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Session topics list

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Sessions & Panels

      • Poster Session I

      • Mon 02/06, 7:30PM - 9:00PM
      • by
      • Type: Posters
      • Poster Session II

      • Tue 02/07, 7:30PM - 9:00PM
      • by
      • Type: Posters
  • AAPT Council Meeting

      • AAPT Council Meeting

      • Mon 02/06, 8:15PM - 9:30PM
      • by
      • Type: None
  • Computational and Online Tools for Teaching Physics

      • Towards Real Time Item Response Theory in Online Learning Environments  CANCELLED

      • by Yoav Bergner
      • Type: Contributed
      • High-quality assessment tools are needed to augment the overall effectiveness of educational technologies. Item Response Theory (IRT) is a psychometric approach that allows determination of individual student and class abilities on a given topic independently of which library items they attempt. It improves assessment reliability by determining parameters of the instrument items (e.g. difficulty, discrimination) from a large distribution of students. We will discuss progress deploying IRT in online learning environments such as LON-CAPA. Novel problems of this application for IRT include working in real time with rapidly changing information and unvalidated items. Potential gains will ultimately include improved early warning systems, better resolution of ability, and a library of over 10,000 validated items.These new tools may also pave the way for measuring the learning benefit of intermediate instruction. We acknowledge support by NSF DUE-1044294.
      • Encouraging Student Use of Web-based Resources for Learning Physics  CANCELLED

      • by Jennifer Kreft Pearce
      • Type: Contributed
      • A quick Google search will reveal a variety of websites that specialize inillustrating introductory physics knowledge. These range from a quick summary to complete online textbooks such as Light and Matter. Many of these sites use results from physics education research to improve student learning gains. However, the question remains do students actually use these sites? How can instructors increase students' visits? I will report on data gathered from a calculus-based physics course on students' use of various web-based resources. This data is collected from students' reports of their own learning activities as well as from tracking links clicked on a course web page. There was no textbook required for the course, so students had to rely on other references which contributed to their use of web-based resources.
      • Teaching Introductory Physics Online With Labview  CANCELLED

      • by William Schieber
      • Type: Contributed
      • LabVIEW is a graphical development environment designed primarily for dataacquisition and control. During this research, LabVIEW was found to be the ideal platform for creating virtual laboratory experiments for online instruction. The virtual experiments created avoid the shortcomings of both physics laboratory kits and free online physics laboratory software that include limited materials to conduct experiments at home and difficulties viewing and running the online programs, respectively. In addition, physics laboratory experiments created with LabVIEW can be custom designed by the instructor for greater flexibility in demonstrating the physical principles. An example laboratory experiment is presented to demonstrate wave refraction and total internal reflection at the boundary of two media. The program was developed so that the student can choose from a wide variety of media with different indices of refraction and adjust the incident angle of the wave and observe the effects on the reflection and refraction angles. The example presented demonstrates the wave nature of light and the pedagogical value of a virtual experiment developed with LabVIEW.
      • Teaching the Ohm's law using an Intelligent Tutoring System  CANCELLED

      • by Daniel Sánchez-Guzmán
      • Type: Contributed
      • Teaching the Ohm's law is one of the basic topic in learning Physics and also is necessary for future studies, like in engineering or sciences. Present work shows the implementation of a learning sequence with high-school students using an intelligent tutoring system as an additional trainer. Students learned the theory of the Ohm's law and were faced with an example-tracing tutor to perform their learning of the law; this by solving exercises with the tutor's help and feedback. We used two groups to measure the performance, we had a control group and an experimental group. Control group was teached with the traditional methodology and the experimental group was teached with the tutor implementation. Results shown that the experimental group answered better the exercises and understood better the Ohm's law concept with the feedback of the tutor.
  • DIY technology for the physics classroom

      • Some Novel Uses for Document Cameras, Remote Controls, Computer Fans....  CANCELLED

      • by Robert Baker
      • Type: Contributed
      • Many classrooms have document readers and TV remotes. Most of the readers are sensitive to infrared frequencies. Using the document camera as your eye and the remote as a source of light, it is possible to demonstrate the index of refraction of the infrared radiation through water or plastic. A fan and power supply taken from an obsolete computer and string provides a cheap demonstration of transverse waves. Throw-away cameras are a free source of electronics that can be used to make a coil gun with staples as projectiles.
  • Overview of High School Physics in the US

      • Physics Teachers' Views of Policies that Affect Secondary Physics Participation  CANCELLED

      • by Angela Kelly
      • Type: Contributed
      • This qualitative empirical study explored the views of urban physics teachers regarding secondary physics accessibility and enrollment. Focus groups were convened in three urban areas to discuss ways in which physics participation is affected by school- and district-based practices, as well as state-based policy reform initiatives. Teachers shared their views on administrative support, how physics opportunities are structured, student preparedness, and the unintended consequences of standardized testing. By analyzing their responses, there were insights into ways in which physics study may be encouraged for urban youth. Proposed solutions for increasing physics enrollments among urban students will be discussed.
  • PER: Student Reasoning

      • Aspects of DC Circuits: A Fine Grained Investigation of Student Conceptions  CANCELLED

      • by Ignatius John
      • Type: Contributed
      • Little is known about how fine-grained contextual changes impact student reasoning in the context of DC circuits. We report on a study using an open circuit (battery, single wire, resistive element) in which the resistive element (resistor, heating element, light bulb) and the words ("current", "charge flow") are inter-changed. This study was conducted on first year university students from three universities in Cape Town, in which we made contextual changes to an "open circuit" in order to measure the effect of such changes to student's responses. The eight-question instrument that we designed included representational, linguistic and (circuit) elemental variations. Our findings indicate that while the changes might appear trivial to an expert they significantly affect the way in which students respond.
      • How Learners' Construction of New Terms Can Contribute to Scientific Understanding  CANCELLED

      • by Sarah McKagan
      • Type: Contributed
      • In teacher professional development courses at Seattle Pacific University,we frequently observe teachers constructing new forms of energy, for example, "phase energy," "buoyant energy," and "potential rotational energy." We argue that the construction of new energy forms has pedagogical value for two reasons. First, when learners invent terms to describe new concepts they are constructing scientific ideas and thus exhibiting a sophisticated understanding of the content and nature of science. Second, some of these terms are helpful even to science content experts in making distinctions that we did not make before and gaining a deeper understanding of the relevant content. We present an example of how the use of the concept of "phase energy" can help both secondary teachers and physics content experts to understand the mechanism of how a refrigerator works.
  • PER: Topical Understanding and Attitudes

      • Diagrams Educational Proposal for Feynman  CANCELLED

      • by George Kontokostas
      • Type: Contributed
      • The information of modern society with the latest scientific developments,it is essential to the formation of responsible and creative behavior, toward social problems. Contributing to the adaptation of modern scientific knowledge to be accessible not only to experts, this dissertation refers to a part of nuclear physics, in particular is an educational adaptation of the interactions between particles, using the Feynman diagrams. The Nobel award winner physicist Feynman managed to depict the interactions between elementary particles in a simple scientific way, suggesting the familiar diagrams, replacing the complex quantum equations of Lagrange. This research used the scientific way of teaching, which includes five steps: trigger, observation, experiment, generalization and conclusion. It was also used the proper educational technology. The present educational procedure was addressed to students who were chosen randomly. During the comparative study before and after the teaching intervention, was found that students acquired better understanding of the interactions between elementary particles.
      • Student Conceptions About Fluid Statics: What Does Floating Really Mean?  CANCELLED

      • by Matthijs van den Berg
      • Type: Contributed
      • The concept of buoyancy taught in second semester physics at UNE. Because of the practicality of the buoyancy concept in health sciences and its ubiquity in everyday experience, an understanding of the physics behind this phenomenon is important to students? undergraduate and postgraduate success. Our research, however, indicates that buoyancy is a particularly confounding concept to fathom as well as to teach. Previous assessments have shown that students continue to hold on to faulty but persistent preconceptions, even after guided inquiry instruction. To gain an understanding of these preconceptions, groups of students from UNE Physics II classes were tested on their understanding of buoyancy before and after instruction. Based on responses to this open-ended and multiple-choice questioning, a novel assessment for student knowledge of fluid statics was developed. In combination with a previously developed lab activity, this assessment focuses on multiple representations of a buoyancy experiment.
  • Poster I Set-up

      • Poster I Set-up  CANCELLED

      • by
      • Type: None
  • Poster Session I Set-up

      • Poster Session I Set-up

      • Mon 02/06, 7:00AM - 8:00AM
      • by
      • Type: Posters
      • All Monday poster presenters should hand their posters between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
  • Poster Session II Set-up

      • Poster Session II Set-up

      • by
      • Type: Posters
      • All Tuesday poster presentors should hang their posters between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
  • Professional Exchanges for Physics Teachers at the College and Pre-college Levels

      • Experiencing the International High School Physics Teacher Program at CERN  CANCELLED

      • by Deborah Lilly
      • Type: Contributed
      • In July 2011, I was privileged to spend three weeks at CERN, working and learning with 48 other physics teachers from around the world from 31 different countries and six continents. I would like to share this life-changing experience with other physics teachers in the U.S. A few highlights include CERN tours and conversations about particle physics, cosmology, dark matter/energy and the future of physic education from such notables as Dr. John Ellis and director Rolf Heuer. It was awesome to learn about the current work at CERN and to collaborate on writing inquiry-based lessons on particle physics. What I learned from my teammates from Ghana, Japan, Thailand, Bulgaria and Estonia was amazing. This was a trip of a lifetime. My trip was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and my Quarknet experiences weighed heavily on my application being accepted.
  • Pseudoscience

      • Will Our Planet be Destroyed in 2012?  CANCELLED

      • by Farzan Momeni
      • Type: Contributed
      • Claims of the world's destruction in 2012 in an apparently "documentary" movie called "2012" have been reinforced largely with pseudoscience to the extent that even some of my post-graduate students in physics have been influenced by it! The pseudoscience aspects of such claims are discussed here -- from the mere astronomic assertions, such as the effect of particular alignment of the Earth axis, to the funny fear of the effect of the galaxy's central massive black hole on the Earth. I think we, as physics teachers, should instead emphasize tidal forces in our courses on gravity at all levels, particularly on the fact that celestial objects could affect our daily lives on our planet only through exerting tidal forces, which of course are inversely proportional to the third power of their distance from us. Then, when calculated, the students themselves will find how such foretelling is false.
  • Teaching with Technology

      • Innovative Video Problems as a Replacement for Word Problems  CANCELLED

      • by Peter Bohacek
      • Type: Contributed
      • Video problems show realistic, concrete presentations of physics problems compared to word problems. Presented here is a collection of video problems that allow students to extract measured values from videos and solve quantitative problems. Frame-counters are used to measure time, and superimposed grids can be used to make measurements of motion. The collection includes most topics in introductory mechanics. The videos can also be embedded in online homework systems. A video of a car sliding to a stop on ice can be used to determine the coefficient of friction of tires on ice. A video of a roller coaster rolling over a hill can be used to calculate the loss of energy, and the rate at which friction converts mechanical energy to thermal energy. A video of an iPod spinning illustrates conservation of angular momentum, and can be used to calculate the mass of the spinning disk drive platter.
      • Proficiency Based Physics using Technology for Assessment  CANCELLED

      • by Brooke Schmidt
      • Type: Contributed
      • At the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, instructors in the physics department have experimented with offering our core physics course proficiency based. In the proficiency based system, learning objectives for each unit are identified by the instructors and assessments are tied directly to these learning objectives. As the students demonstrate proficiency on a specific learning objective, they are given credit. If they demonstrate a lack of knowledge about a learning objective, the instructor offers remediation and assesses the student again. IMSA is a one-to-one computing environment; we use an online course management system to disseminate course materials so that the students may access them when ready. Technology is also used to give immediate feedback to the students so that they may correct mistakes in their calculations and conceptual understanding. Pre and post tests have been given to students to evaluate the effectiveness of this method and results will be shared.
  • Two Year College Tandem Meeting

      • Two Year College Tandem Meeting

      • Sat 02/04, 9:00AM - 4:45PM
      • by
      • Type: Pop Up
  • Unusual Uses of Video Analysis in the Classroom

      • Video Analysis in Student Biomechanics Projects  CANCELLED

      • by Nancy Beverly
      • Type: Contributed
      • Life science students utilized video analysis in their individual semester-long biomechanics projects in an algebra-based introductory physics course. As part of their project, each student used video analysis on the center of mass motion of the human or animal movement of their choice. Students demarcated their subject motion into a sequence of different motion segments that corresponded to different force diagrams, which were then indicated. Examples will be shown.
  • Upper Division Physics

      • An Investigation to Explore the Process of Student Learning During the Use of Simulations  CANCELLED

      • by Shubha Shivananda Murthy
      • Type: Contributed
      • We investigate the details of the process of students accessing educational simulations by keeping a strong emphasis on how they use these simulations to ensure maximum effectiveness of learning. Simulations have proven to enhance engaged exploration and learning. However, unless these simulations are used in a structured way, modulating and monitoring with clear learning objectives, their effectiveness tends to be limited. In electricity and magnetism, students encounter a level of abstraction and mathematical sophistication far beyond what they have experienced while learning Newtonian mechanics. While teaching, experts may have the difficulty in imparting well-integrated knowledge so students can understand abstract concepts such as force, field, and flux. Developing activities that aid learning these abstract concepts is more challenging than the ones that are encountered while teaching real world concepts such as motion, rest, velocity, acceleration etc. The use of simulations as a tool to facilitate and enhance learning has evolved from strength to strength with the availability of easy to design packages. We investigate the role of simulations as a useful effective tool for learning the relevant concepts in this domain of physics knowledge.
      • Integrating a Waves Course into the Modern Physics Sequence  CANCELLED

      • by Paul Weber
      • Type: Contributed
      • The sophomore modern physics sequence at the University of Puget Sound hasbeen restructured to include a previous stand-alone course on wave phenomena as an eight-week preamble in the first semester. Course time spent mastering wave phenomena, complex variables (esp. the imaginary exponential), Fourier analysis, and electromagnetic waves pays great dividends in setting a solid foundation for the quantum mechanical wave function and its relation to the probability density function. Experiments from the two courses meld together well, with a crossover point in the Michelson interferometer lab. Both semesters of modern physics are now required for the major so that, in addition to the foundations of wave theory and quantum mechanics, everyone receives a firm introduction to solid state physics, nuclear physics, particle physics, and cosmology.
  • Heliophysics

      • Electromagnetic and Particle Radiation from the Sun: Myths and Reality

      • AA01
      • Mon 02/06, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Ilia Roussev
      • Type: Invited
      • This talk discusses the two types of radiation coming from the Sun and itsvariation over the 11-year solar cycle. We talk about the great radiation hazard posed by solar flares and coronal mass ejections, and what could be done to predict those "solar radiation storms."
      • Studying The Sun With The Solar Dynamics Observatory

      • AA02
      • Mon 02/06, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Monica Bobra
      • Type: Invited
      • In February 2010, NASA launched its most ambitious endeavor to study the Sun -- a spacecraft called the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), designed to simultaneously image the Sun (at a resolution eight times higher than HDTV) from its surface to upper atmosphere in more than 10 different optical and ultraviolet wavelengths. SDO's scientific mission is to understand the origins of spaceweather -- a continuous, but chaotic and thus far unpredictable plasma streaming off the Sun and buffeting the entire solar system. Extreme examples of spaceweather include solar flares, eruptions that cause aurorae and potentially disrupt space-based technology. To understand and ultimately predict spaceweather, scientists use SDO data to study (1) the solar magnetic field, and (2) how processes like solar flares rapidly convert magnetic energy into kinetic energy. This talk will introduce these topics of study and give an overview of what scientists have learned using SDO data.
      • Solar Tsunamis: Observations and Models of Large-Scale Coronal Waves

      • AA03
      • Mon 02/06, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Cooper Downs
      • Type: Invited
      • In this talk I will detail our research effort focused on understanding large-scale waves observed in the solar corona, the Sun's outermost atmosphere. Of magnetic origin and related to solar eruptions know as Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), these coronal waves exhibit coherent fronts traveling hundreds of kilometers per second and are capable of reaching halfway across the Sun in under an hour. I will document our efforts to combine advanced 3D simulations with the latest data products from space satellites in order to directly explore and test various theories on the nature of these coronal waves. Furthermore, with the 2010 launch of the Solar Dynamics Observatory, cutting-edge imaging observations of the corona are freely available for interactive analysis online, making many of the fundamental concepts of the corona and solar eruptions both tangible and accessible to a broader audience.
      • Determining the Position of Hot Spots

      • AA04
      • Mon 02/06, 9:30AM - 10:00AM
      • by Travis Le
      • Type: Invited
      • Studying solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are essential because of the massive threat they pose to our current lifestyles. Caused by magnetic reconnection, these phenomena are essentially explosions in the Sun's atmosphere. This research aimed to determine and track the positions of "hot spots," where CMEs are more likely to occur. Historical solar flare and CME data were used from the CDAW Data Center. After data preprocessing, extensive programs created in Fortran 95 correlated solar flares' and CMEs' occurrences, under certain time intervals. The time intervals varied from 10 to 40 minutes with increments of five minutes. Binning the data, five "hot spots" were determined. Their locations respective to initial Carrington Coordinates in longitude_latitude form are 190_10, 230_-15, 305_-15, 340_20, and 355_-5. Prediction dates were then created for the upcoming solar maximum with an error of 1-2 days, and the activity levels of the "hot spots" are currently being tested. Knowing when these regions could release a possible CME can help large corporations, the military, and space agencies save money and time.
  • Task force on teacher preparation in physics

      • Physics Teacher Education in Perspective: A Century of Constrained Evolution

      • AB01
      • Mon 02/06, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by David Meltzer
      • Type: Invited
      • The National Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics has carried out the most extensive investigation ever reported on the education of U.S. physics teachers. Nonetheless, the challenges related to physics teacher education have been matters of concern to the U.S. physics community for over a century. There have been dozens of relevant reports, research papers, and policy statements, generated by various committees, professional organizations, and university-based researchers. The various findings and recommendations are striking in their consistency and reproducibility; they reveal a constrained evolutionary process with distinct invariant properties. I will outline the history of research and reporting on physics teacher education, and show how our Task Force recommendations are consistent not only with the specific findings of our own extensive investigation, but with the vast body of research and analysis generated by others who have examined these same problems during the past 130 years.
      • The Recommendations of the Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics as Part of a National Agenda, with an example from Arkansas

      • AB02
      • Mon 02/06, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Gay Stewart
      • Type: Invited
      • The National Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics (T-TEP) concluded its two-year investigation of the professional preparation of teachers of physics in the U.S. T-TEP, formed by APS, AAPT, and AIP, was charged with (a) identifying generalizable, yet flexible, strategies that institutions, and in particular physics departments and schools or colleges of education, can employ to increase the number of qualified physics teachers, (b) identifying effective strategies in recruitment, models of professional preparation, and higher education systems of support during the first three years of teaching, and (c) articulating research, policy, and funding implications. In this talk, the work of T-TEP will be placed in the context of other major initiatives, such as the National Math and Science Initiative, UTeach replication, the Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative, and large-scale math and science education reform efforts.
      • Implementing the Recommendations of the Task Force

      • AB03
      • Mon 02/06, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Monica Plisch
      • Type: Invited
      • The Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics put forward a national proposal for regional centers in physics education. These centers will prepare new physics teachers, provide professional development for in-service teachers, and engage in scholarly research in the teaching and learning of physics. How can these centers be realized? What are the funding implications? What should their relationship be with the majority of physics teacher education programs that graduate fewer than two students per year? What changes, if any, are needed in academic institutions or government agencies? We will consider these questions and others, and invite discussion.
  • Integrating Math & Science to Prepare Pre-College Teachers

      • Physics & Geometry Activities for Pre-Service Middle School Teachers

      • AC01
      • Mon 02/06, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Paul Dolan, Jr.
      • Type: Invited
      • Where's the Geometry in Physics? What happens when both are taught together? The MSTQE Program at NEIU is an integrated Math-Science program for preparing middle school math and science teachers. The program is especially aimed at the urban environment (Chicago Public Schools) and for inclusion of under-represented groups. The program is a collaboration between NEIU and two of the City Colleges of Chicago (Wright & Truman Colleges). Graduates receive an endorsement in Middle School Math and Science. Physics and Geometry are taught together; physics uses traditional and nontraditional labs and activities. Each core content course consists of a linked course-pair, the science taken concurrently with a pertinent math course, emphasizing the math-science and interdisciplinary connections, and using inquiry activities. This talk will focus on this link, from the point of view of a physicist; the companion talk will focus on this link from the point of view of a mathematician.
      • Geometry & Physics Activities for Pre-Service Middle School Teachers

      • AC02
      • Mon 02/06, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Panagos Papageorgiu
      • Type: Invited
      • Where's the Physics in Geometry? What happens when both are constructed together? The MSTQE Program at NEIU is an integrated math-science program for preparing middle school math and science teachers. The program is especially aimed at the urban environment (Chicago Public Schools) and for inclusion of under-represented groups. The program is a collaboration between NEIU and two of the City Colleges of Chicago (Wright & Truman Colleges). Graduates receive an endorsement in middle school math and science. Geometry and physics are taught together; geometry is taught using classical Euclidean constructions. Each core content course consists of a linked course-pair; the math taken concurrently with a pertinent science course, emphasizing the math-science and interdisciplinary connections, and using inquiry activities. This talk will focus on this link, from the point of view of a mathematician; the companion talk will focus on this link from the point of view of a physicist.
      • Aiding Pre-Service Teachers in Determining What Math and Science Content is Appropriate for their Future Students

      • AC03
      • Mon 02/06, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Mel Sabella
      • Type: Invited
      • Mathematics comprises part of the language of the physical sciences. To effectively teach science, pre-service secondary science teachers should reflect on how they will integrate mathematics teaching in the classroom. At Chicago State University students in our National Science Foundation-Noyce Program and our American Physical Society-PhysTEC Program are encouraged to reflect on teaching theory and practice through courses that emphasize reading the science education literature and engaging in early teaching experiences. In this talk we will explore how our pre-service physical science teachers in these programs reflect on the integration of mathematics in the science curriculum. Considerations include incorporating explicit mathematics, such as the use of equations, and implicit mathematics, such as proportional reasoning. In addition, we discuss how pre-service teachers view the role of mathematics in teaching the underlying physical science concepts. We will then discuss how coursework in our secondary education program may be used to encourage pre-service teacher reflection.
      • A Sustainability-themed Middle School STEM MNS Program

      • AC04
      • Mon 02/06, 9:30AM - 10:00AM
      • by Colleen Megowan-Romanowicz
      • Type: Invited
      • Extensive literature documents the detrimental effects of middle school instruction on students' mathematical and scientific achievement. Moreover, middle school students' interest in science and mathematics and their intent to continue to pursue STEM-related careers declines markedly during the transition from elementary to departmentalized middle schools. Traditional avenues for the preparation of middle school STEM-specialists are inadequate to meet the immediate or long-term need. In conversations with school districts, we identified a potential market for STEM content in already-certified in-service elementary teachers. These teachers have a general pedagogical background and expertise already in hand and have made a commitment to teaching as a profession. The Middle School STEM MNS program, which utilizes Energy and Sustainability as the theme for an integrated content core, prepares them to become highly qualified middle school science and mathematics teachers.
  • PER: Investigating Classroom Strategies

      • Getting the Word Out: Effective Communication of PER Study Results

      • AD01
      • Mon 02/06, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Stephanie Chasteen
      • Type: Contributed
      • I will make the case that we often stick to a flawed model of communication when we disseminate the results of physics education research (PER) to teachers. We have a similar problem to those who study climate change or tobacco epidemiology; we have data that we think should effect behavior change (i.e., instruction). Why doesn't it? While many instructors are aware of the instructional techniques that PER has demonstrated to be effective, research is showing that many instructors may miss the point of these methods, or quit using them after just one semester. Just as climate scientists have needed to become versed in public communication, so do we need to become versed in communication with our audience (physicists). I will outline some of the lessons we can learn from the research and practice of public science communication, and discuss the power and limits of communication in effecting behavior change.
      • The Challenges of Assessing Teaching Effectiveness: Strategies for PER to Influence Practice

      • AD02
      • Mon 02/06, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Charles Henderson
      • Type: Contributed
      • An ongoing concern within the PER community is how to promote the use of PER-based instructional strategies by non-PER college faculty. Three current trends suggest that PER has an opportunity to influence teaching practice by focusing more attention on assessment: 1) our research and that of others has found that neither faculty nor their institutions are satisfied with the way teaching is assessed; 2) the lack of ability to assess teaching effectiveness has been cited as a barrier to faculty use of research-based instructional strategies; and 3) current trends in higher education are encouraging institutions to pay more attention to assessing student learning outcomes. This talk will describe what PER currently knows about the assessment of student learning, some assessment trends outside of PER, and potentially productive ways for PER to influence the discussion about assessment.
      • Variance and Variables: The Analysis of Pre-test Results from Thousands of Students

      • AD03
      • Mon 02/06, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Paula Heron
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Physics Education Group at the University of Washington often reports the results of pre-tests given in many sections of the same course, with the total number of student responses numbering in the hundreds or even thousands. Many variables associated with pre-test administration and prior instruction could, in principle, affect student performance. With results available from a large number of sections, it is possible to characterize the typical variation quantitatively, and to identify variables that may be important.
      • Designing Research-based Instruction in a Large Lecture Course without Recitations

      • AD04
      • Mon 02/06, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Warren Christensen
      • Type: Contributed
      • As post-secondary education budgets grow ever tighter, universities are often adopting undesirable measures to cope with a lack of funds. At North Dakota State University, our introductory physics courses have been without the benefit of recitation sessions due to a lack of appropriated funds. The calculus-based sequence is composed solely of four 50-minute lectures per week. This fits a traditional model of lecture-based physics instruction to the letter, but presents numerous limitations for an instructor who recognizes the benefits of creating interactive environments within a course. I will present a number of methods being employed in the first-semester course--including the adaptation of research-validated tutorials for the lecture environment--and student data on several summative assessments that demonstrate the level of success to date.
      • Learning Integration in Physics Using Debate Problems and Multimodal Communication

      • AD05
      • Mon 02/06, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Joshua Von Korff
      • Type: Contributed
      • Research has highlighted students' difficulties with integration in physics problems. We present a teaching experiment with six lessons about integration in an introductory mechanics context using a reformed instructional approach. During these lessons, the instructor guided discussion, but did not lecture. Students considered "debate problems," in which they read a discussion between fictitious students and attempted to draw conclusions about the merits of the students' claims. Participants communicated with one another in multiple ways. They discussed physics while writing on whiteboards at their tables of four, then each table made a presentation to the other table using their whiteboard, and finally they recorded individual written and audio presentations using a smartpen. This "pencast" presentation was later reviewed and critiqued by other students as well as by the student who created it. We qualitatively analyze the pencasts, and consider the students, learning progress.
  • Animation Physics in Hollywood

      • Teaching Physics to Animation Artists

      • AE01
      • Mon 02/06, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Alejandro Garcia
      • Type: Invited
      • Animation is enormously popular in feature films, television, and video games. Art departments and film schools at universities as well as animation programs at high schools have expanded to meet the growing demands for animation artists. While animators identify the technological facet as the most rapidly advancing component of their industry, at present there is little overlap between art and science in the typical high school or college curriculum. San Jose State University is located in Silicon Valley near many of the leading animation studios and video game companies, such as DreamWorks, Pixar, and Electronic Arts, and has over 400 Animation/Illustration majors. In Spring 2008 we received a National Science Foundation "Course Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement" grant to develop physics curricular materials for art students studying animation. This talk will describe this project and the creation of an upper-division General Elective course, entitled "Physics of Animation", at San Jose State.
      • Animation Physics in Hollywood

