2009 Advanced Laboratories Conference Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: The Evolving Syllabus for the Capstone Project Course at Eastern Michigan University
Abstract: PHY 420 Capstone Project is a one-semester course that was established to ensure that non-teaching physics majors, especially engineering physics majors, would have a collaborative advanced lab experience that would include design.  This course is intended to develop and augment a variety of student skills, including searching the literature, designing and conducting experiments, developing theoretical and computational models, and communicating technical information using written, oral, and graphical means.  Examples of projects include designing a vibrating bar experiment for an advanced acoustics lab, designing a shield against charged particles for a lunar base, and characterizing the fluorescence of quantum dots.  PHY 420 has been offered five times beginning in Winter 2002, and the syllabus has evolved in response to changing perceptions of student skills and attitudes.  Specifically, more attention has been given to student communication skills, consistent with the designation of PHY 420 as a Writing Intensive course that fulfills an Eastern Michigan University general education requirement for writing in the discipline.  A detailed description of the evolution of the course and potential improvements will be given.
Abstract Type: Poster
Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster
Session: Session II - Syllabi Poster Session

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Ernest Behringer
Eastern Michigan University
Department of Physics and Astronomy
303 Strong Hall
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Phone: (734) 487-8799
Fax: (734) 487-0989
and Co-Presenter(s)
James J. Carroll
Eastern Michigan University
Department of Physics and Astronomy
jcarroll -at- emich.edu