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An interview based study of pioneering experiences in teaching and learning Complex Systems in Higher EducationFeb 08 2018Due to the interdisciplinary nature of complex systems as a field, students studying complex systems at University level have diverse disciplinary backgrounds. This brings challenges (e.g. wide range of computer programming skills) but also opportunities ... More
Interview validation of the Physics Lab Inventory of Critical thinking (PLIC)Feb 07 2018Although an important goal of introductory physics labs is to train students in scientific reasoning and critical thinking, currently there are no standard tests in physics designed to assess such skills. We are in the process of developing and validating ... More
A Simple Setup for Cosmic Muon Lifetime MeasurementsJan 22 2018Elementary particle physics is a fascinating field of modern physics investigating the basic constituents of matter and their interactions. In the experiments large accelerators and very sophisticated detector systems are usually used. However, it is ... More
Measurement of the Boltzmann constant by Einstein. Problem of the 5-th Experimental Physics Olympiad. Sofia 9 December 2017Dec 29 2017Several consecutive experiments with specifically built set-up are described. Performing of the consecutive experimental tasks enables possibility to determine Boltzmann's constant $k_B$. The fluctuations of the voltage $U(t)$ of series of capacitors ... More
On the Prevalence and Nature of Computational Instruction in Undergraduate Physics Programs across the United StatesDec 20 2017A national survey of physics faculty was conducted to investigate the prevalence and nature of computational instruction in physics courses across the United States. 1246 faculty from 357 unique institutions responded to the survey. The initial results ... More
Quantitative Measures of Equity in Small GroupsOct 31 2017This project investigates how to quantitatively measure equity in small student groups. We follow several student groups to operationalize how discourse may be equitable or inequitable. The groups came from a two week, pre-college program that prepares ... More
Ciênsação: Gaining a feeling for sciencesDec 06 2016Ci\^ensa\c{c}\~ao, an open online repository for hands-on experiments, has been developed to convince teachers in Latin America that science is best experienced first hand. Permitting students to experiment autonomously in small groups can be a challenging ... More
Surveying the Attitudes of Physicists Concerning Foundational Issues of Quantum MechanicsDec 02 2016Even though quantum mechanics has existed for almost 100 years, questions concerning the foundation and interpretation of the theory still remain. These issues have gathered more attention in recent years, but does this mean that physicists are more aware ... More
Using Descriptive Analytics for the Improvement of National University Entrance Exam: A case study in the Context of Kankor in AfghanistanDec 02 2016In Afghanistan, High school graduates, to continue higher education, need to pass the National University Entrance Exam (Kankor). Kankor is very important and requires further research as it is used as the only means to identify the participant's competence ... More
Recommendations for the use of notebooks in upper-division physics lab coursesDec 01 2016The use of lab notebooks for scientific documentation is a ubiquitous part of physics research. However, it is common for undergraduate physics laboratory courses not to emphasize the development of these documentation skills, despite the fact that these ... More
Investigating the Use of Mastery-Style Online Homework Exercises in Introductory Algebra-based Mechanics in a Controlled Clinical StudyNov 28 2016Homework in introductory physics represents an important part of a student's learning experience; therefore choosing the manner in which homework is presented merits investigation. We performed three rounds of clinical trials comparing the effects of ... More
Analyzing the relative efficacy of student assessment techniques using Conditional ProbabilityNov 20 2016Academics often attempt to analyze problems in pedagogy on the basis of anecdotes when they should be using an evidence based, data driven approach. This paper presents a relatively simple technique for analyzing the relative efficacy of different types ... More
The Escaramujo Project: instrumentation courses during a road trip across the AmericasNov 18 2016The Escaramujo Project was a series of eight hands-on laboratory courses on High Energy Physics and Astroparticle Instrumentation, in Latinamerican Institutions. The Physicist Federico Izraelevitch traveled on a van with his wife and dogs from Chicago ... More
The Escaramujo Project: instrumentation courses during a road trip across the AmericasNov 18 2016Nov 21 2016The Escaramujo Project was a series of eight hands-on laboratory courses on High Energy Physics and Astroparticle Instrumentation, in Latinamerican Institutions. The Physicist Federico Izraelevitch traveled on a van with his wife and dogs from Chicago ... More
