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Design Principles to Support Physics and Engineering Learning in Complementary Classrooms and Field Trip ActivitiesWolf, S. (Ed.)We present design principles for leveraging the affordances of schools and an interactive physical science museum to design curriculum modules that result in students learning physics through the practices of science and engineering. The modules include a field trip program and pre and post activities implemented in elementary school classrooms. The design principles are the result of research conducted during the first two years of a three-year design-based implementation research (DBIR) project and conducted through a long term Research-Practice Partnership (RPP) and on iterative development and testing the field trips and activities with 18 classrooms ranging from grades 1 through 6 and representing a range of demographics.
Wolf, S. ; Bennett, M.B. ; Frank, B.W. (Ed.)We are continuing a nationwide effort to develop a systemic understanding of the landscape of informal physics using an organizational theory perspective. We have collected surveys and interviews with informal physics program facilitators, but this information is only from the perspective of the faculty or physics student leaders and does not tell us about the social dynamics within each program. Thus, to complement these data, we need to observe informal physics events as they occur. In this paper, we will discuss our strategy for visits to program sites to observe social interactions between program participants as well as programmatic details in action. We report on an initial site visit to a physics open house event, where we took field-notes and conducted interviews with participating personnel members. Here, we compare the types of data we are able to collect from site visits and interviews/surveys with lead program facilitators.
Bennett, M ; Wolf, S. ; Frank, B. W. (Ed.)Computer simulations for physics labs may be combined with hands-on lab equipment to boost student understanding and make labs more accessible. Hybrid labs of HTML5-based computer simulations and hands-on lab equipment for topics in mechanics were investigated in a large, algebra-based, studio physics course for life science students at a private, research-intensive institution. Computer simulations were combined with hands-on equipment and compared to traditional hands-on labs using an A/B testing protocol. Learning outcomes were measured for the specific topic of momentum conservation by comparing student scores on post-lab exercises, related quiz and exam questions, and a subset of questions on the Energy and Momentum Conceptual Survey (EMCS) administered before and after instruction for both groups. We find that students who completed a hands-on lab vs. a hybrid lab showed no difference in performance on momentum assessments.
Wolf, S. ; Bennett, M. B. ; Frank, B. W. (Ed.)
Wolf, S ; Bennett, M. B. ; and Frank, B. W. (Ed.)