Home > ICPE-EPEC 2013


The International Conference on
Physics Education
August 5-9, 2013
Prague, Czech Republic
Book of Abstracts
The ICPE-EPEC 2013 conference is organized by:
• The International Commission on Physics Education (ICPE) –
Commission C14 of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP)
• The European Physical Society Physics Education Division (EPS PED)
• The Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Scientific Advisory Committee
Leoš Dvoř�k, Charles University, Czech Republic
Pratibha Jolly, University of Delhi, India
Robert Lambourne, Open University, UK
Priscilla Laws, Dickinson College, USA
Marisa Michelini, University of Udine, Italy
C�sar Mora, Instituto Polit�cnico Nacional, Mexico
Deena Naidoo, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Roberto Nardi, State University of S�o Paulo, Brazil
Hideo Nitta, Tokyo Gakugei University, Japan
Gorazd Planinšič, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Elena Sassi, University of Naples "Federico II", Italy
Laurence Viennot, Universit� Paris 7 - Denis Diderot, France
Michael Vollmer, Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Program Committee
Leoš Dvoř�k, Charles University, Czech Republic
Robert Lambourne, Open University, UK
Hideo Nitta, Tokyo Gakugei University, Japan
Gorazd Planinšič, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Laurence Viennot, Universit� Paris 7 - Denis Diderot, France
The Local Organizing and Program Committee
Leoš Dvoř�k, Irena Dvoř�kov�, Věra Koudelkov�, Marie Snětinov� and Vojtěch Ž�k,
Department of Physics Education, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics,
Charles University, Czech Republic
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Book of Abstracts (electronic publication)
Edited by Leoš Dvoř�k and Věra Koudelkov�
MatfyzPress, publishing house of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in
Prague, 2013
ISBN 978-80-7378-243-6
The abstracts in this book are published here as they were provided by their authors and have not
been subjected to any English language editing or proofreading.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Book of Abstracts
Table of Contents
Welcome to Prague .................................................................................................. 2
Introduction (Schedule at a glance, How to find information in this book) ............ 3
Keynote lectures ....................................................................................................... 5
Oral presentations and workshops (parallel sessions):
Monday (August 5)
Session 1 ........................................................................................................ 12
Session 2 ........................................................................................................ 31
Session 3 ........................................................................................................ 50
Workshop “night session” 1 .......................................................................... 70
Tuesday (August 6)
Session 4 ........................................................................................................ 74
Session 5 ........................................................................................................ 97
Session 6 ...................................................................................................... 115
Workshop “night session” 2 ........................................................................ 134
Thursday (August 8)
Session 7 ...................................................................................................... 139
Session 8 ...................................................................................................... 157
Session 9 ...................................................................................................... 174
Friday (August 9)
Session 10 .................................................................................................... 193
Session 11 .................................................................................................... 208
Poster session 1 (Tuesday, August 6) ............................................................... 226
Poster session 2 (Wednesday, August 7) .......................................................... 262
Poster session 3 (Thursday, August 8) .............................................................. 297
The list of reviewers ............................................................................................. 334
Author index ......................................................................................................... 335
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Book of Abstracts
Welcome to Prague
Dear participants of the ICPE-EPEC 2013 conference!
We are really glad that so many experts from all over the world agreed to come to Prague to
exchange experience in various areas concerning physics education. This Book of Abstracts
shows that we can look forward to each day of the conference. In total there will be
8 keynote lectures, 175 oral presentations, 15 workshops and 120 posters – this promises to
provide a lot of inspiration and is sure to initiate many interesting discussions.
Abstracts of more than three hundred contributions represent a lot of pages. We decided to
save paper (and your arms that otherwise would have to carry a heavy printed book) and to
publish this Book of Abstracts in an electronic form. We hope that – “in a changing world of
new technologies” – you will find this solution natural and reasonable.
All abstracts submitted to the conference were reviewed by two independent reviewers. We
would like to thank very much all those who kindly agreed to review the abstracts; we really
appreciate their help.
Also, we would like to thank both IUPAP and EPS as well as the other sponsors mentioned
below for their support. Last but not least, many thanks to all of you who submitted your
abstracts, created your lectures, presentations and posters, and prepared your workshops.
It is you, the participants, who are the most important element of the conference – and we
hope you will enjoy both its scientific and social program. We wish you an informative and
memorable week in Prague!
Leoš Dvoř�k
The conference is organized by:
The conference is sponsored by:
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Introduction _
9:00-9:30 Opening
Keynote 1
Eugenia Etkina
Keynote 3
Leopold Mathelitsch
Keynote 5
Pratibha Jolly
Keynote 7
Kyoko Ishii
8:30-9:50 Session 10
10:30-11:00 Coffee break 9:30-10:00 Coffee break Coffee break Coffee break 9:50-10:10 Coffee break
Keynote 2
Rupert Leitner
Keynote 4
Irena Dvoř�kov�
Keynote 6
Josip Sliško
Keynote 8
Douglas Caldwell
10:10-11:30 Session 11
12:00-12:30 EPS ceremony 11:00-12:00 Poster session 1 Poster session 2 Poster session 3 11:40-12:00 Closing ceremony
12:30-14:00 Lunch 12:00-13:30 Lunch Lunch Lunch 12:00-13:30 Lunch
14:00-15:20 Session 1 13:30-14:50 Session 4 Session 7
15:20-15:30 short break 14:50-15:00 short break short break
15:30-16:50 Session 2 15:00-16:20 Session 5 Session 8
16:50-17:10 Coffee break 16:20-16:40 Coffee break Coffee break
17:10-18:30 Session 3 16:40-18:00 Session 6 Session 9
20:00-21:30 Workshop night 1 20:00-21:30 Workshop night 2
Note 1: Registration will take place on Sunday 4. 8. at 17:00-20:00 (together with Welcome coffee) and on Monday 5. 8. since 8:30.
Note 2: A short ICPE ceremony will follow Keynote 4 (Tuesday, 11:00).
Note 3: Oral presentations will last 20 minutes including discussion (15�+5�). There will be four oral presentations in each session.
Note 4: Periods when posters will be dispayed:
Schedule at a glance
9. 8.
Conference dinner
5. 8. Tuesday
6. 8.
7. 8.
8. 8.
Free evening
Posters for Poster Session 3: Thursday morning - Friday
Posters for Poster Session 1: Monday - Tuesday 13:00
Posters for Poster Session 2: Tuesday 13:30 - Wednesday evening
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Introduction
How to find information in this book
In the following pages you will find abstracts of keynote lectures, then of oral presentations
and workshops (in chronological order), and finally of posters.
Each abstract has its own code – see the figure below on this page. Keynote lectures are
denoted just by K1 to K8. All other codes start with a number equal to the abstract ID in the
EasyChair system into which all abstracts were submitted. Then, after the full stop, a letter
distinguishes types of contributions: O for oral presentations, W for workshops, P for
posters. Then the number of a session follows: 1 to 3 for the three poster sessions, 1 to 11
for the oral and workshop sessions. (See the ‘Schedule at a glance’ above for further
information.) There are also two “workshop night” sessions coded WN1 to WN2. For oral
presentation and workshops, the code ends with a letter indicating the room. Examples:
321.O11F denotes an oral presentation that takes place in Session 11 in Room F.
(in the ‘Schedule at a glance’ you can find that it will start on Friday at 10:10;
number 321 is just a unique ID of the abstract).
099.W6D denotes a workshop in Session 6 (Tuesday from 16:40) in Room D
066.P1 denotes a poster in Poster session 1.
The codes are used both above the title of each abstract and in the Author index at the end
of this book. Because this Book of Abstracts is in the form of a PDF document you can easily
find the abstract you want using its code. Of course, you can also let your PDF reader find
the author’s name, a keyword, part of the title or any other information.
039 . O 1 A
unique ID of the abstract
type of contribution
(Oral, Workshop, Poster)
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Keynote lectures
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Keynote lectures
Using physics to help students develop scientific habits of mind
Eugenia Etkina
Rutgers University, USA
Interactive engagement curricula are successful in helping students develop conceptual
understanding of physics principles and solve problems. However, another benefit of actively
engaging students in the construction of their physics knowledge is providing them with an
opportunity to engage in habitual “thinking like physicists”. Some examples of such thinking are:
drawing a sketch before solving any physics problem, subjecting normative statements to
experimental testing, evaluating assumptions, or treating each experimental results as an interval.
We can help students develop these “habits of mind” if we purposefully and systematically engage
them in the processes that mirror the processes in which physicists engage when they construct and
apply knowledge. For such engagement to occur, we need to deeply re-conceptualize the role of
experiments in physics instruction and their interaction with the theory. However, most importantly,
we need to rethink the role of the instructor in the classroom.
Recent discoveries in Particle Physics and physics teaching
Rupert Leitner
Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
In 2012 major discoveries in particle Physics were announced, the most important being the
discovery of the Higgs-like boson with CERN LHC experiments ATLAS and CMS, as well as very
important measurement of the third yet unknown mixing angle in neutrino oscillations experiments
Daya Bay and RENO. Main experimental aspects of these discoveries will be explained using the
knowledge of basic Physics.
Physics and Sport
Leopold Mathelitsc
University of Graz, Austria
The combination of sport and physics allows for an extreme interpretation of active learning:
students perform athletic activities, they measure physical parameters of their own movements, and
analyze the resulting data. Since human motions are very complex, simplifications are necessary in
order to interpret and understand the data. This includes active modelling and leads finally to a
mathematical formulation. But new technologies can also play a crucial role in this process. Video
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Keynote lectures
cameras and in particular high speed cameras are now available on the market in such high quality
and low price that school labs can afford to buy and handy them to the students for use. Also
software for analyzing movements on videos can be applied by the students, since some of them
exhibit a very comfortable handling, for example by providing an automatic tracker. Various
examples of different sports activities, from physics lectures in school gyms to world-record events,
should give an impression of the variety of possibilities that are inherent in connecting (school)
physics and sport in an active way.
Active learning in the Heureka Project – teachers in the role of
Irena Dvorakova
Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
Active work is a basic component of learning and teaching in our long-term Heureka project – both at
school with pupils and in teacher training. Teachers in our seminars work the same way as pupils or
students at school – they solve the same problems, do the same experiments and sometimes they
even make the same mistakes. We offer them long-term and systematic training – the cycle of
seminars for new participants takes ten weekends during the course of two years. So all participants
have the possibility and also time to change their approach to teaching physics.
The character of our seminars is rather informal. Teachers join Heureka on a voluntary basis and for
this they have no formal advantages or benefits at their schools. Also seminars are free of charge;
they are organized during weekends, and teachers stay (and sleep) in classrooms. In spite of these
conditions, already the 6th cycle of seminars for new participants has started in the autumn of 2012.
From all the teachers that have attended Heureka so far, there are about 150 teachers that remain
active and in contact with us. They have the possibility to meet both at different seminars organized
for them and at an annual conference “The Heureka Workshops”. Usually more than 100 participants
and guests from abroad take part on this conference.
We are convinced that our experience could be interesting and inspiring for other people working in
physics education in different countries.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Keynote lectures
A Collaborative Initiative for Strengthening Undergraduate Physics
Education and Promoting Active Learning in the Developing World
Pratibha Jolly
University of Delhi, India
Project Physware emanates from globally shared concerns on the lack of high-quality education in
physics with detrimental consequences on scientific research and socio-economic progress.
A significant milestone in international cooperation, Physware aims to provide a sustainable
collaborative model for capacity building of physics educators through a series of Educate the
Educator workshops for those in the developing countries. The workshops are carefully designed to
promote activity based pedagogic methods proven to be effective through rigorous educational
research. They propagate curriculum and resource materials that are easily adapted to the needs of
any region. While the emphasis is on using low-cost equipment and appropriate technologies that
are locally accessible, participants are also introduced to ways of integrating emerging computerbased
technologies for physics teaching, contemporary research, and applications of relevance to the
work place. They explore ways of teaching fundamental new physics within the context of
contemporary pedagogy that is both, hands-on and minds-on. After the success of a pilot workshop
held at Trieste in 2009, the Physware series was launched in 2012 from the University of Delhi. Both
workshops brought together a vibrant and eclectic group of participants who contributed actively to
creation of innovative resource materials. It is hoped that many participants will emerge as regional
leaders. Feedback shows that going beyond the constraints of its workshop format, Physware has the
potential to emerge as a professionally networked community of practice.
*The Physware workshops have so far been conceptualized and co-directed by the author along with
Priscilla Laws, Elena Sassi and Dean Zollman.
Active physics learning: Making possible students' cognitive grow,
positive emotions and amazing creativity
Josip Slisko
Benem�rita Universidad Aut�noma de Puebla, Mexico
It is well known that carefully designed sequences of active physics learning support students'
comprehension of physical concepts and laws. If only this were its effect, active learning should
replace lecture-based teaching and passive students' learning at all educational levels. Fortunately,
the impact of active learning experiences in students is much broader. In my talk I would share
research-based and anecdotal evidence about effects of active physics learning on students'
cognitive level, emotions and creativity. A few students' demonstrations of weightlessness in free fall
will be shown, too.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Keynote lectures
Active learning in teacher training
Kyoko Ishii
Tamagawa University, Japan
Active learning is an innovation of teaching and learning and strongly connected to teacher
education reform. A teacher’s role in a knowledge based society is being shifted from a knowledge
teller to a facilitator.
The practice of active learning in teacher training in the University of Fukui in Japan will be
introduced. The faculty provides active learning for prospective teachers to engage themselves in
scientific inquiry collaboratively. Students training to be teachers apply “Physics by Inquiry”
(McDermott and the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington) during their
undergraduate course. The students discuss and develop physical concepts.
We are also encouraging in-service teachers to innovate the lesson through “lesson study” and
collaborative reflection. Professional development is a continuous, lifelong process for teachers
because they are reflective practitioners. A teacher who is reflective tries to pay attention to the
minds of the students and to figure out what the students think. In Japan, teachers try to improve
“pedagogical content knowledge (PCK)” through “lesson study”. They develop active learning
programs to encourage their students to acquire knowledge through participating and experiencing.
The Kepler Mission: Finding and Understanding Exoplanets using
Undergraduate Physics
Douglas Caldwell
We are living in a new golden age of discovery where the goal is not new continents, but entire
planets around other stars, or "exoplanets." Since their first discovery in the 1990s, nearly 1000
confirmed exoplanets have been found along with thousands of other planet candidates. Within the
next few years we will know whether planets like the Earth are common or rare in our galaxy and the
students in school today won't remember a time when the existence of other solar systems was even
in question. This tidal wave of discoveries, which has captured the public imagination, was made
possible by advances in instruments and computing power, but the physics and math behind the
search for and characterization of exoplanets is broad-based and largely covered in introductory
undergraduate-level courses. I will discuss some of the physics tools used in various exoplanet
detection techniques, emphasizing those used to understand and interpret data from NASA's Kepler
Mission. By drawing examples from current exoplanet research, we can motivate students and let
them know that what they are learning allows them to understand and contribute to cutting-edge
research that is reshaping our understanding of our place in the universe.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Oral presentations and workshops
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Oral presentations and workshops
5. 8. 2013
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1A
⋙Session 1A, 14:00-15:20⋘
Application of situated learning in the formation process of concepts
of scientific physical limit transition models in the university students
Vladimir Ivchenko
Kherson State Maritime Academy, Ukraine
After the pioneering work of Hestenes the interest to the model approach in physical education is
steadily increasing. Generally in the process of training it is customary to distinguish scientific models
(aimed at the development of hypotheses, theories, and verification thereof) and educational models
(the models constructed for solving educational tasks, models-algorithm for carrying out educational
activities, and visual (material and virtual) models). One of the most widespread types of scientific
idealizations in the university physics course is the limit transition abstractions – the models of
objects that are constructed by way of limit transitions for selected number of their characteristics to
their maximum or minimum values (for example: point mass, rigid body, ideal gas, black body, etc.).
Our long teaching experience has shown that the concepts of such ideal models are poorly perceived
by students due to the high level of abstraction thereof. We have acknowledged that it is necessary
to consider application thereof in various possible cases, i.e. to apply the situational approach, for
deeper understanding.
Our research involved the forming of criteria for selection of real physical situations for the analysis
of such models. We have concluded that these criteria are:
1. the purpose of theoretical description (qualitative criterion): which real objects can (or can not) be
described within the framework of the analyzed model;
2. the accuracy of theoretical description (quantitative criterion): Whether it is possible to neglect
the modeling errors in the quantitative description, i.e. errors arising as a consequence of neglecting
several factors considered to be insignificant in the construction of the model.
For example, considering the point particle model it is necessary to use kinematic and dynamic
approach. For illustration of the first criterion within the kinematic approach we propose to consider
the following situations with the students: 1) whether it is possible to consider the Earth as a point
particle while calculating the characteristics of the Earth's orbit and explaining the sunrise and sunset
phenomena; 2) whether we can consider the bus of a certain size moving rectilinearly and passing
large and small distances as a point particle. Within the dynamic approach the situation concerning
misconception about the ideal gas as a set of non-interacting point particles may be very
To illustrate the second criterion within the kinematic approach one may estimate the error in
identifying the moment of finish border crossing by a hundred-meter sprinter when the running time
is measured by means of the manual stopwatch and the electronic stopwatch. The dynamic approach
assumes separation of body properties into inert and gravitational ones in this case. It is convenient
to consider the deviation of the inert body properties from point mass by the example of the relative
error calculation in determining the oscillation period which error arises when replacing the physical
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1A
pendulum of some form with mathematical pendulum of the same mass. A similar task can be
suggested when analyzing the deviation of the gravitational properties from the point mass of quite
common objects in the Universe, such as binary stars.
In summary, we can conclude that for successful implementation of situational approach in the
formation process of concepts about scientific physical limit transition models it is necessary to:
– use deductive method – from introducing concept of model to specific physical situations in which
it can (or can not) be applied;
– in the selection of these situations one should take into account two criteria for their theoretical
– these situations should have real life context.
Keywords: University education, limit transition physical model, situated learning
Topics: Learning
Student Engagement in a Collaborative Group-Learning Environment
Gerald Feldman, Larry Medsker and Raluca Teodorescu
George Washington University, United States
Studies of undergraduate science education show that students must be actively engaged in the
learning process for it to be effective. Passive lecturing ("teaching by telling") is known to be
insufficient for developing critical thinking skills. In the "studio physics" methodology, students work
together in small groups and the instructor serves as a facilitator or "coach" instead of a lecturer –
the laboratory component is integrated into the classroom, leading to a seamless progression of
activities, including group problem-solving exercises, lab experiments and short demonstrations.
An extension of the "studio physics" approach called SCALE-UP (Student-Centered Active Learning
Environment for Undergraduate Programs) was adapted for larger classes – students sit at round
tables (3 teams of 3 students each) for classroom activities, and the instructor circulates to keep
students on track, answer questions and promote useful discussions. By merging the collaborative
approach with the integration of various pedagogical activities, a dynamic collective learning
environment is created which fully engages students.
We have implemented the SCALE-UP approach at George Washington University for all of our
introductory physics classes. We have redesigned a classroom with 9 round tables, accommodating
a total of 81 students. Each group of 3 students shares a laptop computer and a portable white board
to facilitate their work together. The classroom walls have large white boards on which students can
display their work, several large LCD screens for image projection, and nearby storage space for lab
equipment. We instituted SCALE-UP in 2008, and we now have 5 years of experience with this method.
The class has 3 sessions per week – 2 hrs on Monday/Wednesday and 1 hr on Friday (which includes
a short weekly quiz). Groups are arranged by the instructor, and guidelines are outlined in a "group
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1A
contract" that is prepared by each group. In class, students work collaboratively on conceptual
questions and numerical problems ("ponderables"), in addition to short hands-on activities and longer
lab experiments ("tangibles") using real-time data acquisition. Lecture is reduced to a minimum, so
class preparation is quite important for students. To help students gauge their own understanding and
to motivate their preparation, online "Warmups" are assigned and completed before each class.
Student engagement is high in the SCALE-UP environment, and students gain a greater facility with the
physics material in this collaborative mode compared to a conventional lecture format.
We have made a concerted effort to evaluate the effectiveness of this active-learning pedagogical
approach. We have acquired data using in-class exams and various conceptual assessments (for both
mechanics and electricity/magnetism), as well as information about student attitudes. We will
describe the SCALE-UP pedagogy, summarize the particular features of our implementation, and
present our data analysis results which indicate higher student gains in performance and improved
student attitudes about their learning, and about science in general.
Keywords: Collaborative learning, active-learning environment, SCALE-UP, studio physics, student
engagement, group problem solving
Topics: Learning, Teaching
Improving students' understanding of abstract concepts using
cognitive conflict
Charles Bonello
University of Malta, Malta
Students find theorizing about abstract concepts in science a very challenging task. The challenge is
derived from the fact that when learning about these concepts they tend to develop a conceptual
understanding that is to a certain extent 'personalized'. Students' personalized understanding, often
referred to as students' alternative frameworks [Driver, 1989] proves to be even more problematic if
the student cohort considered is student teachers. The process of supporting students' improved
understanding of such concepts can be enhanced through the use of 'cognitive conflict' during
a teaching intervention [Adey, 2002].
In this teaching intervention, students are presented with a number of practical demonstrations and
True-False [T-F] statements that have embedded in them sources of cognitive conflict. The classroom
talk that results from these two classroom activities is meant to trigger cognitive conflict in the
students and encourage them to problematise the concept under study. The intended outcome of
this process is that the students would rethink their conceptual understanding of the subject area.
The findings of this study suggest that embedded sources of conflict do tend to provide a useful
source of cognitive conflict but not necessarily of improved understanding. Furthermore, they can
also prove to be a source of negative affective reactions for students. The overall outcome of this
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1A
study is that when such strategies are used, students need to be closely followed and supported so
that the whole learning experience would not prove to be counter-productive.
Driver, R. (1989): Students’conceptions and the learning of science, International Journal of Science
Education, 11:5,481-490
Adey, P. and Shayer, M. (2002): Really raising standards: Cognitive intervention and academic
Keywords: Cognitive conflict, improved understanding, affective reactions
Topics: Learning, Teachers, Teaching
Designing curricular reform from students’ experiences as a way to
reduce dropout rates in Physics undergraduate courses.
Paulo Lima Junior1, Fernanda Ostermann1 and Flavia Rezende2
1UFRGS, Brazil
2UFRJ, Brazil
High dropout rates strike most Physics undergraduate courses worldwide. Despite student’s dropout
being, in part, related to social and individual issues that lie beyond institutional control, high
dropout rates might also indicate students’ bad experience in the course (such as harassment, lack of
support and bad teaching strategies). In this abstract, we briefly report the core results of a doctoral
thesis dedicated to (1) identify reasons for dropout in undergraduate Physics’ courses; (2) design
curricular reform from students’ experiences as a way to reduce dropout rates. This investigation
took place at the Institute of Physics from a large public research-based Brazilian institution. After
carefully reviewing international literature on dropout phenomena, we realized a three-leveled
sociological analysis of (1) structural, (2) individual and (3) institutional factors related to dropout.
This three-leveled analysis is theoretically subscribed to Pierre Bourdieu’s sociological approach and
led us to identify various reasons producing students’ dropout - some of these reasons fall under
institutional jurisdiction, while others do not. In the structural analysis, we found that working class
and elite students are equally susceptible to dropout. However, working class students are much
more likely to fail Physics’ tests. In this sense, structural analysis supports that, although everyone is
equally likely to leave the course, elite students are more likely to dropout toward more prestigious
careers while working class students are more likely to abandon the course due to school failure.
In the individual analysis, through in-depth interviews, we identified material conditions, skills and
dispositions that are responsible for the dropout of five former Physics’ students. These interviews
demonstrate that some students do not only come into Physics undergraduate course with critical
lack of skills in science subject matters, but they also demonstrate different dispositions toward
dedicating to high educational achievements. This disposition toward high performance have played
a critical role in students’ retention and, eventually, is not acquired from family background.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1A
Together, structural and individual analyses provide us with important information on how dropout
rates do not depend only on institutional matters. However, it is precisely through critically analyzing
institutional actions that one may identify actual ways of controlling dropout rates. Hence,
institutional analysis was realized from interviewing a representative sample of students currently
enrolled in the undergraduate course. Interviews were focused on students’ institutional
experiences. It resulted from the content analysis performed that the Institute of Physics, due to its
own institutional arrangements, can not be considered capable of providing all students equal
opportunities to learn for two reasons: (1) this institution accepts students from very different
backgrounds, binding everyone to the same standards of high achievement without providing the
necessary support; (2) it cultivates autodidactism as an educational principle, creating a hostile
atmosphere to most students and legitimizing that some professors, for convenience, be careless to
their most basic educational obligations. As the literature holds, providing all students with the same
opportunities is a critical issue in controlling dropout rates. Hence, based on research findings, we
designed a curriculum reform that puts the best professors in contact with the most needed students
and strives to actually provide everyone with the same opportunities.
Keywords: University education, curriculum, dropout, sociology of education
Topics: Curriculum
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1B
Session 1B, 14:00-15:20
The Predict - Observe - Explain technique as a tool for students'
understanding of electric circuits
Joan Borg Marks
University of Malta, Junior College, Malta
The use of multimedia in teaching physics offers a pedagogy which helps to motivate students’
learning of the topics concerned. At the same time, even if the trend in modern teaching methods is
to use multimedia, teachers must not ignore simple but effective teaching techniques which focus on
putting the responsibility of learning on the student.
This paper looks at the learning of the topic of electric circuits by 17-year-old students covering an
advanced level course in physics in Malta. The course consisted of traditional lecture sessions,
tutorial sessions to help students tackle numerical problems and laboratory sessions where students
carried out simple experiments on their own by following instructions provided on worksheets.
Electric circuits are taught in schools both at primary and secondary level. In spite of this, many
researchers in education have reported problems related to the understanding of circuits, even after
instruction has taken place. The ideas presented during the teaching process are described as
‘abstract’ by students and the so-called ‘simple circuit’ is seen as anything but simple. This paper
reports the results of part of a pilot study dealing with the learning of key concepts in electric circuits.
The main study was being carried out with the aim of establishing by how far traditional instruction
helps in the understanding of the basic ideas related to electric circuits, with a focus on the
understanding of potential difference in simple parallel circuits. At the end of the course the teacher,
acting as a researcher, conducted interviews with one third of the student sample using the PredictObserve-Explain
technique, as students worked with the electric circuit made available to them. The
aim was to see if this technique could offer a learning strategy helping students’ understanding to
become more meaningful. The study indicated that all students interviewed made a visible effort to
understand and try to correctly explain how the circuit presented to them works. Moreover, about
one third of these students managed to bridge the gap between their unscientific intuitions and the
scientific view.
The use of new technologies was not specifically promoted by this course of study yet the PredictObserve-Explain
technique helped students shift their thinking towards the scientific view. The
implication is that whether multimedia is used or not during teaching, choosing a teaching strategy
which helps to arouse students’ curiosity by creating cognitive conflicts to make students think, leads
the way to a powerful and a qualitatively enriched teaching and learning experience.
Duit, R. & von Rh�neck, C. (1998). Learning and understanding key concepts of electricity. In
Connecting Research in Physics Education with Teacher Education. An I.C.P.E. Book: International
Commission on Physics Education.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1B
EPSE Project: Evidence-informed practice in science education (2002). University of York Science
Education Group: UK.
Fleer, M. (1994). Determining children’s understanding of electricity. Journal of Educational
Research, 87(4), 248-253.
Millar, R. & King, T. (1993). Students’ understanding of voltage in simple series electric circuits.
International Journal of Science Education, 15(3), 339-349.
Shipstone, D. M. (1984). A study of children’s understanding of electricity in simple d.c. circuits.
European Journal of Science Education, 6, 185-198.
Thornton, R. K. (2008, August). Interactive lecture demonstrations: Active learning in large lectures
and small one-computer classrooms. Paper presented at the GIREP Conference ‘Physics Curriculum
Design, Development and Validation’, Nicosia, Cyprus.
Viennot, L. (1999). Design and evaluation of a research-based teaching sequence: the superposition
of electric field. International Journal of Science education, 21(1), 1-16.
White, R. & Gunstone, R. (1992). Probing Understanding. UK: Palmer Press.
Keywords: Electric circuits, The Predict-Observe-Explain technique, thinking to learn
Topics: Learning, Teaching
Investigation of teachers’ concept confusion related to electric and
magnetic fields and the potential of a sequence of activities to address it
Miriam Lemmer1, Ilsa Basson2, Jeanne Kriek2 and Aletta Zietsman-Thomas3
1North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
2University of South Africa, South Africa
3University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
Basic concepts and interactions of electric and magnetic fields are usually introduced as separate
topics in the school curriculum. Without explicit comparison of these phenomena, confusion of
concepts and effects may be expected. Concept confusion related to these fields has been reported
by physics education researchers on different levels of education and even amongst practitioners
such as technicians and electrical engineers. Alternative models of magnetism, for example,
“magnetism as electricity” and “magnetism as electric polarization” were found. Some students
ascribe both magnetic and electric fields to charges, whether stationary or in motion. Concepts such
as electric potential and potential energy, electric and magnetic dipoles and polarization and
induction are often used incorrectly or interchangeably.
The paper reports on a study that was done with 21 South African secondary school teachers to
• investigate the occurrence of conceptual confusion regarding electric and magnetic fields
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1B
• select and sequence remedial activities based on conceptual refinement and context variation
• analyse the teachers’ responses to the sequence of activities aimed to enhance conceptual
discernment of electric and magnetic fields and interactions.
The teachers’ conceptual confusion was identified with the aid of a conceptual questionnaire based
on research results of the CSEM and other studies. In addition, their sketches of electric and
magnetic fields and electric polarization were analysed.
The results showed different aspects of concept confusion amongst the group of teachers which
were then addressed in a knowledge-upgrading workshop. The designed sequence of activities
focussed on similarities, differences and relations between electric and magnetic fields, concepts,
models and interactions. The activities were selected and arranged in order to attain conceptual
refinement of experiential knowledge towards a scientific explanatory framework. In the activities
variation in concept and context was applied with the aid of experiments and computer simulations.
The teachers’ responses during the workshop indicated the potential of the activities to foster
conceptual understanding of electricity and magnetism through discernment of critical aspects of
basic concepts and interactions.
Keywords: Concept confusion, electric and magnetic fields, conceptual refinement, variation
Topics: Learning, Teachers, Teaching
Magnetic vector potential in secondary school: a teachers’ path
Marco Giliberti1, Sara Barbieri2 and Michela Cavinato1
1Physics Department University of Milan, Italy
2University of Palermo, Italy
The magnetic vector potential is traditionally presented only at university level and is widely
considered as a pure mathematical tool to calculate the magnetic and the electric fields, i.e. a device
without any (or at least with very poor) physical meaning. Even if in recent literature, many papers
can be found that, on the contrary, clarify the physical meaning of the vector potential, at the best of
our knowledge a clear and complete educational path on it is still missing. Our experience and some
pilot experimentations with high school students and teachers, however, have driven us to seriously
consider the opportunity to introduce the magnetic vector potential also at high school. In fact, in
our opinion, the use of vector potential is a way both to better understand some fundamental
aspects of classical electromagnetism and to open a door for a direct way of introducing important
aspects of modern physics (i.e. the notion of the photon and the London equation of
In this talk we’ll discuss the motivations that led us to develop an educational path for the
introduction of magnetic vector potential in upper secondary school, some considerations in order to
clarify general aspects of its physical meaning with examples, and the framework of our course on
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1B
magnetic vector potential for pre-service teachers training at the Milano TFA (Formative Active
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, teachers training, magnetic vector potential,
Topics: Teachers, Teaching
Prospective primary teachers address electromagnetic phenomena
Marisa Michelini and Stefano Vercellati
Research Unit in Physics Education, University of Udine, Italy
Teachers education for Perspective Primary Teachers (PPT) need to develop competences both on
contents (CK) and pedagogical aspects (PK) in an interlaced way; PCK (Shullman 1987, Anderson,
2008). If the study of the contents in the pedagogical and subject areas is not placed in the context of
an in deep discussion of the learning knots and the core nuclei of the subject in the framework of the
development of a learning path designed for a particular age group of students , it is not enough for
the foundation of the referents implied in the planning of an active learning classroom coherent
paths (Michelini 2004).
In the particular case of electromagnetism, it is not an teach subject in CK formation for PPT in Italy.
Even if for today pupils, magnetic phenomena became part of everyday life. Playing with magnetic
toys and using everyday objects, pupils observe magnetic interactions and develop their own mental
spontaneous models (Gilbert et al, 1998) arriving in classroom with more relevant practical
experiences on the subject than their teachers. Improve teachers experiences in a critical way allows
them to understand the roots of the na�ve pupils interpretative models that, being related to
conceptual elements and reasoning on problematic situations that pupils faced in those spontaneous
explorations (Viennot, 2006), are often characterized by a local vision of the phenomena for which
the teachers had to select and address with pupils specific activity that will allow to pupils the best
experimental framework of investigation.
A significant contribution in the foundation of conceptual nuclei and the identification of the
milestones and the stumbling blocks of the subject is offered by activity based on an experiential
model centered on the personal involvement of PPT in carrying out the same learning experience of
pupils in an Inquired Based Learning path (Michelini & Vercellati, 2012).
The 120 PPT participating to the Laboratory have their own worksheet and were asked to use
worksheets as planned for pupils during the Experiencial part of Interactive Lecture Demonstration
(ILD) of the path presentation and discussion. At the end of this activity they individuate the
conceptual nuclei and the learning knots and to compare and discuss individual choices done,
working in small group to develop a proposal of learning path described by means of a conceptual
map and a list of questions and actions aimed to be adopted in class with pupils.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1B
Data coming from individual and collective analysis of nuclei and learning knots, exploitation and
reinforcement of knots and nuclei, development of a procedural prospective as list of related steps of
problematic activities descript in terms of conceptual maps are analyzed and discussed.
Anderson D. K. (2008) Handbook of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) for
Educators, Collaborator AACTE Committee on Innovation & Technology, Routledge.
Gilbert, J. K., Boulter, C. J. and Rutherford, M., Models in explanations, part 1: horses of courses?, IJSE
20, 83-97 (1998).
Michelini M. ed., (2004), Quality Development in Teacher Education and Training, Forum, Udine.
Michelini M., Vercellati S., Pupils explore magnetic and electromagnetic phenomena in CLOE labs,
Latin American Journal of Physics Education, Volume 6, Suppl. I, August 2012
Shulman L. S., (1987), Knowledge and Teaching: Foundations of the New Reform. Harvard
Educational Review, 57 (1), 1-22.
Viennot, L., (2006), Teaching rituals and students' intellectual satisfaction, Phys. Educ. 41, 400-408.
Keywords: University education, perspective primary teachers, magnetism and electromagnetism
Topics: Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1C
Session 1C, 14:00-15:20
Web database of solved problems encourages students’ active
learning in physics
Zdeňka Koupilov�, Dana Mand�kov� and Marie Snětinov�
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, Czech
To solve physics problems is a key ability which students should reach during their physics education.
This competency is developed usually on the higher levels of education while the lower ones prefer
the conceptual understanding of physics phenomena. There is usually lack of time to solve enough
problems during lessons especially for students with worse previous education or mathematical
skills. And moreover, there are hardly any suitable materials for home study of these students. For
this reason we have developed a collection of fully solved problems. The structure of problems’
solutions is specially designed to substitute tutor’s help during lesson and encourage students to
solve at least some parts of a problem independently. The development of the database started in
2004. Nowadays it contains more than 750 tasks in Czech, 90 tasks in Polish and 50 tasks in English.
The database is available at the website http://www.physicstasks.eu/.
In the contribution we will present intention with which we have developed the database, used
technology, structure of the problem solution, and experience with using it in introductory university
courses and in high school physics course. We are continuously monitoring how the database is used
and users’ opinions on the collection; we will mention the results too.
Keywords: University education and secondary education: upper, web-based learning, solved
problems, structured help, physics
Topics: ICT
E-Learning in Physical Science through Sport: Learning Objects and
their Dissemination
Robert Lambourne
The Open University, United Kingdom
E-Learning in Physical Science through Sport, the ELPSS project, was part of the first generation
project strand of the UK’s National Teaching Fellowship Scheme. The main aim of the project was to
design, produce and disseminate a range of reusable learning objects (RLOs) that would encourage
and enhance the teaching of various aspects of physical science using examples and contexts drawn
from the field of sport, and particularly from the various Olympic sports. A supporting aim was the
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1C
production of dissemination materials that would inform academics of the existence of these (noncommercial)
RLOs and explain how they could be down-loaded from digital repositories and
incorporated into a range of courses at a variety of levels. This talk will briefly introduce the ELPSS
RLOs and discuss the principles that guided their design; the main emphasis, however, will be on the
dissemination of information about the project, the special efforts that entails, and the challenge of
bringing about changes in pedagogic culture in an established area such as physical science.
Keywords: University education, Secondary education: upper, reusable learning objects, sport, basic
physical science, dissemination
Topics: ICT
Development of a Pre-service Course on Integration of ICT into Inquiry
Based Science Education
Trinh Ba Tran1, Ed van Den Berg2, Ton Ellermeijer3 and Jos Beishuizen2
1VU University Amsterdam, Viet Nam
2VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands
3Foundation CMA, Amsterdam, Netherlands
In order to be able to integrate ICT tools in Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE), teachers need
much time and support for mastering ICT tools; learning the basis of IBSE; and getting experience in
applying these tools into students' scientific investigation. Following a design research approach, our
project aims to develop a training course for both pre-service and in-service secondary science
teachers on the use of ICT tools integrated into IBSE lessons. The challenges in both groups are the
lack of time and the heterogeneous background of teachers.
This report focuses on two case studies of an ICT-IBSE course for pre-service science teachers from
universities in the Netherlands. The course offers flexible learning contents with supporting materials
through a blended environment via the Moodle platform. Pre-service teachers are introduced to the
Coach learning environment which integrates all ICT constructive tools such as data logging, video
measurement, and modeling. The course consists of 3 sessions of each 3 hours, spread over 5 - 7
weeks, and major tasks in between the meetings. A participant first learns basic concepts, skills, and
possibilities of the ICT tools in science teaching (broadly at conceptual level), then chooses
a particular tool (data logging, video measurement, or modeling) to practice advanced skills mostly
on their own with supporting materials such as Coach basic, tutorial, subject activities and
instructional videos. With that tool, next, he/she has to prepare an IBSE lesson, try it out in class, and
evaluate the integration of the tool into the IBSE classroom activities.
During the case studies, we use instruments such as questionnaires, observations, documents, and
interviews to collect data on the participant's learning process and outcomes. Data analysis will help
to answer the following research questions:
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1C
1. To what extent is the course implemented as intended? What are the obstacles in its
2. To what extent does the course have the effects as expected? What are the reasons for not
realized effects?
Evaluation of faithful implementation and effectiveness of the course will provide evidence to revise
the course design, which will be subsequently elaborated into the next course setting to be tested
again in next case studies.
In the presentation, we will present the design principles in detail, the courses themselves,
assessment questions, and the findings of two case studies.
Keywords: University education, post-graduate teacher education, ICT, IBSE, design research
Topics: ICT, Teachers, Teaching
Simulated Interactive Research Experiments (SIRE) - A novel ICT tool
for active learning in the domain of quantum research
Mathias Tomandl, Christiane Maria Losert-Valiente Kroon, Martin Hopf and Markus Arndt
University of Vienna, Austria
We report on the development of a new technology-enhanced learning tool for modern physics – the
Simulated Interactive Research Experiment (SIRE):
The SIRE is a highly complex interactive simulation of a real existing experiment of fundamental
research with authentic photo-realistic visualization as a tool for active learning for physics of the
21st century.
Many university curricula of physics provide courses concerning modern science only in higher
semesters. Insight into current open research questions is mostly given with diagrams, sketches and
formulas, but hardly based on active or inquiry based learning.
Even though a few lab courses allow working on real-world research experiments, the time is usually
too short and the experiments are too expensive to be used as a didactical resource. They only allow
preliminary insights into the scientific discipline.
SIREs aim at balancing these deficits: Based on interactive screen experiments [1] and interactive
simulations [2-4], SIREs are highly complex representations of modern real-world research
We present a first prototype which focuses on a representation of the Kapitza-Dirac-Talbot-LauInterferometer
[5, 6], a unique experiment for fundamental research in molecular quantum optics,
which implements with massive matter what could otherwise only be studied with light in a student
lab [7].
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1C
SIREs open a wide space for curiosity driven learning – they allow the students to manipulate all
relevant parameters in the experimental setup and to control phenomena that can usually only
observed by scientists with intense lab training. SIREs are easily repeatable and students can use this
learning tool as long as they need to understand the underlying concepts. Additional resources allow
learning of various topics (e.g. mechanics, optics, thermodynamics, quantum physics) in the context
of a modern research experiment. In order to provide an authentic look and feel of the experimental
situation the KDTLI-SIRE is enhanced with photo-realistic graphical representations and scientifically
correct simulations of the experimental results, including measurement artifacts and experimental
limitations. The modes of interaction with the SIREs will be limited to those that are possible in the
lab. The learning experience with a SIRE will be closer to reality than with any other learning object
for modern science before. That way SIRE aims at avoiding misconceptions caused by artificial
visualizations and give an insight in the nature of modern science.
1. Kirstein, J. and V. Nordmeier, Multimedia representation of experiments in physics. European
Journal of Physics, 2007. 28(3): p. S115-S126.
2. Belloni, M. and W. Christian, Physlets for quantum mechanics. Computing in Science &
Engineering, 2003. 5(1): p. 90-97.
3. Wieman, C.E., W.K. Adams, and K.K. Perkins, PHYSICS PhET: Simulations That Enhance Learning.
Science, 2008. 322(5902): p. 682-683.
4. Zollman, D.A., N.S. Rebello, and K. Hogg, Quantum mechanics for everyone: Hands-on activities
integrated with technology. American Journal of Physics, 2002. 70(3): p. 252-259.
5. Gerlich, S., et al., Quantum interference of large organic molecules. Nature Communs 2011. 2:
p. 263.
6. Gerlich, S., et al., A Kapitza-Dirac-Talbot-Lau interferometer for highly polarizable molecules.
Nature Physics, 2007. 3(10): p. 711-715.
7. Case, W.B., et al., Realization of optical carpets in the Talbot and Talbot-Lau configurations.
Optics Express, 2009. 17(23): p. 20966-20974.
Keywords: University education, technology enhanced learning, quantum physics, interactive
simulations, active learning
Topics: Experiments, ICT
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1D
Session 1D, 14:00-15:20
Physics on a Shoestring: A Soap Film Motor
Jeremy Pfeffer
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Two articles describing the experiment I wish to demonstrate have appeared in Physics Education
and can be viewed on line at
1. Physics on a Shoestring: A soap film motor; 2002 Phys. Educ. 37 77
2. Let's Investigate: How fast can a soap film roll a glass rod? 2002 Phys. Educ. 37 78
The study of the “sensible forces” that act at “insensible distances” within fluids is sadly neglected in
many contemporary physics courses. Surface Tension does not even appear as an entry in the indices
of many widely used textbooks. Notwithstanding, the interpretation of these important phenomena
in terms of the underlying cohesive and adhesive forces is an instructive topic and provides a basis
for the study of many physical principles. Furthermore, the role these effects play in living systems,
such as in lung function, is central to an understanding of their workings.
The simple apparatus I have devised directly demonstrates the ability of a liquid surface (a soap film)
to perform useful work as it contracts. In a quantitative extension of the experiment, the free surface
energy of the soap film can be estimated by measuring the kinetic energy made available from the
work done by the film as it contracts.
The apparatus which comprises a rigid sheet metal frame (approx. 30cm � 10 cm) that stands on two
small blocks, glass rods of length 15-20 cm and radius 0.1-0.3 cm and a soap solution that forms
lasting films, is cheap, safe and fun to use.
Keywords: Surface tension, surface free energy, adhesive and cohesive forces, soap films, LaplaceYoung
Topics: Experiments, Informal Physics Teaching & Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1D
The drinking bird engine
Andrea Gr�f
Karinthy Frigyes Gimn�zium, Hungary
Everyone likes to play. The drinking bird is a popular toy, often used in the classroom to grab the
attention of students. (The head and belly of the bird are two glass bulbs connected by a long thin
neck in which a volatile liquid periodically rises and falls, making the bird tip over and “drink” from
a glass, thereby keeping its head wet.)
From an educational perspective, the bird is worth more than just being fascinated by it and stating
qualitatively that it is powered by evaporation. Students are easily motivated to carry out
measurements and draw quantitative conclusions. This provides an opportunity to synthesize
knowledge from various chapters of mechanics and thermal physics: work, energy and power,
communicating vessels, states of matter and changes of state, heat engines and their efficiency, etc.
In addition, the investigation of the bird’s operation and dry-bulb and wet-bulb temperatures also
leads to a deeper understanding of the idea of relative air humidity, a term familiar from weather
reports but only superficially touched on in class.
The working of the bird has been discussed in literature, including quantitative considerations. This
presentation shows a possible approach at high-school level: it gives an account of how data are
collected in a series of simple and low-cost measurements, and how data are processed to determine
the power and efficiency of the drinking bird toy as a heat engine. The results raise questions on the
factors influencing the power, and the answer obtained from data analysis demonstrates the
increase of efficiency with temperature difference: a fact that only appears in text books in the
context of idealized engines.
Keywords: Toy as heat engine, simple measurements, data analysis, synthesis of knowledge, relative
air humidity
Topics: Experiments, Learning
A novel experiment in birefringence using single-mode optical fibre
Ivan Ruddock
University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom
The study of polarised light and birefringence in crystals has long been a feature of university level
optics classes and laboratories. A thorough understanding of such themes is an essential prerequisite
for postgraduate research in lasers, nonlinear optics and optoelectronics; for example, efficient
second harmonic generation depends on the incident laser beam and the generated frequency-
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1D
doubled beam propagating with the same phase velocity within the doubling crystal, a situation only
achievable when the beams are orthogonally polarised.
Experiments in birefringence normally involve the identification of a uniaxial crystal’s birefringent axes
and then the measurement of the retardation (phase difference) between them by one or more
methods. To modernise the topic and to demonstrate its continuing importance in physics, the University
of Strathclyde’s version uses birefringent single-mode optical fibre as an alternative to the crystal.
Step-index fibre has a small abrupt difference in refractive index between the core and the surrounding
cladding. Light striking the core-cladding boundary at an angle greater than the critical angle experiences
total internal reflection and is confined to the core in the form of modes as in a waveguide. Single-mode
operation, essential for reducing dispersion in high capacity communication systems, is obtained by
decreasing the core’s diameter until only the lowest order mode propagates. For the single-mode fibre
used in this experiment, the core diameter is 3.5 microns.
The lowest order mode may be launched and transmitted in a perfectly cylindrical fibre with its
polarisation in any direction. However, due to manufacturing tolerances and mechanical strain, the
longitudinally integrated refractive index signature is not azimuthally uniform and thus propagation
characteristics analogous to those of a uniaxial crystal are exhibited. Consequently, there are
orthogonal fast and slow axes along which incident plane polarised light is resolved, with the state of
polarisation at the exit depending on the two components’ relative amplitudes and the accumulated
phase difference between them. Specialised single-mode fibres with high or low birefringence are
available for specific applications in lasers and sensing.
In this paper, the birefringence experiment as performed by students is described and typical results
presented to show its relevance in a modern physics degree. The tasks covered are (a) identification
of the polarisation axes in a uniaxial crystal plate and a short length of single-mode optical fibre, and
(b) measurement of retardation using a Babinet-Soleil compensator and by analysing the emergent
elliptically polarised light with a photodiode-polariser combination. Apart from demonstrating
birefringent components and measurements in a novel way, it is also a challenging exercise in
laboratory technique. Students can determine retardation by two independent methods and, since
both have resolution limits and uncertainties, they must be able to reconcile their results. In addition,
it trains students to work systematically as the components must be placed in the laser beam in
a particular order and adjusted in a highly logical fashion such that their polarisation axes are
parallel, orthogonal or at 45 degrees to each other.
Keywords: University education, laboratory experiment, optical fibre, optics, birefringence
Topics: Experiments
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1D
Chaos in High School
Tamas Meszena
ELTE, Hungary
We are faced with chaotic processes in many segments of our life: meteorology, environmental
pollution, financial and economic processes, sociology, mechanics, electronics, biology, chemistry.
The spreading of high-performance computers and the development of simulation methods made
the examination of these processes easily available. Plain, periodic motions (pendulum, harmonic
oscillatory motion, bouncing ball), as taught at secondary level, become chaotic even due minor
If it is true that the most considerable achievements of twentieth century physics were the theory of
relativity, quantum mechanics and chaos theory, then it is presumably time to think about, examine
and test how and to what extent chaos can be presented to the students. In the presentation I would
like to introduce the 10-12 lesson long facultative curriculum framework on chaos designed for
students aged seventeen.
Keywords: Chaotic proces, simulation metod, nonlinear oscillator
Topics: Experiments
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 1F
Session 1F – workshop, 14:00-15:20
Active learning in optics
David Sokoloff
University of Oregon, United States
Widespread physics education research has shown that most introductory physics students have
difficulty learning essential optics concepts—even in the best of traditional courses, and that a welldesigned
active learning approach can remedy this. This workshop will provide direct experience with
methods for promoting active involvement of students in the optics learning process. The focus will
be on active learning, hands-on lab activities (1), and Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs)
(2,3)—a learning strategy for large (and small) lectures, including the use of special Optics Magic
Tricks. Sample ILD materials and instructions on how to do the tricks will be distributed. These
materials have been used successfully by the author in his introductory college level physics course,
and recently in a series of Active Learning Optics and Photonics (ALOP) (4) workshops in developing
countries, sponsored by UNESCO, SPIE and ICTP. Research on the effectiveness of these approaches
will be presented.
1. David R. Sokoloff, RealTime Physics Module 3: Light and Optics, 3rd Ed., (Hoboken, NJ, John
Wiley and Sons, 2012).
2. David R. Sokoloff and Ronald K. Thornton, Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (Hoboken, NJ,
John Wiley and Sons, 2004).
3. David R. Sokoloff, "Using Interactive Lecture Demonstrations to Create an Active Learning
Environment,"The Physics Teacher 35: 6, 340 (1997).
4. Active Learning in Optics and Photonics Training Manual, David R. Sokoloff, ed., (Paris, UNESCO,
Keywords: Active learning, optics, introductory physics, lecture demonstrations
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Curriculum, Experiments, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2A
⋙Session 2A, 15:30-16:50⋘
Innovations in physics� teacher education – how to educate GEN Y
Renata Holubova
Palacky University, Czech Republic
The purpose of the pre-service teacher training at the university is to become competent teachers
and skilled members of the society. We can see that one of the most important goal of education at
our faculty is improving the quality of teaching. Our pre-service teachers must be prepared for the
changing work at secondary at high schools. The aim of the paper is to discusse the outcomes of the
project focused on the innovation of the professional teacher training. A new programme of the
physics� teacher study was started, new subjects and modules were prepared. It will be shown that
all the innovations are based on learner-centered methods (active learning, PBL, interdisciplinary
relations) and technology-based lessons to improve pre-service teachers� skills and knowledge.
The paper is supported by the project OPVK CZ. 1.07/2.2.00/15.0310
Keywords: Teacher education programme, physics, gen Y teacher, innovation
Topics: Teachers, Teaching
Some lessons from a 3-year experiment of PBL in Physics in a French
School of Engineering
Philippe Ageorges, G�raldine Poutot, Adriana Bacila and Bernard Blandin
For the past three years, CESI School of Engineering (France) has experimented a Problem-based learning
methodology (PBL) in the field of Physics. The main objectives of this experiment were to make physics
more attractive for our students as well as to help them develop professional skills. The very first steps of
this experiment were presented at the GIREP – ICPE – MPT conference in Reims (France) in 2010 (Blandin,
2010). The results of the first year of the experimentation, comparing learning outcomes achieved
through PBL and through traditional course were presented during the World Conference on Physics
Education in Istanbul (Turkey) in 2012 (Poutot & al., 2012). The proposed contribution, this year, will draw
some lessons from this experiment which might be useful for all Physics teachers.
The implementation of the PBL methodology at Cesi School of Engineering had to face two major
difficulties, which do not appear in the literature:
- The first one was related to the large number of students, the limited number of available teachers and
the school economic constraints: do not spend more with PBL than what costs traditional teaching. How
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2A
to set up a PBL session with 150 students, with 2 tutors and without increasing the number of teaching
hours? In traditional teaching, one person can easily teach to 150 students sitting in a lecture theater.
With the PBL approach, it is not so obvious to handle 12 groups of 12-13 students separately.
- The second difficulty was the students’ negative reaction to the PBL methodology. Moving from a
comfortable passive methodology to an active one has been destabilizing and more demanding
for most of them. Making efforts and learning by themselves has raised major complaints from
our students at the beginning!
The proposed contribution will explain how we solved these difficulties, while our demonstration
that the same learning outcomes could be achieved through PBL and through traditional teaching
lead the School to plan further developments of the PBL approach in other fields as well as
developing multi-domain problems in physics and technology.
BLANDIN, B. (2010) Learning Physics: a Competency-based Curriculum using Modelling Techniques
and PBL Approach, Oral presentation at the GIREP – ICPE – MPTL International Conference, Reims,
22-27 August 2010. Online at the following URL: http://www.univ-reims.fr/site/evenement/girep-
accessed 2011-11-29.
POUTOT, G. BACILA, A. AGEORGES, P. BLANDIN, B. (2012) PBL in Mechanics: some results of
a controlled experiment, in Proceedings of the World Conference in Physics Education, Istanbul,
Turkey, July, 1st – 6th, 2012 (proceedings in preparation)
Keywords: University education, problem-based learning, large groups, students’ resistance to PBL
Topics: Learning, Teaching
Using Class-room Communication System in Physics Laboratory
Ajay Wadhwa
SGTB Khalsa College, University of Delhi, Delhi, India
Class-room Communication System (CCS) refers to a combination of electronic hardware and its
associated software that can be used to support communication in a classroom to make it more
interactive and student-centric. Use of CCS in class-room lectures has been quite common in most
institutions imparting science education. Like any science stream, physics is a subject where
Laboratory activity is an integral component of the curricula. We intend to present a CCS-based
laboratory activity to emphasize the utility of technology in promoting physics education. For
a student of physics, a laboratory experience is different than a class-room lecture experience
because during experimentation the student encounters nature as it ‘really’ exists and not in an
idealized form as projected in a class-room lecture. We selected a simple experiment that involved
the measurement of g by measuring the time-intervals between two initial successive bounces of
avertically dropped ball on a floor from a given height. A class of about 50 under-graduate students
of 4th semester were asked to perform the experiment which was integrated with the CCS device
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2A
(NETGEAR N150 router) in their physics lab. The students were divided into 25 groups with two
students per group. Each group was assigned a computer terminal for doing analysis and to
communicate through CCS with the instructor. Due to limited resources we could set up two
experiment-terminals where the experiments were performed by the students and observations
saved in a computer for further analysis on their respective computer terminals. The experiment was
discussed in the class and each group was given a set of formulas related to the experiment. Based
on the activity and results obtained by them the students were given a questionnaire to respond and
communicate to the instructor in a specified time (about 30 minutes). The questionnaire contained
questions that tested a student’s knowledge about basic concepts like conservation of momentum
and energy, elasticity of matter, damped oscillatory motion etc. The results obtained by different
groups of students were compiled and then analyzed.
Experiment/Activity: A vertically dropped ball bouncing-off a rigid floor is a two-body system that is
characterized by the value of coefficient of restitution (CoR) of the ball-surface combination. Using
the laws of physics we can express the CoR in terms of physical quantities like g, initial height h and
time-interval Δt between the first two successive bounces. For experiments we asked the students to
choose from different types of sports balls-tennis, squash basket-ball etc. Using the standard values
of CoR and by measuring the time-intervals, the value of g can be obtained. For measuring timeinterval
Δt we made use of Vernier audio sensors interfaced with the USB port of computer.
Keywords: Class-room communication system, physics laboratory, router, CoR, sensors, computer
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Curriculum, Experiments, ICT, Learning, Teaching
An approach to the concept of Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution:
a pedagogical path based on Guided Inquiry
Onofrio Rosario Battaglia, Claudio Fazio and Rosa Maria Sperandeo Mineo
University of Palermo, Italy
The understanding of the statistical distribution concept plays an important role in any
undergraduate physics curriculum.
However, not many laboratory experiments related to this topic are actually available to support
students in their comprehension of such a concept. As a consequence, a strictly theoretical approach
is usually applied to the teaching of the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution function and students often
consider it a purely mathematical abstraction without any investigation about the meaning of such
a representation.
Within the framework of an Inquiry Based learning approach, we designed a pedagogical path based
on simple experiments and computer simulations. Both are used for involving students in learning
the concept of distribution and its related properties by personally investigating relevant problems.
Our paper describes how the preview path has been used in a workshop for undergraduate students
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2A
by following an Inquiry Based approach stimulating learning processes like diagnosing problems,
critiquing experiments, planning investigations and constructing models that describe and explain
experimental data.
We will discuss preliminary results that show how our teaching/learning approach has been effective
both to consolidate tough physics concepts and, at the same to clarify relevant aspects of the
scientific investigation methods.
Keywords: Experiments, guided inquiry, Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, undergraduate students
Topics: Experiments, ICT
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2B
Session 2B, 15:30-16:50
Content analysis and coding the Student's weekly reports in order to
research their self-reflection epistemology and improvement their
solving problem skills
Nasrin Taheri Asghari and Mojtaba Jahanifar
Ministry of education, Islamic Republic of Iran
As physics teachers, we expect students in our classes to gain an understanding of the true
perception about nature of physics.In the other words, instead of accumulate a large collection of
facts or knowledge separated from each other, they must be able to perceive a set of coherence
concepts that drive from their careful observation at the real world. These different views about the
nature of knowledge and learning are called "epistemological beliefs". Researches on students’
epistemological beliefs and how they are developed show that these beliefs depend on the particular
content domain about which students have believe that, or special background that student belongs
to, And the specific context in which the beliefs are expressed and measured.
At this study we used student's weekly reports to observe and discovery epistemological beliefs.
Epistemological beliefs are discovered in conceptions, contents and contexts of many physics
phenomenon. Weekly reports were made by students themselves, they explained in their reports
what they learned or how they learned and reflect their learning process or solution problem
strategies. Weekly Reports were developed as an instructional tool and implemented elsewhere
before being implemented at OSU [1]. Each week students in this study reflected on what and how
they learned by writing Weekly Reports. Specifically, students were asked to answer four openended
1. What did you learn in lab this week? How did you learn it?
2. What did you learn in lecture and recitation this week? How did you learn it?
3. What questions remained unclear?
4. If you were the professor, what questions would you ask to determine if your students
understood the material?
Each week, more than half of the reports from each course section were randomly selected to be
graded and given feedback. In this way, each students’ reports were graded at least every two
weeks, some even more frequently. Every report was given feedback in the first week. Teachers
answered students’ questions (from question 3), and provided comments on questions 1, 2, and 4.
The comments to questions 1 and 2 encouraged the students to be precise, clear, and complete in
describing what and how they learned, and prompted them to refer to the in-class observations,
experiments, and reasoning processes that were intended to help them learn physics. Weekly
reports process, coding and their analysis were conducted for 100 participants (students) that they
study engineering science in free university in Iran in two semester. We began by reading the Weekly
Reports of students. While reading, we took note of what the students wrote that had particular
epistemological content. The “epistemological content” we initially had in mind included the
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2B
dimensions and stages from prior research results. We looked for indications of beliefs about the
structure and content of physics knowledge, the source of physics knowledge, and its connection to
the world outside the classroom. We also had in mind the course’s special instructional methods and
goals, especially predicting and interpreting the results of experimental tests and then applying
verified knowledge to solve new problems. After reading the reports of these students, it was clear
that they described learning in a number of different ways. We found, however, that many of these
ways of reflecting appeared several times in a student’s reports and also in the reports of other
students. We gave names to the most common kinds of indications, thus creating our initial coding
scheme. In the end, fourteen of the codes we developed were chosen; these codes could be placed
in one of three categories. Result show that the low gainers tended to describe their learning in
terms of learning from authority or by practicing solving problems. The high gainers more frequently
described learning by reasoning or by making personal connections to the concepts. The results of
these studies show that epistemological beliefs are important factors affecting the conceptual
learning of physics students. In addition, getting students to reflect meaningfully on their knowledge
and learning is difficult, but it can be done with consistent feedback. More research into the
epistemological beliefs of physics students in different contexts and from different populations can
help us develop a more complete model of epistemological beliefs, and ultimately improve the
conceptual and epistemological knowledge of all students.
Keywords: Epistemological beliefs, weekly reports, physics education, problem solution, meta
Topics: Learning
Problem-solving in university-level Physics: What kinds of abilities
are developed?
Mar�a Elena Truyol1, Zulma Estela Gangoso2 and Vicente Sanjose3
1N�cleo de Pesquisas em Inova��o Curricular (NUPIC), Laborat�rio de Pesquisa
em Ensino de F�sica (LAPEF), Faculdade de Educa��o, Universidade de S�o
Paulo, Brazil
2Instituto de F�sica Enrique Gaviola, Facultad de Matem�tica, Astronom�a y
F�sica, Universidad Nacional de C�rdoba, Argentina
3Departamento de Did�ctica de las Ciencias Experimentales y Sociales,
Universidad de Valencia, Spain
One of the main tasks of physicists is to build models of reality and to solve a wide range of
problems. If these activities are central to professional development, as noted by the available
profiles, they should be developed because they are not innate abilities. It is therefore assumed that
the development of these abilities, at least to some degree, should occur during formal instruction.
In this work we present the results of an experimental design that seeks to know some aspects of the
modeling skill acquisition in problem-solving tasks, at university-level Physics.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2B
Understanding problem-solving in physics as a modeling process, we analyze what happens to the
representations constructed during the resolution process and how these representations are
related to student performance, measured by traditional criteria for examinations score. The study
was performed on a sample of 91 students of different levels of formal education in Physics.
The design of the task of written problem-solving and the analysis of data are based on the
theoretical construct “Model for Comprehension for Problem Solving in Physics” and a proposal to
classification of instructional physics problems statements. In previous works, these theoretical
frameworks has allowed a description of the characteristics of the statements used in formal
instruction, the design and validation a set of experimental statements with specific characteristics
and the description of some features of the problem-solving processes generated by different types
of problem statements. From this previous work follows the basic assumption that guides this
research: there are differences in the statements of instructional physics problems that enable or
inhibit the development of certain abilities involved in the problem-solving process, which are not
Some of the results obtained indicate that students, although presenting very good performance in
solving the problems traditionally used in instruction, have not developed the abilities necessary to
solve, with efficiency, other problems in where it is necessary to model the situation presented.
These results are independent of their level of formal instruction in physics. These results highlight
the need to include working with other types of problem statements during instruction. To develop
modeling abilities, these statements should be oriented towards making informed choices about
what physical model should be used to solve it and why this is so.(*)
(*) This work was performed as part of the doctoral thesis of Mar�a Elena Truyol with the advisorship
of Dra Gangoso and Dr. Sanjos� Lopez, at the Institute of Physics “Enrique Gaviola”, Facultad de
Matem�tica, Astronom�a y F�sica, Universidad Nacional de C�rdoba, with the support of a doctoral
fellowship from the National Council of Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET). Available
on-line at: http://biblio.famaf.unc.edu.ar/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=16677
Keywords: University education, problem-solving, comprehension, modeling abilities, performance
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning, Teaching
Evidence for the applicability of Dual Processing Theory in Physics
problem solving
David Sands
University of Hull, United Kingdom
Dual Processing Theory (DPT) posits the existence of two separate systems in thinking: an automatic,
intuitive system and a slower system, referred to here as the rational system. When confronted with
a problem, many people answer intuitively, but often incorrectly: reasoning is a deliberate process
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2B
and occurs only if it is recognised that the intuitive answer is lacking. However, it takes considerable
cognitive resources [1].
Direct testing for the applicability of Dual Process Theory within a subject such as physics is very
difficult: problems test specific knowledge and it is difficult to distinguish between an intuitive wrong
answer and an inability to reason through the physics. Rather, the evidence for DPT in such
circumstances is indirect. For example, it is well known in the physics education literature that naive
conceptions exist, as do phenomenological primitives, commonly known as p-prims. These imply the
existence of a non-scientific conceptual structure which is often invoked in simple explanations.
However, they are also consistent with DPT: conceptions as deeply ingrained as these effectively
become intuitive problem solving heuristics which can actively prevent rational thinking about
a problem.
Of more direct interest in this paper is the evidence gathered from research based on the the Force
Concept Inventory [2]. This well known multiple choice questionnaire tests for alternative
conceptions in mechanics, but it does not normally provide any insight into the reasoning behind the
choice of answer. The author has been collecting additional information on a couple of questions
over the last two years and found evidence that students might well have sufficient information to
answer a question correctly despite making a wrong choice. This is consistent with DPT in as much as
belief, rather than reason, appears to be guiding the choice of answer. These findings are described
and the educational implications of DPT in physics are explored.
[1] Keith E. Stanovich and Richard F. West, On the Relative Independence of Thinking Biases and
Cognitive Ability, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2008, Vol. 94, No. 4, 672–695.
[2] Ausubel’s principle of prior knowledge in first year mechanics, David Sands, New Directions in
the Teaching of Physical Sciences, Issue 7 September 2011 Journal of the UK Physical Sciences
Centre, University of Hull, p52-57.
Keywords: Force concept inventory, misconceptions, problem solving, dual processing theory
Topics: Learning
Analyzing patterns in experts' approaches to solving experimental
Maja Poklinek1, Gorazd Planinšič1 and Eugenia Etkina2
1Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
2Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University, United States
Physics education is gradually moving from the traditional method of lecturing to more interactive
approaches. One such approach is ISLE, an Investigative Science Learning Environment (Etkina and
Van Heuvelen, 2007), that engages students in learning physics through repeated cycles of
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2B
observations, pattern recognition, invention of explanations, and testing these explanations in new
experiments. The aim of ISLE is not only to help students obtain new knowledge, but also to help
them learn to think like scientists.
In our research, we compared the flow of the ISLE cycle with the way practicing scientists solve
experimental problems. We conducted case studies where several pairs of scientists, both physicists
and researchers from other fields, were given a simple but a non-trivial experimental problem. Each
case study consisted of filming two scientists while they were trying to explain a phenomenon in
optics, which they had never seen before. We videotaped scientists in pairs, so we could follow their
mental steps through communication between them. We then analyzed their conversations and
mapped them to the ISLE steps. We created graphs that show the progression of steps over time and
the transitions between them. We repeated the procedure with undergraduate physics students.
Preliminary findings suggest a close match between the proposed ISLE cycle and the way expert
scientists approach problems. Logical transitions common to the ISLE cycle were much more
frequent than other logical transitions. Of course, problem solving by scientists is more complex than
the simplified progression of the ISLE cycle, but in general, we can say that the ISLE cycle is a good
model of the scientists' thought process. Because none of the subjects interviewed had any previous
exposure to ISLE, we can conclude that the ISLE cycle is a natural way of problem solving and is either
innate in expert scientists or learned through years of experience.
E. Etkina and A. Van Heuvelen Investigative Science Learning Environment – A Science Process
Approach to Learning Physics, in “PER-based reforms in calculus-based physics”, edited by E. F.
Redish and P. Cooney, (AAPT, 2007), Online at:
Keywords: Experts solving problem, ISLE cycle, problem solving timeline, experimental problem,
logical transitions
Topics: Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2C
Session 2C, 15:30-16:50
University students' ideas on physical meaning and role of wave
function and state vector in quantum physics
Giacomo Zuccarini, Marisa Michelini and Alberto Stefanel
University of Udine, Italy
Difficulties students find in learning quantum mechanics are primarily due to counterintuitive nature
of quantum concepts and to the new and highly mathematical structure in which they are shrouded.
Research shows that students struggle to recognize the conceptual meaning of formalism,
considering it instead as a mathematical machinery (Johnston et al, 1998), as well as they struggle to
apply it in order to make qualitative inferences (Singh, 2008). In particular, the re-definition of the
concept of state and the way in which physical information is encoded in its formal representations
plays an important role in student difficulties (e.g. McKagan et al. 2008, Robertson & Kohnle, 2010).
Nevertheless students reasoning patterns concerning the connection between quantum state and
related formal entities still need to be explored in depth, as well as their possible links with those
concerning basic features of quantum behavior and cultural points of view. For this purpose we
planned an empirical research, based on a 21 item questionnaire and follow-up interviews, to be
administered to a small group of university physics student. The questionnaire is made up of open
questions and organized in two sections: (A) quantum behavior and the domain of applicability of
quantum formalism; (B) wave function and state vector properties at a point in time, unitary time
evolution of state, graphical representation of wave function. Semi-structured interviews with
rogersian modality of answer collection have been scheduled on each item. The study explores
students points of view on various levels: cultural, qualitative-conceptual, formal (vector-algebraic,
wave function, Re{ψ} graphs, |ψ|2
graphs). Here are reported the main results of answer analysis of
each question posed. Particular attention is devoted to some indications emerging about student
learning modalities on relevant concepts, e.g. the need to recognize the role of phase difference in
WF and state vector in describing processes, and the need to recognize on different levels the nonstationary
nature of linear combinations of energy eigenstates and position eigenstates.
Johnston, D.; Crawford, K.; Fletcher, R. (1998). American Journal of Physics, 20(4), 427–446.
McKagan, S., Perkins, K., Wieman, E. (2008). A deeper look at student learning of quantum mechanics:
the case of tunneling. Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 4(2), 1–17.
Robertson, E., & Kohnle, A. (2010). Testing The Development Of Student Conceptual Understanding
Of Quantum Mechanics. In GIREP-EPEC & PHEC 2009 Conference (pp. 261–273).
Singh, C. (2008). Student understanding of quantum mechanics at the beginning of graduate
instruction. American Journal of Physics, 76(3), 277–287.
Keywords: University Education, quantum mechanics, conceptual understanding
Topics: Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2C
What motivates high school teachers to join the Masterclasses Day Hands
on Particle Physics?
Francisco Serafim1, Augusto Mois�o2, Cristina Pinho3 and Florbela R�go4
1LIP - Lab. Ins.Fisica Experimental de Part�culas, Escola Secund�ria D.
Manuel I, Portugal
2Escola Secund�ria D. Manuel I, Portugal
3Escola Secundaria Ferreira Dias, Portugal
4LIP - Lab. Ins.Fisica Experimental de Part�culas, Escola Secund�ria de Vendas
Novas, Portugal
Over the last nine years, the Portuguese edition of the International Masterclasses Day - Hands on
Particle Physics (http://ippog.web.cern.ch), has seen its number of applicants steadily rise, with
teachers and students clearly showing an increasing interest. We have been involved in this program
almost since the beginning. The recent discoveries made on CERN and widely covered by the news
channels paired with CERN’s outreach programs such as the “Portuguese Summer School in CERN”
(P. Abreu et al, 2012), has contributed for the enthusiasm around Particle Physics. The living proof of
this success is that Portugal is the country with more participants in the international program (M. C.
Abreu et al, 2012).
The mechanics of this program promotes experimentation, interdisciplinary ventures and the
mastering of information and communication technologies. These features are attractive for both
teachers and students who see them as a very good and necessary complement to the classical high
school academic programs (Allen, 2004). This is especially useful when we take into account that only
a few concepts are taught at the start of the 10th grade (Bello et al., 2001) and at the 12th grade
Physics (Cardoso et al., 2004).
The student’s feedback, after the MasterClasses, enabled us to evaluate their opinion. The most
common statements will be presented in this conference. The teachers consider that this academic
training is very welcome. To sum up, the Masterclasses promote an update on knowledge as well as
educational experiences. The complete details of this positive outcome will be quantified properly in
our presentation.
Abreu, M. C., et al, “International Masterclasses Hands on Particle Physics - The Portuguese
Approach”, WCPE 2012, The Book of Abstracts pg. 503, Istanbul, Turkey, (2012)
Abreu, P., et al, “CERN Portuguese language teachers programme: an ’international’ venture in
teacher professional development”, WCPE 2012 , The Book of Abstracts , (p. 401). Istanbul, Turkey,
Allen, S., “Designs for learning: Studying science museums exhibits…”, Science Education, 88 (1), pp.
17 – 33, (2004)
Bello, A., et al, “Programa de F�sica e Qu�mica A- 10� ou 11� anos”, Portuguese Ministry of Education,
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2C
Cardoso, E., et al., ”Programa de F�sica - 12� ano”, Portuguese Ministry of Education, (2004)
Keywords: Teaching, motivation, learning
Topics: Learning, Teaching
Variations in physics students’ ways of depictions as the context of
explaining changes from quantization to light quanta
Mengesha Ayene1, Jeanne Kriek2, Baylie Damitie1 and �ke Ingerman3
1Bahir Dar University, Ethioptia
2UNISA Institute for Science and Technology Education (ISTE), South Africa
3University of Gothenburg, Sweden
While the wave particle duality is frequently the major topic students’ encounter in quantum
mechanics, the quantum model of light and photon remain elusive for many physics undergraduates.