      • AE02
      • Mon 02/06, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Bill Kroyer
      • Type: Invited
      • Following the principle that "reality is the basis of all caricature," themotion in both animated and visual effects scenes in Hollywood movies is usually stylized in a manner that reflects the stylization of the physical design of characters, props, and environments. Understanding the fundamental principles of real physics is the starting point in the education of every animator. The representation of weight, balance, force, intertia, overlap, and preservation of volume have been benchmarks since the advent of hand-drawn cartoons, and are equally important in modern computer graphics animation. What an audience feels as opposed to what they actually see in stylized animated movement is one of the great illogical sources of fascination in that medium. Animation Director Bill Kroyer will present examples of how real physics is studied, exploited and shamelessly distorted in the pursuit of entertainment.
      • Inventing Magic

      • AE03
      • Mon 02/06, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Rasmus Tamstorf
      • Type: Invited
      • Creating the Disney magic is a highly collaborative process involving bothart and science. In this talk I will present some of the (computer graphics) research inspired by the movie "Tangled" and argue that research is as much of a creative process as story telling or drawing. The examples will center around cloth simulation and hair rendering for CG animation. At a technical level the former requires simulation of thin shell dynamics and contact mechanics while the latter considers light transport and user interface design. In the end, however, it is not enough to simply simulate reality. To create magic we must be able to go further, and this talk will illustrate some of the challenges in doing so.
      • The Design Universe

      • AE04
      • Mon 02/06, 9:30AM - 10:00AM
      • by Dave Walvoord
      • Type: Invited
      • Our universe is described by physics. In our universe, if a car is going 60 mph it cannot stop instantly by braking. If it suddenly does so in a movie, then immediately the entire audience will question the validity of what they are watching. However, the world of animation opens the possibility of creating an alternate universe with "cartoon physics." But again, we can only go so far before we start to question or lose attachment to everything we see. So what is too far? I propose that good design for animation creates a universe with a consistent set of laws that govern it. These laws can be completely different from our own, but they must be internally consistent to our alternate universe. We will examine how physics is applied in computer graphics and then how computer animation can manipulate the laws of physics in pursuit of strong design.
  • DIY technology for the physics classroom

      • IPAL -- In-class Polling for All Learners

      • AF01
      • Mon 02/06, 8:00AM - 8:10AM
      • by William (Bill) Junkin
      • Type: Contributed
      • We have developed a polling program that can receive responses from students using various web-enabled devices (laptops, smart phones, iPads, etc.) as well as some models of clickers. The instructor only needs to use a computer. The program is free, open-course, and is a module in Moodle or through a stand-alone module for non-Moodle schools. We provide ready-to-use questions (from Eric Mazur's ConcepTest questions) for Intro physics and teachers can also write their own. Come, bring your smart phone or laptop, and find out for yourself if this technology might improve student learning through greater interaction in your classroom.
      • Using Your Classroom Projector to Demonstrate Some Properties of Light

      • AF02
      • Mon 02/06, 8:10AM - 8:20AM
      • by Michael Ottinger
      • Type: Contributed
      • LCD and LCoS Projectors, which are commonly used in most modern classrooms, project a tri-color RGB image on the screen using polarized light. The properties of these projectors can be exploited to aid students' understanding of the basic properties of light. In this presentation, we explain how the different projectors create their color images. We will demonstrate how students, wearing inexpensive ($0.25 - $0.40) spectral glasses, can see how different combinations of the RGB colors mix to produce the colors of the visible spectrum. In addition, we will demonstrate how to use the polarized projector light and a simple polarizer sheet to help students understand polarization.
      • Building a Better Electric Field Demonstrator

      • AF03
      • Mon 02/06, 8:20AM - 8:30AM
      • by James Lincoln
      • Type: Contributed
      • In this talk I instruct on the creation of an extremely inexpensive, highly effective Electric Field Demonstrator. I also advise on how to get the best results from the device once it is constructed. Further, I compare the ones available from science suppliers to the home-made version.
  • Wave Nature of Matter

      • Using Nanostrucutres to Teach the Wave Nature of Light

      • AG01
      • Mon 02/06, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Joyce Allen
      • Type: Invited
      • Nanosize particles of a given substance often exhibit different propertiesand behavior than macro or micro size particles of the same material. As a material gets smaller and transitions through the nano, molecular, and atomic sizes, the importance of the wavelike character increases. The wavelength becomes more significant relative to the size of the object and the wave character becomes more important. Quantum mechanics is then needed to explain its behavior. The wave-particle nature of light is often studied in secondary science classes with the use of flame tests, polarized filters, diffraction gratings, glass prisms, lenses, mirrors and other lab devices. We will offer lessons that show that the use of nanostrucutures such as quantum dots, thin films and structures found in the Morpho butterfly can also be used to help students develop an understanding of the wave nature of matter.
      • Acoustic Experiments Modeling the Wave Nature of Matter

      • AG02
      • Mon 02/06, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Rene Matzdorf
      • Type: Invited
      • Quantum Mechanics is one of the most difficult concepts for students to master. Understanding the wave nature of electrons and all its consequences for atoms, molecules, and solids is crucial for students. We present acoustic experiments modeling quantum phenomena with sound waves "Quantum Analogs." The eigen function solutions to the Schroedinger equation for a radially symmetric potential have a direct mapping to the solutions to the Helmholtz differential equation for sound propagating in a spherical boundary, which allows us to model some aspects of the hydrogen atom. Other resonator shapes can be used to model a hydrogen molecule and a one-dimensional solid with its band structure. These hands-on experiments provide students with a tool to study many phenomena around the wave nature of matter by "playing" with different resonator geometries.
      • Teaching of Matter Waves in General Physics Class

      • AG03
      • Mon 02/06, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Roman Kezerashvili
      • Type: Contributed
      • Follow the same strategy as presented in Ref. 1, we discuss physics laboratory curricula and suggest physics laboratory exercises where the wave properties of matter (electrons) and electromagnetic wave (light) are studied in parallel. It is shown that one of the important educational advantages of an experimental study of the diffraction of electrons in a polycrystalline lattice, as an example of matter waves diffraction, simultaneously with the diffraction of light, as an example of electromagnetic waves, are, on one hand, visualization of the properties of matter waves and measurement of the electron's de Broglie wavelength, and on the other hand, provide evidence of the similarity in the pattern produced by the monochromatic light that is an electromagnetic wave. 1. R.Ya. Kezerashvili, Light and Electromagnetic Waves Teaching in Engineering Education, International Jour. of Electrical Engineering Education, Vol. 46, 343-353, 2009.
      • Reproducible Quantized Conductance: A Lab Experiment on the Wave Nature of Matter

      • AG04
      • by Robert Tolley
      • Type: Contributed
      • We demonstrate clear quantized conductance steps in mechanical break junctions (MBJ) based on a gold wire, a springy-steel bending beam, a micrometer, a 1.5V battery, and a Teflon disc that we rotate manually. As the wire is stretched (in steps of less than 1 Angstrom) to the point when it is about to break at a weak point, its resistance increases gradually and eventually follows a stair-case-like shape, which is a hallmark of quantized conductance. The resistance steps are observed at values of 25.8 k?/2n, where n is an integer. The resistance steps are clearer and more distinct for smaller n, in agreement with the Correspondence Principle. The quantization occurs when the wire is thin enough that its diameter is comparable to the de Broglie wave length of the current-carrying electrons and is a direct consequence of confinement. This experiment is designed for sophomore/junior level undergraduate labs on contemporary physics.
      • A Macroscopic Fluid Analogy of Wave-Particle Duality  CANCELLED

      • AG04
      • Mon 02/06, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by David Chappell
      • Type: Contributed
      • The "walker" phenomenon is a macroscopic fluid dynamic interaction that exhibits characteristics of quantum mechanical matter waves. A fluid droplet (which acts as the "particle") bounces on a vibrating liquid bath tuned just below the Faraday instability. The interaction of the droplet with the wave that it generates on the surface of the bath can lead to a range of quantum-like behaviors including quantized orbits, tunneling and single particle interference. We explore techniques to reproduce these results in an undergraduate laboratory and develop guides for comparing the fluid experiment to quantum systems.
  • Overview of High School Physics in the US

      • Physics in U.S. High Schools: Facts, Not Fiction

      • AH01
      • Mon 02/06, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Susan White
      • Type: Invited
      • Is physics offered every year in every high school in the U.S.? How many students take physics in U.S. high schools? Who teaches them? Are the teachers well prepared? How many teachers are teaching physics at a typical school? What kind of courses do the students take? Do girls take high school physics at the same rate as boys? Is there a racial gap in physics taking? We'll tackle these questions and more using data from our quadrennial Nationwide Survey of High School Physics Teachers.
      • High School Physics in Iowa

      • AH02
      • Mon 02/06, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Jeffrey Morgan
      • Type: Invited
      • Half a decade ago, state leaders in Iowa made dire predictions of an approaching shortage of physics teachers(1). Because the University of Northern Iowa is a state leader in physics teacher preparation and professional development, we were interested in ascertaining the current state of physics teachers and teaching in our state. Although the American Institute of Physics has done invaluable work in documenting national and regional trends in physics education(2), this data does not provide state-by-state analysis. We created an electronic survey(3) and sent it to all known Iowa high school physics teachers; 40% responded. We present demographic information about current high school physics teachers, report on the content they're teaching, share teacher views on effective physics instruction, and discuss resources available to and needed by physics instructors.
      • High School Physics: Chief STEM Pathway & Science-Math Literacy

      • AH03
      • Mon 02/06, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Jane Jackson
      • Type: Contributed
      • High school physics is the chief pathway to college STEM majors. Reform physics, such as Modeling Instruction, strengthens that pathway and also produces world-class scientific and mathematical literacy. University-based reform professional development (PD) for high school physics teachers is thus essential for the STEM workforce and a literate citizenry. Yet federal funding for such PD is sparse and is threatened to end in the ESEA reauthorization. Resources and proposed actions are at http://modeling.asu.edu/modeling/ConvincingDocuments.html
      • U..S Physics Standards: A Nationwide Comparison

      • AH04
      • Mon 02/06, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Kathryn Beck
      • Type: Contributed
      • As we stand at this pivotal moment, looking ahead to new national science standards, it is only appropriate to step back and evaluate where we are now as a nation in terms of physics education. Some of the questions we need to ask ourselves are: "How do the physics standards across each state compare? Are they comparable?" and "Are all areas of physics represented equally?" To shed light on these questions, we present a nationwide overview and comparison of the current physics standards. We'll share data on how states compare to each other and also how the the current draft of the national science standards fits into the picture.
  • Pre High School

      • Developing Extension Activities for APS PhysicsQuest: Inquiry-based Learning at Home

      • AI01
      • Mon 02/06, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Moriel Schottlender
      • Type: Contributed
      • PhysicsQuest is a program aimed at middle-school students with the goal oftransforming physical concepts into easily-understandable, interactive experiments that can be delivered by teachers regardless of their level of physics knowledge. The kit includes a comic book, instruction manual, and all the material necessary for students to complete four activities. By performing these activities the students help Spectra, the teenage superhero, battle her enemies, and can also participate in a national competition by submitting their results online. In addition, there are extension activities available online for classrooms who want to delve into specific topics. This summer I developed the extension activities, producing 12 experiments that can be done with materials found at home. The talk will discuss the process of creating inquiry-based experiments: finding the right experiments, testing them and writing the manuals.
      • Students Using XO Laptops to Create, Discover, and Share Ideas

      • AI02
      • Mon 02/06, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Anne Emerson
      • Type: Contributed
      • Children in primary schools today will need not only the skills to use technology, but the ability to create with technology. Through a year-long qualitative study of 20 third grade students, we investigated how ideas were shared, propagated, and changed as children used a geometric drawing program (TurtleArt) on laptops designed for children. When the children used the laptops, they shared ideas, some of which moved or evolved through the classroom. Our research explores which of these communicated ideas children found valuable enough to replicate or change, in what ways this process occurred, and what classroom norms and expectations supported or constrained the communication, replication, and alteration of these ideas. Understanding how students take up and use different types of ideas as they interact with new technology has implications for the types of opportunities for learning with technology we provide students.
      • Developing STEAM Instruction for Talented/Gifted Students

      • AI03
      • Mon 02/06, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Hyeon-Suk Choi
      • Type: Contributed
      • The main purpose of this study is to outline developing STEAM instruction for seventh-grade gifted students in Korea. STEAM is STEM with the addition of fine and liberal art. We will show how STEAM instruction could be implemented in the class for the gifted/talented setting to prepare physics teachers to implement STEAM curriculum in their classrooms.
      • Force and Motion Through Inquiry in 2nd Grade

      • AI04
      • Mon 02/06, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Jennette Aranda
      • Type: Contributed
      • Young children have a natural curiosity for how our world works. This natural curiosity combined with guided inquiry can serve as a foundation for building understanding in science. In collaboration with faculty from Cal Poly Pomona, a force and motion unit was developed for second-grade students at Cortez Math and Science Magnet. In this presentation we will be sharing how students were able to build their understanding of basic physics concepts through the use of hands-on activities, inquiry, and the science notebook.
      • A Hands-on Instructional Unit on Wave Behavior for Middle School Classrooms

      • AI05
      • Mon 02/06, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Dale Ingram
      • Type: Contributed
      • LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, collaborates with K-12 teachers near the project's Washington and Louisiana detector facilities to improve student learning related to wave behavior. Wave properties are fundamental to LIGO's research. Wave learning outcomes appear in the K-12 science standards of many states, including the Washington standards. To strengthen middle school science teachers' capabilities in the area of waves, LIGO has partnered with a 6th-grade teacher from the Pasco (WA) School District to develop and implement an inquiry-friendly unit of instruction that includes two sets of station-based interactive wave activities for students. The activities range from low-tech (ropes and Slinkies) to high-tech (function generators and computer-based oscilloscopes). This presentation will describe the instructional unit and the activities. Presenters will share some of the student and teacher outcomes that have arisen from the unit's use in Pasco middle schools.
  • Astronomy Research at the Small Observatory

      • State-of-the-Art Research at the Gettysburg College Observatory

      • BA01
      • Mon 02/06, 12:45PM - 1:15PM
      • by Laurence Marschall
      • Type: Invited
      • The Gettysburg College Observatory, for the past 20 years, has supported an active program of faculty and student research. It is equipped with a 16-inch f/11 reflecting telescope, which has been extensively modernized over the years (most recently in 2010), a research-quality CCD camera, and a versatile filter wheel assembly. Using this facility we are able to carry out observations of asteroids, supernovas, eclipsing binary stars, and transiting extrasolar planets, many of which have resulted in publications in professional journals. We?ll describe the Gettysburg Observatory, illustrate some successful projects that are ideal for small telescopes, and provide some thoughts on what is important in establishing an active campus research program with modest equipment and limited technical staff.
      • Selected Research Projects from the West Mountain Observatory

      • BA02
      • Mon 02/06, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Michael Joner
      • Type: Invited
      • The West Mountain Observatory is a small facility located away from most city lights at an elevation of almost 7000 feet approximately 20 miles southwest of the main campus of Brigham Young University. The observatory currently houses three small reflecting telescopes (0.3-m, 0.5-m, and 0.9-m) equipped with a variety of standard and custom filters and CCD detectors that allow for a wide range of astrophysical imaging projects at optical wavelengths. These projects are currently being pursued by undergraduates, graduates, and faculty observers at BYU. In addition, the WMO observers have been providing research quality data to support selected projects proposed by external investigators. This presentation will summarize the facilities and typical conditions available at the West Mountain Observatory, describe the work done by research observers, and present several examples of projects that have been done using these modest resources. We conclude with a brief description of possible future additions to the instrumentation in order to expand the scope of work that can be done at West Mountain. http://wmo.byu.edu
      • Doing Science with a Small Telescope

      • BA03
      • Mon 02/06, 1:45PM - 2:15PM
      • by Michael Richmond
      • Type: Invited
      • Just because small telescopes (8 to 16 inches in diameter) at suburban locations cannot acquire spectra of high-redshift quasars does not mean that they doomed to taking pretty pictures. Small telescopes equipped with CCD cameras can carry out a number of projects that are both within the grasp of a dedicated student and interesting to the astronomical community. I will provide examples of projects involving variable stars, supernovae, asteroids, and exoplanets. Many of these projects require only a few nights of measurements, making them well suited for advanced projects at the end of a course on observational astronomy.
      • Using Small Radio Telescopes in Undergraduate Education

      • BA04
      • Mon 02/06, 2:15PM - 2:25PM
      • by Donald Smith
      • Type: Contributed
      • Guilford College is unusual in the state of North Carolina in owning two small radio telescopes (SRTs). These 2.3-m dishes, manufactured by MIT's Haystack Observatory, are optimized to observe the 21-cm hydrogen line and continuum radiation in the L-band (1.42 GHz). I will report on how we have used these telescopes in our introductory physics laboratory to teach about the properties of waves and Doppler shifts. Our Observatory Practice course has enabled students to map the velocity distribution of clouds along the galactic plane. Advanced students have used these telescopes in senior thesis projects, using the two telescopes together as a 500-m baseline interferometer, demanding skills in programming, networking, and electronics. Groups of our students have developed an outreach curriculum to run these telescopes remotely from public school classrooms, to teach middle and grade school students about waves and to get them excited about exploring the radio sky.
      • Comparison of Standard and Narrow Band Photometry for Stellar Classification and Variable Star Studies

      • BA05
      • Mon 02/06, 2:25PM - 2:35PM
      • by Kendall Mallory
      • Type: Contributed
      • We will report on undergraduate research projects comparing stellar photometric measurements made in Standard BVR bands with measurement made using narrow Hydrogen alpha, Oxygen III, and Sulfur II bands. We compare measurements made on various stellar clusters and unusual variable stars to study the usefulness of narrow band measurements. Our measurements are made with a high-precision portable stellar photometer used at remote sites and assembled for a reasonable cost. This apparatus should provide undergraduates with many opportunities to complete challenging research projects and analysis of large complex data sets.
  • Physics Education Research Around the World

      • Teaching the Concept of Center of Gravity Using Educational Workshops

      • BB01
      • Mon 02/06, 12:45PM - 1:15PM
      • by Jorge Villavicencio
      • Type: Invited
      • In this work we show the learning experiences obtained in educational workshops for teaching the concept of center of gravity, aimed to elementary school students, within the framework of the UABC Science Week. The goal of the workshop is to accomplish significative learning through ludic activities. By performing experimental demonstrations and by means of active learning the student is capable of forming for himself the concept of center of gravity, eliminating common misconceptions about this phenomenon. Finally, using home-made materials the student carries out an experiment with which it reinforces the acquired knowledge.
      • High School Students Face Superconductivity

      • BB02
      • Mon 02/06, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Lorenzo Santi
      • Type: Invited
      • Superconductivity is one of the most important discoveries of modern physics both for interpretation and for its important technological applications. We designed a didactic path to address, on a phenomenological basis, the main electrical and magnetic properties of superconductors. A set of over 40 experiments and relative tutorials were realized with low and high level technologies, within the European projects MOSEM and MOSEM2. Different experiments have been carried out proposing the educational path to more than 300 students. From written tutorials, questionnaires and monitoring elements, positive learning curves of students on the recognition of diamagnetism and zero resistivity of a superconductor emerged.
      • Problems’ formulations in physics textbooks: How authentic are supposed contexts?  CANCELLED

      • BB02
      • Mon 02/06, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Josip Slisko
      • Type: Invited
      • Problems and exercises in physics textbooks are formulated in very different contexts. Using some aspects of Palm's theory of authentic task situations, like "event," "question," and "information/data," the authenticity of these contexts can be evaluated. Results show that too many problems and exercises are not authentic because their referent situations violate one or more aspects of Palm's theory. Potential negative consequences of these artificial contextualizations in students' physics-related beliefs are discussed and some recommendations for improvement are suggested.
      • Challenges for Interactive Engagement Physics Courses: A Gulf Arab Context

      • BB03
      • Mon 02/06, 1:45PM - 1:55PM
      • by George Hitt
      • Type: Contributed
      • There's a growing constellation of universities in the developing world that teach physics far outside the Western cultural settings where interactive-engagement techniques were first developed. We report on efforts to design 'Collaborative Workshop Physics' (CWP) at Khalifa University of Science, Technology, and Research in the UAE, to these authors' knowledge, the first interactive-engagement physics course in the Gulf region. A brief history of education in the UAE is given. In this context, a baseline is presented for our calculus-based first-semester freshman physics course in its traditional form, including conceptual survey data, exam grades, student evaluations, and interviews.The first semester delivered in the prototype CWP modality has revealed several key challenges for enhancing learning gains: (1) second-language acquisition, (2) pre-college academic preparation, and (3) gender issues. We characterize each of these both quantitatively; through analysis of pre/post-survey, course exam and standardized test data, and qualitatively; through course evaluations, observations and interviews. Open questions are identified and recommendations are made for future improvements.
      • Experimenting an Inquired-based Learning Path on Electromagnetic Induction

      • BB04
      • Mon 02/06, 1:55PM - 2:05PM
      • by Stefano Vercellati
      • Type: Contributed
      • In the framework of Design Based Research, an inquired-based learning pathon electromagnetic induction is studied to overcome learning knots on electromagnetic phenomena in secondary school. Focusing on field line representation, argumentative discussions are oriented to developing formal thinking step by step. Research activity is carried out according to the Model of Educational Reconstruction (MER) and school experimentation is performed with two different modalities in a school-university cooperation project: a) pilot experimentation carried out together by a researcher and school teacher (in two classes), b) action-research experimentation done by teachers alone after co-planning with the researcher (one class). Results from in-out test and from tutorial sheets for monitoring learning step by step will be discussed.
      • Developing ConcepTest Having Hierarchical Structure About Sinking and Floating

      • BB05
      • Mon 02/06, 2:05PM - 2:15PM
      • by Jiwon Lee
      • Type: Contributed
      • We make ConcepTests for meaningful cognitive conflicts to elementary science-gifted students about sinking and floating based on students' misconception. We have found empirical evidence that some misconceptions change easily through Peer Instruction but other misconceptions are difficult to change. We think this difficulty is caused by lack of essential underlying conception. We have developed ConcepTest having a hierarchical structure about sinking and floating.This approach is turned out to be more efficient than one time ConcepTest. Based on the result, we can teach essential underlying conception first and consider hierarchical level of concepts for conceptual change.
  • Best Practices for Outreach to Elementary or Middle School Teachers

      • MSP-Supported Professional Development Opportunities for Middle School Physical Science Teachers

      • BC01
      • Mon 02/06, 12:45PM - 1:15PM
      • by Taha Mzoughi
      • Type: Invited
      • For the last four years, as part of Math and Science Partnership projects,and Teacher Quality projects, Kennesaw State University had been offering professional development opportunities to middle school physical science teachers. The teachers participated in workshops during the summer and follow-up activities during the school year. During the workshops, the teachers completed physics education inspired hands-on guided activities. The activities were chosen to address the concepts that students and sometimes teachers have difficulties with and to align with state standards. Care was taken to ensure that teachers can easily implement or adapt these activities to their teaching. It is also hoped that the guided-inquiry methods used in conducting the workshop will inspire the teachers into adopting similar methods in their teaching. The presentation will provide details about the workshops, the follow-up activities, and the hands-on activities that the teachers complete. It will also elaborate on the various other collaborative activities we engage in with the schools and the teachers. Some details about the projects and some example activities can be found at http://physci.kennesaw.edu/tips/
      • Teaching Science Processes to Elementary Students through Outreach on Motion

      • BC02
      • Mon 02/06, 1:15PM - 1:25PM
      • by Stacey Carpenter
      • Type: Contributed
      • I report on second graders' learning about the scientific practice of observing during an outreach program designed to help K-12 students develop science process skills. SciTrek is an outreach program at UCSB that partners undergraduate and graduate students in science with local K-12 schools. The SciTrek group is developing a series of modules that span the K-12 curriculum. Thus far modules have been developed and field tested for grades 2 and 5. SciTrek modules emphasize the processes of science as well as specific grade level science content standards. This presentation will report on results from the second grade module about motion which focuses on the process of making observations while addressing applicable California content standards. An overview of the outreach program and findings from an assessment of student learning about making observations from the motion module will be presented.
      • Green and Renewable Energies Workshop (GREW) for K-8 Teachers

      • BC03
      • Mon 02/06, 1:25PM - 1:35PM
      • by Joseph Kozminski
      • Type: Contributed
      • Faculty from various science departments and the College of Education at Lewis University developed and delivered an interdisciplinary workshop (GREW) on renewable energies for 25 K-8 teachers this past summer. We provided instruction to the teachers about various types of renewable energies and technological and societal issues associated with them. We also developed activities and resources for them to take back to their classrooms with the goal of giving them a new and current context for teaching critical math and science skills to elementary and middle school students. We will give an overview of the workshop, highlight some of the activities developed for this workshop, and discuss future plans. This workshop was funded by the Illinois Mathematics and Science Partnership (IMSP).
      • Appliance of Peer Intruction for Elementary School Students

      • BC04
      • Mon 02/06, 1:35PM - 1:45PM
      • by Kyu Hwan Kim
      • Type: Contributed
      • Using peer instruction (PI) in introductory physics courses for undergraduates is growing at institutions across the U.S. However, using PI for younger student is very rare. So, we wanted to ascertain the effect of PI for Korea elementary school students. To ascertain the effect of PI in elementary school students, we applied PI experimentally for two classes composed of 24 students (n=48). As a result, PI is effective for elementary school students in some ways. We found two points. One is that repeated presentation of concepTests concering concept made many young students give up their own misconceptions and accept the concepts of correct answers (unfortunately, sometimes, this repetition may make a few student form their own concepts that look correct but may be wrong). The other is that concepTest is useful as a chance to apply principles that were taught in class. For one thing, to ascertain if disscussion alone about concepTest is possible to form the scientific concepts or not, we presented concepTests about simple themes to students step by step from a very easy level without a teacher's lecture. As a result, distracters in concepTests were used as a source of wrong arguments in many discussions. It was determined that the teacher's lecture was important.
      • Teachers and Researchers: Using Renewable Energy for a Collaboration Theme

      • BC05
      • Mon 02/06, 1:45PM - 1:55PM
      • by Lisa Grable
      • Type: Contributed
      • The FREEDM Systems Center precollege program promotes community engagementamong graduate students. The program ensures that students are taught communication skills to convey their research to the public and to assist public school teachers and students. Students visit partner classrooms in underserved schools with a demo-kit of eight energy activities. The new model is the round-robin station approach to the activities and using a hands-on activity as a vehicle for raising college preparation awareness for young students. The students developed a package to assist teachers with extending the learning to produce student work products. The summer program gives teachers a 5-week on campus experience to introduce electricity and the latest research on the power grid. This program is one small step towards supporting underrepresented groups to have an equal opportunity to become a part of the STEM and energy sustainability community.
      • The Resistance of Learners to Changing Concepts in Peer Instruction

      • BC06
      • Mon 02/06, 1:55PM - 2:05PM
      • by Jongwon Kim
      • Type: Contributed
      • We have been incorporating peer instruction for training pre-service and in-service elementary teachers. We have found new pedagogical methods are not always welcome and also sometimes there is resistance to changing their scientific concepts. In this presentation, we present survey and interview data of peer instruction from pre-service and in-service teachers in elementary school. We will append arguments about the resistance of in-service teachers to scientific concepts as compared with results of university students who will be elementary teachers.
      • Design-Driven Professional Development: Educators as Engineers at Cornell University

      • BC07
      • Mon 02/06, 2:05PM - 2:15PM
      • by Lora Hine
      • Type: Contributed
      • Just as students are drawn into projects where designing and creating are fundamental to the learning experience, teachers also crave hands-on critical thinking activities to broaden their teaching abilities and enhance their professional skills. As part of its primary and secondary school outreach efforts, Cornell provides a devoted team of teachers with the necessary resources and guidance to introduce engineering, student-driven design, and innovative thinking into their science classrooms. Teachers involve a cohort of students in science exhibitions to pique their interest and set the tone for scientific exploration and dialogue in preparation for a project-based summer camp held on Cornell's campus. Collaborative planning with these teachers addresses multi-age and multidisciplinary content strands like "Waves" or Energy" that will be central to the summer experience. Classroom implementation strategies are discussed as teachers design, build, and troubleshoot projects. Following summer camp, we provide time to collectively reflect upon the experience.
  • Online Physics Courses: Technology, Assessment, Experiences

      • The End of the University as we Know It?

