Our fall 2014 meeting will be at the City College of San Francisco this November. There will be a social event on the night of the 14th followed by a full day on Saturday the 15th. Our keynote speaker will be Dennis Wingo of the ISEE-3 Reboot Team, a group of space enthusiasts who are attempting (with good progress) to revive a NASA space probe launched in 1978.
Invited Talk: “Changes in the Teaching of Introductory Physics at Stanford” Chaya Nanavati or Stanford University
Chaya discussed the existing structure that has an instructor that leads lectures and has Head TAs, Discussion TAs and Lab TAs that assist the smaller groups. Often we encounter several barriers to change: Administration or Colleagues are often resistant to change and need convincing, materials and time are necessary for change. She suggests using the already developed resources from Maryland University, Harvard, CU Boulder, etc. on group work and student-centered learning. Eric Mazur has lots of resources and evidence that interactive engagement increases the post-test gain on the Force Concept Inventory test. Continue reading “Spring 2013 Morning Invited Talks”
Join us at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA (just 16 miles NW of San Jose, 40 miles south of San Francisco) for the spring conference of the Northern California/Nevada Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers. Starting with a social and physics show, and observatory tour Friday evening, followed by a full day of physics education speakers and workshops on Saturday.
Tom showed us a conducting experiment (picture to come) with two cans and a two copper wires that do not touch and attach to a coup of water. After the cup of water is filled a small neon bulb that that is connected to one of the two copper wires can discharge repeatedly. Tom’s best guess as to why it flashes is that one of the metal cans becomes randomly charged, say negatively, and that negative charge travels up the conducting materials to the water and repels electrons through the other wire to the other side that builds up potential.
Join us at Sierra College in Rocklin, CA (just 20 miles NE of Sacramento) for the fall conference of the Northern California/Nevada Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers. Starting with a social and planetarium and museum tour, followed by a full day of physics education speakers and workshops on Saturday.
Students use TI calculators to derive the kinematics equations. Students graph a linear position-time graph for different constant velocity cars. Student graph the data by hand and then uses linear regression to calculate the slope which will vary from student to student as their best fit lines differ. Students then plot a constant acceleration car and graph that data in their calculators. By taking various tangent lines students create a separate graph of the velocity-time for the car. Using the equation supplied by the calculator they begin to see the relationship between their y-intercept on the y=ax+b equation from the velocity-time graph matches the b in their equation for the position to time graph (x=at^2+bt+c).