Our creative methodology is rooted in the belief that unless the game is fun when compared to all games (not just "educational games"), the odds of the student being engaged by the game itself greatly diminishes and, along with the associated lack of engagement, the opportunities for deeper learning so too will diminish. This talk will describe the games, our development process, and early results from studies of the educational effectiveness of the games. This work is funded by the DARPA ENGAGE program.
      • Scientific Reasoning and Conceptual Change: A Legacy of Bob Fuller

      • PL0404
      • Mon 07/15, 3:00PM - 3:30PM
      • by Rebecca Lindell
      • Type: Invited
      • Bob Fuller was one of the Physics Education community's pioneers in applying the Karplus Learning Cycle to curriculum design. Building on my work as a PhD student under Bob's direction, I have modified the Karplus Learning Cycle so that it promotes conceptual change as well as develops scientific reasoning. Using the modified Karplus Learning Cycle, I have developed curricula for multiple courses in physics and astronomy. In this talk, I will present the modified Karplus Learning Cycle, in addition to examples from the different curricula.
  • Student Attitudes, Confidence, Self-Efficacy, and Motivation

      • Assessing Student Learning by Gain in their Confidence

      • CE01
      • Tue 07/16, 7:30AM - 7:40AM
      • by Niklas Hellgren
      • Type: Contributed
      • A concern with multiple-choice concept tests is whether a correct answer reflects true knowledge or just a lucky guess. We report on a study where for each question of a standard concept test we also asked the students on a 1-to-5 scale how confident they were in their answer. As expected, in most cases we observed a correlation between gain in correct answers and gain in confidence. However, we give examples where learning is demonstrated by an increase in confidence only, even when there is no actual gain in number of correct answers. In addition, using this approach, student misconceptions can easily be identified by a high confidence level associated with an incorrect answer.
      • Shedding Light on Confusion

      • CE02
      • Tue 07/16, 7:40AM - 7:50AM
      • by Jason Dowd
      • Type: Contributed
      • Physics instructors typically try to avoid confusing students. However, educators have challenged the truism, "confusion is bad," as far back as Socrates, who asked students to question assumptions and wrestle with ideas. So, how should instructors interpret expressions of confusion? During two semesters of introductory physics involving Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) and research-based reading materials, we evaluated performance on reading assignments while simultaneously measuring students' self-assessment of their confusion over the material. We examined the relationship between confusion and performance, confidence in reasoning, pre-course self-efficacy and other measures of engagement. We find that expressions of confusion are negatively related to initial performance, confidence in reasoning and self-efficacy, but positively related to final performance when all factors are considered simultaneously. In other words, we are able to identify and largely isolate a productive role of confusion. Ultimately, this approach allows instructors to assess students' metacognition and perhaps even promote such constructive confusion.
      • In-the-Moment Affective Experience in Calculus-based Physics

      • CE03
      • Tue 07/16, 7:50AM - 8:00AM
      • by Jayson Nissen
      • Type: Contributed
      • Utilizing an in-the-moment measurement technique called the Experience Sampling Method (ESM), we collected affective experience data from students in a university calculus-based physics course and in the students' other STEM and non-STEM courses. Participants in the ESM completed very quick surveys in the midst of classes and other activities during two one-week periods. Surveys were prompted by text message at semi-randomly chosen points throughout each day. Students exhibited lower self-efficacy and greater frustration and stress in the physics course than in the other subject courses. The presentation will describe the ESM method and present our findings with implications for physics instruction.
      • Characterizing Physics Students' Scientific Communication Skills for Non-Expert Audiences

      • CE04
      • Tue 07/16, 8:00AM - 8:10AM
      • by Kathleen Hinko
      • Type: Contributed
      • The ability to effectively communicate scientific content to non-expert audiences is of increasing importance to scientists and the public at large. Drawing on both observations of and literature about expert practitioners, we present a framework for assessment of basic scientific communication skills of scientists communicating with non-expert audiences. Drawing from this framework, we measure scientists' use of language, style, and gesture to infer their broader models of communication that are enacted in varying settings. Demonstrating the utility of this framework, we analyze videos of physics undergraduate and graduate students charged with explaining 1) the concept of velocity and 2) their scientific research, as if they were speaking to an audience of middle school children. Using these data, we characterize university physics students' scientific communication skills and inferred models of communication. Improvement in scientific communication is observed for university students after volunteering in an after school physics education program even after one semester.
      • Boundary Objects that Mediate Students' Motivation to do Physics

      • CE05
      • Tue 07/16, 8:10AM - 8:20AM
      • by Ben Van Dusen
      • Type: Contributed
      • This physics education research examines how specific tools can serve as boundary objects that mediate between a student's intrinsic motivation and physics. Intrinsically motivating activities are characterized by the extent to which they facilitate a sense of competence, autonomy, and relatedness (known in the literature as basic psychological needs). In our study, we operationalize these constructs and demonstrate that students develop a sense competence, autonomy, and relatedness when engaging in an iPad-enhanced classroom environment. We attribute students' development of motivation for physics to the role of tools--specifically iPads acting as "boundary objects," bridging students' everyday cultural worlds with physics classroom content. The social construct of a "boundary object" will be elaborated to demonstrate how learning physics is, at its heart, a socio-cultural cognitive task. R.M. Ryan. Journal of Personality, 63 (1995)
      • Attitudinal Assessment of Curriculum on the Physics of Medical Instruments

      • CE06
      • Tue 07/16, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by James Johnson
      • Type: Contributed
      • Over the past several years, a curriculum targeting pre-health students and focused on the physics behind biomedical instruments has been in development at Portland State University. Recently, an effort to assess the curriculum's impact on students has begun. Given the hands-on focus of the course and positive feedback from students, we hypothesized that it would positively impact their attitudes toward physics and physics learning. We administered the Colorado Learning Attitudes about small, non-significant shift in student attitudes. This is a promising result, when contrasted with the significant negative shift that is the norm among introductory courses and occurred in our introductory algebra-based physics course. Science Survey (CLASS) in order to cast light on students' attitudes. The survey was administered to the summer course and to introductory algebra-based physics courses at the same university. The summer course "Physics in Biomedicine" produced a small, non-significant shift in student attitudes. This is a promising result, when contrasted with the significant negative shift that is the norm among introductory courses and occurred in our introductory algebra-based physics course.
      • EBAPS Correlations: The Importance of Epistemology

      • CE07
      • Tue 07/16, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by Cameron Summers
      • Type: Contributed
      • In looking at correlations between subsets of the EBAPS (Epistemological Beliefs Assessment for Physical Science) and various other measures of student abilities and conceptual understanding, we found some surprisingly strong correlations with some predictable and some unexpected aspects of the students' background, attitudes, and conceptual understanding. We'll report on these data, as well as implications for instruction.
  • Sunday Registration I

