aapt_program_final_sm13 - page 66

Monday afternoon
results section, the third report adds the conclusion section, and so on.
There is evidence that this combination has led to better report writing.
PST1B06: 9:15-10 p.m. Scaling the Campus
Poster – Andrew D. Cahoon, Colby-Sawyer College 541 Main St., New Lon-
don, NH 03257;
At the start of introductory physics, students often struggle to grasp the
wide range of scales encountered in the natural world and to use basic
skills such as dimensional analysis, scientific notation, and estimation.
In this lab activity, students are asked to work in teams to build a scale
model of the campus. A list of campus buildings is prepared, teams draft
two or three buildings each, and then they set out to make measurements
necessary to build a scale model of each building according to an agreed-
upon scale. This serves as an excellent way to start the Physics 101 course,
introducing important skills for the remainder of the course, getting
students engaged in active learning and working as a team, and tackling
a problem that is generally interesting and applicable to a broad range of
disciplines. The activity guidelines and motivation are presented along with
the students’ results and reactions.
PST1B07: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Using the Programmable System on
a Chip (PSoC) in the Physics Laboratory
Poster – Mark F. Masters, IPFW, 2101 Coliseum Blvd., E. Fort Wayne, IN
Jacob Millspaw, IPFW
Microcontrollers are very interesting devices that enable one to build
dedicated instrumentation to help complete some experimental task. There
are many different types of microcontrollers: Atmel (on which the Arduino
is based), Cypress, Freescale, Microchip, Parallax Propeller, and Texas
Instruments to name a few. However, even though there is a great diversity
of microcontroller, at AAPT there seems to be a monoculture of microcon-
troller based upon the Arduino. We present a very different type of device,
the Programmable System on a Chip. This type of device has distinct
advantages for physics instrumentation, some of which we will present.
PST1B09: 8:30-9:15 p.m. A National Assessment of Under-
graduate Physics Labs: First Results
Poster – Benjamin Zwickl, University of Colorado, Department of Physics,
Boulder, CO 80309;
Takako Hirokawa, Noah Finkelstein, H. J. Lewandowski, University of
The Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey for Experimental
Physics (E-CLASS) is a short multiple-choice survey that assesses students’
attitudes about conducting physics experiments in an instructional setting
and in professional research. The survey is given at the beginning and at
the end of a course, whereupon students are also asked about what helped
to earn a good grade in the course. A variety of aspects of experimentation
are explored, including students’ sense-making, affect, self-confidence,
and the value of collaboration. Over 4000 E-CLASS responses have been
gathered from over 30 courses at 17 colleges and universities. We will pres-
ent a broad overview of our findings, including which student views are the
least expert-like, which views shift most over the course of a semester, and
which have largest differences between introductory and upper-division
PST1B10: 9:15-10 p.m. Building a Ramp: Four-Semester
Laboratory Curriculum
Poster – Anna Karelina, Occidental College, 1600 Campus Road, Los Ange-
les, CA 90041;
Daniel Snowden-Ifft, Occidental College
We developed a four-semester sequence of introductory laboratories for
physics and engineering majors at Occidental College. The main objective
was to create a consistent long-term ramp that helped students build up
experimental skills and abilities over two years. Our pedagogical approach
was based on the methods of the Investigative Science Learning Environ-
ment (ISLE) that has proven to be a powerful tool for developing scientific
abilities, such as ability to design an experiment, test a hypothesis, analyze
and evaluate results.* In this presentation we show that we were able to
successfully adapt the ISLE method to the existing lab courses.
*Etkina, E. & van Heuvelen, A. (2007). Investigative Science Learning Environment
- A science process approach to learning physics. In E. F. Redish and P. J. Clooney
(Eds), Research-based reform of university physics. American Association of Physics
C – Physics Education Research
PST1C01: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Assessing Gender Differences in
Students’ Understanding of Magnetism
Poster – Chandralekha Singh, University of Pittsburgh, 3941 Ohara St.,
Pittsburgh, PA 15260;
Jing Li, University of Pittsburgh
We investigate gender differences in students’ difficulties with concepts
related to magnetism using a multiple-choice test whose reliability and
validity have been substantiated earlier. We also conducted individual
interviews with a subset of students to get a better understanding of the
rationale behind their responses. We discuss gender differences in students’
performance and possible reasons for these differences. Supported by NSF.
PST1C02: 9:15-10 p.m. Secondary Students’ Point and Set
Paradigms in Handling of Experimental Measurement
Poster – Eunmi Lee,* Korea National University of Education, Department
of Physics Education, 431 Cheongwon, Chung-Buk 363-791 Korea; l-emi@
Nam-Hwa Kang, Korea National University of Education
The idea of secondary school students about measurement has been
investigated in the context of experimental work in physics. Subjects were
197 middle school students and 200 high school students. A written instru-
ment PMQ1 was used to probe the students’ ideas about data collection,
data processing, and data comparison. The responses were classified in
terms of point and set paradigms. A point paradigm is characterized by the
notion that each measurement results in a single, “point-like” value that
could in principle be the true value. Set paradigm is characterized by the
notion that each measurement is only an approximation to the true value
and the deviation from the true value is random. Set paradigm had a high
frequency in data processing and point paradigm had a high frequency in
data collection and data comparison. A trend in frequencies according to
grade was shown in data comparison but not in other areas.
*Sponsored by Nam-Hwa Kang
PST1C03: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Making Sense of Friction as an
Interaction Using System Schema
Poster – Brant Hinrichs, Drury University, 729 N Drury Lane, Springfield, MO
After learning Newton’s second law, students in a university modeling-
based introductory physics class are asked to imagine a box sliding across
a floor and slowing to a stop. Although they’ve had extensive experience
with friction in the context of energy, this is their first exposure to friction
within the context of forces. They are asked to make different representa-
tions for this scenario, including a system schema, and force diagram.
During their small-group work, students quickly run into a difficulty: there
are only two interactions with the box (contact, gravitational), so there
should only be two forces, yet the box is slowing, which means it must
have unbalanced forces in the direction of acceleration. In this poster, I
present evidence from the student-led whole class discussion showing how
the class uses the System Schema to help reason about this problem in a
productive manner and come to a useful consensus.
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