Students find it conceptually counterintuitive and difficult to understand. Nevertheless, compared to
many areas of classical physics, students’ understanding of quantum mechanics has received minimal
attention in the physics education research. A phenomenographic study was carried out where the
description categories which form the basis for students’ depictions of quantization, the concept of
photon and light quanta are constructed. Data for this study were obtained from a semi structured
interview conducted with 35 physics students from two universities in Ethiopia (Bahir Dar and Wollo
Universities). The phenomenographic analysis revealed that it is possible to construct three
qualitatively different categories to characterize students’ depictions of energy quantization, namely,
energy in Blackbody Radiation (BBR) as a factor of “square of frequency”; Hybrid description of
energy in BBR; and energy in BBR as “quanta” of energy size E = hn. It is also explored that students’
depictions of the concept of photon and light quanta can be described with three different models of
description categories, which are classical intuitive model description, mixed model description and
quasi-quantum description models. With regard to learning quantum mechanics, these categories of
description made clear three issues: (i) Students extended their naive and classical intuitive
conceptions to quantum phenomena, (ii) Students used the language of physics non-discriminately
and (iii) Students description were bounded by the mix-up of the conceptual frameworks of classical
and quantum reasoning. Furthermore, the finding shed more light on how physics students with
appropriate and/or inappropriate depictions of one key quantum concept also give appropriate
and/or inappropriate depictions of other concepts in quantum mechanics. Pedagogical implications
are discussed.
Keywords: Quantum mechanics, phenomenography, student depiction, Ethiopia
Topics: Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2C
Development of interest in particle physics as an effect of school
events in an authentic setting
Kerstin Gedigk, Gesche Pospiech and Michael Kobel
TU Dresden, Germany
The goal of physics education consists – among teaching the physical content – also to a large extent
in developing the interest of students in physics and in giving an insight into the doing of physics, into
recent physics research and also into the nature of physics. Furthermore more students should learn
to know some of the professional tasks of physicists and develop interest in becoming a scientist.
There are indications that an authentic learning environment is an appropriate tool for reaching
these goals. Therefore - in order to support teachers - in Germany the “Netzwerk Teilchenwelt”,
a network of particle physicists, physics teachers and teenagers has been brought to life. One of the
mean offerings of this network are the national “Particle Physics Masterclasses”, inspired by the
CERN International Masterclasses. These events give the students insight into actual research in the
field of particle physics, e.g. the necessity of particle accelerators, especially the Large Hadron
Collider (LHC), the detectors and their functioning and the huge experiments at CERN, into the
collaboration of researchers, into still open and already answered questions, into scientific methods,
etc. These events last between 4 to 6 hours and mostly take place in schools in order to reach as
many classes as possible. Whole classes as well as selected students can take part. The authenticity is
guaranteed not only by the facilitators who are particle physicists themselves but also by the whole
setting: Own measurements with original data from the experiments at the particle accelerators at
CERN offer the participants an authentic experience of concrete research.
To investigate which of the intended objectives the Masterclasses could actually achieve and to find
hints on how to improve these events an evaluation study was implemented. The contribution deals
with this study which focuses on the development of interest in physics and especially in particle
physics of teenagers as a consequence of the described events, which are unconventional for
German schools. Furthermore the interest in pursuing a scientific career is evaluated. To study the
interest a questionnaire and a test has been developed based on the interest construct by Krapp
(1992). After piloting and improving the questionnaire 25 Masterclasses were investigated in a pre/
post/ follow-up design which means that the teenagers (N = 340) were asked before, immediately
after the event and again after 6 to 8 weeks. The study design additionally includes control groups.
Among other things the interest in physics as subject in school, in a scientific career, the self-concept
of the own ability in physics and different dimensions of interest in particle physics were evaluated. It
also was investigated how teenagers perceive the Masterclasses as a whole and its authenticity. The
presentation will include selected results of this study.
Keywords: Interest, particle physics, evaluation study
Topics: Experiments, Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2D
Session 2D, 15:30-16:50
A Treatment of Oscillations and Waves
Nada Razpet and Tomaz Kranjc
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education, Slovenia
Vibration of a string is one of the classical topics in all physics curricula. In elementary schools
attention is usually brought to oscillation phenomena in nature. Sea waves are mentioned. Young
people are very familiar with them but most likely they do not observe them carefully. Some science
teachers also talk about waves on ponds or puddles. Even though these waves are neither
transversal nor longitudinal, one can explain on a larger puddle notions like wavelength, frequency,
amplitude and speed of wave propagation. Dipping a wooden rake makes the wave interference
easily observable. Of course, for an easier understanding of basic concepts one has to discuss
oscillations. With children this can be done on a playground or in a gym where notions like period,
frequency and amplitude are introduced. Observing a swing, students change the load or the length
of the chain/rope and discover how these changes affect the period. This is followed by class
experiments. For example, the period of a mathematical pendulum is measured and factors that
influence it are discussed. Since hands are used to make ropes and strings vibrate, experiments using
the swinging of arms where students can actually feel the change of amplitude and frequency are
beneficial. One has to be careful, though, not to be deceived by the feeling. The higher speed at the
equilibrium position caused by a bigger amplitude can be mistaken for a higher frequency.
Observations of vibrations of ropes and strings follow. Here standing waves are also observed. One
can also easily see how the change of frequency of the movement of the hand influences the
wavelength. A camera can be used to record the experiment and the resulting photographs can be
used to determine the wavelength and the speed of the wave propagation. It is not as easy to see
what happens with wave reflection. Students are told what wave reflections at a free end and at
a fixed end are like. However, details of what is happening can not be seen with a naked eye. High
school students are familiar with trigonometric functions and if they are introduced to the freeware
GeoGebra they can by themselves create an animation that shows what happens at a fixed or a free
end of a rope. Textbooks show series of pictures of wave reflection, however, the time lapse is
usually one quarter of the period and therefore details are not visible. It is only when students make
their own animation that one can see how well they understand the material.
Here we are going to show our findings from a nationwide assessment of student knowledge, how
we conducted seminars, and what experiments were performed. It will be explained what was taught
by kindergarden teachers who conducted experiments with children. We will also show how
GeoGebra can be used to illustrate what is happening with the wave reflection at a free or a fixed
Keywords: GeoGebra, oscillation, standing waves, animation, instruction, research
Topics: ICT
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2D
Mechanical waves and sound in the 8th Grade – Promoting inquiry
Telma Esperan�a, Maria Jos� de Almeida and Paulo Gordo
Departamento de F�sica da Faculdade de Ci�ncias e Tecnologia da Universidade
de Coimbra, Portugal
The implementation of students’ scientific inquiry minds must be accomplished following a structural
development, along time and school levels, based on a hierarchical understanding of the scientific
knowledge to be learned. The necessary use of a correct scientific language can be developed
exposing students to the need to explain their ideas about what they see, ear and understand.
Aiming at the promotion of an inquiry attitude since the first steps on Physics learning and with
a special concern to avoid the development of scientific misconceptions, some laboratory activities
and stimulating supporting documents were designed to complement the study of mechanical waves
and sound in 8th grade. According to the Portuguese Curricular Guidelines, this is the first students’
contact with waves and sound on the discipline Physics and Chemistry; the same subject will be
further developed in 11th grade, under the general context of Communications.
An analysis of school manuals and of the literature enabled the identification of a set of fundamental
concepts, of possible challenging activities to promote their deep understanding and of the most
common related misconceptions. Four 45 minutes activity blocks were organized, respectively on:
mechanical waves, sound propagation in different media, mechanical waves’ production and
“challenges”. Students have to work in groups at different experimental stations, and have to change
station after a determined amount of time. The sequence of activities makes them gradually more
challenging, promoting autonomy both on procedural and on cognitive competences.
This methodology has already been developed during the last academic year, within a pilot test with
two classrooms, an experimental and a control one. The collected results allowed improvement of
the activities and of the supporting documents. The present communication reports on the extension
of the project to several 8th grade classrooms, in different schools and with different teachers.
From the already obtained results one can conclude that: experimental and control samples have
very similar pre-test answers; experimental samples have slightly better post-test achievements;
experimental classroom teachers report higher motivation of learners and more reflecting and active
students’ behavior (as compared with previous academic years’ students). However, teachers also
report some students’ difficulties on keeping time schedules, on group work organization, on
documents reading and understanding and on explaining and writing their answers and supporting
Keywords: Inquiry, teaching strategies, learning styles, lower secondary education 8th Grade, sound
and waves
Topics: Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2D
A guided inquiry based teaching and learning sequence on oscillations
based on experiments and data logging techniques
Marco Stellato1, Marco Giliberti1, Enrico Rigon2 and Marina Tamborini1
1Universit� degli Studi di Milano, Italy
2Liceo Scientifico "A. Tosi" Busto Arsizio, Italy
The new guidelines from M.I.U.R. (Italian ministry for research and education) prescribe the teaching
of “waves” between grade 11th and 12th. A good basis for understanding waves is the knowledge of
oscillations and harmonic motions.
In teaching practice, oscillations and even more harmonic motions are rarely supported by
experiments and, despite the great importance they have in understanding fundamental phenomena
(i.e. acoustics, optics, modern physics etc.), little time is devoted to them.
We present here a guided inquiry based teaching and learning sequence on oscillations and harmonic
motions rooted in an experimental approach. The sequence is part of a wider project on teaching of
normal modes of oscillation that the research group in physics education of the University of Milan is
The students, divided into small groups, perform experiments by themselves using two different
complementary techniques of data logging. The first technique consists in the detection of the
motion of different oscillating systems by means of a sonar detector. The second technique provides
measurements using an automated video analysis based on image recognition (Tracker).
The first task given to students is to describe and categorize, some oscillating systems they observe
by the naked eye, into groups they decide by themselves. The second task is to analyse the forces
acting on the oscillators and provide some qualitative graphics to be discussed inside each students’
group, among different groups and with the teacher. This guided procedure allows the students to
classify harmonic oscillations as those that are driven by a restoring force. A quantitative analysis of
the same oscillating systems is then performed via the data logging techniques cited above.
The use of data logging and video tracking allows students to face the topic of harmonic oscillations
even if they have a poor mathematical background. These techniques allow also the study of coupled
oscillators behaviour without the use of advanced mathematics.
This teaching-learning sequence has been proposed to two third-year upper secondary school groups
of students and to forth-year students attending different schools with scientific orientation. In two
cases the sequence regarded regular classes during curricular lessons. The third group was composed
of motivated students coming from different fourth-year classes in the framework of PLS (Scientific
Degree Plan) Italian Project, with extracurricular lessons.
Each group attended four lessons of two hours each. Two additional hours were devoted to the
administration of the entry questionnaire and the final questionnaire. Some interviews were also
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2D
Here we present and discuss the results of the experimentations and in particular we show the
convenience of the experimental approach and the use of data logging and video tracking techniques
in teaching oscillations (and harmonic oscillation in particular).
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, lab activities, oscillations, harmonic motion, data logging
Topics: Experiments, Teaching
Teaching kinematics concepts and graphing through the context of
Simple Harmonic Motion
Leanne Doughty, Paul van Kampen and Eilish Mcloughlin
CASTeL, Dublin City University, Ireland
This work involves the development of a curriculum for combining the conceptual understanding and
the mathematical and graphical aspects of displacement, velocity, and acceleration using the context
of a simple harmonic oscillator. These kinematics concepts and graphing skills are regularly
intertwined and students’ ability to apply this combination is called upon frequently in many physics
contexts. Describing the motion of a simple harmonic oscillator is one such context and for our
students Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM) is the first topic where they will encounter these concepts
since their introductory calculus-based mechanics course, taken in the previous semester. SHM is
taught as part of an introductory Waves and Optics course taken by the university’s first year physics
students (approximately 20 students each year).
Previous studies have identified difficulties students have with these concepts, and with interpreting
and drawing graphs. We have investigated the extent to which these difficulties are present in our
students and have found other difficulties from the analysis of student’s responses to specifically
designed test questions. The instruction designed to address these difficulties are conceptual tutorial
worksheets, in the style of Tutorials in Introductory Physics. The instruction was first piloted using
individual teaching-learning interviews with a small number of students. An indication of the impact
of the tutorials was measured using pre/post tests.
Thus far, two different approaches have been adopted and each approach considers the situation of
a mass oscillating at the end of a spring. In the first approach, students use a strobe diagram to
indicate the position of the mass as it moves through one period of motion and are requested to
sketch graphs of position versus time, velocity versus time and acceleration versus time for this
motion. The post test results indicated that students’ misconceptions surrounding the relationship
between velocity and acceleration hindered their understanding. As a result, a second approach
starting with the consideration of acceleration as a function of time was developed. Students began
by looking at the relationship between restoring force and displacement, and used F = ma to
determine the acceleration throughout the motion. Position and velocity were then treated in
a similar way as in the first approach. The results from the post test from this approach showed that
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2D
students continued to confuse acceleration and velocity (probably not surprising considering how
they would have been introduced to acceleration initially and how they would have used it in
previous contexts).
The curriculum developed for these two approaches will be presented as well as the results from the
pre and post tests used to examine the difficulties students have with the concepts involved. The
implications of these results on the implementation of a third approach will also be discussed.
Keywords: Simple harmonic motion, conceptual tutorials, undergraduate physics
Topics: Curriculum, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 2E
Session 2E – workshop, 15:30-16:50
Embedding formative assessment and promoting active learning
Elizabeth Swinbank
University of York, United Kingdom
York Science (www.yorkscience.org.uk) is a project based in the University of York, UK, that is
developing a large package of resources to support the teaching of science to students age 11-14.
A key component of this resource package is a wide variety of assessment tasks and questions which
can be ‘embedded’ in normal classroom practice and provide evidence of successful learning, or of
learning difficulties to which teachers can respond. The development of these items is based on
research evidence about students’ learning in science.
York Science uses a ‘backward design’ approach. For each topic, we start from a provisional learning
progression and a list of intended learning outcomes. We then develop a collection of questions and
tasks that could be used to get good evidence of learning; this often leads to revision of the initial list
of outcomes.
The items involve students working in groups, in pairs or individually. Some might be used at the
start of a topic to gauge students’ prior knowledge and understanding, while others might be used to
monitor progress within a series of lessons. The active nature of the tasks means that they naturally
lead into further discussion and practical work.
Types of task include:
• predict the outcome of a practical task, then explain-observe-explain
• discuss, evaluate and select alternative explanations for an observation
• make a physical model of an object (e.g. the solar system)
• construct a concept map to show relationships between ideas
• sort and select statements to produce an explanation or argument
• free writing in response to a question or stimulus
Following an introduction to the York Science project and the backward design approach, delegates
will be able to use and evaluate a range of assessment-for-learning items relating to physics topics
including 'Light and colour' and 'Electric circuits'. Discussion will focus on the use of these items to
promote active learning.
Keywords: Embedded assessment tasks, assessment for learning, active learning, backwards design
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3A
⋙Session 3A, 17:10-18:30⋘
Coding scheme for assessment of students' explanatory and predictive
Mihael Gojkošek1, Gorazd Planinšič1 and Josip Sliško2
1Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
2Facultad de Ciencias Fisico Matematicas, Benemerita Universidad Autonoma
de Puebla, Mexico
197 high-school students were involved in two different testing sequences with experiments.
Students were encouraged to construct qualitative explanatory and predictive models for interaction
of a white light beam with a prism foil (Planinšič & Gojkošek, 2011). Both, explanatory and predictive
models consisted of pictorial and verbal description of unknown foil's structure and had to reproduce
either observed or expected experimental outcomes. Our aim was to assess these student models
objectively and to look for possible correlations between models’ quality, student's cognitive abilities
and other measurable variables.
We designed a coding scheme with 14 categories that addressed presence of important elements in
students' models, use of physical phenomena in explanation, as well as inner consistency and
sophistication of the model. Each category was graded in a four point grading scale according to
different levels of students' skills. In designing our rubrics we were strongly inspired by previous work
of Etkina et al. (2006) who developed a list of scientific abilities that scientists use during knowledge
constructing and problem solving. We used some of their categories, added several new ones and
optimized them to assess students' explanatory and predictive models. Scale nature of assigned
grades was assumed so that complementary grades could be joined in single evaluation of the quality
of explanatory and predictive model.
In the presentation the rubrics for assessment of explanatory and predictive models will be
addressed in detail. Though this tool has been developed to assess students' models in very specific
situation, we will show that with some adjustments it can be used for evaluation of diverse
explanatory and predictive models.
Etkina, E., Van Heuvelen, A. White-Brahmia, S., Brookes, D. T., Gentile, M., Murthy, S., Rosengrant,
D., & Warren, A. (2006). Scientific abilities and their assessment. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 2,
Planinšič, G., & Gojkošek, M. (2011). Prism foil from an LCD monitor as a tool for teaching
introductory optics. Eur. J. Phys. 32(2), 601-613.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, coding scheme, rubrics, explanatory model, predictive
model, assessment
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3A
Manipulating Space and Time for Active-Learning Lectures
Margaret Wegener, Michael Drinkwater, Timothy McIntyre, Deanne Gannaway, Karen
Sheppard, Dominic McGrath, Matthew Davis, Warwick Bowen and Joel Corney
University of Queensland, Australia
We present a suite of approaches being implemented to overcome the architectural constraints on
active learning of a traditional large lecture theatre. Our context is first-year physics (core and service
teaching). A traditional, and still very common, space for learning is a large lecture theatre. The
architecture funnels attention forward, tiered seating ensures that eyelines of audience members do
not intersect – not conducive to interaction, and the consequent and well-acknowledged advantages
of active learning. We aim to transform the atmosphere in a lecture theatre to one that resembles
a small tutorial with all its inherent intimacy, promise of student engagement and improved learning
outcomes – to make this become a place of learning for modern students. Similarly, virtual learning
space can provide the feeling of a one-on-one, interactive experience. Time is a dimension like the
three spatial ones; from a physicist viewpoint, we manipulate the use of time for learning, both
inside and outside the physical lecture theatre. Educational technologies help achieve this. Our
strategies consider the appropriateness of time, place and space for various aspects of learning disseminating
knowledge, individual reflection, and conversation, eg: peer instruction. Effective
engagement during the lecture with the active learning process requires significant activity before
the class by both students and lecturers, and therefore emphasises the importance of learning and
teaching outside the physical lecture theatre. The dimension of time is also important in our
strategies in terms of immediacy of feedback, some of which is made manageable for teaching staff
by feedback being provided, and analysed, digitally.
The general approach is pre-lecture preparation and emphasis during class on conceptual questions
with discussion and feedback. Alongside use of “clickers” with multi-choice questions are strategies
that we ourselves have developed. Our techniques include analysis that can feed to the lecturer
before class. An online quiz asking students for free-response text about the pre-lecture reading
provides rich feedback. Use of this to tailor material for each class of hundreds of students has been
made feasible through software that integrates a thematic analysis algorithm identifying common
issues; and tools to use examples in class presentations, or individually email students. With less
coverage of content during class, challenges are shifting lower-level transmission of information and
requiring students to do more outside class. The effectiveness of this teaching approach increases as
students are better prepared. Hence we aim to improve the pre-reading experience by developing
original material that can be viewed on mobile internet-capable devices, and incorporate not just
static text and images but dynamic activities.
Evaluation via diagnostic tests, surveys, focus groups and class observations has shown learning gains
and positive impact on student engagement. A preference for this style of classes and reading format
fits with the personalisation and immediacy desired by contemporary students.
Keywords: University education, active learning, student-centred learning, first year
Topics: Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3A
Using Pencasts to find out how students think about physical ideas
James Mackay and Mary Fawcett
Wellington Institute of Technology, New Zealand
Common alternative conceptual frameworks dictate much of the way students approach their
understanding of physical ideas. The considerable body of research over the last thirty years into
these common preconceived ways of thinking, points to strategies that include their diagnosis and
identification as important steps in their amelioration. However, common pen and paper tests often
do not provide as much detail as do in depth interviews in terms of quality and depth of data
collected. In this paper, we make the case for using a new technology, the Livescribe smartpen,
which records both the script written on a piece of paper as well as the accompanying audio file of
the conversation that accompanies writing the script (commonly called a pencast) and we outline
and give examples of three ways in which we have used pencasts to affect conceptual change in the
classroom. The first is by making pencasts that specifically address particular preconceived ideas. The
second is to use pencasts to develop teaching techniques amongst tutors and the third id to use
pencasts made by students as a way of diagnosing conceptual difficulties. In this last way, student
explanations of simple physical phenomena were recorded and then revisited during an interview
process. Examples of the analysis of these student pencasts from electricity and magnetism,
mechanics, thermodynamics as well as from basic physics ideas in anatomy and physiology suggest
that the pencasts made by the students can be used to collect valid and reliable data about how they
think. An analysis of the pencasts, reveals that this process contributes substantially to the
identification and amelioration of the common errors detected in the explanations generated by the
students. Implications of this approach to teaching are that it can contribute substantially to
conceptual change in the classroom.
Keywords: Pencasts, preconceptions, conceptual change
Topics: Learning, Teachers, Teaching
Designing Assessment for Learning into Physics Instruction and
Comparing the Effects of Formative and Summative Systems on
Student Learning
David Schuster and Chaiphat Plybour
Western Michigan University, United States
Of various research-based instructional strategies used to improve student learning, formative
assessment, or Assessment for Learning (AFL), is considered to be one of the most effective (Black,
1998). The primary purpose of formative assessment is to improve learning and teaching by assessing
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3A
student understanding during instruction, with prompt feedback for improvement. Conventionally,
assessment is used more for summative purposes, i.e. for grading performance, ranking students and
as an extrinsic motivator. A central feature of AFL is ongoing timely feedback and opportunity to
improve toward mastery, while it also enables teachers to adjust their instruction to learner needs.
To achieve its full potential, AFL needs to be purposefully designed into the topic structure from the
start as part of regular course operations, rather than being simply an ‘add-in’ here and there.
We report on a project with both development and research components. We integrated
Assessment for Learning into two inquiry-based physics instructional units, and then conducted
a controlled study comparing the effects of formative and summative systems on student learning
and attitudes. The context was a conceptual physics course for pre-service teachers, with 24 students
per section in studio format with groups of four. The instructional development component involved
the design of topic content progressions, instruction, and assessments. Guiding principles were first
formulated for the integration of AFL into science instructional design. On this basis we restructured
two existing topic units, dynamics and kinematics, as learning progressions, then at finer grain as
cognitive learning trajectories with identified Concept Aspects. Formative assessments were then
infused throughout, for both in-class and out-of–class learning, including detailed learning objectives,
creation of AFL problems, instructor-, peer- and self-assessment, feedback mechanisms, and
opportunity to improve. Technologies such as clickers with associated software made it possible to
implement AFL strategies on-the-spot in class, while an online course management system enabled
(limited) asynchronous interaction on homework and tests.
We then conducted a controlled experimental study to compare the effects of formative and
summative systems on student performance, attitude, motivation and learning behaviors. We
implemented the dynamics and kinematics units in instruction, with two sections of the course
serving as treatment and control groups. The assessment system was strongly formative for one
group and conventionally summative for the other, with the two modes specified by operational
models. In other respects the units were the same and taught by the same instructor. All students
became familiar with both assessment methods earlier in the course. We used a crossover structural
research design involving 2 instructional units, 2 student groups and 2 assessment modes, so that
each group experienced one unit in formative mode, the other in summative. Students’ learning
gains were determined using pre- and post-tests with selected and constructed responses, and
student attitudes toward each system were surveyed along with reasons. We also studied the
formative effects on the instructor in adjusting instruction.
Findings were briefly as follows: for the conceptual dynamics unit, students’ normalized learning
gains were significantly higher for the formative mode, while for the quantitative kinematics unit the
gains were similar for the two modes. Students much preferred the formative system for learning,
although many also felt they needed the extrinsic motivation and reward aspects of summative. An
unexpected outcome was that student evaluations of the same instructor were very different
depending on mode. The AFL instructional design aspects and the research methods and findings will
be discussed.
Black, B. P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the Black Box : Raising Standards Through Classroom
Assessment, Phi Delta Kappan, 80(2), 139-149.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3A
Keywords: University education, secondary education, assessment for learning, formative
assessment, instructional design, inquiry-based physics instruction, controlled comparative study,
science education
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3B
Session 3B, 17:10-18:30
It is possible to modify the practice of experienced teachers
Pilar Segarra1, Maria De Los Angeles Ortiz2 and Virgen Huerta3
1Facultad de Ciencias, Departamento de F�sica, Universidad Nacional
Aut�noma de Mexico; Centro de Investigacion en Ciencia Aplicada y Tecnologia
Avanzada- Legaria, Instituto Polit�cnico Nacional, Mexico
2Facultad de Ciencias, Departamento de F�sica, Universidad Nacional
Aut�noma de Mexico, Mexico
3Escuela Nacional Preparatoria, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico,
Educational research indicates that it is very difficult for experienced teachers to modify their
teaching, even after various disciplinary or educational courses. It is known that they generally
continue with the methods used for years, remaining as the central figure that transmits knowledge,
without taking into account the ideas, interests or knowledge of their students.
With this information, we plan to investigate whether this situation persists with high school
teachers in service, who have completed a master's degree in teaching. This master’s degree,
recently created at Universidad Nacional Autonoma Mexico (UNAM), is oriented to improve teaching
professional activities in a balanced treatment of educational issues and the teaching-learning
processes of physics. For this purpose we developed a questionnaire which was applied to graduates
from all generations (2006-2012).
Contrary to the results of the short courses, we have found that all the surveyed teachers have
modified in some way their teaching. They now prepare their classes thinking in their students as the
central figure, asking themselves why the activities are done, the importance of each of the concepts,
and how to introduce them. They now recognize that their students are teenagers, which require
taking into consideration their ideas, interests and knowledge.
This study revealed that for the real improvement of science education, instead of continuing to
organize short courses that we know do not transform teaching practice, it is preferable this kind of
postgraduate that promotes significant change in teachers' pedagogical content knowledge (PCK).
Keywords: University education, teaching training, pedagogical content knowledge
Topics: Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3B
Considerations on the possibilities of cooperation between the
university and schools: reflections on approaching the history and
philosophy science to physics teachers education
Sandra Regina Gatti and Roberto Nardi
UNESP, Brazil
When one discusses the gap between innovative proposals, results of investigations in Science
Education area and concrete actions undertaken in the classroom, a question arises: why the impact
of the research is not felt, in order to improve the quality of education in schools?
One of the possible way to try to answer this question brings us back to think about teachers
training. The initial training courses and continuing education have not, in most cases, achieved
significant progress, mainly by disregarding the fact that teachers have preconceptions about what is
important to teach, how to do it, what causes students' failure etc. (Levy and Sanmarti, 2001).
Many studies (Gil Perez, 1991; Mellado, 1996; Levy and Sanmarti, 2001; Gatti, Silva and Nardi, 2010;
among others) have shown the existence and persistence of traditional conceptions that teachers
have on science and on the processes of teaching and learning, and they discuss their influence on
teaching practices.
The transition to practice consistent with new paradigms requires a discussion of the teaching and
learning processes (Levitt, 2001), since the traditional model, as a paradigmatic system of concepts
and beliefs, behaviors and attitudes, has a certain consistency and provides answers to most
educational problems (Furi�, 1994).
Garcia (1999) shows that we cannot expect that the initial teachers education would offer a final
product, but it should be understood as a first step for a formation, that will extend during all the
professional life. In this sense it is imperative for teachers to engaging in a continuous process of
Taking these referential into consideration, we performed this research, as a case study, in which we
developed training activities with pre-service physics teachers, aiming to take the History and
Philosophy of Science to the classroom, during teaching internship activities.
The central research question was: what are possible contributions to the improvement of physics
teaching of a training model that, from contributions by the History and Philosophy of Science,
intend to involve in-service teachers and pre-service teachers in activities that seek to reflection and
the development of new practices within the school context, the acceptance of innovative
methodologies and building bridges of cooperation between university and school.
So we contacted a group of future high school physics teachers, who were attending the last year of
undergraduate physics during the second half of 2011. Three of them accepted the invitation to
participate in the research. In a first step, we conducted a survey on the views of participants on the
processes of teaching and learning, on the construction of scientific knowledge and about their
opinions about the limits and possibilities of the approach of the History and Philosophy of Science in
Teaching. For this, we used written questionnaires and a focus group interview.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3B
The results of this initial survey revealed influences from traditional views of teaching and learning,
focusing on transmission and reception of content, and distorted conceptions about the construction
of scientific knowledge and strong resistance to the possibility of a real approach to the History and
Philosophy to the science teaching. This initial survey provided an overview that could be used for
planning work during the semester, including the selection of materials for reading and discussion
(Such as: Matthews, 1994; Aduriz-Bravo et. al., 2002; Chalmers, 1994 among others). The idea was to
confront and question the participants' notions, which was made from study meetings as a starting
point for the design of short courses to be developed by them.
In parallel, the pre-service teachers would be doing internship activities in a public school where
three in-service teachers who had participated in a course given by the researchers agreed to receive
them and guide and evaluate their activities.
The topics of the courses developed at the school were negotiated with the high school in-service
teachers. Only one of the future teachers completed all stages of the research. We detach here some
outcomes of this case study:
a) The meetings held at the university with pre-service teachers proved to be essential, since it was
the first contact with the Philosophy of Science for all of them;
b) The activities were carried out under collaboration with the high school teacher who suggested
topics for the short course, monitored and evaluated the teaching stage;
c) Despite the notions presented in the beginning of the research, Fernanda (fictitious name),
a future physics teacher, reveals growth during the semester, designing a teaching proposal
focused on discussions on the scientific knowledge construction;
The orientation of the teaching internship was conducted by researchers at the university and the
monitoring was conducted by the high school teacher, showing a real collaborative work, since it
avoided a hierarchical relationship between the pairs.
The training model suggested here can help to break the dichotomy, i.e., the problem of the
separation between the scientific and pedagogical training, developed in undergraduate courses
in a completely unrelated basis (Bermudez et. Al., 1994, cited in Gil Perez, 1996), allowing the preservice
teacher actively participate in the internship, living experiences closer to the reality of
schools, helping to integrate the processes of initial and continuing training. This raises the need to
extend the work of cooperation, seeking to involve more pre-service and in-service teachers, seen as
partners and not as consumers of the results of research carried out in universities.
AD�RIZ-BRAVO, A.; IZQUIERDO, M.; ESTANY, A. (2002). Una propuesta para estructurar la
ense�anza de la Filosof�a de la Ciencia para el profesorado de Ciencias en formaci�n. Ense�anza de
Las Ciencias, v. 20, n. 3, p. 465-476.
CHALMERS, A. (1994). O que Ci�ncia afinal? S�o Paulo: Brasiliense.
FURI� MAS, C. J. (1994). Tend�ncias actuales en la formaci�n del profesorado de Ciencias. Ense�anza
de las Ciencias, v. 12, n.2, p. 188-199.
GARC�A, C. M. (1999). Forma��o de professores: para uma mudan�a educativa. Portugal: Porto
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3B
GATTI, S. R. T. (2005). An�lise de uma a��o did�tica centrada na utiliza��o da Hist�ria da Ci�ncia.
Tese de doutorado. Campinas: Faculdade de Educa��o da Unicamp.
GATTI, S. R. T.; SILVA, D.; NARDI, R. (2010). Hist�ria da Ci�ncia no ensino de F�sica: um estudo sobre o
ensino de atra��o gravitacional desenvolvido com futuros professores. Investiga��es em Ensino de
Ci�ncias . v.15, n. 1, pp. 7-59.
GIL PEREZ, D. (1991). Que hemos de saber y saber hacer los profesores de Ciencias? Ense�anza de las
Ciencias. v. 9, n. 1, pp. 69-77.
GIL PEREZ, D. (1996). Orienta��es did�ticas para a forma��o continuada de professores de Ci�ncias.
In. MENEZES, L. C. (ORG.) Forma��o continuada de professores de Ci�ncias no �mbito iberoamericano.
Campinas: Autores Associados. Cole��o Forma��o de Professores, pp. 71-81.
LEVITT, K. (2001) An analysis of elementary teachers� beliefs regarding the teaching and learning of
Science. Science Education, v. 86, pp. 1-22.
LEVY, M. I. C.; SANMART� PUIG, N. (2001). Fundamentos de um modelo de formaci�n permanente
del profesorado de Ciencias centrado em la reflexi�n dial�gica sobre las concepciones y las pr�cticas.
Ense�anza de las Ciencias, v.19, n.2, p. 269-283.
MATTHEWS, M. R. (1994). Historia, filosofia e ense�anza de las Ciencias: la aproximaci�n actual.
Revista de Las Ciencias, v.12, n.2, p. 255-271.
MELLADO, V. (1996). Concepciones y pr�cticas de aula de profesores de Ciencias, en las formaci�n
inicial de primaria y secundaria. Ense�anza de las Ciencias, v.14, n.3, p. 289-302.
Keywords: Physics teaching, physics teachers education, history and philosophy of science
Topics: Teachers
The evolution of future physics teachers’ conceptions about the
teaching of physics for youth and adults
Andr�a Cristina Souza de Jesus and Roberto Nardi
UNESP, Brazil
The research aimed to investigate the performance of undergraduate physics students, future high
school physics teachers, in supervised teaching practices designed for Youth and Adults Education
(YAE). The YAE is designed, in Brazil, for those who did not have access or permanence in studies at
elementary and high school at convenient age. Throughout this research we observed the evolution
of the conceptions of undergraduate students about the teaching of physics in this modality. At first,
it was verified that the ideas of the undergraduates about the YAE approached the common sense,
because they described this modality as a short course and low level in terms of education quality.
These ideas demonstrate that the future teachers do not know well about the structure and function
of this educational modality, showing deficiencies in their initial formation. In the second stage, after
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3B
they have observed YAE classes for a semester, the future teachers highlighted the diversity of these
classes, which had youth, adults and even senior students. Their speeches also highlighted the
difficulties that students have in relation to the school context, not only about the physics content
learning but the school organization in general and the issue of class schedules, for example. These
observations are close to the real characteristics of the YAE, according to experts who has
investigated this teaching modality. Finally, in a last stage of the research, after the future teachers
had taught for youth and adults, their speeches highlighted the participation of students, especially
when the contents of physics were related to their everyday life. The future teachers reported also
that the young and adult students understood very well the physics concepts taught, contradicting
the idea that, because of the students' difficulties in the school context, they can’t learn the physics
concepts effectively. This research about the teaching of physics for youth and adults is justified
because there is considerable number of YAE classes and this is a possible field of work for these
future teachers; besides that, this matter has been rarely investigated in Brazil. This research with
future teachers also shows to have contributed to change their ideas of common sense and
approached their conceptions to the reality of YAE, so they could re-elaborate their teaching
practices for this educational context.
Keywords: Youth and adult education, physics teaching, initial teachers education, discourse analysis
Topics: Teachers
In-Service Education of University Professors
Beatriz Salemme Corr�a Cortella and Roberto Nardi
UNESP, Brazil
This paper presents outcomes of a doctoral research that pointed out the main limiting factors to be
overcome by an initial physics teachers program of a Brazilian public university, in order to achieve
the profile of professional identity proposed by the pedagogical project of this program. From
a survey of the intended ideal proposed in this project we analyzed the pedagogical and
administrative actions undertaken in order to implement a new curriculum. Data were collected from
the analysis of documents, field notes made during faculty meetings and interviews taken among
16 professors teaching in the program. It is a research for action, based in Habermasians principles.
For data analysis we used analytical devices of Discourse Analysis from Pech�ux’s French perspective.
The limiting factors found were: the identity profile of the program, double and dubious, since even
pointing to the formation of a “physicist-educator”, it is structured to form the “physicistresearcher”;
the teaching plans, which have traits of technical rationality, inconsistent with the
discourse of the program pedagogical project, which points to the practical rationality; professional
profile of the professors acting in the program, most of them without pedagogical training and that
bring the training model received in their undergraduate formation as physicists, which shows
insufficient for effectuation of desired changes. The clippings done here aims to present the
relationship between the professional profile of professors acting in this program and the marks
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3B
(or absence thereof) left by an in-service training program offered to these professors during the
period from 2006 to 2010 and that are perceived (or not) in their teaching practice and /or in their
discourses. It was concluded that the "marks" in-service training were not evident, ie, it does not
show effective in the collective actions of teachers, was not reflected in the organization of teaching
plans and even technical terms or concepts used in the texts worked in meetings, appear in their
speech. Research on the training of teachers in higher education, although important for the
implementation of new teaching models are still incipient and there is room for further work
covering this theme.
Keywords: Physics teaching, physics teachers education, in-service physics professors education,
university physics teaching
Topics: Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3C
Session 3C, 17:10-18:30
Use of Numerical Methods on spreadsheet to Solve the Motion
Equation of Newton’s Second Law
Alejandro Gonz�lez Y Hern�ndez1 and Cesar Mora Ley2
1National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico
2Centro de Investigaci�n en Ciencia Aplicada y Tecnolog�a Avanzada Unidad
Legaria, Instituto Polit�cnico Nacional, Mexico
Laboratory of Mechanics is a course of first year Physics of the Science Faculty at UNAM. In this
course, our students learn the laws and principles of Mechanics from an experimental point of view.
The solution of Newton's Second Law applied to dynamical phenomena of Mechanics is an important
objective of the course and for this purpose it was programmed numerical methods in spreadsheet.
For students, the learning of these methods are not so difficult, but they are very useful for them
because they can be applied to solve complex problems of dynamics. One of these dynamical
problems that we have discussed in class with our students was of knowing how was the Felix
Baumgartner’s jump, the skydiver who jumped to Earth from a helium balloon in the stratosphere
without parachute for 39 km on October 9, 2012. The introduction of this issue is very motivating for
students because they try to find not only the solution of the equation of motion of this jump in the
high atmosphere, but also which is the physics of this movement.
The physical study of Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the stratosphere was compared with the
physical study of Kittinger's first high-altitude jump, from about 23,300 m, on November 16, 1959
[1,2]. The equation of motion of the Baumgartner's jump was developed by students with the
support of the professor and the assistant of the group after of a completely discussion about the
physical parameters of this jump. Then, the students working in small groups to solve the Newton’s
equation of this movement using the numerical methods programmed on spreadsheet previously for
studying of more simple movements. Once the students had a solution of the problem, they began to
move the values of the parameters that define the jump from stratosphere to fit the time and
vertical displacement values given in Felix Baumgartner’s jump. Finally, the students gave their
conclusions about the affectivity of the use of these methods to study real phenomena in class.
The strategy of apply numerical methods programmed on spreadsheet for studying problems of real
world, it was to achieve that students to deepen in the learning of physics methods, for involving
them in the methods of reasoning in physics and in the understanding of physical meanings in a high
level. We hope to have reached this purpose and this is the work that we present in this Conference.
Keywords: Experimental mechanics, teaching, numerical methods, strategies, high-altitude jump
Topics: Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3C
A Keplerian Laboratory of Didactics
Jorge Barojas and Miguel Cuauhtli Martinez
Centro Virtual de Investigaci�n y Desarrollo en Educaci�n, Mexico
This contribution proposes that learning Physics can be didactically promoted and organized like
a scientific process when teachers explore, experiment and evaluate in a three dimensional
laboratory of didactics with a Keplerian approach. Teachers working as “experimenters” in such
a laboratory of didactics observe and find patterns in a dimension of individual cognitions, they build
and prove explanations of those patterns in a dimension of epistemological interpretations, and they
use multiple representations to think about learning phenomena in a dimension of social
It is proposed that when Physics teachers incorporate a Keplerian approach to the three dimensional
laboratory of didactics, they promote and guide theirs students in order to develop three
characteristics of the scientific process shown by Kepler when he described the trajectories of the
planets around the Sun: creativity, capacity for synthesis and open-mindedness. The dimensions of
the laboratory of didactics concern the following teaching purposes: to develop creativity in the
dimension of individual cognitions when the students master technical and formal languages in order
to solve problems; to build capacity for synthesis in the dimension of epistemological interpretations
when the students understand and apply scientific concepts, models and theories and when they
communicate appropriately what they have learned, and to promote open-mindedness in the
dimension of social interactions when the students became skilled at working in learning
communities and increase their educational resilience in order to overcome stress and be prepared
to face pedagogical and psychological conflicts. An example of application of the Keplerian laboratory
of didactics to an introductory course on classical mechanics is also considered.
Keywords: University education, individual cognitions, epistemological interpretations, social
Topics: Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3C
Developing the Course of “Practical Theoretical Physics” for High
School Students
Mikhail Tyntarev
St. Petersburg Academic University, Lyceum “Physical-Technical High School”,
Russian Federation
The last real physical problem, which has a simple rigorous solution, had been solved more than 100
years ago. Modern physicists face problems which have no exact analytical solution. Numerical
methods are very powerful, but only analytical solution, even if not rigorous, remains the best way to
understand the physical meaning. Therefore, the approximate methods are really important for
theoretical research.
The author’s personal experience as a theorist at the Ioffe Institute and the close communication
with University colleagues (our Academic University integrates high school level, university level and
research laboratories) shows that it is necessary to teach the students to use approximate methods
at the high school level.
The most of the existing courses of approximate methods in physics are either elementary, using
scaling and dimensional analysis (e.g. “Street-Fighting Mathematics” by Sanjoy Mahajan), or too
complicated, appropriate for university students, rather than for school pupils (e.g. “Approximation
methods in quantum mechanics” by A.B. Migdal and V.P. Krainov).
The course “Practical Theoretical Physics” has been specially developed to fill this gap. The course is
meant for high school students, who desire to become physicists. The core of the course is the
system of problems worked out to cover the main mathematical methods. In these problems we
tried to avoid specially invented situations and used simple phenomenon of nature, most of which
can be illustrated by in-class experiment. Nevertheless, the quantitative solutions of these problems
are not very simple and require some estimations and approximations based on the fine
understanding of the process.
Every lesson is a model of a scientific research: we discuss phenomena qualitatively in order to
understand what happens, then create mathematical model and solve the equations with a proper
precision. Finally we compare the theoretical and experimental results.
The aims of the course are:
• to study the general methods of theoretical physics, estimations, approximate methods, using
mathematics understandable enough for high school students;
• to try to be physicists-theorists at our lessons.
After three years of teaching this course we can point out the main results:
• it is possible to study theoretical physics at school;
• though designed as a mathematical one, our course helps to understand the essence of physical
processes and to train scientific intuition;
• students obtain confidence that they can solve any problem at least approximately;
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3C
• some points of our course can be included into standart school courses of physics.
The feedbacks we receive from our former students now studying at University prove the importance
of such a course.
Keywords: Approximate methods, physics teaching, theoretical physics at high school
Topics: Teaching
Physics and Physical education. Can they be approached together?
Ada T. Mendez Moreno
IPN-CICATA & Palm Beach County School District-Gove Elementary, United
This is a proposal for the teaching of physics in upper primary education level.
In this proposal, the author integrates the teaching of physics concepts contained in the Common
Core Science programs with a fitness science camp that has the intention of keeping students active
mentally and physically.
The classroom and notebooks are left behind. Students wear their sneakers since their active
learning will entail putting to work not only their neurons, but also their bodies. While students
improve physical endurance, strength and flexibility they become aware of concepts such as speed,
velocity and acceleration. To name a few, there are exercises that put Newton’s laws into practice
and to the test while the concepts of force, energy, inertia and gravity also become integral part of
the fitness science camp instruction.
Students sit to find connections between their activities and the physics concepts instead of standing
up to perform physical activities to test them.
A variety of teaching techniques and activities to keep students’ healthy weight and to teach physics
at the upper elementary level that appeal diverse learning styles will be presented to the attendees
of this talk.
Keywords: Teaching techniques, physical education, physics, elementary, active learning
Topics: Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3D
Session 3D, 17:10-18:30
Reconstruction of the Guided Worksheet based on Student
Understanding: A Case Study in Electric Field
Thanida Sujarittham1, Narumon Emarat2, Kwan Arayathanitkul2 and Jintawat
1Institute for innovative learning, Mahidol University, Thailand
2Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Thailand
3Department of Industrial Physics and Medical Instrumentation, Faculty of
Applied Science, King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok,
Bangkok, Thailand
Guided worksheet has been proved to be an effective teaching tool in facilitating students to become
actively engaged in the learning process as well as improving student understanding. The goal of this
study is to reconstruct the guided worksheet for teaching Electric Field based on student
understanding. The participants of this study were 260 and 163 first-year science students in
academic years 2011 and 2012, respectively. In the academic year 2011, the construction of
worksheets was purely based on teachers’ views. The teachers’ views were normally influenced by
the content and aims of the course, textbooks and teachers' experiences in teaching the subject. In
the academic year 2012, the survey of student understanding in the academic year 2011 was
analyzed and included in reconstructing the guided worksheet in the topic of Electric Field. The
student understanding of the topic was measured by using 6 questions which were selected from the
standardized test (CSEM) and leading textbooks. These questions were administered to both student
groups before and after learning with the guided worksheets. The average pre- and post-test scores
for the academic year 2011 were 24 % and 55 % while those for the academic year 2012 were 21 %
and 74 %. An improvement of student understanding was measured by using a normalized gain. The
average normalized gains of students in the academic years 2011 and 2012 were 0.41 and 0.68,
respectively, and the difference was statistically significant (p < 0.05). The results imply that by taking
into account the student understanding in reconstructing the teaching tool, a guided worksheet in
this case, student learning could be enhanced significantly.
Keywords: Guided worksheet, electric field, student understanding, teacher's views, CSEM
Topics: Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3D
Students Classification according to their different aspect of attitudes
about physics using the views about science Survey test (VASS) and
measurement relation between their attitudes and learning
Mojtaba Jahanifar and Nasrin Taheri Asghari
Ministry of education, Islamic Republic of Iran
This study has been conducted to classify high school students according to their attitudes about
physics concepts and measurement relation between their attitudes and achievement at electricity
concepts learning. This is a case study analysis about 200 participants in Iran high schools that study
math sciences or empirical sciences in grade three. At the beginning participants (students) was
tested by using VASS (the views about science Survey) and according to their responds to VASS items
were categorized in four attitude groups: a) students with skilled thinking that in this study are called
STG, b) students with above transition thinking that in this study are called ATG, c) students with
below transition thinking that in this study are called BTG and d) students with slangy and folk
thought that in this study are called FTG. Before starting the curriculum about electricity topics at
grade 3 in high School we used another standardized test to assess primary knowledge about
electricity concepts, this test that was used as pre-test was CSEM, curriculum and instruction
methods that used at classes were a kind of direct instruction method like mastery learning method
(a learner-based method in instruction). After four weeks, electricity topics instruction were ended
and we used again CSEM as post-test. We calculated achievement gain factor (g factor) by using pre
and post-test data, here are three kinds of g factor: g < 0.23 for low level achievement 0.23 < g < 0.52
for middle level achievement and g > 0.52 for high level achievement. Then g factor- calculated for
each participants - compared with his/her membership in aptitude group. Results show that
membership in special aptitude groups effects on achievement level, participants in STG Group have
g factor rather than 0.52 (g mean for STG was 0.79), it shows that they reach high level achievement,
and participants in ATG Group reach mean of g score about 0.49, it shows that they reach middle
level achievement while BTG and FTG Group Just reach mean of g score in order 0.31 and 0.19 and so
they have low level achievement in electricity concepts.
Keywords: Physics education, attitude, electricity learning, VASS test, CSEM test, g achievement
Topics: Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3D
Student Generated Content for Learning
Morag Casey1, Simon Bates2, Ross Galloway3 and Judy Hardy3
1University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
2University of British Columbia, Canada
3University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
We present two major results from a comparative study [1] of the implementation of PeerWise [2] as
an online tool for student-led (and instructor-free) learning in undergraduate physics. In 2010-11, we
piloted PeerWise with the level-1 physics class at the University of Edinburgh [3] and found a high
quality of submissions as well as a positive correlation between student activity and end-of-course
examination score; we undertook a similar study during the 2011-12 academic session, finding
similar results. In 2011-12 we also successfully implemented PeerWise at level-2 physics in the
University of Glasgow and found similar levels of engagement, quality of submissions and positive
correlations between student activity and academic gain. We suggest, therefore, a model for
intervention that can promote high-impact student learning and conceptual gain with minimal
instructor intervention.
[1] https://www.wiki.ed.ac.uk/display/SGC4L/Home
[2] http://peerwise.cs.auckland.ac.nz/
[3] http://proceedings.aip.org/resource/2/apcpcs/1413/1/123_1
Keywords: "Student-generated content", assessment, engagement, scaffolding
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, ICT, Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Learning, Teaching
Data analysis of Peer Instruction
Hideo Nitta, Tomoshige Kudo, Ruita Nishimura and Masanobu Moriguchi
Department of Physics, Tokyo Gakugei University, Japan
Peer Instruction (PI) is one of the simplest active learning methods to increase students' engagement
in lectures. We have implemented PI into introductory physics lectures in our University and the
High-School affiliated to our University. For evaluating the effectiveness of these lectures we have
performed the pre-post FCI. Combining data from FCI with those from students’ answers for clicker
questions (CQ), one obtains information not only about the effectiveness of lectures but also
common naive conceptions. Obtained information has been used for improving lectures in every next
year. In this presentation we shall concentrate on discussing the following three topics of our
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3D
1. In a PI-based lecture it is crucial to find out effective CQ. For evaluating the effectiveness of each
CQ, we have introduced the Peer-Instruction efficiency (PIE), of which definition is given in
analogy with the Hake gain (H. Nitta, PRST-PER, 6 (2010) 020105). It is found that PIE is
significantly higher than the average PIE for CQ about kinematics whereas lower for CQ about
action-reaction problems.
2. We have tried to find out the effective number of students in a group discussion at PI. We found
that the groups composed of four students get higher PIE than the groups of three or five
3. We have assumed that the cognitive processes that students change their answers from wrong to
right ones in a CQ may be related with Vygotsky’s idea of the zone of proximal development.
Within this point of view, we have examined the correlation between the Hake gain and the rate
of changing answers from wrong to right. Contrary to our expectation, we find there is weak
negative correlation. Detailed discussion about the results in the above will be given in the
Keywords: University education, Peer Instruction, clicker questions, zone of proximal development
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session 3F
Session 3F – workshop, 17:10-18:30
Teaching particle physics in a research laboratory
Csilla Fulop and Eva Maria Olah
ELTE, Hungary
Conveying the key messages of contemporary particle physics at secondary school level is highly
challenging. The subject is not included in the normal syllabus, most textbooks actually miss the
existence of subatomic particles. Particle physics on the other hand appears regularly and
successfully in public press and media, therefore it seems mandatory to bring the subject closer to
the students.
Seven volunteers from the „Mechatronics” Secondary Technical School in Budapest are lucky enough
to have the possibility to participate in the activities of High Energy Explorative Team at Wigner
Research Institute of Physics. Researchers with experience especially from CERN are supervising
projects, with properly adapted knowledge level, which the students undertake in small groups. Such
projects are in close connection with the ongoing research, which gives motivation to the supervising
researchers as well.
One example is a highly sensitive current meter designed for gaseous detectors, with direct current
measurement precision well below 1 nA. In this case the mechanical realization, the construction of
the necessary electronic circuits and calibration / testing involves key participation of the students.
An other project is a direct measurement of multiple scattering of 1.5 – 2 MeV beta radiaton in
various thin construction materials, such as metallic, kapton or Mylar foils. The measurements are
exploited to confirm the proper understanding of material properties by comparing with earlier
measurements from relevant literature. The students are setting up a classical scattering experiment,
gain insight to the methods of detection with scintillating counters.
Experience gathered during the implementation of the projects and from feed-back from students,
the question is raised: to what extent actual experimental participation is necessary in raising
motivation for the study of high energy physics phenomena.
Keywords: High Energy Explorative Team, sensitive current meter, methods of detection
Topics: Experiments, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session WN1D
⋙Session Workshop night 1D, 20:00-21:30⋘
RGB radiometry with ordinary cameras as a research opportunity for
Jan Hollan
Faculty of Education, Masaryk University, Czech Republic
Many digital cameras are able to store really raw A/D data from pixels of their CCD or CMOS matrix.
If a pixel is far from being saturated, count minus the noise level is proportional to number of
photons absorbed. Cameras with really raw data are scientific instruments, provided they store true
exposure settings as well. A perfect tool for converting raw data from dozens of proprietary formats
to standard *.pgm files exists: "dcraw"; it gives exposure information too. Our contribution is an
additional programme, raw2lum, which, using dcraw pgm, provides all possible kinds of radiometric
output, including photometric ones (related to photopic spectral sensitivity of human eye).
Being able to quantify and visualise luminances easily is an interesting possibility for young people.
Light, natural and artificially produced, is so important part of our lives - the latter being not for free.
Understanding to many metrics of it and to real amounts we need physiologically is an entrance to
physics of everyday and to sustainable use of electricity. Results from indoors, urbanised and natural
sites, day and night ones, using various cameras will be shown, some of them achieved by students
this year, or even during the very lecture.
Keywords: Radiance, luminance, digital cameras, photometry, data processing, physics of vision,
environment observation
Topics: Experiments, ICT
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session WN1E
Session Workshop night 1E, 20:00-21:30
Physics Lab with Modern Technology
Radim Kusak
Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics; Dvorakovo
gymnazium and SOSE, Kralupy nad Vltavou, Czech Republic
In 2012 we realized the project e-VIM (Interactive and Modern Education) at our high school. The
project was focused on usage of modern technology in Science lessons – Physics, Chemistry and
Biology. As part of this project we created many resources focused on lab activities.
In the first part of our workshop we will give participants opportunity to try some of these activities
called Physics with iPad, USB microscope in physics, Physics in Slow motion, Wolfram|Alpha, Mobile
phone in physics and Physics with Vernier probes. In the second part we will discuss concepts and
issues of the lab activities with modern technology and also about feedback and evaluation of the
students. All worksheets for this workshop will be available in English.
In 2013 we continue in usage of modern technology in project e-VIK (education, individualization,
couching) focused on usage of notebooks and tablets in classrooms. In the end of workshop we give
a comment about this project and its first results.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, physics lab, USB microscope, iPad, physics in slow motion,
Wolfram|Alpha, mobile phone in physics
Topics: Experiments, ICT, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Monday, session WN1F
Session Workshop night 1F, 20:00-21:30
The Development and Implementation of industry informed inquiry
based Physics Teacher Education (ESTABLISH)
Eilish Mcloughlin1, Sarah Brady1, Odilla Finlayson1, Claudio Fazio2, Ton Ellermeijer3, Ewa
Kedzierska3, Marian Kires4 and Leos Dvorak5
1CASTeL, DCU, Ireland
2Universita Degli Studi di Palermo, Italy
3Centre for Microcomputer Applications, Netherlands
4Univerzita Pavla Jozefa Šaf�rika v Kosiciach, Slovakia
5Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) has been the focus of many national and international
programmes and projects in recent years as Inquiry based teaching methods have been suggested as
a way to encourage and motivate students in science. International reports (European Commission
(EC), High Level Group on Science Education 2007, Osbourne, Dillon 2008) have identified the need
for “engaging curricula to tackle the issue of out-of date and irrelevant contexts and to enable
teachers to develop their knowledge and pedagogical skills”. The pan-European FP7-funded project
ESTABLISH collaboration has led to the development of the project’s teaching and learning materials
(ESTABLISH Units) as well as educational supports for both in-service and pre-service teachers
(ESTABLISH Teacher Education Programmes) designed to promote the use of Inquiry-Based Science
Education (IBSE) in classrooms across Europe. In particular ESTABLISH aims to create authentic
learning environments for science education by including industry informed contexts and problems
(Industrial Content Knowledge) that can be tackled in the classroom. This workshop will share the
approach adopted for the development of the ESTABLISH units for physics teacher education and
allow participants hands on experience with several IBSE activities that illustrate the types of
industrial contexts and knowledge incorporated. These units (18 across Physics, Chemistry, Biology)
have been adapted in a number of countries for use in pre-service and in-service teacher education
related to professional development associated with inquiry and adapted to suit each national
environment. By using these units for the teacher education programme, participating teachers can
gain experience in inquiry, and gain confidence in developing their own teaching practices and
incorporating industrial informed resources into their classroom practices.
Education NOW: A Renewed Pedagogy for the Future of Europe. EUR 22845. Brussels: DG Research.
OSBOURNE, J. and DILLON, J., 2008. Science Education in Europe: Critical Reflections. 32. London:
King's College, London.
Keywords: IBSE, inquiry, industrial content knowledge, ESTABLISH, teacher education
Topics: Teachers, Teaching
6. 8. 2013
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4A
⋙Session 4A, 13:30-14:50⋘
Cueing Effects in Physics Concept Inventories
Hani Dulli
German University of Technology, Oman
We have investigated cueing effects in two widely used multiple-choice instruments: the Mechanics
Baseline Test (MBT) and the Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment (BEMA).
In our study, a group of 35 first-year engineering students was given, at the end of the first semester,
a short-answer version of MBT followed immediately by a multiple-choice version of the same
instrument. Later, at the end of the second semester, the same study was done on the same group of
students using BEMA instead of MBT.
For the analysis part, we considered various responses to each pair of parallel items, i.e. items that
have same content but different format. We counted the frequencies of the four possible
combinations of answers (correct-correct, correct-incorrect, incorrect-correct, and incorrectincorrect)
to each pair of parallel items. We then examined both the overall cueing effect, which
corresponds to the total frequencies of responding differently to parallel items, and the strictly
positive cueing effect, which corresponds to the total frequencies of responding incorrectly to shortanswer
items then correctly to their multiple-choice counterparts. We also examined the correlation
between the students’ level of knowledge and the questions’ level of difficulty, on one hand, and the
cueing effect, on the other hand.
In our talk, we will discuss the method we used and the students' responses as well as the
implications of our study on the interpretation of item response analysis and the development of
new instruments.
Keywords: Education, physics, assessment
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning, Teaching
Three steps to successful change
Gordon Aubrecht
Ohio State University at Marion, United States
With support from the U.S. Department of Education Math and Science Partnership through the Ohio
Department of Education, we have discovered a tripartite method that worked at increasing scores
on high-stakes tests in an at-risk school system. The three parts are a summer content program,
grade-level lesson development by teachers working together during the school year, and (most
novel) the use of common grade-level formative assessment analysis by teachers. Formative
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4A
assessments can allow teachers to understand what is and is not working in their classrooms for the
purpose of changing how they teach various content. We have helped middle and high school
teachers approach formative assessment of open-ended questions. We ask that teachers identify
(written) student ideas for the pretest and see how they might affect the way they present content;
then for the posttest, we ask them to identify on the basis of changes in responses and the sorts of
responses how they would change their teaching of the content the next time. This study presents
a model, as well as its application, for the development of formative assessments in the classroom in
a rurally located, city high-needs district in the state of Ohio. Results indicate changes not only in the
way teachers view their pedagogical approaches, We are attempting to see whether what has
worked in the one school system also works in a different school system. Details will be discussed.
Keywords: Secondary education: lower, secondary education: upper, teacher change
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning, Teachers, Teaching
Examining student problem solving behaviour with and without
access to resources, and implications for open-book exams
Marsali Wallace and Ross Galloway
University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
After university, students will have access to a range of resources, including textbooks and the
Internet to help them solve problems. However, closed book exams are the common assessment
method for physics exams. Open book exams (with appropriate questions) test students’ application
and understanding of knowledge, but one concern from instructors may be that if given resources
students will solve physics problems without understanding what they are doing.
6 first year undergraduate students at the University of Edinburgh were given two physics problems
and asked to think aloud whilst solving them. An additional group of 7 students were given the same
two problems with access to resources. Problem solving behaviours for both groups were coded.
The results show similar trends, differentiating successful and unsuccessful students, and indicate
students’ problem solving behaviours when given access to the internet and a textbook.
Qualitative results were used to triangulate data from the behavioural coding. We found that if
students did not understand the area then they did not know what information to look up, looked up
irrelevant information, or did not apply the information found correctly to the problem.
Without the basic foundational knowledge students are unable to solve problems even with the
wealth of information of the internet at their fingertips. This means that appropriately constructed,
open book exams would not have been easy for these students. It is hoped that this study will
provide an interesting insight into students’ problem solving strategies with the availability of
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4A
Keywords: University education, undergraduate physics, problem solving, open book exams
Topics: Learning
Analysing the Students' Performance in a Virtual Learning
Environment: A case study in a Physics Teacher Training Course
Thiago Souza, Albano Nunes, Thomaz Silva, Francisco Vasconcelos and Eloneid Nobre
Universidade Federal do Cear�, Brazil
Assuming that learning assessment is not restricted to the quantitative measurement of student
learning, a hybrid approach to contributing as a tool for analysis of the various phases of the
educational process has been applied. This approach may contribute to the student training, where
we highlight some of the factors that can be analyzed in the teacher training context: the teacher
influence, the school environment, the curriculum design, assessment modality and others. Among
these factors, we highlight the curricular design, as an important feature to be analyzed. In this
context, a quantitative and qualitative analysis has been conducted in order to identify possible
relationships among the disciplines of the first-year of a physics teacher training course that occurs in
a distance education modality that use the virtual learning environment called SOLAR. This case
study has been conducted at Federal University of Cear�, located in northeastern Brazil, from student
performance, obtained by their disciplines' grades that belongs to the physics teacher training
course. The grades was collected in the total of 126 students in 6 disciplines, with the aim to analyze
the current curricular structure of the course's first-year. The disciplines analyzed were: Physics I,
Experimental Physics I, Mathematics I, Experimental Physics II, Physics II and Educational Computing.
The development of this study has been performed by two procedures: the first one is to check for
validation of the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) applicability in the data collected. After this
validation, the PCA has been used in order to indicate possible patterns that exist in the relationship
among the disciplines, and thus to investigate the contribution of these relationships for the
validation of the course’s curriculum design.
The reliability analyzes of the data collected was high at 0.823 (Cronbach's alpha), ensuring a good
internal consistency of the dataset. For the correlation coefficients, there was an emphasis on the
moderate linear correlation among the disciplines that belongs to the second semester of the course,
there are: Physics II and Experimental Physics II (0.843); Applied Informatics Education and Physics
Laboratory II (0.699); Educational Computing and Physics II (0.573). The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin and
Bartlett's tests validate the PCA application; the first test showed a value of 0.734 and the second
founded the rejection of the null hypothesis of the correlation matrix. Finally, the first two principal
components (PC) selected corresponding to the most of variance explained (77.17%) of the original
data. Analyzing the relationship between these two PCA, it was founded two clusters of disciplines,
where the first cluster is related to the disciplines of the first semester which encompasses
introductory disciplines. In the second cluster, the disciplines are related to the second semester of
the course. These results obtained agree with the information that the curriculum design of the
course. We conclude that the PCA is an important tool for data analysis related to educational
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4A
context, in view of it seeks intrinsic and latent variables in the dataset analyzed, thus enabling new
analyzes from new perspectives.
Keywords: Universty teaching, principal component analysis, teacher trainning, data analysis
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Curriculum
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4B
Session 4B, 13:30-14:50
Qualitative Video Analysis for Magnetic Breaking with Magnetic Sheet
Fumiko Okiharu, Akizo Kobayashi and Tomoyuki Imai
Niigata University, Japan
A dropping strong magnet through a long hollow nonmagnetic metal pipe falls slowly with constant
velocity. The magnet is slowed by upward force from magnetic field created by induced current in
the wall of the pipe. Because the force on the magnet increases as the speed of the magnet
increases, the magnetic force balances the gravitational force, and the magnet achieves constant
velocity. This phenomenon is called magnetic breaking. This interesting phenomenon will attract
students to study Lenz’s Law.
There were several trials to treat this phenomenon as an introductory education of Lenz's Law (1-2).
For example, to analyze visually, permanent magnets were fixed with the two sides of the
rectangular plastic tube, and a nonmagnetic metal piece was used as a dropping object in Ref. 2.
In Japan, to visualize phenomenon, a copper pipe with slit is commercially available as a teaching
However, our experimental results showed crucial difference of the terminal velocity when we use
the copper pipe with slit, and the copper pipe without slit. In order to qualitative evaluation with the
theoretical model, usage of the pipe with slit does not fit the purpose.
Therefore, in order to visualize motion of the dropping magnet through the pipe without slit, we
wrap the magnetic sheet around the pipe and record the motion by a camera. With this procedure,
one can measure various kind of pipe, including its width, length and kinds. We present our
qualitative approaches for our experimental results comparison with theoretical model.
1. Yan Levin et al., "Electromagnetic breaking: A simple quantitative model", Am. J. Phys. 74 (2006)
2. J.A. Molina-Boivar and A.J. Abella-Palacios, "Magnetic Breaking: A Video Analysis", Phys. Teach. 50
(2012) 412.
Keywords: ICT, magnetic breaking, video analysis, teaching material
Topics: ICT
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4B
Experiences of secondary schools teachers with electromagnetism
presented in different ways
Ilsa Basson1, Jeanne Kriek1, Miriam Lemmer2 and Aletta Zietsman-Thomas2
1University of South Africa, South Africa
2North West University, South Africa
3University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
From a variation perspective to learn implies to experience, understand, perceive or see something
in a different way (Runesson 2006). For this reason an exploratory study was done to reflect on
experiences of upper secondary teachers after an eight hour workshop on electromagnetism. The
teachers were from semi-rural areas in the central part of South Africa and have few resources for
The aim of the workshop was for teachers to experience a certain pattern of variation in the teaching
and learning of electromagnetism. The focus of the pattern was to work from a real life situation
through various representations to abstraction as presented by graphical and/or mathematical
representations. The workshop therefore started with a real life situation, followed by using handson
equipment and/or simulations to represent the real situation. Teachers were then asked to record
their observations by drawing pictures. Then they were guided to draw diagrams. In the final stages
they were shown how to capture data from the setup and represent the situation in graphical and/or
mathematical form.
An example would be to use an unmarked magnet and determine the magnetic field lines
experimentally. Various scenarios where then further investigated by using PhET simulations.
Teachers were then guided to draw diagrams and a graph and come up with an idea of the strength
of the field.
We will be reporting on the ways in which this workshop enabled teachers to experience and see the
relation between everyday life situations and abstract graphical and mathematical representations.
Runesson U 2006. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 50(4):397-410.
Keywords: Teacher training, variation of experience, representations
Topics: Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4B
The coil in a magnetic field
V�clav Piskač
Gymn�zium tř.Kpt.Jaroše, Brno, Czech Republic
The behavior of a coil with a current in a magnetic field is well known for almost 200 years.
I prepared the set of aids for easy and convincing demonstration experiments. The crucial part of the
set is the big horse shoe magnet - the area 10�10�5 cm of almost homogenous magnetic field. The
experiments follow all steps from a single wire to a commutator motor including the simple
All aids can be easily made at the school workshop - they are descibed in details in on-line articles
(see http://fyzikalnisuplik.websnadno.cz/elektro/vodic_v_magnetickem_poli.pdf ).
Keywords: Coil, magnet, electric motor, Lorentz force
Topics: Experiments
How students think about and use integration in an electromagnetism
Leanne Doughty, Eilish McLoughlin and Paul van Kampen
Dublin City University, Ireland
Integration is a mathematical tool that is widely utilized in various physics topics. In an intermediate
level university physics electromagnetism course, it is employed e.g. in the basic calculation of the
total charge on an object of varying charge density and the more complex calculation of the electric
flux due to a non-uniform electric field. It has been found that upon entry to electromagnetism
courses students do not have the integration skills necessary to complete these types of problems.
To date, research on students' use of integration in electromagnetism has primarily been interviewbased
and has focused mainly on (i) how integration is cued and (ii) what difficulties students have
when integrating. We have extended this work to semi-quantitative research into these questions in
an Irish university with cohorts of about 50 students. We have found that for many students
integration is unlikely to be cued. However, we have confirmed and quantified earlier results that
recognizing dependency on a variable is a strong cue for students to integrate, and that technical
difficulties with integration prevent almost all students from getting a completely correct answer to
standard electromagnetism problems involving integration.
We have investigated (iii) what integration cues, i.e. what students' views on integration are, before
they enter the electromagnetism course, and interpret the results in terms of their concept images of
integration. We have found that students primarily see integration as a process of evaluation, and
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4B
not as summation. In fact, the majority of students have no conceptual aspect in their concept image
of integration, suggesting that students difficulties are unlikely to be caused by the lack of transfer
from maths.
We have also examined (iv) how students interpret integrals in basic contexts, i.e., do students know
the physical meaning of simple integrals? Here, our results, which corroborate with those found
when examining (ii) and (iii), show that some students do not consider the infinitesimal term or how
it changes the meaning of the integral, while for many students evaluation remains their only form of
response when presented with an integral (even when explicitly told that for an interpretation there
was no need to do so).
This presentation shows detailed results from these four questions and the implications for teaching.
Changes made to instruction and the effectiveness of this instruction will also be discussed.
Keywords: University education, electromagnetism, integration, concept image, cues, technical
difficulties, implications for teaching
Topics: Curriculum, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4C
Session 4C, 13:30-14:50
Integrating Didactical Strategies to Facilitate Meaningful Learning in
Introductory College Physics
Mara Fernanda Parisoto and Marco Antonio Moreira
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: this research was organized into three studies, in which the first one
attempted to answer the following research questions: 1) How to integrate, in a didactical proposal,
situations of physics applied to engineering, the Potentially Meaningful Teaching Units (PMTUs), and
the Project Method so that this integration could work towards facilitating the meaningful learning of
physics concepts? 2) What problem-situations that can help engineering students to give meaning to
physics concepts of thermodynamics? 3) Can the students learning of concepts of physics, which may
derive from the implementation of this proposal, be considered meaningful? 4) How to integrate
college physics with high school physics?
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: qualitative and quantitative methods were triangulated, and research
instruments were validated and tested for their reliability. The qualitative methodology chosen for
this research was ethnographic (Andr�, 2005), while the quantitative one was based on descriptive
and inferential statistics (Dancey e Reidy, 2007). Data gathering used a quasi-experimental design for
time equivalent samples (Campbell e Stanley,1979).
SOME RESEARCH FINDINGS: based on the research questions, a proposal for integrating the project
method (Rogers, 1977) and the PMTUs (Moreira, 2011), which were composed by problem-situations
(Vergnaud, 1993) that had been proven effective in providing meaning to physical concepts of
thermodynamics, was applied. We identified, through the use of various instruments, what can be
considered evidences of the occurrence of meaningful learning (Ausubel, 2002), based on data
stemmed from theimplementation of this proposal, as well as what seemed to be an improvement in
the representation that engineering students had of physics, since they started to perceive this
discipline as vital in their field of professional practice. From the collected data, we also inferred ways
of integrating school and university classes.
PERSPECTIVES: The findings suggest additional studies aimed at answering related questions:
1) What contents of thermodynamics can be used to support the teaching of the interaction of
radiation with matter? 2) What kind of problem-situations can give meanings to concepts involving
theinteraction of radiation with matter when they are applied to medical science? 3) What is the
prior knowledge students bring to physics classes that can be used in the teaching of physics
concepts applied to engineering? 5) What are the operational invariants students possess in the field
comprised by this proposal? 6) Can integration among problem-situations of physics applied to
engineering, the PMTUs, and the Project Method be a better facilitator of meaningful learning than
traditional classes (expository classes followed by problem solving)? 7) How can situations of physics
applied to medical science, the PMTUs, and the Project Method be integrated in order to facilitate
the occurrence of meaningful learning of physics concepts? 8) What kind of prior knowledge is
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4C
brought by the students to physics classes that can be used in the teaching of concepts of physics
applied to medical Science?
Keywords: University education, secondary education: upper, engineering, thermodynamics, project
method, potentially meaningful teaching units
Topics: Teaching
The socio-scientific issues-based approach and the in-service physics
teacher situation
Jos� Roberto Bernardo
Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil
This article presents a study that investigated the actions of four experienced physics teachers who
were involved in a partnership project between the university and four public high schools in the city
of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One workgroup was formed to collectively develop didactic strategies
seeking to introduce a socio-scientific issue (SSI) in the classrooms of the partner high schools. More
specifically, the research question was: How did a group formed by four in-service physics teachers
experience the challenge that the SSI-based approach represents?
Theoretical Framework
Viewed as a humanistic perspective to science education (Aikenhead, 2008), the Science-TechnologySociety
(STS) approach has been recommended as an alternative to prepare citizens who are able to
deal with socio-scientific issues (SSI) and controversial topics in a responsible way (Santos &
Mortimer, 2009). Many authors have sought to contribute to the definition of SSI. Reis e Galv�o
(2009) draw attention to the controversies that should characterize these issues, while Bernardo
(2008) indicates the potential SSI have to function as catalyzers of argumentative processes in the
The didactic material used was produced and organized to introduce the following SSI in physics
classes: “Production of Energy by Means of Nuclear Plants”. The activities were implemented in six
classrooms, and the SSI was introduced in the classes given by the experienced teachers. The
research data were obtained through recorded semi-structured interviews with the experienced
teachers and were guided by the following question: What aspects made it easier and/or more
difficult to introduce the planned activities in the school?
Teacher’s autonomy was identified as a crucial element for teachers who intend to use the SSI-based
approach in face of the challenges posed by school programs and the school culture. However, the
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4C
interviews also revealed that the arguments developed by the students are mainly based on what is
offered by the various means of communication.
Aikenhead, G. S. (2008). Humanistic Perspective in the Science Curriculum. In Abell, S. K., &
Lederman, N. G. (Eds.) Handbook of Research in Science Education (pp. 881-910). New York:
Bernardo, J. R. R. (2008). A Constru��o de Estrat�gias para Abordagem do Tema Energia � Luz do
Enfoque Ci�ncia-Tecnologia-Sociedade (CTS) Junto a Professores de F�sica do Ensino M�dio. PhD
Thesis. Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Oswaldo Cruz – FIOCRUZ.