Testing conformal mapping with kitchen aluminum foilNov 18 2016We report an experimental verification of conformal mapping with kitchen aluminum foil. This experiment can be reproduced in any laboratory by undergraduate students and it is therefore an ideal experiment to introduce the concept of conformal mapping. ... More
"What is The SI?" A Proposal for an Educational Adjunct to the SI RedefinitionNov 16 2016We discuss how the likely 2018 redefinition of the SI system of units might affect the ability of students to understand the link between the units and the new system. The likely redefinition will no longer define a set of base units, but rather a set ... More
The Masterclass of particle physics and scientific careers from the point of view of male and female studentsNov 16 2016With this study we tried to investigate if male and female students have a different perception of scientific careers. At the end, we would like to be able to provide hints on how to intervene to correct the path that seems to naturally bring male students ... More
Measurement of the ratio h/e with a photomultiplier tube and a set of LEDsNov 14 2016We propose a laboratory experience aimed at undergraduate physics students to understand the main features of the photoelectric effect and to perform a measurement of the ratio h/e, where h is the Planck's constant and e is the electron charge. The experience ... More
Method to study student engagement uniformity in a classroomNov 10 2016We present a method to study engagement level uniformity in a class of students. We validate our method by comparing two semesters taught using different methods in a physics and mathematics course. The first semester used conventional methods while the ... More
Uncertainties analysis made easy using basic electricity analogyNov 10 2016This paper proposes a battery-resistor circuit to aid introductory laboratory students visualize concepts of experimental measurement uncertainty, sums of uncertainties and uncertainty of the mean value. In the model presented the uncertainty or noise ... More
Uncertainties analysis made easy using basic electricity analogyNov 10 2016Nov 17 2016We proposes a battery-resistor circuit to aid introductory laboratory students visualize concepts of experimental measurement uncertainty, sums of uncertainties and uncertainty of the mean value. In the model presented the uncertainty or noise can be ... More
Developing skills vs reinforcing concepts in physics labs: Insight from E-CLASSNov 07 2016Physics laboratory courses have been generally acknowledged as an important component of the undergraduate curriculum, particularly with respect to developing students' interest in, and understanding of, experimental physics. There are a number of possible ... More
Varied reasoning schema in students' written solutionsNov 07 2016The Mathematization project investigates students' use of mathematical tools across the undergraduate physics curriculum. As a part of this project, we look at intermediate mechanics students' written homework solutions to understand how they use those ... More
Gender Differences in Physics: A Comparative Study of PersistenceNov 07 2016We investigate the difference in persistence between male and female students while taking a physics course. We collected the data from three consecutive workshops on various topics of physics. After plotting the number of participations against the number ... More
Development of a modes of collaboration frameworkNov 04 2016Group work is becoming increasingly common in introductory physics classrooms. Understanding how students engage in these group learning environments is important for designing and facilitating productive learning opportunities for students. We conducted ... More
Students' network integration as a predictor of persistence in introductory physics coursesNov 02 2016Increasing student retention (successfully finishing a particular course) and persistence (continuing through the major area of study) is currently a major challenge for universities. While students' academic and social integration into an institution ... More
Students' network integration as a predictor of persistence in introductory physics coursesNov 02 2016Nov 21 2016Increasing student retention (successfully finishing a particular course) and persistence (continuing through the major area of study) is currently a major challenge for universities. While students' academic and social integration into an institution ... More
Public Computation & Boundary PlayOct 21 2016In this paper, we introduce 'public computation' as a genre of learning environments that can be used to radically broaden public participation in authentic, computation-enabled STEM disciplinary practices. Our paradigmatic approach utilizes open source ... More