      • Sunday Registration I

      • REG03
      • Sun 07/14, 7:00AM - 4:00PM

      • Type: Registration
  • Sunday Registration II

      • Sunday Registration II

      • REG04
      • Sun 07/14, 7:30PM - 9:00PM

      • Type: Registration
  • Teacher Recruitment

      • Recruiting Without Recruiting -- Leading by Example

      • FJ01
      • Wed 07/17, 12:30PM - 1:00PM
      • by Gay Stewart
      • Type: Invited
      • At University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, we have experienced an order of magnitude growth in the number of physics graduates, and a much larger growth in the number of teachers, from one per decade to five to eight per year. Until fall 2012, we did not have a recruitment program. Our philosophy has always been "If there is a reason we want teachers to teach that way, why don't we?" We revised the introductory sequence, and added a third class, based on a successful revision of the second-semester course for scientists and engineers. Students report their choice of teaching as a career to be something they considered since their faculty obviously considered the quality of education they received to be important. The strongest correlation with recruitment of majors appears to be agreement with the belief "I can teach science." Program details and results of the recent effort at recruiting will be presented.
      • Getting Physics Majors to Consider Teaching and Teacher Preparation Program

      • FJ02
      • Wed 07/17, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Chuhee Kwon
      • Type: Invited
      • We are using the outreach events established through the PhysTEC project, early teaching experience, and clear pathway to recruit majors to a teacher preparation program. Social mixers and open houses are held every semester for university students and faculty to interact with high school students and teachers. Demo-sharing is another monthly opportunity for students to get exposed to enthusiastic physics teachers. These events are fully embraced by the faculty, and physics majors are encouraged to consider teaching as a profession. PHYS 390 is an early teaching experience course for majors, and it is required to qualify for the Learning Assistant (LA) job opportunity. PHYS 390 and LA track allows physics majors a chance to learn how to teach, a special glimpse of what it is like to interact with students from an authoritative point of view, and a meaningful teaching experience before committing to a credential program.
      • When They Walk Into Your Office, Are You Ready?

      • FJ03
      • Wed 07/17, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Duane Merrell
      • Type: Invited
      • In 2004 the physics teacher preparation program was moved to the physics department at Brigham Young University. During this last school year the move to preparing physics teachers in the physics department has led to the mentoring of our 100th physics teacher in eight years. It seems that the way the students find us is varied but the one important piece is that they find us. This presentation will visit the the variety of different ways we help students to believe that they can complete and receive a physics teaching credentials.
  • Teachers in Residence and Master Teachers in Teacher Preparation

      • Development and Implementation of a Physics Teaching Course

      • AG01
      • Mon 07/15, 8:00AM - 8:10AM
      • by Kevin Dwyer
      • Type: Contributed
      • For three years CSU Long Beach has offered a course for preservice and inservice teachers through the PhysTEC program, team-taught with the TIR and a university science educator. The purpose of the course is to develop better physics teachers, but has also created a community of physics teachers. Each year the course has a different physics area of emphasis. The class activities include discussions on how to teach physics content, doing and evaluating high school physics labs and demonstrations, and evaluating textbooks and other teaching tools including simulations and data collection devices. Discussion will include how the course has evolved over time, how students are recruited, and how the course has impacted the students and the university physics department.
      • Visiting Master Teacher at the University of Arkansas

      • AG02
      • Mon 07/15, 8:10AM - 8:20AM
      • by Marc Reif
      • Type: Contributed
      • I have served as Visiting Master Teacher at the University of Arkansas forthe past two years. In this time, I have mentored several young teachers. Some of them started the process of becoming a teacher by observing my classroom, and two served as interns in my classroom. Most of my mentees have gone on to initial teaching positions in small rural schools. I will discuss the challenges these young teachers face in what are usually very demanding positions with multiple responsibilities. The focus will be on my successes in providing practical and emotional support.
      • A Master Teacher's Contribution to Teacher Preparation in Jamaica

      • AG03
      • Mon 07/15, 8:20AM - 8:30AM
      • by Michael Ponnambalam
      • Type: Contributed
      • In 2006, the author was chosen to be a Mentor for New Academic Staff in the Physics Department, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica, and in 2009 a Master Teacher of the entire University of the West Indies in all its four campuses across the English-speaking Caribbean. In this presentation, the author's contribution to the future teachers in Jamaica will be discussed.
      • First-Year PhysTEC Program at the University of Alabama

      • AG04
      • Mon 07/15, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by Penni Wallace
      • Type: Contributed
      • The University of Alabama first-year PhysTEC program features 12 Learning Assistants who assist in Studio Physics classes and take a one-hour pedagogy course taught by physics faculty. Some of the LAs obtain additional early teaching experiences by assisting in local high school physics classes. The Teacher-In-Residence partners with Alabama Science in Motion (ASIM) to train pre-service teachers in high school physics labs using PASCO equipment. Upon graduation, these students will be certified to participate in ASIM as new practicing teachers. In addition to the PhysTEC program, Alabama is a partner in a new NSF-MSP award "Alliance for Physics Excellence" to provide in-service and pre-service training to high school physics teachers. A component of the award provides 10 $16K scholarships to UA PhysTEC students seeking certification at either the undergraduate or graduate levels. In this talk, I will articulate how these efforts have combined to help us recruit new physics teachers.
      • The TIR's Role in Teacher Preparation

      • AG05
      • Mon 07/15, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by David Jones
      • Type: Contributed
      • A veteran high school physics teacher has a unique set of professional skills that they will bring to their role as a TIR at their PhysTec institution. This talk will explore how these particular skills help to build the teacher preparation community at their institution. The TIR can also have a role in the teacher preparation program with pre-service teachers after they enter the teaching profession. The TIR can have a significant role in helping the transition from pre-service teacher to in-service teacher. Research has shown that support from a community of peers can have a strong influence on a teacher's career path and the TIR role can have an influence on this post graduation community.
      • Highlights & Limitations as a PhysTEC VMT

      • AG06
      • Mon 07/15, 8:50AM - 9:00AM
      • by B Lippitt
      • Type: Contributed
      • An n of one shares understandings as a VMT for two years at Seattle Pacific University.
      • The Eclectic, Dynamic PhysTec Program at Towson University

      • AG07
      • Mon 07/15, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Lisa Rainey
      • Type: Contributed
      • There are many dimensions to the PhysTec Teacher in Residence (TIR) position. The range of goals and activities, over the course of the year, was eclectic. The five areas highlighted include: outreach to the high school physics community to recruit for secondary education; mentoring faculty members and Learning Assistants (LA's) to ensure active learning approaches are valued and implemented; community college articulation; support for physics student interns/student teachers; organizing activities/training for LA's which included inquiry based learning, and questioning and problem-solving techniques.
      • Fostering Incremental Shifts in Physics Department Culture as TiR

