AAPT_WM14program_final - page 66

Monday afternoon
gests that “misconceptions” are a mixture of at least four learning
barriers: incorrect factual information, inappropriately applied mental
algorithms (phenomenological primitives), insufficient cognitive
structures (e.g. spatial reasoning), and affective/emotional difficulties.
Each of these types of barriers should be addressed with an appropri-
ately designed instructional strategy.
Further details and resulting curriculum materials freely available at http://
; S.J.Slater sponsored by T.F. Slater
4:30-5 p.m. Leveraging Cognitive Science Research
to Create Better ASTRO101 Teaching Materials*
Invited – Timothy F. Slater, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071;
In the course of learning astronomy, our goal for students is an
enhanced understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry as well
as deeper and more flexible conceptual understanding. However, a
robust literature argues that students do not readily develop those
complex understandings without purposefully targeted instruction. In
response, scholars with the CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics
Education Research are creating and field-testing a series of learning
experiences that leverage recent results in cognitive science and the
learning sciences. One strategy is to provide instructors with in-class,
learning activities extending and reinvigorating lecture-tutorial style
approaches. A second is to provide computer-mediated, inquiry learn-
ing experiences based upon an inquiry-oriented teaching approach
framed by the notions of backwards faded-scaffolding as an overarch-
ing theme. Early results strongly suggest that these two approaches
enhance student learning as measured by the Views on Scientific
Inquiry (VOSI) and the Test of Astronomy STandards (TOAST).
Classroom-ready samples of referenced curriculum materials freely available at
5-5:10 p.m. Engaging General Education Astrono-
my Students with Internet-based Robotic Telescopes
Contributed – Kimberly Coble, Chicago State University, Chicago, IL
Katie Berryhill, Timothy F. Slater, University of Wyoming
Kevin M. McLin, Lynn R. Cominsky, Sonoma State University
At Chicago State University we have implemented an observational
project in our general education astronomy class using the Global
Telescope Network (GTN), which is controlled using Skynet. We
wanted to expose students to realistic practices used by professional
astronomers, including proposal writing and peer review. The project
consisted of the use of planetarium software to determine object
visibility, observing proposals (with abstract, background, goals, and
dissemination sections), peer review (including written reviews and
panel discussion according to NSF intellectual merit and broader
impacts criteria), and classroom presentations showing the results of
the observation. GTN is a network of small telescopes funded by the
Fermi mission and managed by the NASA E/PO Group at Sonoma
State University.*
This work was supported by CCLI Grant #0632563 and IL Space Grant.
Also see our associated presentation on Evaluating the Use of Internet-Based
Robotic Telescopes for General Education by Berryhill et al.
5:10-5:20 p.m. Evaluating the Use of Internet-based
Robotic Telescopes for General Education
Contributed – Katie J. Berryhill, American Public University System and
University of Wyoming, 763 Primrose Lane, Benicia, CA 94510-3820;
Kim Coble, Chicago State University
Timothy F. Slater, University of Wyoming
Kevin M. McLin, Lynn R. Cominsky Sonoma State University
Responding to national science education reform documents call-
ing for students to have more opportunities for authentic research
experiences, several national projects have developed online telescope
networks to provide students with Internet-access to research grade
telescopes. Internet-based robotic telescopes allow scientists and
STEM educators to conduct observing sessions on research-grade
telescopes remotely. This project examines the educational value of
using Internet-based robotic telescopes in general education astrono-
my courses. Students at several institutions conducted observational
programs using telescopes that are part of Skynet. Using a grounded
theory approach, we examined what the students did or did not gain
from the project, including students’ understanding of the process of
science. Analysis suggests that students value using research-grade
instrumentation and develop deeper understandings of the nature of
scientific research when formulating proposals for telescope use.
1. Also see our associated presentation on Engaging General Education As-
tronomy Students with Internet-Based Robotic Telescopes by Coble et al.
Session DC: Panel – Report on the
Graduate Education in Physics
Location: Salon 11
Sponsor: Committee on Graduate Education in Physics
Date: Monday, January 6
Time: 3:30–5:30 p.m.
Presider: Juan Burciaga
3:30-5:30 p.m. Highlights From the 2nd Conference
on Graduate Education in Physics
Panel – Renee D. Diehl, Penn State University, University Park, PA
The Second Conference on Graduate Education in Physics was held
in January 2013 with more than 100 participants from 74 differ-
ent institutions. The conference aimed at fostering innovation and
creativity in our approach to graduate education in physics, which
for many departments is a rather new concept. However, the fact that
the majority of physics PhDs ultimately find permanent employment
outside academia, and the changing demands on academic physicists,
have led many departments to review their programs and proce-
dures. Presentations and discussions at the conference included the
increasing attention being paid to broader and more flexible graduate
curricula, forming industrial partnerships, strategies to increase di-
versity, professional skills training for graduate students and postdocs,
improving mentoring practices and instituting family-friendly policies
for graduate students. The participants in this conference included
diverse group faculty from large and small departments, staff from
industry and national labs, and graduate students and postdocs.
3:30-5:30 p.m. Preparing Graduate Students for
Non-Academic Careers
Panel – Lawrence Woolf,* General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.,
6995 Flanders Dr., San Diego, CA 92121;
One of the primary topics discussed at the conference concerned
career development, since most graduate students will not have the
academic careers of their advisors. Goals included reviewing the
primary functions of physicists in industry, evaluating how students
are currently prepared for these careers, and identifying how to fill
gaps in preparation. A number of nonacademic physicists provided
insight into meeting these goals. Most physics graduate programs in
general do not purposely prepare students for a nonacademic career.
Strategies for overcoming this shortcoming include advising students
about these careers and providing training on broadly valued profes-
sional skills such as written and verbal communication, time and
project management, leadership, working in teams, innovation, and
proposal writing. Academic training should be expanded to include
engineering and cross disciplinary problem solving and product
development, developing prototype products and increasing their
technological readiness, and working with software and toolsets com-
mon in industry.
Sponsored by Juan Burciaga
I...,56,57,58,59,60,61,62,63,64,65 67,68,69,70,71,72,73,74,75,76,...116
Powered by FlippingBook