Under-Graduate Research in Physics : An Indian PerspectiveOct 20 2016It is now widely believed that research should be an essential and integral part of under-graduate studies. In recent years there has been a conscious effort to bring research opportunities to the physics under-graduates in India. We argue that the need ... More
Mentoring Partnerships in Science EducationOct 16 2016The authors use an action research (AR) approach in a collegiate studio physics class to investigate the power of partnerships via conferences as they relate to issues of establishing a student/mentor rapport, empowering students to reduce inequity, and ... More
Measuring Charged Particle Multiplicity with Early ATLAS Public DataOct 08 2016We study 100 images of early LHC collisions that were recorded by the ATLAS experiment and made public for outreach purposes, and extract the charged particle multiplicity as a function of momentum for proton-proton collisions at sqrt(s) = 7 TeV. As the ... More
Ideograms for Physics and ChemistryOct 07 2016Ideograms (symbols that represent a word or idea) have great communicative value. They refer to concepts in a simple manner, easing the understanding of related ideas. Moreover, ideograms can simplify the often cumbersome notation used in the fields of ... More
Binding Blocks: building the Universe one nucleus at the timeOct 07 2016We present a new teaching and outreach activity based around the construction of a three-dimensional chart of isotopes using LEGO$^{\copyright}$ bricks. The activity, \emph{Binding Blocks}, demonstrates nuclear and astrophysical processes through a seven-meter ... More
Binding Blocks: building the Universe one nucleus at the timeOct 07 2016Oct 18 2016We present a new teaching and outreach activity based around the construction of a three-dimensional chart of isotopes using LEGO$^{\circledR}$ bricks. The activity, \emph{Binding Blocks}, demonstrates nuclear and astrophysical processes through a seven-meter ... More
Electronics lab instructors' approaches to troubleshooting instructionOct 05 2016In this exploratory qualitative study, we describe instructors' self-reported practices for teaching and assessing students' ability to troubleshoot in electronics lab courses. We collected audio data from interviews with 20 electronics instructors from ... More
Making of a nonlinear optical cavityOct 04 2016In the article we explain in detail how to build a photorefractive oscillator (PRO), which is a laser-pumped nonlinear optical cavity containing a photorefractive crystal. The specific PRO whose construction we describe systematically, is based on a Fabry-Perot ... More
A DIY Ultrasonic Signal Generator for Sound ExperimentsOct 03 2016Nov 11 2016Many physics departments around the world have electronic and mechanical workshops attached to them. The job of these workshops is to design and build experimental setups and instruments for research and the training of undergraduate students. However, ... More
A DIY Ultrasonic Signal Generator for Sound ExperimentsOct 03 2016Many physics departments around the world have electronic and mechanical workshops attached to them. The job of these workshops is to design and build experimental setups and instruments for research and the training of undergraduate students. However, ... More
Linking Behavior in the PER Coauthorship NetworkSep 28 2016There is considerable long-term interest in understanding the dynamics of collaboration networks, and how these networks form and evolve over time. Most of the work done on the dynamics of social networks focuses on well-established communities. Work ... More
Learning through experimenting: an original way of teaching geometrical opticsSep 26 2016Over the past 10 years, we have developed at University Paris Sud a first year course on geometrical optics centered on experimentation. In contrast with the traditional top-down learning structure usually applied at university, in which practical sessions ... More
Solar Physics at the Einstein TowerSep 22 2016The solar observatory Einstein Tower (Einsteinturm) at the Telegrafenberg in Potsdam is both a landmark of modern architecture and an important place for solar physics. Originally built for high-resolution spectroscopy and measuring the gravitational ... More
Upgrade of the pedagogic and popular science tool for holography to a colour versionSep 21 2016In 2012, a pedagogic tool for monochromatic holography was realized for pedagogic and popular science purposes [Th. Voslion and A. Escarguel, Eur. J. Phys 33, 1803 (2012)]. Following its success, we decided to upgrade it to make larger colour holograms ... More
Impact of instructional approach on students' epistemologies about experimental physicsSep 19 2016Student learning in undergraduate physics laboratory courses has garnered increased attention within the PER community. Considerable work has been done to develop curricular materials and pedagogical techniques designed to enhance student learning within ... More