      • AG08
      • Mon 07/15, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Kelli Gamez Warble
      • Type: Contributed
      • A critical objective of the Physics Teacher Education Coalition is to transform physics departments and spread best-practice ideas throughout the physics teaching community. The goal to "transform physics departments" is non-trivial at Arizona State University, one of the largest institutions in the United States. This talk will discuss strategies implemented by the TiR and the ASU PhysTEC team working towards a gradual shift in physics department culture to value teaching. Activities discussed will include departmental colloquia such as SCALE UP and Berkeley COMPASS, the implementation of a Learning Assistant program, and the influence of strong local teaching organizations such as the American Modeling Teacher's Association.
  • Teaching Assistants and Learning Assistants

      • Impact of a Learning Assistant Program on Student Outcomes in a Calculus-based Mechanics Course

      • CD01
      • Tue 07/16, 7:30AM - 7:40AM
      • by David Donnelly
      • Type: Contributed
      • The calculus-based introductory mechanics course at Texas State University-San Marcos is a four-credit hour course with approximately three hours of lecture and three hours of lab per week. As part of its strategic plan, the department has set a goal of introducing Learning Assistants in all introductory classes in the next five years. To initiate this, a Learning Assistant program was piloted in spring, 2012, in one section of calculus-based mechanics, and expanded to all sections of calculus-based mechanics in fall 2012. We will discuss the structure of the program, and present data on the impact it has had on student learning outcomes, including FCI gains, Mechanics Baseline Test scores, and student retention.
      • Learning Assistants and Relationships. Baiting the Hook

      • CD02
      • Tue 07/16, 7:40AM - 7:50AM
      • by Doug Steinhoff
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Learning Assistant (LA) program at the University of Missouri was designed to recruit and prepare pre-service physics teachers. Other institutions reported low percentages of LAs choosing teaching careers, so we decided to take a slightly different approach. We listed the greatest attributes of teaching and decided that the relationships we build with our students was near the top. With the collaboration of our local public school district and very supportive freshman physics teachers, we placed our LA's in ninth grade physics classrooms on a daily basis. This increase over a typical field experience allowed them to develop relationships with students and be more helpful in the classroom. Our LAs are enthusiastic about the program and the field of education. The students love having them in class as an extra resource. In less than a year, over 80% of our LAs have either considered or strongly considered becoming teachers!
      • Physics Learning Assistants -- Discuss the Value of the LA Program

      • CD03
      • Tue 07/16, 7:50AM - 8:00AM
      • by Geraldine Cochran
      • Type: Contributed
      • At Florida International University we have implemented a learning assistant (LA) program based on the Colorado Learning Assistant Model (Otero, Pollock, Finkelstein, 2010), designed to help prospective and preservice science and mathematics teachers to develop pedagogical content knowledge, develop as reflective practitioners, and gain experience in teaching early in their academic careers. As a part of the program, LAs are helped to develop reflective practice. We believe that reflective practice is a kind of deliberate practice that helps novice teachers to hone their teaching skills as they strive toward expertise in teaching. To better understand the needs of our LAs in this development, we interviewed a number of them to better understand their perspectives in regard to teaching, reflection, and expertise. Analysis of these interviews revealed LAs' perspectives on the value and purpose of the LA program. LA viewpoints in this regard will be presented.
      • Training Student-Centered Teachers: TAs helps TAs Adopt Researched Pedagogy

      • CD04
      • Tue 07/16, 8:00AM - 8:10AM
      • by Anneke Timan
      • Type: Contributed
      • Teaching assistants (TAs) are both the present and the future of sustainable quality physics education. However, prior research has raised concerns with limited TA training and/or training that attempts to 'fix' TAs without giving sufficient respect to their prior beliefs and teaching experiences. In our study of four first-year physics courses, we applied a community-centered model to TA professional development. During weekly course-specific tutorial preparation meetings, we encouraged TAs to experiment with research-based pedagogy and share their successes and failures. The facilitator of these weekly preparation sessions attended some tutorials to provide feedback and promote teaching peer review. We observed interconnected influences from perceptions of professors' commitment to teaching, TAs' and peers' teaching experiences, and department teaching culture on fostering or discouraging TA buy-in to researched pedagogy. Respectful TA professional development that builds physics teaching communities shows promise for increasing adoption of active learning pedagogy in physics education.
      • Improving the Role of Teaching Assistant

      • CD05
      • Tue 07/16, 8:10AM - 8:20AM
      • by Chu Dang
      • Type: Contributed
      • Teaching assistants play a very important role in teaching university physics. They not only help grading assignments, but also conduct exercise classes, tutorials, and even some lectures. Research seldom has focused on how to improve TA's role. As a teaching assistant myself, I have encountered difficulties and challenges when helping students understand physics concepts. My investigation is on how to best assist teacher and students and what kind of bridge should the TA build between teacher and students.
      • Exploring Pedagogical Content Knowledge of Physics Instructors and Teaching Assistants Using Force Concept Inventory

      • CD06
      • Tue 07/16, 8:20AM - 8:30AM
      • by Chandralekha Singh
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) has been widely used to assess student understanding of introductory mechanics concepts by a variety of educators and physics education researchers. One reason for this extensive use is that many of the items on the FCI have strong distractor choices that correspond to students' alternate conceptions in mechanics. Instruction is unlikely to be effective if instructors do not know the common alternate conceptions of introductory physics students and explicitly take into account students' initial knowledge state in their instructional design. We used the FCI to evaluate the pedagogical content knowledge of both instructors and Teaching Assistants (TAs) of varying teaching experience. For each item on the FCI, the instructors and TAs were asked to identify which incorrect answer choice they believed would be most commonly selected by introductory physics students. We used the FCI pretest and post-test data from a large population (~900) of introductory physics students to assess the pedagogical content knowledge of these educators. We will present these results.
      • Examining and Connecting Physics Teaching Assistants' Beliefs and Practices

      • CD07
      • Tue 07/16, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by Benjamin Spike
      • Type: Contributed
      • Physics Teaching Assistants (TAs) play an important role in supporting transformed learning environments, often by engaging students in ways that may differ from their own experience as learners. Through their participation in these environments, TAs are developing beliefs about not only what it means to teach, but also how to put it into practice. In this talk we present a validated and refined framework for connecting TAs' stated beliefs about teaching to their enacted instructional practices, and apply this framework to sample interview and classroom video data. We conclude with a discussion of how this framework may be used to examine variation in beliefs and practices, track the development of beliefs over time, and inform TA preparation.
      • Institutionalizing Doctoral Students' Training

      • CD08
      • Tue 07/16, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by Raluca Teodorescu
      • Type: Contributed
      • The George Washington University, a major research university, is also strongly committed to outstanding teaching. An important part of the teaching commitment refers to training doctoral students to become future faculty. This training seeks to expose these students to active learning techniques. We will present how the university and the Department of Physics initiatives led to an approach to train the students, including: a) a mandatory online graduate teaching assistant certification course, b) a mandatory in-class training program within the department, and c) an optional in-class future faculty training program. We will discuss our framework and our multi-dimensional assessment that features graded papers, graded classroom observations, interviews with outstanding teachers, surveys, and instructors' and students' evaluations. This project is sponsored in part by the GW Teaching and Learning Collaborative and the GW Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships.
  • Teaching Controversial Topics