      • BD01
      • Mon 02/06, 12:45PM - 1:15PM
      • by Wolfgang Bauer
      • Type: Invited
      • We have performed identical assessments of learning in lecture-based and virtual-university sections of introductory physics classes at Michigan State University. Our studies show that the learning outcomes in properly constructed virtual-university environments show no significant difference. In this presentation I will explore some of the necessary boundary conditions for this result, possible explanations of these findings, and potential future implications.
      • Transforming Physics Curriculum by Teaching Physics Online

      • BD02
      • Mon 02/06, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Zvonko Hlousek
      • Type: Invited
      • Teaching online has been old news for some time. There are a myriad of physics resources available scattered in several well- known repositories and in many other corners of the Internet. Most of us use one online homework system and possibly more, and yet almost nobody teaches fully online physics classes. In this talk we'll examine challenges of teaching physics in an online environment. We will address the fact that online teaching presents an opportunity to transform the physics curriculum for the better. This will help us understand why teaching physics online is difficult and why it has yet to happen.
      • Particle Physics Online

      • BD03
      • Mon 02/06, 1:45PM - 1:55PM
      • by Peter Siegel
      • Type: Contributed
      • Last spring we offered a synchronous online particle physics course at CalPoly Pomona that was open to students throughout the California State University system. The goal of this course was to prepare students for a summer internship at CERN. While the 11 Cal Poly Pomona Students enrolled experienced the lecture face-to-face, five other students from two more campuses participated online using "Elluminate-Live" software. The syllabus and instructional methods for the class will be presented as well as a critique of its effectiveness and suitability for other online physics courses.
      • Online and Blended Climate Change Courses for Educators from AMNH

      • BD04
      • Mon 02/06, 1:55PM - 2:05PM
      • by Robert Steiner
      • Type: Contributed
      • The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) has created both online and blended climate change education courses directed toward secondary school educators. The online course carries graduate credit and is authored by leading scientists at AMNH and at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. It focuses on weather and climate; sources of climate change; the response of the climate system to input; modeling, theory and observation; what we can learn from past climates; and potential consequences, risks and uncertainties. The blended course includes an abbreviated version of the online course along with additional activities, many suitable for classroom use. Both the online and blended course experiences will be reviewed, including the use of an educational version of NASA's Global Climate Model. Attendees will be provided with a DVD of Climate Change videos and data visualizations from the American Museum of Natural History. This work is supported through a generous grant from NASA's Innovations in Climate Education program.
      • Tabletop Kits Help Students Grasp Concepts in Light

      • BD05
      • Mon 02/06, 2:05PM - 2:15PM
      • by Jacob Millspaw
      • Type: Contributed
      • Light and color exploration kits have been in use face to face and in online courses with positive results. Students explore properties of light with experiments on topics such as the spectrum, color mixing, geometric and physical optics. In the class, students take part in scientific investigations developing and testing hypotheses based on observations made in their investigations.
      • Avatars and Open Courseware in Distance Education Freshman Physics

      • BD06
      • Mon 02/06, 2:15PM - 2:25PM
      • by Farook Al-Shamali
      • Type: Contributed
      • Athabasca University has engaged thousands of students in for-credit, noncalculus freshman physics over the past 15 years, a success in part attributable to innovative use of home laboratory technology. In now offering calculus-based courses suited to science, engineering or pre-med streams, we have found it advantageous to use MIT Open Courseware. Carefully selected segments provide quality video lectures and demonstrations in a form that is suited for viewing at home or on a mobile device. In addition, we have used Xtranormal© cartoon production facilities, with software based on text-to-speech technology, to provide continuity through use of a scriptable set of avatars. This introduced characters that students can relate to as they do individual home study distance education. In addition, we produced a number of animated discussion videos in a simulated classroom setting. As a result, we believe that we moved our courses one step closer to face-to-face teaching.
  • Physics First

      • Teaching Physics First Can It Be Done and Does It Work

      • BE01
      • Mon 02/06, 12:45PM - 1:15PM
      • by Duane Merrell
      • Type: Invited
      • Can physics really be taught first? When teaching physics to 9th and 10thgraders what does the physics class look like? Is it a concern that they have not already taken or are concurrently taking upper-level math or calculus? Teaching Physics First to many 10th grade students over 20 years in the public school was an experience that not only did I enjoy but the students thrived. State test scores on physics exams were high and students often went on to take more physics after the first experience. I will try to share what a physics first class looked like and why it was successful for students to take this as their first course in science in high school.
      • Freshman Physics: A Modeling Approach

      • BE02
      • Mon 02/06, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Deborah Rice
      • Type: Invited
      • Physics has been taught in the freshman year in the Clayton Public Schoolsfor more than 20 years. Over the years this course has evolved from an honors course in a traditional high school sequence, B-C-P, to a freshman physics course for all in an inverted high school sequence, P-C-B. With slight modification to the modeling cycle, physics becomes more user friendly without compromising the elegance of the mathematical nature of physics.
      • Physics Second

      • BE03
      • Mon 02/06, 1:45PM - 2:15PM
      • by Zak Knott
      • Type: Invited
      • The Joliet (Illinois) Township School District has adopted a unique science program of studies in which all students take physics as sophomores. With an increasing focus nationwide on preparing students for high-stakes testing, our course sequence (Biology, Physics, Chemistry) has shown promise in preparing our students for success. By requiring physics for all sophomores we are able to offer a course that is comparable in rigor to a traditional junior-level course both conceptually and mathematically. In this session I will further discuss the rationale behind our course sequence as well as the benefits it has brought to our students and the challenges we have faced.
  • Physics by the #s: Mobile Communications in the Classroom (Including Diversity)

      • Mediating Student Physics Challenges with Mobile Devices

      • BF01
      • Mon 02/06, 12:45PM - 1:15PM
      • by Mark Geary
      • Type: Invited
      • Schools are making the transition from banning mobile devices to embracingthem, but how they get implemented is still largely a function of individual teacher preference. This session will show four quick ways you can engage your physics students using the devices they carry in their pockets, their mobile phones. Educators across the country are recognizing the computing power inside the modern cell phone, and are combining that computing power with an increasingly mobile device-friendly Internet to create powerful learning opportunities for students. Don't be left out, join the session, and find out how to: 1. Use Google SMS to help students' comprehension of difficult reading material. 2. Facilitate robust discussions with SMS group discussion boards. 3. Give/Take a Poll via SMS text messaging. 4. Use the Cell Phone as a Planner that students WON'T lose! 5. Discover the latest and greatest mobile apps for Physics.
      • iPads in Physics: Making it Matter

      • BF02
      • Mon 02/06, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Lainie Rowell
      • Type: Invited
      • Are you already using iPads in the classroom? Just considering an implementation? Either way, this session will be a rich source of ideas, resources, and information about learning with the iPad in the physics classroom. This fast-paced session will explore productivity tools, educational activities and more, using built-in and freely available applications for Apple's iPad. With the iPad, learners can perform research, collaborate, interact with experts, and produce creative works! We will examine the iPad's iOS platform, unique features that support student learning, and applications and activities that support differentiated mobile learning. We will also discover tips and tricks to get even more out of your Internet communication device. Participants are encouraged to bring their own iPad to participate.
      • High School Students’ Motion Analysis in Everyday Contexts with Smart Phones

      • BF03
      • Mon 02/06, 1:45PM - 1:55PM
      • by Il Lee
      • Type: Contributed
      • Information technology enables the capture of data beyond the classroom atall hours of the day. Mobile devices with accelerometers and video cam could be used to measure and analyze motions as an all-in-one tool. With these devices, the accessibility of motion analysis in everyday contexts is improved and it could make students engage themselves in the laboratory activities. Also, the diversity of data about everyday motions could provide students with opportunities for scientific argumentation, especially evidence-based discussions during the data interpretation. The purposes of this study are to embody and refine the above two conjectures about using smart phones for learning physics. To embody the conjectures, eight hours of project-based learning sequence were developed for 11th graders. The participated students' dialogue and behaviors were analyzed by the frameworks of Hogan (1999) and Sampson & Clark (2011). The results could show the way to utilize the smart phone in physics teaching.
  • How I Use Popular Media In Teaching Physics

      • Angry Bird Physics

      • BG01
      • Mon 02/06, 12:45PM - 1:15PM
      • by Rhett Allain
      • Type: Invited
      • Everyone loves Angry Birds (the game). Why not use this popular game as a topic for exploration in introductory physics? Why are games like Angry Birds so nice for analysis? In this presentation, I will discuss the physics of Angry Birds and video games in general. I will also briefly discuss the advantages of using a blog to supplement introductory physics courses.
      • 500 Web Physics Applications from the NY Times

      • BG02
      • Mon 02/06, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by John Cise
      • Type: Invited
      • For the past four years I have found more than 500 physics-rich applications in New York Times articles. I have edited the graphics and text to fit on one web page. The site is: http://CisePhysics.homestead.com/files/NYT.htm. My intent is to bring to introductory college physics and H.S. students current-in-the-news applications of introductory physics concepts. Physics concept applications are more current than in the latest physics texts. You might say it is physics of the "now." I use the one page web applications to: introduce concepts, quizz and test questions, student-produced extra credit. Each page has: a Focus(Kinematics), title, edited text and graphics from NYTimes, introduction, questions, hints, and answers. Some of the web pages have excellent physics concept video applications produced by the NYTimes. I will present examples of some of the best NYTimes physics application pages "rich" in data which can be verified with introductory physics level concepts and solutions.
      • How My Students Use Social Media In Learning Renewable Energy

      • BG03
      • Mon 02/06, 1:45PM - 2:15PM
      • by Chuck Stone
      • Type: Invited
      • I do not own a smartphone (Apple iPhone, Blackberry Torch, T-Mobile Dash);portable media player (Apple iPod, Creative Zen, Microsoft Zune), tablet computer (Apple iPad, Google Android Touch Tablet, HP Slate), or subscribe to social networking services (Facebook, Twitter, web logs). Since my institution expects me to uphold and promote standards of academic honesty, the use of cellular telephones, personal computers, surfing the Internet, text messaging, and listening to music devices are strictly forbidden in my classes unless explicitly approved. Acknowledging the idiom, "If you can't beat them, join them," I challenged students in my fall 2011 Renewable Energy course to develop a specific lesson or activity that uses social media as a resource to enhance their appreciation and understanding of renewable energy. In this presentation I will share some of the activities created and describe the positive role they are playing in the ongoing development of the course.
      • Using YouTube Videos in the Introductory Modern Physics Class

      • BG04
      • Mon 02/06, 2:15PM - 2:25PM
      • by Tatiana Krivosheev
      • Type: Contributed
      • We present our experience of using YouTube videos in the Introductory Modern Physics class. In particular, we focus on an amazing popular science video on the foundations of Einstein's special relativity produced in 1964 in the former Soviet Union.
      • Screencast Tutorials

      • BG05
      • Mon 02/06, 2:25PM - 2:35PM
      • by Paul Hewitt
      • Type: Contributed
      • Computer-based training systems are becoming popular. I'll discuss a couple of samples of screencast tutorials that I've been working on.
  • Methods of Teacher Evaluation

      • Evaluation of Teachers, or of Teaching, for Improving Learning Outcomes?

      • BH01
      • Mon 02/06, 12:45PM - 1:15PM
      • by David Meltzer
      • Type: Invited
      • Many studies have been done to evaluate effectiveness of physics instruction, e.g.: How well do students learn physics concepts, problem-solving skills, or scientific process skills, or develop expert-like attitudes? The wide range of studies reflects the diversity of teaching goals. The clear result from decades of research is that the most important factor in effective instruction is the nature of the instructional methods and curricular materials. The same instructor can get very good, very bad, or very average outcomes from the same group of students, depending on the goals and the methods and materials employed. Other research has demonstrated that the same instructor using the same materials may obtain very different outcomes depending on the background and preparation of the students. I will argue that attempts to adduce "instructor-dependent" effects that are independent of methods, materials, and students, are largely spurious, impractical, and obstructive of effecting genuine improvements in instruction.
      • Evaluating the Colorado LA Program as a Teacher Preparation Program

      • BH02
      • Mon 02/06, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Kara Gray
      • Type: Invited
      • Research on teacher preparation has resulted in inconclusive findings due to diversity of programs, lack of controls, and reliance on self-reports. We conducted a quasi-experimental study on the effects of the Colorado LA program on preparing secondary science and math teachers using a "control group." We compared teaching practices of teachers who entered the traditional teacher certification program directly to those who first participated in the Colorado LA Program. We report on results of two methodologies for investigating teachers' classroom practices -- classroom observations using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) [1] and Scoop Notebooks [2], artifact packages compiled and submitted by teachers. We will discuss findings from both data sources, as well as the relative advantages and disadvantages of each. The LA program serves as a supplement to traditional programs. Significant differences will be discussed as well as conjectures about aspects that seem to be critical for influencing classroom practices.
      • Exploring Pre-Service Science Teacher Learning in a Museum-University Partnership

      • BH03
      • Mon 02/06, 1:45PM - 1:55PM
      • by Richard Steinberg
      • Type: Contributed
      • CLUSTER (The Collaboration for Leadership in Urban Science Teaching, Evaluation, and Research) is a partnership of the City College of New York, the New York Hall of Science, and the City University of New York's Center for Advanced Study in Education. The goal of the partnership is to design a model to recruit and prepare undergraduate science majors to become high school science teachers. The project integrates formal education, informal education, and education research. In this presentation, we describe both the model and several of the techniques that we are using to gauge our success at working with these pre-service science teachers.
      • Evaluating Teacher Candidates' Inquiry Instruction and Academic Language Development

      • BH04
      • Mon 02/06, 1:55PM - 2:05PM
      • by Katy Nilsen
      • Type: Contributed
      • Inquiry instruction and promoting students' use of academic language oftenrequire opposing instructional strategies. For instance, learning through inquiry means allowing students to construct an understanding of scientific phenomena through the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, whereas developing students' academic language usually necessitates modeling and scaffolding on the part of the instructor. However, in order for a science teacher to be successful and meet the needs of all students, (s)he must master these different techniques. The researchers plan to review secondary science Performance Assessments for California Teachers (PACTs) that scored high in both areas to detail how these teacher candidates were successfully able to teach inquiry science and address individual students' language needs.
  • SPS Undergraduate Research and Outreach

      • SPS Outreach: Celebrating a Century of Revolution

      • BI01
      • Mon 02/06, 12:45PM - 1:15PM
      • by Erin Grace
      • Type: Invited
      • One of the motivating goals of the Society of Physics Students (SPS)* is providing science outreach to colleges and their local communities. This year marks the 10th year of SPS's Science Outreach Catalyst Kit (SOCK) program. The 2011 kit's theme is "A Century of Revolution," which celebrates Rutherford's discovery of the atomic nucleus using the results of the Gold Foil Experiment. The kits were sent to SPS chapters who used the included activities and demonstrations in outreach events. In one activity, students solve a "gold robbery" by learning about collisions. Another activity is a model for the Gold Foil Experiment, in which students discover the contents of a mystery box. A lesson on nuclear fission includes a dramatic demonstration of chain reactions using mousetraps and Ping Pong balls. This talk will present the development of the 2011 SPS SOCK.
      • Radiation Induced Structural Changes in Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene

      • BI02
      • Mon 02/06, 1:15PM - 1:25PM
      • by Rui Li
      • Type: Contributed
      • Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) is one component of the roughly 750,000 hip and knee replacements implanted annually in the United States. This material, which serves as cartilage in the artificial joint, exhibits in vivo wear properties known to be affected by a required manufacturing sterilization step, irradiation. Manufacturers exploit the effects of irradiation to improve wear by varying the dose. In this research, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to investigate changes in UHMWPE microstructure with varying radiation dose. Results show that the degree of cross-linking is not monotonic with radiation dose. Structural features associated with cross-linking are at first enhanced with increasing radiation dose but then subside at higher doses. We theorize that radiation changes dominant bonds, allowing for the formation of new molecular structures which affect the degree of cross-linking. This study may provide an explanation of wear mechanisms and suggest optimal parameters for UHMWPE manufacturing.
      • Electrodeposition and Characterization of Nanoporous Nickel-Copper AlloyFilms

      • BI03
      • Mon 02/06, 1:25PM - 1:35PM
      • by Evan Nelsen
      • Type: Contributed
      • Nanostructured materials have a number of interesting properties such as high surface area and enhanced reactivity. This project focuses on creating and characterizing nickel-copper alloy thin films. Using a BAS Epsilon electrochemical workstation and a Teflon electrochemical cell, nickel-copper thin films were deposited from solution onto uniformly gold-plated silicon wafers at various potentials. The resulting samples' structure and composition were examined using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive Spectrometry (EDS). The capacitance of the samples was measured in order to estimate their roughness. Moreover, copper was electrochemically removed from samples deposited using a specific deposit potential. The resulting nanoporous samples' structure, composition and capacitance were then analyzed. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF-REU Grant No. PHY/DMR-1104811, NSF-RUI Grant No. DMR-1104725 and NSF-MRI Grant No. CHE-0959282.
      • Life as a Hilltern

      • BI04
      • Mon 02/06, 1:35PM - 1:45PM
      • by Courtney Lemon
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Mather Policy Intern Program, conducted through the Society of PhysicsStudents, is an innovative internship encouraging physics students to get involved in science policy. Funded by the John and Jane Mather Foundation for Science and the Arts and the American Institute of Physics, Mather Interns spend a summer at the Capitol, working as congressional interns for a representative or committee. As the first female student inducted into the Mather Policy Intern program, Courtney Lemon presents Life as a Hilltern, her summer working with Representative Rush Holt, the only physicist currently serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.
      • Proper Care and Feeding of a Dynamic SPS Chapter.

      • BI05
      • Mon 02/06, 1:45PM - 1:55PM
      • by Brooke Haag
      • Type: Contributed
      • Advising a physics club at a two-year college can be a rewarding venture. Though rewarding, it does require a good amount of hard work to promote the goals of an SPS chapter consisting of a group of freshman and sophomore students with only the occasional physics major. By focusing on several specific goals, Hartnell college?s SPS chapter consistently attracts a loyal following of students willing to dedicate the time and energy necessary for a robust program. The club has earned national recognition as well as a local reputation as one of the best and longest?lived clubs on campus. In this talk, recommendations for guiding a successful club will be presented. In addition, past mistakes, potential pitfalls, and future plans will be discussed.
      • The Role of Student Culture in the Science Classroom

      • BI06
      • Mon 02/06, 1:55PM - 2:05PM
      • by Ebony Moore
      • Type: Contributed
      • The chemistry and physics department at Chicago State University has been involved in curriculum development and education research projects that target urban physics learners from the community on the south side of Chicago. As a result of this work we have begun to recognize specific cultural norms that our students bring to the science class. In some instances student culture aligns with the classroom environment and in other instances they conflict. In this talk we explore aspects of student culture at CSU and describe how an understanding of student culture may be used to improve the scientific learning environment.
      • Modeling the Motion of a Magnet in the Presence of a Conductor

      • BI07
      • Mon 02/06, 2:05PM - 2:15PM
      • by Matthew Kemnetz
      • Type: Contributed
      • We plan to develop an analytical model of magnetic damping. Magnetic damping occurs when a magnet moves in proximity to a conductor. The changing magnetic field produces an electric field, which generates currents in the conductor. These eddy currents then produce a magnetic field that opposes the motion of the magnet. This phenomenon is utilized in the braking systems of hybrid cars, some trains, and roller coasters. The major benefit of magnetic braking is that an object can be slowed down without losing energy to friction. The kinetic energy of an object is converted directly into electrical energy. For this reason, magnetic damping is fundamental to the development of future technology in regenerative braking. Magnetic braking is extensively used in industry where computational methods are employed to accurately model magnetic braking. Our improved analytical model will provide an excellent benchmark for any computational models.
  • Frontiers in Space Exploration

      • Exploring the Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope

      • CA01
      • Mon 02/06, 6:00PM - 6:30PM
      • by Heidi Hammel
      • Type: Invited
      • The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is NASA's next Great Observatory, the scientific successor to both the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes. Its scientific equipment will include several cameras to produce amazing images in the tradition of Hubble. JWST will see the first galaxies to form in the universe, and explore how stars are born and develop planetary systems. It will examine planets around other stars to investigate their potential for life, and study planets within our own Solar System. This innovative telescope represents a major step forward in technology, with a segmented mirror three times larger than Hubble that operates a million miles away in the cold, dark environment of Earth's Lagrange 2 point. Dr. Heidi B. Hammel is one of the six Interdisciplinary Scientists for this cutting-edge facility. In her talk, she will give a sneak preview of JWST's anticipated science and discuss the telescope's current status.
      • The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX)

      • CA02
      • Mon 02/06, 6:30PM - 7:00PM
      • by David McComas
      • Type: Invited
      • The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) remotely observes the global interaction of our heliosphere (the region dominated by the Sun) with the local interstellar medium. IBEX provided the first all-sky maps of Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENAs) emanating from the heliospheric boundaries at energies from ~0.1-6 keV. The IBEX team discovered a smoothly varying, globally distributed ENA flux overlaid by a narrow "ribbon" of significantly enhanced ENA emissions. Since the publication of these results (Science, 2009) IBEX discovered time variations in the interaction, separated the ribbon from distributed fluxes, inferred ion source temperatures, and carried out many other observational and theoretical studies of the outer heliosphere. In addition, IBEX made the first observations of ENAs produced by backscatter and neutralization of the solar wind from the lunar regolith and provided the first energy and angle resolved ENA images of the subsolar magnetosheath, magnetospheric cusps, and terrestrial plasma sheet.
  • Teaching Physics Around the World

      • The World Conference on Physics Education and Its Predecessors*

      • CB01
      • Mon 02/06, 6:00PM - 6:30PM
      • by Dean Zollman
      • Type: Invited
      • Each year several international organizations sponsor conferences that focus on the teaching and learning of physics. In 2012 most of these organizations are working together to create the first World Conference on Physics Education in Istanbul, 1-6 July. This conference is envisioned to be somewhat different from a typical conference in which individuals present papers and posters. Instead, it will be a working conference that will help build collaborations related to physics education research and development. The World Conference is being organized by the Groupe International de Recherche sur l'Enseignement de la Physique (GIREP) and the International Commission on Physics Education (ICPE) and endorsed by Latin American Physics Education Network (LAPEN), the Multimedia in Physics Teaching and Learning Group (MPTL), the Asian Physics Education Network (AsPEN) and AAPT. The regular conferences of each of these groups have unique characteristics and goals. Thus, the World Conference will combine features from these meetings, but also be a unique effort. How these conferences led to the format for the World Conference and plans for combined meetings beyond the first World Conference will be discussed.
      • Rethinking the Experimental Curriculum

      • CB02
      • Mon 02/06, 6:30PM - 7:00PM
      • 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 which 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 which 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, in particular on the consensus reached among faculty and students regarding which skills and competences are, in fact, most important and how we are changing our curriculum to provide explicit education in these areas. In addition, the results of the first terms experience in this process and our evaluation procedures will be discussed.
      • Cultural Content Knowledge as a Goal of Physics Education

      • CB03
      • Mon 02/06, 7:00PM - 7:10PM
      • by Igal Galili
      • Type: Contributed
      • The framework of discipline-culture suggested earlier for teaching physicstheories in a cultural manner was applied by our physics education research group in Jerusalem. Within this perspective, physics knowledge appears as dynamic and structured. The correspondent curriculum aims at the Cultural Content Knowledge (CCK) (1) of physics exposing the fundamental theories of physics as stemming from the constructive dialogue of several paradigmatic ideas and models that establish the required for learning space of variation. Within the European project HIPST we developed several excurses into the history and philosophy of important physical concepts. (1) Galili, I. (2011). 'Promotion of Content Cultural Knowledge through the use of the History and Philosophy of Science', Science & Education, DOI 10.1007/s11191-011-9376-x.
  • AP Physics B

      • Development of the Two Course Model for AP Physics B

      • CC01
      • Mon 02/06, 6:00PM - 6:30PM
      • by Deborah Roudebush
      • Type: Invited
      • The focus of the first of two presentations on the new AP Physics 1 and 2 courses is to provide a holistic look into the two-year curriculum that will be replacing the current one-year curriculum for the AP Physics B course. The new courses, AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2, divide the current content material into two independent courses to align with best practices by increasing student exposure to academic rigor, deeper conceptual understanding, and problem-solving investigations. The history of the redesign process will recap the research behind the decision to split the current AP Physics B into the two new courses. This will include an overview of discussions related to college equivalence.
      • Development of the Two Course Model for AP Physics B

      • CC02
      • Mon 02/06, 6:30PM - 7:00PM
      • by Connie Wells
      • Type: Invited
      • The focus of the second of two presentations on the AP Physics 1 and 2 courses is to guide the audience through the new AP Physics 1 and 2 Curriculum Framework that clearly defines what students will be expected to know and do by the end of each course. An overview of the guiding science practices that are now paired with essential knowledge in physics to produce student learning outcomes for each course will be provided, along with examples of how these learning objectives will be used to inform the dramatic changes in test questions for the new exams--including the emphasis on inquiry-based exam questions. The most recent released information from The College Board will be shared with the audience.
  • Best Practices in the Use of Educational Technologies

      • ComPADRE for the Classroom

      • CE01
      • Mon 02/06, 6:00PM - 6:30PM
      • by Bruce Mason
      • Type: Invited
      • For nearly a decade, the ComPADRE editors and staff have been providing a wide range of content and services to physics teachers and learners. This presentation will provide a whirlwind tour of some of the many ways that ComPADRE is being used to support physics classes. Ranging from editor-created resource collections for physical science topics to active learning in upper-level physics classes and from our members' personal collections to partnerships with curriculum developers, this talk will highlight some examples of how the ComPADRE technology impacts the teaching and learning of physics.
      • Teaching Physics with PhET Simulations: Engaging Students and Increasing Learning

      • CE02
      • Mon 02/06, 6:30PM - 7:00PM
      • by Katherine Perkins
      • Type: Invited
      • The PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado offers over 100 free simulations (sims) for teaching and learning physics and chemistry. These sims are now widely used across grade levels--more than 22 million uses per year, from ninth grade physical science to introductory college physics to quantum mechanics. Each sim is based on education research and offers an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through scientist-like exploration, where dynamic visual representations make the invisible visible, and where science ideas are connected to real-world phenomena. With their flexible design, PhET sims are used in many ways--as demos, homeworks, or inexpensive, accessible lab alternatives--and getting started is easy with our database of over 500 activities. Here we will highlight examples of how sims can be effectively incorporated into courses, guided by our research and experience of using them in middle school through college classes.
      • Analyzing the Real World Motion of Humans, Mammals and Machines

      • CE03
      • Mon 02/06, 7:00PM - 7:10PM
      • by Jitendra Sharma
      • Type: Contributed
      • The ubiquity of GPS technology allows the capture of the time varying position vector for any moving object on the surface of the Earth, and contains all the kinematics of the motion. If the mass of the moving object is known, the energy transactions involved in the motion can be inferred. A few case studies involving human, mammal, and machine movement will be presented. The thermodynamic efficiency associated with the movement can be calculated along with the energy/fuel consumed in the motion. The relation of the thermodynamic efficiency of mammals to fractal geometry will be illustrated. The exploration of the phase plots associated with the motion opens up several opportunities for scientific interpretation/writing and discovery based learning. For the most part, students are involved in the motion and this helps them connect the physical principles to their experiential domain.
      • Using MBL as an Educational Technology in Introductory Physics

      • CE04
      • Mon 02/06, 7:10PM - 7:20PM
      • by Thomas O'Kuma
      • Type: Contributed
      • Microcomputer-Based Laboratory (MBL) has been around for over two decades.Coupled with research-based curriculum and ideas, MBL is a powerful tool for aiding student understanding of physics concepts. In this talk, I will discuss some of the MBL activities that we have implemented during this time with some student results.
      • Moving from Multiple Choice to Alphanumeric Clickers

      • CE05
      • Mon 02/06, 7:20PM - 7:30PM
      • by Matt Evans
      • Type: Contributed
      • Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. I say that unexamined clicker use is not worth using. After using standard five-response MC clickers for over six years, I switched to technology that supported alphanumeric entry and had to look carefully at the implementation of the new technology in my classroom. I will share instances where this expanded technology has helped me delve deeper into student understanding, and additionally where I feel the old system continues to excel.
  • Physics and Society Education

      • General Science Materials for Developing Students' Scientific Iiteracy: Part I

      • CF01
      • Mon 02/06, 6:00PM - 6:10PM
      • by Jeff Marx
      • Type: Contributed
      • Under an award from the National Science Foundation, we have begun the development, implementation, and assessment of undergraduate, general-science-level course materials 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 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, the first of two talks, we will present our arguments for why such materials are important, provide a general overview of how our materials are organized, and outline the various facets of scientific literacy addressed by our materials. Finally, we will discuss the progress of implementation at the speaker's home institute.
      • General Science Materials for Developing Students' Scientific Literacy: Part II

      • CF02
      • Mon 02/06, 6:10PM - 6:20PM
      • by Karen Cummings
      • Type: Contributed
      • Under an award from the National Science Foundation, we have begun the development, implementation, and assessment of undergraduate, general-science-level course materials with a primary and explicit goal of improving students' scientific reasoning ability, science process skills, and understanding of the nature of science. In this, the second of two talks, we will present examples of materials under development and discuss the progress of implementation at the speaker's home institute.
      • Evidence of Student Success: Integrating Projects and Technology to Enhance the Learning of Physics Concepts

      • CF03
      • Mon 02/06, 6:20PM - 6:30PM
      • by Capitola Phillips
      • Type: Contributed
      • Physical Science faculty at NorthWest Arkansas Community College have developed a curriculum-driven, project-based learning model to enhance the learning of physics concepts in Introductory Physical Science courses (EMPACTS -Educationally Managed Projects Advancing Curriculum, Technology/Teams and Service). Learning is enhanced as students create their own learning experiences through the application of course content, use of collaborative projects and integration of technology and service. Students grow as students, individuals, and team members as they hone written and oral communication skills and learn new skills through the use of technology and collaboration within the community. Attitude and content assessments show a positive increase in student knowledge and dispositions in Astronomy, Intro to Physical Science and Physics and Human Affairs courses.
      • Communicating Science to Our Students and the Public

      • CF04
      • Mon 02/06, 6:30PM - 6:40PM
      • by Gordon Aubrecht, II
      • Type: Contributed
      • Unless something is done, millennium-length consequences of the greenhousegases we have already released will cause harm to the planet. Groups of people supported by political forces and money have decided that denial of scientific data is not only reasonable, but a moral force that opposes that of stewardship. I characterize these people as "denialists," to distinguish them from true skeptics, scientists who must be skeptical to do their work. Denialists have succored the people who just want the problem to go away by sowing doubt about scientific integrity and distorting the meaning of scientific uncertainty. How scientists can change the framing of the issue and how individual scientists can influence the public through reasoning with fellow citizens and writing letters to their local papers countering misinformation is the focus of this talk.
      • Modern Superstition: What Can a Physics Teacher do About It?

