program_wb_i - page 148

Wednesday morning
and fabrication. The design gives good examples of basic concepts like
torque and center of mass, while the fabrication can be done using sheet
steel and standard metal shop equipment.
2-2:10 p.m. Complementarity in Teaching Revisited:
Experiencing and Explaining the Tension
Contributed – Jared R. Stenson, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005;
This presentation revisits a talk I gave at a National AAPT meeting entitled
“Complementarity in Teaching: Answering Questions and Questioning
Answers.” At that time I was a young, inexperienced graduate student.
Now, nearly 10 years later, I have experience teaching at community
colleges and universities, public and private, large and small, focused on
teaching or on research, teaching individually and in teams. These mutu-
ally exclusive but complementary experiences have reemphasized this
theme as I have struggled to incorporate research-based methods into
traditional environments. In this talk I will discuss this pedagogical tension
in the context of Kuhnian paradigms while addressing epistemic beliefs,
faculty approaches, curricular choices, logistical realities, and educational
goals. Just as with its quantum counterpart however, this complementarity
leaves us in the end with increased insight and a few more useful ideas but
also with a better recognition that ambiguity is deeply rooted in the system.
2:10-2:20 p.m. A Virtual Quantum Research Lab to be
Explored by Undergraduates
Contributed – Mathias Tomandl, University of Vienna, Boltzmanngasse 5
Vienna, 1090 Austria;
Christiane M. Losert Valiente-Kroon, Martin Hopf, Markus Arndt, University
of Vienna
We introduce a new technology-enhanced learning tool for modern exper-
imental physics—the Simulated Interactive Research Experiment (SIRE)
—which is used and evaluated in an undergraduate quantum lab course:
The SIRE prototype is a complex and interactive simulation of an existing
research experiment on matter-wave interference with macromolecules,
driven by extensive and scientifically valid simulations of the experimen-
tal results. This also includes measurement artifacts and experimental
limitations of the setup. Students can thus be trained in advanced modern
experimental physics using state of the art learning tools. Many physics
curricula provide courses on current research topics only in advanced
semesters. SIREs open possibilities for active and curiosity-driven learning
also to undergraduate students. Similar to a flight simulator, SIREs allow
the students to manipulate all the relevant parameters in the experimental
setup. They can control and interact with phenomena and experimental
equipment that would otherwise be inaccessible outside of specialized
research labs.
Session GI: Post-deadline Session III
Location: STSS 114
Sponsor: AAPT
Date: Wednesday, July 30
Time: 1– 2:30 p.m.
Presider: Mike Gallis
1-1:10 p.m. Alliance for Physics Excellence (APEX) at
Alabama A&M University
Contributed – Barbara B. Cady, Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, AL
Vernessa M. Edwards, Marius P. Schamschula, Mohan D. Aggarwal, Ala-
bama A&M University
The Alliance for Physics Excellence (APEX) at Alabama A&M University,
a partnership project funded by NSF and composed of state-wide agen-
cies and institutions designed to improve secondary physics teaching in
Alabama, will present challenges and successes of a state-wide transforma-
tion in physics teaching. As the second year of a five-year project is nearing
completion, preliminary results are showing quantitative and definitive
qualitative changes in attitudes, beliefs, and actions of in-service secondary
teachers of physics. Vignettes from summer and academic year workshops
and action research classroom activities will highlight the integrated ap-
proach of discipline content with pedagogical content knowledge as well as
technological knowledge and skills into a theoretical innovative teaching
model. Funded by NSF DUE-MSP targeted project 1238192 Project URL:
1:10-1:20 p.m. Whose Reality Are We Augmenting?
Exploring Students’ Own Experiences
Contributed – Victoria Winters, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St.,
New York, NY 11368;
Laura Rodriguez-Costacamps, Talya Wolf, Harouna Ba, New York Hall of
Physics teachers have a long history of creating and employing digital tools
to help students explore physics concepts and get excited about science.
In this presentation, we review the common roles that digital tools play
in physics learning and instruction, focusing on technologies that capture
static or dynamic representations of the world and augment them by layer-
ing on scientific information, either in real-time or for later investigation.
While many digital tools involve a carefully designed ideally behaving
world or provide high resolution video of perfectly executed demos, we
argue that there is value in tools that allow students to capture and explore
their own physical experiences. We discuss the benefits and drawbacks
to enabling students to digitally document and investigate their own
experiential reality, informed by our ongoing development of a digital app
that empowers middle school students to explore the energy, forces, and
motion of their own playful performances.
1:20-1:30 p.m. The Multipole Expansion of the Electric
Potential and Non-Spherical Nuclei
Contributed – John Karkheck, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI 53201-
The multipole expansion of the electric potential, developed in electrostat-
ics, is a powerful tool for elucidating relationships between shape of electric
fields and geometric symmetry of charge distributions. In standard texts,
thorough development is given for the first two terms, the monopole and
dipole terms. The third term, the quadrupole term, is analytically tractable
in symmetric situations such as ellipsoids of revolution which serve as
fruitful models for employing the quadrupole moment of non-spherical
nuclei to estimate nuclear dimensions. A standard analysis found in
nuclear-physics texts employs the assumption that deviations from spheric-
ity are small, a condition that often does not hold. The approach here,
based on the assumption of shape-independent nuclear density, results in
an exactly solvable cubic equation for the semi-major axis. Comparison is
given of results from the two approaches.
1:30-1:40 p.m. Strategies for Effective Use of DyKnow
Software and Tablet PC Technology in Introductory
Contributed – Jason Stecklein, Clarke University, Dubuque, IA 52001; jason.
The utilization of emerging forms of technologies will affect learning in
science classrooms of the future. Though technology has emerged in many
forms, its effective employment in university science classrooms has lagged
behind the rapid development of new constructivist pedagogies. Enlist-
ment of instructional technologies in student-centered environments offers
distinct opportunities, such as providing teacher feedback to students and
permitting effective scaffolding of classroom activities. Results of a qualita-
tive case study of three university students taking introductory physics in a
technology-enhanced setting will be discussed. These results indicate that
ad hoc use of instructional technologies, like DyKnow Software and tablet
PCs, is not enough for effective learning. Purposeful teacher strategies are
essential for student construction of knowledge, including (1) instituting a
proper climate for technology use and (2) utilizing intentional teacher scaf-
folding of activities to increase student interactions, expose student ideas to
modification, and provide immediate teacher feedback to those ideas.
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