      • Teaching Controversial Topics

      • BI
      • Mon 07/15, 4:00PM - 6:00PM
      • by Steve Lindaas / Stacy Palen
      • Type: Panel
      • Grand societal challenges such as climate change, peak energy and hydraulic fracturing require thoughtful, creative and considerate discussions. Join our panel to discuss methods to approach controversial subjects in the classroom.
      • When Science Says No

      • BI01
      • Mon 07/15, 4:00PM - 6:00PM
      • by Tom Murphy
      • Type: Panel
      • Our society relishes futuristic projections of Utopian life, often set in space. Students are especially prone to such outlooks, informed in no small part by virtual/escapist experiences provided by a wide array of media. The grittier truth is that the present century brings grand-scale challenges unprecedented in the human experience as unchecked growth interests collide with a finite Earth. This will likely show up in many domains at once, including energy availability, water, food, population, and climate stability. Inevitably, the public will sense a shift in the aggregate message of science from what "is" possible toward what "isn't." In the classroom, we can prepare students to understand fundamental aspects of the challenges we face via estimation/order-of-magnitude quantitative analysis, aided by stark--and sometimes amusing--extrapolations, analogies, surveys, and thought-provoking millennial-scale perspectives.
      • Teaching Controversial Topics in Physics Courses

      • BI02
      • Mon 07/15, 4:00PM - 6:00PM
      • by Art Hobson
      • Type: Panel
      • The conceptual physics course I developed in 1975 at the University of Arkansas is now taught to nearly 1000 introductory non-science students per year. It is based on my textbook, "Physics: Concepts & Connections" (Pearson/Addison-Wesley, 5th edition 2010), a general introductory conceptual physics textbook emphasizing physics-related social topics and modern physics. Students say they especially enjoy the social topics. The scientific process, according to which we learn via evidence and reason, is the frequently-recurring theme. Other social topics, in order of appearance, are pseudoscience, transportation and energy, electric power plants, exponential growth, ozone depletion, global warming, radioactive dating, the geological ages, biological effects of radiation, technological risk, nuclear weapons, nuclear terrorism, the energy future, nuclear power, fossil fuels, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. Many of these bear on controversial religious and political issues. I will discuss how I deal with such controversies.
      • Advocating for Controversial Science Topics in Congress

      • BI03
      • Mon 07/15, 4:00PM - 6:00PM
      • by Aline McNaull
      • Type: Panel
      • Policymakers and their staff rely on the science community to provide resources and advice on a wide range of science topics. Some scientific subjects, such as climate change and evolution, have become the source of significant political debate. In this talk I will address how science advocates approach Members of Congress regarding research funding and support for topics that have been deemed politically "questionable." When describing a scientific process, it is important to consider certain phrases that have been deemed "wrong" to non-science audiences and reflect on how scientific terms are perceived if they are not well understood. Of equal importance is the ability to see both sides of any issue, whether or not one side is uncontroversial to the scientific community. The ability to perceive and address misconceptions while at the same time leveraging economic and social interests provides a context for understanding research and development.
      • Teaching Climate Change Science in a Skeptical World

      • BI04
      • Mon 07/15, 4:00PM - 6:00PM
      • by Minda Berbeco
      • Type: Panel
      • Though the scientific consensus around human causes of climate change are clear, the public remains skeptical, making it challenging for educators to teach well-established, peer-reviewed science to their students. Furthermore, the implications for climate change can be emotionally disturbing for students to learn, potentially leading to a sense of disillusionment. How do teachers address the science of climate change without scaring students? How do they address challenges from students, parents, administrators and even other educators that are based in political ideology? The National Center for Science Education is using its 30 years of experience countering science denial in evolution education to support, educate, and counter denial in climate change education. As climate change science is increasingly integrated in public education in coming years, teachers will need to take advantage of the strong scientific network that has been established to support teachers, debunk myths, and provide quality educational materials.
  • Teaching Physics Around the World

      • Challenging the Status Quo: Experiences in Producing Lasting Curricular Change

      • BG01
      • Mon 07/15, 4:00PM - 4:30PM
      • by Ian Bearden
      • Type: Invited
      • We are currently redesigning the experimental component of our curriculum. This project has grown from a desire to ensure that all students master what we consider the basic experimental skills and competences required of physicists. In addition to traditional components of an experimental physics curriculum such as data analysis, error propagation, experimental procedures, etc., we aim to explicitly focus on other skills that are of vital importance to all physicists, regardless of whether they follow an academic or industrial career. Among these are oral and written communication, project planning and management, critical thinking, and team work; all skills that are often assumed to be obtained by students despite the lack of explicit focus on them in traditional curricula. This talk will give an overview of the initial stages of this process, with a focus on the difficulties encountered in effecting change in a conservative academic environment, and will discuss possible future strategies for successfully navigating dangerous academic waters.
      • Physics Teaching in Spain

      • BG02
      • Mon 07/15, 4:30PM - 5:00PM
      • by David Méndez Coca
      • Type: Invited
      • At the beginning of the century, the percentage of early abandon of the studies in Spain was 30% whereas in the EU it was 17%. Only 56% of 15-year-old students study in the year according to their age. In science, the number of students who choose the physics degree has decreased from 2000/01 to 2009/10 in 43%. The physics scholar studies start at the age of seven although the first subject of physics can be studied at the age of 17, the last year before the university studies. The research in physics education is not very wide, there is no journal of physics education, there is only one Spanish congress about physics in general each two years. In this congress there are communications about physics education. In Spain, physics education is always included in science education.
      • Bringing Developing World Meaning to Our Physics Classrooms and Laboratories

      • BG03
      • Mon 07/15, 5:00PM - 5:10PM
      • by Stephen Mecca
      • Type: Contributed
      • Physics teaching-learning and research that have relevance and meaning in the developing world offers benefits to learners in our classrooms in the U.S. and to students and others living in rural communities in the developing world. This paper will describe the authors' experiences in three programs designed to impact participants in the U.S. and Ghana. A conceptual physics course for non-science majors has been offered at Providence College with a goal to produce a workbook of demonstrations, activities, and experiments to help junior high school girls in a village in Ghana master selected concepts in physics. The four-year experience of a Community Based Student Internship (CBSI) focusing on real problems in developing communities is also discussed. The CBSI partners university students from the U.S. with students from Ghana to address pressing problems in health, education, and the environment. Finally, the author's and his student's research in the S-lab in the Department of Engineering-Physics-Systems at Providence College and its global implications will be presented.
      • Secondary School Physics in Shanghai, China, and Orange County, California, US

