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Tuesday afternoon
through program assessment. (This project is supported by the National
Science Foundation under Grant No. EPS-1003907.)
PST2B13: 5-5:45 p.m. Modeling the Physical World: An
Integrated Calculus/Physics Course
Poster – Gintaras Duda, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 68178; gkduda@
Randall Crist, Creighton University
A physicist and a mathematician (the authors) have been teaching a com-
bined calculus and introductory physics course at Creighton University
since fall 2011. Calculus II is paired with Physics I and Calculus III (multi-
variable) is paired with Physics II. This team-taught class uses a combina-
tion of lecture with active-engagement elements and project-based learn-
ing. This poster will discuss student learning in this environment, lessons
learned, the benefits of this tight integration between math and physics (to
both students and faculty), and potential improvements in the future. This
experiment also provides a model for inter-disciplinary teaching that is
increasingly difficult given the sizes of most physics/mathematics courses
and the difficult budgetary climates at many institutions.
PST2B14: 5:45-6:30 p.m. Should (and Can) We Teach Forces
Poster – Andrew E. Pawl, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, 1 University
Plaza, Platteville, WI 53818-3099;
Interactions are the heart of the mechanics course and forces are the fun-
damental representation of interactions. Thus, from an educational theory
standpoint, teaching forces first in mechanics is an attractive option. Tra-
ditional instruction in mechanics, however, begins by teaching the concept
of acceleration from a kinematic perspective before introducing Newton’s
second law. I briefly summarize a pedagogy that illustrates the potential
utility of teaching forces before kinematics and presents evidence that col-
lege students in calculus-based mechanics perform equally well in courses
that begin with forces as they do in courses that begin with kinematics.
PST2B15: 5-5:45 p.m. An Introductory Physics Course that
Combines Several Research-based Curricula
Poster – Kevin Calvin Goering, University of Memphis, 216 Manning Hall,
Memphis, TN 38152;
We report on a pilot of a first-semester calculus-based introductory physics
curriculum at the University of Memphis. This curriculum incorporates
elements from several different research-based curricula developed at
other institutions. In order to better understand how students respond to
this new curriculum, we compare student performance in a section using
the redesign curriculum (n=35) to student performance in a lecture-based
section (n=65) of the same course. We evaluate students’ conceptual
understanding, problem-solving performance and views about physics and
learning physics in the two sections. Assessment methods include Force
Concept Inventory (FCI) pre/post-tests, the Colorado Learning Attitudes
about Science Survey (CLASS) and paired embedded exam questions.
PST2B16: 5:45-6:30 p.m. Blending Content and Practice: Design-
ing a New Introductory Mechanics Course
Poster – Marcos D. Caballero, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
David Stroupe, Stuart H. Tessmer, James T. Laverty, Paul W. Irving, Michigan
State University
Developing students’ skills with scientific practices is key for preparing
science and engineering professionals, science educators, and critical con-
sumers of scientific information. However, most undergraduate instruction
in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) severely
lacks authentic scientific practice (e.g., developing and using models, de-
signing experiments, using computational modeling). Physics courses that
blend the practices of science with core physics content engage students in
creative and inspiring ways that are simply not possible in traditional lec-
ture environments. At Michigan State University, we are designing a course
in which students will learn physics content by engaging in scientific prac-
rial on the quiz three times during the period: individually, in an assigned
group, and finally as a whole class. The individual TAAR allows the student
to identify personal gaps in their understanding of the material. The group
TAAR encourages peer instruction and offers an immediate opportunity
to learn from your mistakes. Reviewing the TAAR as a whole class closes
the feedback loop and allows the instructor to correct any lingering student
misunderstandings. Students respond favorably to the process and report
that TAARs are helpful for their learning.
PST2B09: 5-5:45 p.m. Transitioning All Introductory Physics
Courses to a Studio-Style Classroom
Poster – Heidi L. Manning, Concordia College, Moorhead, MN 56562;
Bryan A. Luther, Luiz A. Manzoni, Thelma S. Berquó, Mark W Gealy, Concor-
dia College
The physics department at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, has
completed a three-year transition to implement Studio Physics pedagogy
in both semesters of its calculus-based and algebra-based introductory
physics courses. The goal of the Studio Physics project was to increase
both student learning and the retention of STEM majors. The transition
required modifications to our course schedule, teaching schedules and
the classroom environment. The effectiveness of the new pedagogy was
evaluated using the FMCE and the CLASS. An overview of the transition
process and the results of these assessments will be presented. The project
was funded by an NSF STEP grant.
PST2B10: 5:45-6:30 p.m. Using the Patterns Approach as a
Comprehensive Model for Meaningful STEM Integration
in the Physics Classroom
Poster – Bradford K. Hill, Southridge High School, 9625 SW 125th Ave.,
Beaverton, OR 97008;
Heather Moore, Robert E. Lee High School
Jordan Pasqualin, Rowe Clark Math and Science Academy
Mark Hartman, Millbrook High School
Scott Murphy, St. Joseph’s Preparatory School
Together, the Patterns Approach for Physics, data-driven engineering proj-
ects, and computational reasoning provide a comprehensive approach to
teaching and learning physics. Instruction throughout the course is framed
using the question “How do we find and use patterns in nature to predict
the future and understand the past?” Each instructional unit begins with
scenario and accompanying research question which prompts them to an
investigation. Students start by making initial guesses which is contrasted
with a data-informed prediction, found through extrapolation of the pat-
tern in the data. Additionally, each unit involves an iterative, data-driven
engineering project requiring students to apply patterns of physics, math-
ematical problem solving, and the tools of technology to solve a problem.
Throughout the experience students are repeatedly modeling the real work
of scientists and engineers and thus gain a greater understanding of science
and STEM careers.
PST2B12: 5:45-6:30 p.m. Learning Assistants in Introductory
Physics: Successes and Challenges at WVU
Poster – Paul M. Miller, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-
Jeffrey S. Carver, Kimberly Quedado, West Virginia University
In the fall of 2011, the West Virginia University Learning Assistants (LA)
program began. Since the funding came as a component of a larger grant,
our situation was well-suited to replication. Our program was designed
after attending the LA Workshop at the University of Colorado. From the
perspective of three years of LAs in our courses, we report successes, chal-
lenges, and lessons learned for both semesters of calculus-based introduc-
tory physics. We present content learning gains (from the FMCE and
CSEM) and attitudes (from the CLASS) data. We show that the program
has improved learning gains overall and in some targeted categories, such
as first-generation students. Finally, we document and explore differences
in course readiness between fall and spring enrollees that were revealed
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