AAPT_WM14program_final - page 81

January 4–7, 2014
Tuesday Morning
8 a.m.–3 p.m. Ballroom Foyer
PERTG Town Hall 7:30–8:30 a.m. Salon 4
Programs Committee II 7–8:30 a.m. Salon 14
SEES (Students to Experience Engineering and Science)
9 a.m.–12 p.m. Grand Ballroom C
Kindle Raffle 10:45 a.m. Exhibit Hall
Oersted Medal to: Dean Zollman
10–11 a.m. Grand Ballroom B
Distinguished Service Awards
11–11:30 a.m. Grand Ballroom B
Presidential Transfer
11:30–11:45 Grand Ballroom B
Great Book Giveaway 11:45 a.m. Grand Ballroom Foyer
1:30–3 p.m. Grand Ballroom B
Poster Session 3:
3–4 p.m.
Grand Ballroom Foyer
Tuesday, January 7
Session FA: ALPHA Projects:
Mentoring and Student Projects
Location: Salon 3
Sponsor: Committee on Laboratories
Co-Sponsor: Committee on Physics in Undergraduate Education
Date: Tuesday, January 7
Time: 8:30–10 a.m.
Presider: Joe Kozminski
8:30-9 a.m. The Sure-fire Fool-proof Guaranteed
(non-existent?) Project Mentoring System
Invited – Eric Ayars, California State University, Chico, Campus Box
202, Chico, CA 95929-0202;
Every student is different. Every project is different. It stands to
reason, then, that every student project is different-squared, and
mentoring student projects in any systematic way becomes a chal-
lenge. I don’t have the one perfect answer to those challenges, but I
hope to present some techniques for time and project management
that can help to make student projects productive and beneficial for
all concerned.
9-9:30 a.m. High Altitude Ballooning
Invited – David Pawlowski, Eastern Michigan University, 325 Strong
Hall, Ypsilanti, MI 48197-2207;
For the past two years, senior physics students at Eastern Michigan
University have been tasked with researching, designing, building,
and launching a weather balloon that must reach nearly 100,000 feet
above the Earth’s surface. While the students are given a list of the pri-
mary instrumentation for the balloon, they are asked to determine the
best method for integrating the components. This presentation will
introduce the details of this project and summarize the successful as-
pects of it as well as the parts that didn’t always go so well. There may
also be an image or two of southeastern Michigan from near-space
9:30-10 a.m. Mentoring Undergraduate Projects:
The Hardest Part Is Before They Start
Invited – Linda S. Barton, Rochester Institute of Technology, School of
Physics and Astronomy, Rochester, NY 14623;
Mentoring a successful undergraduate research or research-like
project presents a number of challenges. Many of the largest hurdles
can be avoided or minimized with careful forethought, before the
work begins, by the mentor. In this talk, we discuss how to gauge a
student’s skill set and interests so as to place them in an appropriate
project, and how to set realistic limits on the scope of a project. Strate-
gies for fair yet rigorous assessment of student performance will also
be discussed. Each of these issues are best addressed before a project
ever begins. Examples are taken both from the mandatory year-long
capstone project that all physics majors must complete, as well as
sophomore and junior projects, at RIT. Finally, we reflect on how the
traditional undergraduate curriculum could be improved to bridge
the gap between classwork and research.
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