      • BG04
      • Mon 07/15, 5:10PM - 5:20PM
      • by Kevin Yang
      • Type: Contributed
      • Using surveys and information from government/school websites, this study compares secondary school physics education in Orange County (OC), California to that of Shanghai (S), China. 18(S)/19(OC) schools were included in this study. There is a lower students / teacher ratio (S: 100±13 vs. OC: 1494±713.6, p<0.0001) in Shanghai's middle (8-9th)/high school (10-11th) where students receive 2/4 years of mandatory physics (240/500 instructional hours). Only 18.9% of OC students complete one year of physics (180 hours) by the end of 11th grade. None of the 2618 accredited four-year U.S. universities require the physics SAT II for freshman admission. 49608 U.S. students took the SAT II physics exam compared to more than 2 million taking the SAT I or the 4.57 million Chinese students taking a required physics examination for college admission. To improve secondary school physics education, physics exams should be heavily incorporated into the U.S. college admission process.
      • Practical Study of Extracurricular Learning and Development Patterns of Physics Students

      • BG05
      • Mon 07/15, 5:20PM - 5:30PM
      • by Fuli Zhao
      • Type: Contributed
      • With the progressing development of economic globalization and increasingly fierce international competition, we need groups of high-quality innovative talents to enhance the overall scientific and technological innovation capacity and competitiveness while also improving the visibility of students on the international stage. Accordingly, the cultivated talents should develop a more open vision, more novel awareness, and a more proactive learning attitude. They will be more sensitive to new things, have stronger practical capacities, and have the courage to break through routines to conduct their work more innovatively. Therefore we have established a talent cultivation philosophy of "Profound Foundation, Wide Range, Internationalization, Value Innovation" in the physics education and have explored the extracurricular learning and development pattern of physics students in order to promote a well-rounded development.
  • Teaching Physics Online

      • The Effect of Online Lecture on Performance in a Physics Class

      • CC01
      • Tue 07/16, 7:30AM - 7:40AM
      • by John Stewart
      • Type: Contributed
      • This talk will describe the difference in student performance between students attending lecture in person and students choosing to watch the lecture on video as part of an online class. The video part of the class was implemented mid-semester so that the performance of the same set of students could be compared. Video watching patterns will be presented. The difference in performance of students primarily watching video to those primarily attending lecture on in-semester examinations and the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism will be presented. The effect of the access to video on student study behavior and time management will be analyzed. In general, while the students electing to primarily watch video were a measurably different population than the students electing to primarily attend lecture, the shift in performance from attending lecture to watching video was small.
      • Barriers to Effective Online Physics Laboratory Courses

      • CC02
      • Tue 07/16, 7:40AM - 7:50AM
      • by Ann Reagan
      • Type: Contributed
      • Many barriers exist to providing laboratory content online, including faculty acceptance, accreditation, student expectations, cost, liability, academic integrity, accessibility, transferability, persistence rates, student privacy, and a lack of objective assessment standards for evaluating the pedagogical effectiveness of lab courses. This study focuses on the transferability of online lab credits between institutions of higher learning. Methodology and results are given for a nationwide survey of 120 college/university department chairs and transfer specialists assessing the transferability of credits for laboratory courses delivered in various online formats. A preliminary assessment is also made of the pedagogical effectiveness of each of these online formats against the AAPT "Goals of the Introductory Physics Laboratory" and the goals of laboratory experiences identified in the NRC "America's Lab Report."
      • Collaborative Online Experimentation and Pooling Data with Google Docs

      • CC03
      • Tue 07/16, 7:50AM - 8:00AM
      • by Dean Zollman
      • Type: Contributed
      • In some experiments or simulations collecting a large number of measurements can be very helpful in understanding a concept. A difficulty arises because repeating measurements many times by an individual student is somewhat tedious. We have addressed this issue by asking each student in a class to collect several points and then enter the results into a common Google spreadsheet. In one case the probabilistic nature of quantum measurement was investigated through collapse of the wave function in an interactive visualization (http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/quantum-tunneling). By making repeated "Quantum Measurements" using a button in the program, students see that the wave function collapses at different locations. Another activity had students run the Rutherford Scattering experiment at a remote location (http://rcl-munich.informatik.unibw-muenchen.de/ ). Each student collected data at several different angles. For both the remote experiment and the visualization the pooled data were analyzed in class.
      • Online Astronomy

      • CC04
      • Tue 07/16, 8:00AM - 8:10AM
      • by James Dickinson
      • Type: Contributed
      • Clackamas Community College offers a full one year sequence of general astronomy in an online format. The laboratory portion of the course is accomplished using a combination of Starry Night College planetarium software, interactive websites, and simple at home activities. In this talk examples of these will be presented and demonstrated.
      • Einstein via MOOC

      • CC05
      • Tue 07/16, 8:10AM - 8:20AM
      • by Larry Lagerstrom
      • Type: Contributed
      • I will report on the experience of teaching a massive open online course on "Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity" to a wide range of students. The course offered participants the choice of three approaches to the material: a more quantitative approach (involving weekly problem sets), a more qualitative approach (involving a creative project), and an auditing approach. Course content was presented via video clips, handouts, and discussion forums, along with two recommended readings: Einstein's original paper on the special theory of relativity, and a profile on the life and work of the young Einstein (L. Randles Lagerstrom, "Young Einstein: From the Doxerl Affair to the Miracle Year," http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BKKHS4U).
      • Online Tools for Supporting Teaching and Learning About Energy

      • CC06
      • Tue 07/16, 8:20AM - 8:30AM
      • by Jim Minstrell
      • Type: Contributed
      • Visit Diagnoser.com. The research-based site gives teachers tools to help support teaching and learning key energy ideas that build on learner thinking. The online system presents diagnostic assessments and instructional activities that address learning goals and misconceptions. Elicitation questions help teachers learn what students are thinking initially about core ideas or a common energy related situation. Activities can motivate students to want to know and to pursue inquiry. When students seem to understand, the teacher can assign a set of online diagnostic questions that will identify students' specific conceptual difficulties. The students get feedback on what they need to work on. Meanwhile, the data also go into a Teacher Report from which the teacher can know the problematic facets of thinking that still seem to be impeding deeper understanding. Then, there are prescriptive activities and links to scenarios to address the diagnosed problematic facets of thinking.
      • Teaching an Online, Synchronous Class Across Multiple Institutions

      • CC07
      • Tue 07/16, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by Michael Reese
      • Type: Contributed
      • Neutron scattering is a specialized tool too narrow for individual schoolsto support an entire graduate course. Recognizing this challenge, the Oak Ridge National Lab formulated the concept of coordinating with six research universities to deliver a synchronous, online course on neutron scattering in quantum condensed matter physics. Faculty at each of the six institutions led multiple lectures and discussions with students online. While specifically created for students at the core institutions, the course was made available to the general public and was accessed by graduate students and researchers around the world. While only three to seven students per hosting institution enrolled in the course, over 150 individuals have accessed the materials at the course website. The presenter will describe the course design process, technologies chosen, and the support structure used. He will also discuss the challenges encountered from the perspective of both faculty members and the instructional support staff.
  • Teaching Physics to the Liberal Arts Major

