Project-Based PhysicsWorkshop: Linking Physics Instruction with Students' Prior Learning and with their Future Careers
at Lee College in Baytown, Texas
This workshop will be led by Fred Thomas (Sinclair Community College, Dayton, OH), David Weaver (Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Mesa, AZ), Thomas O'Kuma from Lee College, and Curtis Hieggelke from Joliet Junior College with Thomas O'Kuma as the local host at Lee College in Baytown, TX
One of the Physics Workshops for the 21st Century.
(supported in part by a grant from the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) by the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF))
Participant Hotel List (pdf)
Pre-Workshop Information - you will be receiving these and more in the mail-
Stuff you might want to bring from Fred Thomas
Each participant will build and keep a motor controller that can run either 4 hobby servo motors or 1 stepper motor. The RC controller can be operated by either a computer (using Logger Pro from Vernier Software & Technology or National Instrument's LabVIEW) or by a TI calculator.
If you or your students use TI calculators (TI-73, TI-83, TI-83 plus, TI-83 silver edition, or TI-86), bring one along so you can load the programs.
The controller will work with many 4-function (forward, reverse, left, right), 29-MHz vehicles. New Bright brand is one that is readily available in many stores and works well. Different brands may use different codes and may or may not work, even if they use the same carrier frequency of 29-MHz. The most useful vehicles are generally the slower ones, especially bulldozers and others that pivot. There are also submarines, mice and other types of vehicles that work well.
The hobby servo motors are available in many hobby stores or online from companies such as Tower Hobbies at www.towerhobbies.com. One of many servo models that works well is the Futaba S3003, selling for about $11.
Stepper motors for the controller must be "unipolar," and can be recognized by the fact that they have either 5 or 6 wires. Many are available from companies such as Jameco (www.jameco.com), from surplus dealers, or for free by taking apart an old disk drive. The stepper motor should be rated for a voltage between 6 and 24 V (we prefer 12 V motors) and a current of no more than 0.3 A per phase.
We'll have motors of both types and vehicles available for use during the workshop, but you may also want to bring one or 2 of your own, especially if you have a specific project in mind.
There are now step-by-step, illustrated instructions for building the Motor Controller on the web at http://www.mathmachines.net/construction/MotorController/MCStep00.htm A shorter print version will be used for the workshop, but thought you might want to look through the web version to see what's ahead.
More details about control systems for classroom use can be found at www.mathmachines.net.
Viewing/Reading Materials from David Weaver
"Why PBL?" (pdf) by Donald R. Woods from "Problem-based Learning: helping your students gain the most from PBL" 3rd edition, March 1996 Instructor's Guide for "Problem-based Learning: how to gain the most from PBL" ISBN 0-9698725-0-X © copyright 1996.
Some of the PBL goings on in Maricopa can be found at http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/pbl/index.html
Diana Oblinger was our main speaker at a retreat. This is a link to some related readings we were to do. She talked about PBL as being one of the ways to engage the Net generation. Her testimony to the senate is a good read at http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/ocotillo/retreat04/readings.php
David Weaver's electronic portfolio at http://eport2.cgc.maricopa.edu/published/w/ea/weaver/home/1/index.shtml
McMaster's is the birthplace of PBL with resources at http://chemeng.mcmaster.ca/pbl/pbl.htm
University of Delaware's PBL web site at http://www.udel.edu/pbl/ which has a link to the PBL Clearinghouse and other links
Maps - Lee College
Hotel Information - The Hampton Inn in Baytown (281) 421-1234
David Weaver's Very Large Contexts (VLC) in Physics
Fred Thomas' Math Machines - Connecting Math, Science, and Technology web site at http://mathmachines.net/
Forms and Workshop Information
HS Teachers Travel Reimbursement Form
Ranking Task Exercises in Physics: Student Edition by Thomas O'Kuma, David Maloney, and Curtis Hieggelke (new in 2004 and published by Prentice Hall as part of the Series in Educational Innovation)
Links to education research related papers
Mestre, J.P. "Cognitive aspects of learning and teaching science." In S.J. Fitzsimmons & L.C. Kerpelman (Eds.), Teacher Enhancement for Elementary and Secondary Science and Mathematics: Status, Issues and Problems (pp. 3-1 - 3-53). Washington, D.C.: National Science Foundation (NSF 94-80).
Skills For a New Century: A Blueprint for Lifelong Learning, outlines the leadership group's vision, recommendations and initial commitments to help American businesses findmore skilled workers and to help all adult Americans acquire the skillsthey need to succeed in a changing economy.
American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) also offers outstanding physics education resources and materials. It is the "must-join" professional organization for all physics teachers. Tom O'Kuma was the first two-year college teacher who was elected and served as president of it.
Syllabus Magazine: Syllabus Magazine, read by more than 300,000 educators worldwide, includes feature articles, case studies, product reviews, and profiles of technology use at the instructor, departmental, and institutional levels. Complimentary subscriptions in the US are available for individuals who work in colleges, universities, and high schools.
The Learning Through Technology (LT2) web site was constructed as a resource for Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (SMET) instructors. The site features information designed to provide knowledge on technologies in use, and how this technology can impact and enhance student learning. We focused on technologies with a preference for those that were student-centered, and where the use of this technology had a clear and measurable effect on learning. Joliet Junior College is one of the featured case studies.
the Project Co-Directors