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

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PST2C49:

Problem Solving in Kinematics as a Measure of Conceptual Understanding
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.2
  Time: 5:15 PM -6:00 PM
  Author: Daniel Smith, Jr., South Carolina State University
803-536-7162, dsmith@scsu.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Student difficulties in solving kinematics problems are often attributed to students' inability to choose the correct equation, or to weak skills in algebra. Evidence is presented from a calculus-based physics class, however, that students fail to solve problems because they lack a conceptual understanding of the problem, as determined by their ability to relate the problem data to a diagram. The limited roles that--choosing the right equation,-- and weak algebra skills play in problem solving is further explored by having students solve problems graphically by using interactive software designed especially for one-dimensional kinematics problems.
  Footnotes: None
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