program_wb_i - page 139

July 26–30, 2014
Wednesday afternoon
Charles Henderson, Western Michigan University
Not many instructional strategies created by the STEM Education research
community become widely used. However, Peer Instruction, a classroom
strategy that engages students during lecture, has been successful in
reaching many teachers and classrooms. In this study, we used interviews
with the original Peer Instruction team, publications, press releases, grant
information, and other sources to construct a picture of the propagation
strategies that led to Peer Instruction’s widespread adoption. The results
of this study could help future educational developers make an informed
propagation plan to increase the impact of their work.
*Supported by NSF Grant No. 1122446
1:30-1:40 p.m. Surveying Students’ Understanding of
Measurement Uncertainty and Proportional Reasoning:
Contributed – Jeffrey D. Marx, McDaniel College, Westminster, MD 21158-
Karen Cummings, Southern Connecticut State University
In this talk we will present an update of our efforts to develop a survey
instrument to probe undergraduate, non-science majors’ understanding
of measurement uncertainty and proportional reasoning ability. Using
everyday items (scales, luggage, and kittens) and activities (weighing
oneself and traveling) we have attempted to create an interview instrument
and protocol that evokes and accommodates a wide range of responses and
interpretations. Although still in the development phase, we can report that
our population has a very difficult time applying measurement uncertainty
and proportional reasoning, even after instruction designed to improve
this population’s understanding of these physical principles.
1:40-1:50 p.m. If You Build It, They Will Come
Contributed – James M. Dugan, Hastings College, Hastings, NE 68901;
Physics departments, at all institutions, of all sizes, are continuously try-
ing to increase their number of majors. Hastings College, a small private
school located in south central Nebraska, with a full-time student enroll-
ment of one thousand is no different. In 1995 the physics department
had 15 majors. In the fall of 2013 that number was 38. What precipitated
this 250% growth? In this talk I will describe how by implementing and
expanding a number of program changes and recruitment strategies,
focused on a year-long senior project experience, these striking enrollment
increases were achieved.
1:50-2 p.m. Lesson Study as a Vehicle to Improve
College Physics Teaching
Contributed – Sachiko Tosa, Niigata University/Wright State University, Fac-
ulty of Education, Ikarashi-2-cho, 8050-banchi, Nishi-ku Niigata-shi, Niigata
950-2181 JAPAN;
When it comes to teaching, university faculty members in science fields are
often isolated and many of them are wondering alone how they can help
students overcome difficulties in understanding the concepts they present,
especially in large lecture classes. This study examines how a collaborative
lesson planning and discussion scheme called Lesson Study can help both
students and faculty in introductory physics and other science classes at
two colleges. Faculty’s attitudes towards collaboration and active learn-
ing strategies were measured by pre/post-program survey (N=14). The
preliminary results indicate that the process helped faculty members feel
more comfortable asking their colleagues questions about their teaching.
The results also indicate that Lesson Study helped faculty see teaching in a
more student-centered way. The effect of a content-rich discussion in the
Lesson Study process will be further analyzed as a key factor for making
the college-level program sustainable.
2-2:20 p.m. Radiation Equilibrium in Bohr’s Atom,
and the Nucleus Radius
Contributed – Vic Dannon, Gauge Institute, Minneapolis, MN 55414-1192;
applying three algorithms used by EDM for teaching different physics
concepts applied to in-vivo experiments. These algorithms are: decision
tree, rule induction, and fuzzy rule induction. The in-vivo experiments
correspond to different active learning methodologies derived from re-
search master degree thesis in the Physics Education Research Department
from the Applied Science and Advance Technology Research Center of the
National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico.
Session GB: A Potpourri of Physics
and Physics Teaching Ideas
Location: STSS 330
Sponsor: AAPT
Date: Wednesday, July 30
Time: 1–2:30 p.m.
Presider: Melissa Vigil
1-1:10 p.m. Using PhET Simulations to Enhance Science
Inquiry with Elementary Students
Contributed – David R. Henry, SUNY Buffalo State, 358 Crosby Ave., Buffalo,
NY 14217;
Chris Shively, SUNY Buffalo State
The authors of National Science Education Standards and the Next Genera-
tion of Science Standards (NGSS) have called for students to engage with
experiences that promote scientific inquiry. The documents emphasize
the use of technology to help students collect, organize, analyze, interpret,
present and debate data in ways similar to scientists, but technology can
be expensive. To achieve this goal with little funding, teachers can use the
Physics Education Technology (PhET) simulations, designed at the Univer-
sity of Colorado, in conjunction with inexpensive hands-on materials to do
powerful science inquiry. The simulations permit students to see invisible
phenomena and enable them to build conceptual models of phenomena
such as buoyancy, energy, conductivity, and gravity. Students can use the
simulations to apply the science and engineering practices called for in
the NGSS. We will present inquiry activities appropriate for elementary
students in two areas, Buoyancy and Electricity.
1:10-1:20 p.m. Exploration of Talent-Specific Teaching
Strategy in Elementary Science Lessons
Contributed – Youngseok Jhun, Seoul National University of Education,
Seocho Gu Seocho dong 1650, Seoul, 137-742 Korea; youngseok.jhun@
Hana Jung, Seoul National University of Education
Science classes are usually conducted by written and spoken language with
a logical and mathematical approach, but there are some students who lag
behind in developing verbal linguistic and logical mathematical intelli-
gence especially low grade classrooms. It can be difficult for them to keep
up with the classes. As students experience continuous failure in science,
they will become chronically lethargic and have low self esteem. It will also
increase the chances of breakdowns, creating a vicious cycle -- students’
little concentration from their failure can turn into more serious failure.
In this study, we are to find solutions for this situation using teaching and
learning strategies to help all students achieve their goals and feel interest
in science lessons even if they are not good at verbal or mathematical
skills. To achieve our goal, we observed the students’ activities in low grade
classes to find out how the students are different in intelligent development.
We derived the strategy to stimulate each student’s various talents and use
them in learning science. We’d like to share our findings in the procedure
of the research.
1:20-1:30 p.m. The Propagation of Peer Instruction: A
Case Study*
Contributed – Raina M. Khatri, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
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