      • CF05
      • Mon 02/06, 6:40PM - 6:50PM
      • by Sadri Hassani
      • Type: Contributed
      • Modern superstition has many faces and too many advocates. Some of these advocates are intellectuals---academic and nonacademic---who (ab)use science to attack science. One group, which has done considerable damage to the reputation of science among the faculty and students in humanities, is those philosophers of science who question the traditional scientific methodology and suggest certain nonscientific---even antiscientific---alternatives. As one of many examples of what we can do to educate our students about modern superstition, I will discuss Galileo's discovery of the first law of motion and differentiate between scientific methodology that led to that law and the methodology advocated by some philosophers of science. I'll also look at some absurd conclusions to which that methodology can lead.
      • Physics Education Policy -- A Call to Action

      • CF06
      • Mon 02/06, 6:50PM - 7:00PM
      • by Philip Hammer
      • Type: Contributed
      • STEM education as a policy priority is becoming increasingly visible in Washington, D.C., as the President, business leaders, professional societies, and yes, even Congress, recognize that continued revitalization of STEM education in the U.S. is vital to our nation's near-term and long-term national security and economic viability. Yet, the enduring recession and political gridlock are creating roadblocks for continued investments and reforms in science education that AAPT members have promoted through research, professional development, and practice. Our community has developed a rich body of research-validated pedagogies, and a national network of teacher preparation and professional development programs "most funded by NSF " yet we now find ourselves with an uncertain future in which there are no national mechanisms for scaling and sustaining what works. This is a political problem with important implications to the scholarship and practice of physics education, and hence to health of the profession. AAPT and AIP are leading a group of physical science organizations to propose a set of physical science education policy priorities in anticipation of Congress's reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, the major U.S. law governing K-12 education in the U.S. These priorities will guide our communications to Congress, yet in the current political climate, we need to balance this national approach with serious local, grass-roots mobilization of our community. In other words, physics teachers need to become active agents of political change in their community and engage their members of Congress to illustrate the local impact of decisions made in D.C. This talk will summarize the current federal budget situation, outline policy priorities for physical science education, and provide tips for becoming an active local proponent for public policies that improve physics education in the U.S.
      • Global Warming in the Media: Science or Pseudoscience?

      • CF07
      • Mon 02/06, 7:00PM - 7:10PM
      • by Lynnette Hoerner
      • Type: Contributed
      • In the ongoing media discussion on global warming, it is sometimes difficult for the public to distinguish valid scientific claims from political rhetoric. This workshop covers a series of hands-on activities through which students explore the difference between pseudoscience and science. The activities promote an understanding of the scientific process and help students recognize the characteristics of true science. Students then use critical thinking to evaluate claims that appear to be scientific, ranging from those made by astrology to Newton's laws. They then participate in a research project and a laboratory activity to investigate the science behind the global warming debate. Finally, they apply what they have learned to critically and scientifically assess this important topic, separating the science from the hype. Electronic copies of the activities will be available to all attendees.
  • Undergraduate Research and Two-Year Colleges

      • Tapping the Potential of All Students: Undergraduate Research at Community Colleges

      • CG01
      • Mon 02/06, 6:00PM - 6:30PM
      • by Nancy Hensel
      • Type: Invited
      • The Council on Undergraduate Research currently has a National Science Foundation grant to work with about 100 community colleges to assist them in developing undergraduate research programs. . Nearly 50% of all students in higher education begin their education at a community college. Community colleges prepare students to transfer to four year colleges and to work as technicians in scientific jobs. For students who want to transfer, it is important that they have undergraduate research experiences early in their education as it will make the transfer process easier. Industry has suggested that students with undergraduate research experiences are more effective technicians than those without research experiences. Community colleges also prepare a significant number of underrepresented students and their participation in undergraduate research can increase the number of minority students who will become researchers, doctors, science writers and policy makers. This session will describe approaches to undergraduate research at two year colleges.
      • Research and the Advancement of STEM Majors in Two-Year Colleges

      • CG02
      • Mon 02/06, 6:30PM - 7:00PM
      • by David Brown
      • Type: Invited
      • Undergraduate research is a mechanism through which students can strengthen their critical thinking skills, establish connections between various subjects in their discipline curricula and mature as scientists and engineers. Government agencies and professional organizations, such as the National Science Foundation and the Council on Undergraduate Research, have supported efforts to increase the number of community colleges who participate in undergraduate research activities. This presentation will share examples of means of support for undergraduate research on the national level and will provide specific examples of research activities undertaken by community college students that have led them from laboratories at Southwestern College to the halls of the U.S. Congress.
      • Mentoring Student Research at the Two Year College.

      • CG03
      • Mon 02/06, 7:00PM - 7:30PM
      • by Martin Mason
      • Type: Invited
      • Over the past decade our program has placed a strong emphasis on student research by offering research courses for credit, hosting an annual research conference for lower division STEM students, providing seminars and mentoring on applying for summer REU programs, building collaborations with local four-year institutions to place students in research opportunities, and having active faculty research programs on campus that are accessible to lower division students. This emphasis on student research grows out of the project-based orientation of the introductory physics courses which provide a template for independent student work. An active student research program has helped to create increased interest and retention in STEM majors, an increase in transfer to R1 programs and a reinvigoration of faculty.
  • Teaching methods for physics teacher preparation

      • Using the Learning Cycle for Teaching Methods for Physics Teacher Preparation

      • CH01
      • Mon 02/06, 6:00PM - 6:30PM
      • by Lawrence Escalada
      • Type: Invited
      • The University of Northern Iowa offers undergraduate secondary science teacher preparation programs in physics, chemistry, earth science, biology, all science, and middle/junior high school science. Programs like the BA Physics Major-Teaching are within the appropriate departments of the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences. Students in these programs complete professional teacher education courses and secondary science methods courses that involve extensive field experiences at the university laboratory school and at local schools. Physics teaching majors and others with a physical science emphasis take a methods for teaching physical science course prior to student teaching. In this course, students are introduced to the learning cycle and various learning cycle curricula including Physics Resources and Instructional Strategies for Motivating Students (PRISMS) PLUS. Students develop and teach learning cycle lessons with feedback provided by the instructor and classroom teacher. The course and methods used will be described along with the challenges of teaching the course.
      • Preparing Future Physics Teachers for Every-day Challenges of a High School Classroom

      • CH02
      • Mon 02/06, 6:30PM - 7:00PM
      • by Eugenia Etkina
      • Type: Invited
      • Have you thought of what any physics teacher needs to know? First comes physics itself, its final product (all those concepts and equations) and the process. Then comes the knowledge of learners. Finally, the most complex of all, is the Pedagogical Content Knowledge, or PCK that helps teachers choose and implement productive instructional strategies coupled with meaningful assessment. But wait, where does learning to plan instruction fit? Where is learning to make physics exciting and meaningful for the students? Where is helping high school students develop their physics identities? Where are the intricate details of kinematics, dynamics, energy, etc. The list of "where is" is infinite? Is it possible for a teacher "in-the-making" to master even 10% of this? In this talk I will describe how the Rutgers program that has been producing large numbers of physics teachers answered the above questions.
      • Learning to Identify and Value Children's Ideas through Informal Science

      • CH03
      • Mon 02/06, 7:00PM - 7:10PM
      • by Danielle Harlow
      • Type: Contributed
      • We document the results of integrating informal science into a teacher education program. In this study, pre-service teachers facilitated stations at a family science night as a context for them to learn to identify, assess, and use children's science ideas. Assessment is already difficult in K-12 classrooms. Assessing learning in informal learning environments adds the complication that participation is largely voluntary. As such, controlling the learners' participation in ways that allow for systematic assessment of learning is counter to the intents of informal environments. We found that the student teachers self-reported greater self-efficacy and developed understandings about children's science ideas. Data included reflective postings by the pre-service teachers, class discussions, observations, written work, artifacts, and photographs. The findings contribute to understanding the value of multiple types of learning contexts in teacher preparation and lead to implications about leveraging a greater system of science education for educating our children and teachers.
      • Physics Learning Assistants' Perspectives on Development of Reflective Teaching Practice

      • CH04
      • Mon 02/06, 7:10PM - 7:20PM
      • by Geraldine Cochran
      • Type: Contributed
      • One of the goals of the Learning Assistants (LAs) Program at Florida International University is to help our LAs, prospective science and mathematics teachers, to develop reflective teaching practices. We endeavor to accomplish this by means of weekly content meetings with faculty members, weekly reflective homework assignments, and classroom discussions as a part of the LA Seminar course on science education and theory, and opportunities for teaching. To better understand the needs of our LAs in developing reflective teaching practice and their perspective on the relationship between their teaching experiences and their development of reflective teaching practice, we interviewed three of our physics LAs. Analysis of these interviews revealed LA perspectives on 1) how LAs engage in reflection, 2) experiences that spark their engagement in reflection, and 3) their perspective on efforts to help them develop reflective teaching practices.
      • Adoption of Community Practices by Experienced Physics Teachers Through Peer-Instruction

      • CH05
      • Mon 02/06, 7:20PM - 7:30PM
      • by Wendi Wampler
      • Type: Contributed
      • Adoption of reform-based curricula among physics instructors has been a point of interest in the physics education community. Oregon State University (OSU) and local community colleges are collaborating on a grant to promote department-wide, team-based, curricular reform. The purpose of this project is three-fold: to better coordinate our introductory courses, to develop and share the best of our curricular activities, and to document the shared knowledge in a way that helps incoming/rotating instructors adopt the courses. This talk will present a case study of an experienced instructor who is new to physics education research. We observed the instructor in lecture classes, conducted post-class interviews, and examined discussions during faculty development workshops. The focus will be on the instructor engaged in community discourse and in the process of adopting structural, pedagogical and curricular reforms in introductory calculus based physics.
  • Teaching Across the Science Curricula: Engaging Students in Physics Curricula

      • From Motors to Proteins

      • CI01
      • Mon 02/06, 6:00PM - 6:10PM
      • by Janet Sheung
      • Type: Contributed
      • Biophysics has been an exciting, active field of research for the past three decades, yet to this day few physics classes below the graduate level devote any time to this topic. We present a lesson developed in collaboration between researchers at the University of Illinois and local high school science teachers, which introduces students to an important protein whose job is to move cargo across the cells in our bodies. By drawing analogies between it and a motor doing work, students perform a guided, hands-on experiment where they use their knowledge of physics to make the same measurements on their fellow classmates as physicists made on this protein, to determine which is the more efficient motor. This lesson ties together disparate concepts such as displacement, refraction, springs, work, and statistics, and presents them in a relevant context. It will give students first-hand experience with the interdisciplinary nature of cutting-edge research.
      • Improved Science Preparation in the Elementary Education Curriculum

      • CI02
      • Mon 02/06, 6:10PM - 6:20PM
      • by Robert Culbertson
      • Type: Contributed
      • The curriculum for elementary education majors at Arizona State Universityis going through a major revision. In addition to an increase in mathematics credits and other requirements, the science requirements have been increased to three courses plus a signature course in sustainability. In parallel with this curriculum revision, 40 new courses, including eight science courses, are being developed for elementary education majors under the Teaching Foundations Project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education. These courses and all associated course materials will soon be available for distribution. Two of the science courses, Music in Motion: The Design and Construction of Musical Instruments, and Physical Universe, will be described.
      • Using Backwards Faded Scaffolding to Support ASTRO101 Inquiry Teaching

      • CI03
      • Mon 02/06, 6:20PM - 6:30PM
      • by Timothy Slater
      • Type: Contributed
      • In the course of learning astronomy, it is generally accepted that successful science learning experiences should result in learners developing a meaningful understanding of the nature of science as inquiry where: (i) students are engaged in questions; (ii) students are designing plans to pursue data; and (iii) students are generating and defending conclusions based on evidence they have collected. We are field-testing a series of computer-mediated, inquiry-learning experiences for non-science majoring undergraduates in introductory astronomy, ASTRO101, based upon an inquiry-oriented teaching approach framed by the notions of backwards faded-scaffolding as an overarching theme for instruction. Backwards faded-scaffolding is a strategy where the linear scientific method is turned on its head and students are first taught how to create conclusions based on evidence, then how experimental design creates evidence, and then supports students inventing scientifically appropriate questions. Supported by NSF.
      • Biomedical Physics for Life Sciences Students and Physics Majors

      • CI04
      • Mon 02/06, 6:30PM - 6:40PM
      • by Fang Liu
      • Type: Contributed
      • The growing number of premedicine and pre-physical therapy students has influenced the development of an undergraduate level biomedical physics course for both life sciences students and physics majors. The primary objective of this course is for students to develop a basic understanding of the key physical principles underlying biological applications and medical technologies. In this course students are introduced to the following topics: biomechanics in sport medicine, exponential growth and decay in medicine, ultrasound, X ray, Computed Tomography, ionizing radiation and radioactivity, nuclear medicine, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, radiation therapy and radiation safety. As a result the application-oriented objective helped students engage with course materials and enabled students to appreciate the deep connections between the physical and life sciences.
      • Estimating the Size of Onion Epidermal Cells from Diffraction Patterns

      • CI05
      • Mon 02/06, 6:40PM - 6:50PM
      • by Jeffrey Groff
      • Type: Contributed
      • Bioscience and pre-medical profession students are a major demographic served by introductory physics courses at many colleges and universities. Exposing these students to biological applications of physical principles will help them to appreciate physics as a useful tool for their future professions. An experiment suitable for introductory physics is described where principles of wave optics are applied to probe the size of onion epidermal cells. The epidermis tissue is composed of cells of relatively uniform size and shape so the tissue acts like a one-dimensional transmission diffraction grating. The diffraction patterns generated when a laser beam passes through the tissue are analyzed to estimate the average width of individual onion epidermal cells. These results can be compared to direct measurements taken using a light microscope. The use of microscopes and plant-cell tissue slides create opportunities for cross-discipline collaboration between physics and biology instructors.
      • Using the MCAT as a Syllabus for Your Physics Course

      • CI06
      • Mon 02/06, 6:50PM - 7:00PM
      • by Donald Franklin
      • Type: Contributed
      • When preparing Life Science majors who are looking at medical careers, it becomes important to look at the core test they must take. Look at the physics requirements and adjust your syllabus to cover this material. Two major topics appear: Use of engineering code for math problems and applications of math problems to their field. Looking for solutions? Explore the material that is available to the instructor.
  • Crackerbarrel for Physics Education Researchers

      • Crackerbarrel for Physics Education Researchers

      • CRKL01
      • Mon 02/06, 11:45AM - 12:45PM
      • by
      • Type: Cracker Barrel
  • Crackerbarrel: Planning The Next Two-Year College Tandem Meeting

      • Crackerbarrel: Planning The Next Two-Year College Tandem Meeting

      • CRKL02
      • Mon 02/06, 11:45AM - 12:45PM
      • by
      • Type: Cracker Barrel
  • Crackerbarrel: Physics and Society

      • Crackerbarrel: Physics and Society

      • CRKL03
      • Mon 02/06, 11:45AM - 12:45PM
      • by
      • Type: Cracker Barrel
  • Crackerbarrel for PER Graduate Students

      • Crackerbarrel for PER Graduate Students

      • CRKL04
      • Tue 02/07, 12:15PM - 1:15PM
      • by
      • Type: Cracker Barrel
  • Crackerbarrel: Future Directions of the Committee on Physics in Two-Year Colleges

      • Crackerbarrel: Future Directions of the Committee on Physics in Two-Year Colleges

      • CRKL05
      • Tue 02/07, 12:15PM - 1:15PM
      • by
      • Type: Cracker Barrel
  • Crackerbarrel: The Physics Educator

      • Crackerbarrel: The Physics Educator

      • CRKL06
      • Tue 02/07, 12:15PM - 1:15PM
      • by David Wolfe
      • Type: Cracker Barrel
      • Physics educators lack a single source from which to draw timely and concise information on professional development. In today's physics education journals, the scope of the articles is either limited to a specific education level or to type of educational institution. The American Association of Physics Teachers has decided to bring to physics educators a one-stop source on current topics in professional development that will stress the many aspects of teaching, learning, and research. This source will bring to the forefront issues of professional development important to physics education at all levels whether K-12, two-year college, four-year college, or university. To accomplish this goal, AAPT has decided to produce a new monthly online journal. The content will include guest editorials, summaries of articles with links to complete works, and more. An overview of the structure of this journal will be presented with suggestions on content entertained.
  • Crackerbarrel: Teaching Physics with Real World Problems

      • Crackerbarrel: Teaching Physics with Real World Problems

      • CRKL07
      • Wed 02/08, 11:30AM - 12:30PM
      • by
      • Type: Cracker Barrel
  • Using the Riches of Astronomy to Teach Physics

      • Using Black Holes and Extrasolar Planets to Teach Kepler's Laws

      • DA01
      • Tue 02/07, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Seth Hornstein
      • Type: Invited
      • Two popular topics in an introductory astronomy course are supermassive black holes and extrasolar planets. In this talk, I will discuss two labs/recitation activities that can be used to harness this interest to teach orbital properties. In the first activity, students are provided with a Lego Orrery (as designed by the Kepler Mission Education team) and, using a light sensor and computer, develop a relationship between orbital radius and period as well as a relationship between extrasolar planet radius and detected light intensity drop. In a second activity, students are given a plot of the orbits of stars around the supermassive black hole (SMBH) at the Galactic Center. Using the actual orbital elements, students use Newton's version of Kepler's third law to determine the mass of the SMBH. In both cases, students have reported enjoying the activities due to their portrayal of actual scientific methods and use of research-based data.
      • Solar Coronal Loops: Faraday Constrained

      • DA02
      • Tue 02/07, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Gordon Emslie
      • Type: Invited
      • Images of solar coronal loops in ultraviolet and X-ray radiation are used to motivate a discussion of Faraday's law of induction. Even though the resistivity of the solar atmosphere is similar to that of copper, the huge (~100,000 km) extent of a solar active region makes the overall resistance very small. Further, there is a limit to how much current can flow ? the limiting current density is given by the charge density times the local sound speed. This combination of low resistance and finite current severely restricts the voltage differences that can exist, and hence, by Faraday's law, the speed at which a current element in the solar atmosphere can cross magnetic field lines. As a result, the gas is effectively "frozen-in" to the magnetic field, resulting in the dramatic (and beautiful) manner in which radiating material delineates the loop-like magnetic field geometry of a solar active region.
      • Measurement of Spherical Balloon Circumference Using Eratosthenes' Method

      • DA03
      • Tue 02/07, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Seiji Takemae
      • Type: Contributed
      • We present an activity, based on Eratosthenes' method of estimating Earth's circumference, of measuring the circumference of an inflated rubber balloon. Suction-cup darts are attached to the surface of the balloon along a meridian. The experimental circumference is obtained from multiple measurements of shadows cast by the darts. This measurement is then compared with the circumference obtained using a cloth measuring tape. An assessment of uncertainties is given. The activity presented is suitable for astronomy, physics, or math classes or laboratories.
      • Kepler's Second Law and Conservation of Angular Momentum

      • DA04
      • Tue 02/07, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Pari Spolter
      • Type: Contributed
      • Kepler's second law is calculated for 18 planets and asteroids. It is shown that equal areas are swept in equal intervals of time only near the perihelion (P) and the aphelion (A). A highly significant relation between the ratio of the area swept at the average of P and A to the area swept at semimajor (S) in the same interval of time and the eccentricity is presented. The equation is ratio = a.eb+c with a = -0.617, b = 2, and c = 1.00. The correlation coefficient is 0.9975. The ratio is equal to the square root of one minus e square , which is equal to sin theta, where theta is the smaller angle between the two vectors v and r. Angular momentum is a vector perpendicular to the plane formed by v and r and is conserved, indicating that there is no torque in the direction vertical to the plane of the orbits.
  • Professional Exchanges for Physics Teachers at the College and Pre-college Levels

      • Exploring the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program

      • DB01
      • Tue 02/07, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by James Newton
      • Type: Invited
      • As a physics teacher I am naturally curious about the world around me andconstantly learning new things. Recently these two character traits led me half way around the world to a high school in India through the Fulbright Teacher Exchange. After researching several overseas teaching experiences, I found The Fulbright program to be the ideal vehicle for such an excursion. I am an advocate of other physics teachers taking part in the Fulbright program and hope to share my knowledge of the application, interview, selection, preparation, and ultimately participation in this program.
      • Fulbright Experience -- Teaching Introductory Physics in India

      • DB02
      • Tue 02/07, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Hasan Fakhruddin
      • Type: Invited
      • OBJECTIVE: To present the valuable Fulbright opportunities available to high school and college teachers to teach in another country; To share my own experience as a Fulbright Exchange Teacher in Fall 2008 in India. METHODOLOGY: The session will be interactive; will give a PowerPoint presentation regarding Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program. This includes history, information about various Fulbright educational programs, great overseas Fulbright teaching opportunity available to high school and college physics teachers, focus on Teachers Exchange program, application process, screening process, pre-departure meetings, Do's and Don'ts in the host country, Wrap up in the host country, Post-program events and activities, Question and Answer session.
      • The Einstein Fellowship and the Joint Science Education Project

      • DB03
      • Tue 02/07, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Shelly Hynes
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship is a one-year teacher fellowship open to STEM teachers in K-12 classrooms funded through the Department of Energy and managed by the Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology Education. Fellows live in Washington, D.C., and work within federal agencies or congressional offices to increase the federal government's understanding of STEM educational issues. In return, fellows gain insight and provide input into the STEM programs, policies and initiatives the federal government undertakes. My primary role at the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs is to lead the Joint Science Education Project (JSEP), a collaboration between Greenland, Denmark, and the U.S. where students participate in a research expedition to Greenland during the summer. Since its inception in 2008, JSEP has served 31 students and 13 teacher participants, directly impacting five schools in Greenland, four schools in Denmark, and seven schools in the United States.
      • LHC Physics: Teaching Ideas for Introducing High Energy Physics into the High School Classroom

      • DB04
      • Tue 02/07, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Kris Whelan
      • Type: Contributed
      • With the successes of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, students and teachers have developed more of an interest in high-energy physics. Particle physics, however, is often not included in the normal high school physics curriculum. QuarkNet, a program funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, has developed materials and resources that teachers can use in their classrooms. These resources have been developed by a group of teachers who have been selected and trained to be Fellows in the QuarkNet program. In addition, an LHC workshop is available for teachers who are members of one of the 50+ QuarkNet Centers in the United States. We will discuss teaching strategies as well as the QuarkNet program and will provide contact information for those who are interested in joining a center.
  • PER: Topical Understanding and Attitudes

      • Making Physics Comprehensible For ELL Students

      • DC01
      • Tue 02/07, 8:00AM - 8:10AM
      • by Thomas Haff
      • Type: Contributed
      • Many foreign students in our district have been and are placed into a highschool physics class because of their math skills and an assumption that vocabulary is less important than other courses. This has led to some interesting situations when dealing with ELL students. This talk will address that what a student may actually hear when direct instruction is used to explain concepts is different than what is intended. Some students do not have the necessary phonemes in their native language and are not use to hearing certain sounds. Thus misunderstanding and misconceptions can occur. It will also suggest some strategies to make Physics comprehensible for ELL students.
      • Using Physics History to Impact Student Learning and Attitude

      • DC02
      • Tue 02/07, 8:10AM - 8:20AM
      • by Sarah Garcia
      • Type: Contributed
      • The purpose of this study is to investigate student learning of Newtonian Mechanics through the study of its history and the development of the relevant ideas since the time of ancient Greece. The hypothesis is that not only will students learn the basic concepts of mechanics, but they also will develop a more positive attitude and appreciation for physics. To assess the students' conceptual understanding, we administer Force Concept Inventory (FCI) and for the measurement of student attitude change, we employed the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS); both were given as pre- and post-tests. Additionally, at the end of the quarter, a survey was given out to see how students perceived the different course components and which ones they found helpful in their learning. This paper will present our preliminary results on such a study.
      • Student Understanding and Application of the Dirac Delta Function

      • DC03
      • Tue 02/07, 8:20AM - 8:30AM
      • by David Donnelly
      • Type: Contributed
      • We will present the analysis of student responses to a survey designed to test their understanding of and ability to use the Dirac delta function to solve problems in an upper division electrodynamics course. Students were asked to solve three different problems involving the Delta function, and to articulate the reasoning they were using to solve the problem. Results indicate that: 1. students view two-dimensional and three-dimensional problems as independent concepts rather than one being a special case of the other. 2. Students understand the Dirac delta function as acting as a "localization operator", but are not able to employ the delta function in a mathematically formal way. 3. Students view the Dirac delta function as similar to the Kronecker delta. Namely that it is a piecewise continuous function.
      • Asymmetries and Hierarchies in Understanding Force, Velocity, and Acceleration

      • DC04
      • Tue 02/07, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by Andrew Heckler
      • Type: Contributed
      • We investigate student conceptual understanding of the relationships between the directions of net force, velocity, and acceleration in one dimension and report on data collected from over 650 students. Unlike previous work, we simultaneously studied all six possible conditional relations between force, velocity, and acceleration in order to obtain a coherent picture of student understanding of the relations between all three concepts. We found that there were asymmetries in responding to conditional relations. For example, students answered questions of the form "Given the velocity, what can be inferred about the net force?'' differently than converse questions: "Given the net force, what can be inferred about the velocity?'' Additionally, there was evidence of hierarchies in student responses, suggesting for example that understanding the relation between velocity and acceleration is necessary for understanding the relation between velocity and force, but the converse is not true.
      • Biographical Material in Teaching Physics