Reis, P. & Galv�o, C. (2009). Teaching Controversial Socio-Scientific Issues in Biology and Geology
Classes: A Case Study. Electronic Journal of Science Education, 13(1), 1-24. Retrieved from
Santos, W. L. P. & Mortimer, E. F. (2009). Abordagem de Aspectos S�cio-cient�ficos em Aulas de
Ci�ncias: possibilidades e limita��es. Investiga��es em Ensino de Ci�ncias, 12(2), 191-218.
Keywords: Socio-scientific issues, science-technology-society, teacher training
Topics: Socio-cultural Issues
Teachers' concept image of energy: a challenge for curriculum
Yaron Lehavi1 and Bat-Sheva Eylon2
1The David Yellin Academic College of Education, Israel
2The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
The present study examined mid-school science teachers' (N=54) views and knowledge against the
main principles of the views presented in the position paper (PosP) of the Girep 2010 workshop:
"Teaching about energy. Which concepts should be taught at which educational level?" [1]. The PosP,
presenting the main ideas developed during the workshop, summarized the educational challenges
encountered in teaching the concept of energy and offered an approach to address them. This
approach presented the bases for a curriculum development for 7th and 9th grade students [2].
The following table summarizes the PosP views and the corresponding examined views of the
Views extracted from the PosP
(A) Energy as the language of changes:
(A1) Processes: Different processes in nature, characterized by changeable properties
(parameters/indicators), can be quantified by energy change.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4C
(A2) Co-variations: Changes in nature are always accompanied by other changes, which are
characterized by increase and decrease of changeable properties (and thus can be described by
increase or decrease of energy).
(B) The nature of Energy:
(B1) Unification: Energy is one concept that can change only quantitatively (energy can only
increase or decrease). Different “types” or “forms” are labels for different processes in which
energy increases or decreases (and thus are not essentially different).
(B2) Measurability: Quantitative changes in energy are subject for experimental verification.
(B3) Conservation: In an isolated system*, the gain in energy corresponding to some changes
equals the loss in energy corresponding to the opposed changes.
The questions examining teachers' views
(a) Energy as the language of changes:
(a1) What are energy “forms/types?” How do we know that they are essentially the same?
(a2) What are energy transformations/ transfer? How do we know that the nature of energy does
not change when a system transforms from one state to another?
(b) The nature of Energy:
(b1) What should be defined and how?
(b2) What should be measured and how?
(b3) What is the meaning of energy conservation and how can we convince that it has an
empirical ground and thus, in principle, is refutable?
The teachers' views were addressed by a questionnaire administered during workshops. The
questionnaire was composed of questions asking for the teachers' views and comments and by
conceptual closed questions. The questionnaire was followed by interviews with some of the
Our findings indicate that the teachers hold a fragmental image of the concept of energy and have
difficulties in justifying their views. For example, many responses suggest that forms of energy are
inherently different one from another and that justifying that energy is one concept was rather
difficult. We also found that the teachers' declarative knowledge was not always in accord with their
conceptual knowledge. For example, many teachers view energy as relative but exhibited difficulties
in applying this view to kinetic energy. These findings should be considered in any curriculum
development concerning energy and in particular a curriculum which follows the PosP guiding
Implications for teachers training (both in-service and pre-service) are discussed.
*) An Isolated system can be defined empirically as a system for which any (measurable) change
within it does not correspond to any (measurable) change in its surrounding.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4C
[1] B-S. Eylon, and Y. Lehavi (2010). "Position paper: Energy as the language of changes" In: Heron P.
R.L. Michelini, M. (Organizers): "Teaching about energy. Which concepts should be taught at which
educational level?" A workshop held within: GIREP - ICPE - MPTL 2010, University of Reims, France.
[2] Y. Lehavi, B-S. Eylon, A. Hazan, Y. Bamberger and A. Weizman (2012). "Focusing on changes in
teaching about energy". In: Michelini, M. and Heron P. R.L. (Organizers): "Teaching and learning the
concept of energy from early childhood school through university" A symposium held within: GIREP WCPE,
Istanbul, Turkey.
Keywords: Energy concept, teachers knowledge, teachers training, curriculum development
Topics: Curriculum, Learning, Teachers
Transforming the Learning Environments of Undergraduate Physics
Laboratories to Enhance Physics Inquiry Processes
Gregory Thomas, Al Meldrum and John Beamish
University of Alberta, Canada
Concerns persist regarding the lack of promotion of students’ scientific inquiry processes in
undergraduate physics laboratories. The consensus from the literature is that, especially in the early
years of undergraduate physics programs, students’ laboratory work is characterized by recipe type,
step-by-step instructions for activities where the aim is often the confirmation of an already wellestablished
physics principle or concept. In response to evidence of these ongoing concerns at their
large metropolitan university in Canada, the authors conducted this study to address the
aforementioned concerns, primarily by re/designing the activities that students performed in the
laboratory to engage them in more inquiry oriented thinking and activity. A mixed-method design
was employed. In the 2011/12 academic year of the study baseline data were collected.
A quantitative survey, the Undergraduate Physics Laboratory Learning Environment Scale (UPLLES)
was developed, validated, and used to explore the following dimensions of students’ (n = 476)
physics laboratory environments: Inquiry Orientation, Integration, Student Community, Instructor
Support, and Material Environment. Interviews employing a hermeneutic dialectic circle were also
conducted with 19 students at the end of the Fall semester to ascertain their views about their
physics laboratory learning environment/s. The baseline findings confirmed the concerns evident in
the literature and in a previous evaluation of the nature of the laboratories undertaken in 2001 by
one of this paper’s authors.
In September 2012 (Fall Term), newly developed laboratory activities and tutorials related to modern
work in physics were designed and implemented for the first time with a first-year physics class of
over 700 students. These changes were accompanied by structured training of teaching assistants
and changes to the structure of the evaluation of students’ laboratory performance. At the term’s
end, the UPLLES was administered to a representative sample (n = 266) and students were
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4C
interviewed (n = 16) to explore their perceptions of the new laboratory activities. Analysis of UPLLES
data using independent samples t-test procedures and effect size calculations identified statistically
significant differences (p < 0.001) across all dimensions, and effect sizes of 0.82 to 1.3, between the
views of students in the first semester physics classes of 2011/12 and 2012/13, thus suggesting
positive changes in the laboratory inquiry orientation. The students confirmed these positive changes
in interviews. In this paper we detail the changes implemented and report major findings from across
data sources. This study adds to the literature on undergraduate physics education, highlighting the
potential for change in physics laboratories to encourage students’ inquiry oriented thinking which is
a major goal of physics education.
Keywords: Undergraduate physics education, inquiry, laboratory learning environments, activity
Topics: Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4D
Session 4D, 13:30-14:50
A trial using Q-drum as a teaching material in dynamic classes
Osamu Hirayama
Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan
The author has been in charge of dynamic classes for first year students in a mechanical systems
engineering course in a university. The author adopted the 'Q-drum' as an advanced topic in the
teaching process of rigid body dynamics in this semester. The Q-drum is a container invented for
many people in developping countries to carry water. A Q-drum has a hole through which a rope can
be bound to the drum and people can easily carry the drum filled with water by rolling it on
a ground. The purpose of this trial is to promote the students concern and understanding to the rigid
body dynamics by having them realize that the acquired knowledge in the rigid body dynamics
classes can be applied to these kinds of invention.
The material consists of the following parts. 1.What is Q-drum? 2.What kind of friction force is
applied to a Q-drum rolling on the horizontal plane at uniform velocity? 3.Estimate of the magnitude
of the tension force required to pull a Q-drum rolling on the horizontal plane. 4.Calculation of the
acceleration of a Q-drum rolling down a slope.
In the first part the author explains the role and the structure of the Q-drum to the students. In the
second part the author explains the mechanism of the rolling friction force and derive the order of its
magnitude. In the third part it is assumed that a rope is bound to the drum through the hole and the
drum is pulled by the rope at the unifom angular velocity rolling on a horizontal plane. The angle
between the rope and the horizontal plane is kept constant. The balance equations for the forces and
torques applied to the drum are constructed and the magnitude of the tension force is derived by
using the actual size of the drum. In the last part the students are asked to calculate the acceleration
of the Q-drum filled with water rolling down a slope. Two kinds of assumptions on the motion of
water inside the drum are imposed, one is a rigid body rotation and another translational motion.
Before this class an experiment is conducted to record the motion of the drum and make the
velocity-time graph. The calculated values of the accelerations of the drum in each cases by the
students are compared with the experimental value and it is clarified which assumption is
After the class a questionnaire survey was conducted, and many students wrote affirmative
impressions or opinions to this trial.
Keywords: University education, rigid body dynamics, Q-drum
Topics: Experiments, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4D
Are inertial forces real? Understanding professor Stanley’s Machist
interpretation of newtonian inertia
Paulo Lima Junior1, Fernanda Ostermann1 and Flavia Rezende2
1UFRGS, Brazil
2UFRJ, Brazil
Despite philosophy has played important roles in Physics, there is an escalating number of
contemporary scientists regarding the study of philosophy of science as an unproductive loss of time.
This abstract reports an analysis of how reading Ernst Mach’s philosophy has brought an ordinary
professor (named Stanley) into developing a radically different way of approaching the newtonian
concept of inertial forces to his undergraduate students. Stanley claimed that most Physics books are
wrong in interpreting inertial forces. Actually, most books stress that inertial forces (such as the
centrifugal force) are not real, but ingenious tools for analyzing mechanical systems under those
reference frames for which the laws of Newton do not hold (these are called non-inertial frames).
When we first met Stanley, he was already known for arguing that inertial forces are as real as any
other force in nature. Intending to bring inconsistencies out of Stanley’s thought, we had him
interviewed. Data collected was carefully transcribed and analyzed under Bakhtin’s approach to
language. Through analysis, we surprisingly observed that Stanley’s seemed-to-be-inconsistent
interpretation of mechanics would be better described as a creative hybridization of the Machist and
the realist philosophical standpoints. It is precisely form this hybridism that Stanley’s discourse
becomes an anti-dogmatic and insightful device for students’ looking beyond the traditional
interpretations of mechanics and observing that there might be more than one legitimate
interpretation to classical mechanics’ most basic concepts.
Keywords: University education, inertial forces, philosophical interpretation, mechanics, Ernst Mach
Topics: Teachers
An evaluation of students’ understanding of Newtonian Mechanics
Kevin Goldstein, Deena Naidoo and Douglas Clerk
School of Physics, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) pretest [1] comprising of 30 multiple choice questions was
administered at the commencement of the academic year to ̴950 Engineering students registered
for a full-year Mechanics I course. The purpose of the diagnostic assessment was to acquire
information on students’ prior knowledge of their understanding of basics concepts of Newtonian
Mechanics. In addition, this instrument has been utilized to ascertain areas of weakness in students’
understanding which could be targeted during the academic year and to evaluate the possibility of
applying the test to assess the effectiveness of instruction. The class attained a weak average mark of
33% which is similar to results reported in [2]. The collective responses for individual questions have
been evaluated and will be discussed in terms of students’ misconceptions.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4D
In order to ascertain whether the FCI data gives evidence of any correlation to interactive classroom
activities, the results of the first class test based on dimensional analysis, force vectors and vector
operations in vector geometry and vector algebra formulation were compared with the FCI
responses. A found a roughly linear correspondence between the FCI data and class test results with
R2 ̴0.16. The classroom activities included the use of “clickers” to promote active learning, obtain
direct information on student’s misconceptions and hence modify the flow of lectures activities
accordingly. This interactive approach was applied in the majority of lectures which allowed
instructors to pose questions to students and instantly accumulate and assess their responses. Prior
to tutorial exercises, students prepared exercises independently which were then discussed in small
group (<30) formal tutorial sessions based on the principles of cooperative learning, self-reflection
and feedback processes.
The class average was for the test was 53 % and the pass rate in the region of 56 %. Although the test
coverage was limited to a very small basic component of Mechanics, a refined analysis shows that
students who performed well in the FCI test also produced good class test results – amongst students
who attained 60% or more for the FCI, the pass rate for the class test was 88 % and of the students
who failed the class test, only 3 % achieved 60 % or more for the FCI. Conversely, competence in the
class test was not strongly correlated with the FCI test – of the students who passed the class test,
only 16 % obtained 60 % or more for the FCI while the class test pass rate amongst students who
attained less than 60 % for the FCI was 52 %. In order to validate these preliminary findings,
upcoming class tests and examinations scores will be compared with the FCI test results. The impact
of teaching and learning will be re-evaluated by conducting a FCI post-test after the completion of
the syllabus on statics and dynamics which will be reported in the paper.
[1] D. Hestenes and M. Wells (1992). Mechanics Baseline Test. The Physics Teacher 30, 159-166.
[2] D. Hestenes, M. Wells, and G. Swackhamer (1992). Force Concept Inventory. The Physics
Teacher 30, March 1992, 141-158.
Keywords: Force Concept Inventory, prior knowledge, classroom activities
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning, Teaching
The overlooked challenge of learning to extrapolate three-
Cedric Linder1, Urban Eriksson1, 2, John Airey1 and Andreas Redfors2
1Uppsala University, Sweden
2Kristianstad University, Sweden
Learning astronomy has many learning challenges due to the highly diverse, conceptual, and
theoretical thinking used in the discipline. One taken for granted challenge is the learning to
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4D
extrapolate three-dimensionality. Although we have the ability to see our surroundings in threedimensional
terms, beyond a distance of about 200m this ability quickly becomes very limited.
So, when looking up at the night sky, learning to discern critical features that are embedded in
dimensionality does not come easily. There have been several articles addressing how fruitful 3D
simulations are for astronomy education, but they do not address what students discern, nor the
nature of that discernment. Taking the concept of discernment to be about noticing something and
assigning meaning to it, our research question is: In terms of dimensionality, what do
astronomy/physics students and professors discern when engaging with a simulated video flythrough
of our Galaxy and beyond?
A web-based questionnaire was designed using links to video clips drawn from a well-regarded
simulation-video of travel through our galaxy and beyond. 137 physics and astronomy university
students and teaching professors, who were drawn from nine countries, completed the
questionnaire. The descriptions provided by them were used to formulate six categories of
discernment in relation to multidimensionality. These results are used to make the case that
astronomy learning that aims at developing the ability to extrapolate three-dimensionality needs to
be grounded in the creation of meaningful motion parallax experiences. Teaching and learning
implications are discussed.
Keywords: Extrapolating three dimensionality, discernment, higher education
Topics: Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4E
Session 4E, 13:30-14:50
Teaching students metacognition
Jorge Flores and David Anzules
Escuela Superior Polit�cnica del Litoral, Ecuador
Student registered in physics courses, at university level, lack of metacognitive strategies which allow
them to plan, monitor, and evaluate their own learning. Therefore the purpose of this study was to
teach students the metacognition, in order to improve the metacognitive skills and learning from
lectures, by using the instructional model of R. Gagne. The subjects were 20 students, who are taking
physics in an Ecuadorian university. All of the participants were aged between 18 and 19. The
instructional task was the unit of thermodynamics and the topic presented in this paper was the
concept of thermodynamics systems. The pretest and the posttest on thermodynamics systems
contained six true or false items and six essay questions. The procedure was as follow. On the first
session, students received an explanation of the Strategies General Plan (Plan, Apply, Monitor,
Assess, and Evaluate), then the professor explained the cognitive strategies for understanding
lectures, next they took the pretest. On the second session, they received an explanation of the
concept of thermodynamics system and finally they took the posttest. This procedure was applied
during the teaching of the unit of thermodynamics. The paired t-test used to analyze the relationship
between the pretest and posttest gave a value of t = 10.17; df = 19; p < 0.0001. The results of this
study support the effectiveness of teaching metacognition using the active learning. A limitation of
this study was not to teach the use of problem solving and critical thinking strategies.
Keywords: University students, self-regulation, metacognition, metacognitive strategies, active
Topics: Teaching
Students of the 21st century learning science: The use of History of
Science and High Energy Physics to teach physics.
M�rcio Medina1, Marcia Begalli2 and Anderson Ribeiro1
1Col�gio Pedro II - Campus Niter�i, Brazil
2Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
We present here a description of a successful experiment, done at Col�gio Pedro II, a public school in
Niter�i, in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It can bring high school students closer through
a television screen and a computer. Our school has a multimedia classroom fully equiped and
a Computer lab with 20 PCs. The students come from lower and middle class families.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4E
Around 2008–2010, claims about the production of stable micro black holes and the creation of
hypothetical particles called strangelets were widely explored in the media, on the Internet and at
times through the courts. This awake the interest from high school students about Particle Physics.
This interest has been accelerated by the sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" from Warner Channel, which
became a catalyst for us teachers to pick up the interest of our young people for science. The
students are invited to join our meetings in order to better understand all the jokes in that sitcom.
We clearly state they will enjoy it much more.
Every week, the students and their teachers get together for a debate, a lecture about any issue in
Physics or a movie session about science during their lunch time, namely 12am till 1pm. The activity
presented covers issues such as Modern Physics: The Atom, Particle Physics, Standard Model; History
and Philosophy of Science and the Solvay’s Conferences debates. There are also Brazilian productions
about our physicists Cesar Lattes and Jos� Leite Lopes, about our aeronautical engineer Santos
Dumont, showing that science can be done by anyone of us.
Before, during, and after each class the issues are discussed with the students. The teacher is the
mediator for all opinions and questions that may arise during the presentation of the activity,
indicating literature, websites and articles where the students can learn more if they want to.
Our initial goal is to teach the atomic model from its origin, conceived by Democritus, then by Dalton,
arriving to the experiments that underpin the model taught at school. We take the interest of
students to discuss about the evolution of scientific thought in the twentieth century, reaching the
Standard Model and the Higgs boson.
Along the school year, the students also take part in the International MasterClass - Hands on Particle
Physics, at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). This is an outreach program about High
Energy Physics from CERN and is done in collaboration with CERN (Switzerland) and Fermilab (USA),
building a bridge between technology and knowledge in an area not yet approached by our national
At UERJ we do the Masterclass activities along the whole year (in most places around the world all
activities are concentrated in 1 day). At Colegio Pedro II we teach introductory concepts of High
Energy Physics along the three years in high school. This is a collaborative work between students of
different levels and abilities. We support students aiming to bring them to discuss science and
particle physics. How it works, why the government should invest in it, why youth should turn their
attention to this kind of scientific work, etc. Showing them that science is always changing over the
decades, and this "standard model" is a model that is working well, we are making good discoveries,
but it is not the final model.
Keywords: Teaching physics, popularizing science, masterclass, hands-on science
Topics: Informal Physics Teaching & Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4E
A critical analysis on “Active Learning” in the light of CulturalHistorical
Activity Theory (CHAT): Implications to Physics Education
and to experimental activities as a particular case
Juliano Camillo and Cristiano Mattos
University of S�o Paulo, Brazil
This is a research paper in which we discuss “active learning” in the light of Cultural-Historical Activity
Theory (CHAT), a powerful framework to analyze human activity, including teaching and learning
process and the relations between education and wider human dimensions as politics, development,
emancipation etc. This framework has its origin in Vygotsky's works in the psychology, supported by
a Marxist perspective, but nowadays is a interdisciplinary field encompassing History, Anthropology,
Psychology, Education for example.
Based on CHAT, we analyze some current ideas on "active learning", widely spread in Physics
Education nowadays. From that, we advocate CHAT as a comprehensive framework to analyze
teaching and learning process. As a particular case, we use examples from experimental activities in
Physics education, focusing on the subject-object relation (here taken quite broadly) seeking to
better understanding how the activity can evolve and how knowledge can be produced and
appropriated by the subjects. Finally, we present some implications to think Physics Education from
this perspective.
Keywords: Cultural-historial activity theory, constructivism, experimental activity
Topics: Experiments, Learning, Teaching
Hands-on experiments in the Practicum: repositioning student
teachers' autonomy
Andr� Rodrigues and Cristiano Mattos
University of S�o Paulo, Brazil
Following a worldwide trend, the Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Programmes in Brazil are recently
searching for ways of integrating practice into curriculum. It raises question about what practice
must be integrated and how. Notably, university-based courses are disconnected from school and
have low commitment with school issues (Zeichner, 2009).The student teacher induction into school
daily life is not an easy task, mainly when the practitioners are transforming physics classroom
practice toward an active learning. Drawing on cultural-historical framework (Wolff-Michael Roth &
Lee, 2007; Vygotsky, 1978) this study addresses the articulation between Practicum in Physics Classes
and the Hands-on Experiments (HoE) used throughout the Practicum. Although in a different level,
both Practicum and HoE are linked with an idea of practice. Particularly, this study focuses on how
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4E
HoE might foster student teachers' autonomy and agency in the Practicum. Data was gathered in the
course Practice of Physics Teaching at University of S�o Paulo/Brazil in 2010; in a cohort of 60
student teachers doing a year-long Practicum in urban school in S�o Paulo city. Data was analysed
using qualitative research methods (Roth, 2005), based on 14 interviews and video records of the
student teacher preparing the HoE for Practicum we will present in general lines the role of HoE for
student teacher autonomy.
From the set of analysed data the following points that impact straightforward the student teacher
autonomy and agency. HoE is a rich and highly complicated task for novice teachers demanding extra
attention throughout practice. Nevertheless, it is also a novel element for most mentors. It means
that those who are supposed to support and provide careful guidance are learners as well. Hence
mentor's support might be limited. Indeed, it is a situation where ITE encounters in-service teacher
education. It is, above all, an opportunity for university to co-generate mechanisms to support
mentors in their daily work. Since teachers educators' main object is the student teachers learning,
they may not be completely aware on the mentors needs. Hands-on experiments demand from
student teachers an accurate, deep and solid disciplinary knowledge. Whereas it is the strength of
this approach, it also shifts student teachers' focus mostly toward disciplinary aspects leaving
pedagogical aspects aside. The student teacher commitment is centred on the university task. The
main concern expressed in the written reports was in fulfilling the lab guideline. Therefore, little
attention was paid to student learning. Our finds indicate that the commitment with university task
was brought to the foreground and even the student teacher own learning were left out of
reflection. Specifically in our studied case the nature of science and its related topics remain
untouched over the Practicum. It also indicates that more time is needed in preparation with student
teachers and mentor for open up the philosophical implications of HoE approach.
In conclusion we agree with the current literature about the benefits of HoE approach in science
classrooms and for active learning. Nevertheless, it also presented as complex and quite demanding
for student teachers, that needs even more support and guidance in the Practicum.
Keywords: Hands-on experiments, Practicum, practice of physics teaching, Activity theory
Topics: Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 4F
Session 4F – workshop, 13:30-14:50
Workshop on Photonics Explorer
Tomasz Greczylo1 and Amrita Prasad2
1Division of Physics Teaching, University of Wroclaw, Poland
2Photonics Explorer Team, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
The main aim of the workshop is to familiarize participants with outcomes of the Seventh Framework
Programme of the European Community ‘Photonics Explorer’ intra-curricular educational kit which
has been developed by an international team of teachers and experts in pedagogy from 11 EU
countries [1]. It has been set to fit into diverse educational systems and teacher cultures and brought
together European industry, scientists at universities, teachers in secondary schools and students.
The leaders of the workshop will present an overview of the initiative emphasizing the research and
development stages [2,3,4] and will encourage participants to perform a number of experiments
developed during the project. They will make extensive use of the experimental kit which has been
tested with nearly 2000 students in 7 EU countries and is currently being used by over 18000
students EU wide. The devoted didactic content which will be presented is currently available in 8 EU
languages: Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Polish and Spanish.
The presentation of the experimental components and educational modules will be treated as
a starting point for the discussion preceded by demonstrations of specific educational strategies. The
leaders of the workshop plan to distribute a number of kits to the participants of the workshop. The
workshop will be considered a teacher training where attending teachers will receive Photonics
Explorer kits to implement in their classroom.
[1] http://www.eyest.eu/Programs/Photonics-Explorer
[2] Photonics Explorer: Working within the Curriculum to Engage Young Minds, A. Prasad et.al.
Optics and Photonics News, July 2012
[3] Photonics Explorer: revolutionizing photonics in the classroom, A. Prasad et.al. Proc. SPIE 8481,
Optics Education and Outreach II, 84810H (October 15, 2012)
[4] Teaching optics with an intra-curricular kit designed for inquiry-based learning, Nina Cords et al
2012 Phys. Educ. 47 69
Keywords: Secondary education: lower (ages about 11-15) and upper (ages about 15-19), active
learning, teaching strategies, light and material sciences, intra-curricular, educational material
Topics: Experiments, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5A
⋙Session 5A, 15:00-16:20⋘
Bridging conceptual change and sociocultural analysis: toward a
model of conceptual distribution
Alexsandro Pereira
Universidade Federal do Pampa (UNIPAMPA), Brazil
Drawing on the ideas of Lev S. Vygotsky, Mikhail M. Bakhtin, and James V. Wertsch, I outline
a particular approach to conceptual change, based on the notion of “conceptual distribution”. This
proposal is an attempt to reconsider the problem of conceptual change from a sociocultural
perspective. According to this model of conceptual distribution, both misconceptions and scientific
conceptions are taken to involve an irreducible tension between active agents and the textual
resources they employ, especially textual resources in the form of explanations. In the parlance of
contemporary cognitive science, conceptions are viewed as being “distributed” in two related, but
analytically distinct senses: (1) socially, in small group interaction, as well as; (2) instrumentally in the
sense that they involve both people and instruments of knowledge. In the case of social distribution,
many researchers have examined the process of meaning making in “collaborative” learning
activities. Instrumental distribution, the focus of what follows, involves agents, acting individually or
collectively, and items such as globes, computer simulations, or explanations. This model differs from
other theories of conceptual change in suggesting that conceptions in science are best understood as
a form of mediated action. From this perspective, conceptual change is viewed as “transformations
of mediated action”, which is associated with the emergency of new forms of mediation, especially
scientific explanations. Implications of this model for active learning on physics are presented.
Keywords: Conceptual change, conceptions in science, sociocultural analysis, conceptual distribution,
explanation as cultural tools
Topics: Learning, Socio-cultural Issues
Application of Cues, Prompts, Questions and Gestures (CPQG) in
Physics Teaching and Learning
Augustine Okoronka1 and Kodjo Donkor Taale2
1Adamawa State University, Mubi, Nigeria
2University of Education, Winneba, Ghana
Physics is a physical science which is concerned with the interactions between energy and matter.
Both the phenomena of energy and concept of matter adopt atomistic and holistic explanation
frameworks. The atomistic viewpoint paints a picture of the mechanism of unknown processes on
the ideal of a multitude of independently existing, occasionally interacting units. These units are
usually too small to be seen or perceived. On the other hand, the holistic explanation of phenomena
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5A
holds the view that there is a continuum of which every part affects everything (Hare, 1978). The
continuum may equally assume a macroscopic level that cannot be comprehended at once or as one
whole. These inherent characteristics of most concepts in physics have implicitly contributed the
perception of learners of physics as difficult and abstract (Okoronka, 2004). They have often not been
adequately addressed by physics educators, physicists and physics education researchers in themes
of physics instruction/design and physics teaching and learning. This default is irrespective of
whether the instructional technique is in the face-to-face or in the online electronic formats.
These researchers propose that physics by its very nature, demands the integration of cues, prompts,
probes, questions and gestures in all its instructional design formats particularly in today’s changing
world of technologies. This is the only way to make its learning “interesting” to the average learner
who ordinarily may not be able to make the kind of “connections” expected in maximizing physics
teaching and learning. The need for the learner’s active engagement in learning process (personal
construction of knowledge) is the hallmark of the theory of constructivism made popular by von
Glasserfield (1995) and given a boost by Novak (1993; Dunlap (1995) and Lebow (1993). The theory
proposes that educational environs should provide learners with personal interactions including
collaboration (Bostock, 1998). Okoronka (2011) submitted that when cues, prompts, probes,
questions and gestures are used with respect to behaviourist theories, they are viewed as reinforcers
and are directly linked with observable behavioural objectives. As cognitive tools, they are useful in
stimulating cognition especially when applied as “think-aloud-protocols”. Here we must verbalise
explicitly “the self regulating cues”. In the same vein, when these tools are utilized as instructional
tools from the constructivist theorist point of view, they foster connections which the learner can
make between new knowledge and old ones as well as engender engagement in self analysis,
reflection and awareness (Okoronka, 2011) essential to optimum physics teaching and learning.
Cues, prompts, probes, questions and gestures have their theoretical underpinnings in the
behaviourist, cognitivists and constructivist ideologies of learning (Okoronka, 2011). This tends to
rationalize why their application in physics teaching in particular and science in general should be
highly encouraged. This forms the rationale for this paper.
Okoronka, U.A. (2011). The place of cues, prompts and probes in science (physics) classroom. In O.S.
Abonyi (ed.) Reforms in STEM Education 52nd Annual Conference of Science Teachers Association of
Nigeria held at Akure from 15-21 August.
Hare, R. (1978). Models of Science. Physics Education, 13, 275-278.
Lebow, D. (1993). Constructivists’ values for instructional system design: Five principles towards
a new mindset. Educational Technology Research and Development, 41(3), 4-16.
Bostock, J. (1998) Constructivism in Mass higher education: A Case study. British Journal of
Educational Technology, 29(3), 225-240.
Novak, J.D. (1993). How do we learn our lesson? The Science Teacher, 60(3), 50-55.
von Glasserfield, E. (1995) A constructivist approach to teaching. In L.P. Steffe & 1. Gale
(Eds.), Constructivism in Education, (pp.3-16). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5A
Keywords: Cues, prompts, questions, gestures, learners active engagement in learning proces,
theories of learning, nature of physics
Topics: Teaching
Technology-Assisted Active Learning in Large-Enrollment
Introductory Physics Classes
Tetyana Antimirova
Ryerson University, Canada
Research on student learning in discipline-based science education have uncovered a wide gap
between the typical objectives of the instructions in traditional instructor-centered science courses
and the actual level of students’ achievements. Research also provided a mounting evidence of the
importance of social interaction in an active student-centered learning environment. For example,
small-group collaborative active learning environment is known to be much more effective for
developing conceptual understanding in introductory physics than the traditional lecture setting. Yet,
due to the demographic and fiscal constrains the universities and colleges across North America are
pressed for continuous class sizes increases, in particular in introductory science courses for premedical
and engineering programs. This paper will provide some insight on how peer training and
collaborative small-group activities (including those based on interactive lecture demonstrations)
help turn a traditional introductory physics lecture-based class into a more interactive and
collaborative environment. As a case study, we will discuss an introductory physics course for all
science majors in a large urban Canadian university. We will demonstrate how the available
technology tools (personal response systems (clickers), video-based analysis and real-time data
acquisition capabilities) can be used to support the active learning even in a very large lecture
setting. We will also provide data on the effectiveness of our teaching strategies.
Keywords: Active learning, educational technologies, student-centered learning, physics, personal
response systems, clickers, video analysis, interactive lecture demonstrations
Topics: Experiments, ICT, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5A
A study on the effects of a potentially meaningful learning unit in the
learning of the concept of field in the predicative and operatory forms
of knowledge
Glauco Pantoja1 and Marco Antonio Moreiro2
1Universidade Federal do Oeste do Par�, Brazil
2Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
In this work we present the results of the implementation of a recently published teaching strategy
by Moreira (2011), entitled Potentially Meaningful Learning Units (PMLU), which takes for granted
premisses from construtivistic approach and from cognitive psychology issues to the teachinglearning
processes. The PMLU are teaching-learning sequences envisaging the facilitation of
meaningful learning in both predicative (verbal) and operatory (action) forms of knowledge. This
work is dedicated to study the teaching-learning processes related to the concept of field, firstly
because researches in classroom learning of this concept are few, and also because the PMLU
focused the prospective facilitation in the learning of the concept of electromagnetic field. Moreira
(2011) describes his proposal of PMLU as a sequence of eight steps: 1. Definition of the subject to be
taught, 2. Creation of problems, 3. Proposition of problems that are tied up to the students’ prior
knowledge, 4. Presentation of the content accordingly to the ausubelian principles of progressive
differentiation and integrative reconciliation, 5. Retrieval of the more general features of the content
in a greater complexity level, 6. Following of the sequence with the progressive differentiation and
the integrative reconciliation, 7. Presentation of more complex problems, 8. Carrying out of
a summative evaluation. We took as references for developing the teaching unit, the works of Martin
& Solbes (2001) that presented a teaching sequence based on inquiry teaching, Krapas & da Silva
(2008) that discuss the multiple meanings regarding the concept of field, and Pocovi & Finley (2005)
that point the mistakes presented by two textbooks considered as reference worldwide. For the data
analysis we approached the content analysis by Bardin (2008) and we used the Conceptual Field
theory and Mental Models theory both to interpret data and to develop the concept of Meaningful
Learning to the operatory form of knowledge. We show evidences of mechanisms of meaningful
learning and of development of reference to reality by the students (situations concerning the
concept of field), pointed by Vergnaud as a crucial point in conceptualization.
Keywords: Meaningful learning, field, teaching strategies
Topics: Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5B
Session 5B, 15:00-16:20
The use of mathematical elements in physics – views of grade 8
Gesche Pospiech and Erik Oese
TU Dresden, Germany
The use of formula in physics lessons in school is much debated and considered as complicated. But
as mathematics is inseparably connected to physics an insight into their interplay, especially the
structural role of mathematics for physics is central to an understanding of the nature of physics.
Mathematics in physics does not only mean the use of formula but also the use of geometrical
objects and graphical means which all play an important role for the description and explanation of
physical processes. But the views of students in lower secondary school on this interplay are not
known. Only some studies exist on some aspects of formula as seen by students: They concern e.g.
preferences with respect to writing of formula (Strahl 2010), the role of formula for physics and
physicists (Krey 2009) or their use by teachers (Strahl 2012). Often it is said that formula would be
too difficult or even prevent understanding. A detailed analysis of stratgies in problem solving shows
very specific problems in structural aspects of the transfer between physics and mathematics for
students in lower secondary school (Uhden 2012). Concerning high school, problems in text books or
problems of final exams are being analyzed with respect to their mathematical level, (Schoppmeier
2012). However, it is not known which views the students have on the role of mathematics in physics
right from the beginning of learning physics. This might be important for developing appropriate
leaching learning sequences. In order to throw a light onto the thinking and the abilities of students
with respect to the mathematics-physics interplay an exploratory study was conducted.
The study covered the use of formula, diagrams and verbal explanations and their interrelations. The
instruments were a questionnaire concerning the view on physics lessons in general and the
interrelation of formula, diagrams and explanations, a short knowledge test and interviews with
some (n = 20) of the students. The focus of the interviews was on the individual description of
perceived problems in mathematization in physics lessons. In the study 192 students in grade 8
(mostly age 14) took part. Students showed several aspects of understanding physics and
a differentiated view towards formula in physics with negative as well as positive aspects. The
questionnaire addressed the view on the structural role of formula in physics lessons, on the
technical role of mathematics in physics lessons, especially the use of formula and calculating, the
role of diagrams and the view on physics lessons in general. Four groups of students could be
identified significantly differing with respect to their views: quite positively thinking students, quite
negatively thinking students and students with a mixed view, mainly referring to the role of diagrams
or formula, respectively. The test contained tasks on the interrelationship between algebraic,
graphical and verbal representations, the handling of formula and diagrams as well as the interest in
special problems.
The results of the study as a whole show that the students have a differentiated view on the role and
the use of mathematics in physics lessons. Difficulties arise if not all the steps are explained in great
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5B
detail. In order to find ways to address successfully the difficulties further research on the learning
processes and students concepts in the use of mathematical concepts in physics is needed.
Keywords: Mathematics in physics, representations, students concepts
Topics: Learning
Can math for physics teachers impact their conceptual knowledge of
Yaron Lehavi1, Bat-Sheva Eylon2, Esther Bagno2 and Elisheva Cohen2
1The David Yellin Academic College of Education, Israel
2The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
The present study investigates the impact of a course in mathematics, specially designed for
preparing physics teachers to participate in Quantum Mechanics and Electro-Magnetism courses in
which the interplay of mathematics and physics played a central role. These courses were at the
heart of the Weizmann-Rothschild MSc two years program for excellent teachers.
The present study addresses similar questions as those presented by Pospiech and Matthias [1] and
complements a previous study which reported on the construction of a QM course and its impact on
teachers' self-confidence and knowledge [2]. The study follows the instructor further development of
the course, covers a new topic (EM) and addresses more teachers' populations: first year, second
year and graduates of the program.
The study compares the goals of the course with respect to its impact on the teachers' ability to
develop a better understanding of the physical content of the QM and EM courses to the teachers'
actual knowledge. The goals of the preparation course were revealed by interviewing the instructor
and by observing videos taken during classes. In specially, the observations addressed the
implementation of the following five interactive components: exploring learners' pre-instructional
knowledge, the content analysis from the educational perspective, identifying the learners' needs,
fostering the reconstructing of knowledge and meta-cognitive activities [3]. The teachers' knowledge
was examined by a questionnaire based on the QMVI and the QMCS [4, 5] and by interviews
conducted with some of the teachers from the three groups. The teachers' were asked in the
interviews to reflect on how they conceived the goals of the course and its impact on their content
The findings indicate that the instructor strengthen his view with regard to the need to make a clear
distinction between the goals of the teachers' courses and those of graduate courses designed for
future scientists. The instructor made further effort to suit the level of mathematics to that of the
teachers and put more emphasize on the logic behind the formulas in order to develop their sense of
understanding. The teachers' achievements in the conceptual questionnaire did not follow behind
those of the regular graduate students and in some aspects were even better. The teachers indicated
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5B
that the course developed their confidence in coping with mathematical challenges and that this
confidence assisted them in their understanding of the physical content of the QM and EM courses.
1. Pospiech, G. and Matthias, S. (2011). Quantum physics in teacher education, proceedings of the
twelfth international symposium Frontiers of Fundamental Physics [FFP12], Udine.
2. Eylon B, Cohen E, Bagno E (2010). The interplay of physics and mathematics in a graduate
quantum mechanics course for physics teachers, talk given in GIREP-conference 2010 in the
Symposium "Addressing the role of mathematics in physics education
3. Cataloglua, E., R. and Robinett, W. (2002). Testing the development of student conceptual and
visualization understanding in quantum mechanics through the undergraduate career. Am. J.
Phys. 70(3) March, pp. 238-251.
4. http://www.colorado.edu/sei/surveys/QMCS/versions/QMCS2.0.pdf
5. Kalkanis G., Hadzidaki P. & Stavrou, D. (2003). An Instructional Model for a Radical Conceptual
Change Towards Quantum Mechanics Concepts, Science & Education 87, 257-280
Keywords: Physics and mathematics, physics education, teachers training
Topics: Learning, Teachers
An Attempt to Combine Math and Physics in STEM at Meijo University
Tatsuhiro Uchida
Meijo University, Japan
In the recent education, many physics teachers only use math as tools, and math teachers don’t
know why we should need to learn math, in spite of both physics and math are developed by
a mutually complementary relationship. To improve the above problem, we implemented an
experimental curriculum based on SOGOSURI program [1] into “mathematical science I and II” for
undergraduate students as one part of STEM of Meijo University. In addition, we introduced the
ideas of Lady Cats[2] into this curriculum. Notable features are that the curriculum has four basic
contents: history of science and technology, experiment, low-cost material, essential theme, and four
teaching methods: promotion of ingenuity, interactive teaching, recognition of difference between
real and theory, leave room for thinking. After three years experiments, we got some conclusive
evidence that the curriculum worked well. In this paper, we explain our ideology and contents of the
curriculum and its results for improving how to combine math and physics in STEM.
[1] T. Uchida, W. M. Kihire: “How to combine math, physics and real world in education: The case of
SOGOSURI project in Uganda”, Lajpe Vol. 6 Suppl. I, 420-424, 2012
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5B
[2] M. Tanemura, F. Okiharu, K. Ishii, H. Onishi, M. Yokoee, and H. Kawakatsu: “History and
Objectives of LADY CATS (Women Physics Teachers in Japan)” , AIP Conf. Proc. 1119, 246-246,2009
Keywords: University education, teaching method, SOGOSURI program, combined math and physics
Topics: Curriculum, Experiments, Teaching
The role of mathematics in physics
Carl Angell
University of Oslo, Norway
The impact of the “science for all” movement and the focus on science literacy has been considerable
for many years (see e.g. Millar, 2006; Millar & Osborne, 1998; Rutherford & Ahlgren, 1990). In order
to make physics more interesting and attract more students broad and descriptive topics such as for
example climate or cosmology has been emphasized in many country’s curricula (e.g in Norway and
Sweden). Consequently, less weight has been put on mathematics and the more formalistic
characteristics of physics.
The main aim of this paper is to use Norwegian and Swedish data from The TIMSS Advanced study in
2008 to explore the relation between mathematics and physics and in particular the students’ lack of
fluency in handling algebra (Nilsen, Angell, & Gr�nmo, in press). We have categorized all TIMSS
Advanced physics items into two distinct categories based on whether algebraic manipulations are
involved or not. To reveal substantial changes in the characteristic patterns we computed the mean
p-value (per cent correct answers) for all the items for each category for Norway and Sweden
respectively, and then calculated the difference (in percentage points) between the country mean
and the average for all the participating countries (Lie, Angell, & Rohatgi, 2012).
In average the Norwegian students in 1995 scored about 15 percentage points higher than the
international average. And there were almost no difference between the two categories of items.
The Swedish students scored particularly well on the algebraic manipulation items compared to the
international average. The situation has changed notably to the worse in 2008, and by far most
strikingly for the item category algebraic manipulation, especially for Sweden. The change is rather
dramatic; from 16 percentage points above the international average to 5 percentage points below.
Also for Norway the difference is remarkable; from 15 percentage points above to 1 percentage
points below.
The symbolic language of algebra could be especially demanding for students. And the transfer
between mathematics and physics could be even more demanding for students that lack prerequisite
algebraic fluency. When engaging in physics, students’ cognitive capacity could thus be preoccupied
with basic algebra rather than the physics phenomenon under study (Nilsen et al., in press).
Both physics as research area and school physics have a strong relationship to mathematics.
However, the mathematics used even in upper secondary school physics is not very advanced. The
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5B
physics curriculum in many countries includes only relatively simple arithmetic and algebra, and this
is so for the physics test in TIMSS Advanced as well. It seems that many students in our two countries
have noteworthy weak skills in manipulating algebraic expressions and equations and only to a small
extent can deal with manipulating fundamental quantitative concepts in physics (Lie et al., 2012).
This is serious, because quantitative understanding of physical concepts is crucial for the students’
development of competency in physics.
Lie, S., Angell, C., & Rohatgi, A. (2012). Interpreting the Norwegian and Swedish trend data for
physics in the TIMSS Advanced Study. Nordic Studies in Education, 32(3-4), 177-195.
Millar, R. (2006). Twenty First Century Science: Insights from the Design and Implementation of
a Scientific Literacy Approach in School Science. International Journal of Science Education, 28(13),
Millar, R., & Osborne, J. (Eds.). (1998). Beyond 2000: Science Education for the Future. London: King's
College, School of Education.
Nilsen, T., Angell, C., & Gr�nmo, L. S. (in press). Mathematical competencies and the role of
mathematics in physics education: A trend analysis of TIMSS Advanced 1995 and 2008. Acta Didactica
Rutherford, F. J., & Ahlgren, A. (1990). Science for all Americans. New York: Oxford University Press.
Keywords: Physics and mathematics, TIMSS advanced, physics education
Topics: Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5C
Session 5C, 15:00-16:20
Quantitative and qualitative analysis of the kind of mental models
deployed by undergraduate students in creating explanations for
thermally activated phenomena
Claudio Fazio, Onofrio Rosario Battaglia and Rosa Maria Sperandeo-Mineo
University of Palermo, Italy
In this contribution we describe a research method aimed at pointing out the quality of mental
models undergraduate engineering students deploy when asked to create explanations for
phenomena/processes and/or use a given model in the same context. The phenomena are related to
thermal physics and, in particular, to systems for which a process is activated by overcoming a welldefined
potential barrier, DE, and is therefore described by an equation containing the Boltzmann
factor 𝑒−
k𝑇 , where T is the system temperature and k is the Boltzmann constant. Student responses
to a specially designed and validated written questionnaire are initially analyzed using researchergenerated
categories of reasoning, based on the Physics Education Research literature on student
understanding of the relevant physics content. The inferred students’ mental models about the
analysed phenomena are categorized as practical, descriptive, or explanatory, based on a statistical
implicative analysis of student responses to the questionnaire. A qualitative analysis of interviews
conducted with students after the questionnaire administration is also used to deepen some aspects
which emerged from the quantitative analysis and validate the results obtained. The implications of
this analysis for the design of a learning environment focused on the understanding of some aspects
of the world at the level of causation and mechanisms of functioning are discussed.
Keywords: Thermally activated phenomena, quantitative analysis methods, statistical implicative
analysis, qualitative analysis methods, mental models
Topics: Learning
Exergy in school?
Tomaz Kranjc and Nada Razpet
Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Students at all levels of physics instruction have difficulties dealing with energy, work and heat in
general and, in particular, with the concepts of efficiency and ideal heat engine, and the maximum
performance of refrigerators and heat pumps (Cochran and Heron, 2006; Bucher, 1986). The reason
for the difficulties is an insufficient understanding of the second law of thermodynamics (Kesidou and
Duit, 1992). In order to make these topics less difficult, the concept of exergy—well established as a
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5C
powerful analytical tool in technical thermodynamics—describing the “quality” of energy, seems in
our judgment to be worthy of inclusion in the physics curriculum at all levels. Its introduction does
not add another law. It facilitates the understanding of irreversibilities (as the destruction of exergy)
and gives a deeper meaning to the second law. In the treatment of heat engines the second-law
efficiency throws a new light on the notions of an ideal and a real engine (similarly for a refrigerator
or a heat pump). Exergy introduces, in a natural way, a distinction between various forms of energy
according to its quality—availability for performing work. “Energy reserves”, which can be better
understood with the help of exergy, are of practical interest. From the thermodynamic point of view,
a more correct term would be “availability reserves”; all around us, there are huge quantities of
energy (in atmosphere, in oceans etc), but of very limited availability, i.e., of limited exergy.
In order to identify common misconceptions and difficulties encountered by students in the learning
of the first and second law of thermodynamics, particularly in connection with heat engines and
similar cyclic devices, we conducted a combined research among students of the Primary School
Education at the Faculty of Education (UP PeF) and of Biodiversity, Bioinformatics and Mediterranean
Agriculture at the Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies (UP
FAMNIT) of the University of Primorska. Based on interviews and questionnaires given to two groups
of students—an experimental and a control group—in the beginning and the end of the semester,
we investigated the influence (and possible advantages) of the introduction of the concept of exergy
and the second-law efficiency.
In the presentation, we show a few examples that were treated with the experimental group in order
to motivate the students and to make them familiar with the concept of exergy: the “energy losses”
of a car engine and an analysis of improvements still allowed by nature; exergy loss associated with
heat conduction; a simple exergy analysis of a heating house system (considering energy and exergy
fluxes). We list some of the problems encountered by the students and the most common
misconceptions as could be identified from the tests, questionnaires and interviews. An additional
goal of the investigation is to test a longer-term knowledge of students.
From our research it would appear that exergy and the second-law efficiency are useful concepts
which make it possible for students to get a better grasp of the material and to not only obtain a
clearer understanding and knowledge of standard topics like heat engines, but also a broader view
and insight into the meaning of energy and both the first and the second law, and their interrelation.
Bucher, M. (1986): New diagram for heat flows and work in a Carnot cycle, Am. J. Phys. 54 (9), 850-
Cochran, M. J. and Heron, P. R. L. (2006): Development and assessment of research-based tutorials
on heat engines and the second law of thermodynamics, Am. J. Phys. 74 (8), 734-741.
Kesidou, S. and Duit, R. (1992): Students’ conceptions of the second law of thermodynamics: An
interpretative study, J. Res. Sci. Teach. 30, 85-106.
Keywords: Heat, exergy, second-law efficiency
Topics: Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5C
What, if anything, is entropy trying to tell us?
Rainer Mueller
TU Braunschweig, Germany
The notion of entropy is commonly regarded as one of the most challenging concepts in classical
physics. Many learners have difficulties to develop an intuitive understanding of entropy as a physical
While in statistical mechanics, an interpretation of entropy can be based on microscopic models
(especially with the help of computer simulations), the situation is much more unpleasant in
phenomenological thermodynamics. We will argue in the talk that many difficulties originate from
the fact that in the thermodynamic definition of entropy dS = dQ/T, a state variable (entropy) is
defined via a process variable (heat).
The entropy definition of Lieb and Yngvason (1999) which is based on the concept of "adiabatic
accessibility" has been a major advance in the foundations of thermodynamics. Unfortunately,
because of its mathematical complexity, it is hardly accessible for students. In the talk we will present
a variant of this new entropy definition in an elementary formulation that should be accessible to
undergraduate students. In this formulation, a direct link can be established to the idea of
"degradation of energy". With simple examples, we will give an operational meaning to the term
"degradation of energy" and point out how it is related to the traditional entropy definition.
While the notion of entropy belongs to the school curricula in some countries (e. g. Germany), the
concept addressed in the talk is aimed at undergraduates. We will report about the first results of
testing the concept with pre-service physics teachers.
Keywords: Thermodynamics, entropy, learning difficulties
Topics: Curriculum
Understanding Thermal equilibrium through activities
Shirish Pathare, Hemachandra Pradhan, Madhura Nachane and Saurabhee Huli
Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, India
The concept of thermal equilibrium is introduced to undergraduate students with the statement:
‘Two systems in thermal contact with each other attain thermal equilibrium when their temperatures
become equal’. This introduction is often not sufficient for the students to understand the concept.
It is essential for the students to understand that the net heat flow between the systems becomes
zero when they attain thermal equilibrium. We asked about 300 (first year and second year)
undergraduate students from different colleges in India the following question:
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5C
If two bodies of equal volume (one copper and other wood), initially at room temperature, are
transferred to an enclosure maintained at 60 �C, what would be their temperatures be after
a sufficiently long time?
We found that most of the students felt that even after sufficiently long time, the copper cube would
have a higher temperature than the wooden cube.
We felt that appropriate activities could be designed (and tested) for helping the students to
enhance their understanding of thermal equilibrium and to address their alternative conception such
as the above.
This paper describes four such activities.
The first activity uses two chambers separated by adiabatic/diathermic walls. Temperatures of both
the chambers are measured using thermocouples. The heat flow between the two chambers is
shown by a specially designed heat flow indicator.
The second activity uses a liquid flow analogy to understand thermal equilibrium. The net liquid flow
is shown by a low cost liquid flow indicator designed in our laboratory.
The third activity is the visual representation of the above question asked to the students. It uses
a copper cube and a wooden cube of same volume and shape. The temperatures of these cubes
were monitored through a data acquisition system.
The fourth activity is a liquid flow analogy of the above question asked to the students. It consists of
a reservoir cylinder connected to two more cylinders through pipes of different diameters. This
activity also explains the role of thermal conductivity in understanding thermal equilibrium.
Keywords: Thermal equilibrium, alternative conception, learning activities
Topics: Experiments, Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5E
Session 5E, 15:00-16:20
Chain reaction: the use of interactive kits to create a physics
popularization network
Miguel Garcia, Bertha Michel and Edgar Ramos
Universidad Autonoma de Zacatecas, Mexico
Interactive experimental workshops are excelent activities to get the public, specially young students,
involved with physics in a participative manner. They allow participants to interact physically,
mentally and emotionally in order to build knowledge through fun experiences. This activites are
centered on users and based on experimental devices that show physical principles in action.
Over the last 20 years the Science Museum at the Universidad Autonoma de Zacatecas, in Mexico,
has worked on the development of interactive physics workshops in order to develop a scienteific
culture. During this time we have worked with over 150,000 people in Zacatecas and 15 other states
in Mexico, both in formal and informal learning enviroments. This effort has helped people learn and
have fun with physics but hasn�t reached enough people yet and we have realized it�s hard to have
a much broader reach with our small team (which has 6 professionals and 50 volunteers).
Six years ago we started working on the creation of new physics popularization networks through
interactive experimental collection; first with a mobile science hall -which included 24 devices- and
later with an interactive activities kit with over 30 different activities. Both this projects worked with
different physics subjects such as classical mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, optics,
astrophysics and quantum mechanics.
Now we�re working on a bigger project that will work in several states in Mexico through a network
of science popularization institutions, based in a new interactive kit for the knowledge society. This
kit features activities on three physics related lines of work of great relevance in today�s world:
Nanoscience and nanotechnology, Alternate Energy Sources and Telecommunications. Each line
involves 5 different interactive activites that provides participants with a general perspective of the
Although we intend to help young people understand physics better through experimental activities
that can be related to everyday situations, our main goal is to create a self replicating network:
prepare teams that will be able to develop activities and create new teams that will carry the effor
even further in what we intend to be a physics learning chain reaction.
Keywords: Interactive physics learning, physics popularization, informal physics education
Topics: Informal Physics Teaching & Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5E
Analysis of Historical Content in Modern Physics Chapters in High
School Physics Textbooks
K�bra Eryurt and Eray Şent�rk
Middle East Technical University, Turkey
The increased competition between countries puts the science education in the limelight of all
nations. Science education is no doubt very fundamental component of general education so that all
individuals become scientifically literate. The use of the history of science (HOS) in science education
allows educators to present rich and invaluable context to understand when, why and how scientific
ideas were proposed and developed within a scientific process. This valuable resource (HOS) has
been recognized by science historians and science educators to be used for educational purposes
since late nineteenth century. However, science in conventional classrooms has not gone far beyond
representing science as a collection of static scientific knowledge without mentioning human
endeavor as well as the scientific process that minimize the value of doing science. The concerns
regarding diminishing value of science and rejection of science kindled science curriculum revisions
across the world (i.e. Australia, Ireland, Canada, and Turkey) in last twenty years. In Turkish high
school physics program, science process skills and science-technology-society-environment related
objectives took their places as major components of teaching/learning physics in the curriculum in
addition to scientific content, and curriculum changes brought with the revisions of physics textbooks
accordingly. Even though the use of HOS has been recommended to improve conceptual
understanding by referring to concept development in science, provide more realistic portray of
nature of science, and humanize science as a product of human’s effort in the literature, how
sufficient was the HOS integrated into these new physics textbooks? In this respect, the current study
aims to investigate how HOS contents were used in high school physics textbooks.
The sample of the current study consisted of three (10th, 11th and 12th grade) physics textbooks,
which are the only textbooks permitted by Ministry of Education to be used in high schools. Unlike
previous studies, modern physics chapters were selected for historical content analysis rather than
analysis of whole textbook owing to the fact that these chapters are mostly associated with wellknown
contemporary physicists and their contributions to science in high school physics program.
For textbook analysis in terms of historical content, Leite’s (2002) checklist was selected due to its
comprehensive structure. The checklist was validated by analysis of five textbooks. Differences
among textbooks were shown as evidence that the checklist is able to distinguish diverse aspects of
historical content. The instrument consists of 8 major dimensions (i.e. 1.Type and organization of the
historical information) and several sub-dimensions (i.e. 1.1 Scientists, 1.2 Evolution of science) which
specify details under each dimension. These sub-dimensions were quantitatively analyzed, and
frequencies of occurrence were reported. Also, qualitative analysis has been done to emphasize
quality of used historical materials by providing examples from the textbooks.
In general, our findings, in the same line with Leite’s (2002) results, revealed that the modern physics
chapters are almost never able to give students a sufficient image of what was done by scientists as
well as of science. In chapters, besides, the discoveries and the results of researches were given
directly without referring to scientists’ efforts during painstaking process of their researches. This
may be resulted in the emergence of an idea as science is the geniuses’ job, not for ordinary people.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5E
Furthermore, the researchers could not find any contents such as scientists’ life stories (e.g. married,
having children, etc.) and description of the time they lived to overcome the negative image of
scientists. Moreover, scientists’ photographs presented in textbooks were generally old. For that
reason alone, we speculate that many students may think wrongly that the most of scientists have
found their discoveries in their old ages. Another point is the given format of scientists’ experiments.
They were figured as simple setups, and this may bring about the underestimation of how science
develops, how scientific research conduct, and how scientists work. Above all, the findings of this
study will provide a framework about how historical content might be integrated in modern physics
chapters of high school physics textbooks. In this respect, the results can be extended for teachers
and textbook writers worldwide about the use of HOS in science education.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19), history of science, physics textbooks,
modern physics
Topics: Curriculum
Contextual categorisation of academics’ understandings of teaching
Scott Daniel, Llewellyn Mann and Alexander Mazzolini
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
Despite large-class research-based instructional strategies being firmly established in the literature,
traditional lecturing remains the norm. This is particularly the case in physics, where Physics
Education Research (PER) has blossomed as a discipline in its own right over the last few decades, but
research-based strategies are not widely implemented.
This variation in practice is underpinned by variations in beliefs and understandings about teaching.
Studies investigating the spectrum of understandings of teaching held by teachers and, in particular,
academics have almost uniformly identified a single dimension from teacher-focussed to studentfocussed.
These studies have used a phenomenographic approach to capture the variety of
experiences of teaching, but have excluded contextual issues like class size.
Research Question
How does class size affect academics’ experiences of teaching?
This study used an online survey to compare and contrast respondents’ experiences of small and
large classes, and in particular lectures. The survey was promoted to Australian university academics
from a range of disciplines, predominantly science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
(STEM). Responses to the sets of small-class questions were analysed independently from the sets of
equivalent large-class questions. For each respondent their small-class responses were categorised,
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5E
where possible, as reflecting either a student or teacher focus, and likewise, independently, for their
large-class responses.
107 survey responses were received. Of these, 51 had the sets of both their large- and small-class
responses unambiguously categorised. Five of these reflected a student focus regardless of class size,
and 17 of these reflected a teacher focus regardless of class size. All of the remaining 29 responses
reflected a teacher focus in large classes, but a student focus in small classes. Conversely, none of the
responses showed a student focus in large classes with a teacher focus in small classes.
This result demonstrates that the one-dimensional analysis of understandings of teaching along the
spectrum of teacher-focussed to student-focussed is too simplistic. Understandings are contextual.
At the very least they depend on class size, and perhaps other factors.
It confirms the hierarchy of understanding from teacher-focussed to student-focussed reported
elsewhere in the literature, with the added feature of an intermediate stage of differing focus
depending on class size. One recommendation from this finding is that teaching professional
development programs should be tailored to suit these different groups. Moreover, further research
on context-specific understandings of teaching need to be explored.
Keywords: University education, lecturing, phenomenography
Topics: Teachers
Inquiry Based Science Education and Getting Immediate Students’
Feedback about Their Motivation
Martina Kekule1, Vojtech Zak1, Zuzana Jeskova2, Katarina Kimakova2, Maria Ganajova2
and Marian Kires2
1Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Czech
2University of P. J. Šaf�rik, Slovakia
The Establish project
The objective of the project ESTABLISH (funding from the European Community's Seventh
Programme [FP7/2007-2013] under grant agreement no 244749) is the wide use and dissemination
of inquiry-based teaching method for science education (IBSE) at secondary schools across Europe.
Over the course of the project, a number of ESTABLISH teaching and learning materials (units) have
been developed and adapted for the use in classrooms in participating countries.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 5E
The rationale for ESTABLISH lies in creating authentic learning environments for science by bringing
together and involving all relevant stakeholders, particularly the scientific and industrial community,
policy makers, parents, science education researchers and teachers to drive change in the classroom.
The aim of the paper and methods
For collecting evidence of the impact of the Establish project on students two questionnaires based on
the existing tools have been used. Questionnaire 1 is a part of Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI)
based on the Self-determination theory developed by Ryan and Deci (2000). It is aimed at assessing
students� interests, their perceived choice and usefulness of implemented learning units and should be
answered after each learning unit/several IBSE activities. Several items of CLES questionnaire are
included there as well. Questionnaire 2 assesses the impact on students’ attitudes towards science and
technology and on their knowledge about nature of building up science knowledge. Both
questionnaires exist in the lower and upper secondary school versions (12-15/16-19 year-old students).
The paper presents data and results which were obtained by addressing the Questionnaire 1, so that
the focus is on getting students’ feedback about their intrinsic motivation. Our assumption is that
active learning is associated with positive intrinsic motivation of students. That is why we find as very
important educators have a possibility to understand the phenomenon more deeply. We aim to
present the reliable tool for getting the feedback and to present a way of data processing which does
not need advanced statistical methods, so that teachers (as well as science education researchers)
can use and analyze data obtained by the tool.
The number of participants included in the questionnaire survey is more than 1500 (mainly 16-19
year-old students).
Means and standard deviations for items of the subscales Interest/Enjoyment, Perceived choice and
Value/Usefulness were computed. To determine the consistency of results, the Standard Pearson
correlation coefficient was computed for all items within the subscales. Based on the findings, we can
conclude that participants� answers (questionnaire results) were consistent (not responded
ESTABLISH project, available on <http://www.establish-fp7.eu>
Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI), available on
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation,
social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78, available on
Keywords: Students� feedback, motivation, questionnaire, IBSE
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6A
⋙Session 6A, 16:40-18:00⋘
The Current Situation of Students’ metacognition of the High School
Science Classrooms in Thailand
Warawun Chantharanuwong1, Kongsak Thathong1, Chokchai Yuenyong2, Khajornsak
Buaraphan3 and Gregory P. Thomas4
1Science Education, KKU, Thailand
2Khon Kaen University, Thailand
3Mahidol University, Thailand
4University of Alberta, Canada
This study aimed to explore students’ metacognition within their high school science classrooms in
Thailand. The Self-Efficacy and Metacognition Learning Inventory-Science (SEMLI-S) was the instrument
employed. It measures students’ metacognition, self efficacy and constructivist science learning
processes. The SEMLI-S has 30 items and five sub-scales. These five sub-scales, each reflecting a
dimension of students’ self-perceived metacognitive science learning orientation, are: Constructivist
Connectivity (CC), Monitoring, Evaluating, & Planning (MEP), Science-Learning Self-Efficacy (SE),
Learning Risk Awareness (AW), and Control of Concentration (CO). Statistical data were collected from
5418 high school students from 40 schools across Thailand. The data were analyzed using One-Way
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) statistical techniques. The analysis of the data suggests that statistically
significant variations exist in students’ metacognition in relation to their science learning according to
their gender (p < 0.01) and their regional location within Thailand (p < 0.05), and their grade level
(p < 0.05). No statistically significant variation was found according to participants’ age.
In relation to the MEP dimension, Male students reported statistically significantly higher levels than
female students (p < 0.05), students from the North of Thailand reported statistically significantly
higher levels than the others regions (p < 0.05), grade 10 students reported statistically significantly
higher levels than the other grade levels (p < 0.01). In relation to the CC dimension, male students
reported statistically significantly higher levels than female students (p < 0.001). No statistically
significant variations were found according to and region, grade, and age of students. In relation to
the SE dimension, male students reported statistically significantly higher levels than female students
(p < 0.001), students from the North of Thailand reported statistically significantly higher levels than
the others regions (p < 0.001), and grade 10 students reported statistically significantly higher levels
than the other grades (p < 0.05). No statistically significant variations were found according to the
age of students. In relation to the AW dimension, only the South region students reported
statistically significantly higher levels than the other regions (p < 0.05). No statistically significant
variations were found according to the gender, grade, and age of students. In relation to the CO
dimension only the South region students reported statistically significantly higher levels than the
other regions (p < 0.001). No statistically significant variations were found according to gender,
grade, and age of students. The implications of these variations are discussed.
Keywords: Metacognition, science classroom learning, Thailand
Topics: Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6A
Sequential Reasoning in Electricity: Developing and Using a ThreeTier
Multiple Choice Test
Hildegard Urban-Woldron
University College for Teacher Education Lower Austria, Austria
Electricity is one of the areas in physics most studied in terms of learning difficulties. There are three
categories of student difficulties: inability to apply formal concepts to electric circuits, inability to use
and interpret formal representations of an electric circuit, and inability to qualitatively argue about
the behavior of an electric circuit (McDermott & Shaffer, 1992). Misconceptions are strongly held and
stable cognitive structures, which differ from expert conception and affect how students understand
scientific explanations (Hammer, 1996). Therefore, there is need for conceptual understanding tests
which are useful in diagnosing the nature of students’ misconceptions related to simple electric
circuits and therefore, can serve as a valid and reliable measure of students’ qualitative
understanding of simple electric circuits. A test instrument should be applicable both for physics
education research and for the teachers in the classrooms to measure students’ qualitative thinking.
As ordinary multiple choice tests with one-tier were highly criticized in overestimating the students’
right as well as wrong answers, two- and three-tier tests were developed by researchers. In addition,
the author has already developed a questionnaire as a diagnostic tool using two-tier test items to
identify common misconceptions in electricity where she could identify ten different alternative
conceptions in the context of basic electricity (Urban-Woldron & Hopf, 2012). Although, there is
much research related to students’ conceptions in basic electricity, there is a lack of instruments for
testing electricity concepts of students at grade 7, especially addressing an electric circuit as
a system. In consequence, the context of the present study is an extension to the development of the
instrument described above for testing electricity concepts of students at grade 7 on only two
specific aspects in depth: first, to develop three-tier items for figuring out sequential reasoning, and
second, to distinguish between misconceptions and lack of knowledge.
The participants of the study included 339 secondary school students from grade 7 to 12 (183
female; mean age = 14.7 years, SD = 1.7; 18 forms, 7 schools) after instruction about electricity.
Content validity was proved by presenting the test as well as the objectives to expert teachers to
ensure that the domain was adequately covered. Construct validity was evaluated through
confirmatory factor analysis. Extensive analyses supply prime examples that a correct test answer is
not yet proof that the student had really understood the underlying concept and that definitely
correct answers are overestimated if researchers and/or teachers use only one tier in a multiple
choice instrument. Findings from ANOVA reveal a main effect of the particular school, respectively
the particular teacher for correct answers. Surprisingly, there are no dependences on students’
misconceptions neither according to their gender nor to their age. Sequential reasoning and viewing
a battery as a source of constant current seem to be two negatively related concepts. In conclusion,
the findings of the study suggest that four items for uncovering students’ sequential reasoning can
serve as a valid and reliable measure of students’ qualitative understanding of the systemic character
of an electric circuit. Additionally, findings of a case study, specifically addressing students’
misconceptions related to sequential reasoning, by conducting teachings experiments and by using
the test instrument mentioned above will be reported.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6A
Hammer, D. (1996). More than misconceptions: Multiple perspectives on student knowledge and
reasoning, and an appropriate role for educational research. American Journal of Physics, 64(10),
McDermott, L.C. & Shaffer, P.S. (1992). Research as a guide for curriculum development: An example
form introductory electricity. Part I: investigation of student understanding. American Journal of
Physics, 60, 11, 994-1003.
Urban-Woldron, H. & Hopf, M. (2012). Developing a multiple choice test for understanding basic
electricity. ZfDN, 18, 201-227.
Keywords: Three-tier test items, sequential reasoning in electricity, student conceptual
understanding, viewing an electric circuit as a system
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning, Teachers, Teaching
Examining Factors that Influence High School Physics Students' Choice
of Science as a Career
Ann Cavallo, Ramon Lopez and Greg Hale
University of Texas at Arlington, United States
In recent years in the U.S. there has been strong emphasis on the need to increase the pipeline of
students choosing to pursue science careers, and especially science teaching as a career. Programs to
recruit future science teachers, like the National Science Foundation Noyce Scholarship program, as
well as future scientists depend on a better understanding of the factors that influence students'
choices whether or not to study science at the university. This study on high school physics students
examined various factors referenced in the literature that may be related to choices in pursuing
science careers. These factors include: students’ learning approaches (meaningful versus rote),
beliefs about Nature of Science (NOS), self-efficacy toward success in science, scientific reasoning,
spatial ability, and science enjoyment. These factors were analyzed according to gender and science
career choice. The specific purposes of this study were to: 1) explore possible differences and
interactions between these factors among male and female high school physics students, and
2) determine relationships and possible predictive influences of learning approaches, beliefs about
NOS, self-efficacy, scientific reasoning, spatial ability, and science enjoyment on male and female
students’ intentions to pursue science careers. High school physics students in three different high
schools (N = 138) were administered questionnaires to measure the selected factors. Among the
results to be reported, there were significant differences in learning approaches between males and
females, with males using more meaningful learning compared to females who tended to learn more
by rote; students pursuing science careers have greater self-efficacy toward success in science; and
males have higher spatial ability compared to female physics students. Self-efficacy was a significant
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6A
predictor among females choosing to pursue science careers, whereas meaningful learning was the
most significant predictor among male students.
Keywords: High school physics, science career choices, meaningful learning, spatial ability, reasoning
ability, self-efficacy, gender differences
Topics: Learning, Socio-cultural Issues
The development of Physics Teacher Education Programmes in
Inquiry Based Science Education (ESTABLISH)
Eilish Mcloughlin1, Sarah Brady1, Odilla Finlayson1, Claudio Fazio2, Ton Ellermeijer3, Ewa
Kedzierska3, Marian Kires4, Leos Dvorak5 and Christina Ottander6
1CASTeL, DCU, Ireland
2Universita Degli Studi di Palermo, Italy
3Centre for Microcomputer Applications, Netherlands
4Univerzita Pavla Jozefa Šaf�rika v Kosiciach, Slovakia
5Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, Czech
6Umea Universitet, Sweden
International reports have identified the need for “engaging curricula to tackle the issue of out-of
date and irrelevant contexts and to enable teachers to develop their knowledge and pedagogical
skills” (European Commission (EC), High Level Group on Science Education 2007, Osbourne, Dillon
2008). The FP7 funded project ESTABLISH ('European Science and Technology in Action Building Links
with Industry, Schools and Home') aims to promote the use of Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE)
in the classroom by developing and implementing innovative units and teacher education
programmes, and adapting them for each country across Europe. In particular ESTABLISH aims to
create authentic learning environments for science students by including industry informed contexts
and problems (Industrial Content Knowledge) that can be tackled in the classroom. This approach is
targeted at achieving increased use of IBSE methodologies by teachers and thereby impacting
positively on student's intrinsic motivation in science and technology, improving scientific literacy,
promoting student involvement in experiential learning and informing science career choices by
This presentation will discuss the approach adopted by ESTABLISH consortium for the development
of teacher education programmes, that facilitate participating teacher’s gaining experience in inquiry
using ESTABLISH teaching and learning Units and activities. In particular, four key elements of these
programmes in relation to physics teacher education will be discussed: I. Introduction to Inquiry;
II. Industrial Content Knowledge; III. Teacher as an Implementer; and IV Teacher as a Developer. The
adoption of these programmes in several countries will be presented and results of implementing
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6A
these programmes with Physics Teachers and the impact on them and their students will be
Keywords: IBSE, inquiry, teacher education, ESTABLISH
Topics: Teachers, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6B
Session 6B, 16:40-18:00
History Sheds Light on the Difference of Nature between Physics and
Mathematics Guiding Physics Educators to Better Understanding Mind
Preferences of Students
Lina Vinitsky-Pinsky1 and Igal Galili2
1Achva Academic College & The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
2The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Physics and mathematics are two areas of intellectual activity that have been deeply interwoven
throughout the long history of science. One may appreciate the nature of each by realizing their
difference. Aristotle's ideas expressed in his Physics (Aristotle, 1984) – his account for Zeno
paradoxes among them – may illustrate seeking rigor as exceeding physics ideology consolidated
with time. History added numerous examples such as when great mathematicians ardently pursued
calculation of pi number, ignored by physics colleagues who never tried proving existence of motion.
Physicists used velocity as derivative without care of uncertainty of the ratio of two infinitesimals.
Science educators may employ historical examples for better understanding the ideologies of both
realms – mathematics and physics – identifying the specific mind features displayed by the two. The
relationship between physics and mathematics is complex. Mutual appreciation and intuitive
separation of interests are sometimes striking and sometimes invisible. Different perspectives imply
different values. The state of being different in nature but still deeply interwoven and mutually
dependent creates a special uncertainty regarding school curricula which deserves clarification.
The case of our system of education may be illustrative. While mathematics is mandatory, physics,
for a long time, remained elective and chosen by a minority of high school students. The latter
presumed to excel in math. Is that precondition really justified? Does physics and math require the
same intelligence? What level and what kind of math do students need to manage with school
physics? These questions we posed in our study for which our historical review served as a guiding
background, a vertex of triangulation. We analyzed interviews with practitioners and experts in
physics education performed in a constructive-qualitative format of qualitative research. Our sample
included teachers of physics, mathematics and physics, science, physics professors experienced in
school teaching, science education researchers, and the chief supervisor of physics teaching in the
Ministry of Education. The teachers work in rural and urban schools different in socioeconomic
settings. Our findings inform about the experience that although mathematics preparation
apparently correlates with students’ performance in physics class, it cannot guarantee students’
success in learning physics equal to that they had in math. The claims for the need of good math
knowledge for learning physics were interwoven with those stating that the learner hardly needs
more than algebraic technique to perform well in physics class. We found that the dependence of
physics on mathematics deserves more elaboration and that the notion that logico-mathematical
intelligence as what one requires for learning science and mathematics should be refined and
historical knowledge may help in that process. Seemingly, the two subjects appeal to different
features of intelligence (Vinitsky-Pinsky & Galili, 2013a). The opinions of "bright minds" among
physics and mathematicians, their practices may shed additional light on the subject and can guide
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6B
physics educators to better understanding of the mind preferences of our students. The difference of
intellectual interests, skills, and abilities imply a need of delicate balance between mathematical and
physical aspects of knowledge to be reflected in the physics curricula. Complementarity might be the
feature elucidating this balance. The structure of cultural content knowledge (CCK, Galili, 2011) may
be useful to represent physics-mathematics relationship in the curricula (Vinitsky-Pinsky & Galili,
Aristotle, (350 B.C.E. /1984). ‘Physics’, In W. D. Ross(trans) and . J. Barnes (eds). The Complete Works
of Aristotle. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Galili, I. (2012). Promotion of Cultural Content Knowledge Through the Use of the History and
Philosophy of Science. Science & Education, 21(9), 1283-1316.
