APS News

Institute Participants Ponder Archimedes' Principle

Top photo: Don Brown (left), Wallace Planetarium, Fitchburg, MA; and George Miller, Fitchburg State College. Bottom photo: Carolanne Buguey (left), Webster Life Science Academy, Palo Alto, CA; and Bonnie Schindler, San Diego USD. Photos by Edward Lee/APS
These investigators are working with materials from an exemplary elementary science kit on buoyancy. The two at the right have just calibrated their spring scale and are weighing a large fishing bobber. The two at the bottom right are weighing a set of identically sized and shaped cylinders under water to determine the buoyant force.

All four were participants at the 2001 APS Lead-Scientist Institute, held in Washington, DC on January 6-10. This institute, the last in a series of seven funded by the Campaign for Physics, showed 46 scientists and educators from nine states how they can contribute to K-8 systemic science education reform.

After three days of talks and workshops, the participants observed science classes at an elementary and a middle school in nearby Montgomery County (MD) so they could see good science instruction in action. In addition, they toured the science materials center that replenishes the kits after each use in schools.

The APS expects that institute participants will work with teachers, administrators, and local officials and will recruit large numbers of scientists and engineers. The institute was conducted by Ted Schultz, a retired IBM physicist who is on the APS staff.

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Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette