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Monday afternoon
analysis, electrophoresis, and spectroscopy in an open, non-protocol-
driven environment. We have collected a wealth of data (surveys, video
analysis, etc.) that enables us to get a sense of the students’ responses to this
curriculum in a large-enrollment environment and with teaching assistants
“new” to the labs. In this poster, we will provide a broad overview of what
we have learned and a comparison of our large-enrollment results to the
results from our pilot study. Special emphasis will be placed on successes
and challenges accompanying this scaling-up. (This work is supported by
funding from HHMI and the NSF.)
PST1C36: 9:15-10 p.m. The CU Science Education Initiative:
Examining the Model and its Impact
Poster – Stephanie Chasteen, University of Colorado Boulder, UCB 390,
Boulder, CO 80309;
Katherine K. Perkins, University of Colorado Boulder
In 2005, the Science Education Initiative (SEI) at the University of Colo-
rado was launched as a $5 million, university-funded project to support
departments in improving science education (
sei). The SEI funded work across seven STEM departments to transform
dozens of courses using a scientific approach to educational reform driven
by three questions: What should students learn? What are students learn-
ing? Which instructional approaches improve student learning? The SEI is
structured with a small team of central staff, and a cohort of Science Teach-
ing Fellows -- postdocs, hired into individual departments, who partner
with faculty to identify learning goals, develop instructional materials, and
research student learning. Key elements of the program are its departmen-
tal focus and bottom-up structure. As the SEI draws to a close, we have an
opportunity to reflect upon the impacts of the program. This poster will
use multiple data sources to examine and highlight the outcomes of the SEI
model, including both the affordances and lessons learned.
PST1C37: 8:30-9:15 p.m. “Chaos Is Cool”: Teacher Perceptions
of Physics and Engineering Integration
Poster – Emily A. Dare, University of Minnesota, 1954 Buford Ave., St. Paul,
MN 55108;
Joshua A. Ellis, Gillian H. Roehrig, University of Minnesota
As teachers prepare to bring engineering into K-12 science classrooms,
guided by the calls of national reform documents (National Research
Council, 2013), there is an importance to not only understand how
teachers are accomplishing this, but to also understand their experiences
and perceptions of the nature of engineering integration. By examining
classroom practices and understanding teachers’ experiences in integrating
engineering into their instruction, we can better learn how to prepare these
teachers. This study investigated the classroom practices of high school
physical science teachers following an intensive professional develop-
ment on engineering integration. Our findings suggest that teachers often
drop explicit physics connections in these integrated lessons in favor of
maintaining student interest and engagement with hands-on engineering
activities. This student interest and engagement may be linked to teachers’
willingness to bring engineering to their classrooms and has the potential
to increase student learning of physics concepts.
PST1C38: 9:15-10 p.m. STEM in United States and STEM in
Poster – Hyunjung Kang, 104-401, Ssangyong Sweet .(dot) Dongjak-gu,
Seoul, N/A 156-726, Rep. of KOREA;
I have compared the STEAM education in Korea to the STEM education
in the United States with reference to various documents. “A” in STEAM
stands for Arts. I have attempted to make a comparison between the
emphasis placed within the field of science education and the spread of
the new wave in science education. In Korea, they intend to fuse arts with
science in order to promote the students’ self confidence and interest in
learning science, while placing emphasis on both quality and quantity of
learning science in relation to mathematics and engineering design for
understanding real life. Also, the creation of the STEAM education has
been headed by an organization that is funded by the government. They
have developed a large amount of class materials, have trained many teach-
Saalih Allie, University of Cape Town
The acquisition metaphor of learning is often used by teachers of physics:
Students acquire a particular concept, and then transfer this concept to
new contexts. In particular, one might say students acquire the mathemati-
cal concept of “vector addition” and apply it in (transfer it to) numerous
physical contexts. In this study, 200 freshmen taking an introductory phys-
ics course were asked to calculate the total force, total displacement and to-
tal momentum in simple contexts involving vector addition at right angles.
Another similar group of 200 students were asked to calculate the net force,
net displacement, and net momentum. The students did significantly worse
when adding momenta, and they did significantly better when asked to
calculate the “net” quantity (rather than the “total” quantity). These results
are inconsistent with a basic “acquisition-transfer” perspective of learning.
A fine-grained analysis of subsequent interviews and questionnaires was
also conducted.
PST1C32: 9:15-10 p.m. Explanatory Coherence in an Introduc-
tory Physics for Life Scientists Course
Poster – Benjamin D. Geller, University of Maryland, College Park, Depart-
ment of Physics, College Park, MD 20742;
Benjamin W. Dreyfus, Julia S. Gouvea, Vashti Sawtelle, Chandra Turpen,
University of Maryland, College Park
Life science students crave coherence among the science courses that they
are required to take, and are frustrated when these courses fail to talk to
each other in meaningful ways. In an effort to bridge disciplinary divides,
we have iteratively designed and implemented an Introductory Physics for
Life Scientists (IPLS) course that aims to unpack the physical mechanisms
underlying a number of authentic biological phenomena. We draw on case-
study data to examine what it looks like for students in our course to make
connections between fundamental physical principles and meaningful bio-
logical questions. In particular, we explore the multiple ways in which an
explanation can be “mechanistic” in the context of interdisciplinary sense
making, and the affective markers that indicate satisfactory explanation.
We argue that achieving explanatory coherence in an IPLS course demands
that we take up authentic biological phenomena for which highly detailed
accounts are not practical.
PST1C33: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Correlations Between Math Back-
ground and Class Performance in Conceptual Physics
Poster – Lynne M. Raschke, The College of St. Scholastica, 1200 Kenwood
Ave., Duluth, MN 55811;
Katheryne Anderson, The College of St. Scholastica
The College of St. Scholastica teaches a one-semester conceptual physics
class for students from a variety of majors, including pre-service teachers,
students intending to become occupational therapists, and students fulfill-
ing a natural sciences general education requirement. There was no math
pre-requisite for the class, but the class utilized math at the level of intro-
ductory middle-to-high school algebra. We investigated whether there was
a correlation between students’ math backgrounds and their performance
in the class. Student performance was assessed in three areas: concep-
tual questions, questions that required applying physics knowledge, and
quantitative questions. Four years of data showed that, even controlling for
student GPAs, students with less math preparation performed worse not
only in the quantitative aspects of the course, but also in the conceptual
and applied questions. This raises the question of why we see this disparity
and how we can better support student learning in this type of class.
PST1C35: 8:30-9:15 p.m. Successes and Challenges in Scaling-
up NEXUS/Physics Labs
Poster – Kimberly A. Moore, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742;
Wolfgang Losert, John Giannini, University of Maryland, College Park
UMd-PERG’s NEXUS/Physics for Life Sciences laboratory curriculum,
piloted in 2012-2013 in small test classes, has been implemented in
large-enrollment environments at UMD in 2013-2014. These labs address
physical issues at biological scales using microscopy, image and video
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