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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: Wednesday, August 03

 

Total Number of Records Found: 7

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GA:   

Post Deadline I
  Location: HC 3040
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 1:00PM - 2:10PM
  Presider: Jeannette Lawler,
  Co-Presiders(s): None
  Equipment: N/A
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GA01:   

A simple calibrations lab.
  Location: HC 3040
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 1:00PM - 1:10PM
  Author: Dan Beeker, Indiana University
(812) 855-5903, debeeker@indiana.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: A simple laboratory exercise to determine the accuracy of a meter stick and ultrasonic motion detector using homemade calibration bars is described. This lab exercise makes an ideal first lab as it is simple to do yet provides a reliable value for the accuracy of measuring devices commonly used in the first year physics labs.
  Footnotes: None
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GA02:   

Arduino as a tool for lab development and student learning
  Location: HC 3040
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 1:10PM - 1:20PM
  Author: Zengqiang Liu, Saint Cloud State University
320-308-3154, zliu@stcloudstate.edu
  Co-Author(s): Jing Chen, ShunJie Yong, Steve Zinsli
  Abstract: Since its debuted in 2005, the Arduino microcontroller platform has enabled artists and novice electronics hobbyists worldwide to construct unique electronic gadgets, lots of which appear as if they were created by engineers. With Arduino, constructing your own lab equipment becomes very practical, and economical. It is also very educational to students and instructors alike. With beginner-friendly programming environment, strong community support, and sensors, cheaply mass produced for modern electronics (cell phones, tablets, video game systems etc.), we can design and construct high-quality lab equipment to suit out teaching goals and improve student learning experience. Going through the process of constructing even simple equipment should be beneficial to teaching physics content, hands-on skills and convincing our students that physics principles and their applications power our world. A brief introduction of Arduino will be followed by examples of such equipment we created with it.
  Footnotes: None
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GA03:   

Successful Strategies for Teaching Physics II (Electromagnetism, Optics, Modern Physics)
  Location: HC 3040
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 1:20PM - 1:30PM
  Author: Deepthi Amarasuriya, Northwest College
(307)754-6454, deepthi.amarasuriya@northwestcollege.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Teaching calculus based Physics II (EM, optics, introduction to modern physics) in one semester is difficult - especially when classes meet for three 50 minute lecture sessions, and one 2.5 hr lab per week. Having many mathematically underprepared students adds to the challenge. By judiciously combining "old fashioned" blackboard lectures with concise but comprehensive printed lecture notes, Power Point slides, Java applets and labs that work in tandem with lectures, I have covered the designated topics well enough so that over 75% of my students continue with Engineering and Physics programs.
  Footnotes: None
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GA04:   

Should students be provided diagrams or asked to draw them while solving introductory physics problems?
  Location: HC 3040
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 1:30PM - 1:40PM
  Author: Alexandru Maries, University of Pittsburgh
201-312-5091, alm195@pitt.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Drawing appropriate diagrams is a useful problem solving heuristic that can transform the problem into a representation that is easier to exploit for solving the problem. A major focus while helping introductory physics students learn problem solving is to help them appreciate that drawing diagrams facilitates further problem solution. We conducted an investigation in which approximately 120 students in an algebra-based introductory physics course were subjected to three different interventions during the problem solving in recitation quizzes throughout the semester. They were either asked to solve problems in which the diagrams were drawn for them or they were explicitly told to draw a diagram or they were not given any instruction regarding diagrams. We developed a rubric to score problem solving performance of students in different intervention groups. We will present our findings including some surprising results for problems which involve final/initial situations. This work is supported by NSF.
  Footnotes: None
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GA05:   

Does Reading Physics Textbooks Help Resolve the Contradictions?
  Location: HC 3040
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 1:40PM - 1:50PM
  Author: Sevda Yerdelen-Damar
University Of Maryland - College Park
2022303062, syerdelen@gmail.com
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Students' intuitive knowledge about physical phenomena influences their learning. However, inappropriately activated intuitive knowledge leads to contradictions with formal physics knowledge. This study explored whether students become aware of those contradictions when reading textbooks. Firstly, 36 tenth grade students responded to a questionnaire designed to activate their intuitive knowledge about the relation between force and velocity. Specifically, students were asked to compare, intuitively, the magnitude of the push force and friction force exerted on a cup moving at steady speed. 29 students answered the push force should be greater than the frictional force. Secondly, the students read textbook pages explaining explicitly that the net force exerted on an object moving at constant velocity must be zero. Finally, they answered whether they felt any inconsistency between their intuitive knowledge and what they read. Only five students reported they felt contradiction. This result indicates that simply reading the textbook does not guarantee that they will realize the inconsistencies between everyday thinking and formal physics knowledge.
  Footnotes: None
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GA07:   

Will the fox catch the rabbit? Non-Cartesean Thinking in Introductory Mechanics.
  Location: HC 3040
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 2:00PM - 2:10PM
  Author: Mikhail Kagan, Penn State University
814-777-4472, mak411@psu.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: As we typically teach in an introductory mechanics course, choosing a 'good' reference frame with convenient axes may present a major simplification to a problem. Additionally, knowing some conserved quantities provides an extremely powerful problem-solving tool. While the former idea is typically discussed in the context of Newton's Laws, the latter starts with introducing conservation of energy even later. This work presents an elegant example of implementing both aforementioned ideas in the kinematical context, thus providing a 'warm-up' introduction to the standard tools used later on in dynamics. Both the choice of the (non-orthogonal) reference frame and the conserved quantities are rather non-standard, yet at the same time quite intuitive to the problem at hand. Two such problems are discussed in detail with two alternative approaches. The first approach does not even require knowledge of calculus. In the appendix, I also present the brute-force solution involving a coupled system of differential equations. In addition, a few exercises and another similar problem for students' homework are provided.
  Footnotes: None
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