program_wb_i - page 78

Monday afternoon
PST1: Poster Session 1
Location: Coffman Union ground floor
Date: Monday July 28
Time: 8:30–10 p.m.
Odd number poster authors should be present 8:30-9:15 p.m.
Even number poster authors should be present 9:15-10 p.m.
(Posters may be set up starting at 8 a.m. Monday and then should
be taken down by 10 p.m. Monday)
A – Astronomy Posters
PST1A01: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Astronomy Demonstration Videos
Focusing on Phase Changes
Poster – Kevin M. Lee, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68588-0299;
Cliff Bettis, University of Nebraska
AU is a series of short videos of physical demonstrations appropriate for
use in introductory astronomy classes. Considerable effort is made to make
the videos interactive through embedded peer instruction questions and
accompanying worksheets. This poster will focus on recently developed
videos involving phase changes. Individual videos have emphasis on 1) the
fact that phase depends upon temperature and pressure, 2) that liquids are
rare in astronomy since they require the pressure of an atmosphere, 3) the
sublimation of carbon dioxide and Martian polar caps, and 4) geysers of
nitrogen snow on Triton. These materials are publicly available at http:// and on YouTube and are funded by NSF grant #1245679.
B – Labs and Apparatus Posters
PST1B01: 8:30-9:15 p.m. A Not-So-Simple Pendulum Lab to
Investigate Systematic Uncertainties
Poster – Farzan Beroz, Princeton University, Jadwin Hall, Princeton, NJ
Steven Jackson, Katerina Visnjic, Princeton
We present a case study on a novel ISLE-inspired mechanics lab imple-
mented in a calculus-based introductory physics course at Princeton Uni-
versity. Students are instructed to perform a precision measurement (<1%)
of gravitational acceleration using a 2 kg mass hanging from a 2 m wire.
They know from class the simple model of a pendulum as a point mass
on a massless string, and they can solve it analytically assuming the small
angle approximation. In practice, the competing influences of the pendu-
lum’s non-idealized moment of inertia and corrections to the small-angle
approximation give rise to systematic uncertainty in measurements and a
discrepancy with the accepted value of g. After conducting the preliminary
study, including identifying all relevant assumptions, students are guided
to quantitatively account for these systematic uncertainties. Students
gain a deeper understanding of how simplifying assumptions give rise to
uncertainties, a crucial step in connecting experimental observations and
theoretical predictions.
PST1B02: 9:15-10 p.m. Balloon-based Measurements of Cosmic
Poster – Gordon C. McIntosh, University of Minnesota Morris, 600 E 4th St.,
Morris, MN 56267;
James Froberg, Stephen Sorenson, John Suihkonen University of Minnesota
We have developed the capability of measuring the cosmic ray flux during
balloon flights. Cosmic rays are high energy, ionized particles of inter-
est in physics and astrophysics. Their flux varies with time, atmospheric
depth, geomagnetic latitude, and the solar magnetic cycle. The measured
flux depends on the area, direction, and solid angle of the detector. The
measurement and analysis of cosmic ray fluxes have been incorporated in
Modern Physics, Circuits and Electronic Devices, Experimental Physics,
and in student research projects. The apparatus and interpretation of results
will be presented.
PST1B03: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Cognitive Elements of a Hybrid Visual-
tutorial Instruction Curriculum
Poster – Maria D. Gonzalez, Tecnologico de Juarez, Valle de Batopilas 11429
Ciudad, Juarez, NM 31310 Mexico;
Juan E. Chavez-Pierce Sergio M. Terrazas-Porras Jose V. Barron, Maria C.
Salazar, University of Juarez
The University of Juarez and the University of Texas at El Paso have devel-
oped a hybrid instruction model to combine lab activities and a tutorial-
based inquiry through the use of a video. We present the collection of
cognitive elements that determines the micro-curriculum of this instruc-
tional model to understand the concept of electric charge. The elements are:
1) A conceptual pre-test: This test is administered to students previously
to the projection of video, 2) A procedure-based video: Student can watch
the video as many times they need during the development of lab, and 3) A
conceptual post-test: Students take this test after lab. Both pre-test and post-
test contain pairs of questions to explore possible students’ transfer effects
from mechanics to electricity concepts.
PST1B04: 9:15-10 p.m. Developing Writing Skills in the Intro-
ductory Laboratory*
Poster – Scott Bonham, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
Kolton Jones, Western Kentucky University
Technical writing is a major learning outcome for our calculus-based phys-
ics laboratories. The recent renovation of the laboratories included develop-
ing an intentional strategy to help students learn technical writing skills.
We combine several different approaches, which include providing students
with detailed grading rubrics, having them grade example reports, and each
week discussing and adding one more element of the report until they are
writing complete reports. Data from surveys and assessment of student re-
ports shows the instruction is an improvement over the previous approach
to writing instruction, that different students find different elements of the
instruction most helpful, and that different components of good technical
writing develop at different rates over the course of the semester.
Sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation under grant DUE-0942293.
PST1B05: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Diffraction Experiments with Smart-
phone Displays
Poster – Craig C. Wiegert, University of Georgia, Deptartment of Physics and
Astronomy, Athens, GA 30602-2451;
Smartphone technology lends itself to an increasing variety of uses in
the introductory physics instructional lab. Many physics experiments for
smartphones rely on one or more of their many available sensors, such as
the accelerometer, magnetometer, or GPS receiver. This poster presents an
entirely different use of the smartphone in the lab: treating the high-density
pixel display as a reflection diffraction grating. Students can easily use the
resulting 2-D diffraction pattern to measure the pixel size to better than 1%
PST1B06: 9:15-10 p.m. Effects of Concept-Based Experiments
in Second Semester Introductory Physics Laboratories
Poster – Larry J. Bortner, University of Cincinnati, Physics Department, Cin-
cinnati, OH 45221-0011;
Kathy Koenig, Zachary Huard, Mahendra Thapa, University of Cincinnati
Many introductory physics students struggle with second semester topics
that are further removed from the macroscopic observations and intuition
more available in the mechanics and dynamics of the first semester studies.
A move away from the traditional laboratory approach of verifying stated
laws or relationships to one that develops the underlying concepts of elec-
tricity, circuits, magnetism, and optics shows promise in helping students
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