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2010 Summer Meeting

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

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Physics of Energy -- from Uganda to U.S.
  Location: HC 3029
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.3
  Time: 9:50 AM -10:00 AM
  Author: Abigail Mechtenberg, University of Michigan
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: We introduce an internationally developed and implemented curriculum that opens the eyes of physics education practitioners to the vast array of teaching and learning possibilities for the application of the physics of energy. This curriculum and research has been implemented in the U.S. and also in Uganda, East Africa, and Liberia West Africa (and now Guatemala). The academic level is suited for undergraduate physicists, engineers, and professional technicians; however, the astute teacher can easily apply this to other students as we have applied it to U.S. junior energy camps. From this innovative and institutionally transforming curriculum, the Ugandan participants built large-scale bicycle electric generators, merry-go-round generators, a back-up hand crank surgical lamp, hydroelectric generator, incinerator generator, and vertical wind turbines from local parts and materials. The U.S. participants have built classroom working devices such as a solar-powered car with i-pod player, steam engine, and many more devices. During our workshops multiple designs have been executed in groups. Participants leave with a clear understanding of the creativity they possess within themselves and realize the importance of (1) the knowledge of physics and (2) ease of designing these devices themselves. Mixing DIY (design it yourself) with the physics of energy has created an unexpected synergy.
  Footnotes: Physics and Society Committee
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