Studies in Physics Education
History of the Program
Comments on Active Learning
Physics Education Seminar
Using the perspective of research scientists, the Physics Education Group at KSU investigates ways to improve science teaching. In recent years the work of this group has concentrated on the improvement of courses at the high school and college level, the use of modern technology and the training and support of science teachers.
The group investigates the value of state-of-the-art technologies in teaching physics. At present, members of the group are looking at several different technological advances. Some examples of these include:
- the development of instructional units that introduce quantum physics to high school and college students who do not have a background in modern physics or higher level math by integrate interactive computer programs and digital multimedia with inexpensive materials and written documents in an activity-based environment,
- adapting and creating pedagogical materials based on bicycles using materials developed in a variety of countries and creating new materials using contemporary multimedia,
- assisting KSU science faculty who wish to transfer the content and process of their research activities to lower division undergraduate courses and teacher preparation or enhancement programs by building upon knowledge and experiences from well-established research-to-instruction examples in order to provide planning and implementation supports,
We are working with future physics teachers by having students in the elementary and secondary education program perform classic experiments in modern physics with advanced equipment as well as with equipment and simulations that are likely to be found in high schools. The Physics Education Group has introduced technology in KSU physics courses. Students use lab equipment connected to computer interfaces to collect data and spreadsheets to perform data analysis. This system decreases the amount of time spent on number crunching and enables students to direct more effort toward understanding the physics concepts.