      • DC05
      • Tue 02/07, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by Genrikh Golin
      • Type: Contributed
      • "Science thrills us, when we are interested in the lives of famous scientists, we start to follow the history of their discoveries." (J.C. Maxwell ) Biographical material has to be based on concrete facts, and should constitute a part of the logical presentation of the information offered by the teacher. The deep understanding of the most important fundamental ideas, laws, and theories in the secondary school course of physics can often be achieved only by describing the scientist's road to discovery. For example, understanding the essence and significance of Newtonian mechanics can be achieved only by familiarizing the students with the history of overcoming Aristotelian ideas in physics. In this case "controversy over generations" between Aristotle and Galileo is the basic ground in studying of Newton's first law and Galileo's principle of relativity. In general, biographical material stimulates mastering the difficulties of the educational material by the students (especially by those for whom physics is their weak point). In this case, the explanation of new material should start from an illustrative example, showing the scientist's inventiveness, his diligence, and persistence in achieving the goal, etc. It is important to familiarize the students (especially those who like physics) with the style of the scientist's thinking. In their study of fundamental experimental discoveries and theories, the students' attention should be concentrated on the search for the right solution, on the hopes and doubts that characterize the creative process, on the evaluation of the discovery by the scientist himself--all this knowledge enables the students to develop the qualities of a future researcher.This approach to teaching helps the student to learn the scientific method in physics.
      • Research-based Instruction in Upper-division Physics Courses

      • DC06
      • Tue 02/07, 8:50AM - 9:00AM
      • by Michael Loverude
      • Type: Contributed
      • Research in physics education came of age in the context of introductory-level courses that serve students who are primarily non-physics majors. More recently, a number of researchers have extended this focus into the middle- and upper-division courses taken by physics majors. The apparent assumption in standard courses at this level has been that these students are well-matched to the lecture-based traditional curriculum and that understanding would naturally follow from mastery of mathematical techniques. In this talk, we examine these assumptions and document the response of physics majors in an upper-division course to research-based instructional strategies and standard and modified assessment strategies.
  • Wave Nature of Matter Part II

      • Simple Undergraduate Lab Experiment Showing the Quantized Conductance of Nanocontacts

      • DD01
      • Tue 02/07, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Donald Candela
      • Type: Invited
      • It was discovered over 20 years ago that the electrical conductance of nano-sized wires is quantized, directly demonstrating the wave nature of electrons in metals. Since then a wide variety of experiments have been devised to show the quantization of conductance. I describe our experience using the simplest possible setup, two wires loosely touching each other, in a junior-level teaching lab. A simple op-amp circuit and an oscilloscope complete the apparatus needed. I also describe how the physics of quantized conductance can be effectively taught to students who have not taken a course in solid-state physics. In particular, the conductance quantum can be derived without explicitly mentioning the concept of the density of states (although of course this concept is implicitly lurking in the derivation).
      • Stanford's Advanced Undergraduate Laboratory and An Example Project

      • DD02
      • Tue 02/07, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Katherine Luna
      • Type: Invited
      • I will present an overview of Stanford's most advanced undergraduate laboratory, where students select a project of interest and work in a team to carry it out during the quarter. One such project which I will discuss in detail is the superconductor-normal metal point-contact spectroscopy experiment between a niobium thin film and a gold tip. By measuring the differential conductance as a function of voltage (dI/dV vs V) and fitting this to Blonder-Tinkham-Klapwijk theory, one can obtain information about the superconducting energy gap, a lower bound on the Fermi velocity and coherence length. At a technical level, the project exposes the students to cryogenic measurements, mechanical instrument design, data acquisition and processing, and rudiments of the theory of superconductivity.
      • Exploring the Mechanical Effects of Light (and Other Wave/Particle Bombardments)

      • DD03
      • Tue 02/07, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Gabriel Spalding
      • Type: Contributed
      • Labs exploring the momentum and angular momentum carried by waves may be used to clarify student understanding on such issues as what "orbital" angular momentum means in the "stationary states" encountered in quantum mechanics.
  • Physics on Parade

      • Physics Outreach in the Northern Rockies

      • DE01
      • Tue 02/07, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Steven Shropshire
      • Type: Invited
      • Idaho State University Physics Outreach has many aspects, from workshops for teachers, demonstration presentations for schools and community groups, Science Olympics, science festivals, and a Haunted Science Lab. An overview of these programs will be presented, followed by a more detailed description of the mechanics and methods that have made physics outreach programs at ISU a success. Suggestions on how to get started with science outreach, get funding, involve student and community members, and convince your colleagues and administration that these efforts are worth supporting will be provided.
      • Public Engagement Benefits: Not Just for Kids Anymore

      • DE02
      • Tue 02/07, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Toni SAUNCY
      • Type: Invited
      • The Angelo State University Society of Physics Students chapter has been actively involved in a variety of different public engagement activities for over 10 years. Our efforts are aimed at K-12 students, and have been broad in scope, ranging from the adoption of a fifth grade class to audience style presentations for students at all grade levels. While the focus of these efforts claims to be the "enhancement of attitudes" for the audience participants, the benefits of these public engagement opportunities go well beyond getting the younger students excited about science. The undergraduate student presenters are also engaged as professional scientists; they are immersed in the true culture of scientific citizenship, taking ownership of not only the physics they present, but also the impact that they potentially have on the students with which they interact, and on the profession of physics in general. As undergraduate physics programs across the nation find themselves facing programmatic cuts, the value of engaging undergraduate students in purposeful service as a means of retention in the major should be well considered. Assessment of the programs, conducted by the undergraduate presenters has been a focus of our programs, with several years of statistically significant evidence pointing toward a positive impact for all involved.
      • Building Communication Skills and Motivating Students through Demonstration-based Physics Presentations

      • DE03
      • Tue 02/07, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Kathleen Hinko
      • Type: Invited
      • What is the role of a traveling demonstration show in the context of a broader informal science program? What is the impact on students as well as on the presenters? I will discuss the model for an exciting, single event, science presentation developed by the University of Texas at Austin, Physics Department for elementary, middle, and high school audiences. I will discuss the goals of this program, its facilitation, and the motivating impact it has on the students who see the presentation as well as the communication skills of university students who actively do the demonstrations. Additionally, I will present efforts from the JILA Physics Frontier Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder, to partner an after-school science program with a demonstration show to the mutual benefit of both programs.
  • Teaching Science Writing/Writing in Science

      • Science Notebooks: Tools to Promote Student Scientific Thinking and Teacher Formative Assessment

      • DF01
      • Tue 02/07, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Lezlie DeWater
      • Type: Invited
      • To better engage students' minds in their hands-on science explorations, elementary teachers in Seattle Public Schools (SPS) have implemented a nationally recognized writing program as an integral component of a well-established kit-based program. Use of science notebooks and expository writing provide the modeling, scaffolding, and support that budding young scientists need to reflect critically on, and make meaning of, their science experiences. At the same time the writing provides teachers with insights into student thinking and informs classroom practice. Because of a close collaboration between the instructors of the science methods courses at Seattle Pacific University and the SPS Science Program, participation in Seattle?s exemplary science writing workshops for inservice teachers is extended to all elementary teacher candidates. Strategies, student writing samples, and writing templates provided allow SPU students to implement science notebooks in their intern assignments. Examples of such strategies and student writing will be shared in this talk.
      • Beyond Google: Integrating Information Competencies into the Science Curriculum

      • DF02
      • Tue 02/07, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Marion Peters
      • Type: Invited
      • Released May 2011 and recently updated, the second edition of "InformationCompetencies for Chemistry Undergraduates: The elements of information literacy," http://units.sla.org/division/dche/il/cheminfolit.pdf, offers a model for other scientific disciplines. Among the sections included are these two, covering a) the library and scientific literature and b) scientific communication and ethical conduct, while developed for chemistry undergraduates, should be applicable equally for physics students. Also covered in "Information Competencies" are some of the skills and knowledge that students should have by the time they graduate. Knowing how to navigate the scientific literature will help them be more successful in their undergraduate careers, prepare them for graduate school, and be more competitive in the job market. Integrating information competencies into the science curriculum provides opportunities for librarian and faculty partnerships as students develop needed skills in finding, evaluating, and understanding relevant information written by others.
      • Writing to Learn In the Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced Laboratory

      • DF03
      • Tue 02/07, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Mark Masters
      • Type: Contributed
      • We will present our work with student writing and reviewing papers about their laboratory investigations. We have used this technique in many of our laboratories from introductory to advanced. Of special interest is the work on the Journal of the Advanced Undergraduate Laboratory Investigation in which students from one university review the papers by students at another university.
  • Supporting Emergency Professional Development: Career Changers and Non-Physicists as Teachers

      • Formulating a State Approach to Professional Development

      • DG01
      • Tue 02/07, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Saeed Sarani
      • Type: Invited
      • When viewed from the perspective of an entire state's needs, the challenges of designing professional development programs to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind are daunting. In rural states such as Oklahoma, the concerns about delivering effective professional development programs to rural and urban populations that contain a variety of underserved populations are further complicated by the differences in the way sciences are structured as different disciplines. I will describe science model programs designed for pre-K-12 teachers of physics and physical science which take varying approaches. However, the programs have three common elements that make them highly successful. Each one fully engages teachers, seeks to change learning by impacting teachers' pedagogical content knowledge, and strives to establish a productive network among participants. The success and sustainability of these programs is evidenced by qualitative data, quantitative data, and by the continued correspondence among participants beyond the onsite summer institutes.
      • If You Provide It, They Will Come......

      • DG02
      • Tue 02/07, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Karen Matsler
      • Type: Invited
      • Determining the impact of professional development is difficult and expensive, but it can be done. This session will focus on data collected by AAPT for the PTRA professional development program related to the changes in content understanding and confidence for over 1000 teachers. An overwhelming majority of the teachers were not physics majors and were teaching out of field. Analysis includes correlations to gender and ethnic backgrounds as well as changes in content understanding, confidence, and classroom practice for both teachers and students.
      • Emergency Professional Development at Arizona State University

      • DG03
      • Tue 02/07, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Jane Jackson
      • Type: Invited
      • Each summer, 80 high school physics and chemistry teachers come to ASU to take a three-week Modeling Workshop. For some Arizona teachers, their Modeling Workshop is "emergency professional development." In other words, their school has assigned them to teach physics or chemistry, yet they do not have a degree in the subject and have never taught it. I will outline the ASU program, tell how it meets their needs, and share ideas for future work. Resource: http://www.phy.ilstu.edu/jpteo/issues/jpteo5(4)sum10.pdf
  • Challenging the Minds of Future Physicists and Engineers

      • Challenging the Minds of Future Physicists and Engineers  CANCELLED

      • DH
      • Tue 02/07, 8:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by
      • Type: Panel
      • This panel will address Physical Science and Engineering inquiry projects currently taking place in elementary and middle schools. Emphasis will be placed on progress made in large urban areas, as well as work done with minority students, students living in poverty, learners of English as a Second Language, and students with disabilities.
  • What is the point of the instructional lab?

      • What is the point of the instructional lab?

      • DI
      • Tue 02/07, 8:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by
      • Type: Panel
      • Instructional labs have been an integral part of physics education for a very long time; arguably since the creation of the discipline. However, to this date there is no clear concise agreement on what the real point is of a lab. That is, what do we want the students to take away from the experience? What specifically is the pedagogical advantage of a lab? Why not just teach theory in a classroom, it is much cheaper and less time consuming? If we don’t know the answers to these questions it is very difficult to maximize the effectiveness of our labs and to successfully compete for appropriate funding. In this session, 5 panel members will have 10 min to express their views with the remaining half hour for questions and open discussion. I hope you can join us. The Panel members will be: Priscilla W. Laws, Dickinson College - Linda Barton, Rochester Institute of Technology - Mark F. Masters, IPFW - Randy Tagg, University of Colorado Denver - Scott Franklin, Rochester Institute of Technology.
  • PER graduate student curriculum beyond the core courses

      • PER graduate student curriculum beyond the core courses

      • EA
      • Tue 02/07, 1:15PM - 3:15PM
      • by
      • Type: Panel
      • A PER Course Emphasizing the Foundations of the Field

      • EA01
      • Tue 02/07, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Michael Wittmann
      • Type: Invited
      • Much of what graduate students learn happens outside the classroom, in thetypical apprenticeship of a research lab. For this work to succeed, coursework must lay a foundation of necessary skills. At the University of Maine, we have developed two courses in physics education research. In these courses, we use the literature about well-known curricula and learning materials to teach about research methods used in PER as well as give evidence for the value and meaning of these materials. We teach the canonical physics topics (kinematics, dynamics, circuits, energy, etc.) while giving students the chance to learn, practice, and develop seminal research skills (surveys, open-ended questions, interviews, video-based classroom observations). Students are primarily seeking a Master of Science in Teaching or a PhD in physics. We present examples of students learning about many ways of teaching and learning about energy.
      • Beyond Courses: Graduate Curricula as Cognitive Apprenticeship

      • EA02
      • Tue 02/07, 1:45PM - 2:15PM
      • by Andrew Elby
      • Type: Invited
      • Although graduate school "curricula" and graduate school "courses" are sometimes viewed as nearly synonymous, our PER group finds it productive to think in terms of curricular elements that cut across courses, project meetings, seminars, and other parts of graduate students' experiences. One such element we emphasize is group video analysis [1]. As part of courses, but more intensively as part of research group meetings and work-in-progress seminars, our graduate students gradually transition from more peripheral to more central participation [2] in analysis of classroom and interview video--spotting interesting episodes, formulating emerging hypotheses about the conceptual, epistemological, and affective dynamics, finding confirmatory and/or disconfirmatory evidence for those hypotheses, and so on. In other words, we teach video analysis through cognitive apprenticeship [3] and consider it central to our curriculum though it does not correspond to any one course.
      • A Model for Graduate Education in PER as a Subdiscipline of Physics

      • EA03
      • Tue 02/07, 2:15PM - 2:45PM
      • by Noah Finkelstein
      • Type: Invited
      • At the University of Colorado Boulder we have established a robust programof graduate student PER preparation that parallels the other subdisciplines of physics. The course work is designed to simultaneously provide rigorous grounding in the canon of physics (the standard core) while supporting individualized PER research efforts through specialized courses in PER and research methods, leading to a PhD in physics for work in PER. Working in conjunction with the physics department, CU Boulder's School of Education offers a sister PER program through its Science Education doctoral track. A cornerstone of each of these two graduate tracks is a core graduate course in PER: Teaching and Learning Physics. This course coordinates theories, research, pedagogical approaches, and curricula developed in PER. Throughout the course students are engaged in a practicum in which they conduct research on teaching and learning that forms the basis of a semester-long project and provides students a framework to evaluate current PER reforms. CU offers a variety of formal and informal structures that support graduate preparation in PER and extend beyond coursework, such as weekly group meetings, informal reading groups, and a broader discipline-based educational research group. More at: per.colorado.edu
      • Mentoring Graduate Students in PER: An Apprenticeship Model

      • EA04
      • Tue 02/07, 2:45PM - 3:15PM
      • by Paula Heron
      • Type: Invited
      • Since the 1970s students in the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington have been earning PhD and MS degrees in physics for research on the learning and teaching of physics. They take the same graduate physics courses as other PhD students in the department and must pass the same examinations. More than 20 students have graduated with PhDs and most are now faculty members in physics departments. A primary goal of the program is to prepare students to conduct novel, independent research and to think critically about all aspects of education. A secondary goal is to prepare graduates who can take leadership roles in the education of K-12 teachers. As is the case in other groups in our department, their professional development is based on an apprenticeship model. A description of the program and important aspects of their mentoring will be discussed.
  • Teaching with Technology

      • Video Analysis in a Two-Year College Classroom

      • EB01
      • Tue 02/07, 1:15PM - 1:25PM
      • by Todd Leif
      • Type: Contributed
      • Video analysis has been around for a number of years now but until recently it wasn't nearly as simple or accessible to everybody who teaches physics. A video analysis software program such as Video Point, Logger Pro, or Tracker and a mechanism for recording or collecting digital video is all you need to do video analysis. I will discuss a collection of interesting videos that students in my classes have examined during the past couple of years. These videos have come from many sources including using an IPod Touch as the digital recording device. Model Trains, Swimming Fish, and Wind Turbines are just a few of the projects that will be looked at during this talk.
      • Implementing Clickers into your Classroom

      • EB02
      • Tue 02/07, 1:25PM - 1:35PM
      • by Michael Faleski
      • Type: Contributed
      • The use of clickers (personal response system) is one of many techniques that results in the interaction of students during class. Beginning in the fall semester of 2006, clickers were introduced into all of my classes. Not only was student feedback about clicker usage overwhelmingly positive, but also there was disappointment when they weren't used. Consequently, clickers have since become a staple of many more activities. The focus of this presentation will be how to introduce clicker usage into your classes without having the questions developed to use them every day.
      • Overcoming Class Size by Use of Technology

      • EB03
      • Tue 02/07, 1:35PM - 1:45PM
      • by George Kuck
      • Type: Contributed
      • As education budgets have shrunk, introductory class sizes have grown due to the cancelation of class sections. A 10-year study of the learning gain of my Physical Science students showed that these changes can be ameliorated by an increased use of technology. Using one test developed to encompass the entire range of class material, an observational learning database was developed for class sizes ranging from 60 to 150 students. Once the class size factor was accounted for, it was found that two major class changes offset the learning decrease due to class size. The first factor was the introduction of online homework using the school computer system. The second was the use of clickers in conjunction with pair share student discussions.
      • Two Ways to Build Sounds

      • EB04
      • Tue 02/07, 1:45PM - 1:55PM
      • by David Keeports
      • Type: Contributed
      • In brief, there are two general ways to synthesize sounds. Additive synthesis constructs waves of general shapes as linear combinations of sinusoidal functions. The PASCO Fourier Synthesizer provides a standard classroom demonstration, the program Audacity provides a convenient software substitute, and a drawbar organ provides a musical example of additive synthesis. Subtractive synthesis, on the other hand, begins with rich harmonic mixtures such as those that square waves and saw tooth waves provide. Unwanted frequencies are then filtered out to produce desired sounds. I will discuss some fundamentals of musical synthesizers through sound demonstrations and through representations of sound waves in both the time and frequency domains.
      • Teaching Physics Using Virtual Reality

      • EB05
      • Tue 02/07, 1:55PM - 2:05PM
      • by Craig Savage
      • Type: Contributed
      • We present an investigation of three-dimensional, first person, game-like simulations for physics teaching. We report on the effectiveness of the "Real Time Relativity" simulation for learning special relativity. Through its use students have become more confident, judged relativity as less abstract, performed better on relevant subsequent assessment, and act more like experts in the field. Many of the difficulties in learning special relativity arise from its disconnectedness from everyday experience - not only do students have no direct experience of special relativity, but it conflicts with deeply-held everyday beliefs about space and time. Real Time Relativity connects students to special relativity through a virtual reality experience. We argue that the simulation not only enhances traditional learning, but also enables new types of learning that challenge the traditional curriculum. The lessons drawn from this work are being applied to the development of a simulation for enhancing learning of quantum mechanics.
      • Improving Physics Teaching Through Technology

      • EB06
      • Tue 02/07, 2:05PM - 2:15PM
      • by Nouredine Zettili
      • Type: Contributed
      • We want to discuss our outreach initiative designed to help improve the teaching of physics through technology. This initiative is part of Project IMPACTSEED (IMproving Physics And Chemistry Teaching in SEcondary EDucation), funded by a grant from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education intended to offer year-round support to a number of high schools in Alabama. This project is motivated by a major pressing local need: A large number of high school physics teachers teach out of field. IMPACTSEED is designed to achieve a double aim: (a) to make physics and chemistry understandable and fun to learn within a hands-on, inquiry-based setting; (b) to overcome the fear-factor for physics and chemistry among students. Through a two-week long summer institute, a series of weekend workshops designed to help bring technology into physics classrooms, onsite support, and a hotline, we have been providing year-round support to the physics and chemistry teachers in this area. A key component of the project is to help improve the teaching of physics though a rich collection of hands-on activities. IMPACTSEED aims at providing our students with a physics and chemistry education that enjoys a great deal of continuity and consistency from high school to college.
      • JiTT with Joomla

      • EB07
      • Tue 02/07, 2:15PM - 2:25PM
      • by Paul Schmelzenbach
      • Type: Contributed
      • In this talk I will highlight ways that I have used Joomla, an open sourcecontent management system, to better connect with my students in both upper and lower division courses. I will emphasize the way I use it to incorporate Just in Time Teaching (JiTT), how it can improve efficiency from the instructor's standpoint, and compare its use to systems like Blackboard.
      • Promoting Active Learning in the Classroom Using Interactive Spreadsheet Animations

      • EB08
      • Tue 02/07, 2:25PM - 2:35PM
      • by Kandiah Manivannan
      • Type: Contributed
      • Geometrical methods such as ray tracing communicate the physical interpretation of image formation by an optical element much more effectively than lens formulas. This presentation shows how actual ray tracing can easily be done with the use of computer spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel. The spreadsheet is user-friendly, has powerful graphing capabilities, and has been recognized as a powerful tool in teaching physics. A significant advantage of the spreadsheet is that if we change input variables such as the position or size of the object, the new rays will be drawn instantly to display the new image. We will also present several computer-based "low-tech" computer animations of optical phenomena such as spherical aberration and image distortion of an axially placed 2-D object. Our innovative approach of utilizing spreadsheets can be very effective in communicating physical concepts to students. Furthermore, these activities seamlessly lend themselves to Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT).
      • Simulations vs. Real Equipment

      • EB09
      • Tue 02/07, 2:35PM - 2:45PM
      • by Wendy Adams
      • Type: Contributed
      • Student response to simulations in laboratories has been very positive at the University of Northern Colorado. In fact, the response has been too positive. The simulation program 5Spice is being used in conjunction with real equipment in an upper-division electronics course for physics majors, and PhET Interactive Simulations have been integrated into the Introductory Algebra-based physics course. In both courses students prefer working with the simulations over real equipment. Studies have shown that PhET simulations are more effective for conceptual understanding; however, there are many goals of hands-on labs that simulations do not address, for example, specific skills relating to the functioning of equipment. In this talk we'll present data on student response to labs and discuss our goals for each of these laboratories. We believe it may be most effective to use a combination of simulations and real equipment but order matters.
  • Best Practices for Increasing the Numbers of Women in Physics

      • The Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics: Advancing Graduate Education in Physics

      • EC01
      • Tue 02/07, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Noelle Stiles
      • Type: Invited
      • The Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) unites undergraduate women physicists with women professors, industrial scientists, and graduate students to encourage the pursuit of a doctoral degree in physics. The U.S. is ranked 11th internationally in physics bachelor's degree gender diversity, and at each higher career stage, the percentage of women decreases. In particular, the transition between a physics bachelor's degree and a PhD is critical. Twenty-one percent of physics bachelor's degrees were awarded to women in the U.S. in 1999-2000, in contrast to 13 percent of physics doctoral degrees. CUWiP encourages women at the critical transition between undergraduate and graduate degrees by providing critical support, networking, and mentoring activities in a conference environment. CUWiP began at the University of Southern California in 2006, and has been held annually ever since. Each year, more universities hold simultaneous conferences across the country and share an interactive all-site keynote address.
      • How to Eliminate the Need for this Session!

      • EC02
      • Tue 02/07, 1:45PM - 2:15PM
      • by Patricia Rankin
      • Type: Invited
      • Efforts to increase the representation of women in physics have been underway since the presenter was an undergraduate (and before). These efforts have been and are well meaning, have undoubtedly helped many individuals, and are usually organized at a grass-roots level. The presenter, who has worked at both the grass-roots level and at higher levels, will discuss how to have an immediate impact and how to work to address barriers over the longer term. The goal will be to both provide useful ideas for implementation and to encourage a strategic approach based on an understanding of organizational change. The presenter will also touch on how focusing on increasing the inclusion of women can lead to best practices that benefit all students of physics.
      • Encouraging Women to Major in Physics: Be Persistent

      • EC03
      • Tue 02/07, 2:15PM - 2:45PM
      • by Earl Blodgett
      • Type: Invited
      • UW - River Falls is a mid-sized public university (total enrollment < 6800) offering undergraduate physics degrees in physics, applied physics and physics education. Over the past 25 years, we have worked hard to encourage more women to major in physics, succeeding in maintaining about 20 to 25% women graduates. During that same time span, the over-all student population has gone from about 50% women to about 65% women. Why has our proportion of women in physics not grown correspondingly? Our students have consistently given us good marks for a welcoming and supportive environment. We have employed a number of strategies for encouraging women to major in physics, with varying success. We have learned two main lessons: there is no substitute for personal interaction between faculty and students and consistent enthusiastic effort is required, complacency after a successful initiative is deadly.
      • Increasing the Participation of Women in Physics in the U.S. and Across the Globe

      • EC04
      • Tue 02/07, 2:45PM - 2:55PM
      • by Beth Cunningham
      • Type: Contributed
      • In the last eight years, the number of women earning physics bachelor's degrees in the U.S. has increased slower than the bachelor's degrees attained by men, resulting in the first substantial proportional decline in decades. To change this trend, the physics community needs deeper understandings, more targeted strategies, and active engagement by all practicing physicists. In this paper members of the U.S. delegation to the Fourth International Conference on Women in Physics report the statistics of women and under-represented minorities in physics at all levels in the U.S.; possible strategies for increasing their participation; evaluations of those strategies, where available; and possible intersections with the concerns and activities of our international colleagues. In addition to these strategies, resolutions developed by all delegates will be reported as well as steps that AAPT and its members can take to increase the participation of women in physics.
  • Student understanding of concepts that underlie the interpretation of astronomical data and models

      • Using Research to Investigate and Enhance Student Understanding of Light as an Electromagnetic Wave

      • ED01
      • Tue 02/07, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Bradley Ambrose
      • Type: Invited
      • In astronomy it is crucial to understand that light is an electromagnetic wave that can exhibit interference and polarization phenomena. For many years, however, research in physics education has shown that physics students, both mainstream introductory students and physics majors, encounter serious difficulties when they endeavor to develop and apply a wave model to the behavior of light. This presentation will focus on well-identified difficulties--some of them deeply seated alternate conception--suggested by the analysis of student responses to various research tasks (ungraded quizzes, written exams, individual student interviews). Also to be discussed are examples of teaching-by-questioning strategies that seem effective in addressing these difficulties. All examples come from research previously conducted at the University of Washington in the context of the introductory calculus-based waves and optics course or from more recent work at Grand Valley State University in a sophomore-level modern physics course.
      • Student Understanding of Galilean Relativity: Implications for Naked-Eye Astronomy

      • ED02
      • Tue 02/07, 1:45PM - 2:15PM
      • by Andrew Boudreaux
      • Type: Invited
      • Accounting for the daily and annual motions of the sun, moon and stars is facilitated by changes in frame, from geocentric to heliocentric, and by the application of Galilean relativity, for example in explaining how it is that the set of lunar features presented to Earth does not vary. Yet students experience substantial difficulty applying even basic ideas of relative motion. This talk explores student understanding of Galilean relativity, with an emphasis on implications for the teaching of topics in visual astronomy.
      • Cosmology for Introductory Physics Students

      • ED03
      • Tue 02/07, 2:15PM - 2:45PM
      • by Colin Wallace
      • Type: Invited
      • In order to inspire students' natural curiosity and motivate their interest in contemporary scientific investigations, we must move beyond traditional problems, such as inclined planes and Atwood machines, that dominate introductory physics. One universally interesting topic for students is cosmology. Cosmology addresses fundamental issues about reality, such as the age, composition, and evolution of the universe. In this talk, we discuss common student conceptual and reasoning difficulties related to cosmology, and how instructors can use topics from cosmology to elevate students' intellectual engagement in traditional physics lessons. This material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 0833364 and 0715517, a CCLI Phase III Grant for the Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
      • But, What Does It Mean? Getting at the Underlying Physics

