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2010 Summer Meeting

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


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Sessions and Events w/Abstracts

Date: Tuesday, August 02

 

Total Number of Records Found: 5

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EH:   

Research on Student Learning of Energy
  Location: SS Ballroom DE
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 1:15PM - 3:15PM
  Presider: Paula Heron,
  Co-Presiders(s): None
  Equipment: N/A
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EH01:   

Speciation of Energy Concepts through Speech and Gesture in Interaction
  Location: SS Ballroom DE
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 1:15PM - 1:45PM
  Author: Hunter G. Close, Seattle Pacific University
2062867259, hclose@spu.edu
  Co-Author(s): Rachel E. Scherr
  Abstract: When energy is added to a liquid to evaporate it, what is the form of energy in the gas? Is it thermal energy, which is indicated by temperature? Is it chemical energy, which is indicated by chemical composition of a substance [1]? Maybe something else? In a summer professional development course in the Energy Project [2] at Seattle Pacific University, secondary teachers posed this question while cooperating in Energy Theater [3] in order to figure out the energy transfers and transformations in a real refrigerator. Their negotiation of the name of this form of energy boiled down to a discussion of the difference between kinetic and potential energy. We show how the speech and gesture that mediated the negotiation display different levels of distinction of energy concepts among the teachers, and we suggest how dynamic refinement, or "speciation," of these concepts might be promoted strategically in instruction.
  Footnotes: [1] http://www.project2061.org/publications/bsl/online/index.php [2] Supported in part by NSF DRL 0822342 [3] Scherr, R. E., Close, H. G., McKagan, S. B., & Close, E. W. (2010) ?Energy Theater?: Using the body symbolically to understand energy. In C. Singh, M. Sabella, & S. Rebello (Eds.) 2010 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings. Melville, NY: AIP Press.
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EH02:   

Cultivating Energy Conceptual Resources for Productive Reasoning
  Location: SS Ballroom DE
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 1:45PM - 2:15PM
  Author: Eric Brewe, Florida International University
305-348-3507, eric.brewe@fiu.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: The conceptual resources related to energy in the typical introductory physics curriculum are inadequate for robust analysis of energy. In this talk, I describe the implementation, in the context of a Modeling Instruction university physics course, of a curricular framework designed to promote the development and use of conceptual resources for analyzing physical phenomena. The curricular framework involves both a reorganization of the content of introductory physics as well as a renewed focus on energy. Reorganizing includes treating energy early and spiraling back to energy treatments. The refocusing includes emphasizing energy's role in modeling phenomena and attending to the tools for representing energy conservation, storage, and transfer. Qualitative evidence is presented showing student use of energy conceptual resources that are promoted in the curricular implementation.
  Footnotes: None
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EH03:   

A Teaching Proposal about Energy for Students Aged 11-14
  Location: SS Ballroom DE
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 2:15PM - 2:45PM
  Author: Nikos Papadouris
Learning in Science Group, University of Cyprus
+35799530649, npapa@ucy.ac.cy
  Co-Author(s): Costas P. Constantinou
  Abstract: Teaching about energy is an inherently complex and challenging task, especially in the elementary and middle school. We briefly discuss the epistemological barriers that tend to perplex attempts to introduce energy and we propose an alternative teaching approach, for students aged 11-14, that seeks to provide a means for bypassing or overcoming those obstacles. This approach rests on the premise that the elaboration of energy could be more usefully framed in an epistemologically oriented, rather than a conceptually oriented, context. The emphasis in this approach is placed on (a) helping students appreciate that, in science, we invent theories in order to account for observations and (b) guiding them to elaborate energy as a theoretical framework for interpreting changes in physical systems. In the concluding part, we discuss the potential effectiveness of this teaching approach on the basis of empirical data on students' learning gains, collected through implementation in three sixth-grade classes.
  Footnotes: Sponsored by Paula Heron
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EH04:   

The Problem with Systems: Factors Underlying Student Difficulties with Energy
  Location: SS Ballroom DE
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.02
  Time: 2:45PM - 3:15PM
  Author: Beth A. Lindsey, Penn State Greater Allegheny
412-675-9148, bal23@psu.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: The first law of thermodynamics states that doing work on an otherwise isolated system will cause its energy to change. A set of curricular materials1 has been developed, designed to help students interpret and apply the relation between work and energy, but many difficulties persist even after targeted instruction. This persistence may be related to a failure to choose an appropriate system of interest and identify the interactions of that system with its environment. I will present data on student thinking about systems, and the connection to student thinking about energy in contexts from introductory mechanics and beyond. Data presented will be from pre-tests, post-tests, and video recordings of classroom interactions and one-on-one interviews at three institutions of differing sizes and student populations.
  Footnotes: 1Tutorials in Introductory Physics, Lillian C. McDermott, Peter S. Shaffer, and the Physics Education Group, Preliminary Second Edition, Pearson Education, Inc. (2009)
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