Vinitsky-Pinsky, L. & Galili, I. (2013a). Refinement of Logico-Mathematical Intelligence in the Context
of Physics Education. Puerto Rico: NARST conference 2013.
Vinitsky-Pinsky, L. & Galili, I. (2013b). The Need to Clarify the Relationship between Physics and
Mathematics in Science Curriculum: Cultural Knowledge as Possible Framework. Rome: WCES
conference 2013.
Keywords: History, physics nature, mathematics nature, mind, preferences
Topics: Curriculum, Learning
Understanding physics equations and PCK: The case of centripetal
Ricardo Karam
University of Hamburg, Germany
Previous works on students’ understanding of physics equations have adopted different frameworks
to define what “understanding equations” means. Among them, Sherin (2000) states that students
learn to understand physics equations in terms of symbolic forms, where each form associates
a simple conceptual schema with a pattern of symbols in an equation. Bagno et al. (2008) take the
multiple task perspective to argue that students can demonstrate their understanding of a formula
by presenting an association map, describing its components with their own words, identifying
special cases and applying it in problem solving. In this work, I first intend to add some aspects to
that list of demands, by including the need for an "epistemological categorization of equations". Such
categorization would allow one to distinguish between equations that represent definitions
(e.g. v = dr/dt and p = mv), principles/axioms (∑p = 0 and δS = 0), empirical relations (e.g. Balmer’s
formula), from other equations that can be logically derived from definitions and principles
(e.g. ac = v2
/r and E = mc2
). Even though this distinction is not always sharp, being aware of it should
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6B
enable physics teachers to prepare lessons according to the different epistemological status of the
equations they teach.
Equations that belong to the latter category seem to demand a particular kind of instruction that
should include some sort of formal derivation. The centripetal acceleration equation (ac = v2
/r) is an
example of this kind because although one can get a physical intuition of its relation with the velocity
and the radius, a mathematical derivation is needed to understand the quadratic dependence of the
speed. The present work reports a qualitative exploratory study, in which 28 physics teacher
students were asked to design a lesson plan on centripetal acceleration and to describe how they
would explain this equation to their students. It is noted that only 3 students mentioned the need for
a derivation of this equation and, among them, just one actually presented a possibility. During
instruction, the students were presented with different ways of deriving the centripetal acceleration
equation and discussed about them with the whole class. Using semi-structured interviews and the
students’ responses to a post-instruction questionnaire, we were able to assess their views on the
role of derivations in teaching about centripetal acceleration. The preliminary results of this study are
presented and discussed.
Bagno, E., Berger, H., & Eylon, B. S. (2008). Meeting the challenge of students’ understanding of
formulae in high-school physics: A learning tool. Physics Education, 43(1), 75.
Sherin, B. L. (2001). How students understand physics equations. Cognition and Instruction, 19(4),
Keywords: Mathematics in physics education, understanding equations, PCK
Topics: Learning, Teachers, Teaching
Mathematical reasoning and knowledge organization: Comparing
students’ conceptualizations of the electrostatic field
Ricardo Karam and Terhi M�ntyl�
University of Hamburg, Germany
University of Helsinki, Finland
Although the concept of field is one of the core theoretical constructs of physics, it is also among the
most abstract ones and, therefore, its teaching/learning poses a major challenge for physics
education. In fact, a deep understanding of this concept seems to correlate with one’s ability to
represent it in different ways (e.g. field lines, vectors, functions, differential operators, etc).
Considering the electrostatic field, for example, one student taking a course at university level will be
introduced to numerous representations of this concept (e.g. 𝐸 ⃗ =
𝑟2 𝑟̂ =
𝑟3 𝑟⃗,
𝐸 ⃗ = −grad 𝑉, ∮ 𝐸 ⃗ ∙ 𝑛 d𝐴 =
, among others). In this sense, to understand the concept of
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6B
electrostatic field would be associated with the ability to recognize these different mathematical
representations, to identify their applications as well as their limitations, and also to connect them
through reasoning. Concerning this latter aspect, we are mainly interested in the following question:
What is the relation between a sound knowledge of various mathematical formulations and one’s
ability to perceive the relations between different conceptualizations; of the electrostatic field?
In this study we analyze the influence of mathematical reasoning in the way physics teacher students
structure their knowledge of electrostatics. A semester course called Concepts and Structures of
Physics was given with the goal of deepening students’ understanding of the electromagnetic theory
and also to introduce them to a particular way of representing their knowledge with concept
networks (similar to concept maps). A part of the course was dedicated to the teaching of central
concepts, experiments and principles of electrostatics. One of the final products of the course was
the students' creation of concept networks that express their knowledge of the electrostatic field and
encompass the development of this concept. Together with the networks, the students wrote
reports where they explained in detail the meaning of each node (concept, principle, experiment,
model or law) and their connections. In this work, we compare the explanations given by the
students and the kind of connections presented in their networks, taking into account the different
mathematical formalisms used in their reports. Preliminary results indicate that students who made
use of more formal (abstract, advanced) mathematical representations (e.g. differential form, vector
field, integrals) were able to make deeper connections between different conceptualizations of the
electrostatic field when compared with the ones that presented less mathematical (more
“conceptual”) reports. Some of these specific differences are presented and possible reasons are
Keywords: Mathematics in physics, electrostatic field, knowledge structure, concept networks
Topics: Learning, Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6C
Session 6C, 16:40-18:00
The Interference of Representations as Production Condition in the
Physics Teaching
Maria Jos� P. M. Almeida1 and Roberto Nardi2
1State University of Campinas –UNICAMP, Brazil
2UNESP/FC, Brazil
Large number of studies already carried out on alternative conceptions related to physical content
showed that individuals already have representations about the physical world, even before any
interaction. Many of those alternative conceptions are not consistent with the knowledge accepted
by the scientific community. Studies on conceptual change have shown possibilities and limits for
overcoming of those conceptions. With this communication we argue that in order to organize
production conditions of teaching physics, in addition to teaching strategies, content knowledge and
alternative conceptions about such content, it is also necessary to take into account the
representations of another type. With this goal, this work is based on the notions of discourse
analysis and follows the proposal initiated in France by Michel P�cheux. In this theory, the language
is not considered to be transparent, the discourse is effect of senses between interlocutors and the
production conditions are the immediate, but also the socio-historical. The interpretation is affected
by ambiguity and the representations are associated with imaginary backgrounds that interfere in
discourse production and interpretation. For example: between the conditions of production of a
class there are the imaginary of the students about who is the teacher. In addition to the theoretical
exploration of the notion of representation and to highlight how some representations interfere in
the production of meanings by students and teachers, we also examine aspects of some responses
from researchers of teaching physics to the question: "The production and growth of the area of
science education have interfered in the way we form teachers in Brazil? Why? (for negative
answers) And how? (for positive answers). In this case, we look for what had contributed to the
researcher give such answer (discourse). The main contribution of the study is to suggest that we
should consider in the teaching of physics some aspects of the imaginary of those who teaches and
of those who should learn. All those aspects are very often overlooked.
Keywords: Representations, discourse analysis, physics teaching, production condition
Topics: Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6C
Grade 12 students’ conceptions of gravity and gravitation
Subramaniam Ramanathan1 and Siew-Lin Lee2
1Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
2Academy of Singapore Teachers, Singapore
Textbooks often use the terms, gravity and gravitation, in different contexts. For example, phrases
such as acceleration due to gravity and universal law of gravitation, implicitly portray that the key
words used – gravity and gravitation, are somewhat different. In other words, whilst gravitation is
perceived to be the force of attraction between two objects, gravity is perceived to be the pull of a
celestial body on an object in it. Whilst scientifically they are the same, it is possible that the way
textbooks (and, by extension, teachers) use the terms in different contexts could seed
misconceptions in students that the two terms are different and this could come in the way of
students achieving a holistic understanding of the topic. With a view towards understanding the
prevalence of the misconception, a study was conducted on Grade 12 students (N = 180) to elicit
their understanding and conceptions of these two terms. They were asked to explain their
understanding of these two terms in two open-ended questions. The responses to these two
questions were then analyzed using the grounded theory approach. The students’ responses to each
of these questions were classified into the various categories which emerged from the analysis of the
data. The different categories which emerged were then checked by two experienced physics
teachers. They were in broad agreement with the classification of the categories. Cohen’s kappa and
inter-rater reliability for the categories were determined as well and found to be acceptable. Results
showed that a significant number of the students viewed the two terms differently while others
thought they were similar. Cross-over variations of the definitions were also encountered. The
variation in the responses of the students to the two terms can be traced to how textbooks portray
these concepts and also how these are taught in class. Some suggestions for resolving these
differences are suggested as well as implications for teaching.
Keywords: Gravity, gravitation, Cohen’s kappa, inter-rater reliability, grounded theory
Topics: Curriculum, Learning, Teaching
Is there a similarity between a cup of coffee and an electric capacitor?
Lea Valentina Lavrik and Vladimir Meir Shunyakov
Lifshitz Academic College, Israel
Differential equations are important instruments of physical science
The creating of the physical science coincided with the creation of the differential equations theory,
since only one single person Sir Isaac Newton was their author. Differential equations are perhaps
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6C
the main mathematical language in the physical science. Physical laws, which are taught at school,
such as the Newton's second law, the Ohm's law, the electromagnetic induction law, the Newton's
law of cooling bodies, the law of radioactive decay, etc., may be described by differential equations.
The pedagogical problem
But this fact is usually hidden from the students. It is believed that this branch of mathematics is too
difficult and inaccessible to secondary school students. On the other hand, students of universities
and colleges need to have a pre-physical intuition, in order to master the theory of differential
In this regard, it is useful to recall the statement of the famous mathematician V.I. Arnold about the
relationship between mathematics and physics: “Mathematics is a part of physics. Physics is an
experimental science, a part of natural science. Mathematics is the part of physics where
experiments are cheap”. So simple physical experiments done online - mode, can help students
develop their physical intuition. Therefore, these experiments can serve as a launching pad for entry
into the world of differential equations.
Our proposition
In this work we consider theoretically and experimentally two phenomena, which have different
physical nature, but are described by those same differential equations. They are the processes of
a cooling hot body and a capacitor discharging. Using a mathematical analogy between these
processes, we can predict, for example, in which case the coffee cools down faster if you add cream
in it at the beginning of the cooling or at the end, using the results of the experimental discharge
capacitor. A second additional capacitor, connected to the first capacitor by parallel, is the analogue
of a cream which is added to the hot coffee.
This paper presents the experimental data and comparing these results with theoretical solutions of
corresponding differential equations. We hope that this work may be intended for university and
college students and for teachers in secondary schools.
Keywords: Equations, discharging, cooling
Topics: Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6C
Using analogies and problem solving for studying electric circuits:
results from several schools’ teaching in practice
Andreia Salvador, Maria Almeida and Margarida Ramalho
CEMDRX, Physics Department, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University
of Coimbra, Portugal
This study is part of an educational investigation on Physics teaching aiming at minimizing Portuguese
students’ learning difficulties when progressing from lower to upper secondary school. The report is
focused on simple electric circuits. Curricular Orientations in Portugal suggest that 9th level students
(age 14-15) should “build some simple circuits, identify its components, measure currents and potential
differences and analyze energy transfers”. Students learn “rules” based on experimental evidences.
Nowhere in the Orientations can one find any concern about promoting students’ understanding of the
meaning of all these abstract concepts. Based on an analogy between the behavior of “Children
in a school yard”, subject to different stimuli, and Drude’s free electron model, a methodology was
created to develop students’ deeper understanding of the simplest abstract concepts of this scientific
model. This analogy helps students understanding the roles of the different circuit components and
inferring correlations of behaviors, enabling them to preview consequences of changes in electric
circuits. Parallel and series circuits, open circuits and short circuits are easily understood, as well as
Ohm’s law. One objective of this methodology is to avoid the creation of future misconceptions and to
correct any of the well-known very common scientifically wrong preconceptions.
To analyze the development of students’ ideas, we complemented this approach with problem
solving, specially designed to foster students’ explanations of their answers.
This work began with a pilot study with two experimental classrooms, A and B, and one control one,
classroom C. The analogy was only used in classroom A, both classrooms A and B solved the same
number of specially designed problems, and class C followed closely the manual, strongly influenced
by the Curricular Orientations. Every student solved the manual’s problems and worked with the
experimental set ups mentioned in it. The students answered the same pre- and post- tests.
The pilot study results point towards a meaningful positive influence of the problem solving
methodology on the students’ learning (classrooms A and B), being much higher on classroom A,
where the analogy was also used. Furthermore, existing misconceptions revealed on the pre-tests
were corrected up to almost 100% in classroom A.
After designing support documents for teachers, the reported experience was disclosed to another
9 teachers who are running it in 14 classrooms. The results of their experiences will be reported
in the presentation.
Keywords: Secondary education: lower (ages about 11-15), misconceptions, electric circuits,
analogies, problem solving, teaching in practice
Topics: Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6D
Session 6D – workshop, 16:40-18:00
Simple and Beautiful Experiments VI by LADY CATS and Science
Teachers’ Group
Kyoko Ishii1, Fumiko Okiharu2, Masako Tanemura3, Mika Yokoe4, Haruka Onishi5, MasaAki
Taniguchi6, Tasuhiro Uchida6, Junichiro Yasuda7, Hisashi Kogetsu8, Shinjiro Ogawa9,
Takanari Sasaki6, Kazuhiro Tokuda6, Shinnosuke Suzuki6, Shuhei Miyamoto6, Takahiro
Shogenji10, Shuji Mikami11 and Hiroshi Kawakatsu6
1Fukui University, Japan
2Niigata University, Japan
3Osaka Kyoiku University, Japan
4Daishogakuen High School, Japan
5Nishinomiya-inazu Senior High School, Japan
6Meijo University, Japan
7Gifu University, Japan
8Doshisha High Schoo, Japan
9Waseda University Senior High School, Japan
10Kyoto Tachibana University, Japan
11Kyoto University of Education, Japan
LADY CATS (LADY Creators of Activities for Teaching Science) is an organization of science teachers.
Our group includes a lot of female teachers, which is rather unusual in the field of physics.
Our concepts of experiments are follows: the “simple” experiments which the teachers in the world
can utilize by lesson easily, the “beautiful” experiments that children get interested, and the
“essential” experiments which can demonstrate the principles of physics. We aim to develop
excavate and spread such experiments.
Effective teaching materials will be presented on our hands-on workshop. Let’s enjoy with us!!
Keywords: Hands-on experiments, low-cost, essential, female
Topics: Experiments
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6E
Session 6E, 16:40-18:00
The Impact of Inquiry Based Physics Modules on Students’ Motivation
within the PROFILES Project in Georgia
Marika Kapanadze1, Ekaterine Slovinsky1 and Claus Bolte2
1Ilia State University, Georgia
2Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany
PROFILES (2010) is a four year European FP7 funded project in the field of “Science in Society”.
Inquiry based science learning (IBSL) is in the centre of the PROFILES project (Bolte, Holbrook, Rauch,
2012). A major feature of PROFILES is the professionalization of science teachers through continuous
professional development (CPD).
PROFILES aims at improving teachers’ self-efficacy in implementing PROFILES modules based on
a philosophy of Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) through a socio-scientific approach which
recognizes the importance of science education as more than content and skills and the need for an
education through science perception.
In the frame of the PROFILES project in-service physics teacher CPD programmes were conducted at
Ilia State University, Georgia. PROFILES modules were created and adapted with respect to the
Georgian National Curricula. These modules are discussed and optimized by the participating physics
teacher during the CPD courses and implemented in Georgian schools.
How the teachers are adapted and implement PROFILES should be detectable by characterizing
changes and outcomes of the PROFILES lessons that the students experience throughout the duration
of the PROFILES intervention. Implementation of the PROFILES modules are evaluated by means of the
MoLE (Motivation Learning Environment) questionnaire (Bolte, 2006; Bolte, Streller, 2011).
Our MoLE pre-post test analyses show that the “PROFILES students” are more motivated to learn
physics compared with the finding of the control group students.
In our the presentation PROFILES modules (“Traffic Accident – who is to blame?” and “What should
we take for hiking - Coca Cola or Coca Cola Zero?”) will be described and discussed as well as the
results of MoLE questionnaire.
Bolte, C., Holbrook, J., & Rauch, F. (2012; eds.). Inquiry-based Science Education in Europe: First
Examples and Reflections from the PROFILES Project. Berlin: Freie Universit�t Berlin. Print: University
of Klagenfurt (Austria).
Bolte, C. (2006) Evaluating Science Instruction by using the Motivational Learning Environment
Questionnaire. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association
(AERA). San Francisco, USA
Bolte, C., Streller, S., (2011) Evaluating Student Gains in the PROFILES Project. Proceedings of the
European Science Educational Research Association (ESERA), Lyon, France.
PROFILES (2010): www.profiles-project.eu
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6E
Keywords: Inquiry-Based science education, continuous professional development, motivation
learning environment
Topics: Learning, Teachers, Teaching
Learning about simple electric properties in early childhood
James Thomas1 and Aletta Thomas2
1Sebaka sa Kgolo NGO, South Africa
2Univeristy of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Very young children are often not receiving opportunities in learning (and playing with) the basic
concepts of physics – it is regarded as too difficult. In the cyclical design experiments reported on
here, under-privileged children and teachers participating in the early childhood development (ECD)
phase are embedded in inquiry-based instruction; embedding not only cognitive development also
spatial manipulation and language development in social contexts. The competency (using Piagetian
and Vygotskian tasks) of four and five year old children to participate meaningfully in the lessons is
The paper reports on a pilot study with play and learn activities in six cr�ches, with six teachers and
120 children participating. The researchers, cr�che teachers and a teacher-researcher develop and
lead the lessons. Existing ECD lessons such as those used in the Head Start programme in the USA are
adapted for use, with preference for lessons with play and peer talk. The data are generated from
video-taped competency experiments and lessons at one cr�che (one of the poorest).
For this report, the interactions of four children are studied in detail, with the opportunity to
reference and clarify findings from other video-tapes.
The analyses of children’s competency in conservation tasks show similarities with international
findings in the Piagetian competency tasks (e.g. that the five year old participants are unable to
conserve) and unexpected complexities emerging, such that children are clearly amazed at the static
electrical phenomena they observed but were unable to venture explanations. This indicates
a serious design flaw in our first design cycle. Data and the analyses from one lesson on simple
electrical circuits are presented and changes based on the complex findings are suggested.
Keywords: Early childhood education, children's competence, learning physics
Topics: Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Learning, Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6E
Pedagogical content knowledge through video-based lesson analysis
of a Colombian high school physics teacher on electric fields
Lina Viviana Melo Ni�o, Florentina Ca�ada Ca�ada and Vicente Mellado Jim�nez
Universidad de Extremadura, Spain
In view of the current debate in Colombia about training science teacher, a qualitative study was
undertaken involving a purposeful sampling pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of a Colombian
high school physics teacher that he have do numerous innovations about physics teaching. The
objective is to show, the importance of this knowledge in in-service training physics teacher, and the
necessity of design intervention programs based on reflection for developing of PCK in particular
Data were obtained using video recordings from 6 classroom observations of the teaching and
learning of the following topics/concepts: (1) methods of charging (2) Coulomb’s Law,
(3) superposition of electric forces (3) electric field, (4) electric potential. This video analysis was
triangulated using data from a interview, an open choice questionnaire, the planning template, and,
the matrix designed by Loughran, Berry & Mulhall (2006) to represent content (ReCo), to which some
modifications were made in the number of questions and the form of selecting the core ideas on
teaching electric fields.
The findings revealed a static PCK whit tendency to traditional model of teaching. The belief about
the high level of abstraction of electric field, in comparison with other topics of his curriculum, and
institutional requirements limit the teaching strategies used. This statement justifies a more focused
education in the teacher, where the logic that articulates the content ignores the reflections that the
teacher has done on the needs and difficulties of their students about learning the electric field.
Abell, S. K. (2007). Research on science teacher knowledge. In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (eds.),
Handbook of Research on Science Education (pp. 1105-1140). N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.
Loughran, J., Berry, A., & Mulhall, P. (2006). Understanding and Developing Science Teachers’
Pedagogical Content Knowledge. (Eds) Sense Publishers
Furi�, C., y Guisasola, J. (2001). La ense�anza del Concepto de Campo El�ctrico basada en un modelo
de aprendizaje como investigaci�n orientado. Ense�anza de las Ciencias. 19 (2), 319-334.
Keywords: Pedagogical content knowledge, electric field, video-based analysis-of-practice
Topics: Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6E
Secondary Students’ Understandings of Electric Circuits Based on the
Microscopic Surface Charge Model
Seungman Kim and Junehee Yoo
Seoul National University, Republic of Korea
In conventional public school science curricula, the concepts of static electricity and electric currents
are taught in isolation, despite being integrally related to one-another. Despite the importance of
static charge (i.e. surface charge) distribution in electric circuits, little to no attention is given to it
until the later years of post-secondary education. A teaching approach based on surface charge
model for secondary level students to bridge electrostatics and electric circuits fostering electric field
and electric potential concepts is presented.
The teaching sequences starts from demonstrations (e.g., the movement of metal wrapped ping
pong ball between two metal plates connected to and charged by Wimshurst electrostatic generator)
introduced to guide student relate surface charge density with the concept of electric field and
potential difference. To improve the way these concepts are demonstrated to students in electric
circuit, we developed interactive circuit boards (ECL_WB; Electric Circuit Learning White Board) using
uninsulated aluminum tape in place of insulated wires, which enables students to relate surface
charge distribution to electric voltage by applying a voltmeter at any place in the circuit. The ECL_WB
is well-suited for laboratory lessons since it uses recognizable circuit topology (i.e. simplified simple
and parallel circuits) set against a whiteboard background, which allows students and demonstrators
to write visual cues (e.g. +/- for potential difference, arrows for electric field, etc…) on the circuit
board to further explain the behavior of the circuit.
Embedded assessment and electric circuit concept test result show that the developed teaching
intervention helped students to understand electric circuit phenomena in more microscopic model
aspect and improve electric circuit concepts especially in the area of micro and qualitative questions,
electric potential and voltage, and circuit as a system.
Keywords: Surface charge model, Electric Circuit Learning White Board, measurement and
visualization, electric circuit concept
Topics: Curriculum, Experiments, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session 6F
Session 6F – workshop, 16:40-18:00
Concept driven activities with simple experiments: a MUSE* workshop
about selective absorption of light
Laurence Viennot1, Andreas Mueller2, Gorazd Planinsic3 and Elena Sassi4
1Universit� Paris- Diderot (Paris 7), France
2Universit� de Gen�ve, Switzerland
3Faculty for Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
4Department of Physics, Science Faculty, University of Naples "Federico II",
The goal of this workshop is that the participants (N≈25) may experience and then discuss
a particular kind of teaching-learning activities. The objective of these activities is conceptual
construction/understanding of a given content – here selective absorption of light by a transparent
medium. The first phase of the workshop will immerse participants in the kind of intended learning
situation, while in the second phase the participants will analyze the content and the staging of the
first phase. As a whole, the workshop will simulate a situation of teacher education. Concerning the
conceptual content, the suggested activities are centered on selective absorption of light. It is
designed in order to make one aware of considering not only the spectral composition and intensity
of light but also the multiplicative status of absorption rate by a filter or a solution. Thorough
understanding of this aspect, indeed, is essential to reconcile common school knowledge about
colour and observation of various phenomena, such as colour of the sun or the moon at different
heights, or else dichromatism of some solutions. The influence of thickness of the absorbing medium
on these phenomena will be examined, and the sequence of experiments presented to illustrate,
step by step, how exponential dependence arises from multiplicativity and a basic property of the
exponential function. Finally, a whole group discussion will be centered on the transfer of the
workshop to different audiences (students, teacher educators). All participants will receive written
material with descriptions of the experiments, including handouts directly usable in the class or to be
adapted to different contexts.
*MUSE: More Understanding with Simple Experiments; an initiative of the Physics Education
Divisionof the European Physical Society (http://education.epsdivisions.org/muse)
Keywords: Conceptual construction, absorbance, exponential dependence
Topics: Experiments, Learning, Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session WN2D
⋙Session Workshop night 2D, 20:00-21:30⋘
Thermal sensitive foils in physics experiments
Zdeněk Bochn�ček and Pavel Konečn�
Masaryk University, Czech Republic
Thermal sensitive foils (TSF) are used for an approximate measurement of the temperature. They
change their colour with temperature and now are commercially available also in larger sizes.
The set of experiments with TSF will be presented during the workshop. They can be used for the
qualitative demonstration of thermal conductivity of solids, thermal capacity, gas heating and cooling
in adiabatic compression and expansion, gas flow in aerodynamics and for the detection of infrared
radiation. These experiments can be helpful in physics education at all types of schools, from
elementary to universities. Some of the experiments are very easy to prepare and provide and do not
require any special equipment.
At the workshop the participants will make their own simple kit for demonstration of thermal
conduction, temperature changes in adiabatic processes and finally the cheap VIS cut filter for
imaging in infrared light. The real transmission spectra of hand made filters will also be possible to
measure at the workshop.
Maximal number of participants: 20.
Keywords: Measurement of temperature, thermal properties, aerodynamics, infrared radiation
Topics: Experiments
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session WN2E
Session Workshop night 2E, 20:00-21:30
Toward understanding of liquid crystal display: School experiments
with liquid crystals
Mojca Cepic, Jerneja Pavlin, Maja Pecar, Katarina Susman and Sasa Ziherl
Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Students, but also everybody else, meet liquid crystals every day. They are hidden within the screen
of their mobile equipment: phones, pads and portable computers. Liquid crystals are also a vivid part
of academic and applicative research, number of researchers counting several thousand. These two
facts, the research significance of the topic and the content related to everyday life, makes liquid
crystals a valuable topic for introduction into the teaching and learning of physics at all levels, from
primary education to the university [1].
This workshop consists of two parts: The experimental support for developing students'
understanding of the elementary unit of the liquid crystalline screen – the pixel, and the set of more
elaborated experiments allowing university students for constructing the understanding of the
(usually rather complex) conoscopic figure of transparent anisotropic material.
The first part will allow attendees to perform a set of experiments that were used in the high school
within the tested unit on liquid crystals. This part of the workshop is complementary to the work
presented by Pavlin et al [2], as it gives additional information on the practical work of students such
as: the phases of the liquid crystal, the ordering of the liquid crystal, the construction of the model
The second part of the workshop will allow attendees to perform a set of experiments, which
together lead the University students to understanding of the concept of double refraction and
birefringence and the measurements of the two such as the light direction dependence of
birefringence, the influence of the thickness, direction and the material on the transmission of light
through the anisotropic material between crossed polarizer and the construction of a simple model
conoscope. Anisotropic properties of transparent materials are traditionally measured by
conoscopes, by evaluating the conoscopic figure according to the cook book recipes. The set of
experiments scaffold the understanding of the conoscopy as an experimental method as well. The
second part of the workshop is complementary to the study presented by Pečar et al [3], as it
provides additional personal experiences with experiments that were used with students in the
The workshop will be organized in an active way, each participant will have an opportunity to
perform discussed experiments personally.
[1] M. Čepič, Liquid crystals in education: the basics. European Journal of Physics Education, 2012,
vol. 4, no. 3, str. 27-33.
[2] J. Pavlin, M. Rožič, V. Babič, N. Vaupotič, M. Čepič, Evaluation of Liquid Crystals Display Course for
Secondary School Students, Book of abstracts, ICPE-EPEC 2013.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session WN2E
[3] M. Pečar and M. Čepič: From sellotape and polarizers to conoscopy in the classroom, Book of
abstracts, ICPE-EPEC 2013.
Keywords: Liquid crystals, liquid crystal display, conoscopy, anisotropy
Topics: Experiments
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session WN2F
Session Workshop night 2F, 20:00-21:30
Semiconductors at work
Leoš Dvoř�k
Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Czech
In our modern world, semiconductors are around us in great numbers in practically all devices more
sophisticated than a hammer. Though most such devices are just “black boxes” for their users,
physics education can (and should) provide at least some knowledge about how semiconductor
components work. However, quite often the information on semiconductors are presented rather
theoretically and even physics teachers do not have much practical experience with behaviour of
basic semiconductor components.
Workshops and seminars oriented to simple experiments with semiconductors were introduced into
the in-service teacher training in the Heureka project for Czech physics teachers several years ago
and were tried also outside this project (once even in Slovenia, see report [1]). Experience shows that
teachers appreciate this type of work quite a lot, especially a possibility to build some very simple
circuits and teaching aids by themselves.
Workshop “Semiconductors at Work” on ICPE-EPEC 2013 will show just some parts of the activity
that usually takes the whole weekend seminar. Nevertheless, the participants will have the
opportunity to do both qualitative experiments and some quantitative measurements on very simple
circuits with LEDs, diodes and bipolar transistors using simple devices that can be built by teachers or
students. (One of main advantages of such little “gadgets” made on small wooden boards is the fact
that they are by no means black boxes and their price counts in cents or euro-cents.) Also, there will
be a possibility, at least for some participants who would like to do so, to build their own simple
devices, from a circuit with two LEDs and one resistor to a simple circuit with bipolar transistors that
can detect electrostatic charges [2].
[1] Koudelkov� V., Faletič. S: Teachers explore electronics. Physics Education 45 (March 2010),
p. 125.
[2] Dvoř�k L.: Bipolar transistors can detect charge in electrostatic experiments. Physics Education
47 (July 2012), p. 434-438.
Keywords: Semiconductors, electric circuits, simple experiments, teacher training
Topics: Experiments, Teachers
8. 8. 2013
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7A
⋙Session 7A, 13:30-14:50⋘
Active learning in physics classrooms for enquiry-based instruction:
Lessons learned from the PISA 2006 study
Kwok-Cheung Cheung
University of Macau, Macao
OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) conducted its first full-scale scientific
literacy study for the 15-year-olds studying in secondary schools in 57 participating economies in
2006. The research data collected were then made public in the official website
(i.e. http://www.oecd.org/pisa/). Researchers are welcome to make use of the test and
questionnaire data to answer questions pertaining to quality and equity of science education
provision in schools of the participating economies. In PISA2006, both “knowledge of science” and
“knowledge about science” are assessed. Students are asked to demonstrate their competence in
three aspects of science learning outcomes: (1) explain phenomena scientifically, (2) evaluate and
design scientific inquires, and (3) interpret data and evidence scientifically. Earning full credit to the
test items necessitate deployment of three types of knowledge, namely content, procedural and
epistemic knowledge. The concerned knowledge is drawn from the physical, living, and earth science
and space knowledge systems appropriate to the developmental level of the 15-year-olds. In
addition, students are required to exhibit various types of favorable dispositions and attitudes, such
as interests in science, environmental awareness and valuing approaches to scientific inquiries.
Although it has never been the intention of PISA2006 to link assessment directly to the participating
school’s physics, chemistry and biology implemented curriculum, students are required to
demonstrate their “knowledge of science” and “knowledge about science” by responding to
a number scientific and technological issues (e.g. health and diseases, hazards, environmental
quality) presented in personal, local, national or global contexts. Given such a rich and good quality
database, the present study seeks to analyze the student’s performance on the released PISA2006
test units from a comparative education perspective so as to allow teachers to know what aspects of
scientific literacy are needed fostered in our students so as to help them become scientific literate
persons in the new millennium. The analysis results are valuable to guide teachers on how to foster
active learning in physics and other science classrooms for enquiry-based instruction.
Keywords: Scientific literacy, scientific enquiry, assessment and evaluation, physics learning
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7A
Promoting cognitive engagement through Peer Instruction method in
a Brazilian university context
Alex Vieira, Ives Araujo and Eliane Veit
IF-UFRGS, Brazil
The implementation of teaching activities focused on the students’ cognitive engagement could be
seen as a crucial challenge faced by physics teachers. In the international scenario, the combined use
of Peer Instruction (PI) and Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) methods had been revealed as promising
choices to promote such engagement. In opposition to traditional teaching methods based almost
exclusively on lectures, PI+JiTT involves students pre-class Reading Assignments (RA) and classroom
interactions promoted by conceptual questions posed by the teacher to approach students
difficulties mapped through the RA feedback. Several studies in the literature has shown this
methodology can foster student’s conceptual understanding and improve their attitudes about
physics. However, most of these studies were carried on educational institutions in USA or Europe
which background and infrastructure to support innovative initiatives are not the same of institutions
on less-developed countries. Because of the difference between the educational cultures, even
student’s resistance to perform the pre-class RA as preparation for the classroom activities during
the academic period could be more challenging in the latter than in the former. From this
perspective, and considering the significant role that RA plays for the methodology success, we
posed the following questions: Will the students demonstrate sustained engagement with Reading
Assignments throughout the semester? What will be the level of engagement they would
demonstrate with the reading assignments? In this paper we present our preliminary results from an
exploratory case study designed to answer it, implemented in an introductory physics course of
Electromagnetism at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. There were two sections of 16
physics majors enrolled, one section taught in the Fall of 2011 and the other in the Spring of 2011.
Both sections had 14 students at the end (N = 28). In each RA the students had to read three or four
sections from a textbook regarding the content to be discussed in the next class meeting. Also, they
were asked to answer two questions about the reading and one question about their difficulties and
doubts. After, they should send their answers electronically for the teacher. The students received
credit for doing RA (15 % of the total grade). The evaluation criteria were students’ efforts
demonstrated in answering the questions, not if their answers were correct or wrong. We gathered
data from records of 26 RA (for semester) answers and individual interviews with them. Nearly 80 %
of the students did each RA along the semester and about 90 % of the students’ submitted answers
demonstrated engagement. As example of evidence of student’s engagement, we considered the
justification for a submitted answer, discussion of the content they found difficult, or discussion of
the content they found motivating. Spite of initial resistance by the students in the beginning of the
semester, these results strongly suggest a highly acceptation of the pre-class activities. In the
continuation of the work, we will further investigate the main factors of success for the engagement
achieved carrying out an explanatory study.
Keywords: Peer Instruction, Just-In-Time Teaching, cognitive engagement, physics education
Topics: Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7A
The Practice Teaching and Effectiveness of Peer Instruction in Chinese
Introductory Physics
Xiumei Feng
Central China Normal University, China
Peer Instruction, always with Clicker System, has recently been developed in the international
physics teaching and its effectiveness in inspiring students’ interest and facilitating their effective
learning is being tested. In our physics teaching, peer discussion was adopted when the first vote
showed students’ answers dispersed, then students were asked to revote to show how they learn
from the peer discussion. The preliminary results illustrate more than 80 % students like this kind of
teaching, the attendance rate is 20% higher than the traditional class. Students’ achievements raise
about 9 % because the middle students gain most. Peer discussion can improve students’
understanding in most physics concept questions. However, when the question is too hard and
students’ initial right answers are too low, peer discussion can’t show its effectiveness. The gender
difference in performance is reduced with male students advance more. The reasons why peer
instruction can result in these improvements and some unexpected problems in our practice are
Keywords: Peer Instruction, clicker system, active learning
Topics: Learning, Teaching
Evaluation of Tutorial and Non-Tutorial of Lecture-Based Classes of
Forces and Motions by Using the Model Analysis Technique
Suttida Rakkapao and Teparksorn Pengpan
Prince of Songkla University, Thailand
This study aims to assess the force and motion conceptual understanding of students in two groups:
tutorial and non-tutorial of lecture-based classes. Samples are science freshmen (n = 420); called
group 1, and engineering freshmen (n = 434); called group 2, of Prince of Songkla University,
Thailand. In the force and motion classes, both groups were taught by using the lecture-based
method, including show some physics animations from academic websites. The same instructional
materials were applied to both groups but instructors are different. At the end of the classes,
participants in group 1 were asked to do the take-home exam by themselves, and the solution will be
put on the internet next few days. These samples are named non-tutorial group. In contrast,
participants in group 2 were given an extra class for solving the exam by instructor. It is called tutorial
group. The Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation (FMCE) test was administrated to both groups
before and after the classes around one month.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7A
Results have showed that, for both groups, the post-test mean scores were greater than the pre-test
mean scores at 0.05 significant level proved by the paired t-test. To examine the students’
improvement of knowledge, we have calculated the average normalized gain (<g>). It has revealed
<g> = 0.12 0.04 for group 1, and <g> = 0.04 0.03 for group 2. These have indicated the low level of
student’s learning gain. Moreover, it has disclosed that both groups had the lowest learning gain on
the cluster of the first and second laws of Newton of the FMCE. We then analyzed the characteristics
of these students’ mental models on that topic by using the model estimation of the model analysis
technique. Based on the largest eigenvalue and its eigenvectors, as well as the model plot, it
obviously exposed that both pre-and post-class model states of both groups were still in the
misconception state. Although there was greater probability for students in group 1 in using
a scientific concept to solve the FMCE, most students, from both groups, still held alternative
concepts at the end of the classes. These findings suggested that a more active instructional
approach is required for freshmen physics lecture classes.
Keywords: University education, model analysis, forces and motions, normalized gain
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7B
Session 7B, 13:30-14:50
Teachers views on the role of experiments in upper secondary physics
Simon Holmstr�m1, Ann-Marie Pendrill2, Nina Reistad1 and Johan Zetterberg1
1Lund University, Sweden
2NRCF, Sweden
Experiments are one of the fundaments of physics, and also of physics education. Laboratory work is
used with a number of different aims for student learning, often only tacitly assumed, but not
communicated, nor evaluated. The recent curricular reform in Sweden has brought a larger emphasis
on experimental skills, including planning and design, as well as assessment of these skills. How do
teachers respond to these changes?
In focus groups physics teachers in different schools have discussed their choice of experiments in
upper secondary physics, as well as their goals and assessment practices. As introduction, the
teachers were asked to describe a favourite experiment and explain why they like it. The discussions
and previous observations reveal different preferences: From precision experiments using advanced
instrumentation to measure fundamental constants to experiments with simple equipment to
demonstrate measurement techniques, fundamental principles or everyday physics. From carefully
guided instructions to open investigations. From hand drawn graphs on paper to linear regression on
calculators or computer aided mathematical analysis. In their discussions, teachers discern possible
alternative approaches, with advantages and disadvantages. They also become increasingly aware of
the small role often played by the assessment of experimental skills for the final grade.
Keywords: Upper secondary education, role of experiments, curriculum change, tradition
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Curriculum, Experiments, Teaching
Intended, implemented and attained MST curricula researched by
SECURE project across the Europe
Job de Meyere1, Dagmara Sokolowska2, Marja van Graf3, Barbara Rovsek4 and Wim
1Thomas More, Vorselaar, Belgium
2Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
3Nationaal expertisecentrum leerplanontwikkeling SLO, Enschede, Netherlands
4Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
5Dienst Katholiek Onderwijs vzw, Antwerpen, Belgium
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7B
SECURE is founded as a collaborative project under FP7 to provide research results of current
mathematics, science and technology (MST) curricula across Europe. The research focuses on the
MST curricula offered to 5, 8, 11 and 13 year old learners in 10 European countries. The consortium
invited 60 schools from each partner country to participate in the project. Altogether almost 9000
pupils, 1500 teachers and 600 schools took part in study.
The research framework was constructed upon the curriculum spider web (van den Akker, 2003), in
which curriculum is represented on a spider web with Rationale located in the center and nine other
components (Aim and Objectives, Content, Learning activities, Teacher role, Materials and
Resources, Grouping, Location, Time, Assessment) placed around it, becoming the nine threads of
the spider web. The instruments used in the study consist of a transnational comparative screening
instrument for MST curricula and of the school data collection instruments: teacher questionnaires,
learner questionnaires (limited to 8, 11 and 13 year olds) and interview protocols for all age groups
of pupils and their teachers. A mixed method approach for the analysis of the MST curricula is
applied throughout three different representations of the curriculum: the intended curriculum
(formal curriculum documents), the implemented curriculum (the actual process of teaching) and the
attained curriculum (focus on learning experiences of the learners).
The overall aim of the SECURE project is to make a significant contribution to the European
knowledge-based society by providing relevant research data that prompt public debates on this
issues. Based on good practices and other research results SECURE will formulate a set of
recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders on how MST curricula and their delivery
can be enhanced in order to ensure the balance between the training of the future scientists and
broader societal needs.
During the presentation a comparative study of written MST curricula in 10 countries and their
general trends will be shown. Examples of the national results on several items of the spider web
with use of triangulation approach will be also presented.
This work is based on the SECURE research project (No SIS-CT-2010-266640), which received funding
from the European’s Unions Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development.
van den Akker, J. (2003). Curriculum perspectives: An introduction. In J. van den Akker, W. Kuiper, U.
Hameyer (Eds.), Curriculum landscapes and trends (pp. 1-10). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic
Keywords: Primary education (ages about 6 – 10), secondary education: lower (ages about 11-15),
curriculum, MST education, European programme, research in education, spider web
Topics: Curriculum
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7B
Extended project work for school physics students
Elizabeth Swinbank
University of York, United Kingdom
This session will focus on individual extended project (EP) work undertaken by school physics
students aged 16-19, and will present guidelines for helping such project work to be successful.
A key word here is ‘extended’. The project work considered in this session takes about 120 hours of
class time, plus a similar amount of private study time, and is carried out over the course of 1-2
years. It is far more extensive and demanding than project work taking 10-20 hours over the course
of 2-3 weeks that has for several decades been part of some highschool physics curricula such as the
UK Nuffield, Advancing Physics, and Salters Horners programmes. In the UK, extended project work is
recognised through a new qualification, the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), which is now part
of the national qualification framework used for university entrance.
The session is intended to be of interest to physics teachers and educators in countries where physics
project work is already undertaken in schools, and those who are interested in exploring how it
might be introduced and implemented.
Questions addressed in this session will include:
• What are the differences between an EP and problem-based learning (PBL)?
• What are the benefits of individual EP work?
• What preparation and teaching do students need before they start an EP?
• How can teachers effectively manage and supervise EPs?
• How can physics-based EPs be encouraged?
• What makes a good physics EP?
• How can individual EPs be assessed and graded using common criteria?
• How can EP work be scheduled within a highschool timetable?
The session will be illustrated with examples of physics EPs and will include feedback from teachers
and students who have successfully undertaken such project work.
Keywords: Extended project, independent learning, project work in schools
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7B
The questions for assessment (QfA) scheme in a physics class: an
alternative assessment method for improved metacognitive
awareness, concept retention and transfer?
Resty Collado and Lydia Roleda
Miriam College High School, Philippines
De La Salle University, Philippines
Low comprehension of any subject matter content impedes higher cognitive skills. Previous studies
show that writing questions based on read text improves one’s understanding of the material, and
serves as a metacognitive strategy as students recall and reflect on what they have learned. This
study attempted to extend such assertion to a local high school physics class. Two identical senior
high school classes were given similar instructions in physics for 8 weeks. However, one group
(N = 36) received the Questions for Assessment (QfA) scheme while the other (N = 34) was given the
typical teacher-made assessment tasks. The QfA scheme consisted of requiring the students to
construct multiple choice questions as part of their homeworks, seatworks and quizzes. Credits are
awarded depending on the cognitive skill a question involves such that questions requiring higher
cognitive skills (Bloom’s taxonomy) are awarded higher credits. About 1500 multiple choice
questions were constructed by the students in the experimental group within the duration of the
study. Results from 3 achievement tests showed that the students from experimental group obtained
higher mean scores than those in the control group, with increasing difference in each of the tests.
Furthermore, students in the experimental groups showed better retention as confirmed by their
better performance in each of the three unannounced tests given during the course of the study.
However, no significant difference in the performance of the two groups across the three transfer
tests was observed, although the difference is nearing significant levels as the study progressed in
time. Finally, for the metacognitive awareness, Schraw and Dennison’s Metacognitive Awareness
Inventory was administered at the beginning and end of the study. It was found that, although each
group showed increased metacognitive awareness, the experimental group posted larger increase.
Therefore, the QfA as an alternative assessment resulted to improved concept retention and
metacognitive awareness but not concept transfer.
Keywords: Secondary education: lower, multiple choice questions, assessment of learning,
improvement of comprehension, metacognition, physics education
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7C
Session 7C, 13:30-14:50
Physics Teacher Professional Development - Closing the Knowledge
Mark Greenman
Boston University, United States
During the summers of 2008 through 2012 five cohorts totaling 114 secondary school teachers
responsible for teaching physics concepts enrolled in a Massachusetts Department of Elementary
and Secondary Education funded summer institute hosted at area Universities to enhance the
teachers’ physics content knowledge and to improve their use of research-based best practices in
teaching physics.
The average paired fractional gain for these participants on the Force and Motion Conceptual
Evaluation (FMCE) was .68 with teachers in every comparison group showing strong gains (.57 to
.74). Just as encouraging, these gains showed little decay over time. The content knowledge gap
between male and female science teachers was reduced from a gap of 25 % to 6 %, and the gap
between physics majors teaching physics and other science majors teaching physics was reduced
from a gap of 31 % to 8 %.
The presenter will share data highlighting the large variance in the physics concept knowledge of
teachers depending on a variety of factors and how a 60-hour professional development institute
based on active learning strategies and the engaging science methodology of Interactive Laboratory
Experience can significantly close these conceptual gaps between comparison groups.
Keywords: Teacher training, professional development, teaching methods, teaching strategies
Topics: Learning, Teachers, Teaching
Validating the Force Concept Inventory with Sub-Questions
Jun-Ichiro Yasuda1 and Masa-Aki Taniguchi2
1Gifu University, Japan
2Meijo University, Japan
When conducting a survey using a diagnostic tool such as the force concept inventory (FCI), it is
necessary to analyze its validity from various standpoints. In this study, we address the structural
validity of the FCI, that is, whether respondents who answer the FCI questions correctly have an
actual understanding of the concepts of physics tested in the questions.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7C
First, from the qualitative analysis of the interviews, we found that some students were able to
provide the correct answer to Q.6, Q.7 and Q.16 even when using the incorrect reasoning.
Next, in order to examine these inadequacies, we used sub-questions that test students on concepts
believed to be required to answer the actual FCI questions. Our sample size comprises more than
one hundred respondents; we derive false-positive ratios for pre-learners and post-learners, and
then statistically test to judge the significant difference between them.
Preliminary analysis shows a significant difference at the 0.05 significance level for both Q.7 and
Q.16, implying that it is possible for post-learners to answer both questions without understanding
the concepts of physics tested in the questions; therefore, the structures of Q.7 and Q.16 are invalid.
By quantifying the significance of these acknowledged inadequacies, we try to estimate a systematic
error of FCI.
Keywords: Physics education research, force concept inventory, validation
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation
Just how deterring are formulas? Results of an empirical study
Alexander Strahl and Rainer M�ller
TU Braunschweig, IFdN, Abt. Physik, Germany
In an empirical study we tried to identify and quantify the variables that govern the appraisal of
physical formulas. We asked 662 secondary school and university students to indicate for 38
formulas to what extent they perceive the formula to be deterring.
The participants had to complete a questionnaire in which they rated each of the 38 formulas on
a scale from 1 (not at all deterring) to 5 (very deterring). The formulas have different lengths and
comes from all fields of physics. The result is surprisingly simple. We are able to model the student
response with only a single variable: the length of the formula. We give an explicit model equation
(saturating exponential) to fit the data.
In a separate questionnaire we investigated whether there is a "standard form" for physics equation.
Fractions, for example can be written in several different ways. We obtain surprisingly clear
preferences for certain forms.
The results of our research should help educators and authors to write formulas more readable.
Keywords: Formulas, mathematics, deterring
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7C
Innovative Problems for Development of Creative Thinking
V�clav Meškan
Department of Applied Physics and Technology, Faculty of Education,
University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic
The contribution deals with development of creative thinking of pupils in teaching of physics at
elementary school. Ideational process connected with creativity and creative problem solving is often
described as convergent and divergent thinking: during the creative problem solving process, the
phase of generating multiple different ideas how to solve this problem is pivotal. This mental process
is called divergent thinking. Yet the vast majority of assignments occurring at school are of
convergent type, which means that to solve them, the convergent thinking aiming on the only
correct answer is involved. The aim of the contribution is to present so called divergent physical
problems which allow the developing of the divergent thinking and which can be completely
integrated into physics curriculum at the same time. This presentation includes also quantitative
numerical divergent problems as the solving of quantitative problems is traditionally strongly
emphasized in teaching of physics in Czech Republic.
Keywords: Creativity, creative problem solving, divergent thinking, divergent physical problems
Topics: Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7D
Session 7D, 13:30-14:50
Construction of Low Cost Laboratory Equipment
Carlos Mario Montes Jim�nez
Universidad Pedag�gica Nacional, Colombia
During the course named Construction of Laboratory Equipment, belonging to the Bachelor of
Science in the Teaching of Physics at Pedagogic University (Licenciatura en F�sica – Universidad
Pedag�gica Nacional Bogot�, Colombia), there is a proposal for prospective teachers (BS students) to
turn to their theoretical and empirical bases to design, build, and validate laboratory equipment.
During the design stage, a needs analysis is made. It emphasizes the study of the need and intention
to develop laboratory equipment; the consideration of robust and manageable designs; the use of
low cost materials, and the development of documents to guide experimental practices. In the
construction stage, the experimental assembly and its corresponding guidance document are
obtained as the final products. All the previous stages are carried out by taking into account: the
calibration of measurement instruments, the way to get data, the aesthetics of the equipment, and
the relationship among the use of the equipment, the physical concepts involved in the practice, and
the guidance document. Finally, during the validation stage, an article is written and submitted.
It includes the description of: the design and construction of equipment process, the use of the
equipment during the implementation stage, the data collection, the data processing, and the
conceptual development that can be achieved with the support of the equipment and the guidance
This practice has been led for two years with about 60 prospective teachers and by the end of the
courses, it has been found that they strengthen the ability to design and develop laboratory
equipment. In addition, they improve their ability to design and write guidance documents for
handling build didactic materials. Moreover, they test and validate the built equipment and
documents in real teaching practice sceneries. Finally, it has been observed that they acquire tools
and strategies focused on the practice of future professors.
Keywords: University education, teacher training, design laboratory equipment, build low cost
laboratory equipment, guidance document, teaching practice
Topics: Experiments, Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7D
Construction and analysis of a solar oven as a practical non-formal
activity in the physics education
Eloneid Nobre1, Jos� Sarmento1 and Silvany Santiago2
1Federal University of Ceara-Program of Professional Master in Teaching of
Sciences and Mathematics, Brazil
2Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Cear�/ Program of
Professional Master in Teaching of Sciences and Mathematics, Brazil
The objective of this work is to build a solar oven, using low cost materials, using it as a teaching tool
in the application of the concepts of Thermodynamics, Energy, Electromagnetism and Radiation
Blackbody. Furthermore, issues such as sustainability and ecology are also worked, because the
construction of the solar oven prioritizes the use of recyclable materials, low cost, using solar energy,
a permanent, renewable source of abundant energy, that does not pollute or adversely affects the
ecosystem. This work seeks to explore Physics in more attractive way, so that students feel
themselves motivated to study it, seeing its applicability in practice, without the need of using
laboratories since many times, unfortunately, the lab yet is not part of the reality of some schools of
that region. The Northeast of Brazil is a region very conducive for using alternative methods of use of
solar energy, because this is a region near the equator, with a high rate of solar incidence almost all
year round. Estimates of solar radiation are shown in several studies. Results from studies conducted
in the Federal Universities of Pernambuco and Santa Catarina show that solar radiation in the
country can reach a maximum of 22 MJ/m2
, equivalent to about 6.7 kWh/m2
during the day. The
smaller variations occur in the months from May to July, when radiation can reach 5.0 kWh/m2
. The
solar oven developed in this work is of type panel, that uses reflective mirrors. These mirrors were
replaced with cardboard coated with aluminum paper foil. To calculate the power and performance
of the oven, we used the theoretical procedures related to the contents learned in the classroom.
The materials used in the construction of solar oven were collected by the class teacher with the help
of his students. The practical application of the oven was confirmed with the cooking of various kinds
of food. The teacher suggested to his students to cook some vegetables, considered of difficult
baking in conventional ovens: chayote, carrots and beets. Another kind of food suggested by the
teacher, was the corn couscous, a typical dish of the region. The times of baking of the foods are
shown in table below:
Food Time of baking (hours)
Chayote 1:50
Carrots 2:30
Beets 2:30
Couscous 2:25
The construction of the solar oven promoted the experimental work of various contents covered in
classroom. In addition to promote a meaningful learning, this activity made the students felt
themselves encouraged to know more the Physics, and also see it in a fun and attractive way. The
reached performance of 23.35 %, can be attributed to the fact that the experiment has been
performed on a day when the sky, unusually, was partly cloudy. New results are being worked by
repeating the experiment. As a future perspective of implementing this project, the students who are
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7D
participating of this experience are being trained to visit poor communities in the region, promoting
knowledge and widespread use of solar ovens among people with low incomes. These people,
nowadays, use mainly firewood stoves in their homes. We hope that if the use of solar oven becomes
popular, the persons, replacing the using of wood for the sun energy, begin to adopt a more careful
stance with nature.
Ara�jo A. C.; Meneses, O. L. Estimation of Solar Radiation Via Atmosphere Mesoscale Modeling
Applied to the Northeast of Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Meteorology,v.24, n.3, pp.339-345, 2009.
Cruz, D. Environment and Solar Energy. S�o Paulo: �tica, 2001.
Moreira, M. A; Masini, S.F.E. Meaningful Learning: The Theory of David Ausubel. S�o Paulo: Centauro.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19), solar energy, solar oven, learning and
teaching of physics, low cost experiments
Topics: Experiments, Learning, Teaching
Developing Physics Laboratories in the Developing World
Muhammad Sabieh Anwar
Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan
In this presentation, I would like to discuss the various aspects of establishing a contemporary and
low-cost University physics laboratory. This exercise brings to light special challenges as well as
unique opportunities, when performed in a developing country such as Pakistan. This presentation is
largely a personal recollection providing useful insight to laboratory developers as well as the
University administration.
In particular, the process of laboratory development requires various fine balancing acts. First,
indigenization based on locally available resources is to be balanced with the importation of
technology. The latter is not only costly but one has to also face bureaucratic import rules and the
unwillingness of foreign companies to deal with particular developing countries. Second, there is
a cultural philosophy prevalent in many Asian countries of considering experiments a handmaiden to
theory. Therefore, laboratory courses are mostly always tied up as "parasites" to theory courses.
This, I believe, does not reveal the unique spirit of the experimental culture that has a life of its own!
Third, there are various internal pressures and conflicting demands imposed by the local University
administration. For example, development of laboratory is considered to be inferior to classroom
teaching or doing "elite" physics. Workloads are not defined commensurately either. The constant
pressure of publication of research further dampens the spirit of lab development. Universities are
also hesitant in hiring of staff or students for development work.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7D
I will present the example of the Physics Laboratory at the Lahore University of Management
Sciences (LUMS) where all of these challenges, arguably, have been successfully addressed.
For example, several parts of the developing world have dying traditions of "folk industry" and
"domestic craftsmanship". We engaged several of these domestic, homegrown enterprises into
scientific instrument making, e.g. in glass blowing, machining, metal-working, molding and wood
work wherein we provided the technical expertise whereas the craftsmen produced the instruments.
This exercise eventually culminated in the establishment of a mini-workshop on our premises,
resulting in the bringing down of imports and costs saving.
Costs were further reduced by employing off-the-shelf webcams for tracking of physical events,
sound cards for the acquisition of physical signals and recently Arduinos for hardware control, timing
and triggering. In the first four years of the laboratory's life, students were given some formal
experiments while in most cases, students were asked to develop new experiments for their peers
and juniors. This not only gradually add to the repertoire of experiments, but was also a luring
incentive for students (in addition to course grades!) who feel that they played an active role in
establishing the laboratory curriculum for their own very institute! The design of new homegrown
experiments instead of the importation of educational kits has the advantage of transparency where
the instrument's inner working is exposed to students and the teacher alike, and troubleshooting
becomes much easier. This is really important in our context where maintenance budgets are nonexistent
and several expensive instruments are seen languishing in corridors!
Keywords: University education, laboratory development, contextualization of physics education
Topics: Experiments, Socio-cultural Issues
Experiments with CanSat
M�ria Pető
Sz�kely Mik� High School, Romania
My presentation is based on few school projects and experiments which I used during the last school
years in my classroom learning and practical activities.
The thermodynamics and electricity are part of the 10th grade physics curriculum in Romania, and
they offer many opportunities to tray new teaching ways. In this context I built with my students
a mini satellite named “CanSat”, with which our “Bolyai”- team participated in the 2012 European
CanSat competition held by ESA and NAROM. This device is similar to a real satellite, but it must to fit
inside a 330 ml soda can. On the day of the launch campaign it was delivered by an “Intruder” rocket
up to a height of 1 km and then was dropped off. During the descent we made certain
measurements, like: temperature, pressure, dust and solid particle density in the atmosphere. This
project started with the planning phase of CanSat elements: microcontrollers, sensors, dust sensor
followed by the circuit building, programming the sensors and Arduino board, provide a continuously
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7D
radio communication between the CanSat and ground station and for a safe landing, we designed
a parachute and a resistant outer shell for the CanSat.
Based on this idea after the contest we proceed to new measurements in classroom and
extracurricular outdoor programs. We visited the local station of the National Agency for Protecting
the Environment (ANPM) and there we managed to obtain the data necessary for calibrating the
Cansat sensors for our region. In collaboration with the Babes-Bolyai University we built a new
experiment measuring the speed of electromagnetic waves and its dependency from the pressure,
temperature and humidity. By the help of a Quadrocopter we elevate the measuring device up to
(400-500)m, establish a wireless radio connection between the CanSat and signal emitter/receiver.
We record a lot of overtrick data from the Cansat and radio wave emitters, we compare them and
calculate the speed of electromagnetic waves based on the overtrick time of the signal. The pilot
tests were very convincing; the measuring errors were less 16 %, so now we keep going with this
I think it's easier to understand a theory that is a bit more complex than the classical, idealistic
models but it describes the nature far more realistically. This experiment with the mini satellite could
help the students to understand the theory of electromagnetic waves and also could be an excellent
exemplification for new teaching opportunities.
Keywords: CanSat, Arduino-board, sensors, pressure, dust, electromagnetic wave
Topics: Experiments
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7E
Session 7E –workshop, 13:30-14:50
Floating and sinking during Lab Stations
Ana Rita Lopes Mota
CFP e Departamento de F�sica e Astronomia, Portugal
Even for an experienced teacher, bringing middle school students to a correct understanding of why
things sink and float is one of the most challenging topics for student conceptual change. The
teaching of this phenomenon is very delicate since everyday life experience leads students to possess
certain beliefs and intuitions, often incompatible with scientific laws, about floating and sinking. This
condition is exacerbated by the fact that the Archimedes’ principle and the formulation of floating
rules require advanced reasoning skills, not always easy to understand for young students.
Previous research has brought to light frequent alternative conceptions of students and present
a number of strategies to facilitate students’ conceptual change. According to them, a proper
understanding of the floating and sinking phenomena must include a deep analysis of the
relationship between buoyant force and gravity force.
Based on international research, it was designed and implemented two middle school lab sessions:
the first one related to the buoyant force and the Archimedes’ principle and the second one with
floating and sinking. Each lab session, lasting 45 min, is divided into four completely independent
experimental stations, each with different apparatuses / materials. The stations are diversified and
range from simple tasks, such as demonstrations or simple measurements, to tasks that involve
a scientific reasoning.
This interactive and dynamic model of laboratory classes has many advantages when compared with
classical lab sessions: a reduction of the material requirements, a formative assessment, a better
work flow from students, a higher motivation and a significant variety of experiments.
The two lab sessions were designed to help students realize the limitation of their own predictions,
creating cognitive dissonance and surprise, and get ready to learn and apply scientific theories.
This workshop will consist of three parts:
I. The lab stations model will be presented and its characteristics and advantages will be
II. Students’ misconceptions about floating/sinking and the buoyant force will be presented.
III. Teachers will be able to see and perform all the lab stations belonging to the two sessions.
1 Crouch, H. C. , Fagen P. A. , Callan, J. P. and Mazur E. (2004). Classroom demonstrations: Learning
tools or entertainment? Am. J. Phys, 72: 835-8.
2 Kincanon, E. (1995). Explanation of a buoyancy demonstration. Phys. Teach. 33: 31.
3 Viennot, L. (2003). Teaching Physics. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Dordrecht.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 7E
4 Yin Y., Tomita K. M. and Shavelson J. R. (2008). Diagnosing and dealing with student
misconceptions: floating and sinking. Science Scope, 31: 34-9.
Keywords: Floating, sinking, Archimedes’ principle, buoyant force, lab stations
Topics: Experiments, Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8A
⋙Session 8A, 15:00-16:20⋘
Teacher's roles during amusement park visits - insights from
observations, interviews and questionnaires
Ann-Marie Pendrill1, Cecilia Kozma2 and Andreas Theve3
1NRCF, Sweden
2Stockholm house of science, Sweden
3Gr�na Lund, Sweden
Amusement parks offer rich possibilities for physics learning, through observations and experiments
that illustrate important physical principles and often involve the whole body [e.g. 1-4]. Amusement
parks are also among the most popular school excursions, but very often the learning possibilities are
underused. In this work we have studied different teacher roles and discuss how parks or event
managers can encourage and support teachers in their efforts to make amusement park visits true
learning experiences for their students. Teachers take on a number of different roles in connection
with a visit, as known also from research at science centres [5]. Teachers may leave the class to roam
around, possibly agreeing on meeting time, including a snack - described as a "soda pop visit" in [5].
Teachers may use to visit as an appetizer to start up an area of work - or as a resource or laboratory
providing equipment not found in school. Lessons may be offered - also in amusement parks [4], and
teachers may or may not take part together with the students [5]. Amusement parks may prompt
additional roles, e.g. bag guards or an electronics support centre. These teachers' roles and types of
visit influence the learning possibilities offered to the students. Integration of the visit with the
educational context in school is found to be essential, including preparation and follow up [6].
During recent years, we have further developed the format for Edutainment days / Physics days at
the Gr�na Lund and Liseberg amusement parks in Stockholm and G�teborg, Sweden, building on
experiences and materials from science days arranged at these and other parks [7]. Worksheets have
been developed to encourage teachers to divide the class in groups of about 4 pupils who focus on
2-4 different rides. The groups who can then report back to the rest of the class, providing a richer
experience. We have found that the use of worksheets with different rides helps circumventing long
queues, where students cluster on a few popular rides. An important aspect of the design of the
Edutainment days is the emphasis on the role of the teacher, supported not only through
worksheets, but also by an introduction day, where teachers have a chance to get familiar with the
rides, as well as sharing and discussing previous experiences from working with the material, before
during and after the visit. During 2012, the teacher's role has been further strengthened by assigning
teachers to assists at selected rides, bringing together teachers with different degrees of experience,
as well as tutors or graduate students. We present an analysis of evaluations, including interviews,
observations and questionnaires, from these events. Discussions and sharing of results about design
and evaluation of other forms of informal learning activities will be encouraged.
[1] Bagge S and Pendrill, A M (2002) Classical physics experiments in the amusement park, Phys. Ed.,
37 507-11
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8A
[2] Pendrill A-M (2008) How do we know the Earth spins around its axis? Phys. Ed. 43 158
[3] Pendrill A-M, Karlsteen M and R�djeg�rd H (2012) Stopping a roller coaster train. Phys. Ed. 47 728
[4] Alberghi S, Foschi A, Pezzi G and Ortolani, F (2007) Is it More Thrilling to Ride at the Front of the
Back of a Roller Coaster? The Physics Teacher, Volume 45 (9)pp. 536
[5] S�rensen H and Kofod L (2004) Experimentarium og skole. In: E. Henriksen & M. �degaard (Eds.),
Naturfagenes didaktikk - en disiplin i forandring? (p 517–532)
[6] Rennie L J and McClafferty T P (1995) Using visits to interactive science and technology centers,
museums, aquaria, and zoos to promote learning in science. Journal of Science Teacher Education,
6 (4) 175
[7] E.g. http://physicsday.org and http://tivoli.fysik.org
Keywords: Secondary education, teacher education, teacher roles, amusement park physics
Topics: ICT, Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Teachers
PCK research based module formation of prospective primary
teachers on energy
Marisa Michelini and Alberto Stefanel
University of Udine, Italy
Primary Teacher education is a challenge through which passes the formation to an integrated
scientific culture of the future generation. In the perspective of the PCK [1], the cultural aspects, the
conceptual and professional ones have to be integrated. As a result of a research conducted over
several years [2-3], a formative module on energy has been designed and experimented with a group
of 107 Prospective Primary Teachers (PPT) of the degree in science of primary education at the
University of Udine, in the academic years 2011-2012.
The module include two parts: in the first part (CK part), a traditional approach to the concept of
energy was proposed starting from the concept of work; in the second part a PCK laboratory
integrate the analysis of a teaching/learning proposal based on experimental exploration and inquiry
strategy by means of tutorials and the analysis of the main conceptual knots emerging from
literature [4]. A CK questionnaire was administered at the end of the first part and a PCK
questionnaire was included in the activity of the second part. The CK questionnaire focused on the
way in which the PPT discuss expression as conserve, transform, lost energy passing from the
everyday meaning of these expressions to their scientific meaning. The PCK questionnaire proposed
to the PPT typical educational situations, concerning the conceptual knots on energy documented in
literature, as for instance: energy associated to human or living being, as fuel-like substance which is
possessed by living things [5-9]; energy possessed only by moving objects [6,10] or as product of
some process and existing only during this process [8,6, 11] transformation of energy and process
[7, 9, 11-12]. Data analysis, collected by worksheets used during the laboratory, the CK and PCK
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8A
questionnaires and from the educational paths designed by PPT at the end of the formative module,
evidence to role in the teacher formation of the integrated CK and PCK analysis of students learning
knots supported by the analysis and appropriation of the research based proposal on which was
centered the second part of the formative module.
[1] Shulman, L S (1986), Educational Researcher, Vol. 15, No. 2. (Feb., 1986), pp. 4-14.
[2] Heron P. Michelini M, Stefanel, A (2011) Evaluating pedagogical content knowledge of energy of
prospective teachers, Rogers L. et al., Community and Cooperation, Vol II, 147-161.
[3] Stefanel A., Michelini M., Santi L. (2012) PCK formation and evaluation of prospective primary
teachers on energy , in Tasar F.ed., sel. Paper of World Conference on Physics Education.
[4] Millar, R. (2005). Teaching about energy. Dep. of Educational Paper 2005/11. York University.
[5] Solomon, J. (1983). European Journal of Science Education, 5(1), 49-59
[6] Watts, D.M. (1983). Physics Education, 18, 213-217.
[7] Watts, M., Gilbert, J. K. (1983). Appraising the understanding of science concepts: "Energy".
Guildford: Educational Studies
[8] Nicholls, G. and Ogborn, J., 1993. International Journal of Science Education, 15, 73-81.
[9] Trumper, R. (1993). I.J.S.E. 15(2), 139-148
[10] Stead, B. (1980). Energy. Working Paper No.17, Learning in Science Project, University of
[11] Duit, R. (1984). Physics Education, 19, 59-66.
[12] Carr, M. and Kirkwood, V. (1988). Physics Education, 23 (2) pp. 86-91.
Keywords: University education, prospective primary formation, energy, PCK
Topics: Teachers
Competitions of the Young Debrouillards Clubs – an Interesting Way of
Active Learning
Zdeněk Drozd and Jitka Houfkova
Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
The Association of Young Debrouillards of the Czech Republic has a long experience in the
organization of various competitions focused on children from pre-school age up to upper secondary
school students. The main event of all yearly arranged projects is a national competition for Czech
clubs of Young Debrouillards. Recently the schools from Sweden as well as from Great Britain have
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8A
joined these competitions, so we are on the beginning of a new type of an international activity for
youngsters that represents also an interesting example of active learning.
The authors of this contribution are active members of the steering group of these competitions and
authors of the competition’s tasks. The experiences obtained during the last two annual
competitions – “Koumes 2012” and “Nobel 2013” will be reported and discussed on the basis of
didactical aspects of such a form of active learning.
A huge increase of the solvers occurred in the year 2013 as the number of participating teams and
children doubled. Almost 1500 children grouped in nearly 150 teams from the Czech Republic and
others from Sweden and Great Britain compete at the “Nobel 2013”.
The topics of the individual tasks represent various interesting physics problems (self-made
electromotor, dynamometer, thermometer, camera obscura etc.). There are four age-categories:
kindergarten and pre-school children, primary school pupils, lower secondary school students and
upper secondary school students. The tasks for individual categories are based on individual
approach to each age group and on adequate working methods. The aspects of such a kind of active
learning method will be discussed and concrete examples of tasks and examples of their solutions (by
children or students, respectively) will be presented.
Keywords: Science education, physics, competition, simple experiments, active learning, Young
Debrouillards, kindergarten, pre-school, primary school, secondary school
Topics: Experiments, Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Teaching
Experiments in Science at Preschool/Kindergarten and Primary
Jitka Houfkova, Dana Mandikova and Zdenek Drozd
Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Czech
The Department of Physics Education, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in
Prague, offers a lot of activities designed to promote physics education to students of different types
of schools, to pre-service and in-service teachers as well as to the general public. The contribution
gives information about two long-term activities focused on children and youngster pupils and their
The authors will introduce courses for pre-school and kindergarten children and seminar for future
primary school teachers. Young pupils are very inquiring, they want to know how things work and
they love to do experiments. Thus it is very important to gain their interest and to motivate them to
future studies and preschool/kindergarten and primary school teachers are the first ones in the
school attendance who introduce pupils to the natural science.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8A
During our courses for pre-school and kindergarten children are the children actively investigating
and discovering various physics phenomena e.g. Air, Water, Heat, Electricity, Magnetism, Optics or
Acoustics. The number of participants is one preschool class that means approximately twenty-eight
children accompanied by their teacher. Some topics are discussed only during one session some
topics are spread through more sessions.
After every session children draw pictures about what they found most interesting and are
encouraged to discus it later with their teachers, parents, siblings and friends.
Our seminar for future primary school teachers is designed especially for students of Pedagogical
Faculty, Charles University, Prague. In 135 minutes every week during whole term it provides an
opportunity for the future teachers to familiarize with experiments from the parts of natural science
that are taught at primary school and to try them themselves. The emphasis is put on hands-on
activities of the future teachers and on self-production of simple teaching aids, as well as on correct
explanations of shown phenomena and on ways how to present them to young pupils, and most
common misconceptions are mentioned, too.
Keywords: Experiments, science, physics, preschool/kindergarten, primary school
Topics: Experiments, Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8B
Session 8B, 15:00-16:20
It Is Never Too Late to Introduce Procedural Understanding: A Case of
Physics Laboratory Course for Undergraduate Students
Rajesh Khaparde
Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, India
Procedural understanding is the ‘thinking behind the doing’ or the decision-making that goes on in
performing scientific experimental activities. It is required for designing experiments, planning
measurements/observations and analyzing data. It involves understanding a set of ideas like variable
identification, sample size, variable types, relative scale, range and interval, choice of instruments
etc. The significance of procedural understanding is subsumed and therefore lost under the rubric of
‘experimental skills’. It is a kind of cognitive understanding in its own right and hence fostering
procedural understanding should be an important goal of physics laboratory courses at school and
college level.
Training of students in experimental science continues to be the Achilles’ heel of Indian school
system. Unfortunately, a very little emphasis is given to students individual experimental activities
and thus there is hardly any scope to introduce and foster procedural understanding at the school
level. Even at the university level, the usual practice of ‘mechanically’ performing a set of
experiments, in a ‘cookbook’ mode, hardly help students appreciate and develop procedural
understanding during their physics laboratory courses.
The author developed a novel laboratory course titled ‘Summer Course in Experimental Physics’ to
encourage student’s active participation and foster procedural understanding in Physics. In this
paper, the author reports a fairly successful attempt of introducing procedural understanding at the
second (sophomore) year of a 3 and 5 year university degree course. Further, the paper offers the
details of this course organized by the author in India. The course is designed as an enrichment
course and is based on “experimental problem solving” approach for undergraduate students. In this
approach, students are encouraged to carry out independent experimental work on a set of
‘experimental problems’ in Physics. The emphasis, during the course, is on students’ own thinking
and planning, on moving them away from ‘cookbook’ instructions, from spoon-feeding. Finally, the
author will try to make a case and conclude that even though usually procedural understanding is
introduced at the high school level, it is never too late to introduce and foster procedural
understanding even if it at the undergraduate level.
