University of Maryland Physics Education Research Group


Activity-Based Physics: Overview

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Activity-Based Physics: Overview

Three related activity-based introductory physics curricula have been developed with major support from the US Department of Education and the National Science Foundation. These are Workshop Physics, Tools for Scientific Thinking, and RealTime Physics. All three curricula use the findings of physics education research, are activity-based, and have involved the design of computer hardware and software for investigation, data analysis, and dynamic modeling. This three-year collaboration between principal investigatops at Dickinson College, University of Maryland, University of Oregon, Tufts University, and Millersville State University will extend, enhance, evaluate and disseminate activity-based curricular materials, apparatus, and computer tools for teaching introductory physics based on this previous work. The ultimate goals of this program are to continue full scale efforts to improve the scientific literacy of introductory physics students through the mastery of physics concepts, investigative skills, and mathematical modeling techniques and to motivate students to learn more science. Throughout the three year period a comprehensive dissemination program will be conducted to reach introductory physics instructors at high school and college levels through workshops, public talks, on-site visits to institutions, and journal publications. These dissemination efforts will be supported by the commercial distribution of products through J.C. Wiley & Sons, PASCO Scientific, Vernier Software, and Physics Academic Software. Particular attention will be given to developing physics activities suitable for courses designed for future technicians at two year colleges and preteachers.

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Comments and questions may be directed to E. F. Redish
Last modified 13 June 2002