      • Building Scientific Literacy in a Liberal Arts Population

      • DE01
      • Tue 07/16, 10:30AM - 11:00AM
      • by Jeffrey Marx
      • Type: Invited
      • Under an award from the National Science Foundation, we implemented and assessed course materials for a liberal arts science class with a primary and explicit goal of improving students' scientific reasoning ability, science process skills, and understanding of the nature of science (collectively: "scientific literacy"). To facilitate the development of the students' scientific literacy, we have crafted activities and discussion points that draw from a wide range of science disciplines. However, specific science content serves not as the principle focus of the class, but only as a mechanism to more deeply engage the students. In this talk we will discuss our specific goals for the course and the materials and in-class and out-of-class activities we have crafted to achieve our scientific literacy goals. We will also present our assessment data, specifically focusing on the initial and final states of our students' attitudes and beliefs about the scientific enterprise.
      • Going Beyond the Content: Teaching Scientific Reasoning in the Classroom

      • DE02
      • Tue 07/16, 11:00AM - 11:30AM
      • by Louis Rubbo
      • Type: Invited
      • University courses in conceptual physics and astronomy typically serve as the terminal science experience for the liberal arts student. Within this population significant content knowledge gains can be achieved by utilizing research verified pedagogical methods. However, from the standpoint of the University, students are expected to complete these courses not necessarily for the content knowledge but instead for the development of scientific reasoning skills. Results from physics education studies indicate that unless scientific reasoning instruction is made explicit students do not progress in their reasoning abilities. How do we complement the successful content based pedagogical methods with instruction that explicitly focuses on the development of scientific reasoning skills? This talk will explore methodologies that actively engages the non-science students with the explicit intent of fostering their scientific reasoning abilities.
      • Lessons Learned from Teaching Liberal Arts Students

      • DE03
      • Tue 07/16, 11:30AM - 11:40AM
      • by Rebecca Lindell
      • Type: Contributed
      • The teaching of liberal arts majors is often more difficult than teaching science students. Not only do they not have the mathematics background, but also they may only be in the course to satisfy a general education requirement. Instructors often choose to keep the level of the course quite low, requiring little reasoning or computation. However, for many students, this is the last science course they will ever take and our job should be to help develop scientific reasoning skills. With over 10 years experience of teaching liberal arts majors in astronomy and conceptual physics, I have learned many lessons on how to accomplish this goal. This talk will focus on the lessons I have learned over the 10 years of teaching Liberal Arts majors.
      • Teaching Physics Concepts to Students with a Basic Algebra Background

      • DE04
      • Tue 07/16, 11:40AM - 11:50AM
      • by Elizabeth Chain
      • Type: Contributed
      • Undergraduate students enrolled at Arizona State University, as well as atcommunity colleges and other institutions of higher learning, have trouble distinguishing between the concepts of speed, velocity, and acceleration. A combination of appropriate lecture demonstrations and Socratic questioning, together with Active Learning strategies and team-building exercises used in both the classroom and laboratory can improve basic conceptual understanding in this group of non-physics majors. Major lecture themes are reinforced through the use of Challenge Problems which must be completed by each Team working together. The importance of creating a supportive environment for the students, one in which they are not afraid to ask questions, is stressed. The students gain when they are given the very important opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. A number of examples are provided, combined with typical student reactions to such learning methods.
      • Science of Technology: A Course for Liberal Arts Majors

      • DE05
      • Tue 07/16, 11:50AM - 12:00PM
      • by Rhoda Berenson
      • Type: Contributed
      • This course was designed specifically for students in the Global Liberal Studies Program at NYU. It follows the intertwined histories of science, technology, and society, focusing mainly on the technology of communication. It elucidates how technological developments are inspired by scientific investigations and these investigations are, in turn, inspired by inventive technology. The course balances hard science with liberal arts students' interests in history, people, and societal issues. The science is learned through inquiry-based group activities rather than text or lectures. Homework, readings, and discussions are concerned with the history of and effects of technology on society.
      • Energy Science: A Physics Course for Liberal Arts Majors

      • DE06
      • Tue 07/16, 12:00PM - 12:10PM
      • by Dyan Jones
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Energy Science course at our institution was created to serve as an introductory course for non-science and particularly liberal arts majors. This course allows us the opportunity to teach some basic physics within the context of an issue that resonates with many students. This talk will review the goals and objectives of this course and focus on general issues that may be important for any science course for liberal arts students.
      • Circuit Theater: Kinesthetic Learning for Simple Circuits

      • DE07
      • Tue 07/16, 12:10PM - 12:20PM
      • by Alex Barr
      • Type: Contributed
      • Circuit Theater is a group activity in which students act out the motion of individual charges as they move through a circuit. The activity is designed to help students develop a physical and intuitive understanding of concepts such as current and voltage and series and parallel connections. This talk will introduce the format of circuit theater and discuss concepts that have been successfully introduced through circuit theater as well as concepts that have proven difficult to grapple with in this format.
      • Optics for Visual Liberal Arts Students

      • DE08
      • Tue 07/16, 12:20PM - 12:30PM
      • by Scott Bonham
      • Type: Contributed
      • Light, Color, and Vision is a course for non-science majors that draws students with a strong interest in visual phenomena such as art, photojournalism, film and broadcasting majors. I take a different approach in many aspects to engage and challenge this population. Principles are introduced through hands-on inquiry working in groups. Drawings, in particular ray diagrams, provide a way to be rigorous without a lot of "math." Assignments involve photographing examples of phenomena and then explaining them with drawings and text. Artwork from different historical periods is used to illustrate physical phenomena and ways that science and technology have influenced its development. The history of ideas about light, color, and vision are traced through reading about different figures and selected historical texts by them. This approach draws upon the many skills my students bring into the classroom and connect the course to their interests.
  • The AIP Career Pathways Project

      • AIP Career Pathways Project: An Overview

      • FD01
      • Wed 07/17, 12:30PM - 1:00PM
      • by Roman Czujko
      • Type: Invited
      • This talk describes the Career Pathways Project (CPP) which was supported by the National Science Foundation beginning in October of 2010. The number of physics bachelor's degrees awarded to the class of 2011 set an all-time high in the U.S. at around 6300. If departments want to continue to grow the number of bachelor's, they will need to prepare students to successfully enter the STEM workforce. The CPP team identified a set of physics departments that have a strong record of placing their bachelor's recipients into the STEM workforce and we have completed nine site visits to such departments in various size universities and in different parts of the country. This talk describes the set of features that all these departments share and the features that may reflect the characteristics of the universities, strengths of the departments or the opportunities in the local economy.
      • Career Preparation for Physics Majors at UW-Eau Claire

      • FD02
      • Wed 07/17, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Lyle Ford
      • Type: Invited
      • A bachelor's degree in physics can prepare an individual for a wide range of careers but many students are not aware of the full range of employment options available to them. The faculty in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire recognizes the challenges faced by graduates who want to apply what they have learned in college to careers that they begin after obtaining their bachelor's degrees. We have found that a pair of short courses that focus on career exploration and the internship/job search significantly help our students find employment after graduation. In this talk, we will describe these courses, our LabVIEW certificate program, and the STEM recruiter position in our Admissions Office. We will also give details on how our Career Services office interacts with the Department of Physics and Astronomy to maximize the benefit the office provides to our students.
      • Physics Career Pathways Illustrated in the Liberal Arts