Keywords: Procedural understanding, experimental skills, training in experimental physics,
laboratory course, experimental problem solving
Topics: Experiments, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8B
“5-Minute Physics”: Dynamic, interactive eLearning modules for
student lecture preparation
Margaret Wegener, Dominic McGrath, Cavin Talbot and Timothy McIntyre
University of Queensland, Australia
The experience of accessing information for a student today is not so much about a location or an
object, such as a classroom or a book, as about a digital service tied to neither time nor place. Our
students’ preparation for class has been implicitly telling us this for years and recent feedback has
become explicit. Contemporary students are using computing devices at home, on campus and in
between to engage with information. They make use of small snatches of time to learn. Educational
uses of personal electronic devices can aid student preparation for class, by providing improved
access and interaction, and generating analytics to inform teachers and students about class
preparation. We aim to improve the learning experience of students with material that can be
explored on smartphones, computers and tablets, and that incorporates not just static text and
images but dynamic and interactive activities.
We have developed and assessed original interactive learning modules designed for viewing on
a range of internet-capable devices. The modules are designed to aid students to become familiar
with basic concepts being taught in a number of courses, particularly a first-year service course for
students in the biomedical and life sciences. We have combined a range of simulations, interactive
activities, text, images and video, to create content modules to appeal to our students. Initial
evaluations indicate student appreciate this approach and are more likely to engage with these
materials than traditional reading preparation.
Modules are built using the HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript programming standards. The advantage of
this approach is that modules can be viewed with almost any web browser on any PC or mobile
device, regardless of operating system (computer with Mac, Windows and Unix operating systems),
tablet (Windows, Android and iOS) or smart phone). Responsive design approaches have been used
to tailor materials to large and small-screen devices. Template modules have been developed with
a focus on both effective student interaction and easy editing and maintenance. Currently analytics
are collected through the free Google Analytics service with no other server side requirements –
enabling the modules to be easily moved and embedded in LMS systems. To ensure relevance and
maintainability, course teaching staff have developed content such as simulations and videos that are
incorporated into the modules. Sample modules are available at
The effectiveness of these modules is being assessed through usage analytics, student surveys and
focus groups. By embedding analytics into the HTML5 documents we are able to track when and how
students use these modules. We use in-class “clicker” questions, student surveys and focus groups to
evaluate how the modules are used (eg: platform, regularity) and their impact. For comparison,
surveys address sections of the course that use textbook-reading and the new on-line materials for
class preparation. Initial survey data has shown positive impact on student engagement and
a preference for this learning style. Our initial conclusions are that this mode of interaction with
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8B
information fits with the immediacy desired by today’s constantly-connected students. Evaluation
data is being used to guide further development.
Keywords: University education, on-line learning, multimedia, interactive
Topics: ICT
Series Circuit: The Real and Virtual
Marmon Pagunsan1, Roxane Villanueva2, Christine Joy Aban3 and Normie Jean Sajor4
1Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation Regional Centre for
Education in Science and Mathematics, Malaysia
2City of Mandaluyong Science High School, Philippines
3Mindanao State University-Iligan Insitute of Technology, Philippines
4Central Mindanao University, Philippines
At which learning space do our students learn best, is it working on real laboratory materials or
working on virtual laboratory? This presentation will share a series circuit inquiry-based actual and
virtual laboratory experiments developed by the authors. The development of this inquiry-based
actual and virtual laboratory experiment was anchored on developing and enhancing 21st Century
Skills (Learning and Innovation Skills; Information, Media and Technology Skills; Life and Career
Skills). Also, learning styles, multiple intelligences, context, adaptability, layout, paging among others
were considered s well. The said laboratory experiment activity guide will be presented during the
session. It's salient features will be described and highlighted. Teachers insights on its implication to
21st century physics teaching and learning will conclude the session.
Keywords: Secondary education: lower, secondary education: upper, virtual experiment, real
experiment, 21st Century teaching and learning
Topics: Experiments, ICT, Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8C
Session 8C, 15:00-16:20
Improvement in physics laboratories using the forum and Cooperative
Carlos Alberto Martinez Briones, Alexander Ortega and Gabriel Castro
Espol, Ecuador
The purpose of this study was to investigate: How using an educational forum, blog and cooperative
learning improves student achievement in physics labs?
Students arriving to the first half and take the matter Physics Laboratory A, come with several
preconceptions about the use and handling of equipment and laboratory instruments, and more, to
take experimental data from a practice, not know how to interpret the data, which is why we will
work with the use of the forum and cooperative learning to improve the interpretation of the data,
with the purpose to know how it affects the use of the forum, blog and cooperative learning in
improving the interpretation of the experimental data taken in practice. Subjects were 60 of
a laboratory course Physics A, who are pursuing the matter Physics Laboratory A in different
engineering programs offered by the university. Selected instructional tasks will last twelve hours.
An analysis of the final performance of different groups supported by the ANOVA F-test, with
significance level of 0.05. In conducting the analysis it was found two research hypotheses.
It took 4 groups, the experimental group was instructed to review previous reports on the blog, and
participate in the forum sidweb platform. From the results it can be seen that cooperative learning is
a methodology that offers improvements in student learning, in terms of motivation, a greater
understanding and good interpersonal skills for learning, and is also additional support to students
outside the classroom to address and answer questions with questions of them.
The use of educational forums and blogs, help ensure that the student is an active part of the
learning process as they serve to complement the education of teaching physics is an important tool
for active learning of students, as is, cooperative learning. The development of this virtual
environment combined experience of reading, observation, critical thinking and understanding. It
helps make learning active and meaningful dialogue in language that occur between students, is
a good opportunity for reflective participation, creating a wake in the skills and decision-making,
problem solving, learning integrated, critical observation and discovery learning. The ease and
development, serve to encourage students critical thinking to understand the important issues or
physical problems. Given the results obtained according to research and the importance of
contributing significantly to student learning, there is a vision of the role of the teacher: is a guide or
facilitator? And how relevant is the use of these virtual tools to supplement the training of science
and engineering for freshmen.
Keywords: Cooperative learning, educational forum, blogs
Topics: Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8C
Educational Data Mining Applied to Physics Education Research
Alejandro Ballesteros-Rom�n1, Daniel Sanchez1 and Ricardo Garc�a-Salcedo1, 2
1Instituto Polit�cnico Nacional, Mexico
2CICATA-Legaria, Mexico
Present work shows the implementation of an Educational Data Mining platform developed to
analize results obtained from posgraduate students in the Physics Education Programme at the
Advance Technology and Applied Science Research Center of the National Polytechnic Institute of
Mexico. The platform offers a diverse group of algorithms based on artificial intelligence and
graphical analysis obtained from the evidence that the user introduces thru a Web page. The goal is
to have an integrated tool that can handle diferent data and analyze different patterns of behaviour
in Physics Education experiments with students.
Keywords: Lifelong learning, Educational Data Mining, physics education research, artificial
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, ICT, Teachers
Context and Representations matters: Insights from transfer research
on teaching physics
Dean Zollman and N. Sanjay Rebello
Kansas State University, United States
Transfer of learning is frequently considered as the ability to use knowledge in a context different
from the one in which it was learned. For example, for students who have learned physics transfer
can mean the ability to apply concepts to novel situations, solve problems that the students have not
seen before and develop new ideas that are related to the concepts that the students have learned.
Using these ideas we can see how transfer can be considered an important outcome for a physics
class. However, transfer to and within physics learning is equally important. For example, much
research has shown us that students rely heavily on their experiences which occurred before they
studied physics when interpreting or applying the principles while they are studying physics. Thus,
they transfer to physics experiences from other formal learning and from everyday life.
Using fundamental work by psychologists as a foundation (Bransford & Schwartz (1999) Review of
Research in Education 24, 61-100) we have developed a framework for understanding transfer while
students are learning physics. Horizontal transfer involves activating and mapping pre-constructed
models to new situations. In using horizontal transfer students make associations between
information of a situation and elements of model. Vertical transfer includes constructing a new
model to make sense of a situation. Students must use different knowledge elements to create a new
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8C
or revised model. In learning physics both types of transfer are valuable. Analyzing ones teaching in
terms of a transfer framework can help us understand better students’ difficulties (and successes)
when attempting to learn physics.
Keywords: University education, secondary education, education research, transfer of learning
Topics: Learning, Teaching
Teamwork and communication structures in team-based assessments
Junehee Yoo1, Eric Mazur2, Kelly Miller2, Carolann Koleci2, Laura Tucker2 and Brian
1Departement of Physics Education, Seoul National University, Republic of
2Harvard University, United States
In a flipped, introductory physics class, teamwork is a core competency which necessitates
assessment. One metric designed to assess team-based learning is the Readiness Assurance Activity
(RAA). For the first forty-five minutes of the RAA, students individually complete a series of exam
questions and problems. For the remaining forty-five minutes of the RAA, students convene as
a team and re-complete, as a team, the SAME series of exam questions and problems. The second
portion of the RAA, the team round requires discussion and negotiation amongst all team members.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the communication structure of teams during the RAA, in
addition to elucidating the quality of teamwork performance. Twenty-eight students' individual and
team scores are analyzed longitudinally to ascertain the level of teamwork. Team discussions are also
analyzed by social network analysis to determine communication structures existing within the
dialogue. Results corresponding to communication structures which are classified into monopolistic
and co-ownership, and the teamwork index for individual students are summarized, along with
a discussion of the relationship between communication structures and teamwork.
Keywords: Team-based assessment, communication structure, teamwork
Topics: Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8D
Session 8D, 15:00-16:20
How to use data from catalogs of astronomical objects in education
Ota K�har and Miroslav Randa
University of West Bohemia, Faculty of Education, Czech Republic
This contribution contains attractive examples that use catalogs of astronomical objects available at
Astronomia web pages (astronomia.zcu.cz). Hertzsprung-Russell diagram will be created online from
stars catalogue HIPPARCOS or SIMBAD. It is possible to change the star distance used for diagram
creation. List of numbered minor planets are used to demonstrate the current position of objects in
the Solar system, to construct a Kirkwood gap graph or to interactively verify Kepler’s laws. On Night
sky application should be demonstrated progress chart of Sun below horizon during the night. It can
by used to explain twilight, sunrise and sunset. For a particular moment it can be found a list of
brightest stars, constellations visible above the horizon or Messier or NGC object visibility.
Keywords: Catalogs, HR diagram, Kepler's law, minor planets, stars, Kirkwood gap, interactive,
application, multimedia
Topics: Experiments, ICT, Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Teaching
Experiments with Cosmic Ray Muons in out-of-school settings and
their impact on interest
Martin Hawner1, Sascha Schmeling2 and Thomas Trefzger3
1CERN/University of Wuerzburg, Switzerland
2CERN, Switzerland
3University of Wuerzburg, Germany
Since 2010 the German network „Netzwerk Teilchenwelt“ (engl.: network particle world) has been
built up in order to promote particle and astroparticle physics in Germany. The two main activities,
which are mostly done in out-of-school settings, are the particle physics masterclasses (analyzing real
data produced by the LHC at CERN) and measurements with cosmic ray muon detectors. This
presentation will focus on the experiments with cosmic rays. There are currently two types of
detectors with different detection methods. One uses the effect of Cherenkov light, the other one is
a scintillation counter. The setup itself is accompanied with supporting materials that make it easy to
work with for the students. These detectors are not only used in out-of-school activities, but can also
be integrated in school lessons or longer lasting projects. The University of W�rzburg is offering oneday
out-of-school activities, which are the basis for an evaluation study on the development of
science interest (as defined by Krapp, 2002) in out-of-school laboratories.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8D
Recent studies have shown good results concerning the situational interest (see e.g. Pawek, 2005).
However, an effect on the sustained personal interest could not be observed. There are hints, that
a permanent increase in science interest can be achieved through preparation and/or wrap-up
during the normal school lessons. This is supported by Mitchell’s theory of „catch-and-holdcomponents“
(Mitchell, 1993).
In order to compare the effects on interest two laboratory settings will be evaluated in a pre-/post/follow-up-Design.
One treatment will only be the out-of-school activity, whereas in the other
treatment, an additional wrap-up will be accomplished during the following school lessons. Due to
previous studies (Pawek 2005, Glowinski 2007), a positive effect on the personal interest concerning
the setup with the wrap-up is expected.
After giving an introduction on the network and the experiments itself, the evaluation methods and
the results of the pilot study will be presented.
Glowinski, I. (2007). Sch�lerlabore im Themenbereich Molekularbiologie als Interesse f�rdernde
Lernumgebung. Dissertation, Universit�t Kiel.
Krapp, A. (2002). Structural and dynamic aspects of interest development: theoretical considerations
from an ontogenetic perspective. Learning and Instruction,12, 383-409.
Mitchell, M. (1993), 'Situational interest: Its multifaceted structure in the secondary school
mathematics classroom.', Journal of Educational Psychology 85(3), 424-436.
Pawek, C. (2005). Sch�lerlabore als interessef�rdernde au�erschulische Lernumgebungen f�r
Sch�lerinnen und Sch�ler aus der Mittel- und Oberstufe. Dissertation, Universit�t Kiel.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, modern physics, astroparticle physics, experiments, out-ofschool
activities, interest in physics, evaluation
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Experiments, Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Learning
Visuospatial models of the sun-earth-moon system
Shamin Padalkar1 and Jayashree Ramadas2
1Quality Education Support Trust, India
2Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, India
Astronomy education has in the past adopted ideas from cognitive science. The 'conceptual change'
and 'mental model' frameworks from cognitive psychology have supported studies on students'
conceptions in astronomy (Lelliott and Rollnick, 2009). The latter studies, on ideas about the earth's
shape and the day/night cycle (Vosniadou and Brewer, 1992, 1994), did not distinguish between
a mental model (a dynamic representation) and the reasoning (a process) based on it. Yet
qualitatively correct mental models combined with faulty reasoning can lead to incorrect
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8D
explanations: adults holding a correct model of the sun-earth moon system incorrectly explain
phases of the moon as shadow of the earth falling on the moon (Subramaniam and Padalkar, 2009).
The framework of visuospatial thinking helps understand and address such conceptions and mental
models in astronomy.
Mental rotation and perspective taking are two basic spatial abilities (Hegarty and Waller, 2005);
they are called to action when spatial mental models are used to reason, i.e. to mentally simulate or
'run' a mental model. To understand the occurrence of seasons we need to mentally rotate and
revolve the earth and, at the same time, change our frame of reference from allocentric (outside the
model) to egocentric (with one's reference when standing on the earth), and thus describe the path
of the sun in the sky. Further, we need to change our orientation on the earth to imagine the path of
the sun from different latitudes.
To help Grade 8 students construct mental models and use them to draw sophisticated inferences
we have developed a system of spatial tools including concrete models, gestures/ actions and
diagrams (Padalkar and Ramadas, 2008). Gestures and actions help internalise the threedimensionality
and dynamic properties of models serving to link concrete models with diagrams, and
also phenomena with mental models <http://web.gnowledge.org/pedagogic-gestures/>, (Padalkar
and Ramadas, 2010). Padalkar and Ramadas (2011) outlined criteria for diagrams to be an effective
pedagogic tool. We describe some results from use of this pedagogy with students.
Hegarty, M. and Waller, D. (2005). Individual differences in spatial abilities, In P. Shah and A. Miyake
(Eds.) Cambridge Handbook of Visuospatial Thinking, Cambridge University Press, pp. 121-169.
Lelliott, A. and Rollnick, M. (2009). Big ideas: A review of astronomy education research 1974-2008.
International Journal of Science Education, 32(13): 1771-1799.
Padalkar, S. and Ramadas, J. (2008). Modeling the round earth through diagrams. Astronomy
Education Review, 6(2): 54-74.
Padalkar, S. and Ramadas, J. (2010). Designed and spontaneous gestures in elementary astronomy
education. International Journal of Science Education, 31(3): 395-417.
Padalkar, S. and Ramadas, J. (2011). Using diagrams as an effective pedagogic tool in elementary
astronomy. In Chunawala, S. and Kharatmal, M. (eds), Proceedings of Conference epiSTEME-4 Jan
2011, MacMillan, Mumbai, 159-164.
Subramaniam, K. and Padalkar, S. (2009). Visualisation and reasoning in explaining the phases of the
moon. International Journal of Science Education, 31(3): 395-417.
Vosniadou, S. and Brewer, W. F. (1992). Mental models of the earth: A study of conceptual change in
childhood. Cognitive Psychology, 24: 535-585.
Vosniadou, S. and Brewer, W. F. (1994). Mental models of the day/ night cycle. Cognitive Science, 18:
Keywords: Secondary education, astronomy education, visuospatial thinking, spatial tools, mental
Topics: Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8D
Identifying critical points in modernising the Astronomy curriculum of
Greek Primary Education: a preliminary survey
Aristeidis Kosionidis
Biophysical Environment, Neurosciences and Learning Laboratory, National
and Capodistrian University of Athens, Greece
The modernisation of the Astronomy subjects taught as part of the science course at school and
college/university level is a development receiving significant research attention. In Greece,
Astronomy is taught in late secondary education. We are conducting research on incorporating
elements of modern Astrophysics into the late primary education curriculum (ages 10-12). As part of
this effort, we conducted a preliminary questionnaire survey to identify areas where special
attention will have to be paid when developing teaching materials.
Our sample was composed of 52 first-year postgraduate students at the Primary Education Faculty of
the University of Athens for the years 2008-2009, 2009-2010 and 2011-2012. This particular sample
was chosen because it allows us to combine two lines of investigation. Firstly, it allows us to test the
overall effectiveness of the educational system in its stated aims of conferring fundamental
knowledge about the Universe, and in fostering the urge to stay in touch with significant scientific
developments after graduating from school. Secondly, because a significant percentage of the
postgraduate students are employed within the educational system (as replacement or permanent
teachers in primary or early secondary education), their answers provide initial guidelines about
where serving primary education teachers will need strong support when asked to teach modern
The issues we covered in the questionnaire were: recent changes in our understanding of the
Universe (4 questions), students' familiarity and understanding of scientific terminology
(2 questions), and their everyday extra-curricular interaction with physics subjects, including their
self-evaluation (5 questions).
Our results show that students were unaware of significant contemporary developments, such as the
discovery of extrasolar planets. They also showed weaknesses in knowledge already present within
the school lesson, like the number of planets in the Solar System. Students’ answers on terminology
exhibited significant variety, indicating personally-constructed definitions rather than a common and
uniform understanding of scientific language. In addition, when confronted with unknown terms,
they attempted to explain them by falling back on every-day language rather than their knowledge of
terminology. Most students assess their physics knowledge as inadequate, which is supported by
their answers on physics.
The results of the questionnaire research point to a failure of the educational system to teach
fundamental scientific facts about the Universe, and to imbue its graduates with the motivation and
tools to keep abreast of the most significant scientific developments. The results suggest that our
effort to modernize the teaching of Physics must include activities and materials that actively bring
teachers in touch with contemporary scientific developments, and also include efforts to deepen
their understanding of the function of terminology and scientific language.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8D
Keywords: Primary education, university education, curriculum reform, modern astrophysics,
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Curriculum, Teachers, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 8F
Session 8F – workshop, 15:00-16:20
Experimenting with concept cartoons
Ed van Den Berg
Free University, Netherlands
Concept cartoons can be used to diagnose misconceptions and stimulate discussion of basic concepts
and phenomena. However, the teacher can also present a cartoon and then ask students to think of
experiments to further investigate the phenomenon shown in the cartoon. Our experience is that
students from age 9 -18 very quickly come with creative ideas and start investigations. That is,
of course, only the beginning. The teacher will have to follow the work of the students closely and
help them to develop their investigation skills and critical thinking. In the workshop you will
experience how to start an investigation with the cartoon and then we will focus on how to use
formative assessment to improve the work of students.Through the cartoon students are involved in
a complete mini-investigation with argumentation rather than only in taking measurements.
Keywords: Concept cartoons, inquiry skills, formative assessment
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9A
⋙Session 9A, 16:40-18:00⋘
Assessment of the Just-in-Time-Teaching Approach on the Newtonian
Mechanics Concept by Using the Model Analysis Technique
Supachoke Puttisanwimon, Suttida Rakkapao and Teparksorn Pengpan
Prince of Songkla University, Thailand
The Just-in-Time-Teaching (JiTT) is one of the interactive instructional methods in physics education
research (PER). The web-based questions and the in-class activities based on misconceptions are the
key elements of JiTT. It can apply to small or large class with a single instructor, and is easy to
combine with other ones. This study aims to evaluate the JiTT method, which is included in the
lecture physics classes, by using the model analysis technique. Samples are about 700 science
freshmen, who enrolled in the fundamental physics course, from Prince of Songkla University,
Thailand. Since, we focus on the topic of the Newton’s first and second laws of motions, the wellknown
research-based multiple choice test, Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation (FMCE), was
administered to these students both before and after the lecture class mixed JiTT instruction. Results
have shown that this approach gains student’s learning into the middle level of the average
normalized gain. Based on the class density matrix as well as the model plot of the model analysis,
it obviously revealed the significant difference between pre-and post-class model states of the
students. Overall, students’ mental model state on the Newtonian mechanics concept has shifted to
the scientific model of understanding, positioned in the mixed model region. These findings support
that the JiTT is a profitably optional approach for a large physics lecture class with a few instructors.
Keywords: University education, traditional class, misconception, forces and motions, Just-in-TimeTeaching
approach, model analysis
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Teaching
Effect of collaborative learning in Interactive Lecture Demonstrations
(ILD) on student conceptual understanding of motion graphs
Erees Queen Macabebe1 and Eleanor Alma Jugueta2
1Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines
2Ateneo de Manila University, University of Santo Tomas, Philippines
This study aims (1) to assess effectively the influence of peer discussion in understanding concepts
presented in Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILD) and (2) to evaluate if the conceptual
understanding through ILDs and collaborative learning can be translated to actual situations such as
in human and objects in motion.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9A
Ten (10) situations, each with a question involving motion graphs, were presented to 151 university
students comprising mostly of science majors but of different year levels. Individual and group
predictions were conducted prior to ILD. Each group, composed of 2 or 3 students, was allowed to
discuss their individual prediction and was required to come up with a common answer based on
their discussion. During the lecture demonstration, the position vs. time and the velocity vs. time
graphs of each scenario were plotted real-time using a motion sensor and a LabPro system. The
graphs were analysed after each demonstration and an assessment that integrates the ten situations
into two scenarios was given to evaluate the conceptual understanding of the students.
Findings, results and discussion
Analysis of the results shows a significant increase in the number of correct answers after peer
discussion. For situations involving human motion for instance, from an average of 85.26 % in the
individual prediction, the average number of correct answers increased to 98.97 % after peer
discussion, an improvement of 16.08 % of the average individual score. From the individual
prediction, many found difficulty in visualizing the velocity vs. time graph of (1) an object given an
initial push and (2) an accelerating object, both moving along a frictionless track. After the group
discussion, the number of correct answers increased by 29.80 % and 9.27 %, respectively. This
improvement indicates the positive effect of collaborative learning. To assess whether the ILD
reinforced the conceptual understanding of the students, the given situations were integrated into
two scenarios and the achievement gain show positive results. In general, the achievement gain for
each applicable item was found to be between 7.28 – 13.91 %. Two items involving the velocity vs.
time plot of a person, first, moving away, and then, moving toward the motion sensor at a constant
velocity obtained 1.99 % and -1.99 % achievement gain, respectively. The achievement gain shows
that the students had difficulty relating the concepts to actual scenarios.
In an Interactive Lecture Demonstration, collaborative learning produced a positive effect on the
prediction scores of the students. The ILD with real-time measurement allowed the students to
validate their prediction. However, when the given situations were incorporated to create a scenario,
it posted a challenge to the students. The results of this activity identified the area where additional
instruction and emphasis is necessary.
Keywords: University education, collaborative learning, ILD, conceptual understanding
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9A
An Education Competition for Ph.D.s and postdocs working in
Molecular Ultrafast Science and Technology
Anna Garry1, Jean-Pierre Wolf2, Vesna Markovic2, Diego Villamaina2, Alexander
Rodenberg3, Andrii Rogov2, Svetlana Afonina2, Denis Kiselev2, Paul Donaldson4, Marius
Wehrle5, Miroslav Sulc5 and Aurelien Patoz5
1Department of Physics, ETH Z�rich and NCCR MUST, Switzerland
2University of Geneva, Switzerland
3University of Zurich, Switzerland
4Diamond Light Source, United Kingdom
5EPFL, Switzerland
The Swiss Research network NCCR Molecular Ultrafast Science and Technology (NCCR MUST) brings
together 17 research groups (in physics and chemistry) from 6 universities and a government
research institution (PSI). Our collaborative research involves the study of molecular, atomic and
electron processes using cutting edge technologies and high-level theoretical approaches.
A significant factor in this collaboration is the creation of educational material to explain our
fundamental scientific work to a wider audience including schools, young children and the public.
We aim to create material that can excite people about our science.
This presentation describes a project that took place in 2012, where we set up an education
competition for our Ph.D. students and postdocs to create pedagogical tools in forms of attractive
hands-on experiments and computer simulations that could educate and engage a non-scientific
audience and even younger age pupils. The aims of the education competition were threefold. The
primary aim was to encourage our young university researchers to look at their science from an
educational perspective, and to find ways to explain and excite a wider audience in this fundamental
science. Second, they had to design and build their pedagogical experiments and demonstrate them
to an audience at the Annual Scientific meeting of our Network in January 2013. The third aim was to
elaborate on these experiments for creating a group of tools for NCCR MUST’s educational outreach
that can be developed to establish a collection of portable scientific experiments to be used in
schools, exhibition spaces and science centers.
In our presentation we will outline the competition’s parameters, which gave the scientists maximum
flexibility in the use of technologies and laboratory material. We will then focus on the process the
Ph.Ds and postdocs undertook to design and create their pedagogical tools – from initial ideas, to
development, to trial and testing, to presentation of their work to a wider audience in January 2013.
The entries from teams of scientists included four experimental based experiments and two computerbased
learning tools, which ranged from engaging with the science of ultrafast spectroscopies to 3D
models of molecular motions. Videos from two entries were also uploaded to YouTube. We outline
how the competition was judged, the winners chosen, the important factors identified for engaging
young science researchers with the interactive experience of educational outreach.
Keywords: University education, Ph.D.s and postdocs, lifelong learning
Topics: Experiments, Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9A
Increasing Physics Teacher Production by Replicating the UTeach
Teacher Preparation Model and Awarding Noyce Scholarships
Gregory R. Hale, Ramon E. Lopez, Ann M. L. Cavallo and Erin E. Gonzales
The University of Texas at Arlington, United States
Over the last decade, secondary science and mathematics teacher production at most Texas
universities has been quite small and far below the needs of schools. The production of physics
teachers has been even worse. At The University of Texas at Arlington for example, the typical annual
production of secondary science and mathematics teachers has been in the single digits, and the
physics teacher production has averaged less than one per year. Meanwhile, the Texas Legislature
passed a law requiring high school students in the state to complete four years of science and
mathematics in order to graduate with a standard or advanced diploma. This 4�4 degree
requirement became effective for the students entering high school in 2007. With physics being
a traditional fourth science course in high school curricula, increasing the production of highly
qualified physics teachers is especially important now in the state of Texas.
To address this need, we pursued two grant funding from two sources. We first obtained a National
Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship grant in 2008 that allows us to provide
$10,000 scholarships for pre-service secondary physics, chemistry and mathematics teachers.
Undergraduate physics majors can be supported in their junior and senior year as they pursue
teacher certification. In addition to the scholarship, the grant also provides funds used to hire an
experienced teacher that mentors the Noyce scholars when they are new classroom teachers.
With grant funds received from the National Math and Science Initiative in late 2009, the College of
Science and the College of Education & Health Professions at The University of Texas at Arlington
began a replication of the successful secondary science and mathematics teacher preparation
program from The University of Texas at Austin, UTeach. We recruited a record number of students
in our first semester, and have been consistently able to recruit well over 100 students each year
since then to try teaching in a one credit-hour course with field experiences. We are on track to
graduate more than 50 certified secondary mathematics and science teachers in our first graduating
class, including 5 physics teachers.
The UTeach Austin website describes the origin of the UTeach program:
"Beginning in 1997, The University of Texas at Austin set out to effect long-term, systematic change in
the way science and mathematics majors were being prepared for careers in secondary math or
science education. The Dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Mary Ann Rankin, brought together a
group of experienced secondary teachers and administrators and charged them to design an
innovative teacher preparation program based on national standards, educational research, and their
years of experience in the K-12 setting. As part of a substantially revised approach to teacher
education called UTeach, the College of Natural Sciences employs several of the best high school
science and math teachers in the state to lead the introductory UTeach courses and coordinate a
range of on-going field-based experiences. To reinforce the value of such a career choice for students,
the College of Natural Sciences offers a rebate for these introductory courses.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9A
At the same time, the Dean of the College of Education, Manuel Justiz, undertook a major
commitment to rebuild and strengthen the College's program in mathematics and science education.
Under the leadership of Dr. Jere Confrey, mathematics and science education faculty made the
decision to completely revise the professional development courses. They developed a three-course
sequence that builds on research on student learning, the examination of standards-based curricula,
the study of effective classroom interactions, and the development of models of teaching. Issues of
technology use and effective approaches to equitable participation are embedded in all aspects of the
program, culminating in students' teaching an entire unit in Project Based Instruction. In addition, the
mathematics and science education faculty place students in high-need schools, where they learn
firsthand of the needs, challenges and opportunities involved in these settings."
Active learning is at the heart of a UTeach program. The recruitment courses offered to first-year
university students are introductions to the learning cycle, and specifically the "5E" implementation
encouraged in Texas public schools. These recruitment courses are taught by experienced and expert
science and math teachers referred to as "Master Teachers". These Master Teachers not only model
the learning cycle during theses recruitment courses, the students also deliver three 5E-structured
lessons to public school students under the guidance of the university Master Teachers and a mentor
in the public school. The culmination of the 3-course sequence that UTeach students take in the
College of Education and Health Professions focuses on an intensive active learning technique –
project based instruction.
We, representatives of the College of Science and College of Education and Health Professions,
propose to present the UTeach Arlington secondary science and mathematics teacher preparation
model and explore the qualities that successful UTeach Arlington students possess.
Keywords: Teacher training, teacher preparation, university education, secondary education: upper
Topics: Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9B
Session 9B, 16:40-18:00
Physics during Sightseeing in London and Paris
Dorothy Sebestyen
Obuda University, Hungary
During the past years, one of the greatest challenges in the teaching of physics has undoubtedly
been: how to make it more attractive for our students. The history of physics can contribute to
deepening the students’ understanding of physics, and on the other hand it provides an opportunity
for wide-ranging cultural educational lectures.
At our university The Cultural History of Physics is an optional course for the students of electrical
engineering, following the compulsory, two-semester Physics course.
According to my personal experiences I can say that during a foreign journey we can discover a lot of
interesting sights that can be related to physicists or the laws of physics. Buildings, bridges, churches,
sundials, monuments, tombs can be found among these sights just as paintings or sculptures in the
museums, or anything else that can be related to physics. According to my experience, a lot of good
examples exist from London to Prague, from Copenhagen to Florence.
The above mentioned sights and attractions can be used as illustrations when we lecture on the
history of physics as well as when we would like to make our physics classes more interesting.
This presentation intends to show some of the sights mentioned above, this time from London and
Paris, for example: the Imperial Standards of Length (Trafalgar Square), the sundials on the
St Margaret’s church, or the Foucault pendulum in the Pantheon. It aims to arouse the colleagues’
interests to apply such ideas in teaching process, whereby we are able to increase the students’
interest towards physics. On the other hand I would like to call their attention that using such
examples we can inspire our students that during their foreign or national journeys, they should
consider these possible attractions when they go sightseeing.
Keywords: University education, history of physics, sundial, art
Topics: Teaching
Checkpoint Leonardo - combining informal science and art education
to primary and science teacher education
Anssi Lindell, Marjo Autio-Hiltunen, Anna-Leena Kahkonen and Antti Lokka
University of Jyvaskyla, Finland
Both artists and scientists want to make the invisible world visible. As artists want to express their
sensory perceptions filtered by their emotions and aesthetic visions, scientists try to represent their
observations and results of experiments in scientific models. In both cases the final images and their
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9B
interpretation are beyond the premises and results of human intuition and creativity. This apparent
similarity suggests benefits in teaching these two fundamental ways of knowing a world together.
The similar feature is that a scientific model is not a copy of reality, just as a painting, for example, is
not a strict copy of its object. The difference is that a piece of art represents an aesthetic
(a subjective) impression, while a scientific model represents an empirical objective construction to
predict and explain perceptions.
Checkpoint Leonardo is a project for teaching and learning the art and science ways to gain
knowledge of the world in informal museum and school education simultaneously. It consists of
a series of art exhibitions and workshops based on the scientific and artistic perspectives of the
exhibit artworks . The first four workshops were designed and instructed for the conceptual level of
6th grade pupils by interdisciplinary groups of physics student teachers and primary school student
teachers. This project was a part of their pedagogical studies covering courses of pedagogy of arts
and science and it was co-instructed by lecturers of pedagogy of science, art and museum pedagogics
at the University of Jyv�skyl� and Jyv�skyl� Art museum, and the regional artist group Live Herring.
Also, a series of lectures in the theme of different ways of perceiving the world was included in the
Checkpoint Leonardo project.
The pupils from Jyv�skyl� region were invited to visit the exhibition during 15. 3. – 28. 4. 2013 and
inquire the essence of a piece of art of their choice in a workshop. The works of art and the
workshops were based on different ways of perceiving (related to new cubism), infrared imaging,
oxidation as a source of color, and acid-base indicators. The basis for all workshops was to use the
techniques and represent the results in an aesthetically pleasing manner. As the work continues and
accumulates, the representations combine into an artistic project as well as a scientific body of
During the project we have acquired and analyzed essays and interviews on students’ ideas of
aesthetic and empirical ways of knowing world and their development in informal pedagogy. We
shall show preliminary results on these.
Keywords: Science and art, informal science teaching, Museum pedagogy, scientific model, science
teacher education
Topics: Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Socio-cultural Issues, Teachers
Physics in the Museum
Marmon Pagunsan
Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation Regional Centre for
Education in Science and Mathematics, Malaysia
Students’ learning is not limited to the four corners of classroom. Students’ learn science informally
in other educational institutions which are not necessarily established for such purpose. This paper
will share an innovative physics learning intervention in a museum of history and culture. This is
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9B
dubbed as an innovative physics learning intervention considering it explored the potentials of
informal physics learning in a museum of history and culture. It will present the steps of development
of physics learning activity guide in the museum. The said museum physics learning guide is intended
for upper secondary students which could serve as diagnostic assessment or summative assessment.
Physics teachers’ experiences, views and ideas on the use and potential of the learning activity guide
will be presented as well. The presentation will conclude on the potentials and implications of
informal physics learning in quest for scientifically literate citizenry. Finally this endeavour seeks to
bring about meaningful learning not only to students but to general public seeing the application and
relevance of physics in ones history, culture and life in general.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, informal physics learning, lifelong learning, museum,
learning activity development
Topics: Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Socio-cultural Issues, Teachers
In-Service Teachers' Training Creative Physics Workshops at the
National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico
Alexander Kazachkov1 and Abraham Salinas Castellanos2
1Karazin Kharkov National University, Ukraine
2CECyT 10 CVM National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico
Some authors believe that the decline of student�s interest in scientific careers is occurring only in
developed countries, however, there is strong quantitative evidence that this phenomenon is also
occurring in developing countries. As an immediate consequence, the number of students enrolling
in scientific careers has declined substantially worldwide.
Many possible reasons have been proposed to explain the fall of popularity of science among
students. A common and most probable explanation is the lack of qualified science teachers. Most
science teachers have no scientific background. In most cases, teachers who choose to teach science
are often those who did not study, or did not like science themselves in school. These teachers are
unable to convey the fascination of science to their students.
Therefore, there is a substantial need of in-service teachers� training workshops for science teachers
at the basic education levels. In this work we report our experience on a series of strongly contentsoriented
workshops for physics teachers at the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) led by the
authors. We consider that pedagogical workshops are indeed important, but it is more important
that teachers learn more science in order to attract students� interest in scientific subjects.
Our main goal is to implement these workshops among science teachers on a regular basis at the
IPN, not only for physics, but also for chemistry, mathematics and biology.
Some of the trainees’ suggestions are presented in the report as the involving live demonstrations.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9B
Keywords: Science teachers, popularity of science, contents-oriented workshops
Topics: Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9C
Session 9C, 16:40-18:00
ICT-Based Active Learning Approaches on Mechanics in BlowgunDarts
Systems of Tapioka-Straws and in 2-Body-Collision-Systems of
Akizo Kobayashi and Fumiko Okiharu
Faculty of Education, Niigata University, Japan
We are developing various innovative modules of active learning in physics education to overcome
students’ misconceptions by use of ICT, i.e. video analysis of ultra-high-speed digital movies, or real
time analysis by motion detector, force sensors, current and voltage probes, temperature sensors
We present our special effort to promote active learning approaches by using ICT tools having
milliseconds resolution, e.g. interactive video analysis of rapid blowgun movements and also those of
rapid collisions phenomena, where rapidly movements are difficult before to observe with naked
eyes, but now those are clearly analyzed by using high speed movies camera as Casio EX-ZR300 (with
It will be shown that we can realize suitable conditions for activity-based learning on “Force and
Motion” in almost frictionless world by using blowgun darts through effective usage of TapiocaStraws,
where we can investigate Newton’s laws of blowgun systems by changing length and also
pressures of Tapioca-Straws-pipe systems. We can also develop active learning approaches on laws
of terminal velocity in frictional world by use of suitable blowgun pipes and darts by changing the size
and pressures of those. We show various modules for deeper understanding on the mass concept in
2-body-collision systems of pendulums using interactive video analysis of high speed movies of
We also discuss on the effectiveness of these curricula, in elementary school, junior high school and
university by using personal response systems (clickers) and interactive video analysis.
The authors are supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research No.23650503
1) Akizo Kobayashi, Modularized Materials to Develop Conceptual Understanding in Physics
Education, Proceedings of the ICPE2006(TOKYO), Journal of Physics Education Society of Japan
Supplement, 2008, p.154.
2) Akizo Kobayashi and Fumiko Okiharu, Active Learning Approaches by Visualizing ICT Devices with
Milliseconds Resolution for Deeper Understanding in Physics, Proc. Of ICPE2009, AIP Vol.1263,
pp.134-138 (2010)
3) R.K. Thornton, D.R. Sokoloff. Assessing student learning of Newton’s law, Am. J. Phys. 66, pp.338-
352 (1998).
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9C
Keywords: ICT-based active learning, blowgun-darts, tapioka-straws, 2-body collision, interactive
video analysis, high speed movies camera, force and motion, clickers
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Curriculum, Experiments, ICT, Learning, Teaching
Investigating connections between thermal energy, electric currents
and magnetism in the laboratory setting
Muhammad Sabieh Anwar
Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan
We describe three experiments that we have successfully employed in the thermal physics
laboratory at the undergraduate university level. These experiments bring home the connection
between thermodynamics, heat exchange, magnetism and electrical currents. They involve
sophisticated concepts that can be elegantly executed in the thermal physics modules of a laboratory
course, tailored to suit the needs of beginning or advanced university students.
In the first experiment, we resistively heat a ferromagnetic wire that snaps away from an assembly of
permanent magnets as it reaches its Curie temperature. Students are required to formulate an
energy balance equation involving electrical and thermal terms. The equation subsequently enables
them to measure the Curie point. The calculation also returns the instantaneous temperature.
Finally, the temperature dependent magnetic susceptibility of the ferromagnetic wire is also
The second experiment is an adaptation of an earlier experiment for measuring the latent heat of
vaporization of nitrogen as its evaporation is differentially monitored by the switching on of an
electric heater.
Third, we investigate the behavior of thermal energy as it diffuses out of a pulsating heat source.
With the help of our computer controlled setup, the harmonic content and the differential damping
of harmonics can be observed in the thermal domain, thus providing a valuable extension to the
standard Fourier analysis of electric circuits.
All of these experiments have been performed by students in four-hour long or day-long experiments
in our Department of Physics. Interactive laboratory manuals based on Socratic dialogs have also
been written to assist students performing these experiments. The snapping away of a ferromagnetic
wire at its Curie point also qualifies as neat classroom demonstration of a phase transition
in a magnetic material.
Keywords: University education, heat exchange, temperature dependence of magnetic effects,
specific heat capacity, diffusive waves, Fourier analysis, mathematical phenomena
Topics: Experiments
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9C
Informal Teaching and Learning of Special Theory of Relativity
Jan Novotn�, Jana Jurmanov� and Jindřiška Svobodov�
Masaryk University, Czech Republic
Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity is important for our understanding of time, space, matter and
energy. It represents an example of creative and analytical thought. When the Special Theory of
Relativity is taught in schools, it is not possible to carry out real experiments. We have prepared
several multimedia activities giving a brief overview of relativity. Short animations are complemented
by various questions and tasks and presented to students.
Although some of the consequences of the basic ideas may seem intuitive, there are various pitfalls
no only for beginners. The aim of our study was to help an understanding starting points of the
theory of relativity.
In the present study we explore the comprehension levels of relativity theory in prospective science
teachers who take the introduction to physics lesson at the Faculty of Education. The effect of it for
learning on their achievement is researched. In the research, a control group pre-test post-test quasiexperimental
research model was used. Research data were obtained by using open-ended questions
prepared by the researcher.
Keywords: Physics teaching, meaningful learning, theory of relativity, research model
Topics: Informal Physics Teaching & Learning
Active Learning in higher-level courses: Thermal and Statistical
Jonathan Keartland
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Reports on the employment of Active Learning (AL) strategies at university level have largely
focussed on their application in first year Physics courses at universities. This trend is slowly
changing, evidenced by the number of recent studies appearing in the literature. AL methods have
been used for the last five years in teaching the second and third year Thermal and Statistical Physics
modules in the School of Physics at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. AL strategies
employed include regular minute papers, detailed responses to material that has been identified as
unclear by the students in minute papers, active and co-operative lecture activities, active problemsolving
sessions, and active and co-operative revision sessions. The intervention has been monitored
using numerous student surveys over the years. The results of these surveys provide strong evidence
that the students have embraced the introduction of AL, and that they have been successful in
increasing student confidence and active participation in lectures. More importantly, the
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9C
performance of the students in examinations and tests have shown a marked improvement.
This paper will provide details of the AL strategies used, the results of student surveys, and evidence
for general improvement in results. The students in the mid-range of ability appear to be affected
most positively by the AL methods utilised. It is strongly suggested that experienced Physics
instructors responsible for higher-level tertiary courses should consider adopting AL strategies.
Keywords: Active learning, thermal and statistical physics, higher-level courses
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9D
Session 9D, 16:40-18:00
Theory-Practice Gap: The relevance of students’ conceptions for
teaching geometrical optics in practice
Claudia Haagen-Schuetzenhoefer
University of Vienna, AECCP, Austria
Physics educational research of the last decades has put a major emphasis on research on students’
conceptions in different fields of physics (Duit, 2009). Constructivist approaches have emphasised the
importance of considering students’ conceptions as a starting point for the design of
teaching/learning interventions in order to trigger conceptual change (Duit & Treagust, 2003; Posner,
Strike, Hewson, & Gertzog, 1982). Though that has been known for years it is assumed that these
ideas have not yet reached conventional classroom practice. One fundamental key concept which is
known to be central for successful learning of many facets of geometrical optics for example is the
concept of vision (Guesne, 1985; Langley, Ronen, & Eylon, 1997). When students do not get the
opportunity to acquire the idea that we only can perceive objects when light from these objects
enters our eyes, they tend to hold a number of well-known misconceptions (Guesne, 1985) which
interfere with other key concepts of geometrical optics (visibility of objects, colour vision, image
formation, …). In the course of our Geometric Optic project (Author), where research based teaching
materials for year-8 students and a test instrument for evaluation are developed, we also analysed
schoolbooks and asked teachers (N > 50) for the importance of certain key ideas for learning
geometrical optics. This contribution presents the results of the school book analysis and the teacher
questionnaires. To sum it up, key ideas like the process of vision do not play a role of high
importance in the instruction of the teachers we asked. A similar status can be found in schoolbooks.
The results of a concept test on geometrical optics (Author) mirrors this situation as it shows that the
majority of students cannot solve test items on the sender-receiver model or the visibility of objects.
Duit, R. (2009). Bibliography—STCSE: Students’ and teachers’ conceptions and science education.
Retrieved October 20, 2009.
Duit, R., & Treagust, D. (2003). Conceptual change: a powerful framework for improving science
teaching and learning. International Journal of Science Education, 25(6), 671–688.
Guesne, E. (1985). Light. In R. Driver, E. Guesne, & A. Tiberghien (Eds.), Children's ideas in science
(1993rd ed., pp. 10–32). Buckingham: Open University Press.
Langley, D., Ronen, M., & Eylon, B. S. (1997). Light propagation and visual patterns: Preinstruction
learners' conceptions. Journal of research in Science Teaching, 34(4), 399–424.
Posner, G., Strike, K., Hewson, P., & Gertzog, W. (1982). Accommodation of a scientific conception:
Toward a theory of conceptual change. Science Education, 66(2), 211–227.
Keywords: Theory-practice gaps, geometrical optics, students' misconceptions
Topics: Learning, Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9D
Students’ conceptions on the nature of white light
Claudia Haagen-Schuetzenhoefer
University of Vienna, AECCP, Austria
Although optical phenomena are part of teenagers’ everyday lives, it is often very difficult for them
to explain such phenomena using correct physics concepts. Physics Education Research of the last
decades has investigated a vast number of students’ alternative concepts in different fields of physics
(Duit, 2009) which influence learning process. In the field of geometrical optics for example,
students’ conceptions and resulting learning difficulties are well known (Andersson & K�rrqvist,
1983; Driver, Guesne, & Tiberghien, 1985; Jung, 1982; Fetherstonhaugh & Treagust, 1992). Currently
we are developing student material for geometrical optic in lower secondary (year-8) based on
research on students conceptions in this field. To empirically test the quality of the material
developed we investigate the learning processes and outputs with the help of teaching experiments
(Komorek & Duit, 2004). There, single students or pairs of students are interviewed in a kind of
micro-teaching session based on our material developed (Author). In the course of our teaching
experiments on colour phenomena, we encountered an alternative conception we have not found
discussed thoroughly in literature. Students’ utterances showed that their idea about white light
conflicts in many cases with the scientific concept of white light being a collection of all primary
colours, so to speak the presence of all the frequencies of visible light. In conventional instruction
light sources like the sun, light bulbs and so on are used as sources of white light. Students, however,
regard the light of these sources frequently as yellow, even after instruction. Students’ problems
with the concept of white light seem to cause further learning difficulties with dispersion and colour
subtraction and addition. This contribution presents students’ conceptions on white light as well as
intervention strategies helping to bridge these difficulties.
Andersson, B., & K�rrqvist, C. (1983). How Swedish pupils, aged 12-15 years, understand light and its
properties. International Journal of Science Education, 5(4), 387–402.
Driver, R., Guesne, E., & Tiberghien, A. (Eds.). (1985). Children's ideas in science (1993rd ed.).
Buckingham: Open University Press.
Duit, R. (2009). Bibliography—STCSE: Students’ and teachers’ conceptions and science education.
Retrieved October 20, 2009.
Fetherstonhaugh, T., & Treagust, D. F. (1992). Students' understanding of light and its properties:
Teaching to engender conceptual change. Science Education, 76(6), 653–672.
Jung, W. (1982). Fallstudien zur Optik. physica didactica, 9, 199–220.
Komorek, M., & Duit, R. (2004). The teaching experiment as a powerful method to develop and
evaluate teaching and learning sequences in the domain of non‐linear systems. International Journal
of Science Education, 26(5), 619–633.
Langley, D., Ronen, M., & Eylon, B. S. (1997). Light propagation and visual patterns: Preinstruction
learners' conceptions. Journal of research in Science Teaching, 34(4), 399–424.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9D
Keywords: Colour addition, students' conceptions of white light, teaching colour phenomena
Topics: Learning, Teaching
The “LuNa” Project: experimental modules to teach optics in Primary
and Secondary Schools
Maria Bondani1, Alessia Allevi2, Luca Nardo3 and Fabrizio Favale2
1Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie,
2Universit� degli Studi dell'Insubria - Dipartimento di Scienza e Alta
Tecnologia, Italy
3Universit� degli Studi di Milano Bicocca - Dipartimento di Scienze della
Salute, Italy
The “LuNa” (La natura della Luce nella luce della Natura – The nature of Light in the light of Nature)
Project is devoted to the experimental teaching of optics in the different school grades.
The Project has been financed by both private and public sponsors in the years 2009 and 2010 that
supported the acquisition of the experimental equipment.
The basic idea of the Project is that the history of optics and the debate about the nature of light are
a meaningful example of how science proceeds in the development of a physical model. Moreover
optical phenomena can be presented at different levels of complexity in order to be accessible to
students of different age.
The core of the Project are several portable setups that support experimental and partially
interactive lessons that cover all the aspects of optical phenomena, from geometrical optics to singlephoton
interference passing through atmospheric optics, spectroscopy, holography and theory of
perception. When possible, the setups are realized with simple materials easy to find and to
reproduce for teachers and students. For more complicated setups research materials are used.
Teachers ask for the modules most suitable to be included in the curricula of their classes and the
level of the presentation is tailored on the specific requests.
The Project has involved about 200 classes (more than 4000 students) since 2009.
Website of the Project: http://luna.dfm.uninsubria.it/
Keywords: Optics, experimental demonstrations, portable setups
Topics: Experiments, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9D
Effective use of interactive whiteboards – a design based research
Bor Gregorcic1, Eugenia Etkina2 and Gorazd Planinsic1
1University of Ljubljana, Faculty for mathematics and physics, Slovenia
2Rutgers University, Graduate school of education, United States
In the talk we will discus how Interactive Whiteboards are used in a high school physics class. IWB
use has already been studied from a general perspective but very few studies have addressed the
specifics of their use for teaching physics. We investigate effective ways of using IWB in instruction
and curriculum design in high school physics. The framework for our study is based on the Design
Based Research approach. It is a cyclical process of designing, implementing, evaluating and
redesigning of a learning unit. As the cycle is repeated, the result is an improved unit and emergence
of principles for IWB use and curriculum material design. We put special emphasis on using the
interactive surface of the board, as this is one of the main advantages of the IWB over a standard
computer-projector setup. The surface, when used in combination with dynamic interaction software
like Algodoo, for example, makes possible a personal, creative, graphical and even kinesthetic input
from the students.
Keywords: Interactive whiteboard, IWB, design-based research, Algodoo, effective use, highschool
physics, learning unit, kinesthetic input
Topics: ICT, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session 9E
Session 9E – workshop, 16:40-18:00
Interactive Laboratory Experience (ILE) – A Hands-On and Minds-On
Approach to Effective Physics Teaching
Mark Greenman
Boston University, United States
The target audience for this workshop is undergraduate college and university physics instructors
and secondary school physics teachers. The Interactive Laboratory Experience (ILE) is a derivative of
the Interactive Lecture Demonstration (ILD) pedagogy originally developed by Dr. Ronald Thornton of
Tufts University, Malden, MA, USA and Dr. David Sokoloff of University of Oregon, Oregon, USA. The
ILE/ILD pedagogy can be effectively used as a demonstration technique within large lecture halls,
within more intimate student centered laboratory settings (e.g. a high school classroom and/or
University "studio" classroom) and/or as a tool for professional development for secondary school
physics teachers. The ILE/ILD provides a tool that is shown to markedly improve concept learning of
stubbornly held misconceptions.
This 8-step pedagogy intellectually and actively engages students in learning concepts in physics. The
Interactive Laboratory Experience moves students through a learning cycle from soliciting student
pre-conceptions, to engaging in animated scientific peer debate, to leaning from nature, confronting
initial conceptions with experimental observations and making connections to the student's world
outside the classroom and laboratory.
Participants will leave with an annotated 8-step ILE/ILD "how to" along with a rubric to self assess
how well they are utilizing this pedagogy. In this workshop participants will be fully immersed in
experiencing first hand the use of the Interactive Laboratory Experience/Interactive Lecture
Demonstration techniques. Participants will also use the ILE/ILD self-assessment rubric to evaluate
the fidelity of the presenter to the pedagogy.
In addition to the 8-step "how to" and the self-assessment rubric, participants will leave with three
full ILEs and a link to a WEB page containing an additional 30 activities using ILEs to support precollege
and college level courses on mechanics, electricity & magnetism and waves.
Keywords: Secondary education upper (ages 15-19), university education, teaching strategies,
professional development, experiments, teaching methods, teacher training, concept learning, studio
physics, concept development
Topics: Experiments, Learning, Teachers, Teaching
9. 8. 2013
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 10A
⋙Session 10A, 8:30-9:50⋘
Principles of Constructing Network Instruments for Active Learning
Konstantin Rogozin and Irina Rogozina
Altay State Technological University, Russian Federation
In classrooms active technologies of learning are always used in teaching physics
- from the simple “Socratic Dialoging” whereby the teachers ask students to make their thinking
clear in the days of Aristotle
- to modern “Technology enabled active learning” (TEAL), which was integrating lectures,
problem solving and hands on laboratory activities in one studio (Dori & Belcher,2005).
Advanced networking capabilities allow teachers to organize active learning physics processes for
students in places of their actual location 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year. In this
case, in our opinion, following the principles of their creation should be used:
I. Providing access to the instruments of learning to mobile devices. "Active learning is based on two
assumptions: (1) that learning is by nature an active endeavor and (2) that different people learn in
different ways" (Meyers & Jones,1993). This means that each student should have his own
educational trajectory (a student-centred approach to teaching) in which they will be allowed access
to the course content. That content will be specially organized, structured and presented in a way
that is easier for the students to understand and focus on what students do in relation
- to their efforts to activate students‘ existing conceptions
- and at the same time
- to encourage them to construct their own knowledge (Hern�ndez, 2010) and skills for decision
II. Taking into account the physiological features of the students. Effective teaching tools are
determined primarily by how well they use the laws of cognitive psychology. Redish (2003) said that
“to understand learning, we must understand memory - how information is stored in the brain”.
- First of all, the mental system has a limited capacity. The brain can not actively connect more
than seven items at once (Miller, 1956) and important feature is the ability of the brain to forget
(Ebbinghaus, 1887).
- The second one is a control mechanism that is required to oversee the encoding,
transformation, processing, storage, retrieval and utilization of information (Huitt, 2003).
- The third is a two-way flow of information as we try to make sense of the world around us (eyes
and ears) (Miller, 2010) and one output channel (muscles).
- Finally, the human organism has been genetically prepared to process and organize information
in specific ways (Huitt, 2003).
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 10A
III. Using of various techniques of teaching. Physics curriculum can be visualized on the basis of the
five types of presentation physics content: 1) Conceptual Technique is implemented in a verbal way
in forms of definitions, rules, physical laws, which are generally accepted; 2) Symbolic Technique
(apparatus of symbolic links) of formal relations between physics parameters; 3) Technique of
Theoretical Problems Solutions is formed on the basis of ownership of the Technique of Concepts,
Symbolic Technique of formal relations and elements of other code systems, such as graphs, charts,
figures and tables; 4) Technique of Computer Simulation can represent dynamic models of physics
phenomena; 5) Technique of Real Physics Experiments. In our opinion (Rogozin et al. 2012), the
physics skills for decision making should be formed out in each of the directions separately because
according to the laws of cognitive psychology “Skills are formed within the framework of activities
that are directed to reach the goal”.
IV. Specially organizing the process of physics teaching. Wells, Hestenes and Swackhamer (1995)
proposed a new method of organizing the process of physics teaching. This method can be regarded
as a way to teach systematic scientific inquiry. They coined the term “modeling cycle” for the
integration of systematic modeling into the learning cycle. The central idea in the modeling approach
is that you understand a phenomenon by creating or adapting a model to describe it. This method of
teaching physics requires three successive stages: 1) Representation of the system and its variables;
2) Specifying relations among the variables and how they change; 3) Validity of the model is
established by comparing it with empirical data on how the system behaves.
On the basis of these principles we have created the network resources for learning physics, which
have been successfully used in 3 universities of our country.
Keywords: University education, active learning physics, instruments of learning, construction of
network instruments, mobile devices
Topics: ICT, Learning, Teaching
Learn from the history: Lessons from old Japanese physics
experimental textbooks published during 1880s
Hiroshi Takahashi1, Akira Akabane2, Jun Shozawa3 and Toyomi Tamaki4
1Gunma University, Japan
2Saitama Medical University, Japan
3Tokyo Future University, Japan
4Mathematical Assist Design Laboratory, Japan
When the modern school system of Japan started in 1872, coinciding with the establishment of the
Monbusho (the Ministry of Education), the subject of “Physics” was also introduced in the school
curriculum. Many leaders of the Meiji Government in Japan recognized that the introducing of
science and technology is indispensable for the modernization. At higher education level, mainly
foreign teachers hired by the Japanese government taught physics during 1870-1880s. The early
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 10A
physics lessons at primary or secondary education levels were performed by using Japanese
textbooks translated from foreign languages. It is believed that physics experiments were seldom
performed in the primary or secondary schools at this time. Some teachers was, however, aware the
importance of performing experiments in teaching physics. At 1882, the Monbusho published a small
book titled “Rika-Shoshi”. The textbook is the first physics experiment textbook written in Japanese,
and was translated from “Easy Experiments in Physical Science” written by Le Roy C. Cooley,
published in 1870. The translator and editor were Ten Naomura and Junichi Udagawa, respectively.
In the Japanese textbook, there are several additional notes that are not seen in the original
textbook. The notes are mainly proposals to replace laboratory instruments by daily materials. At the
time, it was extremely difficult to get some laboratory instruments. At 1884, Junichi Udagawa wrote
a textbook titled “Kani-Shiken-ho”. In the book, he proposed various physics experiments that can be
easily performed by using daily materials, such like drinking glass, coins, etc. Some other Japanese
teachers also published physics experiment textbooks during 1880s. They also proposed many simple
handmade experiments that can be performed using daily materials in their books. Japanese
pioneers had devised several unique handmade physics experiments. We will discuss how we learn
from the ingenuity of pioneers of about 130 years ago.
Keywords: Handmade physics experiments, school textbook, history of physics education in Japan
Topics: Experiments, Socio-cultural Issues
Does Self regulation in Hypermedia Trigger Conceptual Change in
Nature of Science?
Mehmet Fatih Tasar and Nagihan İmer �etin
Gazi �niversitesi, Turkey
Teachers’ sophisticated understanding of the nature of science (NOS) is an essential and crucial factor for
achieving progress in students’ scientific literacy. This study sought to investigate how pre-service science
teachers’ concepts about NOS develop and change by using self regulation within Hypermedia Learning
Environment (HLE). A mixed methods research design was used in this study. Quantitative data regarding
participants’ views about NOS were collected by using the "Views on Science-Technology-Society"
(VOSTS) instrument before and after the instructional intervention. On the other hand, qualitative data
were collected through concept maps regarding participants’ NOS understandings. The findings of the
study indicated that at the end of the instructional period pre-service science teachers’ conceptual
understandings about NOS shifted from naive to informed. This study provided evidence supporting the
importance of using self regulation in hypermedia when learning NOS.
(Supported in part by Gazi �niversitesi grant BAP 04/2012-13)
Keywords: Self regulation, hypermedia, nature of science, science education
Topics: ICT, Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 10A
Climate change education for physics teachers
Tom�š Mil�ř, Jan Hollan and Jindřiška Svobodov�
Masaryk University, Czech Republic
Climate change science is a multidisciplinary field. Many important functions of the climate system
are domain of “climate physics”. We claim, that physics teachers should have good understanding of
basic principles of climate physics, e.g. greenhouse effect and causes of sea level rise, in order to
transmit the knowledge towards their pupils. Dozens of studies have shown that people (mostly
students or pupils) confuse greenhouse effect with ozone hole. To investigate the roots of this
confusion we interviewed students at Masaryk University, Faculty of Education, who suppose to
become physics teachers. The findings of our study were utilized to design an university course based
on laboratory and outdoor experiments and measurements. We provide recommendations for
improvement of teaching physics at universities. Our first draft of a textbook, available (in Czech) as
klima.pdf at http://amper.ped.muni.cz/gw/activities, is being further developed using the research
we've done.
Keywords: University education, physics, climate change, greenhouse effect
Topics: Curriculum, Experiments, Socio-cultural Issues, Teachers, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 10D
Session 10D, 8:30-9:50
The explicative power of the vector potential in superconductivity:
a path for high school students
Sara Barbieri1, Marco Giliberti2 and Claudio Fazio1
1Universit� degli Studi di Palermo, Italy
2Universit� degli Studi di Milano, Italy
In the classroom practice, teachers dealing with electromagnetism always spend a lot of time trying
to familiarize their students with the concept of electrostatic scalar potential and its physical
meaning is treated in detail with many examples taken also from the everyday life. On the contrary
the notion of magnetic vector potential is never introduced, both because it is not contained in
textbooks and because teachers usually associate this concept with complex topics they dealt with in
their university courses. In our experience we found that the introduction of the magnetic vector
potential can be of great help in treating electromagnetism and modern physics topics at high school.
In this presentation we will show how the use of the vector potential allows a phenomenological and
consistent explanation of superconductivity at a level suitable for high school students. We will deal
with the two main aspects of the phenomenon: the resistivity of the superconductor that drops to
zero at the critical temperaure and the expulsion of the magnetic field from the superconductor
(Meissner effect). Using the vector potential, students can have a phenomenological interpretation
of the superconductivity, remaining in the frame of electromagnetism and avoiding the use of too
complicated mathematical tools that the explanation of the microscopic mechanism would require
(i.e. quantum mechanics and Cooper pairs).
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, magnetic vector potential, superconductivity
Topics: Teachers, Teaching
Exploration of students’ ideas on superconductivity
Marisa Michelini1, Alberto Stefanel1 and Antonio Vanacore2
1University of Udine, Italy
2University of Salerno, Italy
Superconductivity is an important context in order to be brought in the high school because involving
relevant applications under various technological aspects, both in the medical and research [1-3],
and it can be interpreted on different levels [4-5]. Therefore it can be integrated in ordinary
electromagnetism programs in high schools in order to renew the school curricula expanding areas of
physics of the twentieth century and rethinking the ordinary curriculum seen in a new perspective.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 10D
Several simples apparatuses were designed for example to show the magnetic levitation in a didactic
laboratory [6-9] . Few studies have been done about pupils 'learning in this area and for several years
has been developing a project for the teaching and learning of superconductivity in high school that
led us to design and test educational courses that integrate the superconductivity in'
electromagnetism [10-12]. In the context of the Italian collaboration of the Supercomet family
European projects, educational paths were designed, implementing superconductivity in the
electromagnetism curriculum of upper secondary school [13-14]. Several research experiments have
been conducted [15-16]. In these studies proposing an approach to superconductivity centered on
the magnetic properties it was seen that the students using especially the representation of the field
lines are able to give account consistently Meissner effect. In parallel they recognize through
measurements of resistivity [17] that a superconductor is an ideal conductor resistivity. Moreover it
emerged that they need to achieve a dynamic view of the process of electromagnetic induction that
in a perspective semiclassical realizes cancellation of the magnetic field inside the superconductor to
tie together the peculiar characteristics of the superconducting state ie B = 0 and □ = 0 [15].
Reversing the approach, the magnetic properties of superconductors have been proposed as
a consequence of those of ideal conductors. Research experiments were done with 43 students (18
years old) of 3 classes in two different schools of Friuli in 10 hours of laboratory activities conducted
using Inquiry Based Stimuli Worksheets and a questionnaire used as pre and post tests and have
been identified how which students have enabled a dynamic view of the process of magnetic
levitation and activated the link between electrical and magnetic properties of superconductors.
[1] Aubrecht, G. (1989). Redesigning courses and textbooks for the twenty-first century. AJP, 57, 352-
[2] Gil, D. P., Solbes., J. (1993). The introduction of modern physics. IJSE, 15, 255-260.
[3] Hake R.R. (2000). Is it Finally Time to Implement Curriculums?, AAPT Announcer 30(4), 103.
[4] Bad�a-Maj�s A (2006) Understanding stable levitation of superconductors, AJP 74 (12), 1136-
[5] Ostermann, F., Ferreira, L.M., Cavalcanti, C.J.H. (1998). T�picos de f�sica contempor�nea no
ensino m�dio: um texto para professores sobre supercondutividade. Revista Brasileira de Ensino de
F�sica, 20, 270-288.
[6] Guarner, E., S�nchez, A.M. (1992). The superconducting bird: a didactical toy. The Physics
Teacher, 30, 176-179.
[7] Brown, R. (2000). Demonstrating the Meissner Effect and Persistent Current, The Physics teacher,
38 (3) S. 168.
[8] Strehlow, C. P., Sullivan, M. C. (2009). A Classroom Demonstration of Levitation, AJP 77, 847-851.
[9] Gough, C. (1998). High temperature superconductors take off. Phys. Educ., 33, 38-46.
[10] Gonz�lez-Jorge H., Domarco G. (2004). Superconducting cylinders aid in an understanding of
current induction, Phys. Educ. 39, 234
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 10D
[11] Ostermann, F.; Moreira, M.A. (2000b). F�sica Contempor�nea em la escuela secundaria: una
experi�ncia en el aula involucrando formaci�n de profesores. Revista de Ense�anza de las Ciencias, 3
(2), 18, 391-404.
[12] Corni F, Michelini M, Santi L, Stefanel A, Viola R (2009) Curricular Paths in the Supercomet2
Experimentation in Italy, in Physics Curr. Design, Constantinou CP, Papadouris N eds,
[13] Greczylo, T., Bouquet, F., Ireson, G., Michelini, M., Engstrom, V. (2010). High-Tech Kit, Il Nuovo
Cimento C, (33) 3, 221-229.
[14] Kedzierska E. et al. (2010). Il Nuovo Cimento, 33 (3) 65-74
[15] Stefanel A., Michelini M., Santi L. (2012) High school students analyzing the phenomenology of
superconductivity and constructing model of the Meissner effect, in Tasar F.ed., sel. Paper of World
Conference on Physics Education
[16] Viola R, Michelini M, Santi L, Corni F (2008) The secondary school experimentation of
Supercomet in Italy, in Frontiers of Physics Education, Rajka Jurdana-Sepic et al eds., selected papers
in Girep-Epec book, Zlatni. Rijeka (CRO) [ISBN 978-953-55066-1-4], pp.190-196
[17] Gervasio, M., Michelini, M. (2010). A USB probe for resistivity versus temperature,
Keywords: Upper secondary education, superconductivity, learning
Topics: Learning
Evaluation of Liquid Crystals Display Course for Secondary School
Jerneja Pavlin1, Marko Rožič2, Vitomir Babič3, Nataša Vaupotič4 and Mojca Čepič1
1University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education, Slovenia
2Srednja šola Črnomelj, Slovenia
3Šolski center Celje, Gimnazija Lava, Slovenia
4University of Maribor, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Slovenia
School physics should link the innovations and applications as well as present a physical correctly
information about the new developments linked to physics. Liquid crystals are used in several devices
and a topic of current scientific research. It seems that liquid crystals are a good candidate for
satisfying the above mentioned recommendations and therefore motivational topic for student to
learn physics.
The teaching module (LCD course) about liquid crystals was designed. The main aim of the module
was to explain to students how LCD works. Experiments used within the course are presented at the
workshop [1]. The module was tested among 75 secondary school students (age 17.5). Students
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 10D
gained the knowledge about liquid crystals since they achieved on average 68.8 % of the possible
points on the test immediately after the lessons. It was found that generally students liked the LCD
course. This can be confirmed with the students' reports about LCD course since only 2 students out
of 75 did not write positive assessment of it. An interesting negative assessment of the LCD course
written by a student was: “I will not be able to watch the screen normally anymore. I will want to see
In the contribution we briefly present the content of LCD course. Students’ achievements on pre-test
and test will be presented and they will be underpinned by data collected by semi-structured
interviews with students and teachers. Based on these we will elaborate on weak and strong points
of LCD course and will discuss future improvements of the course.
[1] M. Čepič, J. Pavlin, M. Pečar, K. Susman, S. Ziherl, Toward understanding of liquid crystal display:
School experiments with liquid crystals, Book of abstracts, ICPE-EPEC 2013.
Keywords: Liquid crystals, experiments, course, evaluation
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Experiments
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 10E
Session 10E, 8:30-9:50
Car's braking distance
Peter Horv�th
Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and
Informatics, Slovakia
The motivation for our contribution was the finding that the majority of our students (16 -19 years)
have a misconception about the car stopping distances. Their idea of stopping distance tends to be
significantly undervalued. The performances show pupil activities, measuring braking distances from
videos using Tracker. With the activities we can build a realistic idea of stopping distances and, in
addition, we can develop the ability of students to work with charts.
Keywords: Videomeasurement, breaking distance, graph, read from the graph
Topics: Curriculum, ICT, Teachers, Teaching
Using Online Interactive Physics ‐ based Video Analysis Exercises to
Enhance Learning
Priscilla Laws
Dickinson College, United States
As part of our new digital video age, physics students throughout the world can now use smart
phones, video cameras, computers and tablets to produce videos of physical phenomena [1] and
analyze them using software such as Logger Pro, Tracker or Coach. For the past several years the
LivePhoto Physics Group [2] has been creating short videos of physical phenomena and related
curricular materials that can be educationally effective when students generate and/or analyze
frame-by-frame data using a digital computer or tablet. [3,4]
In this talk a new LivePhoto Physics project involving the creation and testing of a series of 24
Interactive Video Vignettes (IVVs) [5] will be described. These IVVs are short ungraded web-based
assignments that take a student between five and ten minutes to complete. Each vignette is
designed to incorporate a video of a phenomenon, the student’s predictions about it, and the
completion of on-line video analysis that allows the student user to compare findings to his or her
initial prediction. The vignettes designed for web delivery as ungraded exercises to supplement
textbook reading, or to serve as pre-lecture or pre-laboratory activities that span a number of topics
normally introduced in introductory physics courses. Sample Vignettes will be shown, and the
outcome of preliminary research on the impact of Vignettes on motivation, learning and attitudes of
students using the Vignettes will be discussed.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 10E
[1] F. Saraiva da Rocha, F. Fajardo, M. Grisol�a, J. Benegas, R. Tchitnga, & P. Laws, Using “Student
Technology” in Introductory Physics: A Comparison of Three Tools to Study Falling Objects [Phys.
Teach. 49, 165 (2011)]
[2] The LivePhoto Physics group includes Priscilla Laws, David Jackson & Maxine Willis (Dickinson
College), Robert Teese (Rochester Institute of Technology), Patrick Cooney (Millersville
University), and Kathy Koenig (University of Cincinnati) <http://livephoto.rit.edu/>
[3] P.W. Laws, R.B. Teese, M.C. Willis & P.J. Cooney, Physics with Video Analysis (Vernier Software &
Technology, 2009)
[4] P.W. Laws, R.B. Teese, M.C. Willis & P.J. Cooney, Understanding Projectile Motion: Comparing
Video Analysis Activities to Other Approaches (Invited talk, Summer Meeting of the American
Association of Physics Teachers [Session BE01, Philadelphia PA, July 30, 2012])
[5] Rochester Institute of Technology and Dickinson College (NSF DUE 1122828 & 1123118).
A sample IVV can be found at <http://ivv.rit.edu/>.
Keywords: ICT, video analysis, ungraded interactive web assignments
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, ICT, Learning, Teaching
Problem-Based Learning and Video Analysis as Strategies in Learning
Concepts of Force and Motion
Manuel Eusebio
Higher Colleges of Technology – ADMC, United Arab Emirates
Two groups of 20 students each from the Bachelor in Engineering Technology Program of the Abu
Dhabi Men’s College, Higher Colleges of Technology, who are currently enrolled in Physics I in Spring
2012-2013, will serve as respondents in this study. The groups will alternately be exposed to
problem-based learning and video analysis instruction strategies. A pretest and a posttest utilizing
selected items from Forced Concept Inventory and researcher- constructed items in force and
motion together with a perceptions inventory related to the use of the two strategies will be
administered to the respondents. Mean achievement in each topic will be investigated and students’
reactions regarding the use of the two strategies, specifically students’ attitude, motivation and
enjoyment afforded by the two strategies in understanding the lessons will be extracted from the
Keywords: Problem-based learning, video analysis, instructional strategies
Topics: Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 10E
Students� Video Production as a Formative Assessment
Eduardo Gama1 and Marta Barroso2
1Col�gio Pedro II, Brazil
2Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Learning assessment is a subject very discussed and treated by teachers and education researchers,
in both theoretical and practical approaches. Obtaining a measurement, qualitative or quantitative,
of learning in physics in the high school is a process in which must to be possible to identify not only
the contents and concepts that the students failed to achieve, but also the reasons why the learning
was not properly achieved. Students’ video productions offer teachers the possibility of developing
an assessment process which assists in obtaining the previously mentioned measurements.
