AAPT_WM14program_final - page 98

Tuesday afternoon
Obtaining a complete understanding of college physics principles and
concepts and solving simple problems require strong skills in Algebra
and some Trigonometry. However, many students struggle with
algebra-based introductory physics courses despite completing college
algebra before taking physics. We investigated the potential benefits
that could be acquired by teaching physics together with mathemat-
ics, focusing on algebraic concepts relevant to problem solving in
physics. Two sections of a physics course were utilized in this study.
One section had a regular physics lecture that introduced concepts
and used examples to demonstrate how to solve simple problems. The
investigation section was given a 5-10 minute algebra review before the
physics lecture. Both sections contained the same amount of new mate-
rial everyday. Upon review of class quizzes and exams, it appears that
reviewing algebra concepts at the beginning of a physics class helped
better students’ performance.
PST3A09: 3-3:45 p.m. Physics Labs with Flavor: Error
Poster – Mikhail M. Agrest, Trident Technical College, Charleston, SC
In Theory, there should be no contradiction between Theory and
Practice, but in Practice there always is. Error Analysis is an integral
element of any experimental study, and the importance of its teaching
in introductory labs is indefeasible. Error Analysis becomes an integral
part of students’ world outlook. It is used for evaluation of students’
performance in the Introductory Physics Labs taught by the recur-
rent method, also known as Physics Labs with Flavor method.
presentation is dedicated to the consideration of ways to make Error
Analysis be independent of formulation of the problem. It must not
depend on the frame of reference. Traditionally used, Percent Error
Formula relates The Deviation of the results to the Accepted Value. It is
suggested that The Deviation of the predicted result is related rather to
a Characteristic Measure. This would make the evaluation independent
of the frame of reference.
1. M. Agrest, Physics Lab with Flavor, SACSAAPT Annual Meeting. Coastal
Georgia Community College. Brunswick, Georgia. October 12-13, 2001. http://
2. Mikhail M. Agrest, “Physics labs with flavor,”
Phys. Teach.
(5), 297-301,
3. M.Agrest, “Physics labs with flavor II,”
Phys. Teach.
295-297, (May 2011).
4. Top 10 Most Read Articles of
May 2009
5. Recurrent Studies: Bringing Flavor into Physics Labs 2013 Winter Meeting:
New Orleans, Louisiana. 2013 Winter Meeting: New Orleans, Louisiana
PST3A10: 3:45-4:30 p.m. Assessment of Physics by Inquiry
Programs for K-12 Teachers*
Poster – Robert J. Endorf, University of Cincinnati, Department of Phys-
ics, Cincinnati, OH 45221;
Don Axe, Amy Girkin, Kathleen M. Koenig, Jeffrey Radloff, University of
We describe our most recent results from the continuing assessment
of the effectiveness of our Physics by Inquiry
professional develop-
ment programs for K-12 teachers at the University of Cincinnati. This
study is based on data obtained from more than 500 teachers who
have completed either a 13 quarter-credit-hour graduate course in
Physics by Inquiry for teachers in grades 5-12 or a 7 quarter-credit-
hour course for teachers in grades K-5. Our data demonstrate that the
programs have been effective in increasing the teachers’ science content
knowledge and their understanding of scientific inquiry. The teachers
have also exhibited a significant increase in their self-confidence in de-
signing and teaching inquiry-based science lessons. A large majority of
the teachers in the program reported that the quality of their students’
work had noticeably improved after implementing inquiry-based sci-
ence activities in their classrooms.
* Supported by The Improving Teacher Quality Program administered by the
Ohio Board of Regents.
1. L.C. McDermott and the Physics Education Group at the University of Wash-
Physics by Inquiry,
(Wiley, 1996).
PST3A11: 3-3:45 p.m. ‘Flipping the Classroom’ Learning
Method Applied to Introductory Physics-I Class-
room: Initial Findings
Poster – Sairam Tangirala, Georgia Gwinnett College (SST), 1000 Uni-
versity Center Ln., Lawrenceville, GA 30043;
In flipping the classroom teaching-method, students are encouraged
to study the material prior to attending the class. The learning is then
reinforced in the classroom through a combination of lecture, group
learning, demonstrations, and active learning exercises involving
peers. In this poster, we briefly explore the effectiveness of traditional
classroom lectures, our current teaching method, student attitudes, and
our initial findings.
PST3A12: 3:45-4:30 p.m. Designing, Developing, and Build-
ing High-powered UV Light for Killing Bacteria
Poster – Joseph D. Ametepe, Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC), School
of Science and Technology, Lawrenceville, GA 30043; jametepe@ggc.
In an interdisciplinary project that engaged students in the basic
research process of designing and developing prototypes of UV light
sources using microwave energy, students experimented with different
gas mixtures to determine the best combination of gases that emits
around the 254 nm wavelength. Research students, apart from building
microwave driven system from component parts, studied (i) the basic
engineering of the microwave lamp system, (ii) fundamental science
underlying the discharge process, (iii) evaluate the technical benefits
of the system over other existing technologies, and conducted (iv)
feasibility studies of the system for various practical applications such
as destroying viruses and bacteria.
PST3A13: 3-3:45 p.m. Conducting Fundamental Experiments
with UV Light for Destroying Viruses
Poster – Joseph D. Ametepe, Georgia Gwinnet College (GGC), School of
Science and Technology, Lawrenceville, GA 30043;
This undergraduate interdisciplinary project involved the studying
and conducting fundamental experiments in using UV light sources
for killing bacteria and viruses. The project was established as part of
Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC), School of Science and Technology’s
STEM initiative of engaging every STEM student in undergraduate
research. Faculty from Physics and biology at GGC actively engaged
and monitored students in the basic research process of studying the
basic discharge mechanism of UV light sources, their interaction with
biological agents, growing microbial cultures, conducting UV exposure
experiments, data collection and analysis, and report writing. An ex-
tension of the project is develop a research protocol in using UV light
sources in treating drinking water.
PST3A14: 3:45-4:30 p.m. A New Course for Our Life Science
Poster – Al J. Adams, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 2801 S Uni-
versity Ave., Little Rock, AR 72204-1099;
There is a major effort today to tailor the introductory physics courses
to better meet the immediate and long-term needs of our students in
the life sciences. I am participating in that effort. Here I will describe
the curriculum for a new course I am offering in the Spring 2014
term: Intermediate Physics for the Life Sciences. The course builds on
the concepts and skills developed in the introductory course. It will
be taught in an integrated format, combining lecture and labora-
tory pedagogies, in our SCALE-UP classroom featuring round-table
workstations equipped with computer and hand-held measurement
systems. I will illustrate several interactive engagement techniques and
several of my own renderings of laboratories that have been proposed
by others for the Introductory Physics for Life Science students, includ-
ing magnetic resonance, acoustic Doppler, laser Doppler, diffusion and
Brownian motion, and the optical analog to x-ray diffraction.
PST3A15: 3-3:45 p.m. Hermeneutic Phenomenological
Analysis of Postgraduate Researchers? Experi-
ences of Nanotechnology Research*
Poster – Deepa N. Chari, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland 18, Clon-
more Court, Dublin, N/A 9 Ireland;
Robert Howard, Brian Bowe, Dublin
Institute of Technology
Nanotechnology research is a complex
integration of many scientific disci-
plines. PhD researchers working in
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