Smartphone SchlierenSep 13 2016We present a schlieren system comprised of 3D printed optical mounts, a sub-$10 mirror, and a smartphone camera. The system is intended to make schlieren imaging accessible to K-through-12 students, educators, as well as hobbyists. In the manuscript, ... More
Learning Physics by Creating Problems: An ExperimentSep 12 2016We investigated the effects of student-generated problems on exams. The process was gradual with some training throughout the semester. Initial results were highly positive with the students involved performing significantly better, and showing statistically ... More
Integrating Agent-based Programming with Elementary Science: The Role of Sociomathematical NormsSep 03 2016How can elementary grade teachers integrate programming and computational thinking with the science curriculum? To answer this question, we present results from a long-term, design-based, microgenetic study where 1) agent-based programming using ViMAP ... More
Patterns of Gendered Performance Difference in Introductory STEM CoursesAug 26 2016Grades provide students with their primary performance feedback: signals which affect academic choices. Variations in grading practice among courses impose grade penalties (and bonuses) on students who take them. These grade penalties are sometimes gendered. ... More
Why ghosts don't touch: a tale of two adventurers falling one after another into a black holeAug 26 2016The case for the utility of Kruskal-Szekeres coordinates in classroom made by Augousti et al. in this journal (Eur. J. Phys. 33:1--11, 2012) is strengthened by extending their discussion beyond the event horizon of the black hole. Observations made by ... More
Knowledge Formation and Inter-Game Transfer With Classical and Quantum PhysicsAug 26 2016In order to facilitate an intuitive understanding of classical physics concepts we have developed Potential Penguin - a game where players manipulate the landscape around a sliding penguin in order to control its movement. The learning goal of Potential ... More
A simple setup to measure muon lifetime and electron energy spectrum of muon decay and its Monte Carlo simulationAug 24 2016We designed a simple setup to measure the muon lifetime and the electron energy spectra of muon decay. A low cost coincidental circuit was designed to select the signals of muon decay events detected by a plastic scintillator detector. It triggered a ... More
Surveying college introductory physics students' attitudes and approaches to problem solvingAug 19 2016Students' attitudes and approaches to problem solving in physics can greatly impact their actual problem solving practices and also influence their motivation to learn and ultimately the development of expertise. We developed and validated an attitudes ... More
Measurements and analysis of current-voltage characteristic of a pn diode for an undergraduate physics laboratoryAug 18 2016We show that in a simple experiment at undergraduate level, suitable to be performed in classes of science and engineering students, it is possible to test accurately, on a popular 1N4148 p-n diode, the range of the junction currents where the Shockley ... More
Automaticity in Computation and Student Success in Introductory Physical Science CoursesAug 17 2016Sep 27 2016Between 1984 and 2011, the percentage of US bachelor degrees awarded in physics declined by 25%, in chemistry declined by 33%, and overall in physical sciences and engineering fell 40%. Data suggest that these declines are correlated to a deemphasis in ... More
Persistence of Physics and Engineering Students via Peer Mentoring, Active Learning, and Intentional AdvisingAug 14 2016We have developed and implemented a low-cost peer-mentoring program that blends personal and academic support to help students achieve academic success in the introductory courses required for the Physics Major or the Dual-Degree Program in Engineering. ... More
Open-ended versus guided laboratory activities: Impact on students' beliefs about experimental physicsAug 04 2016Improving students' understanding of the nature of experimental physics is often an explicit or implicit goal of undergraduate laboratory physics courses. However, lab activities in traditional lab courses are typically characterized by highly structured, ... More
Interactive simulations for quantum key distributionAug 02 2016Secure communication protocols are becoming increasingly important, e.g. for internet-based communication. Quantum key distribution allows two parties, commonly called Alice and Bob, to generate a secret sequence of 0s and 1s called a key that is only ... More
Student self-assessment and reflection in a learner controlled environmentAug 01 2016Students who successfully engage in self-regulated learning, are able to plan their own studying, monitoring their progress and make any necessary adjustments based upon the data and feedback they gather. In order to promote this type of independent learning, ... More