As a diagnostic evaluation, it mainly concerns in producing information that allows to understand the
points where the learning process has succeeded or failed, and to know the learning quality of each
student. It must allow identifying, individually or in the whole class, the deficiencies and errors
related to the concepts and its interpretations. As it works also as a performance assessment allows
the verification of other student skills, as the ability to carry a project and to work in a group, beyond
In the present work we describe a way in which short video productions by students at the end of
a worked and discussed physics topic in a classroom, can be used as an assessment resource that
produces information not only about the learning quality of the students, individually or as a class,
but also helps to reorient the classroom work as it reveals some aspects of the students� difficulties
that normally don�t appear in formal assessments as tests and questionnaires. The method allows
discussion, interaction with contents and supportive learning, and indicates, in the end, alternatives
to conduct the classroom work. At the end of this work some correlations are presented, indicating
strong relation between the quality of the student production and the quality of his learning,
revealing also its active aspect. Another interesting aspect of the work observed is that students
don�t choose only easy forms of video producing, but forms that require careful preparation that
reflect directly in the quality of their learning.
Keywords: Learning assessment, video production, formative assessment
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 10F
Session 10F, 8:30-9:50
Students' understanding of angular speed
Graham Rankin
Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada
A significant amount of research has been done in the field of physics education in investigating
students' conceptualizations of physical concepts as: heat, gravity, electricity, sound, and light. This
study extends this field of research in physics education to the domain of angular kinematics.
First and second year university students all of whom had prior instruction in the concept of angular
speed were interviewed about this concept as part of the study. The interviews were designed
around four tasks which required the student to answer questions from differing observer
perspectives about the motion of one or more objects moving in a given path.
Students were found to hold a variety of conceptualizations and ways of reasoning about angular
speed that depended upon the context of the questions being asked during the interviews. Some of
these conceptualizations and reasoning given in response to questions during the tasks revealed
a misunderstanding of the angular speed concept. Furthermore, the study found that some of the
misunderstanding could be traced to textbook examples which were designed to illustrate this
kinematic concept.
Keywords: Angular speed, kinematics, conception, textbook, reasoning
Topics: Learning
Fluency to Link Newton’s 1st and 2nd Laws: High school students’
performance in Taiwan
Wheijen Chang
National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan
This study investigated students’ fluency in connecting Newton’s 1st
and 2nd
Laws of Motion. The 1st
law states that at the conditions of nil resultant force (F = 0) and observing at inertial frames of
reference, objects keep rest or motion with constant velocity (a = 0), i.e., the state of equilibrium.
The 2nd
law states that the equation of F = ma is valid only when observed at inertial frames. Three
research questions were investigated in this study. 1) How well can students adopt inertial frames
when reasoning F = ma? 2) How well can students adopt the state of equilibrium to reason F = ma?
3) How well did the students achieve after a brief intervention teaching was implemented? More
than 300 high school students in Taiwan participated in this study. The data were collected via
contextualized open-form questions, diagnosis interview, and multiple choice questions. The results
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 10F
showed that when reasoning F = ma, most students tend to observe at “notable” (but non-inertial)
reference frames and overlook inertial frames. Besides, many students failed to determine the
condition of equilibrium, i.e., F = 0 and a = 0, which in turn hindered the ability to reason F = ma. The
insufficient fluency in connecting the 1st
and the 2nd
laws were found to be more significant than the
widely addressed misconceptions by the literature regarding "force and motion". Moreover, this
study found that the students’ proficiency of adopting inertial frames and the state of equilibrium,
improved considerably after the intervention teaching. The findings suggest that explicit and
thorough instruction by teachers is crucial to connect the 1st
and 2nd
Laws, in order to facilitate
learning proficiency in Newtonian Mechanics.
Keywords: Inertial frames of reference, state of equilibrium, Newton's first Law, Newton's second
Law, fluency of reasoning Newton's Laws
Topics: Learning
Underwater laboratory: Teaching physics with diving practice
Fabrizio Favale1 and Maria Bondani2
1Universit� dell'Insubria, Dipartimento di Scienza e Alta Tecnologia, Italy
2Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie,
The interest in sport-related examples in teaching elementary physics is well known. Very often,
a simple physical example taken from sports can be a great help in particle dynamics, fluid mechanics
and thermodynamics lectures. This may be the case of diving. Diving education and diving science
and technology may be useful instrument in teaching physics both in scientifically and nonscientifically
oriented High School course. In our presentation, we describe an activity that puts
together some simple theoretical aspects of fluid statics, fluid dynamics and gas behavior under
pressure, with the diving experience, where the a swimming pool and the sea are used as
a laboratory. A pure experimental approach to these topics was made also in a school laboratory but
some experiments, requiring the complete immersion in the water, became more attractive and
more meaningful as the students experienced them directly on their bodies in water.
The activity was done with about one hundred students of High School classes in Italy in three
different situations and it can be considered an example of an active learning approach to teaching
Keywords: Secondary schools, teaching methods and strategies, hydrostatics, physics of games and
sports, diving
Topics: Experiments, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 10F
The Conceptual Difficulties Held by High School Students in Mechanics
Stephan Paraffin Mchunu and Sitwala Namwinji Imenda
University of Zululand, South Africa
The main purpose of this study was to identify and document conceptual difficulties experienced by
high school students with regard to mechanics.The literature and classroom experience pointed to
some concepts in mechanics which many learners experience serious difficulties with. These included
work and energy, motion on the inclined surfaces and force.So, what exactly was it about these
concepts that posed conceptual stumbling blocks for the learners? That was what this study set out
to investigate.The study made use of a researcher-designed test: the Test in Basic Mechanics (TBM)
to collect the required information. The TBM comprised two sections, consisting both structured and
open-ended items. The first section was used to obtain biographical information and determine the
familiarity of learners with some mechanics concepts (projectile motion, forces, Newton’s laws, work
and energy). The second section consisted of multiple choice questions – each of which was followed
by an open-ended question asking the learner to motivate his/her answer.The questions were based
on targeted conceptual difficulties identified from the literature, those identified from the pilot
study, as well as conceptual difficulties which had emerged from learners’ responses and problematic
notions, from the researchers’ experiences as physical science educators. Accordingly, there was
a deliberate attempt to focus not only on the learners’ ability to obtain the correct answer but, more
importantly, on their underlying conceptual understanding of the concepts. The TBM was validated
by one science education expert and two physics lecturers– all three from the University of Zululand,
as well as one physical science subject advisor from the Empangeni Education District. The
instrument was also cross-validated by two physical science educators (both Heads of Science
Departments) from two schools that were not selected for participation in the study. The linguistic
complexity of the text was also investigated to make sure it was not beyond the understanding of the
grade 12 learners. In addition, the test, as a whole, was then proof-read by two colleagues before the
pilot study was undertaken. This process was done in order to establish content and face validity, as
well as to clear out misunderstandings or misleading and ambiguous texts.The feedback received
from these experts was used to fine-tune the instrument. The research sample comprised 140 grade
12 learners from four high schools in the Empangeni school district, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Non-probability, convenience sampling (Leedy&Ormrod, 2005:206) was used to select participating
schools. The selected schools were geographically convenient to reach by the first author who
carried out the field research. Thus, no claim is made in this study that the selected schools were
representative of the wider, high school population in the province. The data source to be analysed
was mainly qualitative in nature, as the main purpose of the study was to get to the learners’
reasoning about the physics problems they were given to solve, and not so much on getting the right
answer. The results revealed that the learners experienced conceptual difficulties with regard to
(a) resolving components of the weight of an object; (b) understanding ‘work’ in terms of its scientific
definition; (c) applying the work-energy theorem; (d) understanding ‘kinetic energy’ in terms of its
scientific definition; and (e) applying the principle of conservation of mechanical energy. These
findings are discussed, and recommendations made.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 10F
Leedy, Paul D., and Ormrod, Jeanne. E. Practical research planning and design. Eighth edition. New
Jersey: Merrill Prentice Hall, 2005.
Keywords: Conceptual difficulties, high school students, physics, mechanics, work, energy, motion,
Topics: Curriculum
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11A
⋙Session 11A, 10:10-11:30⋘
Searching for models and guideline for effective TL: using
investigation, and peer-education in "From flint to renewable
Susanna Occhipinti
Regione autonoma Valle d'Aosta, Italy
It is presented the experience of the Expo Laboratory, an engaging and effective method developed
and perfected over the last 10 years, that allows to approach students coming from all levels of
education of the Aosta Valley, to contents of physics and to involve them in laboratory activities. It is
a pathway of about 30 exhibits, which this year deals with the theme "Exploring Energy and its
transformations: from flint to renewable energies" as the Italian Ministry of Education requires at the
end of compulsory education to certificate the students skill "to analyze qualitatively and
quantitatively phenomena related to the transformation of energy from the experience.
The Expo Laboratory presents the different types of energy, mechanical, chemical, thermal, biological
and nuclear, renewable energy, using gadgets and everyday objects or models specially built, that
students need to distinguish and recognize. Then, it shows the different properties of energy:
transformations, conservation and energy savings, through traditional physics experiments, as Wan
der Graaf Generator, Wimshurt discs, Newton's cradle or simple demonstrations in which they must
recognize the different transformations. In the workshops are proposed problem-situations and
cases to solve, even using simple connections of cause and effect, with the aim to promote the
investigation. Each activity is presented by secondary school students to visiting classes with peer
education approach: then they must know the contents, organize the laboratory and the case to
solve using correct scientific language suitable to the target to which they are addressed. The goal is
to build a shared knowledge among all students, promote practical workshops, recovering old
instruments or proposing new, simple and easy to use, and finally stimulate the passion and the
students' interest in physics, target fully achieved, as evidenced by evaluation questionnaires
administered to each class at the end of the visit.
Keywords: Investigation, expo laboratory, peer education, case analysis
Topics: Experiments, Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11A
Making pre-work popular in physics
Christine Lindstr�m
Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway
Motivating students to complete pre-work prior to class is a familiar challenge in physics, as well as in
other subjects. Norwegian institutions offering teacher education are no exceptions. These
institutions have also been relatively unfamiliar with teaching methods developed by Physics
Education Research (PER). In 2012, flipped classroom, just-in-time teaching and Peer Instruction were
introduced in the first of two physics modules of the science course for future science teachers
(at grade levels 5-10). The students undertake the equivalent of one whole year of science, where
physics constitutes 20 %. The first physics module, comprising eight three-hour sessions, lasted three
weeks covering thermodynamics, gravity and buoyancy, sound, light, kinematics, forces, and energy,
with a focus on conceptual understanding. Prior to each session, students were required to read the
relevant sections of the textbook, watch a few short videos and do an online test, which included
three multiple choice questions and a request to inform the lecturer of the two things the student
had found the most challenging in the material. The first half of the session used just-in-time
teaching and Peer Instruction based on the online feedback. The second half of the session focused
on experiments and some problem solving.
The results of the implementation was that voluntary course attendance was very high (94 %,
N = 23), as was student satisfaction with the course (4.7 out of 5). In the course evaluation, students
were asked how helpful twelve different elements of the course had been for their own learning. The
five highest rated (out of 5) were reading the text book prior to class (4.8), Peer Instruction (4.6),
watching short videos prior to class (4.4), the just-in-time teaching lectures (4.3) and the online test
(4.1). Thus, all three pre-work elements were considered very valuable. Students self-reported doing
the pre-work 83 % of the time, whereas completion of the online test was at 71 %. Short answer
questions revealed that students were unfamiliar with pre-work from their other courses, but that it,
together with Peer Instruction, was an aspect of the course that had worked particularly well.
Students’ short answer responses pointed to the reasons for the popularity and high compliance with
the pre-work: the clear structure of the course, the expectation of pre-work completion, the role of
student feedback in forming the lecture, and the importance of being prepared to follow the lecture.
Thus, the key to making pre-work popular was to provide a clear course structure explicating what
was expected of the students at different times, respect their feedback on what they needed help
with, and make them realize that in the lecture, they would not only benefit from having done the
pre-work – there were negative consequences of not coming prepared.
Keywords: Flipped classroom, pre-work, just-in-time teaching, teacher training
Topics: Learning, Teachers, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11A
Transforming Engineering Physics Tutorials with Cooperative
Learning and Learning Assistants: A First-Hand Experience
Sheh Lit Chang, Leiju Qiu and Nidhi Sharma
National University of Singapore, Singapore
Our engineering physics course (Physics IE) on mechanics and thermodynamics is the first calculusbased
physics course which most engineering students will enroll in. It is offered in both semesters
and the contact sessions are lecture, tutorial and laboratory. In this article, we focus on changing the
way we conduct the tutorial sessions, from the traditional lecturing style to cooperative learning with
undergraduate learning assistants. The objectives of this transformation are to promote active
learning among the students and provide a more effective instruction for our students.
In order to improve students’ problem solving performance, we adopted Heller’s suggestions (Heller
et al, 1992) and groups of 3 students are formed, resulting in having 6-8 groups in each tutorial class.
We also adopted the learning assistant model from University of Colorado, Boulder in our course
(Otero et al, 2010) by recruiting our 2nd year and 3rd year undergraduate physics students as
learning assistants (without prior training) in our tutorial class, to assist the teaching assistant to
handle the student groups more effectively. One tutorial was conducted in the traditional lecturing
style for the sake of comparison between two modes of tutorials.
The purpose of this paper is to share our first-hand experience in implementing cooperative learning
and role of learning assistant in our course. Mid semester assessment on effectiveness showed that
around 60% of students surveyed felt that cooperative learning style is effective to their learning on
a 4-point Likert scale. However, most of them still felt that traditional lecturing style was effective
and efficient in the end-of-semester survey. Students’ performance in final examination will also be
used to assess our instruction.
Our personal experience with this mode of instruction will be shared and further evaluation will then
be discussed. Suggestions for such implementation in other institutions will also be put up in this
1. P. Heller, R. Keith, S. Anderson, Teaching problem solving through cooperative grouping. Part 1:
Group versus individual problem solving, Am. J. Phys. 60 (7), 1992.
2. V. Otero, S. Pollock, N. Finkelstein, A physics department’s role in preparing physics teachers: The
Colorado learning assistant model, A.. J. Phys. 78 (11), 2010.
Keywords: University education, cooperative learning, learning assistant
Topics: Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11A
Active learning in pre-service science teacher education
Vera Montalbano and Roberto Benedetti
University of Siena, Italy
Physics plays a fundamental role in science education as an accessible context for experimental
design, scientific argumentation, problem solving, and the development of multi-step reasoning
skills. Especially in the physics lab, students can actively develop scientific processes and habits of
mind typical of physics and science in general. However, undergraduate and graduate students in
higher education have few opportunities of experiences in topics meaningful for secondary
education. Therefore, an unavoidable aim of a pre-service training is to improve and develop teacher
skills in this direction. The most effective way seems to propose carefully design sequences of active
physics learning in laboratory. Thus, teachers can have directly experience of the powerful support in
comprehension of physical concepts and laws that can derive from active learning. In the same time,
they can test in laboratory some experiment relevant for their teaching in secondary school.
We report the difficulties and the results obtained in a course on teaching in physics lab for teachers
enrolled in Formative Active Training, which actually allows to obtain the teacher qualification in
Italy. Two different type of teachers attended to the course, a small group, with physics or
mathematics degree, for teacher qualification in secondary school of second grade (age 14-19) and
a more numerous group for qualification in secondary school of first grade (age 11-13), usually with
a different science degree such as biology, environmental sciences and so on.
Some introductory topics was performed by all teachers such as introduction to physics lab and
measurement, evaluation of uncertainties in measurements, measures of some basic physical
quantities. Other topics were focused on experimental situation that can be easily achievable and
suitable for student of different ages, and in this case the two groups faced different experiments.
We compare this training in physics lab with other experiences we performed in previous years in
pre-service education and updating courses for teachers in-service.
Keywords: Lifelong learning, secondary education: lower (ages 11-15), physics laboratory
Topics: Experiments, Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11D
Session 11D, 10:10-11:30
The Inter-University Teaching and Research Resource Center
�Modern Physics�
Konstantin Rogozin1, Denis Yanyshev2, Sergey Kuznetsov3, Diana Kondrashova4 and
Ulyana Pshenova1
1Altay State Technological University, Russian Federation
2Moscow State University, Russian Federation
3Tomsk National Research Polytechnic University, Russian Federation
4Altay State Technological University, Uzbekistan
Modern informational, intellectually saturated with interactive learning instruments and educational
technology requires a work of the specialized creative professional teams both at the stages of their
creation and the operation. This challenge is not possible even in the framework of some the best
Universities, which have their own traditions and experience in education. Historically in Russia,
there are a limited number of possibilities, where university professors could show created pilot
learning tools to their colleagues.
In the universities of Russia we have three different levels of programs recommended for teaching
physics: minimal, basic and advanced. It is important to place content and learning tools of various
levels on the same information resource for teacher to review (to discuss) and for the students to use
in the educational process or real life.
Moscow State University, Altay State Technological University and Tomsk National Research
Polytechnic University (ones of the largest teaching and research universities in Russia) had entered
into the agreement on the formation of the Inter-University Teaching and Research Resource Center
�Modern Physics�.
In that agreement it is written that the main activities are:
• Carrying out the research on the development and implementation of modern information
interactive technologies with media saturation in the educational process of university and
• Accumulation, standardization and adaptation to MID devices in a single resource center for the
best development of teachers;
• Ensuring access of students and schoolchildren to information resources placed in the center, as
well as the best world information resources with the support of the Russian-language interface;
• Rendering methodical assistance to teachers;
• Promotion of the achievements of modern Physics.
Universities have accepted the terms and the plan of actions to be implemented by each of the
parties. The working operation of the resource will begin in September 2013. This online resource
will be open for physics teachers and students.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11D
This project is aimed to develop high-quality distant education in the country (e-learning) and may be
it will be adopted as the prototype of a Unified distant educational system of Russia.
Keywords: University education, secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19), Teaching and
Research Resource Center, interactive learning instruments, educational technology, specialized
creative professional teams
Topics: ICT, Learning, Teachers, Teaching
Impact of Project Based Learning Of Physics in Technical Institutions,
Syed Ali1, Syed Naseem Hussain Shah2 and Aziz Hasnain3
1Aligarh Institute Of Technology, Karachi, Pakistan
2Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences & Technology, Karachi, Pakistan
3Centre For Physics Education, Karachi, Pakistan
"Tell me and I'll forget
Show me and I may remember
Involve me and I'll understand"
Chinese Proverb
Project-based learning is a comprehensive approach of teaching and learning strategy that engages
students in investigation of their authentic problems. Projects have the potential to help the students
in learning. In traditional teaching methodology the students can not think about what they are
doing rather they are interested on getting it done. In Project-based learning our goal is to involve in
activities that develop creativity and critical thinking by engaging them in substantial opportunities.
Once students find such opportunities their ability to understand the physical phenomena is also
increased. Projects organize the activities of the students, share their knowledge, conduct research,
solve different types of problems, and synthesize information.
Usually the students of technical Institutions are matriculates and majority of them are average and
below average. It is very difficult for the teachers to make their concepts of physics clear through the
traditional lecture method only. Moreover the syllabus designed for the students of Technical
Institutions contains 60% practicals and 40% theory. The project-based method adopted in our Institute
plays a vital role in removing the misconceptions of the students about physics and developing a solid
in-depth understanding of the physics involved in their curriculum. We introduce the way of teaching in
which teachers divide the course contents into small tasks, use modelling, making of small projects in
the class leading to mega projects. One of such project was the “Distance And Angle Detector”, in
which we calculate the distance of an obstacle and its relative position with respect to the magnetic
north and getting the display on LCD as well as on Computer. We calculate the distance by transmitting
ultrasonic waves and receiving back after reflection from the obstacle. Some other projects were Solar
mobile charger (conversion of solar energy into electrical energy), Solar cooker (conversion of solar
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11D
energy into heat energy), optical voice communication system (Transmission of sound energy on light),
Conversion of mechanical energy into electrical energy (using bicycle ).
The aims of this approach are
1. To engage the students full time in their studies, infusing higher order thinking skills, guiding
students in life choices, and providing them experiences, motivating them, providing core knowledge
of the subject, integrating the concepts from a number of disciplines or fields of study, and providing
opportunities for solving real problems.
2. The students will be able to understand the fundamental principles and concepts of physics use
these to solve problems in practical situations/technological courses and understand concepts to
learn advance physics/technical courses by applying this comprehensive approach of learning.
3. To provoke students to encounter the central concepts and principles of a discipline.
In Project-based learning performance is assessed on an individual basis although the projects have
done by the students in groups. Variety of assessment tools have been used to evaluate the
performance including the exhibitions of their projects. We assessed the students on the basis of
multiple choice questionnaire, viva voce, and the final projects judges evaluation from the relevant
field. Multiple assessors have been invited from different fields to improve the quality of work as well
as to provide them an exposure to the world outside the classroom.
The result of such an approach of teaching in our Institute is that the students are motivated. They
improve their test scores as well as their final results, more regular, fewer disciplinary problems,
debating ideas, designing plans, drawing conclusions and creating artifacts. Our last few years results
shows that our students have better understanding of physics then the other Institute’s students due
to the implementation of project based learning.
Keywords: Project based learning, syllabus designed, technical institutions, modelling, distance and
angle detector, LCD
Topics: Learning
Computer modelling in some Czech Physics Olympiad problems and
Easy Java Simulations
Lukas Richterek, Zdeněk Pucholt, František L�tal and Jan Ř�ha
Palack� University Olomouc, Czech Republic
The Physics Olympiad is a well known annual physics competition for high school students. Its aim is
also to systematically develop the skills of the participants through a more complex problems that
sometimes require more self-study endeavour and – namely in the case of the first school run – also
simple computational dynamical modelling. The equations derived from dynamic laws often do not
have an analytical solution for the monitored physical quantities and their dependency on time
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11D
(especially at the high school level), which quite naturally helps to introduce the principles and usage
of dynamical models at an appropriate basic level.
Certainly, there is a lot of software products for building mathematical models and animations based
on them. In our case Easy Java Simulations package has been chosen as a free available modelling
and authoring tool that allows easy creation of interactive graphical simulations in Java for nonexpert
programmers with a broad international community support. We would like to present a set
of simulations based on the Czech Physics Olympiad problems and self-study texts. The models cover
various parts of high-school physics (especially mechanics and electromagnetism) and are also used
for short training workshops during our annual summer school for high schools students. This topic is
also used as a additional modul in our university courses for future teachers.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper (ages about 15 - 19), university education, dynamic
modelling, Physics Olympiad, Easy Java Simulations
Topics: ICT
The messy transition from wrong to right: improvements but
persistent inconsistencies on conceptually-equivalent questions after
Interactive Lecture Demonstrations
Scott Daniel and Alexander Mazzolini
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
Traditional lecture instruction often only leads to minimal improvement in students’ conceptual
understanding. Use of active learning strategies, such as Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs),
can help. ILDs have been used since 2010 in teaching about alternating current (AC) resonance in
a large-enrolment introductory electronics course.
Learning improvements after such educational interventions are typically measured using the
average normalised gain (g). This is calculated by comparing total scores on the pre-test and posttest
to generate a number between 0 and 1. It will be argued that this aggregate measure is too
general, and that better insights can be gained into students’ conceptual change through analysis of
individuals’ responses to sets of questions that ask about a particular concept in different ways
(so called ‘expert-equivalent’ questions).
Research question
How can expert-equivalent questions be used to better describe conceptual change in pre- and post-
Learning gains were assessed by testing the conceptual understanding of students after 8 hours of
traditional instruction but before the ILD intervention (via a multiple-choice pre-test), and again after
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11D
an additional 2 hours of ILD instruction (via an identical post-test). The responses of individual
students were matched across the different sessions using anonymous but unique student-generated
Data were collected in 2010, 2011, and 2012. The tests consisted of multiple-choice conceptual
questions that did not require quantitative calculations but instead were designed to assess students’
qualitative understanding of various complex concepts associated with resonance in AC circuits. The
tests given in each year were slightly different however in each case there was a pair of questions
that asked about the same concept in two different ways – graphically and in words. The multiplechoice
responses to these pairs of expert-equivalent questions were mapped to one another, and
students’ responses examined for consistency.
The average normalised gain in test scores for students who participated in all active learning ILD
activities was statistically significant.
However, the analysis of responses to pairs of expert-equivalent questions revealed a much more
complex pattern. Most students answered inconsistently in both the pre- and post-tests, that is, their
response to the graphical question did not equate logically to their response to the written question,
and vice versa.
Nevertheless there was a general shift towards more students answering at least one, and
sometimes both, of the questions correctly, and so aligning their understanding with the expert view.
The comparison of aggregated scores in pre- and post-tests is a coarse assessment instrument that
hides some unexpected facets of student learning. In the transition from novice to expert, it seems
that learners may understand a complex concept in one context but not in another, even though an
expert would consider the two as equivalent. There is not a binary switch from confusion to clarity,
but instead an extended intermediate phase of partial or contextualised understanding.
Keywords: University education, Interactive Lecture Demonstrations, electronics, learning
Topics: Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11E
Session 11E, 10:10-11:30
Intelligent Tutoring System applied to teach optics in a b-learning
scenario to high-school students
Daniel Sanchez-Guzman1, Cesar Mora1, Ricardo Garc�a-Salcedo1,2 and Irma Miguel2
1Instituto Polit�cnico Nacional, Mexico
2CICATA-Legaria, Mexico
Present work shows the implementation of an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) based on the
Cognitive Tutor Authoring Tool (CTAT) software; the use of this kind of software have reported a
better comprehension of certain topics learning, they have been implemented in a broadly manner
with Mathematics and Language Learning; the implementations using Physics topics have been rarely
or null. CTAT is a software developed at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) at Carnegie
Mellon University (CMU) for research learning applications; this software offers an innovative way to
build ITS in an easy way for teachers. The teacher only needs to focus on the specific topic to be
covered and define where the ITS will be implemented designing a sequence. There are two kinds of
ITS. Example-Tracing Tutors and Cognitive Tutors, in this research we used Example–Tracing Tutors.
We selected the Snell’s law topic to design the ITS and we applied with High-School students
(Secondary education: upper). The didactic sequence is composed of: a) a lecture-based presentation
of the concepts, b) an ITS student-training with different examples and behaviors, c) a student work
with ITS covering the Snell’s law topic, d) lecture-based review of concepts, e) student evaluation and
f) student feedback. To have a quantitative evaluation of the sequence it was applied the Light and
Optics Conceptual Evaluation (questions 6 to 10) as a pre- and post-test. Also it was obtained
a qualitative evaluation using a personalized test about the experience with the use of the tutor. It
was applied to a twenty-student group and compared with a thirty-student group that received only
lecture-based with some exercises. Results with the use of an ITS shown a significant gain (Hake)
compared with the results of only lecture-based instruction. Despite of the limited number of
students, the next step is to repeat the experiment with a bigger number of students to probe the
effectiveness of the ITS in Optics learning, specifically Snell’s law.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, intelligent tutoring system, optic tutor, ICT applied to
physics teaching, HCI design for physics education
Topics: ICT, Learning, Teachers, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11E
An Ultrasonic Black Box
Sorasak Danworaphong1 and Wandee Thaisiam2
1Walailak University, Thailand
2Kasetsart University, Thailand
In this work, we propose the use of ultrasonic waves to image an unknown object in a black acrylic
box. The box has the dimension of 30�30�30 cm3
. The top surface of the box is dually punctuated in
square-grid-like fashion for the insertion of two 1 cm diameter ultrasonic transducers with 2 cm
apart centering at each cross point of the grid. One of the transducer acts as an ultrasonic wave
emitter and ultrasonic echoes are then received by the other transducer. From the time of flight
measurement on an oscilloscope, it is possible to construct the image of the unknown object based
on ultrasonic reflection or echoes. The image reveals the unknown object which in this case we use
a sizable letter “A” as our object. Such experiment presents the basic concept of echosonography
that should be useful for students in various fields.
Keywords: Echosonography, proximity sensors, ultrasonic imaging
Topics: Experiments
Compact Mobile Five-in-One Demonstration Experimental Stand for
Teaching Fluid Mechanics
Ervin Racz and Imre Fejes
Obuda University, Hungary
Classes Physics and Modeling Distributed or Transmission Line Networks are two important ground
courses for the students studying electrical engineering at master (M.Sc. or MA) qualification level at the
Kand� K�lm�n Faculty of Engineering at the �buda University. Visiting the Physics courses students can
study the theoretical bases of the technical physics such as mechanics, electro dynamics,
thermodynamics, quantum mechanics and solid state physics. The class Modeling Distributed or
Transmission Line Networks gives insight to the modeling possibilities of the different transmission line
networks such as water transmission lines, gas transmission lines, canalization, electrical transmission
lines, routes and traffic systems, etc. Fluid mechanics is educated in both classes from different
viewpoints using very much different aspects of this field. The efficiency of the education can be
improved by showing experiments in live on the university classes. Direct experience, direct observation
can help to memorize the cucciculum. Using this thesis of the methodology meeting the requirements of
both classes mentioned above a compact mobile five-in-one demonstration experimental stand was
designed and built at the Power System Department at the Kand� K�lm�n Faculty of Electrical
Engineering at the �buda University. The experimental stand will be introduced in this publication.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11E
Actually, the experimental stand is a closed loop tube system using absolutely unique special glass
tubes especially designed for this application and commercial copper tubes generally used for water
systems. Connections between glass–glass and glass–copper tubes are solved by transparent silicon
pipes. The stand has five different experimental positions measuring or demonstrating five different
effects in fluid mechanics. Before and after all experimental positions one-one special glass valves are
installed. Opening or even closing the valves the experimental places can be separated from each
other. It is possible to use only one experimental place and do not use the other ones. The closed loop
tube system is filled with lightly colored distilled water. Using distilled water there is no scales in the
system and the quality and the clarity of the system can be saved. The colorized water improves the
visibility of the effects. A commercial water pump is used to circulate the water in the system. During
the experiments the variability of the flow rate of the used fluid is a critical parameter. In order to
modify the flow rate in the main loop a bypass loop with a precisely variable valve was built around the
water pump. Opening or closing the valve the circulation flow rate of the liquid can be adjustable
continuously. Providing of the monitoring of the flow rate a rotameter especially designed and built for
this application is installed in the system. The stand is easily movable because it is fitted with wheels.
Using the experimental stand numerous ground effects for examples laminar or turbulent flows,
turbulences, swirl-free flows, some pressure effects in fluids flowing, some dilatation and narrowing
effects (confusor, diffusor), meaning of equation of continuity and Bernoulli’s principle, operation of
a Pitot-pipe, Prandtl-pipe and Pitot-Prandtl-pipe can be demonstrated. Due to the mobility of the
whole system it is easy to move it in or out to a university class and demonstrate some fluid effects in
live. Students like the possibility to experience these effects with their own eyes in the classroom.
Authors say thank you for the funding for the �buda University and Power System Department.
Authors also say special thanks to the Hungarian Csonka Glass Ltd. Csonka Glass Ltd. readily helped
us at designing and making ready all special glass parts for the compact mobile five-in-one
demonstration experimental stand which useful at teaching fluid mechanics.
Keywords: Fluid mechanics, demonstration experiment, equipment development, education
Topics: Experiments, Teaching
From sellotape and polarizers to conoscopy in the classroom
Maja Pecar and Mojca Cepic
Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
The optical properties of anisotropic materials are not easy to understand, because of the lack of
students' experiences about birefringence in everyday life. Birefringence at University level is mostly
explained by derivation of Maxwell's equation for light passing through anisotropic materials.
Consequently, students who study optical properties of anisotropic materials using the conoscopy –
the common optical method to measure those properties, can have problems in understanding the
physics background of the method because of the lack of practical experiences.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11E
There are many properties that influence the conoscopic figure formation which are dependent on
each other, but there are also experiments, that can show the influences of those properties
separately. In this case the student can learn about the conoscopic figure formation through a stepby-step
experimental sequence, using simple and non expensive materials.
The experiments have been effectively used with undergraduate students within a teaching
sequence. The results of the qualitative research on the teaching sequence based on the
experimental sequence set-up will be presented.
Keywords: Anisotropic materials, conoscopy, simple experiments, teaching sequence
Topics: Experiments, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11F
Session 11F, 10:10-11:30
Department-Level Reform: Implementing Active-Learning Techniques
in Introductory Physics and Astronomy Courses
Raluca Teodorescu, Gerald Feldman, Larry Medsker and Mark Reeves
The George Washington University, United States
Motivated by studies and various reports released by the U.S. National Academies and the U.S.
National Research Council [1-4] in the last 10 years, as well as U.S. employers-related surveys [5]
which highlight the importance of training the students with active learning techniques, the
Department of Physics at the George Washington University is in the process of implementing
student-centered active-learning instructional strategies in all the introductory physics and
astronomy courses. These courses are taught by about 15 faculty assisted by 11 graduate teaching
assistants, and they accommodate around 600 students per semester. We will present the current
framework for our teaching reform which includes a revised Course Scheduling Protocol, a newly
created Faculty Manual, a Graduate Teaching Assistants Training Program, and faculty training that
covers theoretical and practical aspects of our approach. We will show how this framework was
designed to serve our teaching needs and to improve the quality of our teaching.
We are implementing several assessments – student-related, course-related, and faculty-related. The
course-related assessments are usually applied after the course is developed, but before it is
delivered to the students. Their purpose is to ensure that the course is properly designed. Some
student-related assessments are administered as pre- and post-tests, and also throughout the
semester. Their purpose is to assess students’ conceptual understanding, their problem-solving skills
and their attitudes towards learning physics. Faculty-related assessments are administered during
the semester and also when the course is finished. Their purpose is to make faculty reflect on their
teaching approaches and identify the areas for improvement. We will present these assessments and
will discuss our preliminary results.
[1] DeHaan, R. “The Impending Revolution in Undergraduate Science Education”, Journal of Science
Education and Technology 14 (2) 253-269 (2005).
[2] Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic
Future, (2007), http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11463.
[3] National Research Council, How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School, (2000),
[4] National Association of Colleges and Employers publishes yearly “Job Outlook” booklets that list
the skills that the employers want from their future employees.
[5] Holdren, J. P. and Lander, E., “Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College
Graduates with Degrees in STEM”, report of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and
Technology (PCAST), February 2012.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11F
Keywords: Curiculuum development, faculty training, teaching assistants training
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Curriculum, Teaching
Inference generation during problem solving in physics
Mar�a E. Pereyra1, Zulma Gangoso1 and Isabel Brincones Calvo2
1FaMAF, Universidad Nacional de C�rdoba, Argentina
2Departamento de F�sica, Universidad de Alcal� de Henares, Spain
Solving a physics problem is a complex cognitive task that involves the comprehension of physical
situations and the search of physical models that explain the events considered in the problem
statement. These processes of comprehension and search require the construction of mental
representations of different levels of abstraction, as described in the Model of Comprehension in
Physics Problem Solving proposed by Truyol et. al [1]. In this framework it is plausible to assume that
the generation of inferences plays an important part in the process of elaborating a model of the
problem, due to the need to combine information given in the problem statement with previous
knowledge of the solver (this includes general knowledge of the world, knowledge about physics and
knowledge acquired through problem solving) to go from a natural language (in which the statement
is written) to a more formal, abstract and specific language (in wich the mathematical equations that
express the physics laws and principles are expressed). Identifying and justifying those inferences
contributes to a deeper understanding of the process of solving a physics problem and adds to the
refinement of the Comprehension Model. In turn, the development of a model of the problem
solving process allows the design of teaching strategies and learning environments that help improve
the performance of students in this task.
In this sense, we present an exploratory case study that aims to indentify the types of inferences
generated by different solvers when solving physics problems, as well as the moment in the solving
process that the inference was generated. The sample of subjects considered in this study includes
university professors, graduate students and high school teachers. The problems presented to the
subjects are the sort of problems given to undergraduate students in physics courses at the
university. We analyze the transcription of the audio of individual interviews during which each
subject solved a physics problem, orally and written. The instrument used in the analysis [2] is based
on two different views on inference generation, logic and text comprehension, and includes two
different sets of categories of inference corresponding to each view. This instrument also includes
a definition of inference that allows the construction of a set of operations that lead to the
identification and categorization of inferences.
The results show that the method of analysis is useful to study inference generation in physics
problem solving. It was observed that all types of inferences considered were generated and no clear
patterns appeared. The results also show that teaching experience greatly influences the efficient
use of inference generation. For subjects without teaching experience it was necessary to construct
a greater number of inferences, and this did not guarantee the success in finding of a solution to the
problem. As for the moment in the resolution process in which the inferences occurred, the subjects
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11F
generated most inferences to build or improve the physical conceptual model and in the case of
those who found difficulties in the resolution, they generated more inferences to build a physical
model consistent with their understanding of the situation.
[1] Truyol, M.E. and Gangoso, Z.. Investiga�oes em Ensino de Cięncias 15(3), 2010 pp. 463-484.
[2] Pereyra, M.E.; Gangoso, Z.; Brincones, I.; Letzen, D. Comprehension and inference generation in
physics problema solving (Comprensi�n y generaci�n de inferencias en la resoluci�n de
problemas de f�sica). Tarbiya (in press).
Keywords: University education, problem solving, inference generation, comprehension, problem
Topics: Learning, Teaching
The Preparation of Physics Teachers and the Next Generation Science
Ramon Lopez1, Greg Hale2 and Ann Cavallo3
1Department of Physics, Univ. of TX at Arlington, United States
2College of Science, Univ. of TX at Arlington, United States
3Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Univ. of TX at Arlington, United
In the United States, individual states establish their own state science standards that guide school
instruction. In March of 2013, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were released after more
than two years of development with the participation of several states. In all, twenty-six states have
indicated that they will adopt these standards as their state standards. Such a wide-scale adoption of a
common set of science education objectives will be a major milestone in US science education. It will
also have an enormous impact on US physics education, models for teacher preparation that are being
replicated around the country, such as UTeach and PhysTEC, and sources that fund STEM teacher
preparation and research, such as the National Science Foundation Noyce Program. In this presentation
we will discuss the structure of the NGSS and examine a variety of issues that have significant
implications for the preparation of future physics teachers. Among the issues are the inclusion of
scientific and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, engineering as a discipline within the NGSS,
and the possible inclusion of significant amounts of Earth and Space Science content in physics courses.
The inclusion of these elements in the preparation of physics teachers may provide valuable lessons to
participants from other countries contemplating a more holistic view of science education.
Keywords: Physics teacher preparation, science standards, curriculum
Topics: Curriculum, Teachers, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Friday, session 11F
Active Learning and Problem Solving
Douglas Clerk and Deena Naidoo
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Instructors will generally agree that what really matters is what you make your students do – as
opposed to what you (the instructor) might do - this is the basis of active learning. However, perhaps
we need to look more carefully at precisely what we make the students do – they can be expected to
learn what they practice doing, but is that necessarily what we want them to learn? In 2012 some
changes were made to the way tutorial sessions were conducted in the physics course for first year
engineering students at our university. The ‘traditional’ tutorial had for some decades been
conducted as a 45 minute session starting with 30 minutes of free student-tutor interaction, where
students were expected to work on their “prepared” tutorial exercises and request assistance from
tutors when in difficulty. The balance of the session was devoted to either a “spot test” or
a “discussion question” which contributed to their continuous assessment mark. The majority of
students have been frequently observed simply to waste their time during the first 30 minutes of
a session, and then to apply their minds diligently in the last 15. The pass rate for the mid-year
examination in 2012 was extremely poor, which resulted in a simple intervention - which was to
increase the time to 30 minutes, spent on compulsory, mark-bearing tasks performed by the
students during a tutorial session. This change was implemented for the second semester. At the end
of the year the examination pass rate improved dramatically, which could be attributed at least
partially to this intervention. This intervention shows that “active learning” need not be complex or
inconvenient – the intervention consisted in a simple quantitative change: only the duration and
quantity - not the type - of learning activity was changed. The improvement in the pass rate would
seem to indicate that the intervention was successful and that active learning even at this simple
level does work. The students were certainly better at answering their examination questions, but
what exactly did their examination questions ask them to do? The examination questions – both at
mid-year and in November – were examined according to a typology which we have been developing
in which there are four basic types of physics questions, based on what the student would have to be
doing when answering the question. The question types we have identified are: “bookwork”,
“Intuitive/Interpretive”, “Routine Operation” and “Novel Problem”. The analysis revealed that the
bulk of the questions were “Routine Operations”, requiring students to use known algorithms. The
students’ ability to perform this type of assessment task had undoubtedly improved, but we can
unfortunately say little or nothing of the effects of the intervention on any other type of question.
The reason for this is that these other question types were somewhat rare in these examinations.
The implications of this are the subject of an on-going study.
Keywords: Active learning, problem solving, question type
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Posters
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Poster session 1, Tuesday 11:00-12:00
A fresh hands-on approach to improve students' understanding of
introductory thermodynamics
Tom Lambert
PONTOn vzw, Belgium
The test and exam results from 4th year secondary school students (generally 15 years old) proved
year after year a poor understanding of introductory thermodynamics topics that were taught. The
results were remarkably lower than other physics topics that were covered in the same years. This
poster presents a fresh hands-on approach to improve students' understanding, using an small scale
research project and a visit to the local DIY (do-it-yourself) store, combined with an alternative
evaluation and assessment method. This resulted in better results. A comparison and a SWOT
(strength, weakness, opportunities and threats) analysis of the project will be presented.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19), introductory thermodynamics, activated
learning and teaching
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Experiments, Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Learning,
Electrical circuits in high school students using comic-based on Active
Learning in Mexico
Ricardo Garc�a1, Tame Gonzalez2-Cruz and Daniel S�nchez3
1CICATA-Legaria and Instituto Polit�cnico Nacional, Mexico
2Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico
3CICATA-Legaria, Mexico
Present work shows a didactic strategy based on Active Learning, it has been structured to promote
a better learning in high school students with the use of a comic book that shows various concepts of
electricity. In the experiment we use the first part of the book that was used to show the concepts of
electric resistance, electric current and electric potential difference. The book was complemented
with other activities like low-cost experiments, discussions in the classroom and lectures, oriented to
clarify the concepts previously mentioned and define some related themes like the Ohm’s law. This
didactic sequence was applied to an experimental group of students that course the second semester
at high school level and the results were compared with a control group of students with similar
characteristics and the methodology applied to the control group was the use of lectures. The
evaluation of this proposal was using some questions from the Electric Circuits Concept Evaluation
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
(ECCE) designed by Sokoloff and results where analyzed with Hake’s normalized gain. We found that
the methodology was better effective than only the use of lectures, these results cannot be
generalized and we will continue to apply the same experiment with more students to validate these
Keywords: Comics, Active learning, High school level
Topics: Learning, Teaching
Teaching physics and information flow in didactic structure of physics
Eizo Ohno
Faculty of Education, Hokkaido University, Japan
Physics knowledge and its structure have to be transformed to didactic ones for fitting to acts of
teaching. In this presentation, a methodology to represent a didactic structure of physics knowledge
is proposed. Relationships between acts of teaching and the didactic structure of physics knowledge
represented by this method are investigated. In the previous researches, characteristic features of
physics knowledge are represented as concept networks (e.g., Koponen et al., 2010). In this research,
the didactic structure of physics knowledge is diagramed using the logic of distributed system. The
connected distributed system consists of separated parts. These parts are related to activities and
demonstrations in physics lessons. Sets of physics knowledge are used to classify the events and
objects which students experience in physics lessons. The notions of classification are introduced and
information flow between classifications is expressed based on the concept of channels by BarwiseSeligman's
Channel Theory (Barwise and Seligman, 1997). The classification is a basic structure in
Channel Theory. An activity (an experiment) in physics lessons is represented by the classification.
A key activity (experiment) is considered as the core of channels. The core drives indirectly
information flow between two separate classifications. The didactic structure of physics knowledge
obtained in this research reflects transforming from scholarly knowledge of physics to the physics
knowledge to be taught.
Barwise, J. and Seligman, J. (1997), Information flow: the logic of distributed systems, Cambridge,
New York: Cambridge University Press.
Koponen, I. T. and Pehkonen, M. (2010), Coherent Knowledge Structures of Physics Represented as
Concept Networks in Teacher Education, Science & Education, 19(3), 259-282.
Keywords: Upper secondary education, diagram, concept network, structure of knowledge,
classroom discourse, didactic transposition
Topics: Curriculum, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Traditional Culture Permeation in Thermo-physics Teaching
Xi Xia Liang
Inner Mongolia University, China
Physics is the distillation of human civilization shaped through tens of centuries. It is extensive and
profound, and possesses abundant cultural and philosophical connotations. Permeating the elements
of traditional cultures into Physics classrooms of general education is instrumental to understand the
basic concepts and ideas of Physics for students especially art students.
The China civilization is rich and as a long history behind it, and contributed tremendously to the
progress of human civilization. In this report we present our experiences in introducing the elements
of Chinese traditional culture in the thermo-physics teaching through an example, the video open
course of China entitled “Excellent Reason in Heat” [1]. In this course we have permeated the
traditional culture into the physics classrooms by the following ways:
(i)Introducing the Chinese ancient experiences and stories on heat [2] to help students understand
the relevant thermo-physics laws and concepts, and to imply the physics teaching in history.
(ii)Quoting essays and poems of the ancients and personalities in masterpieces to describe physical
phenomena as well as give some philosophical ideas and to help students breezily learn Physics with
literary appreciation.
(iii)Inditing classical poems explaining the physics contents in classrooms to waken students learning
interest and help them easily remember Physics laws.
In summary our teaching practices indicate that introducing the traditional culture into the thermophysics
courses may promote the blend between the art and science, resolve the abstracts and
puzzles of physics concepts at a certain extent. Moreover, it develops and expands the nationality
tradition, and helps to inspire youths’ innovating spirits and to enhance the general quality of
[1] X. X. Liang, Excellent Reason in Heat, Video open course of China, http://www.incourse.com.cn
[2] There are many descriptions related to the thermo-physics in ancient books, for example,
Yingxing Sung, Tian Gong Kai Wu, 1637,Ming Dynasty.
Keywords: University education, thermophysics, traditional culture,classrooms
Topics: Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Development of the Interest toward the Study of the Optics in Children
of the Basic Level
Juan Carlos Ruiz Mendoza1 and Cesar Mora Ley2
1Universidad Aut�noma de Nuevo Le�n, Mexico
2Instituto Polit�cnico Nacional, Mexico
This study is preceded by the results of a survey to 200 teachers from 100 schools in the state of Nuevo
Leon, M�xico. We have found that even though Optics as a subject matter is part of the course syllabus,
90 % of the professors are unaware of the topic, and consequently it is not thought. We proposed to
investigate the expertise of professors in this area and parallel this report is developed, which is
oriented to increase interest in optics. Our first approach has been Geometrical Optics experiments.
We developed a software that allows to know how the laws of reflection and light propagation through
a lens permit the establishment of optical images. We constructed optical instruments (Telescopes,
Microscopes, and Periscopes) with inexpensive materials that can be armed and disarmed by children
between 10 and 12 years old. The software intends to foster a learning environment where children
can explore, observe, test ideas, remake the activities several times, ask and discover, on the premise
that the best way to learn science is through a hands on activity. Two events were celebrated in 2012
as part of the "Science Week", at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics, Autonomous University of
Nuevo Leon, M�xico. During the events, 1600 6th grade children participated from the schools where
the surveys were initially conducted. We observed positive results regarding the interest of the children
in the study of optics, such as: some children say when they grow up would build a big telescope to see
the stars, this as a consequence that they had fun with telescopes they armed looking at other
children’s faces and relatively distant objects because they were unaware of the true operation of the
telescope. Like this there are many other positive comments regarding the activities of the children,
according to the positive results of this research and the children's interest in learning more about the
Science of Optics, we will increases the number of events for 2013.
Keywords: Teaching, geometrical optics, natural sciences
Topics: Teaching
Toulmin’s model as learning tools of the electric field for engineering
Gema Alejandra Carreto-Ar�mburo1,2, Cesar Mora2 and Mario L�pez-Lop�z1
1Benem�rita Universidad Aut�noma de Puebla, Mexico
2Instituto Polit�cnico Nacional, Mexico
We present the results of research conducted on understanding about the concept of electric field,
electric field lines, the direction and intensity of electric field and the relationship between it and the
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
electric charge, with students of Chemical Engineering. We shown a teaching proposal based on the
application of Toulmin's argumentative model in order to improve understanding of these concepts
in students. We pretend to achieve the goal of proper understanding, through the construction of
argumentative schemes under specific categories of analysis. Also, we discuss the advantages of
applying this reasoning in an experimental student group, who were observed with a greater
understanding of the concepts, and a slight increase in the average responses of the post-test
compared with the results of control group.
Keywords: Toulmin argumentative model, specific analysis categories, electric field
Topics: Teaching
Computational modeling with AVM diagram and its contribution for a
meaningful learning of physics concepts and development of a critical
view of science
Sonia L�pez1, Eliane Veit2 and Ives Araujo2
1Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia
2Universidade Federal Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
A comprehensive training of science teachers involves not only proficiency in their disciplinary field,
but also a critical conception of science and its teaching. Although in recent decades there has been
a greater emphasis on inclusion of epistemological contents in training courses for science teachers,
very often their image of science is far from current philosophical conceptions of the nature of
science. Reflections on this issue led us to design and implement a teaching proposal, based on the
principles of Moreira’s Critical Meaningful Learning Theory (CMLT) and key elements of scientific
modeling, especially through the use of computational models and the AVM diagram (Adaptation of
Gowin's V to Computational Modeling). The main goal was to promote a critical meaningful learning
of physics concepts with a better understanding about the production of scientific knowledge. During
the application of this proposal, we attempted to answer the following research question: How does
the implementation of the principles of CMLT in the classroom - through computational modeling
activities with AVM diagram - contribute to the disciplinary, epistemological and didactical training
for pre-service physics teachers? A collective case study was designed to answer this question. The
case was constituted by seven physics major students attending a course titled “Didactics for
physicists” at the University of Antioquia, Colombia. We investigated the progress of these students
regarding the nine principles of CMLT during the development of computational activities with the
AVM diagram. The most important result was the improvement in the student’s ability to formulate
good questions in physics class. In general, we found that the integration of scientific modeling
elements and principles of CMLT was succeed in improve the student’s conceptual domain about
Newtonian dynamics. The use of scientific models - as partial and not exclusive representations of
the reality - allied to discussions about the scientific modeling process, favored the construction of
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
epistemological views compatible with the currently accepted by the scientific community.
In addition, the construction of computational models and the design of learning materials allowed
the pre-service teachers to reflect about the challenges to promote a meaningful learning of physics
through innovative methods still underrepresented in schools today. These findings lead us to
believe that the use of this didactical proposal in pre-service and in-service training courses for
physics teachers, could be appropriate to foster a comprehensive training, which necessarily involves
addressing disciplinary contents, as well as epistemological and didactical issues.
Keywords: Computational modeling, AVM diagram, meaningful learning of physics concepts
Topics: Teaching
The use of smartphones in class to improve physics learning
David M�ndez Coca
Centro Universitario Villanueva, Spain
Physics professors have difficulties to assess the learning of the class every day. But now, with
internet and the smartphone it is possible to do it. Most of the students have a smartphone with
internet. These technologies promote a motivation for the students. The familiarity of the students
with the electronic devices can be a great help in the field of education because they do not need
any previous training to use them. The students answer with the smartphone some questions and
the professor can assess the results immediately. By this way, the professor knows the learning of
each student and can promote the cooperative learning joining students who have different answers.
This experience took place with preservice elementary teachers. The contents were about mechanics
and the learning was measured by a pretest and a posttest. The gain of learning was good and this
experience increased the motivation.
Keywords: Smartphones, cooperative learning, preservice elementary teachers
Topics: ICT
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Promotion of activity based learning in physics for the Students &
Teachers of Remote Areas of Pakistan
Syed Naseem Hussain Shah1, Syed Ali2 and Aquila Islam3
1Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences & Technology, Karachi, Pakistan
2Aligarh Institute of Information & Technology, Karachi, Pakistan
3Karakoram International University, Pakistan
For the promotion of activity based teaching and learning in science, we at the Centre for physics
Education initiated a program in 2009 to arrange a science excel camp in rural areas and involve local
students in science activities that are relevant to their environment. First of its activity was organized
in October 2009 in Quetta in collaboration with USAID funded organization “Edlink”. In this
presentation, we are going to describe the activities held in Quetta, Pakistan. The Baluchistan is the
largest province of Pakistan and Quetta is its capital. Baluchistan has the least number of educational
institutions, the lowest literacy rate among both males and females, the lowest ranking in the
Gender Parity Index (GPI) and the smallest presence of private educational institutes in the country,
according to the recently issued National Economic Survey (NES). In this camp the groups of teachers
and students of secondary schools from the remote areas were involved for active learning in School
Physics. A teacher’s approach towards teaching is traditional in Pakistan and is a means to transfer
book knowledge only. Mostly all the teachers follow the talk and chalk way of delivering their
lectures in which students of school level are not attracted and get bored. The student’s posses some
wrong ideas impinged in their minds due to poor teaching / learning methods in schools. Parallel to
the old method of teaching, here we intimate them that Hands-on activities and other interactive
approaches, when integrated in teaching, lead to an increase in student’s understanding of the
subject. Our tool of investigation was the questions based on force, work, energy, electricity,
communication, and light and optics conceptual evaluation.
The aims of this educational camp are:
1. To train teachers how to include activies in their lessons plan.
2. To introduce actives relevant to their surrounding.
3. To realize them that even with little efforts they can perform many experiments of physics.
4. To involve the students in activities that help them understand physics concepts and their
5. To remove their misconceptions about many phenomenon of physics.
To better understand physics, it is broken up into smaller fields like mechanics, heat, light etc.
Keeping in view this fact we provide the students different houses and each house represent the
activities from one of those fields. The performance of the students were carefully examined and
recorded by giving them different tasks in these houses. The beauty of these houses was that they all
were carrying low cost physics experiments, instruments, physics apparatus and equipments. The
students showed their keen interest during this camp that based on different experiments. These
experiments were on force, work, energy, electricity, communication, light and optics. Moreover, pre
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
and post designed questionnaire of conceptual physics was given to the students and results were
The detailed analysis from the answers of pre and post designed questionnaire reveals that the
students lack in applying simple concepts to real situation. It is observed that after completing the
science camp’s activities their concepts were improved and their interest of studying physics was
Keywords: Understanding school physics, science camp experiments, interactive approaches, hands
on activities
Topics: Learning, Teaching
Mobile Lab Classes
Guillaume Schiltz and Andreas Vaterlaus
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland
In 2009 the Physics Education Group at ETH Zurich started a project on mobile lab classes, which
consists of a half-day course on scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM). Scanning tunnelling
microscopy has been developed in 1982 by Binnig and Rohrer as an imaging technique. It is a real
space, high-resolution imaging method exploiting quantum-mechanical electron tunnelling between
a sharp tip and the sample whose surface is imaged. The tip is raster scanned over the surface and
a topographic image is obtained. STMs are rather expensive devices that schools usually cannot
Our STM-lab class can be booked at no charge by middle schools (upper secondary education).
By appointment a faculty member from our group, equipped with 6 mobile STMs (Nanosurf easyScan
2), visits the school. After a short presentation on electron tunnelling effects, piezo motion and
atomic structure, students are guided to operate the microscopes by themselves with different
The main goals of these lab classes are:
- to introduce students to modern physics topics that usually are not part of the standard curriculum;
- to allow students to perform hands-on experiments with high quality equipment;
- to engage students in physics and raise their interest in science;
- to support physics teacher.
In this presentation we report on the feedback from teachers and students that we have received so
far. We discuss the benefits and the drawbacks of mobile school labs and share our experiences on
mobile lab classes.
Keywords: Mobile labs, scanning tunnelling microscopy, hands-on experiments
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Topics: Experiments, Teaching
“Is noise just as bad as they say? Try to reduce it”: project-based
learning in physics
Erica Macho-Stadler and Jesus Elejalde-Garcia
Universidad del Pais Vasco, Spain
Noise is an environmental problem that produces an increase in the number of complaints from
European citizens. Noise reduction requires the development of regulation by Governments, the
research and development of new control methods, as well as information and education campaigns.
Citizens should be aware of the serious effects of noise pollution on health. If we want young people
to contribute actively in the reduction of noise, they have to know how it affects their health or their
environment. In this sense, the inclusion of content over noise at any educational level could be an
effective action to change their attitude on this issue.
This paper proposes a project for high school students or college undergraduates. The study focuses
on the noise level of some of the daily activities of young people and their possible consequences.
The project is based on the experimental study of real life, and its main objective is to involve
students in noise reduction. During the project, students have to work with the contents of the
"Physics of sound" (the nature and characteristics of sound waves, propagation of sound in open and
closed spaces) and also with other disciplines (health, the human ear). The project includes the
following activities: sound level measurement using a Sound Level Meter, survey of hearing health,
hearing test and survey of noise annoyance. All these activities can be developed in different
contexts: at home, at school or during leisure activities. At the end of the experience, students
prepare a final report including the description of the identified problems and recommendations to
reduce noise and to avoid acoustic injury. Finally they present their work in a public mini-conference.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19) and university education, physics of
sound, noise, project-based learning
Topics: Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Science Interval Project: We Can Teach and Learn Physics During the
Eloneid Nobre1, Francisco Adeil Ara�jo2 and Meirivani Oliveira3
1Federal university of Ceara-program of professional master in teaching of
sciences and mathematics, Brazil
2Federal university of Ceara/secretariat of education of the state of Cear�,
3Secretariat of education of the state of Cear�, Brazil
The break between classes is a moment that, in recent years, has been reason of concern to the
school community, it is still seen as an unproductive space. The Science Interval Project aims to
combine the science education with leisure time during the interval school, attracting the students
for a time of learning and discovery. Specifically, the project aims to provoke and instigate the
student so he discovers, builds and gives new meaning to knowledge and submits to the school
community the work developed in the classroom by the teacher and his students. The project began
in May 2012, in a public school for basic education, located in a poor neighborhood in Fortaleza,
capital of Cear�, in the Northeast of Brazil. The neighborhood is known for high rates of violence and
the school has experienced the loss of a few students due to fights between gangs and use of drugs.
This violence came to the school environment, for example, by aggressive jokes and fights during the
interval of the classes. Searching a solution to this situation, we developed this project in school
seeking to involve the students in activities that awake their interest and can be performed in
a cooperative way. On last Friday or Wednesday of each month, the projects and experiments
developed by teachers and students in the classroom and in the science laboratory are presented in
the schoolyard. The presentation is made by the students who were chosen by their teachers, or
those who have expressed an interest in participating. The use of low cost experiments is prioritized,
because the school does not have a suitable science laboratory. Recent studies show that the
method in which the student performs the experiments by himself and he himself presents them to
his colleagues, results in a more meaningful learning, accumulating experiences that reach 90 % of
the contents of apprehension. Therefore, it is important to orientate the student to be more active in
the process of teaching and learning. We conducted a survey with 204 students to verify if the
objectives of the project were being met. The results are shown below that 91 % of the students can
learn science in a fun way during the Science Interval. When they were inquired if they participate of
moments of the Science Interval, visiting the tables and performing the experiments, 60 % said yes
and 28 % said sometimes. The answer to the question if the project has contributed to do an
improvement in their performance in Physics classes, 75 % answered very much, 22 % said somewhat
and only 3 % said that it did not contribute. The project has been changing the school routine. The
whole school community is committed towards continuing the project, making it a routine. Teachers,
students, all school community begin to understand that so important than only improving school
performance, with good grades, is to make the student be able to construct their own knowledge
and also changing his attitude in the society.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Moreira, M. A; Masini, S.F.E. Meaningful Learning: The Theory of David Ausubel. S�o Paulo: Centauro.
Neuenfeld, Derli Juliano. Interval school: What happens out of sight of teachers? Maring�, 2003.
Available in: http://periodicos.uem.br/ojs/index.php/RevEducFis/ article/viewFile/3479/2512 (last
accessed: 15/08/2012).
Teixeira, M.S.A; Vital, M.L.S; Experimental Activities in Physics Teaching: Different Approaches,
Different Purposes. Brazilian Journal of Physics Teaching, vol. 25, no. 2, June, 2003.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19), method and strategies of teaching, low
cost experiments, teaching and learning of physics
Topics: Experiments, Teachers, Teaching
Analogies and metaphors in the teaching of Physics: an example
around the thematic of fields.
Maria De F�tima Da Silva Verdeaux and Janice Anita Bomfim Goulart
University of Brasilia, Brazil
The exact role played by analogy in science teaching is a much discussed topic.Even though a general
consensus has not yet been reached, those discussions have arguably contributed to provide guiding
elements in the use of analogy as a teaching tool.
This work aims at rethinking the role of analogy in science teaching by considering and highlighting
its participation in very structure of scientific thinking and thus arguing its necessity to the building of
scientific literacy and culture. We then propose a new didactic and pedagogical strategy based upon
the use of analogy as a tool to explicitly address the conceptual aspects of Physics, contrasting with
the teaching based on merely mechanical resolutions of mathematical exercises.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, physics teaching, analogy, conceptual physics, modeling
Topics: Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
A hands-on to teach colour perception: The Colour Vision Tube
Claudia Haagen-Schuetzenhoefer
University of Vienna, Austria
Colour phenomena are usually fascinating. However, it is frequently quite challenging for students to
explain such phenomena based on adequate scientific concepts. Our contribution focuses on body
colour phenomena. From physics education research we know quite a number of learning difficulties
related to this field (Andersson & K�rrqvist, 1983; Driver et al., 1985; Fetherstonhaugh & Treagust,
1992; Viennot & de Hosson, 2012). After instruction of geometric optics, students still believe the
colour impression they get from an object is a fixed property of this object. Although they are mostly
able to reproduce the laws of colour mixing, they can hardly account for colour impressions
produced by objects lit with other than white light sources. We developed a hands-on experiment
which can be easily used in class to demonstrate such colour effects. The hands-on is made of a tube
which is closed at one end with a disc made of differently coloured segments. In the middle of the
tube there is a hole just big enough to insert LEDs of different colours into the tube. The open end of
the tube serves as peephole for the observer. When students look through this peephole while the
tube is illuminated with differently coloured LEDs, they can experience the effect of different
illumination on the “body colour” they perceive. This hands-on was tried out with secondary
students before and after formal instruction in geometrical optics. We found out that both types of
students face similar problems in explaining the phenomena they experience. However, after a short
instructional sequence based on the Colour Vision Tube, most of them were able to apply the idea
that colour impression is not a consequence of the property of objects but a consequence of the
interaction between an object and the light illuminating this object.
Andersson, B., & K�rrqvist, C. (1983). How Swedish pupils, aged 12-15 years, understand light and its
properties. International Journal of Science Education, 5(4), 387–402.
Driver, R., Guesne, E., & Tiberghien, A. (Eds.). (1985). Children's ideas in science (1993rd ed.).
Buckingham: Open University Press.
Fetherstonhaugh, T., & Treagust, D. F. (1992). Students' understanding of light and its properties:
Teaching to engender conceptual change. Science Education, 76(6), 653–672.
Viennot, L., & Hosson, C. de. (2012). Beyond a Dichotomic Approach, The Case of Colour Phenomena.
International Journal of Science Education, 34(9), 1315–1336.
Keywords: Colour perception, colour subtraction, hands-on
Topics: Experiments, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
A Case Study of a Preservice Physics Teacher's Practical Knowledge
about students
Cifuentes Mar�a Cristina1 and Uribe Carlos2
1Universidad Pedag�gica Nacional, Colombia
2Universidad del Valle, Colombia
The purpose of this study was to explore the development of a preservice physics teacher’s practical
knowledge over the course of a high school practicum experience. The framework of the study
include the Teacher’s Practical Knowledge concept, which conceptualized teacher’s knowledge as an
action oriented and a context dependent, that has experiential origins and emotional and moral
dimensions. To capture this complex type of knowledge a qualitative case study design guided data
collection, organization, and analysis. One preservice physics teacher, Alicia, participated in this study
over the first year of her practicum. During the practicum she were attending to an assigned
classroom to observe and provide help to her mentor during his physics class, two mornings weekly
for 16 weeks, and then she took the lead in teaching fulltime, for two mornings weekly for 16 weeks.
Multiple forms of data, including audiotaped interviews, written documents, field notes and
videotaped teaching episodes, were collected. A qualitative analysis of data is presented with
descriptive comments and reflections that shows growth and change of Alicia’s practical knowledge.
In particular, the growth and change of Alicia’s understandings about her students, as individuals and
as members of groups, as a result from interactions with them in physics class situation and her
reflections about these interactions. We discuss the implications of research�s results for physics
teachers� initial training.
Keywords: Preservice physics teachers, practical knowledge, knowledge about students
Topics: Teachers
Found Misunderstanding of Convection and Effective Experiment to
Solve by Thermal Camera
Naoshi Takahashi1, Katsumasa Yokokawa2 and Masazumi Mori3
1Department of Physics, Faculty of Education, Kagawa University, Japan
2Graduate School of Education, Kagawa University, Japan
3Sakaide Elementary School, Faculty of Education, Kagawa University, Japan
We have demonstrated that in an elementary school it could be used a conventional thermal
camera, not only for heating solid materials, but also for warming up fluid. We have made the first
report concerning to 'show' children the motion of heating water in our last presentation in WCPE
2012. And we have found that there was a misunderstanding of convection and conduction.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
In this time, we are going to show (1) more serious face of the misunderstanding that we found
through questionnaire survey, and then (2) more effective use of such the camera in a class by using
ICT technique. (3) We also discuss about the usual convection itself which appears gently in the lab,
comparing with plume, Benard cells and so on.
Keywords: Thermal camera, convection, misunderstanding
Topics: Experiments, ICT, Learning
Let’s use our heads to play
Jana Čes�kov� and Michaela Kř�žov�
University of Hradec Kr�lov�, Czech Republic
The regular activity “Let’s use our heads to play” of the Faculty of Science, University of Hradec
Kr�lov� is presented. The aim of the activity during its 6 volumes has been to popularize physics and
other science branches. Many experiments on a variety of physics topics are presented to the public
by academic staff and students. Very popular are fire experiments, liquid nitrogen, dry ice, brain
teasers, optical illusions or playing with magnets and electricity. Many participants of different ages
covering preschool children as well as retired persons are coming to try presented experiments by
themselves. Therefore, we would like to share our experiences with the organization of the event,
attended by more than 2000 people, and show some proven experiments.
More than 50 students of our university help to prepare the happening every year. It brings them the
possibility of practical testing of experiments and communication and teaching skills. Active
involvement of students in the organization of similar events is indeed one of the ways how to
improve the education of teachers, which is considered as the primary impetus to the improvement
of education in our country.
Keywords: Pre-school education, primary education, secondary education, university education,
lifelong learning, popularization of physics, experiments for children
Topics: Informal Physics Teaching & Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
New approach of some learning techniques in physics
Vania Covlea, Emil Barna, Marius Calin, Oana Ristea, Tiberiu Esanu, Catalin Ristea and
Alexandru Jipa
University of Bucharest, Romania
This work discusses a few techniques applicable to the learning and teaching, including, in physics:
the interactive heuristic lecture, the collective interview, the collective experiment, the interactive
The general theoretical aspects of the lecture, which will be dealt with, are provided by a professor
to students before the course. In the lesson, professor introduces the subject, presents the main
problems, with theoretical and experimental details and the possible consequences of the analyzed
situation. Professor tempers the moderating discussion. In the end he makes the conclusions. Lesson
is video-recorded.
Although it is a technique well-known, the experiment is continuously re-evaluated and upgraded.
Professor's creativity is decisive. According to its authors, the classroom experiment built by students
- under rigorous guidance of professor - has a maximum impact.
A collective interview refers to interactive assessment of the progresses in learning of the students,
as well as the stabilizing their knowledge. The interview may be carried out by dedicated
questionnaires, but also by spontaneous questions generated by collective interactions studentstudent
and professor-student.
As interactive software can be used a course-lab in electronic format. For each topic, the student has
at its disposal a breviary text and an application made in a friendly programming environment. The
application code is shown for each topic, allowing students who are interested to develop the
proposed applications in a personal manner.
Illustrative examples are in the field of Physics.
1. V.Covlea (coordinator),V.Manea, C.Negrea, Al.Tudorache, C.Vancea – Plasma engineering
(laboratory course), Editura Universitatii din Bucuresti, 2012 (in Romanian)
2. V.Covlea, H.Andrei - Plasma diagnostics (laboratory course), Editura Universitatii din Bucuresti,
2001 (in Romanian)
3. http://brahms.fizica.unibuc.ro/sitecentru/Quantum%20Plasmas.pdf
4. http://brahms.fizica.unibuc.ro/sitecentru/barcelona.mp4
Keywords: Learning techniques, interactive interview, video lessons, IT applications
Topics: ICT, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Teaching Newton's law of cooling in „hands-on measurement”
Csilla Fulop and Tibor Medvegy
ELTE, Hungary
Teaching methods practiced in science alter in how much focus is put on each of these means:
quantities, notions, interdependence, understanding, solving problems, explanation, calculation,
applications, planning or evaluating experiments, etc. Doing „hands-on measurement” projects is
a very complex method of teaching and learning. We will analyse this method in terms of these
means. We also take a closer look at the activeness of this method using the „learning pyramid
model” of pedagogy.
For a specific study we will take an experimental law - the well known Newton’s law of cooling - as an
example. According to Newton's Law of Cooling the rate of change in temperature of an object is
proportional to the difference between its own and the ambient temperature. It means that the
relation between the temperature of the object and time is exponential.
We will discuss four possibilities used in our everyday practice as students' activities in physics
laboratories. So we will examine projects for 4 different levels. These levels can be dedicated to
certain age or school system: primary school level, secondary school level, mentor level and academy
level. The academic goal of our projects are different, but not so the goal and means of education.
At primary school level developing the relation between sense and measured quantities is the focus.
At secondary school level we disqualify the concept of a steady change in this phenomenon. The
mentor level is a special course for the gifted students, in our project we highlight the numerical
methods of demonstrating an exponential nexus. We present alternative solutions planned for our
students. At academy level the emphasis is on the proper and punctual use of engineering skills, also
introducing calibration, as well as developing accuracy by using tempered vacuum chamber and
applied apparatus.
Keywords: Newton's law of cooling, hands-on measurements, from primary to university education
Topics: Experiments, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Concept Cartoons as a Teaching and Learning Strategy at Basic Schools
in the Czech Republic
Eva Hejnova
J. E. Purkinje University, Faculty of Science, Czech Republic
The contribution deals with tasks that are called „concept cartoons“. The concept cartoons consist of
cartoon-style drawings showing everyday or some interesting situations. The cartoon characters
(usually three or four children) put forward alternative viewpoints about the science involved in the
situation, and the format of the task invites pupils to join in debate with the cartoon characters.
Typically a concept cartoon is used as the focus for a group discussion, which can then lead on to
investigations to decide which of the viewpoints put forward is the most acceptable.
At Czech schools this type of tasks isn�t too known but their potential is large, mainly in respect to
the possibility of the concrete application of constructivist theory in the classroom. Concept cartoons
namely provide a stimulus for discussion and argument, challenge and develope the learners� ideas,
promote thinking and reasoning, help learners to ask their own questions, provide starting points for
scientific investigation and enquiry etc. This approach is defended by numerous researchers as not
only better representation of the character of science but as challenging of critical thinking and
developing of conceptual thinking.
A set of seventeen concept cartoons for the topic „Motion and force“ was created by the author of
this contribution in the forms of slides in PDF format (it is possible to use them for interactive
whiteboard too). The tasks are designed for learners at the age of 13 to 15 (i. e. the pupils basic
schools in the Czech Republic). These concept cartoons were developed according to FCI (Force
Concept Inventory) test and some other tasks from book „Concept cartoons in scienece education“
by S. Naylor and B. Keogh, but they were formulated for the needs of learners at basic schools.
Concept cartoons can be used at the start of the topic „Motion and force“ to provide a stimulus for
discussion and raise questins about what needs to be done to find out more, or at the end of the
topic, where the emphasis might be on reviewing or consolidating learning.
The set of the concept cartoons was given to appr. ten Czech teachers in 2012 and 2013, who used
them during their teaching. Some of these teachers provided the feedback. They often stated the
concept cartoons plaid a useful role in the development of the teacher�s own subject knowledge and
understanding and they appreciated that their pupils were more involved in and motivated towards
science. However, it has not been carried out any systematic or more extensive research into this
problematics in the Czech Republic.
Keywords: Secondary education: lower (ages about 13-15), concept cartoons, teaching and learning
strategy, critical thinking
Topics: Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Monitoring the level of the basic elements of students' scientific
literacy developed by research-oriented activities
M�ria Nov�kov� and Mari�n Kireš
Faculty of Science, Pavol Jozef Safarik University in Kosice, Slovakia
The term scientific literacy is defined by Arons (Held, 2011) as the effective application of scientific
knowledge and skills to solving problems and making decisions in personal, social and professional
life. In meeting the needs of the labor market in knowledge-based economy, the importance of
scientific literacy increases. Ability to apply scientific forms of thinking in order to obtain and then
use the new information requires students’ developing of the components of their scientific literacy.
Several experts, eg. Colville and Pattie (2002), Beau-mont and Soybo Walters (2001) agree on division
of capabilities of the scientific work to basic (used to organizing and description of the subjects and
phenomena) and integrated (through which we are able to solve problems and do experiments).
Basic capabilities are: observing, judging, assuming, classifying and measuring.
In paper is presented the methodology of the prepared didactic experiment aimed at detecting the
level of students' basic skills in scientific work. It consists of graduated system of physics observations
and laboratory measurements, tools for collecting and analysing data. Selected measurements (eg.
