Session D7: Physics Demonstrations and Strategies for Teaching and Public Outreach

Jack Wiegers, Session Chair, Washington University

Youth Exploring Science

Diane Miller, St. Louis Science Center

Diane Miller’s presentation Youth Exploring Science described engaging underserved students to think about what they would like to learn and be able to do. She told a great story about groups of students who participated in Youth Exploring Science (YES) program becoming engaged and doing interesting projects that the students selected. She described clearly how she set behavioral and intellectual expectations for these students and how the students grew and came to meet these expectations. She also described how participation in the program enhanced their learning in the classroom.

Searching for Truth: The Modeling Method of Instruction

James Cibulka, St. Louis Area Physics Teachers

Jim Cibulka’s presentation Searching for Truth: The Modeling Method of Instruction described an important facet of making school science mirror professional science. He described his own journey in learning how to construct simple but refineable models that build upon one another. Further he gave examples drawn from his classroom that showed how his students gain skills in developing verbal, graphical, and analytic models.

Active Learning in a Large General Physics Classroom

Rebecca Trousil, Washington University

Rebecca Trousil’s presentation Active Learning in a large General Physics Classroom described her teaching strategies in a calculus-based physics course that uses the text Six Ideas that Shaped Physics and teaching methods of Thomas A. Moore (Pomona College). She divides each class period in parts that address two-minute problems, examples, mini-lectures, and interactive demonstrations. Each of these parts requires student to be active learners both inside and outside of classes. Strategies were discussed for accomplishing this. Each part, within the class, is characterized by class participation through discussing and answering questions by holding up numbered cards.