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Program for the Fall 2005 meeting

Saturday, November 19
South Pasadena High School

1401 Fremont Ave
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Maps and Directions

Local Host: Dean Papadakis

The World Famous "Order of Magnitude Contest" !!
How many liters of liquid water could be extracted from the air inside a typical house?
The person giving the median answer is the winner and gets first pick of the door prizes.

NOTE: Please make reservations in advance for the workshops and for the catered lunch. See the descriptions in the program below for details.
8:15 AM
Registration, Refreshments, Exhibits
8:30 AM

Workshop: "What's New from Vernier?"
Leader—Clarence Bakken

Advance reservations requested; otherwise, "first come, first served." To reserve a place, please send a message with your name to Clarence.

This workshop will give you a chance to see some of the ways you can add technology to your physics labs. Come and see how you can take a movie and then use using the new video capture feature of Logger Pro 3.4 to do video analysis or video replay with synchronization. In addition, you will see:

  • The new low-friction Vernier Dynamics Cart and Track and the Vernier Optics System.
  • The Go!Motion motion detector, which is an inexpensive way to measure distance, acceleration and velocity.
  • The Charge Sensor, which you can use to conduct great electrostatics experiments in your labs.
  • Our new EasyLink and EasyTemp that connect directly to calculators.
  • And much more
8:30 AM

Workshop: "Quality physics labs for overcrowded classes in poorly supported high schools"
Leader—Gary Reynolds

Advance reservations requested; otherwise, "first come, first served." To reserve a place, please send a message with your name to Gary.

10:00 AM

10:15 AM

Contributed Talk: "Using Hollywood Films as an Assessmet for Learning"
Jonathan Stamper
Palos Verdes Peninsula High School

This talk will describe how an instructor can use film clips from Hollywood films to assess whether a physics student has learned the presented material. This is NOT just showing films in class; rather it is a method of using film clips as a "quiz" that can be computed into a student's grade. The film clips that I will show (and the audience will have to answer the quiz questions!) are the following, should time allow:
The Enemy Below (1957)- Has a vector addition problem
The General (1930)- Has a conceptual projectile motion problem
Speed (1994)- Has two projectile motion problems
IF Time Allows: "The Hunt For Red October" (1990)-Vector Addition and "The Fugitive" (1996?)- Kinematics in 1-D

10:40 AM

Contributed Talk: "Computer Homework, Boon or Bane?"
Dr. George A. Kuck
CSU Long Beach

Computers in the US today are as common as slide rulers were 30 years ago. This presents an opportunity for learning that did not exist until recently. In large lecture classes where there is minimum support available to the instructors, computer homework can be effectively used to increase student learning. Its effectiveness depends upon both the sophistication and the motivation levels of the student as well as the availability of suitable computers for the students. For one type of student, that found in our physical science lecture classes of over 100 students, the mathematical and computer sophistication levels are low and so simpler approaches to computer homework appear to be more effective. For students who are more sophisticated such as those in the algebra/trig based introductory physics in class sizes of 50 - 100 students, a more extensive use of computer homework is possible. Commercially available software may be effectively used as long as the students are forced to maintain their solutions in a form that can be used by them to study for exams. These study portfolio's are a key element to having effective computer homework results.

11:00 AM

Invited Talk: "The Adventure of Studying Einstein's Manuscripts"
Dr. Tilman Sauer
Senior Scientific Editor, Einstein Papers Project

The Einstein Papers Project is a long-term editorial project devoted to publishing The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein. Drawing on the Einstein Archives, the project publishes Einstein's writings, both his published papers and his unpublished mansucripts, as well as his scientific and personal correspondence. The talk will offer some thoughts, and present some examples, as to what we can learn about Einstein's life and work from studying his unpublished papers.

11:50 AM

A catered lunch is available for $13. It incudes Lasagna (regular with Italian sausage or vegetarian style); a Julienne vegetable medley sauteed with white wine and fresh herbs; a Caesar salad with croutons, red onions, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese; assorted cookies and brownies; and soft drinks or mineral water.
Advance reservations required
. Please send a message to Forouzan Faridian clearly indicating: 1) Your name; 2) The number of REGULAR lunches you are requesting; 3) The number of VEGETARIAN lunches you are requesting.

1:15 PM

"Show'n Tell"

Jonas Mureika: "Graphically soving the twin paradox"
Martin Mason
: "Computational Modeling in Vpython"
Dean Papadakis: "Seeing Sound Waves"
Glenn Malin: "Dr. Knowitall"

1:45 PM

Contributed Talk: "Planetary Orbit Program for TI 83"
Donald J. Krotser
CSUN Secondary Ed. Dept., University Supervisor

A surprisingly simple algorithm was first implemented on an Atari 800 and used in Physics classes at Grant HS. A TI83 implementation has been used as a demonstration. The first student challenge was to use it to demonsrate possible new circular orbits using Kepler's 3rd law transformed to velocity and radius - the inputs to the program. It can be used to demonstrate non-circular orbits and Pseudo-relativistic precession (by calculation round-off errors). There is a bit of drama as you wait to see the orbits plotted point by point: Plotting time is about a minute.

2:00 PM

Invited Talk: "Einstein's Legacy: From Rods and Clocks to Gravitational Waves"
Dr. Michele Vallisneri
Research Scientist, JPL

The World Year of Physics 2005 commemorates the pioneering contributions of Albert Einstein in his "Miraculous Year", 1905. Among these was special relativity, which revolutionized the scientific, philosophical, and popular concepts of space and time, and which set Einstein on a track that would culminate with his 1915 geometric theory of gravitation, general relativity. In this talk I pay homage to both special and general relativity, discussing the novelty of Einstein's special-relativistic spacetime, and describing the quest for the ultimate legacy of general relativity: gravitational waves.

3:00 PM

Contributed Talk: "Students' reasoning skills, views of learning, and success in physics"
Jeff Phillips
Loyola Marymount University

We have investigated the connections between students' conceptual gains, as measured by the Force Concept Inventory, and their cognitive skills and epistemology beliefs. Using Lawson's Classroom test of Scientific Reasoning to assess students' cognitive skills, we see a significant correlation with the FCI normalized gains (p<0.0001). A subsection of the population was also given an epistemology survey that drew from several existing questionnaires. This survey showed similar significant correlations with FCI normalized gains. There was no significant correlation between reasoning scores and epistemology scores.

3:15 PM

Contributed Talk: "Introductory Physics for the 21st Century"
Martin S. Mason
Mt. San Antonio College

Introductory Physics for the 21st Century (ICP/21) is a modular, workshop style physics course. The need for lectures has been greatly reduced, with most classroom time devoted to laboratories, activities, and discussion among students. Through the use of learning cycles students actively test their own conceptual understandings of our natural world. If their conceptual models do not work, students are led to the construction of a more scientific model that does work. Procedures and problem solving strategies are emphasized, rather than just getting the right answers. Students must use multiple representations for most problems and are encouraged to tie together the knowledge gained by analyzing a problem from a pictorial, physical, graphical, and mathematical perspective.

3:30 PM
Panel Discussion on Physics Demos
Dr. George A. Kuck, Bill Layton, Glenn Malin, others TBA
4:00 PM
The World Famous "Order of Magnitude Contest" and Door Prizes
4:15 PM
Meeting Adjourns

  ©2005 SCAAPT
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