Gauss gun) are prepared for the different levels of research-oriented learning activities (Ibsen –
Inquiry-based science education).
The training Gauss cannon is specified as follows: A sequence of identical steel balls includes a strong
magnet and lies in a nonmagnetic channel. Another steel ball is rolled towards them and collides with
the ball end. The ball at the opposite end of the sequence is Ejected at a surprisingly high velocity.
Optimize the magnet's position for the greatest effect. Activity is presented in form of instructional
material for teachers using the method of interactive demonstration and a worksheet for students
who carry out the method of controlled research.
BEAUMONT-WALTERS, Y., SOYBO, K. An Analysis of High School Students�Performance on Five
Integrated Science Process Skills. In Research in Science and Technological Education. Vol. 19, 2001,
No. 2, pp. 133-145.
COLVILL, M., PATTIE, I. Science Skills – The Building Blocks for Scientific Literacy. In Ivestigating:
Australian Primary and Junior Scientific Journal. Vol. 18, 2002, No. 4, pp. 20-22.
HELD, Ľ. 2011. Inquiry-based science education (IBSE in the Slovak context). Bratislava: VEDA,
publishers SAV, 2011. ISBN 978-80-8082-486-0
Keywords: Secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19), university education, inquiry-based
science education, inquiry-based skills, scientific literacy, Gauss cannon
Topics: Experiments
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Computer-aided activities for inquiry-based skills development
Veronika Timkov� and Zuzana Ješkov�
Faculty of Science, Pavol Jozef Šaf�rik University in Košice, Slovakia
The development of scientific literacy through active students’ engagement in their process of
learning has become a main trend of science education today [1]. The strong attention in the current
curriculum is paid to the development of inquiry-based skills and abilities while students work as real
scientists. These involve fundamental abilities that are necessary to do scientific inquiry that differ in
relation to the degree of sophistication of the inquiry-oriented intellectual processes [2]. Among the
basic inquiry-based skills for upper secondary schools students there are emphasized the abilities to
design and conduct scientific investigations as well as developing appropriate models enhanced by
digital technologies. The contribution presents examples of activities designed for different levels of
inquiry with the help of datalogging, videoanalysis and modelling computer tools (COACH6
environment [3]). The activity on falling objects is aimed at students� simple investigation of falls of
different objects (heavy and styrofoam balls, plates and cups) in order to discover the difference and
the influence of the drag force. The experiments can be complemented with the modelling activity
when students analyse the already existing model or create their own one eventually, depending on
their intellectual level. The activity on the behaviour of balloons is based on the motivational
problem of two inflated balloons and their discrepant behaviour when they are interconnected. This
problem should lead students to designing and planning their own experiment to explain and reason
in order to draw conclusions. The activity on the effect of Magnus force well-known and widely used
by sportsmen (tennis, football, volleyball players) can be an attractive problem for students to
analyse. They could design and conduct an experiment in a lab and with the help of videoanalysis
tools they can collect data about the motion. The model based on dynamical modelling can be
studied and analysed in detail in order to compare the results with the theory to show the
[1] ESTABLISH project, available on <www.establish-fp7.eu>
[2] Wenning, C. J. 2005. Levels of Inquiry: Hierarchies of pedagogical practices and inquiry
processes. In: Journal of Physics Teacher Education Online, 2(3), 3-11.
[3] Software COACH 6, available on <http://cma-science.nl/>
Keywords: secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19), university education, inquiry-based
science education, inquiry-based skills, Magnus force, pressure of inflated balloon, drag force
Topics: Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
A simple experiment set for demonstrating optical communication
with LEDs as light transmitting and receiving components
Makoto Hasegawa
Chitose Institute of Science and Technology, Japan
A light emitting diode (LED) can also act as a light receiving component when irradiated with light
beams. By employing this aspect, a simple experiment set for demonstrating optical communication
has been provided in which LEDs are employed, not only as a light transmitting component, but also
as a light receiving component. In this set, intensity of light to be emitted from an LED as a light
transmitting component is modulated in accordance with audio signals such as music from a CD. The
light from that LED is then transmitted via air or an optical fiber to another LED which acts as a light
receiving component. By sending signals from the LED as the light receiving component to
a loudspeaker, the transmitted audio signals such as music can be reproduced. Thus, optical
communication can be easily demonstrated. This experiment set has been effectively used in various
situations of science experiment demonstration at primary schools, secondary schools, high schools,
and even for universities.
As advantages of using an LED as a light receiving component, LEDs are in general much cheaper than
photodiodes. Thus, a large number of the sets can be prepared at low cost and simultaneously used.
Moreover, in some conditions, much clearer music can be reproduced with an LED than with
a photodiode as a light receiving component. This is because output signal levels from an LED are not
likely to be saturated, unlike signals form photodiodes.
Furthermore, LEDs with different colors can be employed as each of the light transmitting and
receiving components. In such a case, audio signals can be or can not be communicated in
accordance with combination of colors. This aspect can be useful for easily demonstrating
relationship between colors of light and their energy levels.
Keywords: Primary to university education, LED, optical communication, science experiment
Topics: Experiments
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Concept Survey of Wave of High School and Undergraduate Students
Hisashi Kogetsu1 and Kazunari Taniguchi2
1Kyoto University of Education, Doshisha High School, Japan
2 Kyoto University of Education, Japan
We investigated students’ conceptual understanding of wave physics in Japan. In order to the survey,
we developed the Concept Inventory Test which consists of 7 qualitative questions in a free response
(FR) format and/or a multiple-choice (MC) format. The main contents of questions are as follows:
1. Superposition of two wavepulses closer to each other at a same speed (FR)
2. Spatiotemporal behavior of a phase of a periodic wave (FR, MC)
3. Physical quantities related to the speed of a sound wave (MC)
The candidate for the survey is 128 students (16-17 yrs) in the second grade of senior high school,
and 45 undergraduate students in the introductory physics class which learned physics by
a traditional instruction.
As the results of the survey, about a superposition of two wavepulses, it was confirmed that not
a few students have understanding which can be explained by the mental model of mechanical
waves (Wittmann, 1998). Moreover, about a spatiotemporal behavior of a traveling periodic wave, it
was revealed that the understanding of a time variation of an oscillation at an arbitrary point on the
wave was more difficult for almost all students than that of a space variation of the wave.
Keywords: Wave, concept survey, high school
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning
Open Inquiry based learning experiences to understand the Nature of
Nicola Pizzolato, Claudio Fazio, Rosa Maria Sperandeo-Mineo and Dominique Persano
University of Palermo, Italy
In the last decades, many researchers have focused their studies on the efficacy of inquiry based
activities to teach fundamental aspects of NoS. Explicit pedagogical approaches, in which specific
instruction on the topic of NoS is provided in addition to engaging in scientific inquiry, are generally
considered more effective with respect to the implicit method, where NoS conceptions are expected
to develop as a natural consequence of inquiry learning experiences alone.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
In our study, we further explore the connections between scientific inquiry and development of NoS
conceptions, by investigating the efficacy of different kinds of inquiry approaches. In particular, we
have first analysed the outcomes from a pre-post activity questionnaire administered to a large
sample of high school students, involved in Guided Inquiry (GI) learning paths on thermal physics,
within the context of “Establish”, a FP7 European project aimed at promoting and developing inquiry
based science education in European secondary schools. We have found that students engaged in GIbased
experiences, without any specific instruction on NoS, do not significantly change their views.
Furthermore, we have investigated the efficacy of an Open Inquiry (OI) based learning environment
to implicitly develop contemporary NoS conceptions in first level university students. A sample of 30
mechanical engineering undergraduates was involved in a challenging learning environment, starting
from the problem of projecting a thermodynamically efficient space base on Mars, and performed
a 6-week long research-like experiences regarding the topic of thermal energy exchange by
conduction, convection and radiation. All students activities – formulate questions, plan experiments,
collect and analyse data, construct explanations, share results – were recorded and analysed by
applying the methods of statistical implicative analysis. We have found that a highly motivating
OI-based learning environment, stimulating autonomous reasoning and problem solving abilities,
may constitute an efficient teaching/learning approach both to consolidate tough physics concepts
and, at the same time, to clarify important aspects of NoS. Implications for the design of Inquiry
based teaching/learning environments are discussed.
Keywords: Upper secondary education, university education, inquiry based science education
Topics: Learning, Teaching
Training physicists for Measurement in Society
Leslie Pendrill
SP Measuring Technology, Sweden
Many physicists who follow careers outside of academia use their skills in the context of
measurement. What are those skills, what kind of impact do they provide in early 21st society and,
above all, how do we best train these skills throughout careers?
Three particular skills that physicists are good at and which come to use in measurement are:
- Relating measurement of different quantities made by different people through metrological
traceability (“Meeting future needs for Metrological Traceability – A physicist’s view” L R Pendrill
2005 “Accreditation and Quality Assurance” – Journal for Quality, Reliability and Comparability
in Chemical Measurement,10, 133-9). Important for international trade, communication,
efficient industrial production – in fact anywhere products/systems composed of diverse parts
made at various places need to be put together. As Petley once put it: 'Physics from the Nobel
Prize winner to the Man in the Street'.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
- Systematic analysis of measurement systems (“Metrology: time for a new look at the physics of
traceable measurement?”, L R Pendrill 2006 Europhysics News 37, 22-5). The experimental skills
learnt by physicists in the lab can be applied in many walks of life.
- Applying statistics to measurements and decision-making in society, for instance accounting for
risks of incorrect decisions about product conformity (L R Pendrill 2010 “Optimised uncertainty
and cost operating characteristics: new tools for conformity assessment. Application to
geometrical product control in automobile industry”, Int. J. Metrol. Qual. Eng.1, 105-110,
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/ijmqe/2010020)
Experiences of teaching metrology at the university, to industry and through websites (“Applications
of statistical methods in Measurement & Testing“, http://metrology.wordpress.com) will be shared
in this presentation.
The author is Chair of ISO TC12 'Quantities & Units' standardisation technical committee; member of
the Metre Convention's Joint Committee on Guides in Metrology; Board member of the newly
created 'Physics & Society' division of the Swedish Physical Society
(http://www.fysikersamfundet.se/fs/om_sektionen_eng.html). He has formerly been Chair of
EURAMET, the European Association of National Metrology Institutes and Chair of Commission 2
SUNAMCO of the International Union of Pure & Applied Physics.
Keywords: Measurement, society, training
Topics: Teaching
The learning of quantum mechanics in secondary school using the
Stern-Gerlach experiment
Carlos Raphael Rocha1, Victoria Elnecave Herscovitz2 and Marco Antonio Moreira2
1UDESC, Brazil
2UFRGS, Brazil
In a course of 25 class-hours of Quantum Mechanics (QM) for secondary school, we analysed the
potential use of the Stern-Gerlach (S-G) experiment as a problem situation for learning some
principles of QM, considering the concept of linear superposition as a subsumer. Five classes (two
first year and three third year secondary school classes) were studied. The concept of intrinsic
angular momentum (spin) of the electron was approached using a computer simulation of the S-G
experiment. In addition, the concepts of state of a quantum system, eigenvalues as possible values of
measurements, probability of obtaining eigenvalues, and collapse of the state vector were also
taught. Students took a quizz (one single question at the end of a class) and an evaluation test
(including seven questions at the end of the course), both with a question about the S-G experiment,
and other topics. A total of 143 students responded to the quizz and 147 to the evaluation test. In
the quizz, 61 % of the students answered correctly the proposed question, while 13 % of the students
presented an incorrect answer. In the evaluation test, 47 % of the students answered the question
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
correctly while only 9 % did it incorrectly. We still had 21 % of the students who answered almost
correctly the question in the quizz, while 12 % answered almost correctly in the evaluation test.
It might be possible to say that more than half of the students had, at least, quite an acceptable
performance regarding their answers in both tests. Considering that this was a short-term course,
findings suggest that some learning has occurred, which can eventually develop towards meaningful
learning if more time is devoted in mastering this conceptual field. We then suggest the use of this
problem situation in secondary school together with others related to linear superposition, such as
quantum entanglement and quantum cryptography both to update the secondary school curriculum
of physics education, as well as to motivate the students to learn physics in a way that is closer to the
scientific and technological evolution that already invades their daily lives.
Keywords: Quantum mechanics, Stern-Gerlach experiment, secondary school
Topics: Learning, Teaching
Teaching Lunar Movement using an Ancient Earthwork in a 2D game
Michelle Aubrecht
Ohio State University, United States
Even though video games have been around for over 40 years, employing them as viable learning
environments is relatively new. In the last few years,many people have begun researching games and
learning: how to make them, use them, and assess what is happening when learners use them.
With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, we utilized a consulting
collaborative approach, created a Native American Advisory Board, made a prototype, 2D mini-game
that focuses on the Newark Earthworks in Ohio, USA as a lunar observatory, and obtained additional
funding to create an affinity space (Gee, 2012). This poster presents the 2D mini games that will be
part of a larger game that demonstrates the moon's monthly cycle as it is observed at the Newark
Earthworks, a world heritage nominated site. We will explain our learning objectives, design process,
and how games teach.
The Earthworks spans several kilometers. The Earthworks Octagon precisely tracks the northernmost
moonrise; Building something that is seemingly focused on an event that occurs only every 18.6
years is striking! In addition, that’s just one section of the Earthworks. What were they doing every
18.6 years that would lead them to construct such an enormous structure?
We think that exploring this structure and the culture of ancient Native Americans, learners will be
inspired to learn more about astronomy and begin observing the moon themselves.
Keywords: Video game, Earthworks, moon, lunar, Native Americans, Indigenous Science, astronomy
Topics: ICT, Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Database of selected papers of Physics Teachers’ Inventions Fair
Zdeňka Koupilov�1, Leoš Dvoř�k1 and Jan Koupil2
1Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
2Gymn�zium, Pardubice, Dašick�, Czech Republic
The Physics Teachers' Inventions Fair [1] is an annual conference of physics teachers of all levels –
from basic school teachers to university professors. They share ideas about new demonstration and
laboratory experiments, long-term projects and how to make their lessons more attractive. There are
about 100-150 participants and approximately 40 papers presented each year. It has long tradition.
In September 2012 the 17th Fair took place in Prague and this year’s conference will be in Hradec
Kr�lov�. Even though the impact of the conference is mostly national, every year there are more than
ten participants from foreign countries who are also inspired. [2]
Papers from the conference are a very good source of teaching ideas because they are mostly ready
to be used in the classroom. But as they were published in paper proceedings, they have been badly
accessible for people who didn’t attend the specific conference. The idea of building the database of
selected papers arrived and at the occasion of the 10th conference in 2005 the first version was
presented – on CD and online as well. Selection criteria (not all papers are in the database) dealt not
only with quality of the paper content, but papers have to be oriented on experiments, specially the
experiments with simple stuff and easily accessible equipment, or present ideas how make learning
more attractive and active. According to the number of connections to online version of the database
and the survey of opinions of the conference attendance done in 2008, the database was considered
as a very useful and often used source of ideas for physics teachers of all levels of schools. [3] That’s
why the papers from further conferences have been added and in 2012 the implementation of the
whole database has been changed to reflect new technologies used on internet. The database still
remains freely accessible for public.
New database contains more than 400 articles (original papers from the conference) in Czech. It is
possible to search the papers not only according to their titles or authors names, but also according
to their topics and an extensive structured index is implemented here as well. Entire database is in
Czech and about 10 % of the most interesting papers are translated into English [4], making it
internationally usable.
The poster will present used technology, details about database content and how the database is
[1] Home page of the conference Physics Teachers' Inventions Fair: http://vnuf.cz/
[2] Teslamania 2010 Physics Teachers' Innovation Fair, http://teslamania2010.eventbrite.com/
[3] Database of selected contribution: Inventions Fair for Physics Education
[4] Selected papers of Physics Teachers' Inventions Fair in English: http://vnuf.cz/papers/
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Keywords: Secondary education: lower and upper, university education, teaching ideas, simple
experiments, database
Topics: Experiments, ICT, Teachers, Teaching
How geographically uniform is Earth's temperature rise?
Gordon Aubrecht
Ohio State University at Marion, United States
One consequence of human use of energy is emission of greenhouse gases. Many nonscientists
(as well as a few real scientists) do not think that climate change could be caused by human actions.
Reasons range from doubt that tiny humans could affect an entire planet to belief that human life on
Earth will soon end. Science is about experimental data, reasoning from those data, and theoretical
perspectives supported by the data. Svante Arrhenius provided (in 1896) the first theoretical (and
compelling) reasons that carbon dioxide could influence Earth’s energy budget. Multiple sources of
modern data underlie the belief of virtually all climate scientists that humans are changing our
climate. Earth’s temperature is rising. Is the rise distributed uniformly around the world? We
compare the three world temperature records (Hadley-Climate Research Unit database of 162 years,
and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Goddard Institute of Space
Sciences databases of 132 years) to the US (National Climate Data Center database of 118 years) and
Australian (Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology database 103 years), a small part of the
US (National Climate Data Center database of 118 years), and other records to see what the
temperature data show about geographic variation.
Keywords: Climate change, temperature records, anthropomorphic effects on climate, geographic
Topics: Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Socio-cultural Issues
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Stick-slip oscillations: teaching friction by using Tracker
Maria Bondani1 and Fabrizio Favale2
1Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie,
2Universit� degli Studi dell'Insubria – Dipartimento di Scienza e Alta
Tecnologia, Italy
The stick-slip model describes several different physical phenomena, such as for instance the squeal
and squeak of brakes, of chalk on board and of shoes on floor or the motion of earth crust that
causes earthquakes.
We built a simple setup to display and study stick-slip oscillations. The system is made by a small
block with flat bottom laying on a rough surface. The block is connected to a spring whose free end is
pulled at constant speed by a rotating electric motor: the resulting motion of the system is
characterized by an intermittent behavior, in which a static phase is followed by a moving phase. The
motion of the block is recorded by a compact digital photo-camera and the movie is analyzed with
the free software Tracker Video Analysis and Modeling Tool that allows both the recovery of the
experimental motion and to elaborate mathematical models and simulations.
Although the physical system is not simple, the analytic description of the motion can be obtained
with the mathematical tools available to high-school students. From the analysis of the tracks, both
static and dynamic friction coefficients can be evaluated, together with the equations of motion.
The experiment was performed with third-year High-School students, as a way to introduce and
discuss friction from a comprehensive point of view, and with second-year University Physics
students, to explore all the quantitative details of the effect.
Keywords: Friction, movie analysis, mathematical simulations
Topics: Experiments, Teaching
A pilot experience in physics laboratory in a professional school
Vera Montalbano, Maria De Nicola, Simone Di Renzone and Serena Frati
University of Siena, Italy
The reform of the upper secondary school in Italy has recently introduced physicsin the curricula of
professional schools, in realities where it was previously absent. Many teachers, often with
a temporary position, are obliged to teaching physics in schools where the absence of the laboratory
is added to the lack of interest of students who feel this matter as very far from their personal
interests and from the preparation for the work which could expect from a professional school.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
We report a leaning path for introducing students to the measurement of simple physical quantities,
which continued with the study of some properties of matter (volume, mass, density) and ending
with some elements of thermodynamics. Educational materials designed in order to involve students
in an active learning, actions performed for improving the quality of laboratory experience and
difficulties encountered are presented. Finally, we compare the active engagement of these students
with a similar experience performed in a very different vocational school.
Keywords: Secondary education: lower (ages 11-15), vocational education, physics laboratory
Topics: Experiments, Socio-cultural Issues
Research based discussions on optics with teachers to integrate
professional development with everyday school work
Francesca Leto, Marisa Michelini and Mossenta Alessandra
University of Udine, italy
The issue of the integration of content knowledge (CK) on subject matter with that producing the
competence in creating an educational environment is a multidimensional problem in teacher
education (TE). The lack of scientific preparation of primary and kindergarten teachers and of adequate
educational tools are pivotal elements in this problem, as the need of a qualified in-service TE aimed at
professional development. Traditional education is focused on narrative information and on scientific
activities, whose priority is on description of systems, phenomena and functions. The change of the
teachers’ way of thinking needed to engage the children in activities concerning the eliciting of ideas,
children’s hypothesis and interpretation of phenomena is difficult in this framework. Building bridges
between scientific perspective and common sense ideas and everyday experience is more evoked than
acted, even when the teachers state to put children learning at the center of their work.
An Experiential Model for TE on the personal involvement of the teachers in carrying out the same
activities planned for the children favorites the integration of content knowledge (CK), with teaching
strategies knowledge (PK), but it doesn’t guarantee the activation of a practice based on intellectually
active children. Among the many reasons claimed by the teachers prevails the lack of self-confidence
on the conceptual discussion and on the organization of the experimental explorative activities.
Within the Italian project on innovation in teaching/learning (IDIFO4), research based labs have been
carried out, focused on the analysis and the discussion of tested educational paths both on the
conceptual, subject matter content and educational planes. Different kinds of discussion concerning
students’ ideas and learning processes were carried out by the community of researchers and
teachers. Action oriented contents and methods emerge as teaching learning proposals based on the
children learning processes research and they melt in coherent paths as an outcome of the
experienced modules of formative intervention.
Optics lab offers an example of this kind of integration between educational research and teacher
professional development.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
The lab dealt with three different aspects of optical processes: sources, propagation phenomena and
light-matter interaction. From these perspectives physics education researchers and teachers
addressed student ideas on the models of vision; they discussed pupils spontaneous statements
concerning the word ‘light’ and light-phenomena, light sources and vision models, collected in
teachers classes. They discussed in cooperative way emerging ideas of children in classroom
activities. Modalities of work and of data analysis, their results and teachers’ opinions on the role of
carried out activities for their professional development are significant for in-service teachers
education and for the ways for an integration between research and education.
Keywords: Primary school and kindergarten teacher education, research based lab, optics
Topics: Experiments
Popularization of Physics by Using an Interactive Show
Petr K�covsk�, Věra Koudelkov� and Marie Snětinov�
Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Czech
Nowadays, physics is one of the less favourite subjects for secondary school students (age of 15–19),
although it is one of the key branches for development of human civilization. For this reason, our
main goal – as physics teachers – is to improve students� perception of physics, to make physics more
attractive and involve students into experimental work. In addition, we want to support the
perception of physics education study and make it interesting (not only) for future graduates.
Our contribution describes two long-term projects and activities organized by the Department of
Physics Education (Faculty of Mathematics and Physics in Prague) for secondary school students.
The activities are called "Physics Through All Senses" and "Magical Physics" and they have much in
common – in both cases we have prepared a 90 minutes-long set of experiments performed not as
a lecture with exact theoretical background, but as an interactive show engaging students into it.
The project "Physics Through All Senses" has started in autumn 2012 and the homonymous show
contains almost thirty experiments divided into groups according to human senses.
The project "Magical Physics" has started in spring 2010 and it is focused on physical measurements
with dataloggers. The experiments are joined in a story "The Voyage to Mars" and we emphasize
here the inter-disciplinary relations mainly into biomechanics, biology and chemistry.
Our performances have seen more than 3 000 students till now. In our poster presentation we will
present some of performed experiments and our experience with such type of informal learning.
Keywords: Interactive show, experiments, secondary school, informal teaching
Topics: Experiments, ICT, Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Laboratory workshop on the elective module "Autonomous Processes
in Electronics"
Akmaral Imanbayeva1, Sergei Manakov1, Bekbolat Medetov1, Amirkhan Temirbayev1,
Aisha Naurzbayeva1 and Saule Baimuldina2
1Al Farabi Kazakh National University, Kazakhstan
2Institute Experimental and Theoretical Physics, Kazakhstan
Design and development of any up-to-date radio electronic device is accompanied by physical or
mathematical modeling. Preliminary computer simulation of wireless devices enables us to analyse
physical processes in the concrete device without major material expenditures and to reveal
fundamental features of its performance. After step-by-step simulation, further development of the
concrete electronic device becomes much simpler. University students must have some general
knowledge about computer models, numerical methods of studying of various objects of knowledge,
and freely enough orientate in the up-to-date software products. The important level of mastering
methods of calculus mathematics and physics is the ability of a student to write computer programs
independently, without tutor’s guidance. Creating similar computer models "from scratch", working
with the source code of the program, the student better understands specific methods of processing
information. We have developed new laboratory practical works on the elective course
"Autonomous Processes in Electronics". The workshop consists of four labs:
- Generator with inertial nonlinearity.
- Studying of dynamics of Chua generator.
- Studying of bifurcation modes of the ring oscillator.
- Studying of dynamics of the generator of dynamic chaos with phase control.
The basis of all the works are modern achievements of world science [1, 2], and our original design
[3] in physics of dynamical systems and dynamical chaos. All lab works are based on the same
1. Building of a computer model of the scheme.
2. Setting of initial conditions, starting-up of the circuit and measurement of its characteristics.
3. Automatic loading of measured physical values into files.
4. Processing of experimental data and visualization of the results of processing using specialized
For computer simulation we use software “MultiSim 11”, which is the most popular program for
constructing, projection and modeling of radio electronic schemes. Setting the initial conditions,
start-up circuit and measurement of the main characteristics of the assembled model made built-in
virtual instruments. Such processing of the experimental data and visualization of the results will be
realized by the programs developed in Matlab.
Such labs for the system of modern education will significantly change the way of development and
assimilation of information in the learning process of physical and engineering disciplines. These
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
workshops provide new possibilities for integration of various actions, and thereby promote
achievement of goals in education socially significant and relevant in the modern period of social
development. The results indicate improvements in some areas as well as areas for further
[1] Rosenblum M., Pikovsky A. //Phys.Rev.Lett.(2007), Vol. 98,№6.P.064101.
[2] Yamapi R., N. Nbendjo B.R., Enjieu K.H.G. // International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos.(2007).
Vol.17, No 4. P.1343-1354.
[3] Temirbayev A., Zhanabaev Z., at al.//Phys. Rev. E.(2012),Vol.85.P.015204.
Keywords: Laboratory workshop, computer simulation, dynamical chaos
Topics: Experiments
A WebLab for teaching physics
Eduardo Kojy Takahashi1, Dayane Carvalho Cardoso1, Rubens Gedraite1, Hermes Gustavo
Neri1, Rener Martins Moura1 and Adilmar Coelho Dantas2
1Universidade Federal de Uberl�ndia, Brazil
2Instituto Federal de Educa��o, Ci�ncia e Tecnologia do Tri�ngulo Mineiro,
This work presents the implementation of a remote access laboratory, a WebLab, consisting of
equipments and real systems that can be controlled remotely using internet. It is based on a control
system that is applied to remotely manipulate an experimental apparatus and determine the specific
charge of the electron (e/m) from the path of an electron beam in crossed electric and magnetic
fields of variable intensity. Considering the developed website the user can observe the experiment
and act on stepper motors that are coupled to three potentiometers of two power supplies: one, to
adjust both the accelerating voltage and the focus potential of the electron beam, and other to
control the magnetic field strength that deflects this beam. The data acquisition system operates in
real time and the charge-to-mass ratio of the electron can be determined from the accelerating
voltage, the magnetic field intensity and the radius of the electron orbit. The interaction between
user and experiment is based on a Man Machine Interface, configuring in this way a hands-on
laboratory. In the version that we have developed, there is no difficulty for the user running the
application. It is very friendly and can be accessed from any web browser with support for Flash
Player or a cellular device with Android system. Thus, it is not necessary to install any plug-in or
external third-party framework. To minimize the WebLab mounting cost we used an open-source
electronics prototyping platform (Arduino Uno) to connect a PC to the automation and control
system of the experiment. The hardware developed so far allows the user to send command logical
signals written into the serial port of a PC interconnected with the Arduino board and converted into
electrical impulses that act on the power supplies potentiometers by adjusting the voltages applied
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
to the experimental device. The remote labs represent a major evolution in the concept of digital
inclusion, once they allow safely access students, teachers and researchers, regardless of their
economic status to complex and relatively expensive equipments that are installed in laboratories of
several educational or research institutions. Furthermore, a WebLab allows to carry out autonomous
laboratory experiments anytime and anywhere, stimulating the meaningful experiences provided by
a discovery learning which is considered by some researches in Science teaching as the most higher
learning dimension. The remote experiment provided can be used both in the classroom teaching as
in distance learning by teachers and students of secondary or university education. The access
environment to the remote experiment is also presented in this paper. To ensure the use of WebLab
consistent with the cognitive level of the learner and to reorient the experimental practices for
developing investigative activities we developed a instructional design to provide a virtual learning
environment based on Leontiev�s Activity Theory, containing various teaching resources to subsidize
definitions of goals, needs, actions and operations that can assign meaning and significance to the
proposed experimental activity. This instructional design is a complementary work, also submitted to
this congress.
Acknowledgements: We thank FAPEMIG (Brazil) and UFU (Brazil) for financial support.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, university education, remote experimentation, Thonson�s
Topics: Experiments
The influence of career choice of graduates in physics at a public
university in the teacher shortage
Sergio Kussuda and Roberto Nardi
UNESP/FC, Brazil
This research is part of a broader study, carried out in the Science Teaching Research Group. Some of
the researches in this group seek to study how happens the initial education of physics teachers in
order to subsidize, for example, restructuring curriculum and implementation of new pedagogical
projects. This research aims to analyze the careers’ choice of students that finished the Physics
Teachers Education Program at UNESP, Bauru Campus, in the last two decades. We used online
questionnaires as a methodology to collect data, applied to physics teachers graduated from 1991 to
2008. Among the list of 377 students that completed the Physics Teachers Education degree during
this period, we could contact 273 and 52 of them responded the questionnaire. The questionnaires
analyzed allowed us to verify that 40 of them worked as physics teachers or professors after
graduation; 7 of them exclusively in colleges and 32 of them worked as teachers in basic education
sometime in their career. The data also showed that teachers’ dropout rate is significant: from 40 of
those that have taught, 13 abandoned the career, 10 of them worked only in Basic Education and
3 of them in Higher Education level. One of the main conclusions of this study is that the lack of
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
physics teachers in this region, and possibly in the country, is not just because the small number of
physics teachers graduated, but is greatly aggravated by the exodus of these teachers to other fields,
mainly because the dissatisfaction essentially with this level of teaching salaries, working conditions
in basic education and the difficulty of transposing the knowledge accumulated in the University for
Basic Education.
Keywords: Physics education, physics teaching, initial education of physics teachers, lack of physics
Topics: Socio-cultural Issues
Representations as tools of appropriation, creating meaning through
Roberto Cruz-Hastenreiter and Cristiano Mattos
IFRJ / USP, Brazil
USP, Brazil
Based on some constructs of the Activity Theory (Leontiev, 1978), we point to the need to develop
activities that reveal the meaning of representations. We examine use of representations in teaching
and propose some suggestions.
Shaaron Ainsworth (1999) asserted that, in order to learn from engaging with multiple
representations of scientific concepts, students need to be able to (a) understand the codes and
signifiers in a representation, (b) understand the links between the representation and the target
concept or process, (c) translate key features of the concept across representations and (d) know
which features to emphasize in designing their own representations.
Let us initially take the item (a), which proposes that students need to understand the codes and
meanings of a representation in order to relate it to the Activity Theory. To achieve this goal we
propose an "action" that we call "unzip" , namely to bring to the conscious level subconscious
operations and thus make evident their relationships and meanings.
In this sense, we advocate activities that focus the awareness of the teacher on the representations
used by him so that he can consciously, if necessary, propose other forms of representation that are
consistent with his goals. Items (b) and (c) indicate the need to recognize the concepts involved in
representation as well as understand the relationship between representation and conceptual
objectives. This is in agreement with the Activity Theory in which knowledge is highlighted as the
result of a social and historical process. Above all we recognize that representations are a result of
the development of humanity, not as symbols that "freeze" only one meaning, but assist in the
communication process. Above all, they carry with them the traces of their development, their
history, and their limitations and contradictions.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Still from the perspective of collaborating in the training of a teacher who is aware of his actions, the
recognition of the characteristics of the representations mentioned above responds to the intention
of making their actions less and less alienated and enables the sharing of meaning with students.
The item (d) suggest that the teacher should be author not only of his actions but also of instruments
of mediation whose proposed activities provoke an awareness of the level of consciousness of the
In all these items the understanding, recognition, and choice in the elaboration of representations
geared to teaching reinforce the ideas of the appropriation of instruments in the Activity Theory.
Keywords: Lifelong learning, representation, activity theory, mediational tools
Topics: Learning, Teaching
First Polish finale of the Chain Experiment
Justyna Nowak and Daniel Dziob
Jagiellonian University, Institute of Physics, Krakow, Poland
Chain Experiment is the first competition in Poland that combines physics teaching, abstract thinking
and do-it-yourself (DIY) skills. It is organized by the Institute of Physics, Jagiellonian University in
collaboration with University of Ljubljana, where such competition has been organized since 2005.
The principal idea of Chain Experiment is to promote the science (especially physics) among students
at different stages of education.
The main task for the participants is to build a machine that will move the metal ball employing as
many interesting physical phenomena as possible. Chain Experiment consists of several stages. At the
first stage, which usually takes several months, participants submit their applications and design their
devices. During this period the organizers visit schools and present them the so-called "mini-chain"
demo version. The most important part of the competition is the grand finale, during which all
devices are connected to each other to form a one long chain. Each team is assessed in three
categories: applied physical phenomena and the ability to explain them, the reliability of the device
and the aesthetics of the device.
In 2013, the Chain Experiment involved 221 teams from all across Poland. Participants were divided
into five different age group categories and there was also a ‘family category’. Demo version of the
chain experiment was presented in about 50 schools and also at various events organized by the
Jagiellonian University.
Keywords: Chain experiment, competition, informal education, physics in context
Topics: Informal Physics Teaching & Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
Online Tutorials in Physics and Engineering
Markus Kuehn, Michael Lakatos, Simone Grimmig, Manuel Stach, Janina Marquis, Frank
Kalka and Marios Karapanos
University of Applied Sciences, Kaiserslautern, Germany
Online tutorials meanwhile have developed into a mainstream format of E-Learning. We present
a collection of virtual modules for physics and engineering which we developed using professional
software and multiple programming tools. In addition to the technical aspects, the virtual units
considerably contribute to each student�s digital competence. In this context, digital competence not
only encompasses information and communication technology (ICT) literacy, Internet literacy, media
literacy, and information literacy, but even goes beyond the sum of these components [1].
For the extra-occupational degree programme in automation engineering we develop webcasts
based on blended learning concepts in electrical engineering and digital electronics. Respectively, we
produced exercises on electrostatics, electrical circuits and network analysis as well as exercises on
Boolean algebra, combinational and sequential circuits and logic families. In addition to basic video
interaction features we can increase interactivity by using flash hotspot callouts that allow linking to
any web page which contains, for example, interactive HTML5 and Java Script elements. The external
links may also lead to web pages which contain java simulations [2].
With Easy Java Simulations (EJS) we have a free authoring tool for building interactive Java
simulations using the actual mathematical model of the physical problem. We created virtual
laboratories for our blended-learning courses in physics, e. g. the double-slit experiment with
microwaves. In addition to the laboratory experiment students can run additional simulations varying
the number, size and spacing of the slits as well as the wavelength of the electromagnetic waves.
The aim is to experimentally learn how the diffraction patterns depend on different parameters.
Based on HTML5 and Java Script using the jQuery framework we developed an interactive virtual
laboratory tool to perform a titration experiment. A solution of unknown concentration is analysed
by adding a solution of predefined concentration. Our example shows an acid-base titration of HCl
and NaOH. The end point of the titration is indicated by the colour change of the solution from
transparent to pink which is illustrated in the simulation. Finally, students can determine the molarity
of the acid solution by the used volume of the base.
For the mechanical engineering department we also created an online tutorial for tensile testing
using HTML5 and Java Script. In a computer animation developed in Cinema 4D the students learn
how tensile specimens made of steel expand when stress is applied until finally the rupture of the
specimen is reached. In the real experiment the students measure the behavior of two different steel
samples recording the stress-strain curve.
Finally, the virtual units are embedded in the university�s learning management system. Both virtual
units and students�performances will be evaluated. The results of these evaluations will have an
impact on the development of the upcoming physics and engineering tutorials.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Tuesday, session P1
[1] A. Ferrari, Y. Punie, and C. Redecker, Understanding Digital Competence in the 21st Century:
An Analysis of Current Frameworks, EC-TEL 2012, LNCS 7563, pp. 79-92, 2012.
[2] M. K�hn, Interaktive E-Lectures zur Elektrotechnik, Verhandlg. DPG (VI) 46, DD 15.5, 2013.
Keywords: University education, physics laboratories, engineering, e-learning
Topics: Experiments, ICT, Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Poster session 2, Wednesday, 11:00-12:00
PONTOn vzw - promotion and support for MST teachers (non-profit
Tom Lambert
PONTOn vzw, Belgium
PONTOn vzw is a Dutch abbreviation for (translated into English) promotion and support for MST
teachers. (The vzw part means PONTOn vzw is a non-profit organization). PONTOn vzw organizes inservice
training for primary and secondary school MST teachers. All participants experience our
contextual approach and perform all experiments with day-to-day materials. Since its first in-service
training in 2008, it has organized in-service trainings for the following physics topics: optics, sound,
heath, general integrated science for 12 year-old students in the new Flemish curriculum and
electromagnetism. Also chemistry in-service trainings were organized: introductory chemistry for 14
year-old students and a chromatography workshop. Each participant gave evaluative feedback by
means of a questionnaire, in order to improve our approach.
This poster presents the PONTOn vzw approach and the reception of the initiatives by the MST
teachers who participated in our initiatives.
Keywords: Lifelong learning, primary education (ages about 6 – 10), secondary education: lower
(ages about 11-15), secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19)
Topics: Experiments, Teachers, Teaching
Physics of alternative energies a proposal for exploration didactic of
physics concepts around of solar water heater
Jonas Torres-Montealb�n1 and Leonardo Gonzalez Coghlan2
1Chapingo Autonomous University, Mexico
2Freelance designer, Mexico
As a teaching-learning approach, a solar water heater was studied in the alternative energies course
with Pre-college level students in the Chapingo Autonomous University, that is, those students
completing the requirement course in order to be admitted at the college level. This study will show
how the construction of a solar heater improves the learning process linked to physics concepts
through the worksheets. The growing interest in clean energy requires understanding the functioning
of the alternative energy systems like termosolar energy. The exploration didactic improved the
learning process linked to the physics concepts, when worksheets are used in the physics lab and
a mutimedia system. Each worksheet contain six elements: 1) Problem, 2) Situation, 3) Prediction, 4)
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Experiment, 5) Comparison, and 6) Conclusion. The multimedia allows the teaching of physics
concepts in order to be incorporating pictures, videos, texts and computing animations. This
approach has been designed in four stages. The first stage defines the theoretical framework of the
proposal called "exploration didactic". The second describes the didactic model, which consists of
three kinds of worksheets: conceptual, phenomenological and experimental formal. The third stage
includes the discussion about the information collected and how the construction of a solar heater
improve the Physics learning process among Pre-college students. Finally, the evaluations into
worksheets are assessment tools for this multimedia, and the resources will be validated between
physics teachers in order to know their usefully.
Keywords: Physics of alternative energies, explorative didactic, pre-college education (ages about
19), multimedia
Topics: ICT
Syllabuses Evaluation of Mechanics in Distance Degree in Physics
Marcello Ferreira1 and Maria Verdeaux2
1CAPES, Brazil
2Universidade de Bras�lia, Brazil
This work aims to present the methodology and preliminary results of an analysis of syllabuses
disciplines of General Mechanics in distance courses degree in Physics offered by public institutions
of higher education in Brazil in 2010. The desired approach is supported to one evidence and two
assumptions: the evidence is the rapid growth of distance education in Brazil, recognized its
irreversibility in the current educational context and its potential for training and qualification; the
first assumption is that the research in science education and the application of its results are
catalysts for improving Brazilian education, and, second, that the General Mechanics sets the
conceptual structuring axis of a scientifically critical and reflective thinking, put in the service of
qualified higher education in Physics. Established these principles, there is the following problem:
how to configure the degree courses in physics in distance mode in the fabric of General Mechanics?
To what extent the educational projects of these courses and their curricula are positioned opposite
a conventional curriculum Mechanics General requirements established in the Brazilian educational
system? The search for answers to these questions implies a contrast between the educational
projects of undergraduate courses in Physics and measuring the distance of his approach to
a conventional curriculum of General Mechanics, academic and legally defined. Preliminary results of
the research presented here point to the fact that the curricula of the courses studied approach, on
average, approximately 70 % of conventional content considered minimal by the methodology of this
study. These results raise a thorough discussion of the causes and consequences of this phenomenon
for the sake of qualification training in these courses.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Keywords: Curriculum, teacher training in physics, distance education, general mechanics, distance
degree in Physics
Topics: Curriculum, Teachers
Understanding the electric field inside the material
Rodolfo Esp�ndola1, Gabriela Del Valle2 and Guadalupe Hern�ndez2
2UAM, Mexico
In elementary college physics courses are reviewed basics of electrostatics, such as Electric Field, the
electrostatic conductive materials, etc. Explain to students that in conditions in which the conductor
is isolated and the static charges, the Electric Field inside the conductor is zero. The explanation in
the literature for this problem induces to students to make mistakes and to confuse the use of the
above conditions, when dealing with charge densities for the electric field inside a conductive
material. In this paper we review the most important concepts, discusses the most common learning
problems with these concepts, we propose a help to address these issues.
Keywords: Electrostatic, electric field, teaching
Topics: Teaching
Inquiring 5 years old pupils on MST perceive
Marisa Michelini, Lorenzo Santi and Stefano Vercellati
Research Unit in Physics Education, University of Udine, Italy
Curriculum analysis is based on different perspective in literature (Beauchamp, 1986; Walker, 2003)
with significant distinctions between attributed curriculum meaning (Clements, 2007). To have
a global vision of the curriculum, the analysis of the documents is not enough, but the investigation
of the acted end perceived curriculum had to be done.
Is it therefore necessary to developed instruments and methods, mainly based on questionnaires and
interviews, to investigate the main aspect of the curriculum at the level of teachers and students
(Kuiper et al, 2011). Following the metallization of the curriculum proposed by Van den Akker (2003),
who proposed to represent curriculum as spider-web in which the main subjects and aspects of the
curriculum and the curricular research take place at different levels (rational, aims and objective,
content, learning activities, teacher role, materials and resources, grouping, location, time,
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
In the framework of the pilot study of the EU SECURE project, the scientific curricular perception
of 5 year old pupils was investigated in two classes by means oral interviews, analysis of the classcontext,
and the submission of a questionnaire using two different strategies.
The two strategies adopted for the questionnaire were developed In the context of a universityschool
cooperation: iconographical representations and the use of replying strategies that transform
the filling task in a enjoyable activity for children but, that, at the same time, guarantee the quality of
the collected avoiding at least the mutual influences between the pupils.
The two strategies adopted will be described and the data collected, their significance for the two
adopted strategies, the contribution that those data give in the investigation of the pupils perception
of the curricular will be discussed.
Akker, J. van den (2003). Curriculum perspectives: An introduction. In J. van den Akker, W. Kuiper &
U. Hameyer (Eds.), Curriculum landscapes and trends (pp. 1-10). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic
Beauchamp, G. A. (1986). Curriculum theory: Meaning, development, and use. Theory Into Practice.
21(1), 23–27.
Clements, D. H. (2007). Curriculum research: Toward a framework for ‘research-based curricula’.
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 38, 35–70.Jackson, P. W. 1992. Conceptions on
curriculum and curriculum specialist. In P. W. Jackson (Ed.) Handbook on research on curriculum
(pp.3 40). New York: Macmillan.
Kuiper,W.,Folmer,E.,Ottevanger,W.,Bruning,L.(2011). Curriculumevaluatie b�taonderwijs tweede
fase. Enschede: SLO.
Walker, D. F. (2003). Fundamentals of curriculum: Passion and professionalism (2nd edition).
Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Keywords: Pre-school education, kindergarten, math science tech curriculum
Topics: Curriculum
A didactic strategy centered three-dimensional models and their
impact on the understanding of Gauss's law in differential form
Angel Antonio Rojas Garcia1, Cesar Eduardo Mora Ley2 and Sonia Janeth Lopez Rios3
1UCC, Colombia
2IPN, Mexico
3UdeA, Colombia
It's not a secret the complexity that many physics concepts represent for students of basic, middle,
and even college level; added to this, the poor mathematical training of most of them, which turn
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
into students having frequent failure of college physics basic courses, and even more, into students
dropping out.
All of the above allows us to think of the prevailing necessity of proposing strategies of teaching and
learning that provide students and teachers tools, which turn physics into a science more accessible
to everyone, in such way that promote students active learning, and on teacher the opportunity of
making the physics class a more dynamic and participative place.
Our proposal is framed on the implementation of a didactic strategy based on three-dimensional
computer models with AutoCAD to support the teaching-learning process in the subject of Electricity
and Magnetism in the engineering programs of Cooperative University of Colombia, located in
Ibague; National Polytechnic Institute (Mexico), and University of Antioquia, Colombia. We are
presenting to you this research work where is articulated in an interactive and integrated way: text,
model, and a group of a variety of virtual activities in order to facilitate the comprehension of the
abstract aspects that the study of Gauss Law in its differential form implies, in which the essential
function is to improve the classroom environment, harmonizing it with a collaborative setting and
generating an independent and positive attitude on students, toward the mathematical models that
come from it.
The theoretical framework that oriented this study attends to the main concepts of the Active
Learning Theory (Sokoloff) and the Mental Models Theory by Johnson Laird. As of this, a quantitative
type study of a quasi-experimental kind is formulated, having a control group and two experimental
The results obtained permit infer that the Physics students who the didactic proposal focused on the
tridimensional model was implemented with got a conceptual, procedural, and attitudinal contents
learning, as well as a cognitive skills development, that were reflected in their academic
Keywords: Three-dimensional model, Gauss law, active methodologies, AutoCAD
Topics: ICT
Introducing students to experimental research work: astrophysical jet
visualization with fluids
Andrea Mu�oz Gutierrez, Estela Margarita Puente Leos and Marcos Ley Koo
Departamento de F�sica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Aut�noma
de M�xico, Mexico
This project is part of a series of experiments designed and carried out by students to fulfill the
requirements of an elective course in the undergraduate physics curriculum of the Universidad
Nacional Aut�noma de M�xico. The aim of this course is, among others, challenge students to study
experimentally a problem of their interest, motivated either by their own curiosity or an existing
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
research problem. The students must propose a experiment, which shows their knowledge and
creativity. They must consider that they should use easy to find and affordable material as well as the
availabilty of laboratory facilities. The teacher plays only a guiding role.
The experimental problem, in this project, is a current research problem in Astrophysics: namely, the
simulation and study of plasma jets ejected by different celestial objects (such as young stellar
bodies, radio galaxies, black holes and X-ray binary systems). In order to understand this complex
phenomena, several studies have been performed with observations, theoretical models and
numerical simulations. Recently, laboratory experiments with high-energy density plasmas made
possible to get supersonic magnetized jets similar to astrophysical jets. Hypersonic jets have also
allowed to visualize similar jets and to analyze their time evolution. Motivated by these experiments
we were able to visualize shock waves produced by air jets.
In this project, jets at supersonic speeds were produced by using compressed air, syringe needles (for
medical, veterinary and gastronomical purposes), a laser pointer and a common lens from a standard
optics laboratory, which allowed us to observe well defined shock waves. These jets can be a visual
aid for Relativity, Astrophysics and Fluids courses (depending on its approach) for undergraduate
The course's design relies on and enhances the students' capabilities, since they must do
a bibliographical research, look for the material, equipment and facilities before writing the proposal,
do the experimental work and write the final report, to realize if the original goal was accomplished
and to what extent. By doing this, they will have a better idea of how research life really is. In this
particular case, the jet project's originality rests on the student's ability to solve the experimental
problem using syringe needles, laser pointers, common optical lenses and the University compressed
air's facility, instead of high energy plasmas or electromagnetic pulses, specially made mirrors and
nozzles, and high intensity lasers.
The presentation of the work includes the experimental set up, photographs of the jets obtained by
the students as well as improvements and extensions of the experiment.
Tordella, D., Belan, M., Massaglia, S., De Ponte, S., Mignone A., Bondenschatz, E. and Ferrari, A.
Astrophysical jets: insights into long.term hydrodynamics. New Jopurnal of Physics 13(2011) 043011.
Huarte-espinosa, M., Frank, A., and Blackman E. G. Laboratory experiments and simulations on jets.
Proceedings of Magnetic Fields in the Universe: Fron Laboratory ans Stars to Primordial structures.
Aug.21st-27th, 2011, Zakopane, Poland.
Ciardi, A., Lebedev, S. V., Frank, A., Suzuki-Vidal, F., Hall, G. N., Bland, Simon N., Harvey-Thompson,
Adam, Blackman, Eric G. and Camenzind, Max. Episodic magnetic bubbles and jets: astrophysical
implications from laboratory experiments. The Astrophysical Journal, 691:L147-L150, 2009.
Keywords: Low costs tools for teaching, experimental teaching, visualization aids, astrophysical jets
Topics: Experiments
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
A Cell Phone Operated Robot
Syed Ali1 and Syed Naseem Hussain Shah2
1Aligarh Institute Of Technology, Karachi, Pakistan
2Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences & Technology, Karachi, Pakistan
In Technical Institutes, applied physics is introduced for understanding the concepts of physics. Since
the students have very little knowledge of basic concepts of electronics, we assign them small
projects to enhance their learning. The themes of the projects are selected according to their social
environment and needs. Cell phone Robots are the major research area of today and they are
significant due to their frequency and working range which is as large as the coverage area of the
service provider. Nowadays Cell phones are largely used by public and students and its awareness
has revolutionised the whole world. Keeping in view the use of cell phone, we have introduced some
projects based on the use of cell phones. One of these projects is “Cell Phone Operated Robot”.
In this project the robot is controlled by a cell phone that makes a call to the cell phone attached to
the robot. During a call by pressing any button, a tone corresponding to that button is heard at the
other end of the call. This is called dual tone multiple frequency (DTMF) tone. The robot perceives
this tone with the help of phone stacked in the robot. The received tone is processed by the
microcontroller AT tiny 2313 with the help of DTMF decoder IC CM8870 and output is given to motor
driver IC L293D which drives the two DC motors.
The aims of this project are:
1. To explore different uses of cell phones.
2. Involve the students into research based activity
3. To overcome the limitations of working range, frequency and control.
While assigning the project, it is ensured that the components are easily available, their cost is low
and within the access of students. We divide the students into groups of 5 students. One of the best
among the 5 students is selected as the group leader to maintain the discipline and standard. This
group is supervised by a teacher who looks after day to day matters about the project and helps the
students in every aspect.
At the end of the project, we also collect data on students’ performance during working on the
project and assess by taking interview and giving them a pre and post-test. It has been observed that
students learned a wide range of knowledge, for example; from the use of breadboard to the PCB,
from tracing of circuit to the trouble shooting, from reading the values of resistors to the pin
configuration of the ICs, and from hardware to software.
In this presentation, we will exhibit the details of our project in the poster as well as the working
model of the project
The applications of such robots are very useful in our social context, especially in remote areas where
the service provider exists. We can use these types of robots in these areas by placing some sensors
like temperature sensor, water level sensor etc. in them to monitor these quantities without
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
reaching there. We can also fix a camera to them to record videos and images of such places where
we cannot go or where we have security problems.
Keywords: Robot, trouble shooting, social context, temperature sensor
Topics: ICT
SCLPX – A New Approach to Experiments in Physics at School
Čeněk Kodejška, Roman Kub�nek and Jan Ř�ha
Palack� University Olomouc, Czech Republic
Conducting experiments in physics by usage of modern measuring techniques, particularly
computers are much often more attractive to students than conventional ways of experiments.
SCLPX - Sound Card Laser Pointer eXperiments deals with experiments in physics under which such
equipment as a computer sound card as a measuring device and other available physical devices such
as a laser pointer, photodiode or solar cell, electrets microphone, etc. are being used. The work is
mostly based on the experience with the kit ISES and presents alternative experiments in physics that
can be used directly as demonstration experiments in classes of physics or as students’ attempts in
a laboratory work. The most important advantage of the proposed experiments is a relevant low cost
of the basic equipment and the fact that all of the proposed experiments could be repeatedly
conducted at home individually.
Detailed work procedures and laboratory protocols for individual experiments will be published step
by step on http://www.sclpx.eu.
Basic informations about experiments are translated to English.
At present we have prepared and tested 20 experiments in the field of mechanics and sound waves.
Another 30 experiments dealing with the properties of solids and liquids, electricity and magnetism
or quantum physics are in the process of screening. All the experiments have been tested at the Nov�
Bydžov high school.
Keywords: Experiments in physics, laboratory works, laser pointer, solar cell, photodiode, PC
microphone, Free Audio Editor, Visual Analyser, low cost of basic equipment
Topics: Experiments, ICT
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
M – Learning Resource Center for Schools
Konstantin Rogozin1, Diana Kondrashova2, Sergey Kuznetsov3 and Ulyana Pshenova1
1Altay State Technological University, Russian Federation
2Altay State Technological University, Uzbekistan
3Tomsk National Research Polytechnic University, Russian Federation
In the modern market the index of penetration of mobile devices (MID) is much higher than this
index for personal computers. At the same time, there is a process of replacement of the traditional
PCs for mobile devices. In addition, their power, multimedia and communications capabilities are
increasing. That allows to use them for access and effective representation of multimedia content, as
well as the basis for the creation of physics laboratory-hardware complexes, including the use of
robotic devices.
In our opinion, schools alone can not make transition to mobile technologies on their own. This is
due to the fact that modern information technologies require a variety of professional support in all
stages: from creation to use in educational practice. Schools do not have such opportunities. In
addition, teaching has a large inertia. Majority of teachers are either unwilling or unable to use the
new technology. And we can to teach them.
In 2013, M – Learning Regional Resource Center for Schools is being created at the State University of
Technology. The main tasks of which are:
- integrating of variety professionals in the same team: in applied mathematics, computer
science, physics and physics teaching methods;
- development of software, physics laboratory-hardware complexes, content, and materials for
teaching physics;
- providing training for teachers on new educational technologies;
- leasing equipment to schools.
The complexity of the project’s functionality is ensured by the work carried out in four areas:
1. Software M – Learning:
Development and implementation of new tools intended for direct access to educational content and
laboratory equipment with the use of MID; Development of software for support of M - Learning
invariant to the basic software of the MID-devices.
2. Content-providing M – Learning:
Use (subject to copyright) of the best multimedia content and the creation of its own, which would
be brought by using the LMS (for example, Moodle); Integration of educational content in a single
network resource; Organization of the access to foreign information resources with the support of
the native-language interface.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
3. Mobile physics laboratory designers:
Construction of the laboratory-hardware complexes for physics on the principle of technical
designers, which allows you to effectively resolve the contradiction between the minimization of the
element base of the complex and significant increase in the number of experiments that can be
conducted based on it; Writing methodological support for the use of mobile designers in physics.
4. Mobile robotics:
Layout of the composition of robotic kits, supplemented by sensors measuring physics variables;
Writing methodical support of educational process with the use of robotic complexes and for the
integration of robotic complexes with mobile physics designers.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19), resource center for schools, software M
– Learning, content-providing M – Learning, mobile physics laboratory designers, mobile robotics
Topics: Experiments, ICT, Learning, Teachers, Teaching
Laboratory experiments for faculty students based on the spring
Katarina Susman1, Daniel Dziob2 and Mojca Cepic1
1Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
2Jagiellonian University, Institute of Physics, Poland
The mechanical model for phase transitions was introduced in Girep-Epec 2011 conference in the
symposium on Liquid crystals. Springs were used to visualize the differences between two kinds of
phase transitions – the continuous and discontinuous [1]. The �single spring� model was than further
developed to �multi-spring model� with ambition to show the liquid crystalline molecules in a layer.
Additional studies of the model revealed many other possibilities.
The “multi-spring model” consists of several springs vertically fixed in a plate. A second plate –
movable in vertical direction – serves for changing the level of support for springs. At certain height
above the supporting plate the shape of the springs changes from the straight to the bent or vice
versa (this is reminiscent to the single spring model for the phase transitions). In this contribution we
focus on the experiments with the straight springs. The spring model perfectly shows the oscillation
of the connected system, where many parameters can be changed (adjusted). One can adjust the
distance between springs, the length of the springs and the connections between springs.
The model is used to study the propagation of the waves through elastic media (series of springs),
the influence of the bonds between springs on the damping of the waves, the determination of the
wave velocity etc. The movement of the springs is taped with the video camera and analyzed with
a Tracker (free access program).
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
In the contribution we present the development of the laboratory experiments for the physics and
science university students. The set up of experiment and examples of the problems will be
presented and discussed. Students’ work and results will be followed for several years on two
universities (Jagiellonian Universtity in Krakow, Poland and University of Ljubljana, Slovenia).
[1] SUSMAN, Katarina, ZIHERL, Saša, PAVLIN, Jerneja, ČEPIČ, Mojca. The role of analogies and models
in understanding a concept of phase transition. Physics alive : abstract booklet, (Research report,
5/2011). Jyv�skyl�: University of Jyv�skyl�, Department of Teacher Education, Department of Physics,
2011, p. 134. https://congress.cc.jyu.fi/girep2011/schedule/proceedings/pdf/1176.pdf.
[2] SUSMAN, Katarina, ČEPIČ, Mojca. In-plane liquid crystalline molecules behaviour presented by the
mechanical model. 24th International Liquid Crystal Conference, Mainz, August 19th - 24th 2012.
Scientific program. Mainz: German Chemical Society, 2012.
Keywords: Mechanical model, laboratory work, oscillation
Topics: Experiments
The Models and the process of Modelization on Physics Didactics
Rosa Nidia Tuay Sigua
Universidad Pedagogica Nacional, Colombia
The main scientific activity consists in the modelization of the phenomena described by physicists,
chemists and biologists. This process is evident in the classroom, when after its implementation, the
students adapt their thinking in a similar approach to the concepts developed by science.
If the construction of models as a key element of the scientific representations is adressed in
a correct way, it will improve the teaching and learning of Physics in the initial formation of teachers
by means of valuation and application of new curricular proposals.
The use and construction of models in Physics manifest the fundamental function they execute in the
science and didactics, because the scientific intuition given by those models incite the teacher's
epistemologic and methodlogical reflection in any scientific aspect, due to their importance linking
the conceptual world with the empirical investigation objects, the models represent the study
objects in front of the human reason court (Tuay, 2012). The study on the models and the process of
modelization consists in understand the mechanism of construction and change of those
representation forms, as well as the proposal, application and evaluation of new curicular schemes in
which this teaching and learning perspective can be implemented.
Amongst the possible hypothesis that reference to the addressing of models and modelization, there
are the following statements:
The models are not taken in account as simple material objects, but as representations that can be
materialized in different forms.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
- They present diferent evolutional stages: Some of the are more nuclear than others, that are
peripheral or can be found at the frontier.
- They have been assigned different interpretations, possilbe meanings and knowledges, including
those tools that are considered pure as laboratory instruments as expressed by Galison (1988).
- It is assumed that all the objects that comprise human culture have an ideal or virtual and
a material dimension that is present in the texts and images. It is possible to evaluate the
learning through the material dimension of the models, and it can be transfered to other tasks
and contexts, to new and multiple conditions, new applications, new problems and investigation
Throughout the investigation, the modelization of the mechanical phenomena proposed by the
Universidad Pedag�gica Nacional's Physics teachers in process of formation is tracked, through the
therothetical ideas that the students present in form of diagrams, photography or using formal and
natural laguages that are materialized in diverse paper or screen inscriptions.
Some activities, supported on experimental processes that aid on the introduction of new points of
view, as well as synthesis points, that enable the confrontation of the students's models using
analogies and metacognitive strategies.
The systematization of this experience and the presentation of the results of the investigation
compose an essential contribution for the community that is present on the proceedings of the
International Conference of Physics Education.
Colombia, as different as other countries, the Physics teacher process of formation is given
throughout the first years of the undergraduate course, and as a consequence, the disciplinar and
the pedagogic formation is parallelized.
Driver, R. (1988). Un enfoque constructivista para el desarrollo del curr�culo en ciencias. Did�ctica de
las Ciencias, 6 (2), 109-120.
Galison, P. Philosophy in the Laboratory. Journal of Philosophy. n.85, p. 525-527. 1988
Palma, H. (2009). Met�foras y modelos cient�ficos: el lenguaje en la ense�anza de las ciencias.
Buenos Aires: Libros del Zorzal.
Tuay, R (2012). Movilidad de las Representaciones del modelo Tierra-Sol-Luna. Estrategia did�ctica
para estudiantes de quinto de primaria. Revista Cient�fica N�mero Extra. 2011. Disponible en
Zamora, J (2005b). Ciencia P�blica-Ciencia Privada. Reflexiones sobre la producci�n del saber
cient�fico. Madrid: Fondo de Cultura Econ�mica.
Keywords: Physics teaching and learning, scientific models, modelization, physics teachers initial
Topics: Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Teaching solar physics in a partnership between formal and informal
Pedro Colombo Junior and Cibelle Silva
Universidade de S�o Paulo, Brazil
This research focuses on curriculum innovation and the introduction of modern physics in the
Brazilian high school based on the partnership between formal and informal education.
We established the construction and use of a Teaching Learning Sequence (TLS) that incorporates
elements of the classroom with activities in a science center, taking into account the teaching
knowledge and specificities of both institutions. The TLS elaborated translates into the idea of
teaching with emphasis on the content, in this case on the teaching of modern physics using solar
physics in different collaborative contexts. In a partnership between educators from science centers
and school teachers, we investigated the process of didactic transposition of content from solar
physics and modern physics in the context of formal and informal education. The science center
concerned is the Dietrich Schiel Observatory in the University of Sao Paulo’s Center for Scientific and
Cultural Dissemination, Brazil. The methodology used in the construction and implementation of the
TLS was developed and is entitled "cycles of reflection", understood as continuous research actions
that provide, at every stage of investigation, didactic and pedagogical support for the teacherresearcher
Solar physics is an interdisciplinary subject that allows the contextualization of modern physics
topics. We discussed with students the matter constitution and energy production within stars. The
observation of phenomena on the solar surface, such as sunspots, allows the discussion of the nature
of the Sun as a dynamic star and concepts of electromagnetism and thermodynamics. Using
a spectroscope, built to observe the lines of the solar spectrum, we discussed the electromagnetic
spectra, the nature of the spectral lines, atomic models, blackbody radiation. We also estimated the
solar photosphere temperature using simple and low cost experiments.
The research subjects were four physics teachers. We held eight preparatory meetings with around
40 hours of contact activities. The implementation of the TLS occurred between August and October
2012, and about 30 hours of audio and video recordings were collected; ten separate, semistructured
interviews were conducted with teachers and students; records of lesson observations
were made, and 127 student worksheets (support materials) were analyzed. The TLS designed,
implemented and analyzed was considered satisfactory and comfortably in tune with the current
physics curriculum in Brazil, proving the partnership between formal and informal science education
to be viable. It also became evident that teacher preparation was essential for the successful
progress of the project in the classroom and in the Observatory. This fact emerged as a fundamental
issue when considering the working partnership between the school and the science center. We
further conclude that it is possible to promote curricular innovation in the high school and the
introduction of modern physics, using solar physics content, in the classroom when the theoretical
assumptions of didactic transposition are observed.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Keywords: Formal and informal education, curriculum innovation, modern physics, teaching learning
sequence, teacher of physics
Topics: Curriculum, Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Learning, Teachers, Teaching
A simple kit for detecting quantitative changes in energy
Yaron Lehavi
The David Yellin Academic College of Education, Israel
Energy is often conceived as an abstract concept which can hardly have a unique measure. This view
rests on the fact that the energy of a system is relative and described by different variables: height,
speed, length (of a spring) etc. This might be one of the reasons for viewing energy as a collection of
concepts ("energy types/forms") which are difficult to interrelate. While this is true for the concept
of energy, quantitative energy change can be detected by measurement of temperature change
caused by different processes: falling, stopping, contraction etc. Thus, performing such experiments
in class has the potential of unifying the concept of energy and rendering it more concrete.
However, while some experiments which involve temperature change are simple and can be easily
performed in class, others, mainly those that aim to reproduce Joule's experiments, involve more
complicated devices.
Here we demonstrate a kit which includes a very simple, low cost, do-it-yourself device with which
one can measure the heating caused by a falling weight, a contracting spring and by stopping a
spinning wheel. The device is assembled from a thermometer and everyday objects such as a bottle
wine cork and soft drink bottles. In addition, the kit also includes means to measure energy change
via temperature change of other processes such as chemical reactions, light absorption etc.
Activities for students involving constructing this Joule-like device and means to employ it in
searching for a common feature of different processes will be presented.
I. B-S. Eylon, and Y. Lehavi (2010). "Position paper: Energy as the language of changes" In: Heron P.
R.L. Michelini, M., Eylon, B. S., Lehavi, Y. and Stefanel, A. (Co-organizers): "Teaching about energy.
Which concepts should be taught at which educational level?" A workshop held within: GIREP - ICPE MPTL
2010, University of Reims, France.
II. Y. Lehavi, B-S. Eylon, A. Hazan, Y. Bamberger and A. Weizman (2012). "Focusing on changes in
teaching about energy". World Conference on Physics Education, Istanbul, Turkey.
III. Y. Lehavi (2012). "Reproducing joule's experiment(s) in teaching the concept of energy".
In: Michelini, M. and Heron, P. (Organizers), SYMPOSIUM: Teaching and learning the concept of
energy from early childhood school through university. Proceedings of the World Conference on
Physics Education, Istanbul, Turkey.
Keywords: Energy concept, simple experiments, classroom activities
Topics: Experiments, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Arduino and Processing: Introducing new technologies in classroom
Filipe Santos
IFRJ, Brazil
In this work we present some possibilities of using two free tools to help Physics teachers: arduino
and processing. These two tools use the same concept of open sourcing which make them easy to
use due to the great amount of examples in the Web. Another advantage of using free tools with
open source is that teachers can modify the given examples to adequate them to their reality. The
low cost of arduino and the several sensors that can be connected to it, as well as the easiness of the
processes related to the programming, makes this microcontroller ideal to create a great variety of
experiments to be performed/used in Physics classes. This hardware is programmed through
processing language, which has a friendly communication interface. We proposed the usage of those
two tools to create experiments that allow teachers to deal with the increasing necessity for new
technologies in classrooms.
Several possibilities of constructing experimental apparatus will be presented and discussed. The
main point of this work is to present two low cost experiments: using a webcam to measure volume
of balloons and the period of a pendulum; and using arduino + processing to construct a wireless
workstation to monitor temperature, pressure, humidity, etc. in a classroom. Due to their
compactness, those experiments can be used in Physics labs, as well as in Physics classroom. One
important benefit is that the experimental apparatus that will be shown has the capability of
measuring the physical observable in real time mode. Plotting acquired data in real time – using
a data-show – allows teachers to stimulate students to infer about the studied phenomenon.
A further possibility to create an interaction between real (servo motor) and virtual (projected image
captured from a camera) world will also be presented.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19), university education, Arduino,
processing, low-cost, experiments, augmented reality
Topics: Experiments
New technologies in teaching physics
Jaroslav Reichl
SPSST Panska, Prague, Czech Republic
I have been teaching for 13 years in the technical secondary school. Students have in their timetable
the lessons of physics divided into two parts. They listen to the lectures, watch motivational and
demonstration experiments and their knowledge is tested during the common lessons of physics. For
the second type of lessons of physics students there are divided into two groups. These lessons are
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
for laboratory classes. During these lessons students can try some experiments, solve tasks and make
measurement of assigned physical quantity.
I usually want to show physics as a beautiful, logical and very practical science. For this reason I try to
use some interesting way how to show to the students that physics is not boring science full of
difficult formulas. I want to make my students think about problems, about method of solving the
problem and about obtained solutions - if they are real or not.
That is why I use in my lessons very simple aids/tools to demonstrate basic physical principles and
physical laws. I use ordinary things like small balls, bottles, cans and others. Students can repeat
these experiments next lessons to consolidate their knowledge. Students also can prepare these
experiments at home for their siblings or friends. This is very important for them - they improve their
physics substantially.
The second type of my favourite aids is new technology. But I do not require buying any gadgets from
my students! If they have them, they can use them during some type of measurement. If they do not
have them, it is not a problem. They can work in groups with other students or they can do
measurement with school aids. I use new gadgets (computers, mobile phones, tablets) because
students usually like it. They are very good at working with these gadgets and they have a plenty of
applications for measuring or display measured values. Students usually work with new measuring
equipment (for example Vernier sensors). Measuring with these technologies is very easy and quick.
Students have to summarize the measured values, display graph and found mistakes or data
inconsistencies at the end of laboratory class.
My students measure with new measuring equipment the dependence of physical value. I describe
two examples.
When students know the basic properties of semiconductors, they measure some of their
parameters. I prepare the list of tasks for them. These tasks are focused on measuring the
dependence of electrical resistance on temperature, volt-ampere dependence of thermistor, diode
or photodiode, the dependence of threshold voltage of LED diodes on wavelength of light with
maximum radiation intensity etc. These tasks are chosen to describe important the properties of
semiconductors used in practise. Students can use new measuring equipment (Vernier sensors) or
traditional instruments (ammeter or voltmeter). They have to measure values, do graph of these
values and try to find theoretical equation of measured dependence. They cooperate with other
students in the groups of four students. They can discuss the measuring methods, aids and circuit
diagram. I prepare a plenty of semiconductor devices and students can choose the right of them.
The second examples concern the value of the horizontal component of magnetic induction of
Earth’s magnetic field. When students know coil and they are able to describe its magnetic field, I ask
them a question: What is the value of the horizontal component of magnetic induction of Earth’s
magnetic field? I prepare some hints for students to focus them to coil and its magnetic field. For this
measuring I have made a model of coil from copper wire of length about five meters and PET bottle.
It is only a model but equal for solenoid which gives very good solutions. And this is great! It is very
beneficial for students to know the correct description of some device (coil) and imperfect model
which is usable for students measuring. Students measure electric current by Vernier sensors or
traditional ammeter and then they calculate the value of magnetic induction. This measuring is
interesting because of finding important parameter (with very small value) of Earth with simple aids.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Other activity of using new technologies is watching films during physics lessons. But we do not
watch the whole films! I have chosen some very famous films and prepare short extracts from them.
(Sometimes students prepare extracts from their favourite films.) Students try to find in these
extracts physical nonsense, they can try to explain some interesting part of films and also to calculate
some parameters of device from film or parameters of hero (velocity, power or force). Some of
devices’ or heroes’ parameters are sometimes very strange and unreal. Students like this activity
because they know these films and they enjoy it. But during this activity they study some more about
physics. They have to discover problems without teacher or without reading text in textbooks and
then they have to solve it. This activity is appropriate example how to find some mistakes and
inaccuracy in newspapers, in TV news or in declaration of politicians. There are inaccuracies or lies in
many cases.
I would like to show some of my activities on my poster. I usually take photos during laboratory class;
my students know it and they do not have any problems with this.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19), new technologies in teaching physics,
laboratory class
Topics: Experiments, ICT, Teaching
Science toys
Katerina Lipertova
Cirkevni gymnazium, Plzen, Czech Republic
The poster presents science toys made by pupils (aged 11-14) from The Catholic Grammar School in
Pilsen (CZ) and some other school projects.
Making science toys is a real crossing - border activity, it includes Physics, Mathematics and Art.
Making toys is loved by kids because it's both, science and fun. Toys are made from common
household materials but they demonstrate scientific principles very well.
Among the most favourite ones belong: dancing bugs with an eccentric motor, pencil-legged drawing
robots, cardboard automata, marble machines, the Archimedean screw and water pumps, optical
toys and illusions, balancing toys and a legless bench.
The activities such as the hot-air-balloon day, the water rocket competition, building a solar oven or
Leonardo's self-supporting bridge are also very popular with students. The school has even got own
Bottle Orchestra, the musicians play the beer bottles, water pipes and one-string guitars.
Keywords: Science toys, school projects, playful physics
Topics: Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Influence of peer discussion on confidence in ConcepTest responses
Maykon Gon�alves M�ller, Ives Solano Araujo and Eliane Angela Veit
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
In order to promote greater engagement among students during class time, some instructors use
classroom response system (CRS). Students use the CRS (e.g. clickers) to answer questions and
teachers use response feedback to make pedagogical decisions based on that feedback. We highlight
one instructional method where the use of CRSs is prevalent, Peer Instruction (PI). In PI, teachers give
a brief lecture on a concept that lasts no more than twenty minutes, and then deliver a ConcepTest
(a short conceptual question). Students respond and if the frequency of correct responses is between
35% and 70%, teachers guide students to form small groups, preferably with peers who have chosen
different responses, and discuss for about three minutes. After discussion, students vote again.
Studies show that after peer discussion, the class generally converges toward the correct answer.