Accelerating Science TRIZ inventive methodology in illustrationsJul 29 2016Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) is a powerful tool widely used in engineering community. It is based on identification of a physical contradiction in a problem, and based on the corresponding pair of contradicting parameters selecting a few ... More
Optical Properties of Amorphous Silicon Quantum Dots(a-Si QDs) with various dot size using Extended Hückel TheoryJul 29 2016A high quality amorphous silicon (a-Si) nanostructures has grown experimentally to study the origin of light emission and the quantum confinement effect in a-Si. The quantum confinement effect increases the band gap of material as the size of quantum ... More
Learning to do diversity work: A model for continued education of program organizersJul 27 2016Physics and physics education in the United States suffer from severe (and, in some cases, worsening) underrepresentation of Black, Latina/o, and Native people of all genders and women of all races and ethnicities. This underrepresentation is a symptom ... More
Interferometry and Holography With Diode Laser LightJul 27 2016We made an interferometric Michelson type setup and a simple holographic setup to demonstrate the feasibility of interferometric and holographic techniques by means of a diode laser. The laser was made by using a common diode available as a penlight element ... More
Metacognitive Training in Professional Development Can Improve and Sustain Student AchievementJul 26 2016Secondary school students in the United States continue to underachieve in mathematics and science. Improving teacher quality is a core component of improving student achievement. Here we report on a professional development program, the MAST System, ... More
A Problem-Solving Framework to Assist Students and Teachers in STEM CoursesJul 26 2016Well-developed problem-solving skills are essential for any student enrolled in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) course as well as for graduates in the workforce. One of the most essential skills is the ability to monitor one's ... More
The Electric Field of a Uniformly Charged Non-Conducting Cubic SurfaceJul 26 2016As an integrative and insightful example for undergraduates learning about electrostatics, we discuss how to use symmetry, Coulomb's Law, superposition, Gauss's law, and visualization to understand the electric field produced by a non-conducting cubic ... More
"Pulling out" as a procedural resource when solving partial differential equationsJul 25 2016We investigate how students solve partial differential equations and partial derivatives in the context of quantum mechanics. We use the resources framework to investigate students' discussion in a group problem-solving environment to investigate the ... More
"What's (the) Matter?", A Show on Elementary Particle Physics with 28 Demonstration ExperimentsJul 25 2016Aug 17 2016We present the screenplay of a physics show on particle physics, by the Physikshow of Bonn University. The show is addressed at non-physicists aged 14+ and communicates basic concepts of elementary particle physics including the discovery of the Higgs ... More
The Impacts of Learning Assistants on Student Learning of PhysicsJul 25 2016This study investigated whether and how Learning Assistant (LA) support is linked to student outcomes in Physics courses nationwide. Paired student concept inventory scores were collected over three semesters from 3,753 students, representing 69 courses, ... More
Training telescope operators and support astronomers at ParanalJul 25 2016The operations model of the Paranal Observatory relies on the work of efficient staff to carry out all the daytime and nighttime tasks. This is highly dependent on adequate training. The Paranal Science Operations department (PSO) has a training group ... More
The Impact of Learning Assistants on Inequities in Physics Student OutcomesJul 25 2016Sep 02 2016This study investigates how Learning Assistants (LAs) and related course features are associated with inequities in student learning in introductory university physics courses. 2,868 physics students' paired pre- and post-test scores on concept inventories ... More
Playing Modeling Games in the Science Classroom: The Case for Disciplinary IntegrationJul 18 2016We extend the theory of disciplinary integration of games for science education beyond the virtual world of games, and identify two key themes of a practice-based theoretical commitment to science learning: (1) materiality in the classroom and (2) iterative ... More
Student understanding of electric and magnetic fields in materialsJul 15 2016We discuss the clusters of resources that emerge when upper-division students enrolled in an upper-division electricity and magnetism course write about fields in linear materials. We examine how these clusters change with time and context. The evidence ... More
