program_wb_i - page 111

July 26–30, 2014
Tuesday afternoon
1. Alexander Graham Bell “Upon the Electrical Experiments to determine the loca-
tion of the Bullet in the body of the late President Garfield and upon the successful
form of Induction Balance for the painless detection of Metallic Mass in the Human
Am. J. of Sci.
, 22-61, 1883
2. Candice Millard,
Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the
Murder of a President, (
New York: Doubleday Publishers, 2011).
1:30-2 p.m. Does Social Constructivism Translate from
History to Education?
Invited – Shawn Reeves,, Ithaca, NY 14851-0670;
What is it that physicists do? How do they make decisions? How do they
find success? Historians help answer these questions; so, historians should
be able help us answer these questions with students. But teachers and
students also struggle with the same problems that vex historians, those
concerning agency, priority, motivation, and interactions. Knowledge
doesn’t exist outside of us, nor does it reside solely in individuals, but it
messily travels in society. We are better teachers when we coach students
through the classroom and through society with tools that let students
consider themselves a part of physics and physics a part of their society.
We will discuss how the historiography of energy physics in 19th century
Britain went constructivist, and whether that inspires us.
2-2:10 p.m. The Spheres of Eudoxus
Contributed – Todd K. Timberlake, Berry College, Mount Berry, GA 30149-
In the 4th Century BCE, the Greek astronomer and mathematician Eu-
doxus of Cnidus developed a geometrical model to explain the observed
motion of the planets. His model consisted of a series of connected,
rotating spheres, all centered on the Earth. I will discuss the key features of
Eudoxus’ model (as reconstructed by Giovanni Schiaparelli in 1875) and
present an open-source computer simulation that illustrates the model.
I will discuss both the successes and the flaws of this model, and explain
how a basic understanding of Eudoxan astronomy can help students appre-
ciate the power and beauty of the later Ptolemaic astronomy. The computer
simulation is available from the Open Source Physics collection at www.
2:10-2:20 p.m. Reading Galileo’s Dialogues in a Course
on Scientific Reasoning
Contributed – James Simmons, Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, OH
In a general-education science course at Shawnee State University, students
read selections from Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World
Systems. This talk describes what students seem to learn from the experi-
ence and what aspects of scientific reasoning are illustrated by Galileo’s
2:20-2:30 p.m. Historical Development of Ideas About
Light, Color and Vision
Contributed – Scott Bonham, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green,
KY 42101;
A major goal of general education is an understanding of the nature and
process of science. My course Light, Color and Vision addresses this in part
through reading and discussing historical development of ideas about light,
color and vision. Not only do students learn about different important
figures such as Alhazan, Fresnel, Michelson, and Einstein, they read selec-
tions written by Aristotle, Huygens, Newton and Maxwell on the nature
of light and color. As many students have never before read these kinds of
texts, I find it important to provide them guides to direct and class discus-
sion time to help them process their reading. Not only does this approach
provide my students with a new perspective on the subject and how science
works, but gives some of my students who struggle with the quantitative
components of the course a way to engage with science that plays more to
their strengths.
2:30-2:40 p.m. Why Benjamin Thompson Began to
Study Heat
Contributed – Ruth H. Howes, 714 Agua Fria St., Santa Fe, NM 87501;
Benjamin Thompson was an American farm boy. The first years of his
life were a struggle to obtain an education. When he was sent as a school
teacher to Concord, NH, he acquired a rich wife and the interest of the
British governor who enjoyed science and was able to afford to pursue
it. Thompson acquired an interest in science which was nourished by his
attempts to establish himself in society through a military career that took
him to England, back to the U.S. and ultimately to Bavaria. His approach
to problems of the nature of heat was always motivated by practical ap-
plications, such as the Rumford fireplace. Thompson’s story is a tale of
a gifted scientist who never had formal education in the field. His story
should thus serve as an object lesson for students who love to solve practi-
cal problems.
Session EI: Best Practices in Educa-
tional Technology I
Location: STSS 230
Sponsor: Committee on Educational Technologies
Date: Tuesday, July 29
Time: 1–2 p.m.
Presider: Aaron Titus
1-1:30 p.m. Using Direct Measurement Video to Teach
Science Practices
Invited – Peter Bohacek, Henry Sibley High School, Mendota Heights, MN
Direct Measurement Videos are short, high-quality recordings of events
with overlaid graphics that allow students to make precise measurements
directly from the video. Our growing collection of videos provides an
alternative to word problems, showing vivid examples of events (skidding
cars, looping roller coasters, hockey slap shots) that can be analyzed
using physics concepts. In this talk, we will discuss three aspects of the
current project. We’ll describe how Direct Measurement Videos and our
instructional support materials can be used in the classroom, and in par-
ticular, in the teaching of the practice of science (consistent with the Next
Generation Science Standards and new AP Physics curricula). We’ll show
progress towards a web-based video player with scalable, movable grids,
rulers, and protractors that allow students to decide what and how to
measure on the video. In addition, we’ll show some of our newest Direct
Measurement Videos. Direct Measurement Video Website:
1:30-2 p.m. Writing Electronic Books with Interactive
Curricular Material*
Invited – Mario Belloni, Davidson College, Physics Department, Davidson,
NC 28035-6910;
Wolfgang Christian, Kristen Thompson, Davidson College
With the rise of tablets, such as the iPad, the past few years have seen
an increase in the demand for quality electronic textbooks. Unfortu-
nately most of the current offerings do not exploit the accessibility and
interactivity that electronic books can deliver. For astronomy and physics
electronic textbooks, support for typesetting of equations (MathML)
and interactive simulations (JavaScript) are necessary. In this talk we will
discuss how our curriculum development projects (Physlets, Easy Java/
JavaScript Simulations, and Open Source Physics) are merging with the
EPUB electronic book format. Specifically we will discuss the EPUB for-
mat and how we are taking an iterative approach to producing interactive
electronic books for astronomy and physics.
*This work was supported in part by an Innovation Grant from Davidson College.
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