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2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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EB11:

What College Students Don't Know about Density
  Location: HC 3023 & 3023A
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.2
  Time: 2:55 PM -3:05 PM
  Author: DJ Wagner, Grove City College
724-301-1205, djwagner@gcc.edu
  Co-Author(s): Sam Cohen , Adam Moyer , Elizabeth Carbone
  Abstract: As part of the development of a fluid statics assessment, our research group conducted clinical interviews with students in both conceptual physics and calculus-based introductory physics courses. What were intended as "basic" questions about density quickly became a significant focus of those interviews, as only one of the eight students interviewed demonstrated a confident understanding of mass density. Questions were quickly added to the diagnostic exam given at the end of the semester, and the results confirm that many students have a poor grasp of density. In this talk, I will summarize our preliminary data and discuss future plans for the assessment and our instruction.
  Footnotes: None
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