Active learning in pre-class assignments: Exploring the use of interactive simulations to enhance reading assignmentsJul 15 2016Pre-class reading assignments help prepare students for active classes by providing a first exposure to the terms and concepts to be used during class. We investigate if the use of inquiry-oriented PhET-based activities in conjunction with pre-class reading ... More
${\rm P}^3$: A Practice Focused Learning EnvironmentJul 15 2016There has been an increased focus on the integration of practices into physics curricula, with a particular emphasis on integrating computation into the undergraduate curriculum of scientists and engineers. In this paper, we present a university-level, ... More
Examining Student Participation in Two-Phase Collaborative Exams through Video AnalysisJul 13 2016Sep 30 2016In this study we coded, for individual student participation on each question, the video of twenty-seven groups interacting in the group phase of a variety of two-phase exams. We found that maximum group participation occurred on questions where at least ... More
Elementary algorithms from advanced mechanicsJul 13 2016Most elementary numerical schemes found useful for solving classical trajectory problems are {\it canonical transformations}. This fact should be make more widely known among teachers of computational physics and Hamiltonian mechanics. It is very surprising ... More
Enhancing Students' Understanding of Scientific Equipment: Smartphones in the LaboratoryJul 13 2016One of the oft-cited qualities sought after in a potential future engineering employee is an analytical mind that is "continually examining things." In one sense this examination is discouraged in an instructional laboratory employing opaque black box ... More
Dynamics of students' epistemological framing in group problem solvingJul 11 2016Many studies have investigated students' epistemological framing when solving physics problems. Framing supports students' problem solving as they decide what knowledge to employ and the necessary steps to solve the problem. Students may frame the same ... More
The nature of polarized light using smartphonesJul 09 2016Originally an empirical law, nowadays Malus' is seen as a key experiment to demonstrate the traversal nature of electromagnetic waves, as well as the intrinsic connection between optics and electromagnetism. More specifically, it is an operational way ... More
The polarization of light and the Malus' law using smartphonesJul 09 2016Dec 04 2016Originally an empirical law, nowadays Malus' law is seen as a key experiment to demonstrate the transverse nature of electromagnetic waves, as well as the intrinsic connection between optics and electromagnetism. In this work, a simple and inexpensive ... More
A Singularity in the Kirchhoff's Circuit EquationsJul 06 2016Students often have difficulty in understanding qualitatively the behaviour of simple electric circuits. In particular, as different studies have shown, they find multiple batteries connected in multiple loops difficult to analyse. In a recent paper [Phys. ... More
Examining and contrasting the cognitive activities engaged in undergraduate research experiences and lab coursesJul 05 2016While the positive outcomes of undergraduate research experiences (UREs) have been extensively categorized, the mechanisms for those outcomes are less understood. Through lightly structured focus group interviews, we have extracted the cognitive tasks ... More
Using smartphone pressure sensors to measure vertical velocities of elevators, stairways, and dronesJul 01 2016Oct 05 2016We measure the vertical velocities of elevators, pedestrians climbing stairs, and drones (flying unmanned aerial vehicles), by means of smartphone pressure sensors. The barometric pressure obtained with the smartphone is related to the altitude of the ... More
Effects of Reducing Scaffolding in an Undergraduate Electronics LabJun 27 2016Design and scientific investigation are recognized as key components of undergraduate physics laboratory curricula. In light of this, many successful lab programs have been developed to train students to develop these abilities, and students in these ... More
Teaching Physics in the first years of Elementary School to children with ADHDJun 24 2016In this paper we report on a Science Fair activity developed at Colegio Pedro II, a traditional Brazilian school, with a group of eight 8-12 years old Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) students. ADHD is usually a condition associated with ... More
Methods for Analyzing Pathways through a Physics MajorJun 23 2016Physics Education Research frequently investigates what students studying physics do on small time scales (e.g. single courses, observations within single courses), or post-education time scales (e.g., what jobs do physics majors get?) but there is little ... More
Assessing the interactivity and prescriptiveness of faculty professional development workshops: The Real-Time Professional Development Observation Tool (R-PDOT)Jun 22 2016Oct 31 2016Professional development workshops are one of the primary mechanisms used to help faculty improve their teaching, and draw in many STEM instructors every year. Although workshops serve a critical role in changing instructional practices within our community, ... More
