2012 BFY Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Laboratories in the Paradigms in Physics Curriculum
Abstract: The Paradigms in Physics project at Oregon State University has reformed the entire upper-level physics curriculum.  This has involved both a rearrangement of content to better reflect the way professional physicists think about the field and also the use of a number of reform pedagogies that place responsibility for learning more firmly in the hands of the students.  We have taken advantage of years of results from PER that indicate that students learn better when they are actively engaged in the learning process.  We integrate laboratory experiments into the curriculum in addition to our use of white board questions, kinesthetic activities, small group problem solving, and computer activities.  Our revised schedule has 2-hour class sessions twice a week that allow us to do laboratory experiments in the same time slot as the lecture; there is no separate large block of lab time, which is often the case in traditional physics courses.  The labs are supervised in the same way as the lectures--by the instructor with TA support.  The labs are broken up into smaller components than is usual, and class time is used for discussion of results and modeling.  Labs include: a large amplitude pendulum to study anharmonic motion, an LRC circuit to study Fourier analysis, a driven waves on a string lab to study wave motion, a coaxial cable experiment to study reflection at boundaries, a stretched rubber band experiment to study entropy, and a Stern-Gerlach computer simulation to study quantum measurements.
Abstract Type: Poster
Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: David McIntyre
Oregon State University
Dept. of Physics
Weniger Hall 301
Corvallis, OR 97331
Phone: 541 737-1696
Fax: 541 737-1683
and Co-Presenter(s)
Janet Tate, Corinne A. Manogue, and David Roundy