      • ED04
      • Tue 02/07, 2:45PM - 2:55PM
      • by Eric Hintz
      • Type: Contributed
      • One of the most difficult tasks in teaching undergraduate astronomy research is to get students to stop thinking that measuring a magnitude is a sufficient result. We always have to ask; "But, what does it mean?" to get the students thinking about the underlying astrophysics. In our observational astronomy class (which is open to all students, not just majors), we teach the acquisition and processing of data, but then put a strong emphasis on the interpretation of the results. During the course of the semester the students are required to read 10 journal articles related to the research being done in class. The final results of the class are presented in the form of two journal style papers and a meeting poster. The students must clearly show they know what their measurements mean to succeed on these assignments. Some results from the class will be presented.
      • Effective Learning About Diffraction and the Wave/Particle Nature of Light

      • ED05
      • Tue 02/07, 2:55PM - 3:05PM
      • by Richard Gelderman
      • Type: Contributed
      • Using astronomical examples of diffraction-limited resolution and multi-aperture interferometry is a way to present the dual wave-particle nature of light to students in an introductory physics class. We present examples of conceptual activities such as ranking questions and think-pair-share questions that use astronomical examples to motivate learning about diffraction, interference, and modern optics.
  • SPIN-UP Ten Years Later

      • SPIN-UP Ten Years Later

      • EE01
      • Tue 02/07, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Ruth Howes
      • Type: Invited
      • Ten years ago, the SPIN-UP Report produced by the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics identified several key characteristics of thriving undergraduate physics programs. Since that time, the number of physics majors graduating has increased each year. Nevertheless, the rate of growth has slowed in the last several years, and many departments are threatened in the current financial crisis because of low undergraduate enrollments. During the past three years, NSF has supported five regional workshops for physics departments which have allowed the SPIN-UP team to stay up to date with the situation in undergraduate physics programs. This is an appropriate time to revisit the conclusions of the SPIN-UP report and consider its recommendations and new ideas to continue the growth of robust undergraduate physics programs.
      • Growing Physics and Astronomy at James Madison University

      • EE02
      • Tue 02/07, 1:45PM - 2:15PM
      • by C. Steve Whisnant
      • Type: Invited
      • James Madison University is a public, primarily undergraduate institution with a student enrollment of approximately 18,000. The Department of Physics and Astronomy now serves approximately 110 majors. There are 15 tenured/tenure-track and six nontenure-track full-time faculty in the department. Graduation rates have grown from five or fewer/year to typically 15-20/year. All tenured/tenure-track faculty engage undergraduates in research; 11 are externally funded. Forty-eight students were engaged in research last year. The growth of our department is due to a variety of reforms. The initiation of our multi-track BS and BA degree programs and a renewed focus on undergraduate research are paramount. These and other significant factors contributing to our success such as student recruiting, outreach, teaching and research integration/balance, promotion of a department culture, visibility on-and off-campus, and university support will be discussed.
      • Sustaining Small Programs: Lessons from the Trenches

      • EE03
      • Tue 02/07, 2:15PM - 2:45PM
      • by James Stith
      • Type: Invited
      • The challenge facing small physics departments has never been more critical than they are today. This is especially true of small departments at minority serving institutions (MSI's). This talk will highlight the outcomes of a meeting of department chairs of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's). The meeting focused on what departments could do to increase enrollment in physics programs, how departments could work with the senior leadership at their institutions to sustain and vitalize programs, and ways that departments could work across institutions to revitalize programs.
  • Teacher Preparation Around the World

      • Online Course to In-service Science Teachers Regarding Scientific Literacy in Mexico

      • EF01
      • Tue 02/07, 1:15PM - 1:45PM
      • by Genaro Zavala
      • Type: Invited
      • PISA tests have shown that Mexico is a country with great educational problems. Our students have performed well below average in all types of the PISA tests that have been administered; in particular when evaluating science. This problem has been addressed with different visions, from the perspective of the curriculum, culture, educational management, and from the educational system. Our vision is taking the teacher as the core part of education. The in-service science teacher at the pre-university level might not have the elements needed to educate their students in scientific literacy. This presentation will show the design and some results of an online course regarding scientific literacy that is given to in-service science teachers from all regions of Mexico.
      • Physics Teachers' Preparation in Canada: Challenges and Successes

      • EF02
      • Tue 02/07, 1:45PM - 2:15PM
      • by Marina Milner-Bolotin
      • Type: Invited
      • Teacher certification in Canada is a provincial responsibility. To become a public school physics teacher in Canada, one must earn a Physics/Engineering degree and then be certified as a physics/mathematics or physics/chemistry teacher. A typical Canadian Teacher Certification program lasts between 12-24 months. Most Canadian provinces do not lack certified physics teachers, yet many physics classrooms are taught by non-physics teachers, because senior science teachers will have priority in teaching physics over younger certified physics teachers. Moreover, there is a shortage of physics teachers in smaller towns and remote areas. These physics teachers have very limited access to quality professional development. For example, Canada has only four AAPT Sections. In addition, the diversity of admission requirements to Canadian post-secondary institutions and the way high school provincial exams are administered, creates additional challenges and inequities. The ways Canadian educators are attempting to address these challenges will be discussed in this talk.
      • Discussion of the Physics Teacher Formation in Italy and of Some Research-based Formative Intervention Modules.

      • EF03
      • Tue 02/07, 2:15PM - 2:45PM
      • by Marisa Michelini
      • Type: Invited
      • The teacher formation scenario in Italy is changing. It started very late (ay 1999-2000) with a very good curricular plan at the university level organized in four areas (teaching professional formation, subject-related education, education labs, apprenticeship). Primary teacher formation will structured in a five year degree, after an experience of four year degree up to now. The certification to teach in secondary school will come after a specific biannual Master for Teaching (MT), plus an extra year integrated with apprenticeship (total = three years, 180 ECT). Specific subject degrees (180 cts) are required for each MT. The research-based physics teacher formation experience carried out in the biannual Specialization School for Secondary Teaching SSST active until 2008 and some pilot Masters will inspire the way to form the Pedagogical Content Knowledge of future teachers. The contribution will discuss the characteristics of some significant PER Models implemented for physics teacher formation.
      • Physics Teacher Education in Germany

      • EF04
      • Tue 02/07, 2:45PM - 2:55PM
      • by Barbara Hoeling
      • Type: Contributed
      • Compared to the U.S., Germany produces about three times the number of physics degrees per capita. However, physics is not particular popular in society or in the schools, where every student has to take at least two years of physics courses. In recent years, substantial changes have therefore been implemented at the universities in the education of physics teachers. I will report on what I learned last summer about physics teacher education programs when visiting two universities in different German states. With a strong emphasis on lecture demonstrations and practical applications and an excellent support structure for new in-service teachers, the German system features elements that are interesting to consider for emulation in the U.S.
  • PER: Student Reasoning

      • Representing Energy Transfers and Transformations

      • EG01
      • Tue 02/07, 1:15PM - 1:25PM
      • by Rachel Scherr
      • Type: Contributed
      • Common representations of energy in physics, including bar charts, graphs of energy vs. time, and pie charts, promote quantitative calculations of relative amounts of energy that are present in a system at a given moment. The Energy Project at Seattle Pacific University has developed a family of representations that enforce energy conservation while enabling detailed modeling of energy dynamics, particularly the complex transfers and transformations of energy that take place during real physical events. These representations variously use human bodies, computer animation, wooden cubes, and graphic diagrams to represent units of energy during dynamic processes in physical phenomena. Each representation provides a unique framework for collaborative construction of physics ideas. We provide evidence that these representations are not only expressive but are also rigorous in the sense that their disciplined application raises new questions about the phenomena being represented.
      • Learners' Understanding of Energy: Conservation of Amount, Decrease of Value

      • EG02
      • Tue 02/07, 1:25PM - 1:35PM
      • by Abigail Daane
      • Type: Contributed
      • In a summer professional development course on energy in physics, secondary teachers spontaneously considered not only the amount and forms of energy involved in physical processes, but also the energy's usefulness. For example, some teachers discussed situations in which they viewed energy as losing value during a process, even when they explicitly acknowledged that the total amount of energy was constant. Others articulated that the quality, usefulness, or availability of the energy decreased when it changed form (e.g., from kinetic to thermal). These ideas might be resources from which to construct a coherent model for energy usefulness, dissipation, and degradation which can be applied across a wide range of physical scenarios. They might also be the basis for a meaningful connection between energy that is conserved (in a physics context) and energy that is used up (in a sociopolitical context).
      • A Conceptual Blending Theory Analysis of Energy Theater

      • EG03
      • Tue 02/07, 1:35PM - 1:45PM
      • by Hunter Close
      • Type: Contributed
      • Conceptual blending theory (CBT)[1] offers an elaborate theoretical apparatus for explaining how the human imagination creates unreal situations that, by their relations to reality, teach us about reality. In these imaginary blended situations, we establish new correspondences, interactions, and dynamics, and the outcomes of the dynamics lend insight to the nature of various real situations that were used to compose the unreal blend. The general idea of CBT has charmed the PER community for a few years, but it has gained little traction in affecting how we do business, perhaps because we have not demanded more from the theory in its relation to our data. In this presentation, we attempt to test some of the finer points of CBT by challenging it to explain Energy Theater[2], both generally in terms of the design of the activity, and specifically in terms of the actual interactions of participants in one episode.
      • Assessing a Wide Range of Instructional Goals for K-12 Teacher Professional Development

      • EG04
      • Tue 02/07, 1:45PM - 1:55PM
      • by Amy Robertson
      • Type: Contributed
      • Science educators often want professional development to increase the extent to which teachers attend to the disciplinary substance of K-12 students' ideas, see themselves as participants in the construction of scientific knowledge, and autonomously formulate relevant questions about physical scenarios. The PER community has some evidence for teacher growth in these areas, and the Energy Project at SPU is seeking to discern how such growth manifests itself. In doing so, we hope to develop new ways of assessing K-12 teacher professional development. These new assessments will add to existing assessments of K-12 teachers' conceptual understanding of physics, beliefs/attitudes about science, or use of inquiry in the classroom (e.g., open-ended conceptual assessments; the FCI; the CLASS and the MPEX; or the RTOP, respectively).
      • Examining Student Approaches to Interpreting and Applying Multi-Variable Expressions

      • EG05
      • Tue 02/07, 1:55PM - 2:05PM
      • by Cody Gette
      • Type: Contributed
      • Student reasoning difficulties with interpreting and applying multi-variable expressions have been reported previously. For example, students tend to treat the relationship between the wavelength, propagation speed, and frequency as a mathematical identity. That often leads to erroneous conclusions such as "the frequency is changed by changing the speed." We extended this investigation to the contexts of electric field, electric potential, and capacitance. A variety of questions were designed that required students to analyze relationships between various quantities. Significant differences in student reasoning approaches were identified that appeared to depend on whether (1) information presented to students was given in written text and the written text was explicitly translated to the mathematical expression(s) in standard symbolic form or (2) the information was presented in the written form only.
      • Dissecting Proportional Reasoning: Constructs and Student Thinking

      • EG06
      • Tue 02/07, 2:05PM - 2:15PM
      • by Andrew Boudreaux
      • Type: Contributed
      • Proportional reasoning is sometimes treated as a monolithic ability that "switches on" at a particular stage of development. However, results from research in both mathematics and physics education suggest that proportional reasoning is multi-faceted and often context-dependent. A collaborative project between Western Washington University, Rutgers University, and New Mexico State University seeks to develop and assess classroom activities to promote student facility with ratio reasoning. This talk will provide a brief outline of the project and present an example of assessing student reasoning. Those who are interested may wish to view related posters at this meeting by Brahmia and Kanim. Supported by NSF grants DUE-1045227, DUE-1045231, & DUE-1045250.
      • Spatial Reasoning, a Potential Roadblock to Conceptual Understanding of Waves

      • EG07
      • Tue 02/07, 2:15PM - 2:25PM
      • by Mila Kryjevskaia
      • Type: Contributed
      • As a part of a multi-year investigation of student understanding of mechanical waves in introductory courses, a set of tutorials1 on wave behavior at a boundary has been developed. However, even after the targeted instruction many students still are not able to systematically analyze complex unfamiliar situations. We hypothesized that poor performance on some post-tests may be attributable to difficulties in visualizing and reasoning spatially about transformations in the shape of a spring that occur over time as a complex pulse reflects from a boundary. We probed the extent to which student performance hinges on their abilities to visualize and reason spatially by examining the degree of association between student performance on the post-tests and on a spatial visualization test (paper folding test).
      • Rediscovering Galileo: The Productivity of Thinking of Forces as "Stuff"

      • EG08
      • Tue 02/07, 2:25PM - 2:35PM
      • by Andrew Elby
      • Type: Contributed
      • Among the many student difficulties addressed by PER, misconceptions stemming from "mis-ontologies" "incorrect views about what kind of entity a given quantity *is* " are viewed by some researchers as particularly pernicious. For instance, some researchers argue that viewing force as a kind of substance ("stuff") carried by an object is particularly harmful to productive conceptual development, and hence, learners should be guided away from such conceptions [1]. While acknowledging that force is not a substance, we dispute the claim that substance-based metaphors for force hinder conceptual development. We present data from a teacher professional development workshop, where a group of elementary school science teachers start from substance-based metaphors for gravity to build a sophisticated Galilean explanation for why objects of different masses accelerate at the same rate due to gravity. Instructional interventions should tap these productive substance-based ways of thinking rather than categorizing them as pure misconceptions.
      • Leveraging Embodied Cognition to Enhance Student Understanding of Angular Momentum

      • EG09
      • Tue 02/07, 2:35PM - 2:45PM
      • by Daniel Lyons
      • Type: Contributed
      • A novel instrument for physics education research called the Torque Judgment Task (TJT) was developed to assess students' ability to determine the relative torques felt when tilting bicycle wheel gyroscopes, an apparatus commonly used in introductory physics courses to demonstrate properties of torque and angular momentum. Results from laboratory experiments involving dual-wheel gyroscopes show that individuals who play active roles in manipulating the gyroscope apparatus show more improvement on the TJT than those who participate solely as observers, especially on problems related to angular momentum vector addition and cancellation. A laboratory activity for introductory physics based around these experimental results was also designed in an effort to leverage theories of embodied cognition (the idea that our physical experiences can improve learning by grounding our understanding of abstract concepts -- e.g. torque and angular momentum -- in concrete physical terms) in teaching and learning about the vector nature of torque and angular momentum.
      • Conceptions on Mechanical Waves of Students in Introductory Physics

      • EG10
      • Tue 02/07, 2:45PM - 2:55PM
      • by Jung Bog Kim
      • Type: Contributed
      • Concepts on mechanical waves have been investigated to undergraduate students in introductory physics courses by using the MWCS (Mechanical Wave Conceptual Survey) tool. It consists of a total of 22 questions in wave propagation, superposition, reflection, and standing wave parts. Students have difficulties in traveling of a pulse wave and a standing wave. The types of misconception could be grouped into work-and-energy connected model, dualistic thinking model, particle-pulse wave model, amplitude-dependent model, immature conceptual model, categorical conceptual model, and force-and-motion model. We will introduce various types of misconception in detail.
  • Physics of games, animations & Game Interfaces

      • The Physics of Osmos

      • EH01
      • Tue 02/07, 1:15PM - 1:25PM
      • by Joshua Gates
      • Type: Contributed
      • The use of video games as a springboard to the study of physical principles has been valuable in terms of student engagement and subject visibility, as the recent popularity of physical analysis of Angry Birds has demonstrated. The ambient video game 'Osmos' (http://www.hemispheregames.com/osmos/) presents many of the same opportunities, but with a much richer palette of physical principles. The gameplay presents the chance for students to gain intuitive knowledge of Newton's laws, conservation of momentum, relative motion, non-inertial reference frames, and orbital mechanics. Orbital mechanics, in particular, can suffer for lack of classroom demonstration and application opportunities, which are pleasantly abundant here. The chance for students to model the interactions can be invaluable discovery learning. Because the 'laws' of this physical universe are not easily accessible to students via textbook or Internet search, there can be no 'short circuiting' of the discovery process via research.
      • Using the Xbox Kinect Sensor for Positional Data Acquisition

      • EH02
      • Tue 02/07, 1:25PM - 1:35PM
      • by Jorge Ballester
      • Type: Contributed
      • We describe the use of the Xbox Kinect motion sensing input device for usein physics experiments that require acquisition of three-dimensional positional data. This device provides video and depth sensor outputs that can be used to assess object motion in three-dimensions over time. The Kinect can be interfaced directly to a personal computer using freely available software. The intricacies of acquiring three-dimensional positional data will be discussed along with the performance characteristics of the Kinect. Several standard physics experiments are analyzed using the device. We conclude that the Kinect has significant potential for use by teachers and students of physics.
      • Physics And Halo 2 Video Game

      • EH03
      • Tue 02/07, 1:35PM - 1:45PM
      • by Igor Proleiko
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Halo video game franchise unfolds as a science fiction story. The parameters of Halo Universe and the equipment used by the characters are analysed and explored. The comparison with the our measurable universe is discussed. The question whether the game story requires different rules of physcs is investigated.
  • Effective practices in the instructional laboratory

      • Which Accelerates Faster? A Falling Ball or a Porsche?

      • EI01
      • Tue 02/07, 1:15PM - 1:25PM
      • by Wathiq Abdul-Razzaq
      • Type: Contributed
      • An introductory physics experiment has been developed to address the issues seen in conventional physics lab classes including assumption verification, technological dependencies, and real-world motivation for the experiment. The experiment has little technology dependence and compares the acceleration due to gravity by using position-versus-time graphs and the kinematic equation. The students are also asked to compare the acceleration they find to the acceleration of a Porsche car, which they seem surprised when they learn about. Overall, the students at West Virginia University seem more appreciative of the scope of this lab due to its simplicity.
      • Scientific Writing and Research Experience in the Undergraduate Student Lab

      • EI02
      • Tue 02/07, 1:25PM - 1:35PM
      • by Nina Abramzon
      • Type: Contributed
      • We report on our experiences with implementing experiments using modern quantum optics and spectroscopy equipment in an undergraduate laboratory course. In our sophomore modern physics lab, students analyze spectra of unknown sources using either an optical emission spectrometer or a high-resolution gamma detector. In our senior optics lab, they measure photon statistics with single photon counting modules. For both courses, students write a report in the format of a scientific paper, which is reviewed by one of their peers and by the instructor and revised according to the reviewers' comments. Students thus gain experience in scientific writing in the format of a professional journal publication, about measurements taken with state-of-the-art research equipment. Results of student learning are presented, including an assessment of the students' ability to participate in written scientific communication and students' attitudes toward the experience.
      • Bringing Concepts from Nuclear High Energy Physics into the College and High School Classroom

      • EI03
      • Tue 02/07, 1:35PM - 1:45PM
      • by Edmundo Garcia
      • Type: Contributed
      • The goal of this project is to improve student understanding of modern physics in the undergraduate curriculum by building stronger content knowledge, reasoning, and laboratory skills. This project is centered on the development of lab modules that help students move beyond theory and develop an appreciation of modern experimental physics. In addition to creating a nuclear high energy physics thread in the undergraduate curriculum, we are also working with in-service teachers from the Chicago Public Schools. This past summer we conducted our first workshop with about 10 participants. In addition to developing concepts in detector physics, we also discussed how to take these ideas into the high school classroom. In this talk we report on the status of the project and highlight some of the results from the summer professional development workshop.
      • May the Best Theory Win

      • EI04
      • Tue 02/07, 1:45PM - 1:55PM
      • by Doug Bradley-Hutchison
      • Type: Contributed
      • Designing experiments to test competing hypotheses is a fundamental process in science. Yet thinking in the hypothetical is a higher order skill that students often lack. The term hypothesis, for example, is commonly identified as an educated guess, thus equivalent to a prediction. We describe examples of laboratory activities where students are asked to predict the outcome of an experiment from the perspective of two competing theories. This is in contrast to the traditional laboratory where the goal is to confirm only the accepted theory. Using this approach one can also formulate misconceptions (e.g. Aristotelian ideas) as testable hypotheses offering students an opportunity to test their common-sense beliefs in a formal manner. Examples developed both for physics courses and a course specifically designed to teach scientific thinking skills (to science and engineering majors) will be discussed.
      • Slipping Spheres and Sliding Blocks: The “Role” of Kinetic Friction

      • EI05
      • Tue 02/07, 1:55PM - 2:05PM
      • by Kevin Greene
      • Type: Contributed
      • If a rolling sphere and a sliding block, each of the same material, were to race down the same incline plane, which would win? We have developed a theoretical model, confirmed with experimental data, which shows that at low angles the rolling object wins whereas at high angles the sliding object wins. Experimentally, a cross-over angle of 36º was observed, which implies from our model that mu_k,block = 0.21, in agreement with direct measurements using a force sensor. The sphere beings to slip at 47º, which implies that mu_s,sphere = 0.31, also in agreement with direct measurements using a force sensor. However, at higher angles, in which the sphere slips, our data indicates that the sphere's acceleration never reaches that of the block--in apparent disagreement with theoretical expectations (since mu_k, sphere is found to be less than mu_k,block). This will be explored and the latest results presented.
      • Teaching Optics in the Introductory Mechanics Laboratory

      • EI06
      • Tue 02/07, 2:05PM - 2:15PM
      • by Timothy Grove
      • Type: Contributed
      • Laboratory often is simply an adjunct to the class as a hands on demonstration. Previously, we had significantly modified our first semester and second semester laboratories in recognition of the fact that if you change physical concepts and equipment in every laboratory class, the labs must devolve into instruction following activities. In the second semester, we have the students learn about circuits through investigation in the laboratory and removed the topic from the lecture. The first semester laboratories (mechanics) were modified so that the focus, while still mechanics was much more narrow and concerned with application of kinematics and Newton's laws. Being radical, we decided to put all of the laboratories into the lecture as interactive lecture investigations and used the laboratory time to have the students learn about geometric optics through investigation. This presentation will describe our approach and the measures of student learning in optics and mechanics.
      • Assessing Student Learning of Error Propagation in the Undergraduate Lab

      • EI07
      • Tue 02/07, 2:15PM - 2:25PM
      • by Brent Barker
      • Type: Contributed
      • A pre-and post-survey was conducted during an introductory calculus-based physics laboratory to test students' basic skills in error-propagation. Additionally, students participated in a "think-pair-share" activity during the course. Overall, based on the surveys, students improved, especially in the case where they did not have any misconceptions initially. Qualitative assessment of the think-pair-share activity contrasts with the results of the post-survey.
      • Examining Student Understanding of IV Characteristics*

      • EI08
      • Tue 02/07, 2:25PM - 2:35PM
      • by David Smith
      • Type: Contributed
      • In the last three decades, there has been a great deal of research on the learning and teaching of electric circuits. Much of this work has focused on simple circuits consisting of batteries and bulbs. This research is being extended as part of a multi-institutional investigation into student understanding of analog electronics. The effort has included research on student understanding of current-voltage characteristics and the function of electronic devices, such as LEDs. The findings are helping inform the development of instructional materials for the introductory level while also providing valuable insights into the treatment of this material in upper-division courses. Selected findings from representative pre- and post-tests will be presented.
      • Brownian Motion: Measuring Avogadro's Constant (Within a Few Percent) for $70

      • EI09
      • Tue 02/07, 2:35PM - 2:45PM
      • by Beth Parks
      • Type: Contributed
      • We implemented a Brownian Motion lab in our introductory physics course for first-year students. We used 1 micron polystyrene spheres in a dilute saline solution viewed with a Celestron LCD microscope. Rather than taking a video and using particle tracking, students simply took a snapshot (screen capture) every four seconds. These snapshots were easily uploaded to a computer, and students clicked on a sphere in successive snapshots, using ImageJ to capture the x-y coordinates. These data were transferred to a spreadsheet and analyzed to find the average squared displacement in 4 s, 8 s, and 12 s intervals. The slope of the resulting line typically yielded Avogadro's number within a few percent. The entire data collection and analysis can be completed in about 15 minutes.
  • Mentoring: Stories and Strategies

      • Mentoring and Early-Career Scientists' Commitment to Good Work

      • EJ01
      • Tue 02/07, 2:05PM - 2:35PM
      • by Jeanne Nakamura
      • Type: Invited
      • In two studies, one of creativity after age 60 and one of mentoring lineages, scientists described the formative role played by their mentors, and their own goals when mentoring. The story of Niels Bohr's lasting impact on the professional formation of many leading 20th-century physicists provides a starting point in drawing out lessons for early-career scientists and those who will mentor them. Data come from individual cases, and systematic interview research conducted as part of the Good Work Project (Gardner, Damon, & Csikszentmihalyi, 2001). Particular attention is given to the mentors' part in encouraging work that is excellent, ethical, and engaging (Nakamura, Shernoff, & Hooker, 2009). In addition to the mentor, the roles of the lab as a mentor-sponsored learning environment and the student as an active contributor to his or her own development are described. Practical implications of the research are discussed.
      • Gestural Analysis of TA-Student Interactions in a SCALE-UP Classroom

      • EJ02
      • Tue 02/07, 2:35PM - 2:45PM
      • by George DeBeck V
      • Type: Contributed
      • In the spring term of 2010, Oregon State University began using a SCALE-UPstyle classroom in the instruction of the introductory calculus-based physics series. Instruction in this classroom was conducted in three two-hour sessions facilitated by the primary professor and either two graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) or a graduate teaching assistant and an undergraduate learning assistant (LA). During the course of instruction, two of the eight tables in the room were audio and video recorded. We examine the practices of the GTAs when interacting with the students, primarily through a gestural analysis lens. Specifically, we examine changes in GTA behavior as they gain experience in the SCALE-UP environment, and the differences in practice between different GTAs. GTAs are shown to utilize gestures that indicate increased confidence and a changing relation to the students as they gain experience in the classroom.
  • Exhibit Hall Open

      • Exhibit Hall Open

      • EXH01
      • Mon 02/06, 10:00AM - 6:00PM
      • by
      • Type: Exhibit Hall
  • Morning Break in the Exhibit Hall

      • Morning Break in the Exhibit Hall

      • EXH02
      • Mon 02/06, 10:00AM - 10:30AM
      • by
      • Type: Exhibit Hall
  • Afternoon Break in the Exhibit Hall

      • Afternoon Break in the Exhibit Hall

      • EXH03
      • Mon 02/06, 4:30PM - 5:00PM
      • by
      • Type: Exhibit Hall
  • Exhibit Hall Open

      • Exhibit Hall Open

      • EXH04
      • Tue 02/07, 10:00AM - 4:00PM
      • by
      • Type: Exhibit Hall
  • Morning Break in the Exhibit Hall

      • Morning Break in the Exhibit Hall

      • EXH05
      • Tue 02/07, 10:40AM - 11:10AM
      • by
      • Type: Exhibit Hall
  • Afternoon Break in the Exhibit Hall

      • Afternoon Break in the Exhibit Hall

      • EXH06
      • Tue 02/07, 3:15PM - 3:45PM
      • by
      • Type: Exhibit Hall
  • Exhibitors Breakfast

      • Exhibitors Breakfast

      • EXH07
      • Tue 02/07, 9:00AM - 10:00AM
      • by
      • Type: None
  • New Results in Astronomy Education Research

      • Item Response Theory in Astronomy Education Research

      • FA01
      • Wed 02/08, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Colin Wallace
      • Type: Invited
      • Item response theory (IRT) is a family of models that are increasingly being used by astronomy education researchers to analyze students' responses to concept inventories, surveys, and other assessments of student knowledge and ability. When IRT models fit the data, they offer researchers a way to measure students' abilities independent of the items used to probe those abilities, and they offer researchers a way to measure item properties (such as difficulty and discrimination) independent of the students who responded to those items. In this talk, we discuss the basics of IRT and demonstrate how it has been used in studies using the Star Properties Concept Inventory, the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory, and a suite of conceptual cosmology surveys. These studies demonstrate how IRT is useful for both multiple-choice and open-ended tests, and for dichotomous and polytomous item scoring. This material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 0833364 and 0715517, a CCLI Phase III Grant for the Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
      • Do Astronomy REU Programs Matter for Females?