Assessing the interactivity and prescriptiveness of faculty professional development workshops: The Real-Time Professional Development Observation Tool (R-PDOT)Jun 22 2016Professional development workshops are one of the primary mechanisms used to help faculty improve their teaching, and draw in many STEM instructors every year. Although workshops serve a critical role in changing instructional practices within our community, ... More
Raman study of a work of art fragmentJun 22 2016The purpose of the present report was the study and identification of an unspecified sample on a work of art by means only of a microscope coupled to a Raman spectrometer. The origin of the fragment was unknown. The Raman spectra on the virgin sample ... More
Rules for collaborative scientific writingJun 21 2016Several years ago, one of us, having noticed that inexperienced scientists tend to make largely the same mistakes while writing their first papers, was compelled to write a one-page note summarizing some dos and don'ts intended to help take care of common ... More
Nothing works the first time: An expert experimental physics epistemologyJun 17 2016The ability to troubleshoot is an important learning outcome for undergraduate physics laboratory courses. To better understand the role of troubleshooting in electronics laboratory courses, we interviewed 20 electronics instructors from multiple institution ... More
Sustaining educational and public outreach programs in astronomyJun 14 2016We advocate meaningful support of sustained education-outreach partnerships between regional metropolitan undergraduate institutions and astronomical clubs and societies. We present our experience as an example, in which we have grown a partnership between ... More
Maths in Medicine: How to Survive a Science FairJun 13 2016When talking to secondary school students, first impressions are crucial. Accidentally say something that sounds boring and you'll lose them in seconds. A physical demonstration can be an eye-catching way to begin an activity or spark off a conversation ... More
Coherence and information in a fiber interferometerJun 10 2016We present an experiment based on a fibered Mach-Zehnder interferometer. The aim is to familiarize students with fibered optics and interferometry, and to improve their understanding of optical amplification. The laboratory project has two parts: in a ... More
Assessing Learning Outcomes in Middle-Division Classical Mechanics: The Colorado Classical Mechanics/Math Methods InstrumentJun 10 2016Reliable and validated assessments of introductory physics have been instrumental in driving curricular and pedagogical reforms that lead to improved student learning. As part of an effort to systematically improve our sophomore-level Classical Mechanics ... More
Inexpensive LED-based spectrophotometer for analyzing optical coatingsJun 08 2016Optical coatings are widespread in everyday life, from camera lenses to glasses, to complex optics experiments. A simple, reliable device that can quickly and inexpensively analyze optical coatings is a valuable laboratory tool. Such a device can identify ... More
Research-based assessment of students' beliefs about experimental physics: When is gender a factor?Jun 08 2016Sep 06 2016The existence of gender differences in student performance on conceptual assessments and their responses to attitudinal assessments has been repeatedly demonstrated. This difference is often present in students' preinstruction responses and persists in ... More
Microscope Project for Undergraduate LaboratoriesJun 08 2016Optics is an important subfield of physics required for instrument design and used in a variety of other disciplines, including materials science, physics, and life sciences such as developmental biology and cell biology. It is important to educate students ... More
The Cornstarch FlamethrowerJun 06 2016Igniting cornstarch powder is a classic physics demonstration that showcases the rapid conduction of heat for a material in which the surface area is greater than the volume of its constituent particles. Including such a demonstration in a physics "magic ... More
The Importance of Computation in Astronomy EducationJun 05 2016Computational skills are required across all astronomy disciplines. Many students enter degree programs without sufficient skills to solve computational problems in their core classes or contribute immediately to research. We recommend advocacy for computational ... More
The Desktop Muon Detector: A simple, physics-motivated machine- and electronics-shop project for university studentsJun 03 2016Aug 25 2016This paper describes an undergraduate-level physics project that incorporates various aspects of machine- and electronics-shop technical development. The desktop muon detector is a self-contained apparatus that employs plastic scintillator as a detection ... More