      • FD03
      • Wed 07/17, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Timothy Good
      • Type: Invited
      • A recent analysis of data collected by the AIP SRC reveals that GettysburgCollege has both a strong record of granting physics bachelor's degrees compared to other liberal arts institutions and is among the national leaders in terms of the percent of their recent physics bachelor's recipients who entered the STEM workforce within one year of earning the bachelor's degree. The college collaborated with the AIP Career Pathways team in a study to learn, and then disseminate, effective practices. Herein we report our findings; the significant factors are curriculum, climate, and community. We will describe a flexible curriculum rich in one-to-one instruction and advising, an energetic physics faculty devoted to "hands-on" laboratory instruction across the major, the availability of independent research opportunities, and a departmental climate that nurtures community, fostering a strong, positive relationship among physics majors at all levels and with alumni participating in a vibrant colloquium series.
      • Undergraduate Physics at UC Davis

      • FD04
      • Wed 07/17, 2:00PM - 2:30PM
      • by Patricia Boeshaar
      • Type: Invited
      • The physics program at UC Davis has seen our number of graduating physics majors more than double in five years and the number of women increase to approximately 25%. This success is due in part to incorporating students' suggestions throughout our program. On the pedagogical side, three senior capstone courses offer an opportunity to try out a research area in nuclear, particle, condensed matter physics, or cosmology. Our Astrophysics Specialization plus five Applied Physics majors, as well as a five-year BS in Physical Electronics with MS in Electrical Engineering have attracted more multidisciplinary students. Scientific writing is emphasized in our advanced labs and through the use of research wikis. A fall seminar in career preparation is followed by spring seminar presentations by former graduates. We offer undergraduate teaching assistant positions, both in observational astronomy as well as pre-professional classes. Faculty along with a staff coordinator are actively involved in advising students. An AIP site visit report in 2011 cited many of the achievements of our program.
  • The Physics Teacher: Celebrating 50 Years

      • The Physics Teacher: Celebrating 50 Years

      • DA
      • Tue 07/16, 10:30AM - 12:30AM
      • by Christopher Chiaverina
      • Type: Panel
  • Tuesday Afternoon Break in the Exhibit Hall

      • Tuesday Afternoon Break in the Exhibit Hall

      • EXH09
      • Tue 07/16, 3:30PM - 4:00PM

      • Type: Exhibit Hall
  • Tuesday Exhibit Hall Open

      • Tuesday Exhibit Hall Open

      • EXH07
      • Tue 07/16, 10:00AM - 4:00PM

      • Type: Exhibit Hall
  • Tuesday Morning Break in the Exhibit Hall

      • Tuesday Morning Break in the Exhibit Hall

      • EXH08
      • Tue 07/16, 10:00AM - 10:30AM

      • Type: Exhibit Hall
  • Tuesday Registration

      • Tuesday Registration

      • REG06
      • Tue 07/16, 7:00AM - 4:30PM

      • Type: Registration
  • Upper Division and Graduate

      • A Revised and Improved Junior "Careers" Course for Physics Majors

      • GE01
      • Wed 07/17, 2:40PM - 2:50PM
      • by Richard Robinett
      • Type: Contributed
      • We describe the revised format and structure of a junior "careers" course required of all physics majors at Penn State University. The course is designed to provide "background on career choices available with an undergraduate physics degree, including employment opportunities, planning for graduate study, and tailoring the physics curriculum to meet career goals." Additional topics include scientific literacy and communication skills (including technical word processing) and the ethical conduct of research. We describe the variety of classroom activities and homework assignments used to address the course goals. We note how the class also provides an opportunity for assessment of larger curricular goals within the physics degree program.
      • A Structured Approach to Special Relativity: Simultaneity, and Four Vectors

      • GE02
      • Wed 07/17, 2:50PM - 3:00PM
      • by Deepthi Amarasuriya
      • Type: Contributed
      • Within the first few weeks of a Modern Physics course students are assigned a variety of exercises on Special Relativity. In addition to dealing with counter-intuitive concepts, students are expected to first use the appropriate mathematical formalism to convert given data into simple equations. At this introductory stage, their natural tendency is to fall back upon Newtonian notions of space and time, together with the equations of classical mechanics. In the absence of appeals to intuition, it is crucial that instructors properly guide students' thinking along unfamiliar lines by providing systematic approaches to problems on Special Relativity. In this talk, I present some approaches that I have successfully used in my Modern Physics course to do problems involving simultaneity, and the energy-momentum four vector.
      • Capstone Course: Physics of Sustainability

      • GE03
      • Wed 07/17, 3:00PM - 3:10PM
      • by Mary Brewer
      • Type: Contributed
      • As part of a curriculum revision of the physics major at William Jewell College, the department developed a capstone course for the major, The Physics of Sustainability, which was taught for the first time during the spring 2013 semester. The purpose of this course is to synthesize many facets of physics, including mechanics, fluids, optics, electronics, material science and nuclear physics, within the context of sustainable energy. The course integrates material from earlier in the curriculum with new topics and more in-depth theory, as well as practical applications. The students plan, construct, and monitor both solar and wind systems. This talk will focus on the content and structure of the course and the student response to this first offering.
      • Learning through Computation in Upper Division Physics

      • GE04
      • Wed 07/17, 3:10PM - 3:20PM
      • by David Roundy
      • Type: Contributed
      • I will describe a computational laboratory course that I have developed tohelp students in learning upper-division courses. The course runs in parallel to their junior year courses, covering the same physics topics and many of the same mathematical methods. Students work in pairs, and write their programs with little guidance from the instructor. Results from less than two years of teaching this course suggest that students find it helpful, including students who join our program with no computer programming experience.
      • Of Cats and Students: Discovering Quantum Information with Undergraduates

      • GE05
      • Wed 07/17, 3:20PM - 3:30PM
      • by Jean-Francois Van Huele
      • Type: Contributed
      • Can you violate the Heisenberg uncertainty relation? How do quantum operations work? What new insight does weak measurement provide? What restrictions exactly apply to cloning? When does entanglement come in handy? And what's a quantum Cheshire cat? Quantum theory has evolved significantly beyond its traditional coverage in the physics curriculum. About all that we need to constrain quantum mysteries are linear algebra and creative thinking. This turns quantum information into fertile ground for undergraduate research projects and teaching. I review my experience with students and their projects and give examples on how to ask questions of current relevance in quantum theory and get the students to answer them.
      • Thermally Induced Structural Change Measured by Holographic Non-Destructive Testing