      • FA02
      • Wed 02/08, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Stephanie Slater
      • Type: Invited
      • REU is tacitly intended to increase retention and provide "an important educational experience" for undergraduates, particularly women, minorities and underrepresented groups. This longitudinal, two-stage study considered the educational experience for 51 women in the field of astronomy. Results indicate that the REU provided a limited impact in terms of participants' knowledge of professional astronomy. The REU did not provide a substantive educational experience related to the nature of scientific work, the scientific process, the culture of academia, participants' conceptions about themselves as situated in science, or other aspects of the "self," were limited. Instead, the data suggests that there were pre-existing and remarkably strong conceptions in these areas, and that the REU did not function to alter those states. Findings related to identify formation and transformation motivate an ongoing research agenda of long-term mentoring relationships for women in the sciences, at a variety of stages and across multiple disciplines.
  • Implementing Matter and Interactions and Six Ideas that Shaped Physics

      • Matter & Interactions

      • FB01
      • Wed 02/08, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Ruth Chabay
      • Type: Invited
      • The revolutionary developments in physics during the past century changed the way physicists think not only about "modern physics," but also about classical concepts and models. The 20th century emphasis on parsimony--a small number of fundamental principles (conservation laws), a small number of constituents of matter (quarks, leptons), and a small number of fundamental interactions--makes it possible to understand apparently dissimilar phenomena, whether classical or nonclassical, in a simple and unified way. An emphasis on the process of constructing and using models, including computational models, offers additional tools for exploring fundamental principles, and makes explicit the idealizations, approximations, and assumptions involved in constructing a physical model. We will illustrate the power of the modern perspective with case studies drawn from the Matter & Interactions curriculum. See http://matterandinteractions.org .
      • Six Ideas: Past, Present, and Future

      • FB02
      • Wed 02/08, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Thomas Moore
      • Type: Invited
      • Six Ideas That Shaped Physics is a six-volume textbook for the calculus-based introductory physics course that emphasizes a thoroughly contemporary approach to physics while supporting active learning in the classroom. The approach is also carefully designed to help students develop robust physical modeling skills and avoid well-known conceptual traps. In this talk, I will summarize the most important features of the Six Ideas textbooks and the online tools that support it, with special emphasis on the exciting changes we are planning for the next edition (due for release in 2014).
      • Matter & Interactions at Purdue

      • FB03
      • Wed 02/08, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Mark Haugan
      • Type: Contributed
      • Purdue University began using the Matter & Interactions curriculum [1] to teach the calculus-based introductory physics courses taken by science and engineering students in the fall semester of 2006. This new curriculum provides a remarkably coherent introduction to mechanics, thermal physics, and electricity and magnetism by emphasizing a small number of fundamental physics principles and the process of using these principles to construct models of physical systems that predict and explain their behaviors. I reflect on events that led to our adoption of this new curriculum and on our experience implementing and assessing it in courses taken by more than 2000 students each year. The courses' success inspires work to enhance the coherence of our third-semester modern physics course by continuing the M&I focus on fundamental principles and physical modeling.
      • Implementing Matter and Interactions at CSU Long Beach

      • FB04
      • Wed 02/08, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Galen Pickett
      • Type: Contributed
      • We describe the implementation of the Matter and Interactions curriculum at Cal State Long Beach. While our gains on the Force Concept Inventory and the Basic Electricity and Magnetism Assessment are systematically lower than those achieved in comparable courses, we have had interesting success on the Colorado Learning Attitudes About Science Survey. As a part of being a comprehensive funded site of the Physics Teacher Education Coalition, significant reforms of our courses have been implemented, and we report on the effect of those reforms on our assessment data.
      • Implementing Reformed Curricula in Large Introductory Physics Course at Georgia Tech

      • FB05
      • Wed 02/08, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Michael Schatz
      • Type: Contributed
      • The reform curriculum, Matter and Interactions (M&I), was first introducedinto Georgia Tech engineering physics courses in summer 2006; today the curriculum is taught to more than 1000 students each semester. We will discuss some key issues associated with implementing a new curriculum in large-enrollment introductory courses. We will also describe efforts to measure the new curriculum's impact using both standardized assessment tools (concept inventories) and in-depth student interviews (think-aloud protocol studies). Finally, we will discuss work to enhance students' understanding of numerical computation and visualization introduced in the M&I curriculum.
      • Integrating "Six Ideas..." into the Curriculum at Marquette University

      • FB06
      • Wed 02/08, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Benjamin Brown
      • Type: Contributed
      • We are in our third year of implementing the "Six Ideas that Shaped Physics" textbooks into both the engineering physics courses and into our course for prospective chemistry and physics majors. With about 350 students in the engineering course (four lecture classes of about 90 students each), and with 20 students in the majors course, each class has presented distinct challenges. In the engineering course, we initially include three written assignments per week with the opportunity for students to rework the problems. This year, we have introduced computerized homework sets with the help of with McGraw Hill. The course for majors is a studio style course. Results for the Force Concept Inventory* standardized test gains with the computer homework will be detailed. Overall, we are satisfied with the learning gains and the level of student satisfaction in both courses.
  • Computational and Online Tools for Teaching Physics

      • Accurate Scientific Visualization in Research and Physics Teaching

      • FC01
      • Wed 02/08, 8:00AM - 8:10AM
      • by Tim Wendler
      • Type: Contributed
      • Accurate visualization is key in the expression and comprehension of physical principles. Many 3D animation software packages come with built-in numerical methods for a variety of fundamental classical systems. Scripting languages give access to low-level computational functionality, thereby revealing a virtual physics laboratory for teaching and research. Specific examples will be presented: Galilean relativistic hair, energy conservation in complex systems, scattering from a central force, and energy transfer in bi-molecular reactions.
      • Investigating Student Interactions with a Synthetic Tutoring System

      • FC02
      • Wed 02/08, 8:10AM - 8:20AM
      • by Christopher Nakamura
      • Type: Contributed
      • Online learning environments represent a potentially important educationalresource, particularly for students with insufficient access to teachers, or who are accustomed to getting information online. Understanding how students progress through online learning materials is important for successful design. Objective questions are easily assessed by computer, but free-response questions also provide insight into conceptual understanding. We have developed an online learning environment that allows students to get prerecorded video answers to natural language questions and requires them to answer free-response conceptual questions. Preliminary analysis suggests grouping responses to a question based on similarities in the ideas expressed can provide an automated analysis scheme that is useful for classifying future responses. Grouping may also provide a useful framework for understanding different ways students think about the question. A natural extension of this analysis is to investigate conceptual connections and statistical correlations between groupings that emerge from students' responses across multiple questions.
      • Creating an Online Virtual World to Teach Physics

      • FC03
      • Wed 02/08, 8:20AM - 8:30AM
      • by Ricardo Rademacher
      • Type: Contributed
      • For the last 10 years, Dr. Rademacher has pursued the creation of a three-dimensional online virtual world dedicated to teaching physics. In this presentation, three different virtual world implementations will be presented and the future for this project will also be discussed. The first implementation presented will be the Virtual Online Laboratory (VOL) as a testbed in translating offline physics labs to the three dimensional online world. Next, the Massively Multi-User Synchronous Collaborative Learning Environment (MMUSCLE) is presented as the next logical step with the addition of stronger social elements and introduces the use of video game development techniques and software. Finally, Physics Adventures in Space Time (PAST) is presented as the latest version, which incorporates all of the above but adds role-playing game elements to help move the pedagogy along.
      • Problem-Solving Strategies in an Online Homework Environment

      • FC04
      • Wed 02/08, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by Daniel Seaton
      • Type: Contributed
      • Data collected by online homework systems allow for unique insights into student problem-solving patterns. We apply data-mining techniques to investigate student interactions with online homework problems in our Integrated Learning Environment for Mechanics, built in the LON-CAPA open-source learning system. Problem-solving behaviors are analyzed using three different measures: time-per-problem, LON-CAPA difficulty, and item difficulty measured by item response theory. We build on our recent analysis of student-chosen, multi-level homework, providing further insight into student performance, problem efficacy, and overall student motivation. Particular attention is given to time-based measures of student interactions with online homework. Work supported by NSF Grant #PHY-0757931.
      • An Interactive Tool to Draw Spacetime Diagrams

      • FC05
      • Wed 02/08, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by Roberto Salgado
      • Type: Contributed
      • We present an interactive program written in VPython that allows a studentto interactively draw a spacetime diagram. The key feature of the program is that tickmarks along worldlines are marked by the light rays of a ticking light clock. The rays trace out diamonds with lightlike sides enclosing a fixed magnitude of area, which represent ticks of the clock. This provides visualizations of calculations in relativity that are usually treated algebraically.
      • Physics Educators as Designers of Simulation Using EJS Part 2

      • FC06
      • Wed 02/08, 8:50AM - 9:00AM
      • by Loo Kang Lawrence Wee
      • Type: Contributed
      • To deepen do-it-yourself (DIY) technology in the physics classroom, we seek to highlight the Open Source Physics (OSP) community of educators that engage, enable and empower teachers as learners so that we create DIY technology tools-simulation for inquiry learning. We learn through Web 2 online collaborative means to develop simulations together with reputable physicists through the open source digital library. By examining the open source codes of the simulation through the Easy Java Simulation (EJS) toolkit, we are able make sense of the physics from the computational models created by practicing physicists. We will share newer (2010-present) simulations that we have remixed from existing library of simulations models into suitable learning environments for inquiry of physics. We hope other teachers would find these simulations useful and remix them that suit their own context and contribute back to benefit all humankind, becoming citizens for the world.
  • Introductory Physics Courses

      • Letting Students Be the Simulation: Example of the Monty Hall Problem

      • FD01
      • Wed 02/08, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by Gerald Feldman
      • Type: Contributed
      • Statistical processes can be simulated to help students understand the results. These simulations are usually computer codes that the students execute, where the computer runs a large number of trials for the statistical process. We have employed a different scheme in which the students actually become the simulation, using examples of coin flipping and the Monty Hall (MH) problem. First, students are asked to make predictions about the best strategy for winning. Then they engage in a real-time classroom activity where they run the trials themselves by flipping coins or playing the MH game. Students get a feel for the accumulation of statistics as they collect their own data over several trials, and they observe the results converging to a particular answer when a large statistical sample is obtained by combining the class data. For the MH problem, students are often surprised at the counter-intuitive result that their own simulation of the process reveals.
      • Nuclear Physics in First Year College Physics -- a Pedagogical Natural

      • FD02
      • Wed 02/08, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by Donald Holcomb
      • Type: Contributed
      • Nuclear Physics provides a natural opportunity to bring 20th century physics into the first-year physics syllabus. (1) Nuclear reactions are important players in 21st century applications of physics. Medical diagnosis and treatment, as well as energy generations, are natural examples. (2) The necessary background for a phenomenological treatment of nuclear physics is quite limited, and will be brought by a large fraction of students. (3) Nuclear physics provides beautiful opportunities for the use of MODELS in physics -- the "close-packed spheres" model for calculating the size of nuclei as a function of the number of nucleons, as well as energy flow equations, provide nice examples. In summary: We have an opportunity to do a piece of 20th century science that has a strong motivational base for a substantial fraction of students, can be treated with tractable models, and can have a certain freshness.
      • Remedying Typical Texts? Discussions of Maxwell-Ampere's and Faraday's Laws

      • FD03
      • Wed 02/08, 8:50AM - 9:00AM
      • by Stephen Hill
      • Type: Contributed
      • When introducing any theory to students, we help them develop a facility with the math and an understanding of the concepts. Unfortunately, most introductory texts likely hinder student's understanding of Electricity and Magnetism by discussing Faraday's Law and the Maxwell-Ampere Law in a way that is inconsistent with the students' hitherto-developed understanding of causality and, for many texts, actually contradicts the principle of causality. I'll speak to this point and provide an accurate and consistent discussion of these laws which should help rather than hinder their understanding of Electricity and Magnetism.
      • Students-generated Multiple-Choice Questions for Peer Instruction

      • FD04
      • Wed 02/08, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Tetyana Antimirova
      • Type: Contributed
      • In the introductory physics course for all science majors at Ryerson University, active learning has been promoted by the adoption of Peer Instruction aided by clickers since 2007. Peer Instruction has had a significant positive effect on students? performance. In addition to the existing Peer Instruction, recently we have introduced a new activity where the students collaborate in small groups to create their own multiple choice format questions. The students are presented with open-ended questions, working in small groups to produce plausible answer options for a multiple choice format. The entire class then discusses the options presented by the groups. The questions created as a result of such small-group collaborative activities are used for Peer Instruction and evaluations. We will present examples of student-generated questions.
      • Using Modeling Discourse Management In Introductory Physics Classes

      • FD05
      • Wed 02/08, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by John Griffith
      • Type: Contributed
      • Three years ago, I began to incorporate a classroom management technique called Modeling Discourse Management [1] (MDM), a student-centered engagement method, into my introductory physics courses. This was quite a change for my classes given that my primary delivery method prior to this was classroom lecture. In this talk, strengths and successes of the incorporation of MDM into my classes, student feedback about MDM, a brief description of switching from lecture to MDM, and a sample activity or two will be presented.
      • Dynamics Concepts Learning Effects Through in-classroom and in-lab Instruction Comparison

      • FD06
      • Wed 02/08, 9:20AM - 9:30AM
      • by Sergio Flores
      • Type: Contributed
      • Physics II course is based on dynamics content and is mandatory for all majors in the University of Juarez. Many investigations related to a conceptual learning of these topics have found important understanding problems. In this course students have to develop a functional understanding of topics as velocity, acceleration, and Newton's second law. Some students show a lack of relation between the vector properties of these variables and the equation that relates these variables with the corresponding modeling process. We present results about the learning effects and conceptual versatility students develop through a lab environment. Research data were collected from two Physics II groups, one of the groups under a traditional instruction (in-classroom lecture) and the other one under an in-lab curriculum throughout the fall 2011 semester. The assessment elements during the cognitive process were similar for both groups. One of the micro-curriculum differences of the in-lab group was the use of equipment and material during all sessions. Observations show that about 50% of students from the traditional instruction dropped the class, and 90% of the in-lab instruction students stay in class by the middle of the semester.
      • Investigating Student Ability to Apply Basic Electrostatics Concepts to Conductors

      • FD07
      • Wed 02/08, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Ryan Hazelton
      • Type: Contributed
      • In teaching electrostatics and electric circuits, it is necessary to introduce abstract ideas such as electric fields and electric potential before discussions of circuits can take place. We have found that students in introductory courses can build a functional understanding of some aspects of electric fields and potential, but their understanding of these concepts appears to falter when applied to systems involving conductors. Examples of our preliminary findings will be presented.
      • Acronyms to Encourage Physics Education

      • FD08
      • Wed 02/08, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Shannon Schunicht
      • Type: Contributed
      • When instructing classes, physics formulas are continually espoused with applications, historical highlights, and derivations always in the same fashion. Students have other classes, assignments, et.al. For this reason, the study of physics takes second place, if not being discarded altogether. This author came back to school after suffering a severe head injury to make some pragmatic findings to compensate for the residual memory deficits. The most valuable was having each vowel represent a mathematical operation. Using this technique, any formula may be algebraically manipulated into a word for recollected ease, ADDITIONAL LETTERS may be added to enhance a letter combinations intelligibility, but need be CONSONANTS only. Examples include: exCePT i buiLD rabbiTS 4 caTS oN 2 HaTS. Everyone remembers DR. Seuss? This acronym is for the quadratic equation! Sample cards will be distributed, as well as formulas tackled that are submitted.
      • Kinetic Energy Can't Exceed Work Done

      • FD09
      • Wed 02/08, 9:50AM - 10:00AM
      • by BHARAT CHAUDHARY
      • Type: Contributed
      • The increase of mass with speed leads to the increase of force and an unusual increase of kinetic energy. In classical physics, force is defined as the rate of change of momentum. Momentum equals mass times velocty. In this case, mass always remains constant and velocity changes at a constant rate. Therefore, acceleration remains constant. Thus force, being the product of two constants, also remains constant. In relativistic mechanics also, the same definition of force holds, but here mass also varies. Both varibles vary at varying rates giving a variable equation of force, instead of a constant one. This relavistic equation of force gives an expression of kinetic energy which shows infinite value just at the speed of light, instead of at infinite velocity. This violates work energy principle, according to that kinetic energy can't exceed work done. Therefore, kinetic energy shown from the relativistic equation isn't physically realizable.
  • Upper Division Physics

      • Quantum Information for Undergraduates

      • FE01
      • Wed 02/08, 8:00AM - 8:10AM
      • by Jean-Francois Van Huele
      • Type: Contributed
      • Quantum Information (QI) is rapidly becoming a mature discipline, but it has yet to find its way into the undergraduate physics curriculum. Should it? And if so, how do we make this happen? To address these two questions interactively, we will need information on QI content and QI resources, which this talk will provide, but also criteria for curricular priorities and suggestions for pedagogical strategies, which the audience will help provide.
      • Teaching Ferromagnetism and Magnetic Domains with a Homemade Kerr Microscope

      • FE02
      • Wed 02/08, 8:10AM - 8:20AM
      • by Hector Mireles
      • Type: Contributed
      • We have constructed a magneto-optical (Kerr) microscope that permits students to observe -- in real time -- magnetic domains responding to a controlled magnetic field. By studying the dynamics of magnetic domains, our students explore some of the fundamental aspects that govern all devices that rely on magnetic memory; hysteresis and magnetic anisotropy. The microscope is incorporated into our upper-division solid-state physics laboratory course, and also provides students with insight into the magneto-optical Kerr effect (MOKE). We offer some technical suggestions for laboratory developers, and outline some learning objectives that undergraduates could achieve with this instrument.
      • Medical Physics

      • FE03
      • Wed 02/08, 8:20AM - 8:30AM
      • by Thomas Greenslade, Jr.
      • Type: Contributed
      • The majority of American men will die with Prostate Cancer. Note that I said "will die WITH" rather than "will die OF" prostate cancer. Still, a fair number of us will have to deal with the presence of prostate cancer and must seek medical treatment for it. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer a short time before my 73rd birthday. The initial diagnosis showed that it probably had not spread. Showing that this was true and then treating it led to a host of procedures that were pure physics, and are the subjects of this talk.
      • More Than Coursework: Aiding the Transition from Learner to Doer

      • FE04
      • Wed 02/08, 8:30AM - 8:40AM
      • by Vern Lindberg
      • Type: Contributed
      • Traditional course work, though of central importance for a physics major,is not the only item of importance in undergraduate training. At RIT, we teach technical and communications skills essential after graduation (either for graduate school or immediate employment) throughout the curriculum. Technical skills including LaTeX, gnuplot, LabView, and maintaining a lab notebook are used throughout the curriculum. Communication skills are honed in a Comprehensive Oral Exam (CORE) based on introductory courses including modern physics. Completion of the CORE generates a notable increase in student confidence, poise, and ability to present material orally. As part of their senior Capstone Research, students give presentations of increasing length, and produce papers in scientific form. Many of our majors learn teaching skills while serving as undergraduate TAs in our Team Physics implementation of SCALE-UP. Upon graduation, our majors report success in these non-curricular areas of their training.
      • Adopting Paradigms in Physics Curricular Materials in Diverse Contexts

      • FE05
      • Wed 02/08, 8:40AM - 8:50AM
      • by Mary Bridget Kustusch
      • Type: Contributed
      • One of the major goals of upper-division programs is and should be to foster the capacity of the next generation of physics majors to "think like physicists." The Paradigms in Physics Project provides tools and support for faculty from many institutions as they shift their practices at the lecture, activity, course, and even program level. This presentation will compare some of the ways in which Paradigms-influenced curricular materials have been implemented in different environments and by different instructors. The presenter will reflect on her own experiences as a new postdoc becoming a part of the Paradigms team and discuss the implications for dissemination and faculty change.
      • Investigating Student Understanding of Diode Circuits*

      • FE06
      • Wed 02/08, 8:50AM - 9:00AM
      • by MacKenzie Stetzer
      • Type: Contributed
      • As part of an ongoing, in-depth investigation of student understanding of analog electronics, we have been examining student learning in upper-division laboratory courses on the subject. This investigation, which began at the University of Washington, has now been extended to multiple institutions. In this talk, I will highlight the role of written questions on basic diode circuits in probing student understanding of both fundamental electric circuits concepts (typically covered in introductory physics courses) and canonical topics in analog electronics. Specific examples will be used to illustrate how the findings from this investigation have implications for instruction in both introductory and upper-division courses.
      • Investigating Departmental Expectations for Physics Undergraduate Students

      • FE07
      • Wed 02/08, 9:00AM - 9:10AM
      • by Renee Michelle Goertzen
      • Type: Contributed
      • We are investigating the goals physics faculty at our institution hold forthe students majoring in physics. We present preliminary results of interviews with physics faculty that explore what attitudes, abilities, and characteristics they expect students to have developed by the time they graduate with a Bachelor's degree from our institution. The goal of the work is to build a deeper understanding of the expectations physics faculty hold for their students, which will allow us to better assess whether students meet these expectations, and whether the physics program provides sufficient opportunities for students to develop these desired attitudes and abilities. This increased understanding should also facilitate comparison of how the goals of physics professors and of the physics education research community.
      • Integration: Has Its Time Finally Come?

      • FE08
      • Wed 02/08, 9:10AM - 9:20AM
      • by Norman Chonacky
      • Type: Contributed
      • During the past four decades, computation has increasingly become a vital component of science and engineering toolboxes. Important computational advances have come in numerical modeling and simulation. More recently various development efforts have produced technologies making it easier to produce sophisticated and user-friendly software, whose applications yielded exemplary educational materials for undergraduate physics. Yet thus far these materials have not made significant headway into physics courses. A recent study confirmed this national failure to integrate and pointed to possible reasons for this despite the existence of high-quality computational resources.(1) This talk reports recent progress in efforts by the Partnership for Integration of Computation into Undergraduate Physics (PICUP) to provide a framework for, and sample materials aimed at, lowering faculty barriers to computational integration.
  • Pseudoscience

      • Pseudoscience from a Journalists Perspective.

      • FF01
      • Wed 02/08, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Martin Hackworth
      • Type: Invited
      • The difficulty in discerning between pseudoscience and science from the twin perspectives of both science and journalism. The author is a Senior Lecturer in Physics at Idaho State University and a multiple winning journalist.
      • Send Your Students to the Internet to Practice Distinguishing Good Science from Pseudoscience!

      • FF02
      • Wed 02/08, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Douglas Duncan
      • Type: Invited
      • Student attitudes about learning science were compared at the end of two astronomy courses, one with a traditional curriculum and one whose curriculum explicitly addressed the nature of science and meta-cognition (i.e. thinking about one's own thinking). The augmented curriculum gave students practice at evaluating examples of science and pseudoscience found on the Internet or YouTube. Attitudes at term end were assessed using the Epistemological Beliefs Assessment for Physical Science (EBAPS) survey, extensive interviews and written responses. A majority of students in the transformed course stated that anyone can learn science, whereas a majority of students in the traditional course thought that only individuals with innate abilities can learn science and think scientifically. Students in the transformed course reported much more confidence in their ability to evaluate the scientific validity of information found on the Internet, and they valued making sense of science more than students from the traditional course.
      • Valid vs. Bogus Methods in Paranormal Investigation

      • FF03
      • Wed 02/08, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by James Underdown
      • Type: Invited
      • The widespread belief in paranormal phenomena such as ghosts, telepathy, performance-enhancing bracelets, etc. is often bolstered by pseudoscientific jargon and bad science. To make matters worse, TV shows and websites featuring ghost-hunters and paranormal claimants add to the misunderstanding of what really causes people to have weird experiences. James Underdown is the founder and chair of the Independent Investigations Group (IIG), the world's largest paranormal investigations team.The IIG offers a $50,000 prize to anyone who can prove paranormal ability under scientific testing conditions. For over 11 years, Underdown and the IIG team have been testing people who have made claims from telepathy, to dowsing, to telekinesis. No one has passed even a preliminary test of such ability. In this presentation, Underdown will look at some of the testing techniques his group uses to check the validity of paranormal claims, and will report on the state of the paranormal arts.
      • Bogus Astronomy: Examples for Teaching Scientific Reasoning

      • FF04
      • Wed 02/08, 9:30AM - 9:40AM
      • by Timothy Heumier
      • Type: Contributed
      • In my Introduction to Astronomy class, I periodically show items garnered from the Internet that are BOGUS! I start by presenting an item, and then ask what they think of it. Sometimes they catch on quickly, sometimes it takes awhile. As we analyze the claims, we make use of facts and principles we have learned in astronomy to detect these frauds. I will demonstrate four such bogus items, including the famous "Mars as big as the Moon", "Moon at the North Pole", "New near-earth asteroid Hatchett-McRay" and the ever popular "NASA finds the missing day." In all cases, I discuss why some people might be inclined to fall for the fraud, and how my students can learn to avoid falling prey.
      • Searching for ET: The Science and Pseudoscience of Aliens

      • FF05
      • Wed 02/08, 9:40AM - 9:50AM
      • by Barbra Maher
      • Type: Contributed
      • Aliens and UFOs abound in popular culture, providing an exciting approach to the issue of science versus pseudoscience. Extraterrestrial life is a topic that can easily capture the student's imagination and attention. Recent advancements in astrobiology have changed the outlook of some on the probability of life beyond Earth, but it is still a controversial idea for many. In several courses at Red Rocks Community College, this topic is used to explore the differences between science and pseudoscience. Students are introduced to the topic using a variety of media including video, science fiction, apps, and databases. Students then complete assignments ranging from researching popular UFO cases, exploring the limits of the Drake equation, learning about extremophiles, researching the efforts of SETI, and probing the latest exoplanet discoveries. Learning outcomes include knowledge and application of the scientific method, and understanding the various scientific approaches to the search for extraterrestrial life.
  • Interactive Lecture Demonstrations: Physics Suite Materials that Enhance Learning in Lecture

      • Interactive Lecture Demonstrations: Active Learning in Lecture

      • FG01
      • Wed 02/08, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • 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]. The demonstrations will be drawn from second semester topics.
      • Interactive Lecture Demonstrations: Effectiveness in Teaching Concepts

      • FG02
      • Wed 02/08, 9:30AM - 10:00AM
      • by Ronald Thornton
      • Type: Invited
      • The effectiveness of Interactive Lecture Demonstrations in teaching physics concepts has been studied using physics education research based, multiple-choice conceptual evaluations [1] Results of such studies will be presented. These results should be encouraging to those who wish to improve conceptual learning in lecture.
  • Two-Year College Guidelines

      • Two-Year College Guidelines

      • FH
      • Wed 02/08, 8:00AM - 10:00AM
      • by
      • Type: Panel
      • The two-year college community has been working to revise the AAPT booklet "Guidelines for Two-Year College Physics Programs" . This panel discussion will update the community on the status of the revision.
  • Reforming the Introductory Physics Course for Life Science Majors VI

      • Toward Better Serving Life Science Students in Introductory Physics

      • FI01
      • Wed 02/08, 8:00AM - 8:30AM
      • by Charles De Leone
      • Type: Invited
      • Insight from physics education research and increased emphasis on quantitative and computational methods in biology has called into question both the content and delivery of the traditional introductory physics course for life scientists. In response to this situation, physics educators have begun to search for better ways to satisfy the needs of future life scientists. This talk aims to explore the space of course modifications that might better serve life science students. Context for this discussion will be the introductory physics course for biologists at California State University, San Marcos. Attention will be paid to the initial design of this course, how it has evolved in the eight years since it was first piloted, and the feedback received from science colleagues outside of physics.
      • Accelerated Integrated Science Sequence: An Experiment in Interdisciplinary Science Education

      • FI02
      • Wed 02/08, 8:30AM - 9:00AM
      • by Scot Gould
      • Type: Invited
      • Accelerated Integrated Science Sequence (AISS) is the centerpiece of an effort by our department to attract science majors to colleges that have traditionally not emphasized the natural sciences. AISS is a year-long, double course with an integrated laboratory component. It covers the material found in the conventional introductory biology, chemistry, and physics courses. Faculty members from the three disciplines team-teach the course simultaneously. The material is organized in the following areas: randomness, structure of materials, energy states of systems and dynamical processes. Fundamental physics principles are introduced through examples from biology and chemistry. Outcomes in biology and chemistry are explained using physical concepts. While the percentage of college applicants who indicate their intention to major in the sciences has not increased, the yield of the accepted students with interest in the sciences now exceeds the average acceptance yield of the colleges.
      • Where Will Physics Be in the New 2015 MCAT?

