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A Dissociated, Progressive Introductory Physics Laboratory


A presentation from the 2014 Summer Meeting: Minneapolis, Minnesota


I am the current caretaker and reviser of an introductory mechanics laboratory in the first-year curriculum at Ithaca College. Substantial revisions since its inception in the 1980s have created a coherent laboratory experience that alumni remark upon as having continued relevance in their careers. The course is dissociated because students take it in the semester following their introductory mechanics course. It is progressive because multiple themes and skills are developed and refined over the course of the semester. Some of these themes are: logical thinking (digital circuit analysis, trouble shooting, raw data evaluation), dexterity skills (circuit wiring, Erector Set skills), physics (linear kinematics, pendular motion and energy, rotational dynamics), modeling (increasing sophistication in linearized modeling and model verification), analysis (linear graphical analysis by hand, min/max error propagation, spreadsheet calculation and graphing), communication (binary reporting, summary reports, extensive report). I will present an overview of the course.


Bruce Thompson

Paper Type:

2014 Summer Meeting: Minneapolis, Minnesota

01:20 PM

Post-deadline Session II


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