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Tuesday afternoon
PST2A05: 5-5:45 p.m. Engaging Physics Majors with Academic
Civic Engagement Projects
Poster – Melissa A. Eblen Zayas, Carleton College, 1 North College St.,
Northfield, MN 55057;
How to prepare students to become engaged citizens and apply their phys-
ics knowledge to social problems is often an afterthought in the under-
graduate physics curriculum. Academic civic engagement projects, both
in traditional classes and beyond standard coursework, provide a powerful
opportunity for students to bring their knowledge to bear on local com-
munity issues. I will present several examples of the types of academic civic
engagement projects I have had students work on as well as highlighting
the benefits and challenges of this type of work.
PST2A07: 5-5:45 p.m. Demonstrations for Outreach on Energy
Poster – David E. Sturm, University of Maine, Department of Physics &
Astronomy, Orono, ME 04469;
A compilation of demonstrations found useful with the Mainely Physics
Road Show in lecture-style presentations on the topic of energy (particu-
larly electrical energy) to the middle school audience.
PST2A08: 5:45-6:30 p.m. Crazy, Cool, Controversial: Real-world
Radiation and Nuclear Technology Topics
Poster – Kathryn Schaffer, 112 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603;
Radiation is everywhere. This is true in a literal sense, but also in the sense
that news stories, pop-culture references, historical oddities, technologi-
cal applications, and cultural artifacts that relate to radiation and nuclear
technology are abundant. These provide rich fodder for class discussion
and intriguing entry-points for learning physics. This poster will highlight
some favorites from a course that devotes an hour a week to discussing the
“nuclear news” and student-selected curiosities. A handout will present a
collection of over 50 topics to consider for enriching classroom discussion
of radiation, radioactivity, and nuclear technology, ranging from the radia-
tion environment in space to nuclear weapons imagery in contemporary
PST2A09: 5-5:45 p.m. Can Small Boxes Model the Atmospheric
Poster – Thomas C. Gibbons, Retired, 707 8th Ave. S, Clinton, IA 52732;
Atmospheric trapping of infrared leads to a warmer surface, but there has
been questioning about whether solar collectors and greenhouses also act
in this way. These systems also control convection, which might be respon-
sible for the warmer temperatures. Schools need models of the atmo-
spheric greenhouse but should not use models that actually demonstrate
something else. I have used small boxes resembling solar collectors with
a black absorbing interior but covered by materials of differing infrared
transmission properties. After determining relative infrared transmission
ability using two methods, I measured their interior temperatures with
varying degrees of insolation and ambient temperature. Whenever infrared
transmission differences were clear, the greater transmission (smaller
trapping) corresponded to a lower internal temperature. This leads to
greater confidence that infrared trapping in these devices does affect their
temperatures, thus crudely modeling atmospheric effects, regardless of any
convection effects present.
PST2A10: 5:45-6:30 p.m. Analysis of Carbon Dioxide’s IR
Absorption Ratio
Poster– Suyeong Kim Hansung, Science High School, 279-79 TonilRo Seo-
DaeMoonGu, Seoul, 120-080 Republic of Korea;
People around the globe have been concerned about greenhouse effect for
decades. Greenhouse effect is caused by man-made gases, such as carbon
dioxide. It is said that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere absorbs IR light,
PST2: Poster Session 2
Location: Coffman Union ground floor
Date: Tuesday, July 29
Time: 5–6:30 p.m.
Odd number poster authors should be present 5-5:45 p.m.
Even number poster authors should be present 5:45-6:30 p.m.
(Posters may be set up starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday and then should
be taken down by 6:30 p.m. Tuesday)
A – Physics and Society Posters
PST2A01: 5-5:45 p.m. Science and Religion
Poster – Madhuri Bapat, Eastern Arizona College, Thatcher, AZ 85552;
Many physicists (Fritjof Capra, David Baum) in the past have tried to relate
science with religion. I have made an attempt to find a parallel between
Hindu philosophy and science. Birth, life, and death are seen as effects of
four fundamental forces combined in various manners. Reincarnation and
Moakhsha or Nirvana are seen as principles in physics such as conserva-
tion of energy, and converting mass into energy. Controlling enemies such
as greed, pride, anger, jealousy, and sorrow are seen as controlling degen-
erative forces such as friction, resistance, etc. Soul is perceived as a wave
that carries all four fundamental energies—electromagnetic, gravitational,
nuclear, and atomic. Meditation is perceived as controlling electron transi-
tions in brain. Emotions are seen as biochemicals produced in brain. This
model is neither complete nor even close to accurate. However it invites
more brain storming from interested folks.
PST2A02: 5:45-6:30 p.m. Student Attitudes Toward Science:
Baseline Data
Poster – Shannon D. Willoughby, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
Keith Johnson, Montana State University
Nationwide student attitudes toward science and students’ perceived ability
to learn science tend to decrease through the semester in traditionally
taught physics and astronomy courses. A recent study
has shown that
more explicit inclusion of the nature of science and science versus pseu-
doscience in an introductory astronomy course has resulted in increased
student attitudes toward the relevance of science in their daily lives as
well as students’ perceived abilities to learn science. In order to gauge the
change in student attitudes in Astronomy 110 locally, we have given the
Epistemological Beliefs about the Physical Sciences
survey for four semes-
ters. Overall results are similar to those seen nationwide, but when broken
down by gender some surprising results emerge.
1. D. Duncan and L. Arthurs, “Improving Student Attitudes about Learning Science
and Student Scientific Reasoning Skills,”
Astro. Educ. Review
010102 (2012).
PST2A03: 5-5:45 p.m. Establishing an Ancient Cosmos (in the
Creation Museum’s Backyard)
Poster – Richard Gelderman, Hardin Planetarium, Western Kentucky Univer-
sity, Bowling Green, KY 42101-1077;
The Creation Museum, located in northern Kentucky near Cincinnati,
presents a “young Earth” account of the origins of the Universe and life on
Earth, according to a literal reading of the Book of Genesis. Because this
high production-value museum experience is an easy day trip for people in
our region, we have explicitly incorporated into our presentations the strat-
egies that we hope can counter young Earth teachings. We share examples
of investigative activities to establish cosmic timescales. However, we have
found that reinforcing the practices of science is a more important aspect
of our instruction than factual content. We argue that the bulk of our time
is best spent engaging students in processes by which they create and test
potential explanations as scientists.
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