      • GE06
      • Wed 07/17, 3:30PM - 3:40PM
      • by Ralph Oberly
      • Type: Contributed
      • This project is to observe the structural change of a rigid body using holographic non-destructive testing. Through the application of a specific voltage to a Peltier heating and cooling device, it is possible to produce a controlled temperature change on the surface of the object. Using the technique of double-exposure, a hologram can be generated that shows an interference pattern between the shape of the original object at rest and its shape after some sort of physical deformation. The goal is to view the way that heat propagates through a three-dimensional object using this technique, and the object's physical deformation over time with respect to controlled temperature change.
      • On-Ramp: Improving Students' Understanding of Lock-In Amplifiers

      • GE07
      • Wed 07/17, 3:40PM - 3:50PM
      • by Seth DeVore
      • Type: Contributed
      • A lock-in amplifier is a powerful and versatile instrument frequently usedin condensed matter physics research. However, many students struggle with the basics of a lock-in amplifier and they have difficulty in interpreting the data obtained with this device in diverse applications. To improve students' understanding, we are developing an "On-Ramp" tutorial based on physics education research which makes use of a computer simulation of a lock-in amplifier. During the tutorial's development we interviewed several faculty members and graduate students. The tutorial is based on a field-tested approach in which students realize their difficulties after predicting the outcome of experiments that use a lock-in amplifier; students can check their predictions using simulations. The tutorial then guides students towards a coherent understanding of the basics of a lock-in amplifier. In this talk the development and assessment process will be discussed. Supported by the National Science Foundation.
      • The Demographics and Experiences of Graduate Students in PER

      • GE08
      • Wed 07/17, 3:50PM - 4:00PM
      • by Ramon Barthelemy
      • Type: Contributed
      • Statistical data on the numbers, demographics, and experiences of graduatestudents in physics are well documented. However, in these assessments one sub-field is often left out, physics education research (PER). Currently no data exists on the composition of students in PER. This includes the number of graduate students, the departments they are housed in, their gender, their race, their experiences and more. This talk will present the first empirical study focusing on the experiences and demographics of students in PER.
  • Using Simulations and Models for Pre-High School Teaching

      • Models and Simulations with Pre-Service Elementary Teachers

      • CB01
      • Tue 07/16, 7:30AM - 8:00AM
      • by Wendy Adams
      • Type: Invited
      • At the University of Northern Colorado our Teacher preparation program forpre-service elementary teachers includes a capstone course titled "Principles of Scientific Inquiry -- Finding Order in Chaos." The overarching learning objectives for the course include understanding what it means to "do science" and to provide ideas about how to teach this explicitly to elementary students; although, it is not a methods course. One of the sub-objectives of "doing science" relates to models -- what are different types of models and what makes them useful. In this presentation I'll describe how this objective is integrated throughout the course and present several specific activities where the students engage with scientific models. Some of the activities use everyday hands-on materials, some use ideas or representations, while others use PhET Interactive Simulations.
      • PhET's Future: Enhanced Teacher Resources, HTML5, and Touch!

      • CB02
      • Tue 07/16, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Ariel Paul
      • Type: Invited
      • The PhET Interactive Simulations project (http://phet.colorado.edu) has several new efforts to support K-12 teachers in the modern classroom. For the past three years, we have been specifically researching design and use of our interactive simulations at the middle school level. This endeavor has improved our design principles and led to the development of guidelines for effective implementation and facilitation of our simulations in the classroom. To share the resources we have created for teachers, we are creating a companion website specifically devoted to teachers and the fostering of our teacher user community. In addition, we have begun a large-scale effort to port PhET sims to HTML5 to support the changing landscape of technology and allow our sims to run on touch-enabled devices. This effort will not only increase the accessibility of PhET, but also opens exciting possibilities to study the learning opportunities afforded by a touch interface.
      • Simulations and Models that Engage Students in Thinking about Physics

      • CB03
      • Tue 07/16, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Susan Ramsey
      • Type: Invited
      • In this session, we will look at a variety of online simulations and models as well as paper and pencil simulations and models that help connect students to physics concepts with meaningful understanding. The use of student prediction prior to the introduction of a simulation or model is crucial, and adequate time must be given for students to correct their misconceptions and explore the concept. Online simulations and models are also great pre-teaching material so that students come to class with exposure to a concept and more quality questions. I will provide a list of current online resources that span physics as well as other science concepts to help students develop an interest in physics.
  • Wednesday Registration

      • Wednesday Registration

      • REG07
      • Wed 07/17, 8:00AM - 3:00PM

      • Type: Registration
  • What Does Success Mean in Graduate School?

      • Highlights From the Second Conference on Graduate Education in Physics

      • CH01
      • Tue 07/16, 7:30AM - 8:00AM
      • by Renee Diehl
      • Type: Invited
      • The Second Conference on Graduate Education in Physics was held in January2013 with more than 100 participants from 74 different institutions. The conference aimed at fostering innovation and creativity in our approach to graduate education in physics, which for many departments is a rather new concept. The fact that the majority of physics PhDs ultimately find permanent employment outside academia, and the changing demands on academic physicists, have led many departments to review their programs and procedures. Presentations and discussions at the conference included the increasing attention being paid to broader and more flexible graduate curricula, forming industrial partnerships, strategies to increase diversity, professional skills training for graduate students and postdocs, improving mentoring practices and instituting family-friendly policies for graduate students. The participants in this conference included diverse group faculty from large and small departments, staff from industry and national labs, and graduate students and postdocs.
      • Physics Graduate Students: Assess the Program or the Individual?

      • CH02
      • Tue 07/16, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Kathie Newman
      • Type: Invited
      • Graduate physics programs are run in a very different way than undergraduate ones. While the early years for a graduate student tend to be spent in graduate courses, serving as teaching assistants, and passing any required examinations, the PhD student spends an even longer period of apprenticeship under a senior research adviser. Graduate programs can be assessed by input (admissions) and output (graduations), research productivity (conference attendance, papers published), and external funding support. A new tool is developing, that of more individual assessment of a given student, what is the student's desired outcome, does he or she obtain success in graduate school, and who decides that? Annual assessments of students help departments as a community to take responsibility globally for all of its students, encouraging soft skills development in addition to the more traditional academic and research related skills.
      • Motivations, Outcomes, and Implications for Reform in Graduate Physics

      • CH03
      • Tue 07/16, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Geoff Potvin
      • Type: Invited
      • Graduate physics has been understudied compared to other levels of education, in part due to its smaller size and the complexity of graduate student experiences. Graduate programs often continue to be organized in ways that have developed organically over many years, rather than as the result of an intentional, evidence-driven cycle of research, assessment, and reform. This has resulted in stagnant retention rates, degree completion times, and particularly low representation of women and other traditionally marginalized students. Further, the factors that lead to successful graduate outcomes remain the subject of much speculation and private empiricism. Drawing from research on student motivations, graduate school outcomes, and productivity, I will present evidence that emphasizes the need for improvement, factors that are critical to the development of productive physicists (which are often overlooked in graduate school), and the impact of the graduate school experience on the careers of physicists.
 

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