February 14-16, 2002 (Thurs.-Sat.)

Physlets (Physics Applets) &

TIPERs (Tasks Inspired by Physics Education Research) Workshop

at Lee College in Baytown, Texas  

one of the Physics Workshops for the 21st Century

(supported in part by a grants from the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) by the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF))


 Workshop Schedule (new-updated 2/12/02)

 TIPERs (Tasks Inspired by Physics Education Research)

 What is a Physlet?

 Physlets Website Link

 Workshop Leaders

Wolfgang Christian short bio

David P. Maloney - short bio

Curtis J. Hieggelke - short bio

Tom O'Kuma - short bio

 General Workshop Information (mailed to participants)

 Travel support for high school participants

 Transportation/Accommodation Confirmation Form (pdf format) due Feb.1 back to Lee College

 Participant List (please check and verify information listed)

 Maps - Lee College

 Arrival and Airport Pickup Schedule (new on Feb 6, 2002, please check)

 Hotel Information - The Hampton Inn in Baytown (281) 421-1234

 Andrew Duffy (Boston University) uses Physlets in three main areas:

incorporating them as simulations in pre-lab assignments


as simulations and animations to use in class


in Physlabs, which is a bit like an on-line alternative to a textbook, where the focus is on the physlets


 Links to workshop 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).

Johnson, A. "The Computer Display as a Support of Collaborative Development of Scientific Models of Magnetism," presented at the CSCL '99 - Computer Support for Collaborative Learning, Palo Alto, CA.(1999)

"Collaborative Group Techniques," UMass Physics Education Research Group(1999)

McDermott, L.C.  "How we teach and how students learn--A mismatch?".  American Journal of Physics, 61, 295-298 (1993).

Ted Schultz. "Science Education Through the Eyes of a Physicist". National Academy of Sciences (2001)

Edward F. Redish and Richard N. Steinberg, "Teaching Physics: Figuring Out What Works," Physics Today, Vol. 52 (January 1999), pp. 24-30. 

Edward F. Redish, "Millikan Award Lecture (1998): Building a Science of Teaching Physics," Am. J. Phys. 67 (7) 562-573 (1999).

E. F. Redish, "Are Computers Appropriate for Teaching Physics," Comp. Phys. 7, 613 (Nov/Dec 1993). 

Millar, S.B. (2001). "How Do You Measure Success? Lessons on Assessment and Evaluation from the LEAD Center." Syllabus Vol. 14 No. 7, 11-13. The article includes a full page "case" from LT2 - featuring Curt Hieggelke's courses at Joliet Junior College.

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.

STANDARDS FOR THE Ph.D. DEGREE IN THE MOLECULAR BIOSCIENCES, Recommendations of the Committee on Education of The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Oct. 1999)

Head of the Class: How teachers learn technology best (Electronic School, January 2001) Professional development programs should focus not on software tools like spreadsheets and word-processors, but on teaching and learning strategies that make a difference in daily practice and that translate into stronger student performance.

 Workshop Links

Illinois Skill Standards. A project funded by the Illinois State Board of Education. Supported by partner agencies and administered by the Department of Workforce Education and Development SIUC

National Skill Standards Board The mission of the National Skill Standards Board is to encourage the creation and adoption of a national system of skill standards which will enhance the ability of the United States to compete effectively in a global economy. These voluntary skill standards will be developed by industry in full partnership with education, labor and community stakeholders, and will be flexible, portable and continuously updated and improved.

Washington State Skill Standards. This site is designed to provide information about Washington's Skill Standards projects, link industry partners with schools and colleges, inform individuals about Skill Standards, and link Washington with national efforts

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.

Prentice Hall, part of the Pearson Education family of companies, provides for the participants in this workshop the Ranking Task Exercises in Physics (T. O'Kuma, D. Maloney, & C. Hieggelke); Interactive Journey Through Physics (Cindy Schwarz & Bob Beichner); and Interactive Physics II Player Workbook- Mac & Windows (Cindy Schwarz).

Addison-Wesley, part of the Pearson Education family of companies, is the provider of ActivPhysics 1 and ActivPhysics 2 CD-ROM/Workbook by Alan Van Heuvelen for this workshop. ActivPhysics is a comprehensive multimedia tool for use in introductory physics courses that emphasizes problem solving. Each unit of ActivPhysics includes: qualitative concept development activities, problems that emphasize the multiple representation of processes, multipart synthesis problems, and estimation video problems involving videos of real phenomena.

Physics Academic Software (PAS) publishes education software for the physics teaching community in cooperation with the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Physical Society (APS), and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). They have software including the PER connected Freebody, Graphs & Tracks, Electric Field Hockey, and EM Field software that will be featured in this workshop.

American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) also offers outstanding physics resources and materials plus the PAS software listed above. It also is the source for the Mac software Fieldplots 1.2 which enables users to display the electric field graphically by plotting field lines and equipotentials to investigate the force on a test charge by observing its motion in the field.

Interactive Physics from the MSC.Working Knowledge division of MSC.Software Corporation which is a leading provider of mechanical computer-aided engineering (MCAE) software. It can model, simulate and explore a wide variety of physical phenomena in Newtonian mechanics. It permitts modification of friction, elasticity, and gravity, and control many other physical characteristics of an object such as initial linear and rotational velocity. There are other IP simulations available from other colleges and universities.

Vernier Software & Technology which provides low cost software and lab technology such as computer interfaces is celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2001. They support the workshops by the optional daily post-workshop discussion sessions for all the workshops in addition to supporting the MBL workshop through equipment and software.

 Other resources

Physlets, PHYSics appLETS, are small flexible Java applets designed for science education. They are written for physics pedagogy that can be embedded directly into html documents and that can interact with the user using a browser. A good introduction to Physlets technology is contained in the Physlets: Teaching Physics with Interactive Curricular Material book by Wolfgang Christian and Mario Belloni.or go to the Physlets Resources web site. To see how they can be used with Ranking Tasks go here and scroll down the left hand side to near the bottom Note Mac users may have problems running some of the Physlets until the operating software fully supports Java 1.1 and JavaScript to Java applet communication.

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.

Constructing Physics Understanding (CPU) Simulation Software is a set of physics Java applets designed to complement and extend hands-on laboratory activities in physics and physical science at the high school level in a wide variety of contexts. The simulators provide students with both phenomenological and conceptual (model-based) evidence to help them develop robust and valid ideas in physical science. This software is available from The Learning Team and was developed as part of the Constructing Physics Understanding (CPU) Project with major contributions from people active in the physics education research community.

 Forms (pdf)

Stipend Information
Stipend Request Form

Major Project Information

Major Project Request Form

Joliet Junior College
TYC Physics Workshops
Natural Science Department
1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet, IL 60431-8938
or call (815) 280 2603

the Project Co-Directors

Joliet Junior College,
Joliet, IL
(815)280 2371

Tom O'Kuma,
Lee College,
Baytown, TX
(281) 425-6522