      • FI03
      • Wed 02/08, 9:00AM - 9:30AM
      • by Richard Lewis
      • Type: Invited
      • The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) has been undergoing a three-year, comprehensive review. As the review process is nearing an end, preliminary recommendations for the revision are starting to be communicated, and a new test is expected to be introduced in the spring of 2015. Students who plan to prepare for a career in medicine generally make up a sizeable portion of students taking physics for the life sciences, and a significant part of the current MCAT has been testing knowledge and use of concepts in physics. Therefore, it may be instructive to consider the preliminary recommendations and discuss the implications for teaching physics for the life sciences.
  • Unusual Uses of Video Analysis in the Classroom

      • Computational Modeling and Video Analysis of a Place Kick in American Football

      • GA01
      • Wed 02/08, 1:00PM - 1:10PM
      • by Kevin Sanders
      • Type: Contributed
      • The motion of an American football during a place kick is not characterized by ideal projectile motion because it is significantly affected by drag and spin. In this experiment, a regulation football was kicked end-over-end (as in a field goal kick). Video was analyzed to determine the effect of drag and lift (due to backspin) on the path of the football. Results of a computational model were compared to the actual path in order to estimate the drag and lift coefficients. It was found that lift, due to the Magnus effect, was more significant than anticipated and could not be neglected in order to accurately model the motion of the football. The video, computational model, and resulting coefficients will be presented.
      • Video Analysis to Analyze Ciliary Beat Frequency of Paramecium

      • GA02
      • Wed 02/08, 1:10PM - 1:20PM
      • by Amanda Tindall
      • Type: Contributed
      • Paramecium, unicellular eukaryotes commonly found in freshwater habitats, survive by propelling themselves through the water in search of nutrition. Propulsion is achieved through coordinated motion of thousands of tiny hair-like structures called cilia performing a rowboat-like motion, powering them through the water as quickly as 2700 mu-m/s. Paramecium are excellent model organisms as they are easy to maintain and large enough to examine using brightfield microscopy; models constructed from the analysis of paramecium ciliary beat can be applied to higher order systems, such as human trachea cells. We captured and analyzed videos using a light microscope and open source tracking software, then determined ciliary beat frequency and compared motion to the simple harmonic oscillator, thereby developing an effective model for cilia motion. This research requires little specialized equipment and is an interesting and effective use of video analysis easily explored in both undergraduate laboratories and advanced high school programs.
      • Video Analysis of the Inverted Pendulum Model of Walking

      • GA03
      • Wed 02/08, 1:20PM - 1:30PM
      • by Justin Dunlap
      • Type: Contributed
      • In order to analyze an otherwise complex system, a common and simple modelof walking is used that treats the body's center of mass as an inverted pendulum that rotates about the foot. Using video analysis, students can visually see the pendulum-like behavior of their steps and can measure important quantities necessary for the analysis of their motion. Topics such as velocity, center of mass, simple harmonic motion, and energy conservation make this activity appropriate for the physics classroom while providing links to biomechanics and the human body. The lab is part of a series of activities designed to improve the understanding of medical instrumentation as well as the human body.
      • Physics-based Video Projects at Bismarck State College

      • GA04
      • Wed 02/08, 1:30PM - 1:40PM
      • by Anthony Mwene
      • Type: Contributed
      • Students at Bismarck State College (a two-year college) have been using video analysis tools in class and making videos of their activities outside class for analysis. I will present some of the interesting videos my college physics and university physics students have made and analyzed at Bismarck State College. Some of the videos were taken during class time but others were taken during out of class activities.
      • How Unhappy Is the "Sad Ball"

      • GA05
      • Wed 02/08, 1:40PM - 1:50PM
      • by Tiberiu Dragoiu
      • Type: Contributed
      • The NSF founded "ATE Project for Physics Faculty" aimed at two-year college (TYC) and high school (HS) physics instructors, has provided high-quality workshops throughout the country for many years. Few of these workshops were dedicated to video-analysis. During my participation in some of these three-day intensive meetings, I learned to take and analyze high-speed video footage, up to 1000 fps. Out of many experiments and movie captures performed, I will show how I used video analysis to investigate the happy and sad (unhappy) balls.
  • What Can We Learn About Learning From Research in Museums, Media, and Other Informal Environments?

      • Rethinking the Roles of Informal Science Environments and Classroom Teaching

      • GB01
      • Wed 02/08, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by James Kisiel
      • Type: Invited
      • Where do we really learn science? As concerns build regarding the challenges of effective science teaching in the formal, K-12 learning environment, we find increased attention drawn to a larger view of science learning, learning that spans setting and time. A growing body of research is helping us to understand how people come to understand science outside of school settings, suggesting a more complex and more fluid sense of science learning. For this session, we?ll explore a broader conception of what it means to learn science in informal science environments (museums, parks, science centers, aquariums) as well as the challenges of leveraging such environments and institutional resources to support learning across both informal and formal learning contexts. Research related to teacher use of informal learning settings will set the stage for a variety of strategies for improving teachers? use of informal science learning institutions and other community sites.
      • NOVA and Science Cafes: A Flexible Model for Public Engagement of Science

      • GB02
      • Wed 02/08, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Rachel Connolly
      • Type: Invited
      • Science Cafes are conversations between scientists and the public that occur in casual settings. This flexible model for public engagement is growing in popularity, and increasingly being adapted to reach a range of audiences--from teachers to teens. Since 2005, NOVA has been promoting and offering resources to science cafés nationally as part of the outreach strategy for NOVA scienceNOW. With the launch of our new online community at www.sciencecafes.org, we now have over 200 registered cafe affiliates nationally, and four international affiliates. Come and learn about cafes and how to start or grow one in your community.
      • Authoring New Identities through Engagement in an After School Science Club, GET City

      • GB03
      • Wed 02/08, 2:00PM - 2:30PM
      • by Hosun Kang
      • Type: Invited
      • There is growing evidence that out-of-school informal science programs, such as after-school science clubs, can promote science learning (NRC, 2009). We have been studying young women's learning and participation in science as they traverse across various "science spaces," including after-school science clubs and school science classrooms, and the impact this has on their identity development (or sense of future selves in science). Findings indicate that informal learning opportunities, when they are both continuous and complementary to school science, play critical roles in shaping how and why girls identify with science, and the ways in which such identity work can transfer from out-of-school settings to in-school settings, in ways that positively impact their participation and learning there. In my talk I focus on these findings, and describe the mechanisms of transfer that support girls in leveraging out of school learning for success in school science.
  • The Search for Dark Matter

      • The Dark Side of the Universe

      • GC01
      • Wed 02/08, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Marusa Bradac
      • Type: Invited
      • One of the greatest accomplishments in recent astrophysics is the creationof a model for the complete inventory of the Universe. All the observational data tells us with extremely high certainty that ordinary matter (every particle ever detected by every person who ever lived) makes up only one fifth of all the matter there is. The rest goes by the popular name of dark matter. Because it is dark, dark matter has been notoriously hard to detect; it doesn't emit or reflect radiation such as light or heat, and it can have only the feeblest of interactions with itself and ordinary matter. So how do we know it is there? In this talk, I will discuss how astronomers observe the invisible matter in one of the true gems on the sky: a giant cluster of galaxies 1E0657-56. It is one of the hottest and most luminous X-ray clusters known and is unique in being a major supersonic cluster merger occurring nearly in the plane of the sky, earning it the nickname "the Bullet Cluster".
      • Direct Detection of Dark Matter

      • GC02
      • Wed 02/08, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by Harry Nelson
      • Type: Invited
      • The conclusive evidence for the existence of dark matter, a form of matterthat surrounds galaxies and clusters of galaxies, all comes from astrophysical measurements. However, it is natural to ask whether the dark matter consists of a new particle that can be detected in Earth-based laboratories. An intense, worldwide effort is under way to detect hypothetical dark matter particles. I'll review those efforts, with emphasis on the near future, when the new experiment LUX will commence at the Sanford Lab.
  • Teaching methods for physics teacher preparation II

      • Content-Intensive Masters Degree Programs for Under-prepared Inservice Teachers

      • GD01
      • Wed 02/08, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Colleen Megowan-Romanowicz
      • Type: Invited
      • To address the critical shortage of highly qualified middle and high school teachers in the physical sciences, the Modeling Instruction Program at Arizona State University has given birth to two content-intensive Master of Natural Science (MNS) degree programs--one designed to prepare high school physics and chemistry teachers and the other designed to prepare elementary-certified teachers to teach the physical sciences and/or mathematics at the middle school level. Grounded in Modeling pedagogy, these programs deliver a suite of courses that focuses on the handful of conceptual models that form the content core of the physical sciences. The program of study for high school teachers includes courses in contemporary physics and courses that integrate physics with other disciplines. The program for middle school teachers has an Energy and Sustainability theme and features eight courses that integrate mathematics and the physical sciences. Both programs require teachers to complete classroom action research.
      • Deepening Prospective Elementary Teachers' Pedagogical Content knowledge (PCK) of Energy

      • GD02
      • Wed 02/08, 1:30PM - 1:40PM
      • by Lorenzo Santi
      • Type: Contributed
      • To assist future elementary teachers (FETs) in comprehending children ideas expressed in games, stories, questions, etc., research-based interventions were conducted on different groups of FETs in three academic years with the goal of designing and assessing a module on energy for FET formation. Major goals for this investigation were to elicit FET ideas about energy and of the anchoring concepts in the learning of the topic; to acquaint FETs with research findings on this topic; and to propose a specific research-based curricular progression. Ideas that were targeted included those of energy as fuel-like substance that is possessed by living things; as possessed only by moving objects or as product of some process and existing only during this process; as force or power, etc. In this talk, the tasks used in this investigation will be presented and the role in teacher formation of analyzing pre-college students' learning challenges will be discussed.
      • Learning and Teaching Through Inquiry: Helping Change the Science Classroom*

      • GD03
      • Wed 02/08, 1:40PM - 1:50PM
      • by Donna Messina
      • Type: Contributed
      • Effective science education reform requires bringing inquiry teaching and learning to the forefront in K-12 schools. Meeting this challenge requires substantial changes in teacher preparation, professional development, and teaching practice. Physics by Inquiry1 is a curriculum that helps teachers develop a deep understanding of topics relevant to the K-12 classroom. These research-validated, professional development materials are intended to be used in an instructional environment that provides teachers with an opportunity to learn through a process of inquiry. In addition, they serve as a model for instruction in precollege classrooms. The results of studies conducted to assess the effects of the curriculum on changes in teachers' content understanding, pedagogical content knowledge, and teaching practice will be discussed.
      • Improving Future High School Physics Teachers' Preparedness

      • GD04
      • Wed 02/08, 1:50PM - 2:00PM
      • by Brian Thoms
      • Type: Contributed
      • A new seven-week summer course has been developed to improve the physics pedagogical content knowledge and the confidence of future physics teachers. Master of Arts in Teaching students at Georgia State University have an option to pursue broad-field certification (physics, chemistry, biology, and earth science). The students who take this option have a variety of backgrounds in physics, ranging from one year of algebra-based physics to full physics or engineering degrees and have a commensurate range in physics conceptual understanding. Since student teaching occurs in the fall and spring terms, the short summer semester is the primary opportunity for content coursework. We have developed the new course to simultaneously address the physics misconceptions of the future teachers while teaching physics pedagogical content knowledge and expose them to research-proven teaching methods in a SCALE-UP classroom. The conceptual physics knowledge and attitudes of these students have been investigated during pilot semesters. In a single seven-week summer term, normalized gains in Force Concept Inventory scores averaged 0.43 (half of students showed normalized gains over 0.50) and students also show large increases in their self-evaluations of their comfort and preparedness for teaching physics.
      • Integrating Complementary Modes of Representation through Digital Video Analysis

      • GD05
      • Wed 02/08, 2:00PM - 2:10PM
      • by Richard Hechter
      • Type: Contributed
      • Pre-service physics teacher education courses are the home of transformative experiences aimed toward developing teacher identity and efficacy, and pedagogical strategies and decision-making through the context of K-12 physics concepts and curriculum. Within these courses, insight into best teaching practices that evoke meaningful learning suggests the inclusion of explicit integration of complementary modes of representation of physics phenomena, concepts, and data, be an explicit part of physics teachers' pedagogical approach. This presentation will present preliminary research that explores pre-service physics teachers' current positioning within, and projected future use of, multiple forms of representation through infused technology within the physics classroom. Specifically, pre-service teacher insight of the overlapping integration of the symbolic, numerical, graphical, and visual modes of representation through the use of Ipad technology and digital video analysis will be discussed.
      • An Optics Design Challenge Tying Pre-service Teachers to Physics Classrooms

      • GD06
      • Wed 02/08, 2:10PM - 2:20PM
      • by Jill Marshall
      • Type: Contributed
      • Incorporating design challenges into STEM classrooms has been shown to be a way to motivate students and enhance science and mathematics learning by embedding it in an authentic context. I will report on a design challenge that has been incorporated into the UTeach secondary teacher preparation program at the University of Texas. The design challenge partners pre-service teachers with students in a physics course based on Physics by Inquiry (McDermott & the University of Washington Physics Education Group, 1996). The pre-service teachers are challenged to design durable pinhole cameras that could be manufactured from readily available materials in sufficient quantities for use in their future classrooms for optics and chemistry lessons. The Physics by Inquiry students serve as customers. The cameras must be usable by students with varying visual acuity and facial dimensions to pass a resolution test. I will focus on student learning in both design and optics.
  • Physics of Everyday Devices

      • Relating the Nature of Light and Technologies That Use It

      • GE01
      • Wed 02/08, 1:00PM - 1:30PM
      • by Gary DeLeo
      • Type: Invited
      • Animals evolved survival strategies based largely upon exquisite sensitivities to electromagnetic radiation. Many of our technologies, exotic and household, operate by managing light - they produce, detect, and manipulate it. There are many learning opportunities in understanding relationships between common observations of nature and technologies that surround us. For example, we can consider the relationship between a snake, fireplace, television remote control, Radio Shack "IR thermometer," and the built-in filter in a digital camera; or that between a soap bubble and non-reflective glasses. In such a manner, I will describe demonstrations and activities that explore the nature of light and its uses in technology. I describe how old devices can facilitate an understanding of newer technologies; e.g., using old-style SLR film cameras to reveal basic principles that digital cameras conceal. I will share my experiences in using these activities in outreach programs across a wide range of educational levels.
      • A Picture is Worth a Zillion Photoelectric Events

      • GE02
      • Wed 02/08, 1:30PM - 2:00PM
      • by William Church
      • Type: Invited
      • Most laptops are shipped with a webcam built into the screen. Traditionally used for videoconferencing and games, these cameras are an onboard real-time science sensor that can be used for physics projects at all levels. This session will discuss how the webcam works and how this measurement tool can be used in a physics classroom. The session will start with a discussion of how an image is acquired, filtered for color, digitized, and represented in memory and end with demonstrations of several classroom projects including light absorption and reflection, color analysis, and moving object tracking. Free color analysis software, accompanied by an activity focusing on the differences between color perception of humans and other species, will be available from the author.
      • Experiments with Solar Cells and LCDs from a Dollar Calculator

      • GE03
      • Wed 02/08, 2:00PM - 2:10PM
      • by William Heffner
      • Type: Contributed
      • There are a variety of devices and a lot of physics inside a solar calculator including solar cells, liquid crystal displays, membrane contact switches, rechargeable batteries and the processor. Some of the least expensive, large display calculators are available for as little as one to three dollars -- low-cost enough to dissect and reuse the components in one or more physics lab periods. We will describe several electro-optic related experiments that can be done from these parts which reinforce the exploration of how they work.
      • The Physics of Tires and the Automotive Center of Mass

      • GE04
      • Wed 02/08, 2:10PM - 2:20PM
      • by Chuck Edmondson
      • Type: Contributed
      • The properties of automotive tires change drastically with vertical loading. For example, the lateral force generated by a tire when turning is not linearly proportional to the vertical load (normal force). Overloaded tires reduce gas mileage and can lead to tire failure. To select a tire with the proper load rating, one must know both the static load on each tire and the dynamic load when the car is accelerating. The static load can be measured by placing a scale under each tire. We can estimate the dynamic load if we know the range of expected accelerations and if we can find the location of the center of mass relative to the four tires. The longitudinal, lateral, and height of the center of mass can be calculated using the same scales from the static experiment. A simple classroom experiment is presented to demonstrate all of the essential elements.
      • Make Diodes in Your Classroom - Introduce Your Students to Electronics

      • GE05
      • Wed 02/08, 2:20PM - 2:30PM
      • by Jon Scott
      • Type: Contributed
      • Students often view electronic devices as mysterious black boxes. They have no concept for how they work. Diodes are one of the fundamental solid-state electronics devices. Because the diode is fundamental, it serves as a good entry point for students to understand electronics. If students understand how a diode works, they have the foundation to understand electronics. While commercially available p-n junction diodes are cheap and readily available, there is nothing like being able to make one yourself. Surprisingly easy, an activity to make diodes in a high school science lab is presented. All you need is a Bunsen burner; Nano-CEMMs, a nanotechnology research center at the University of Illinois, will supply the rest of the materials necessary.
  • PER: Student Reasoning and Problem Solving

      • Problem Solving Strategies with Representational Format and Context

      • GF01
      • Wed 02/08, 1:00PM - 1:10PM
      • by Bashirah Ibrahim
      • Type: Contributed
      • We compare students' problem-solving strategies when completing tasks withthe same representational format across two topical areas, kinematics and work. We individually interviewed a cohort of 19 engineering students completing 10 tasks over three sessions. The tasks were structured in linguistic, graphical and symbolic forms requesting either qualitative or quantitative solutions. We used a holistic approach to analyze the data focusing on whether students employed a quantitative or qualitative strategy, formulated a description or an explanation and included equations or visual representations in the problem solution. We found that the students were inconsistent in their approach for interpreting and solving problems with the same representation across the two topical areas. The mainly symbolic problem representation and level of prior knowledge influence students' strategies, their written responses and ability to recognize qualitative ways to attempt a problem.
      • Characterizing Student Strategies for Checking Solutions to Physics Problems

      • GF02
      • Wed 02/08, 1:10PM - 1:20PM
      • by Cameron Teichgraeber
      • Type: Contributed
      • Formal solution evaluation strategies, such as limiting case analysis and dimensional analysis, are valuable skills for physics students to develop. As a first step in developing instructional methods to improve these skills, we investigate student strategies for checking and evaluating solutions to physics problems during the solution process and after an answer is obtained. We collected written solutions and video data from students enrolled in calculus-based introductory mechanics and electricity and magnetism. Students exhibited basic checking, such as rereading the problem statement or givens, as well as more sophisticated checking, such as viewing the problem and results in a new representation. Students also showed a willingness to initiate checking strategies even when they were unable to obtain a conclusive result.
      • Computational Modeling Integrated with ASU Modeling Instruction: Implementation and Assessment

      • GF03
      • Wed 02/08, 1:20PM - 1:30PM
      • by John Aiken
      • Type: Contributed
      • We describe the implementation and assessment of computational modeling ina ninth-grade classroom in the context of the Arizona Modeling Instruction physics curriculum. Using a high-level programming environment (VPython), students develop computational models to predict the motion of objects under a variety of physical situations (e.g., constant net force), to simulate real-world phenomenon (e.g., car crash), and to visualize abstract quantities (e.g., acceleration). The impact of teaching computation is evaluated through a proctored assignment that asks the students to complete a provided program to represent the correct motion. The students are given an open-ended essay question that asks them to explain the steps they would use to model a physical situation. We also investigate the attitudes and prior experiences of each student using the Computation Modeling in Physics Attitudinal Student Survey (COMPASS) developed at Georgia Tech as well as a prior computational experiences survey.
      • Why Are Taylor Series So Tough?

      • GF04
      • Wed 02/08, 1:30PM - 1:40PM
      • by Marcos Caballero
      • Type: Contributed
      • At CU-Boulder, we have begun efforts to develop student-centered instruction in upper-division classical mechanics courses for physics majors. Part of this work requires investigations of student difficulties with particular concepts, models and tasks. Student use of Taylor series (an indispensable tool for practicing physicists) offers a unique look into how students separate math from physics. We have explored the difficulties that students exhibit when invoking, using, and discussing Taylor series as they relate to physical problems. Our investigations included classroom observations, students' homework performance, and out-of-class interviews. Our work implies the need for a stronger math-physics connection when teaching students to employ Taylor series. This work was supported by the University of Colorado's Science Education Initiative.
      • Study of the Effect of Problem Format on Students' Answers

      • GF05
      • Wed 02/08, 1:40PM - 1:50PM
      • by Beth Thacker
      • Type: Contributed
      • We report the results of a study on the effect of problem format on students' answers. In particular, we studied their ability to explain their reasoning and demonstrate the use of a logical problem solving process based on the physics principles they have learned. The same problem written in multiple formats was administered as a quiz in the large introductory physics sections in both the algebra-based and calculus-based classes. The formats included multiple choice only, multiple choice and explain your reasoning, explain your reasoning only, ranking and explaining your reasoning, and a few others. We present the results.
      • Importance of Scientific Reasoning Abilities: Should this Influence Our Teaching?

      • GF06
      • Wed 02/08, 1:50PM - 2:00PM
      • by Kathleen Koenig
      • Type: Contributed
      • Student development of scientific reasoning is at least as important as certain science content knowledge. This statement is made not only in regards to national attention on promoting 21st century skills for global competitiveness, but also in reference to research that demonstrates that students with formal reasoning patterns are more proficient learners. Unfortunately, students enter higher education with wide variations in scientific reasoning abilities, and these skills are not typically targeted in the college curriculum. In this talk I share the scientific reasoning abilities, as measured by Lawson's Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning, for a wide variety of majors and show that the typical college course does not impact these skills. This talk provides the rationale for the inclusion of learning objectives in our courses that promote the development of more formal reasoning. Examples of pedagogies and curricula shown to be effective in developing student scientific reasoning abilities will be provided.
      • Reasoning and Content Learning in Diverse Student Populations

      • GF07
      • Wed 02/08, 2:00PM - 2:10PM
      • by Bruce Patton
      • Type: Contributed
      • Inquiry-based instruction has been shown to lead to large gains in both content knowledge as well as scientific reasoning ability. It is of great interest to understand factors that contribute to these gains. The success of diverse populations within an inquiry-based learning environment is related to a large set of variables which include initial reasoning ability, content knowledge, mathematical background, and demographic factors. The role of different factors in the group-based course is identified, such as group work, individual exercises, journaling, instructor intervention, and hands-on activities. Comparison will be made between cohorts who include high school students, pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, and GEC students.
      • Students' Brain Type and Conceptions of Learning Science

      • GF08
      • Wed 02/08, 2:10PM - 2:20PM
      • by Jiyeon Park
      • Type: Contributed
      • We investigated whether the brain type is a good predictor of students' conceptions of and approaches to learning science. The inventory instruments used for our study were the systemizing quotient and the empathy quotient for measuring the brain type, the questionnaire on the conceptions of learning science, the questionnaire on the approaches to learning science. Our result showed that there was a highly significant positive correlation between D, which is the difference between SQ and EQ, and conceptions of and approaches to learning science. The highly significant positive correlation also appeared between C, which is the sum of SQ and EQ, and conceptions of and approaches to learning science. The EQ is as important a factor in science learning as SQ. Therefore we need to regard the brain type as one of the important student characters.
      • Progress in Overcoming One-Point Slope Calculations

      • GF09
      • Wed 02/08, 2:20PM - 2:30PM
      • by Bradley Moser
      • Type: Contributed
      • The Test of Understanding Graphs in Kinematics (TUG-K) has informed the instruction of introductory physics for nearly two decades. One of this test's early discoveries was the student tendency to calculate a one-point slope. Even if the tangent line does not originate at the origin, students will often compute the slope at a point by simply dividing a single y-value by a single x-value. In our sample of introductory physics students taught the past few years by four different instructors all utilizing Modeling-based Instruction, we found an improved success rate on TUG-K items probing the one-point slope phenomenon. Yet, student success still remained below 50% on these items. This year we have developed a greater variety of slope calculation activities and assessments for our students, in hopes of further remediating this persistent issue. We will present our post-test findings in this talk.
  • Post Deadline

      • An Experience with Integrated Lecture and Laboratory Classes: An Early Appraisal.

      • GG01
      • Wed 02/08, 1:00PM - 1:10PM
      • by Ntungwa Maasha
      • Type: Contributed
      • Two years ago we began teaching the calculus-based physics course sequencein an integrated lecture-laboratory mode. In this presentation I outline and discuss what we have learned from the experience, including some of the significant advantages and drawbacks we have encountered in using this approach. I also examine what seemed to be intractable problems and our aspirations for upgrading and streamlining the approach by importing additional research based methodologies available in the physics community.
      • Motion Graphs and the Kinematics of Character Animation

      • GG02
      • Wed 02/08, 1:10PM - 1:20PM
      • by Anthony Schultz
      • Type: Contributed
      • We investigate the science behind 3-D computer animation synthesized from human motion capture data. Analysis of example motion capture data is accomplished using the mathematics of kinematic chains and an associated distance metric. Various types of human movement sequences are physically characterized and used to extract the underlying movement vocabulary of the subject. This map, which we call a motion graph, may be used to generate novel movement.
      • Asynchronous Group Problem Solving

      • GG03
      • Wed 02/08, 1:20PM - 1:30PM
      • by Jeffrey Phillips
      • Type: Contributed
      • Using Livescribe smartpens, students in a general physics course recorded and exchanged problem solutions outside of class. The solutions are in the form of videos which display penstrokes and audio in real time. The students were instructed to articulate their thoughts as they solved the problems thereby placing the focus of the assignments on the problem solving process, rather than the refined end product. Through these activities students are expected to better self-regulate (plan, monitor and adjust) their work as they solve complex, real-world problems.
  • Report on IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics

      • Report on IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics

      • GH
      • Wed 02/08, 1:00PM - 3:00PM
      • by
      • Type: Panel
      • The 4th IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics (ICWIP 2011) happened 5-8 April 2011 in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa. The conference was hosted by Women in Physics in South Africa (WiPiSA) and the South African Institute of Physics (SAIP). This panel will be a discussion and report of on the conference. The IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics is a forum for both scientific presentations and for discussion of issues related to attracting, retaining and improving the status of women in physics. Please join us for an interesting and informative panel discussion.
  • Pre-Registration Pick up (Friday)

      • Pre-Registration Pick up (Friday)

      • REG01
      • Fri 02/03, 6:00PM - 8:00PM
      • by
      • Type: Registration
  • Registration (Saturday)

      • Registration (Saturday)

      • REG02
      • Sat 02/04, 7:00AM - 4:00PM
      • by
      • Type: Registration
  • Registration (Sunday)

      • Registration (Sunday)

      • REG03
      • Sun 02/05, 7:00AM - 4:00PM
      • by
      • Type: Registration
      • Registration (Sunday)

      • REG04
      • Sun 02/05, 5:30PM - 7:30PM
      • by
      • Type: Registration
  • Registration (Monday)

      • Registration (Monday)

      • REG05
      • Mon 02/06, 7:00AM - 5:00PM
      • by
      • Type: Registration
  • Registration (Tuesday)

      • Registration (Tuesday)

      • REG06
      • Tue 02/07, 7:00AM - 4:30PM
      • by
      • Type: Registration
  • Registration (Wednesday)

      • Registration (Wednesday)

      • REG07
      • Wed 02/08, 8:00AM - 3:00PM
      • by
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  • New Faculty Reunion

      • New Faculty Reunion

      • SPEC18
      • Tue 02/07, 12:15PM - 1:15PM
      • by
      • Type: None
      • Gathering of New Faculty Workshop
 

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