However, it is less clear whether students are getting more (or less) convinced about the validity of
their answers to these important conceptual questions. In this study, we evaluated student
confidence in their ConceptTest responses, for each round of voting. We posed the following
research questions: Does discussion among peers promote an increase in the degree of confidence
that students have in their own response? What is the relationship between the level of confidence
and the number of correct/incorrect responses? The study was conducted in a class of 34 students at
a Federal Public High School, located in Porto Alegre – Brazil. The instructional sequence was related
to topics of Electromagnetism, during two months over seven class meetings. On average, three
ConcepTests were used per class. The study analyzed 12 ConcepTests that resulted in peer
discussion. The results show that there is a statistically significant increase in the confidence level of
one’s own response after discussion among peers. This increase appears to be more significant when
students choose the correct answer on the second round of voting. Furthermore, the results show
that, after peer discussion, the higher the confidence level, the higher the percentage of correct
responses. Through these results, we conclude that peer discussion, besides encouraging greater
interaction in class, promotes an increase in students’ confidence about their own responses.
In parallel, data suggests that peer discussion increases the number of correct answer choices with
high confidence.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, Peer Instruction, confidence level, Peer discussion
Topics: Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
A Summer Maths-Physics Camp
Petr K�covsk�, Věra Koudelkov� and Marie Snětinov�
Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Czech
Nowadays, many schools face students� decreasing interest in physics and maths. For us, physics
teachers, it may be a motivation to improve the students� perception of these subjects but equally to
care for "rare" active and enthusiastic students keen on physics (or generally on science). Our main
goal is to offer these students a possibility to informally develop their science knowledge and manual
skills, and also to help them find friends with similar interests and in friendly atmosphere to stimulate
their personal and social development.
In our contribution we will describe The Summer Maths and Physics Camp, a two-week event for
secondary school students (age of 14-19) organized by the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics in
Prague for about 25 years. Of course, during this time the form of the camp went through significant
Traditionally, our summer camp takes place during summer holidays in locations apart from big
cities. In recent years, about 40 participants take part in this summer camp per year.
The focus of the scientific part of the programme lies not only in theoretical, but especially in
practical projects. Two or three participants choose one project together, during two weeks work on
it and finally present their results on the closing conference; each project has its consultant – the
organizer who supervises the work. Besides projects, the scientific programme involves courses of
mathematics and physics (both in three levels according to students� knowledge and self-confidence)
and since 2012 the IT course as well. In addition, every year we invite experts from our faculty and
other scientific institutions who prepare interesting lectures for our participants.
The leisure programme is based on concept of experiential learning and it should lead students to
cooperation and team thinking. It consists of separate afternoon and evening games connected into
a coherent story, a legend, carefully elaborated and original for each year.
It is important that after their graduation, our participants often start their university studies in science
and technical branches, many of them at our faculty, and belong to the best prepared. In addition, the
summer camp plays an important role for university students – future math and physics teachers – who
lead the summer camp. They have the possibility to manage a secondary school students groups and to
get in contact with experienced organizers - secondary school teachers.
In our poster presentation we will present some remarkable projects from the latest summer camps,
the schedule of a common participants� day and our experience with organizing such a type of event.
Our know-how that makes our summer camp very sought-after event may be interesting for
conference participants.
Keywords: Summer camp, mathematics, physics, secondary school students, science projects
Topics: Experiments, ICT, Informal Physics Teaching & Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Adapting diagrams from physics textbooks: improving the autonomy
of blind students
Alexandre O. Martins, Adriana G. Dickman, Amauri Carlos Ferreira and Lucas Mateus
Pontif�cia Universidade Cat�lica de Minas Gerais, Brazil
Social inclusion in Brazilian schools is guaranteed by law. This process demands effort and willingness
to understand the epistemic organizations of each field of study. Despite this, very little has been
done to improve instruction of blind students. As a consequence, teachers face a lack of suitable
methods and materials for teaching these students. Although, the use of figures is a very common
didactic resource in science classes, such as diagrams illustrating Physics, Biology and Geography
situations, we verify that, in general, the figures or images in textbooks are suppressed when they
are converted into Braille. This practice increases the challenges blind students face in the classroom.
In this context, we ask: How are such diagrams or figures described to a blind student? Does the
description allow a proper interpretation by a blind student? To determine how pictures are actually
described for blind students in classroom activities and exams, we interview three blind students
using the oral history method, and analyze the recorded narratives to characterize their school
experiences. The data define the relationship between the student and a reading assistant, and some
of the difficulties the students face in understanding the figures in textbooks. In general, the
description of these figures is inadequate, using terms and analogies unknown to the students. Based
on these results, we elaborate a glossary consisting of a set of objects and their symbols, based on
a model for representing figures in Braille. The symbols in the glossary are designed to represent
objects frequently used in mechanics diagrams, such as vectors, ropes, pulleys, blocks and surfaces,
and can be used to adapt drawings of physics situations in textbooks for blind high school students.
The educational product was tested at the S�o Rafael Institute in Belo Horizonte (state of Minas
Gerais), a specialized school for the blind. The test consisted of an interview in which the symbols
were introduced to four people, together with the objects they represent and situations illustrating
their use; simple questions helped us to verify if the interviewee was able to identify the objects and
understand the situation as a whole. Three participants, all high school students, had difficulties in
understanding the symbols, and needed an oral description to visualize the situation. One
participant, whose work involves adapting texts and figures into Braille, understood the symbols and
visualized the situation easily. We believe that adequate training will help blind students to become
familiar with the symbols, and to identify them in a problem without the need of a description. We
also believe that our educational product will help blind students to achieve the same conditions of
autonomy as sighted ones, when studying physics.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, physics education, blind students, autonomy, diagrams,
Topics: Socio-cultural Issues
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Planning Activities to Teach Kinematics based on Geometrical
Sara Daraei1, Azita Seyed Fadaei2 and C�sar Mora Ley3
1Department of Mathematics, Sharif University, Tehran, Islamic Republic of
2Department of physics, Instituto Polit�cnico Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico
3Centro de Investigaci�n en Ciencia Aplicada y Tecnolog�a Avanzada del
Instituto Polit�cnico Nacional, Mexico
Learning concepts related to specific phenomena becomes easier and more effective when learners
are allowed to experiment them with their own senses. Science classrooms are filled with the voices
of teacher and students, it is clear that communication and learning in the classroom are achieved by
more than just linguistic tools. Therefore a learning tool which involves the sense of seeing should be
welcomed, especially if it is easy to implement. In this plan Mathematical part of Yenka software is
used for creating the facility to help students try to explore position and movement concepts related
to kinematics, in the virtual space. Yenka Mathematics is a free of charge program that lets students
experiment easily with 3D mathematical models, to learn about statistics, probability, geometry and
coordinates. It can be used as a flexible demonstration tool and there's a wide range of ready-made
lessons and activities that they can use in their lessons, and a set of training videos to help them get
Some researchers have identified and analyzed specific difficulties that students have with the
kinematical concepts and their graphical representations, and with the relationship of the concepts
and graphs to the real world. Also Students have difficulties with vector kinematics and relating
kinematical concepts with their graphical representations and motion of real objects. Even after
instruction many students confused position with velocity and velocity with acceleration. In this work
we planned some activities in Yenka environment to help teachers and students to study kinematics
subject. The main steps of planning these activities (for example about distance and displacement) as
1. Taking a pre- test questionnaire about distance and displacement from text book for discussing in
2. Motivating students to find the relation between distance and displacement concepts in real life.
3. Using Yenka to concentrate on real life using distance and displacement samples in Yenka .
4. Using Yenka to find the solution of problems in questionnaire step 1 in classroom as a problem
solving method.
5. Discussing about concepts in each group and show results to class.
6. Using Yenka to solve more problems in this subject.
Keywords: Kinematics, geometrical software, high school
Topics: ICT, Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Processing and visualization of measurement results in physical
Michal Cerny
Department of Physics, Faculty of Education, Masaryk University, Czech
Specially processing of the measurement results is not very popular students work and is often also
strongly pedagogically neglected part of lessons. At this point it must be said that handwritten
protocols with drawn charts are not so useful for students. They do not receive an overview of how
the results are processed outside the school and they do not learn how to write science texts on
computer. That may lead to an unpleasant consequence in their future. Often we can see that the
charts are created and analyzed in programs such as MS Excel or LibreOffice Calc. But this software
was designed primarily for business applications and if students work with them it may teach them
quite a bad habits especially in analysis and data visualization. Total work with them is for the
purposes of analyzing the results very inconvenient and limited.
Graphs have very little variability settings, reading of values is also problematic as well as interleaving
curves. And I think we do not need to do much talking about problem with identifying errors.
Students are literally pushed to interleave the curve not by using functional dependencies but simply
using sufficient scale to match the shape of a paper protocol according to the theoretical assumption.
It is obvious that such a conceived work in the physical laboratory is not dispose of good quality in
the field of evaluating results.
For this reason it seems appropriate option to reach for one of the programs that is directly specified
for working with charts and analysis. In the poster we will try to focus in greater detail on some free
programs that can be used for work during the measurements using (for example SciDAVis, QtiPlot,
LabPlot, …).
Keywords: Secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19), university education, visualization,
measurement, ICT, SciDAVis, QtiPlot
Topics: ICT
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Classroom settings for science lecture to realize inspirational learning
and teaching
Shinjiro Ogawa
Waseda University High School, Japan
The science activity in school is not only lecture where a teacher talking to 40 students. It ranges
from 100 people watching demonstrations to individuals reading textbooks ore solving scientific
problems. Inspirational learning and teaching can be realized by using versatile environment for
science lecture [1].
Science rooms designed for a newly-established school in 2010 with concrete examples of classroom
settings for several types of activities in science lecture will be introduced in the presentation.
[1] Department for Children, Schools and Families, Project Faraday: exemplar designs for science,
Keywords: Laboratory design, active learning, classroom setting
Topics: Experiments, Teaching
Formation of research competence in student’s physical and technical
Oleg Lavrishev1, Akmaral Imanbayeva1, Saule Baimuldina1 and Rabiga Syzdykova2
1Institute of Experimental and Theoretical Physics, Kazakhstan
2Almaty University of Power Engineering & Telecommunications, Kazakhstan
At present system of physical education in the Republic of Kazakhstan is in a state of modernization,
which requires the development of new approaches in pedagogy. One of this areas is the
development of a competent approach. There is no doubt that a necessary component of the
training of physicists is developing in students a general scientific competence, providing them with
the experience of the research activities. In this respect, the most promising are the stages of
integration of education with the fundamental science and industry. The integration of basic and
professional knowledge of the Physico-Technical faculty of the al-Farabi Kazakh National University is
the conduct of scientific research and practices on the basis of the Institute of Experimental and
Theoretical Physics (IETP), the National Nanotechnology Laboratory of the open type, and other, as
well as the revitalization of the work to attract students to carry out scientific work. IETP, since its
founding in 1992, promotes Physico-Technical faculty in the preparation of qualified scientific
personnel and specialists in physical, engineering and technical fields. The Institute provides its
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
logistical base for research practice for undergraduate and graduate majors "Physics", "Technical
Physics", "Nuclear Physics". Successful educational activities of the university is not conceived
without it high-impact research, including extensive involvement of students. Currently IETP is
implementing research projects and grants successfully participating students, masters and person
working for doctor's degree.
Leaders of many research papers, graduate works of students, masters and person working for
doctor's degree are members of the Institute.
Conducting research practices directly in academia, the performance of individual stages of research
papers by students showed deepening theoretical knowledge of students in the specialty, mastery of
modern methods of scientific research, develop their skills of independent search of scientific and
technical information, the acquisition of the ability to analyze research results and to form
conclusions. Thus, the experience of participating IETP training leads to the conclusion about their
effectiveness in improving research competence of students of physicotechnical specialties.
Keywords: Research competence, specialists in physical and technical fields, research practices
Topics: Learning
Noise Pollution in Project Teaching
Marie Voln�
Palack� University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
Nowadays, the trend is to search for topics that are able to join together Science subjects and to look
at one topics of different field of Science. Especially, the environment and is the most common use
word. This poster shows a way how to teach students about noise pollution. The project introduces
6 different activities which can be used in secondary school level. The project link up knowledge of
different subject Physics, Biology, English, Art, Technology and involve ICT technology as well. In the
beginning the USA TV show “The Doctors” provides motivation. Then the students can test their
hearing, search information about noise pollution and its effect on human health and do creative
work with information on computer or using art to present it. There is also an experimental part in
which the students use their mobile phone to measure noise pollution around school or home and
do conclusion of their results. A critical thinking as an art is involved in the project. The project Noise
Pollution in our environment contains different ways how to discover knowledge about surroundings
through varied parts of Science.
Keywords: Environment, health, ICT technology, noise, physics, project teaching
Topics: Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Interesting Facts about Tides You Might Not Have Known
Tomas Franc
Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
One of the most difficult parts of teaching physics is to help students become well motivated.
Astronomy gives a great opportunity for this, especially the topics which students do not know – or
they know only a part of a more complex phenomenon, which can surprise them with something
very interesting. This is the case of the tides. Students imagine only tidal waves (high and low tides)
but that tides occur also on other planets they have not known (or they just have not had that idea).
At the poster we will present tidal effects on other planets than just on the Earth, for example the
tidal effect on Triton from Neptune and on Phobos from Mars (these moons have retrograde
movements), the other tidal effect on Io from Jupiter (there is volcanism) and cryovolcanism (which
occurs on several satellites, for example on Europa from Jupiter). We will include also the Roche’s
limit and its relation to planetary rings. On the poster we will present the results of simple
calculations of tidal forces on selected moons. All this should help motivate students in studying
physics or astronomy.
Keywords: Tides, tidal forces, Roche's limit
Topics: Learning
Physical Experiments CD-ROM
Stanislav Gottwald
Gymnazium Spitalska, Czech Republic
The poster describes the CD-ROM entitled “Physical Experiments” , which was created within the
optional seminar “The Selected Chapters from Physics” by the group of 2nd and 3rd-year students
attending Gymn�zium Špit�lsk� (grammar school located in Prague 9). Not only does the CD-ROM
capture the experimental part of the seminar, but it also stimulates individual experiment on the part
of students. Certain sections may serve as a suggestion for students' self-study.
The aim of the presentation is not only the description of the experiments but also, if possible, the
inspiration to research itself. I am convinced that some parts might be used in the physics classes or
self-study. Therefore many of the experiments and related theories are explained. On the other hand
a few of the try-outs motivate students to individual experiments; these parts could be considered
solely as suggestions for self-study (e.g. the part on friction and rolling resistance). Moreover, several
parts are accompanied by photos as well as videos.
The presentation itself is divided into six sections: Atmospheric pressure, Bullet speed measuring,
Molecular physics – Molecular structure of liquids, Phase transition, Leidenfrost effect, Rolling
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
resistance. Each section is divided into several chapters. These can be run from the main screen or
via hypertext links.
Keywords: Secondary education: lower (ages about 11-15), secondary education: upper (ages about
15-19), school experiments, labs, physical experiments, CD-ROM
Topics: Experiments, Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Learning
Project PROFILES and Development of in-service Teachers‘ “Stages of
Concerns“ Regarding IBSE in the Context of the Implementation of
PROFILES Modules in Georgia
Marika Kapanadze1, Ekaterine Slovinsky1, Claus Bolte2 and Vincent Schneider2
1Ilia State University, Georgia
2Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany
The PROFILES project is a four year European FP7 funded project in the field of “Science in Society”,
aiming at disseminating Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) in Europe (PROFLES, 2010; Bolte,
Holbrook, Rauch, 2012). To achieve this, the PROFILES partners are using and conducting innovative
learning environments (PROFILES type Modules) and programs for the enhancement of teachers’
continuous professional development. Both supportive action strategies are supposed to raise the
self-efficacy of science teachers to enable them to take ownership in more effective ways in science
teaching, so as much students as possible can benefit from the PROFILES approaches of teaching and
learning science.
In the frame of the PROFILES project in-service science teacher trainings were conducted at Ilia State
University, Georgia. To get an insight into profession-oriented attitudes of the in-service science
teachers and their development, who participate in our CPD courses, we adapted a German SoC
questionnaire (Schneider & Bolte, 2011; 2012) in accordance to Hall and Hord (2011) focusing on
IBSE and the PROFILES lesson modules. Our investigation is based on a treatment-control-groupdesign
with two occasions of measurement (at the beginning and at the end of trainings).
In our presentation we will focus on the “SoC profiles” of the treatment group and the control group.
The results of our investigation which we will present and discuss during the poster session – show
a positive impact of our CPD courses on the participating physics teachers’ professional attitudes.
Bolte, C., Holbrook, J., & Rauch, F. (2012; eds.). Inquiry-based Science Education in Europe: First
Examples and Reflections from the PROFILES Project. Berlin: Freie Universit�t Berlin. Print: University
of Klagenfurt (Austria).
Hall, G. E., & Hord, S. M. (2011). Implementing change: Patterns, principles, and potholes (3. ed.).
Pearson Education.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
PROFILES (2010): www.profiles-project.eu
Schneider, V., C. Bolte (2012). Professional Development regarding Stages of Concern towards
Inquiry-Based Science Education. Bolte, C., Holbrook, J., & Rauch, F. (2012; eds.). Inquiry-based
Science Education in Europe: First Examples and Reflections from the PROFILES Project. Berlin: Freie
Universit�t Berlin. Print: University of Klagenfurt (Austria), pp. 71-74.
Schneider, V., Bolte, C. (2011): Stages of Concern-Fragebogen. FUB: Berlin.
Keywords: Inquiry-Based science education, in-service science teacher trainings, physics teachers’
professional attitudes
Topics: Learning, Teachers, Teaching
An attitude survey on radiation for university students by
questionnaire and the trends in radiology education in Japan
Akira Akabane
Saitama Medical University, Japan
On March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake caused the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power
plant accidents and after 4days, radioactive materials were spread to the surrounding area, then
many people and students were thrown into a panic.
We made an investigative team up at my university staffs and conducted survey of understanding /
awareness of the radiology subject to medical students by questionnaire. Survey radiological items
related are as follows; learning time,unit,knowledge, contamination,deterministic effect,
stochastic effect, mechanism of radiation damage and free description, etc. The survey results
indicate that their greatest concern is on the radiation health effects throughout the school year.
Free descriptions showed the following, lack of knowledge, fearfulness, deterioration of the
environment, inaccurate press coverage, confusing government reaction, etc. In the poster
presentation we will show the results of questionnaire with 15items and their analysis results and
the trends in radiology education in Japan. We will discuss how the students think about the
radiation effects and handle foods containing radioactive materials in daily life.
Keywords: University education, radiology education, response to reactor accidents, student
attitudes and understanding level, survey by questionnaire, radiation health effects
Topics: Learning, Socio-cultural Issues
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Programming simulations as a way to understand physical laws
Pavel Kurišč�k and František Lustig
Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Czech
While basic physics education is now focused on the inquiry-based phenomenological approach, we
believe that the next step in understanding physics lies in the realization of one's ability to effectively
describe and predict the real world using appropriate tool - the calculus.
Physics and calculus appear so deeply interconnected, that teaching them simultaneously should
considerably benefit both. To greatly simplify the mathematical side of the topic, adoption of the
finite difference framework might be beneficial, since in our view it lowers the required
mathematical skills to upper-secondary level.
We present ideas and initial study of the web-based learning environment, which is currently under
development and that implements this approach. It contains interactive learning materials centered
around learning mechanics. It also provides participants with programming interface, allowing them
to develop their own numerical simulations of various processes. This should provide them with
mathematical insight while simulating interesting problems (e.g. nonlinear, coupled, multi-body,
two-dimensional etc.). Final part of the learning environment involves access to the remote
laboratory experiments, where the participants will be able to test the predictive power of their
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, e-learning, simulations, programming, finite differences,
remote experiments
Topics: ICT, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Introduction of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in a Brazilian
Secondary School through a partnership between the School and a
Public University
Allan Victor Ribeiro1, Alexys Bruno-Alfonso2, Moacir Pereira Souza Filho3 and Sergio
Rykio Kussuda4
1Sao Paulo State University – UNESP, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science
and Educational Center 358, SESI/SP, Brazil
2Sao Paulo State University – UNESP, Department of Mathematics, Faculty of
Science, Brazil
3Sao Paulo State University - UNESP, Department of Physics, Chemistry and
Biology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Brazil
4S�o Paulo State University – UNESP, Graduate program in Education for
Science, Brazil
Emerging areas of knowledge, such as Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NC&NT) have already
affected our present day society and may determine its future [1]. In this sense, a scientific and
technological literacy is needed at all levels of the educational system, and this task has been
partially performed worldwide [2]. Moreover, since it involves interdisciplinary concepts and
techniques, new educational methodologies should be devised and tested [3]. In the case of the
secondary education, the experiences with NC&NT are quite incipient, contrasting a rather
omnipresence of science and technology in the main broadcasting media. In the case of Brazil,
several diagnosing works and proposals have been published [5], and the present contribution offers
the science teachers a number of tips for effective pedagogical practices to introduce NC&NT as
a part of their work. Our investigation involves a diagnosing of the previous knowledge and interest
of the students on the ideas of NC&NT, presentation of the main achievements and challenges,
concrete proposals for the collaboration between teachers of different disciplines, and visits of the
students to research laboratories at Unesp – State University of S�o Paulo, Brazil. A group of
77 students of an upper secondary school in the city of Bauru, SP, Brazil, has participated in the
didactical and scientific dissemination activities. They showed both a rather limited knowledge of the
subjects of NC&NT and a strong interest to learn about them.
Acknowledgements. The Brazilian Institutions Unesp and SESI/SP and the Iberian-American Network
NanoDyF have partially supported this work.
[1] P. A. S. Domingo, �Qu� sabemos de? La nanotecnolog�a, Madrid: Catarata, 2010.
[2] Antti Laherto, Science Education International, v.21, n.3, September 2010, 160-175
[3] I. C. Petraglia, Inst. de Estudos de Complexidade e Pensamento Sist�mico 1, 1 (2002).
[4] P. Schulz, F�sica na Escola, 8, 8 (2007).
[5] A. V. Ribeiro; M. P. Souza Filho; A. Bruno-Alfonso. Revista Digital Universitaria v. 14 n. 3, 2013
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Keywords: Secondary education, nanoscience, nanotechnology
Topics: Curriculum, Socio-cultural Issues, Teachers, Teaching
Architectonics of Problems Brought Closer to Real Life
Lea Valentina Lavrik1, Vladimir Meir Shunyakov1 and Josef Feigenberg2
1Lifshitz Academic College, Israel
2Jerusalem Interdisciplinary Seminar, Israel
To prepare a student for the new, fast-changing, unconventional conditions it is evident that a new
system of educational problems is needed, possessing the informational structure typical for real
situations. We shall call such construction which embodies the structure of real-life situations,
architectonics (from architecton (Greek) – builder).
Traditional educational problems have as a rule one clear-cut correct solution. Real life, however,
very often confronts us with situations where it is impossible to foresee with complete certainty their
further development. Meanwhile, it is precisely this prediction, this prognosis, which determines the
choice of means to achieve a desired result. The prognosis of further development of events,
including the results of one’s acts, has probabilistic character. Therefore, to prepare the student to
decision-making in such conditions, there must be included, among various exercises, also problems
that only allow probabilistic solution.
In real life, the question, more often than not, arises before we are in possession of all the necessary
information. We have to decide precisely which data is necessary and sufficient for us to answer this
question. We have to obtain this information, to seek it actively. Thus, problems with missing data
must be included among the exercises offered to a student. Superfluous information confuses the
pupil, impedes his work. And yet life problems more often than not present us with a wealth of data
which are not needed for the solution of a given problem. Therefore, it is necessary to teach, as early
as school, how to choose among the multitude of data precisely the ones that are needed to solve
this particular problem. This means that problems whose conditions contain superfluous,
unnecessary data must also be included in the teaching process.
Also it is worth considering the problems with a given solution, where the purpose is to detect
a possible error in the offered answer.
Just as essential are evaluating tasks which arise frequently in research in natural sciences where it is
important to know how to assess the scale and the order of values one deals with while solving
a problem or conducting measurements. For instance, there are some evaluating problems
1) Under what conditions is a form of solar bunny does not depend on the shape of the mirror?
2) How fast the beetle has to run to flip over?
Sometimes we are asked: If exercises with new architectonics are so essential, why do not schools
and universities include this type of problems in their teaching process? They do (as evident from
such manuals as: Fermi's problems' or Kapitsa problems), but not, in our opinion, to a sufficient
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
We believe also that it would be useful to build a bank of educational problems of various
architectonics, for various fields of physics, which will enable the teachers to introduce such
exercises widely into their everyday teaching practice.
Keywords: Problem solvig, real life, architectonics
Topics: Learning, Teaching
Sheet of paper as a model to explain the concept of wave length
Giri Cahyono
MAN Serpong, Indonesia
There have been many references to teach the definition of the wave (transverse and longitudinal)
mainly by using slinky. However the authors have not found a model or a tool to explain the
particulars of a single wavelength.
A description of the wavelength only describes the distance between the peak or the distance
between the crest still confuse some students.
Therefore we need some other way to explain the concept of wavelength by using the tool. This
method uses free tools around us are able to explain the relationship between a circle (or ellipse)
with a single wavelength.
The method is: each student was asked to make a circle with a marker on a piece of paper. Then the
paper is torn into pieces in such a way, then assembled back into some form of a single wavelength.
In this way, students are able proven active learning and students are able to explain the concept of
wavelength with their own language. And they were glad, because it is similar to preparing puzzle!
Keywords: Learning method, learning styles, learning model, wave length concept
Topics: Learning
Experimental activity: conceptions and development of an
instructional design based on investigative teaching
Dayane Carvalho Cardoso and Eduardo Takahashi
Universidade Federal de Uberl�ndia, Brazil
This paper presents both an analysis of the conceptions of researchers in physics teaching on
experimental activity and a proposal of instructional design based on some of these conceptions to
be used while performing a remote experiment. Remote experimentation consists in carrying out
a real experimentation through the Internet, in which the user can view and control the experimental
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
apparatus as in hands-on laboratory. The analysis of the conceptions about experimental activity was
carried from articles found in journals in the field of Education and based on Leontiev's Activity
Theory. We tried to identify these concepts, especially the consciousness of applicant in relation to
the role of activity in experimental physics teaching, the proposed actions (conceptions of strategies
used in an experimental activity) and the intended goal (what is intended with the experimental
activity). From these analyzes, we selected those that, in our opinion, were consistent with the
proposal of an investigative teaching and we elaborated an instructional design to be used while
performing a remote experiment for determining the charge-to-mass ratio of the electron to high
school students. We tried to avoid that our proposal of investigative teaching was reduced to an
imitation of the scientific investigative procedure by the students, but that could promote an attitude
of interest in autonomous construction of their knowledge. Thus, we consider that the experimental
activity must constitute as a problematical situation to the student, attempting to stimulate the
autonomous discovery, the integration of knowledge, and the development of scientific memoirs,
beyond to potentialize the collective dimension of the scientific work and developing students’
critical thinking. The remote experiment has the advantages of secure access to the experimental
apparatus, from anywhere and anytime, enabling the student to unlimited repetition of the
experiment to check the data and testing new hypotheses that may arise during the data analysis
related to the phenomenon, without requiring the physical presence of an instructor or lab
technician. We will present an instructional design which is composed by a virtual teaching and
learning environment with hypermedia instructional resources and synchronous and asynchronous
communications, in which some problem-solving situations are presented to the student and the
access to the remote experiment is reached by teacher or student from different access areas with
specific permissions to each one.
Acknowledgements: The authors thank UFU (Brazil), CAPES (Brazil) and FAPEMIG (Brazil) for financial
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, activity, instructional design, remote experimentation
Topics: Experiments, Learning, Teaching
Energy, power and climate change in physics lessons
Anik� Tasn�di
Karinthy Frigyes Gimn�zium, Hungary
Energy crisis and climate change are both among the vital and yet unsolved problems that mankind
must face in the 21st century. Though from the media we can learn about many catastrophes –
floods, droughts, hurricanes – devastating different regions of the world, and continuously
experience the increase of the price of electricity and gasoline, in Hungarian schools not much is
taught about the different energy sources and global warming.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
Realising the importance of these topics last year a questionnaire was given to the final year students
(18-19 year old) in order investigate their physical background knowledge, and to find out how much
they know and understand. This year some of the two years younger students were asked, and
a teaching material concerning climate change and energy crisis was gathered. For example: the
students could list some greenhouse gases, but did not know how they cause the warming of the
Earth. The majority of the students were able to understand the answers and explanations
concerning to the questions, and though they sometimes considered quantitative explanations
difficult, they found the section interesting and useful.
To make students understand the greenhouse effect, as background knowledge the blackbody
radiation, Stefan-Boltzmann law, Wien’s law, and a little thermodynamics must be introduced. Using
simple models the surface temperature of the Earth can be estimated without and with the
The explanation of Coriolis force and the general atmospheric circulation enables the introduction of
the basic models of mid-latitude cyclones, anticyclones and tropical cyclones. Depending on the level
of knowledge and ability of students, qualitative or quantitative explanation of the thermodynamics
of the hurricanes can also be given.
With the help of the collected material a deeper insight is aimed to be given, in order to clear the
beliefs and misbeliefs connected to the greenhouse effect and the global warming. In the poster the
questionnaire, the collected teaching material, and some (easier and more difficult) models like the
one-layer grey atmosphere model, hurricane as nature’s steam engine and its super-Carnot efficiency
are presented.
Keywords: Climate change, atmospheric models, hurricanes, questionnaire
Topics: Learning, Teaching
Optics Conceptual Test for Research of Learning Styles in Physics
Blanka Zajacov�
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, Czech
Nowadays learning styles are discussed especially in pedagogy or in didactics of arts. There is
a developing trend to respect differences between the learning styles of individual pupils. We
suppose that for physics education it would be beneficial to find out if there is some learning style
preferable because learning of natural sciences may include its particular specificities. [1] For this
purpose we pursue a research that will compare learning styles and strategies of students with
excellent and below-average results in physics. It could allow teachers to choose appropriate
methodical tools to provide good physics learning environment to different types of students and to
improve the effectiveness of physics education. Some researchers studied the correlation between
learning styles and achievement of high school and university students in kinematics. [2] Our
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
research is aimed at optics because of two reasons: 1. it has not been explored in terms of learning
styles and it contains topics with both a low level of abstraction (geometric optics) and a high level of
abstraction (wave optics). 2. in the Czech Republic optics is usually taught in last two years of high
school studies, when the students probably have their learning strategies fixed as reactions to their
preferred learning style.
In this contribution we present our conceptual test in optics and its development. This tool was
developed to assess student’s understanding and interpreting of basic principles of geometric and
wave optics. The test items are based on existing international conceptual tests in optics (LSCI [3],
Cox and Junkin [4]). The content validity of test and also items representing the actual high school
curriculum were emphasized. To validate this test and to verify if it meets expected time demands
a pilot study is needed. We present results of a preliminary pilot study that included several tens of
students. A full pilot study is scheduled.
[1] Marin-Suarez T., Alarcon H. CP1289, 2010 Physics Education Research Conference, 217, 2010.
[2] Booth K. M., James B. W. International Journal of Science Education, 23 (9), 955-967, 2001.
[3] Bardar, E. M. Astronomy education review, 6 (2), 75, 2007.
[4] Cox A. J., Junkin W. F. III. Physics education 37 (1), 37, 2002.
Keywords: Conceptual test, geometric optics, wave optics, secondary level education
Topics: Learning
Optics - The spatial and spectral properties of light sources (inquirybased
learning with ICT)
Lenka Ličmanov� and Libor Kon�ček
University of Ostrava, Czech Republic
Physics is a very important field necessary for the development of modern civilization. Today the
students are not interested in science. Undoubtedly important part of today's modern education is
information and communication technology. The research says that students want to use ICT in
learning and also want to experiment themselves. Use of information and communication technology
in student’s experiments seems to be a good and interesting idea. This is not a simple experiment,
but inquiry-based teaching, which contributes to the development of student imagination, and to
better understanding and to better remembering the curriculum.
The aim of this work is to create a set of inquiry-based learning experiments using ICT. These
experiments should development creativity, increase the level of knowledge and skills and teach
students to work with ICT. In particular, students should be able to work with a data logging system
and then to process and evaluate the measured data using some program such as Excel. Then
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Wednesday, session P2
students have to create a protocol. The protocol has the following parts: name and enter tasks, tools,
theory, measurement procedure, measurement data, processing, conclusion.
Students will address some of the following issues:
Problem No. 1: In everyday life we encounter the concept of lighting. From parents and teachers we
hear that it is important to read and work with adequate lighting. What is the dependence of
illumination on the distance from the light source?
Problem No. 2: What kind of light source can be used to achieve maximum illumination at low cost?
How much light do a bulb, energy saving lamp, LED lamp generate? Is the illumination the same in all
directions in space?
Problem No. 3: Is the light of bulbs, of energy saving lamps or of LED lamps good for the eye?
Compare the spectral properties of these sources with the spectral properties of the sun.
Inquiry-based teaching should contribute to the overall development of students, both in terms of
knowledge and skills to develop creativity, as well as to develop skills for learning, problem solving,
social and personal, communication and working.
Inquiry-based teaching should have its place in teaching, because as the old Chinese proverb states:
"Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, let me do it and I understand."
Keywords: Inquiry-based learning, ICT, data logging system, optics
Topics: Experiments, ICT, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Poster session 3, Thursday 11:00-12:00
Nathan Rosen and Ukraine (1936–1938)
Oksana Koltachykhina
G.M. Dobrov Center for Scientific and Technological Potential and Science
History Studies of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Ukraine
Nathan Rosen was an American-Israeli theoretical physicist who noted for his study on the structure
of the hydrogen molecule and his work with Albert Einstein and Boris Podolsky on entangled wave
functions and the EPR paradox.
Nathan Rosen was born into a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York. He attended MIT where he
received a bachelor's degree in electromechanical engineering and later a masters and a doctorate in
physics. In 1935 he became Albert Einstein's assistant at The Institute for Advanced Study in
Princeton, New. After briefly working for two years in the Soviet Union at the Kyiv University starting
in 1936, he returned to the United States, where he taught at the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill from 1941 to 1952. In 1953, after permanently moving to Israel, he joined the Technion in
Haifa, Israel. He was a founder of the Israel National Academy of Sciences and the Humanities and
the Israel Physical Society.
Our report is devoted period in the Rosen’s life in Kyiv in 1936–1938. This life period is a little-know.
During his Kyiv period he published several papers that are unknown. How he came to Kyiv, what he
did and analysis of his works are discussed. In his Kyiv period Nathan Rosen worked at the Institute of
Physics National Academy of Science of Ukraine and taught at the Kyiv University: “I am working at
the Physical Institute of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, doing research, and I also lecture at the
University of Kiev”.
It should be noted that Nathan Rosen taught in English and his lectures were translated into Russian.
After Einstein's correspondence with Molotov to permit to work Nathan Rosen in one of the institutes
of the USSR, academician National Academy of Science of Ukraine A.G. Goldman (director of the
Institute of Physics National Academy of Science of Ukraine) was summoned to Moscow: “Summer of
1936, to the Institute received a letter written on behalf of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of
Sciences from Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences V.M. Vul with an invitation to work at the
Institute Dr. Nathan Rosen, a young American theoretical physicist closest collaborator of Professor
Einstein. I [A.G. Goldman] immediately went to Moscow, found out the circumstances of the next offer
and met with Dr. Rosen took action to approve it at work at the Institute, which was achieved after
overcoming a major difficulty” [from the A.G.Goldman's archives]. During Kyiv period Nathan Rosen
published thee works: Of plane waves in the general theory of relativity (1937); Corrections to the
atomic model of Thomas-Fermi (1938); Elementary particles in the field theory (1939).
Keywords: Nathan Rosen, Ukraine, A.G. Goldman, the Institute of Physics National Academy of
Science of Ukraine, the Kyiv University
Topics: Socio-cultural Issues
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
A simple experiment, but not a trivial explanation! Reflection and
circular polarization in 3D glasses
Jair L�cio Prados Ribeiro and Maria De F�tima Da Silva Verdeaux
University of Bras�lia, Brazil
A simple experiment can be conducted using a polarizing glasses, used in 3D film screenings. Looking
in the mirror while wearing these glasses, the viewer closes one eye. The lens covering the opposite
open eye will appear black, while the closed eye is normally seen. Although it may seem trivial, the
explanation of the experiment involves the understanding of circular polarization concept.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, optics, reflection, polarization
Topics: Experiments, Learning, Teaching
Applying the “Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey” to
Physics in Italy
Fabrizio Favale1 and Maria Bondani2
1Universita' degli Studi dell'Insubria – Dipartimento di Scienza e Alta
Tecnologia, Italy
2Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie,
The CLASS questionnaire (http://www.colorado.edu/sei/class/) was used to check learning attitudes
about Physics in Italy.
The aim of the investigation is threefold:
- Collecting opinions and perceptions of students about learning Physics to give suggestions to
High School teachers to improve teaching.
- Looking for possible correlations between the choice of the University studies (e.g.Physics,
Chemistry, Biology or Medicine) and the perception of the Physics.
- Trying to devise different strategies within the Piano Lauree Scientifiche (PLS) devoted by the
Italian Ministery of Education to support the access of students to Hard-Science courses.
To validate the CLASS questionnaire for the use in the Italian context, we made a translation of the
original survey and gave it to a number of professors, researchers and PhD students at University of
Insubria at Como. We analyzed the results according to the analysis instruments developed by the
Colorado University and checked that the answers of the Italian experts actually fitted to those of the
American experts.
In order to understand the evolution of the perception of Physics with the age of the students, the
survey was administered to different samples:
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
- High-School students of the last two years participating to PLS laboratories and to LuNa project
for teaching optics (http://luna.dfm.uninsubria.it/).
- Students of introductory Physics courses at several Italian Universities (Insubria, Milano-Celoria,
Milano-Bicocca, Napoli, Palermo).
Preliminary analysis of the results show that there is a great similarity between the answers of Italian
students and those of American ones, both for what concerns the perception of Physics and the
differences among the opinion of students and experts.
Keywords: Learning attitudes, survey, students' opinion and perception
Topics: Learning, Socio-cultural Issues
Teaching Newton Laws Based On ICI and ISLE in High school
Azita Seyed Fadaei1, Sara Daraei2 and C�sar Mora Ley3
1IPN, Islamic Republic of Iran
2Department of Mathematics,Sharif University,Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
3Centro de Investigaci�n en Ciencia Aplicada y Tecnolog�a Avanzada del
Instituto Polit�cnico Nacional, Mexico
Newtonian mechanics is perhaps the most extreme example of the failure of science teaching at the
high school. This paper is a pure research about planning some activities for undergraduate students
in level 10 in High school to teach Newton Laws. The research focuses on ICI (Interactive Conceptual
Instruction) methodology for teaching Newton Laws based on formative assessments. These
formative assessments are built on ISLE environment. Developing an understanding of mechanics
requires an interactive process in which there is opportunity for ideas to be talked through, and
thought through, between teacher and students. Depending on ICI we planned some activities in this
case to help students to analyze the Mechanics situations using Newton laws. These processes
involve observing, finding patterns, building and testing explanations of the patterns, and using
multiple representations to reason about physical phenomena.
Basic ideas of planning activities was found from Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE).
ISLE is a comprehensive learning system that provides a general philosophy and specific activities
that can be used in “lectures” (interactive meetings where students construct and test ideas),
recitations (where students learn to represent them in multiple ways while solving problems) and
labs. Each activity starts with a demonstration related to the subject of study. Activities are designed
to show force concepts in real life. Their discipline using verbal description, pictures, graphs, motion
diagrams, charts, free body diagrams. Hence it might be expected that these activities would offer
the potential to promote enhanced learning gains in conceptual understanding of Newton Laws.
Keywords: ICI, ISLE, high schools
Topics: ICT, Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Implementing inquiry teaching to improve students' understanding of
electromagnet and scientific explanation ability
Junyi Chen
National Chiayi University, Taiwan
Scientific explanation is the core of scientific work. The documents of science education reform
suggested that students are literate citizens of great ability to reason, analyze and communicate
information and understand scientific explanations. The purpose of this article was to investigate
students’ understanding of electromagnet and scientific explanation ability after inquiry teaching.
The subjects were 6 sixth grade students from an elementary school in Taiwan. Several inquiry
activities which integrate with the strategies of scientific explanation were designed to guide these
students to explore and discuss electromagnetic phenomena and practice making scientific
explanation. The pre-post tests were adopted to collect data. The electromagnet conception test has
20 items and the scientific explanation test has 5 items. It was found that all students acquired higher
scores on electromagnet conception test. They realized an electromagnet is a type of magnet in
which the magnetic field is produced by the flow of electric current after teaching. They were able to
increase its magnetic field by changing current, adding batteries and putting iron inside
electromagnet. However, half students confused magnetic pole with geographic pole. In addition,
most students made an appropriate claim but they cannot provide evidences and reasons in the pre
scientific explanation test. Through inquiry teaching, they can use sufficient evidences to support
their claim and give reasoning that is consistent with their claim and evidence. Thus, the inquiry
teaching which stresses on scientific explanation is effective to raise students’ electromagnet
conceptions and scientific explanation abilities.
Keywords: Secondary education: lower, electromagnet, inquiry teaching, scientific explanation
Topics: Learning
The Human Heart as an Interesting Interdisciplinary Topic in Lessons
of Physics and Biology
Marie Voln�
Palack� University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
Many attractive topics which are close to each others can be found in the curriculum content of
Physics and Biology. One of these interesting topics is the heart and circulatory system in our body.
This topic was processed and a module was created. The module links up knowledge of Physics and
Biology. In this poster the heart and circulatory system as interdisciplinary topic is introduced as we
were teaching students. The main part of the poster is attended to the experiments where the
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
primary role play EKG sensor EKG-BTA Vernier. There are introduced some easy experiments for
lower secondary children but also more complicated experiments for upper secondary school
This interdisciplinary topic was chosen for a small experimental research. The first-year bachelor
students of Physics were involved in the research. The task of the research was in order to determine
if the students in the bachelor level of study are able to find some connection in Physics and Biology
in this topic. And if they are able to describe physics phenomena in our body and explain what is
happening when somebody has the heart attack or which physics phenomena are useful for
measuring blood pressure, etc. In the poster the research results are detailed.
Keywords: Biology, electric potential, electrocardiogram, experimental research, heart, physics
Topics: Experiments, ICT
A new teaching methodology inspired on Role-Playing Games and the
Activity Theory
Maykell Figueira and Eduardo Takahashi
Federal University of Uberl�ndia, Brazil
Games are pedagogical tools that arouse curiosity, allow a mutual exchange of experiences and
opinions among participants and create an environment favorable to the birth of new and good
ideas. In this aspect, the sort of games chosen for a didactic project has a big influence on which
abilities and concepts will be constructed in the cognitive structure of the apprentices. One game
style that has been shown as very effective in the development of new teaching methodologies is the
RPG (Role-Playing Game), a worldwide known and widely spread game style with several scientific
papers pointing it as the new way to teach, since it brings out the ancient art of storytelling.
With this work, we aim to present new paths to approach the main concepts of Geometrical and
Physical Optics within a methodology created for high-school ages, whose thematic center was
guided by a RPG developed by G2T Group (Games to Teach) from the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT) in partnership with Microsoft, a group that has created many educational game
prototypes. The game “La Jungla del Optica” (The jungle of Optics), an interactive narrative
adventure that allows players to immerse in a complete learning experience, was adapted to fit into
a 12 hours methodology, during which experimental sessions and interactive softwares were used as
skill builders among a group of 50 students (such as build and test simple lenses and telescopes;
focalize sunrays lighting up a fire; repair a camera; shoot photographs with many kinds of media;
send rescue signals using optical devices etc.) The entire work was registered in the form of written
interviews and video recordings, by means of which it was possible to investigate the personal
meaning of the participants about the role of games in Optics teaching. In order to adapt this
methodology to a 12 hours experience, we invited the students to 4 meetings of 3 hours each at the
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
University's Science Museum, a place used to develop interactive demonstrations and sky
Under the Activity Theory's perspective, developed in the middle 19s by Leontiev, Luria and Vigotski,
such personal meaning differs from the social context when all those involved in the educational
process (teachers, students, pedagogical coordinators etc.) do not comprehend why and how to
apply an educational game, seeing it merely as an entertainment item. This work acts as
a reconnection bridge between the personal meaning and the social context of classroom games,
focusing specially on RPGs. This reconnection is necessary once the students might be able to realize
that in their daily activities, such as playing cards or joining a chess club, there are very fertile
chances to learn and teach.
Moreover, the preliminary analysis of our results indicates that this methodology was responsible for
a drastic decrease of alienation in the educative process, which is a sign that it is a valid approach and
it can be adopted and applied in other workplaces, making the necessary adaptations depending on
the facing reality. We acknowledge the financial support given by UFU (Federal University of
Uberl�ndia), FAPEMIG and CAPES and to all the students, professors and other collaborators involved
in this work.
Keywords: Role-Playing Game (RPG), active learning, activity theory
Topics: ICT, Learning, Teachers, Teaching
Students’ perception of the problem-solving process in physics
Marie Snětinov� and Zdeňka Koupilov�
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, Czech
Students often struggle with many difficulties when they solve physics tasks. Understanding of these
difficulties is crucial for teachers for mitigation of the students’ obstacles in solving physics tasks as
well as for improving students’ problem-solving skills. For this reason, we wanted to determine main
points how the problem-solving process runs in students’ minds and where they encounter problems
and why. Observations mentioned in (Harper, 2006) served as the main inspiration for our research.
We focused on quantitative physics tasks. Our conclusions were based on questionnaires containing
open format questions. The participants of this survey were 773 high school students (students at
the age of 15 to 20), who were attending physics lessons during their studies. This contribution
presents results of the questionnaire survey gained by using the grounded theory method. The
results are compiled as students’ perspective on the problem-solving process in physics.
Harper, K. A. Student Problem-Solving Behaviors. The Physics Teacher 44 (4), 2006, pp. 250-251.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Keywords: Physics, problem-solving, high school, students' perception
Topics: Learning, Teaching
Relevance of thought-provoking experiences for teaching physics
Jos� Luis Jim�nez1, Ma. Guadalupe Hern�ndez Morales2, Ignacio Campos Flores3 and
Gabriela Del Valle D�az-Mu�oz2
1Universidad Aut�noma Metropolitana - Unidad Iztapalapa, Mexico
2Universidad Aut�noma Metropolitana - Unidad Azcapotzalco, Mexico
3Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Aut�noma de M�xico, Mexico
In the constructivist approach to teaching the students are usually confronted with thoughtprovoking
experiences from which pertinent concepts can be developed. In the present work we
propose three of such experiences which can be used with high school students. The first can be used
to develop the concept of center of mass, and how motion of a particle is indeed motion of center of
mass. The second experience has been used to distinguish heating from rising temperature, which in
common language are taken as synonymous. Therefore the student acquires a clear concept of heat.
The third experience is the radiometer, whose functioning is explained in many physics texts as
resulting from radiation pressure. This experience can be used to propose alternative explanations,
and discard the explanation in terms of radiation pressure.
Keywords: Constructivist approach, develop of concepts, thought-provoking experiences
Topics: Learning, Teachers, Teaching
Remote and virtual experiments in active learning
Pavel Brom and František Lustig
Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Czech
Experiments are considered to be an essential part of physics education. In modern physics,
however, it is challenging to perform some advanced hands-on experiments at secondary schools.
For example equipment for the demonstration of the photoelectric effect or precise spectrometers
are not available at schools, measurements on radioactivity are time-consuming etc. In the poster
presentation we discuss the effectiveness, pros and cons of using real remotely controlled
experiments and simulations within homework labs. We have used the analysis of log files from the
measure-servers to support the conclusions of our pilot survey of the effectiveness of remote labs.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
We often face to jams or technical obstacles. Questionnaires made with secondary school teachers
have confirmed that both real remote and virtual experiments are considered to be an interesting
and valuable contribution to physics education but the optimal way of their use is not clear.
We present the selected remote experiments available 24/7/365 in the Czech remote laboratory
www.ises.info with suggestions how to use them in active learning during physics lessons and
perhaps for the homework labs. We put emphasis on possible effective combinations and
alternations of real remote experiments and virtual labs (i.e. simulations, applets), concerning more
topics of advanced physics like introductories to quantum physics, optics, and radioactivity.
Keywords: University and upper secondary education, real remote lab experiments, virtual
experiments, simulations, integrated e-learning strategy
Topics: Experiments, ICT, Teaching
The Physics Learning Media Integration Tasks using concept maps
Gabriel Leonardo Castro Ronquillo
ESPOL, Ecuador
In the classrooms observed that teachers do not present an integrated teaching in isolation but
which hinders student learning. It is suggested as an alternative integration method (Huber and
Hutchings, 2007) but the use concept maps (Novak, 1975).
Currently, academic work requires innovation skills. Teaching a diverse student population requires
more knowledge of pedagogy than before, and this advice is now extended to new areas, such as
service learning and research. In most fields, the academic work is increasingly collaborative,
interdisciplinary and appropriate, just as expectations are rising productivity (Hutchings, Huber, and
Golde, 2003).
"A concept map is a technique (strategy, tool or resource) to represent and organize knowledge
using concepts and linking phrases between these concepts" (Novak)
Concept maps were designed by Joseph D. Novak to implement meaningful learning model of
Ausubel. They are a learning technique or method whose function is to help the understanding of the
knowledge that students have to learn and relate them you already own.
The use of these techniques help achieve meaningful learning in students.
Keywords: Integration task, concept maps, significant learning
Topics: Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Can Dynamic Concept Be Acquired by Drawing a Conceptual Diagram?
Minoru Sato
Tokai University, Japan
The conceptual diagrams currently used in physics are abstract and scientific figures. However, the
beginner of physics without physical concepts has a possibility of understanding the abstract
conceptual diagrams as concrete pictures. Moreover, in the visual expression using figures, it seems
that it is hard to grasp how they understand the physical concept.
Therefore, investigation about how university students grasp the conceptual diagrams currently used
in statics was conducted. As a result, the scorer of FCI by the student who draw an abstract figure
was higher than the student who draws a concrete figure. In statics, the person drawing an abstract
figure has a high possibility of having a dynamic concept compared with the person describing
a concrete figure.
Conversely, if the dynamic concept can be grasped by drawing an abstract conceptual diagram,
drawing of a conceptual diagram may be able to be used by the physics education. Therefore, the
trial that makes a dynamic concept acquire by drawing an abstract conceptual diagram was
performed. It was evaluated using FCI whether the students has acquired the dynamic concept by
drawing an abstract conceptual diagram.
Keywords: Conceptual diagram, FCI, undergraduates
Topics: Teaching
Experiments and Students’ Individual Work
Jiř� Kvapil
Gymn�zium Olomouc-Hejč�n, Czech Republic
I would like to introduce how I let my students learn Physics in an active way at our secondary school
in Olomouc-Hejcin, the Czech Republic. It is based on the ideas of the “Heur�ka” Project. I and my
students focus on experiments and measurement from the 1st year (11-12 years old). It is very
interesting for many of my students to prepare an experiment and to measure something in an
unusual way. Voluntary homework is a very important part of their learning. They are based on DIY,
low-cost equipment and bright ideas. Students love voluntary homework because of four things: they
have to invent, build or discover something unusual and it is the challenge, they can involve their
parents, they can show their results in front of the class, they do not have to be afraid of bad results.
This way of learning is also very attractive for girls.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Each student builds a low-cost experimental kit for electric circuits. They use them at school during
Physics lesson but they bring them home to practise and revise or simply to play with them.
The poster shows a set of pictures of students’ work, the description of their favourite homework,
the description of low-cost experimental kit for electric circuits and the students’ response.
Keywords: Secondary education: lower (ages about 11-15), experiment, homework, low-cost, kit,
electric circuits, DIY, inquiry based learning, IBSE
Topics: Experiments, Learning, Teaching
Students� Epistemological Beliefs – adapting the EBAPS instrument in
the Czech Republic
Martina Kekule and Blanka Zajacov�
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, Czech
(EBAPS) instrument in the Czech Republic. The tool has been created by a group of scientists at the
University of California, Berkeley, and it assesses the students’ beliefs along five dimensions:
structure of scientific knowledge, nature of knowing and learning, real-life applicability, evolving
knowledge, source of ability to learn. In contrast to MPEX or VASS survey, items of the EBAPS tool try
to eliminate students’ expectation of a particular science course from their epistemological beliefs.
Despite the effort, the authors in their own critique of the instrument state the possibility of
triggering the expectation sometimes at some students. That is why, when using the tool in (slightly)
different cultural and educational environment the proper adapting of the tool is needed.
The adaptation includes not only meaningful translation into the native language, but above all
appropriate statistical data processing (including for example item analysis, etc.) followed by
interpretation and adjustment of the instrument. We present results based on data collected from
more than 200 high school students in the Czech Republic. The tool was addressed to students during
physics lessons. International audience can benefit from this poster presentation by comparison of
slightly different original and Czech versions of the tool.
Elby, A. (1999). Another reason that physics students learn by rote. American Journal of Physics.
Physics Education Research Supplement, 67(7), p. 52-S57.
Halloun, I., & Hestenes, D. (1998). Interpreting VASS Dimensions and Profiles. , 7(6), p. 553-577.
Redish, E. F., Saul, J. M., & Steinberg, R. N. (1998). Student expectations in introductory physics.
American Journal of Physics, 66(3), p. 212-224.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Keywords: Epistemological beliefs, EBAPS, physical science, questionnaire adaptation
Topics: Learning
High Schools Students� Misconceptions in Electricity and Magnetism
and How to Diagnose Them
Věra Koudelkov� and Leoš Dvoř�k
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, Czech
Electricity and magnetism is one of topics in Czech curriculum for high schools� physics. It is natural
to explore how Czech high school�s students understand Electricity and Magnetism and which
misconceptions are typical for them. At first we used CSEM [1], but it is intended for students of
introductory physics courses at universities. Although we left out few questions, which are not taught
at Czech high schools, it was shown that the survey is too abstract and difficult for Czech high
schools� students. The new Conceptual test from the area of Electricity and Magnetism, which is
focused on high schools� students, was presented at WCPE 2012 in Istanbul.
The test was slightly modified after last year pilot testing and we verified the modified version in the
school year 2012-2013. There was about 200 students for pretest and posttest. Final test will be
provided as a diagnostic tool mainly for Czech physics teachers, but the English version of this test
could be provided too.
Results from this verification and concrete results about misconceptions from the area of Electricity
and Magnetism, which students concerned in the survey have, will be presented at the poster.
[1] D. P. Maloney, T. L. O�Kuma, C. J. Hieggelke and A. Van Heuvelen, “Surveying students�
conceptual knowledge of electricity and magnetism”, Am. J. Phys. 69, 12-23 (2001)
Keywords: Misconceptions, electricity and magnetism, high school
Topics: Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Investigation of smart fluids properties in secondary schools
Tibor Medvegy
University of Pannonia, Institute of Physics and Mechatronics, Hungary
The electrorheological (ER) and magnetorheological (MR) fluids are complex fluids which can
rearrange their structures in the presence of an electrical or magnetic field. The result of these
structural changes increase the viscosity of these fluids up to several orders of magnitude. These
fluids due to the controllable viscosity has emerged many applications in the modern engineering.
Used as controllable shock absorbers in vehicles (MR Suspensions), as vibration dampers in washing
machines and stepper motors, as torque transmission materials in brakes and clutches, or even in the
field of cancer research as well.
In my work I present methods, how to familiarize high school students with the physical causes of the
behavior of these advanced products of physics and materials sciences through demonstration and
measurement experiments and how to prepare fluids, similar to these.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, electrorheological fluid, magnetorheological fluid, smart
material, smart fluid
Topics: Experiments
Soap Films with Variable Frames of Prisms
Masako Tanemura1, Masaaki Taniguchi2, Tetsuya Iwamoto1, Kanako Osawa1 and
Yoshinori Kitayama1
1Osaka Kyoiku University, Japan
2Meijo University, Japan
In 1873, Plateau, a Belgian physicist, proved that the mathematical problem which asks for the
curved surface of the minimum surface area is able to be solved by using a soap film. Even for a very
difficult mathematical problem, the curved surface of the minimum area can be obtained with the
soap film physically stretched by the frame made from wire. It is because a soap film forms the
curved surface of the smallest area by the surface tension. This experiment of the soap films is
interesting teaching materials which can make students to study what kind of action the surface
tension is.
We propose a new wire frame by which we can change freely the height of a triangular prism,
a quadratic prism, a pentagonal prism, and a hexagonal column. When we change the height of each
pillar, we easily show that the form of a soap film changes. For example, in a triangular prism, when
height is small, a triangular soap film is made near the center of mass. If height is enlarged gradually,
a triangular portion will become smaller and smaller. Eventually the triangle near the center of mass
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
is lost, and the ridgeline of a soap film is made. In this experiment we can see the minimum curved
surface by a soap film move continuously by our eyes, and this is teaching materials which cause
mathematical concern of students.
The purpose of this research is to clarify relation between the height of a square pillar and the form
of a soap film.
Keywords: University education, soap films, surface tension, minimal surface, teaching materials
Topics: Experiments
Peer Instruction for the age group 12–15
Jana Šest�kov�
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, Czech
Peer Instruction is an interactive teaching method developed by Eric Mazur at Harvard University in
the 1990s. It was originally used to improve learning in introductory physics courses at Harvard
University. Peer Instruction has been adopted across disciplines and institutions mainly for high
education and universities around the world. This method improves students’ understanding of
physics and helps overcome their misconceptions.
Learning by the Peer Instruction method has been implemented at secondary school Lingua Universal
in Litomerice (the Czech Republic) since 2010 during physics courses for 43 pupils at the age of 12-15
years. The ConcepTests used at this school are from Eric Mazur’s book “Peer Instruction: A User’s
Manual” translated into Czech and multiple-choice questions newly created according to the
research on misconceptions in physics.
For collecting real-time feedback flash cards and audience response systems are used. Pupils don’t
practice learning with this method during every course and they don’t prepare themselves at preclass
activities like Just in Time Teaching.
According to my experience as a teacher this learning method gives pupils a lot of advantages. During
peer discussion pupils improve their communication skills, they try to ask correct questions and
explain their opinion which is sometimes hard for them. The most interesting moments are when
some children who were passive in the past can now after discussion understand the problem and
try to explain the correct answer at the end of Peer Instruction period to all classmates.
Keywords: Peer Instruction, secondary school, age group 12-15
Topics: Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Impact of teaching practice on academic self-concept and self-efficacy
of future physics teachers
Markus Elsholz and Thomas Trefzger
University of Wuerzburg, Germany
Content knowledge (CK), pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and pedagogical knowledge (PK) are
said to form teachers’ professional action competence (Baumert, 2006). Although highly skilled in
theroretical issues, applying their knowledge in practice is often difficult for future physics teachers.
Enhancing school-like interactions with pupils in a special course of study already at university might
provide appropriate learning opportunities to gain students’ academic self-concept as well as selfefficacy
both acting on professional action competence.
In the „Lehr-Lern-Labor-Seminar“ at the University of Wuerzburg future physics teachers first work
out experiments on a certain topic (e.g. optics) and after this repeatedly instruct pupils in conducting
these experiments. The students receive feedback from their fellow students as well as from
lecturers in physics education.
A pilot study (Trefzger, 2012) suggested positive implications on students’ self-rating. In this study
the impact of school-like interactions with pupils within the framework of „Lehr-Lern-Labor-Seminar“
on students’ self-concept, academic self-concept and self-efficacy is assessed with a paper and pencil
test in pre-post design. The self-concept scale (Schwanzer, 2005) is adopted from Marsh and O'Neill
(Marsh,1984), the academic self-concept scale (Dickh�user, 2002) is slightly adapted to cover the
threepart structure of science teacher education according to the model of professional action
competence mentioned above. Self-efficacy is assessed on a general level (Schwarzer, 1999) as well
as on the specific level of science teaching self-efficacy (Bleicher, 2004).
Baumert, J.; Kunter, M. (2006). Stichwort: Professionelle Kompetenz von Lehrkr�ften, Zeitschrift f�r
Erziehungswissenschaft, 9(4), 469-520.
Bleicher, R. E. (2004). Revisiting the STEBI-B: Measuring Self-Efficacy in Preservice Elementary
Teachers. School Science and Mathematics, 104(8), 383-391.
Dickh�user, O. et al. (2002). Die Skalen zum akademischen Selbstkonzept. Zeitschrift f�r Differentielle
und Diagnostische Psychologie, 23(4), 393-405.
Marsh, H. W.; O'Neill, R. (1984). Self Description Questionnaire III: The Construct validity of
Multidimensional Self-Concept Ratings by Late Adolescents. Journal of Educational Measurement,
21(2), 153-174.
Schwanzer, A. D. et al. (2005). Entwicklung eines Instruments zur Erfassung des Selbstkonzepts junger
Erwachsener. Diagnostica, 51(4), 183-194.
Schwarzer, R.; Jerusalem, M. (Ed.) (1999). Skalen zur Erfassung von Lehrer- und Sch�lermerkmalen.
Dokumentation der psychometrischen Verfahren im Rahmen der Wissenschaftlichen Begleitung des
Modellversuchs Selbstwirksame Schulen. Berlin: Freie Universit�t Berlin.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Trefzger, T.; V�lker, M. (2012). Ergebnisse einer explorativen Untersuchung zum Lehr-Lern-Labor.
In S. Bernholt (Ed.), Konzepte fachdidaktischer Strukturierung f�r den Unterricht, 134-136. M�nster:
Keywords: Physics teachers education, academic self-concept, self-efficacy
Topics: Teachers
A kinematics diagnosis test as an element of formative assessment
Andreas Lichtenberger
ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Formative assessment is among the most promising tools to improve learning at school. Due to its
broad definition formative assessment has to be developed and adapted for every school level and
teaching situation. We have designed a model of formative assessment for a basic mechanics course
for Swiss Gymnasiums. One essential element of the model is a diagnostic tool. We have developed
a kinematics diagnostic test that measures the student concepts and misconceptions in kinematics.
Seven basic kinematics concepts have been identified. To every concept, a set of corresponding
misconceptions is assigned. The kinematics diagnosis test reveals the gap between student learning
and learning goals on an objective individual basis. Every student finally receives two diagrams. One
illustrates the percentages of items solved correctly for each of the seven concepts and the other
shows which misconceptions are still present. As the teacher gets feedback about the performance
of the class, the test also discloses teaching deficits and advises teachers where lessons have to be
The test consists of 56 multiple-choice items on kinematics, each item containing one right answer
and three or four distractors. Every distractor has been chosen in a way that it can be associated with
one misconception. The items can be furthermore divided into three levels of abstraction: items with
images, e.g. stroboscopic pictures (1), items with diagrams (2), items with tables of values (3).
The test has been performed by so far 285 students and has been adapted four times. For validation
on the one hand interviews with students have been conducted in order to clarify if they have
understood the questions properly and experts have been asked to revise the test. On the other
hand classical test theory has been applied to the data. The Cronbach's alpha for the test has a value
of 0.89. The item difficulties as well as the item-total-correlations indicate that the discriminators are
well chosen. The test is going to be further validated by confirmatory factor analysis.
We have used the validated test in a preliminary study as posttest in mechanics courses at two high
schools in Switzerland (56 students). The test results have revealed that often students with the
same overall performance show completely different concept profiles. By means of latent class
analysis groups of students with similar profiles have been identified and classified. This allows the
teacher to prepare different materials such that these groups of students can work on their
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
individual deficits and catch up. In this way a formative use of the diagnostic test is realized: teachers
use the test results to adjust instructions and students adjust their learning.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19), formative assessment, kinematics
diagnostic test, concept learning
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Teaching
Pedagogical Content Knowledge of a Mexican Secondary School
Science Teachers on Kinetic Molecular Model
Esther Mar�n Resendiz1, Lina Viviana Melo Ni�o2 and Florentina Ca�ada Ca�ada3
1Universidad de Extremadura, Mexico
2Universidad de Extremadura, Colombia
3Universidad de Extremadura, Spain
The overall objective of the present work was to characterize the initial Pedagogical Content
Knowledge (PCK) of five (5) Mexican science teachers about the Kinetic Molecular Model in the first
years of a new curriculum in secondary education (Science II-Emphasis in Physics). We analyze the
PCK of each teacher attending the five components of Magnusson (1999): knowledge of the
curriculum, of instructional strategies, of the pupils, and of evaluation and science teaching
This research is determined by a qualitative paradigm, it is based on interpretive arguments of a case
and a topic in particular. We analyze quality of the answers, tools, and processes described by
teachers on the teaching and learning this subject.
The participating teachers have different degrees: physics, veterinarian, engineer and degree in
pedagogy with emphasis in physics, biology of science in general, with a age between 29 and 46
years, and between 5 and 15 years teaching experience. The ages of their pupils ranged between
13 and 15 years.
The data collection and analysis procedures were: (i) the curricular materials the teachers used;
(iii) the lesson plans (1998); and (iv) the matrix designed by Loughran, Berry & Mulhall (2004) to
represent content (ReCo), to which some modifications were made in the number of questions.
The results revealed the factors involved in his personal educational models. Teachers believe the
subject is important to teach the students because they can understand abstract concepts,
microscopic phenomena and basic characteristics of matter. Teachers believe the models are the
only way to understand the structure of matter. If model has greater accuracy it is better.
For their, knowledge involves processes of reflection on existing theories, and consistent with this is
that he considered it important to know the pupils' existing ideas. However about this topic, teachers
consider students do not have a good idea about matter, only they recognize the particle as part
constitutive of the matter after instructions. Teachers believe these problems are due to the
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
preparation that students have primary school, lack of institutional support in the development of
new proposals and infrastructure.
Keywords: Pedagogical content knowledge, kinetic molecular model, physics teaching
Topics: Teachers
Effects of studying a refutational expository text on the force-motion
student models, in a curriculum integrating language and physics
Carlos Uribe and Alexander Bonilla
Universidad del Valle, Colombia
Guzzetti et al (1993) discusses the differential effects, on science conceptual change, of using
refutational and nonrefutational expository texts in instructional interventions, across a wide range
of quasi-experimental studies in the traditions of both reading education and science education
research. By ‘refutational expository text’ they mean instructional material intended to explicitly
refute a misconception by presenting contrasting information and counterarguments. A general
finding from these studies is that this strategy supports conceptual change when used with other
strategies to induce cognitive conflict (Kelly, 2007, p. 459). We report the findings from a one year
intervention with Physics students in a Colombian University, focused mainly upon the confutation of
the widely held and well-known “motion implies force” na�ve model, according to which a force in
the direction of motion is always needed to maintain it (Duit, Niedderer, & Schecker, 2007). This twophase
intervention was centered on a nonmathematical, conceptual research based textbook,
designed to refute that model by reconceptualizing “the force of the hit”, that supposedly maintains
the motion of a Hockey puck, as the Newtonian momentum (Osborne & Freyberg, 1985). Its first
phase took place in a reading and writing education course in the first semester of the physics
program, and its second phase took place in the second semester mechanics course. In the first
course, students practiced reading and writing strategies with this conceptual physics textbook,
making summaries and then a critical review in several cycles of drafting, feedback and revising. The
physics teacher participated in some classes of the language course, to discuss the student questions
about the physics concepts in the book. The second phase of the intervention was the calculus-based
physics course, taught by its author (and the author of this communication); this course also
emphasized reading and writing activities with a physics content, and using argumentation in group
In order to assess the effect of the intervention we used qualitative and quantitative methods.
Among the standardized instruments employed, it stands out the Force Concept Inventory
(Hestenes, Wells, & Swackhamer, 1992) in its second edition, translated to Spanish by its developers.
It was administered at the beginning the language course and as part of the final exam in the physics
course. We processed the data using Bao and Redish “model analysis” (Bao & Redish, 2006; Bao,
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
1999), which extracts information about the probabilistic knowledge states of students from all
choices to the subset of the FCI questions related to the force motion conception, through the so
called density matrix of the class. The classic analysis is restricted to comparing scores, the number of
questions correctly answered, leaving out the rich information that incorrectly answered questions
provide on the probability of activation of the different mental models that coexist in students’
knowledge system. The eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the density matrix, properly combined, give
such a picture in a “model plot”, a novel and very expedient way of representing the dynamics of
conceptual change, graphically and numerically. Applying this method, we calculated the
corresponding group model change for this intervention and compared it with the model change
obtained in courses that did not use this refutational text. We found an effect that is in accord with
the findings reported by Guzzetti et al (1993).
Bao, L. (1999). Dynamics of Student Modeling: A theory, algorithms, and application to quantum
mechanics (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Maryland.
Bao, L., & Redish, E. F. (2006). Model analysis: Representing and assessing the dynamics of student
learning. Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 2(1), 010103(16).
Duit, R., Niedderer, H., & Schecker, H. (2007). Teaching Physics. In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.),
Handbook of Research on Science Education (pp. 599–629). New York: Routledge.
Guzzetti, B. J., Snyder, T. E., Glass, G. V., & Gamas, W. S. (1993). Promoting conceptual change in
science: A comparative meta-analysis of instructional interventions from reading education and
science education. Reading Research Quarterly, (28), 116–159.
Hestenes, D., Wells, M., & Swackhamer, G. (1992). Force Concept Inventory. The Physics Teacher,
30(3), 141–158.
Kelly, G. J. (2007). Discourse in Science Classrooms. In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook
on Research on Science Education (pp. 443–469). Mahwah (NJ): Lawrence Erlbaum.
Osborne, R. J., & Freyberg, P. (1985). Learning in Science. The implications of children’s science.
Londres: Heinemann.
Keywords: Integrating reading and physics education, force and motion relation, model analysis,
conceptual change, refutational text
Topics: Learning, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Nanotechnology: opportunity to find the intersubjects relations
Lucie Kolarova and Roman Kub�nek
Palacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic
Trend in education is to apply the intersubject relations for understanding the context between
science subjects. Nanotechnology has been described as a technology of the twenty-first century. We
understand nanoscience as an interdisciplinary field that includes chemistry, physics, biology,
material science and engineering. It has offered opportunities to find connections between science
In our case we want to introduce nanotechnology to the students of master study program Physics
Teaching. These students have already necessary physical and mathematical background for
broadening their science knowledge.
This poster presents fundamentals of module Nanotechnology for the above mentioned students of
Physics Teaching. The module introduces terminology, description of methods, intersubject relations,
characterization tools, usefulness and risk of nanotechnology.
Keywords: University education, nanotechnology education, teaching nanotechnology, intersubject
Topics: Teachers
Agent based simulation of group performance: diversity versus
Clemens Wagner
ETHZ, Switzerland
In recent years agent based simulations of problem solving have received increased attention in
order to find a better understanding of how the interactions between group members influence the
group performance. Hong and Page (1) developed a model where single agents were trained to solve
an optimization problem and then sorted due to their performance. Two groups were formed:
a group consisting of the 10 best performers and a group where 10 agents were randomly selected
from the pool. The performance of the group of best problem solvers is then compared to a group
randomly selected from the set of all possible agents with different problem solving strategies. The
outcome of the simulation was that the 10 best problem solvers perform worse on a new problem
than the 10 randomly selected. The explanation for this result is due to the diversity of the group.
Since the agents were trained on a specific problem the 10 best problem solvers use similar solution
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
strategies. In contrast, the randomly selected group shows a much higher diversity and therefore
performs better on a new problem.
Despite the convincing results the model has a problem since all agents are perfect agents. They
make no mistakes. If we would like to apply the model to group work in education we have to
introduce imperfect agents. Thus, in this work we investigate the effect of errors on the performance
of the group using the optimization problem suggested by Hong and Page.
The Model
The model consists of a ring of n = 1000 points. To every point x on the ring a random value between
0 and 100 is assigned. Agents have a perspective and an algorithm to solve the problem, which is
called heuristics. The agents move in the clockwise direction around the ring searching for the largest
value. The perspective of an agent is the l points on the ring in front of the actual position. The
heuristics of the agent consists of k figures out of the l possible ones. An agent starts at an initial
point 12 on the ring. Lets assume that the heuristics is [3 7 11] (assuming k = 3, l = 12). The next
position the agent checks is point 15. If the value at 15 is smaller than value at 12 the agent takes the
next figure from the heuristics (here 7) and compares the value at the position 19 to the value at the
actual position. However if the value at position 15 is larger than the value at 12 the agent moves to
position 15 and checks next the value at position 22. Thus, the heuristics is processed in a cyclic
fashion. An error occurs if a larger value is ignored. It means, that if the agent is at position 12 and
the value at position 15 is indeed larger that the value at position 12 the agent ignores it and checks
next the value at position 19. The performance of an agent is the average of the maxima found over
all initial conditions.
In a group the agents work sequentially. One agent after the next one searches for a local maximum.
If a position is found where none of the agents can find a larger value the algorithm stops.
For the simulations we have used n = 1000, l = 12 and k = 3. The values assigned to the 1000 points
are randomly chosen integers from the interval [0, 100]. Thus the maximal performance of the
agents is 100. We have found two transitions concerning the performance of the two groups with
increasing error probability p. First of all with small error probability the diversity effect still holds
and the best 10 problem solvers solve a new problem as a group worse than the randomly selected
group (p = 0.01; best10 92.4; random 94.8). If the error probability exceeds the lower probability
threshold pth, low approx. 15 % the diversity effect vanishes and the performance of the two groups
becomes equal. However, if the errors occur to often the performance of both groups diminishes.
The second threshold is found to be around pth, high = 80 % (p = 0.9; best10 70.7; random 70.6).
Between the error probability of 30 % to 50 % the best as well as the random group work at the same
performance (p = 0.4; best10 93.6; random 94.1).
It has been hypothesized that diversity is the reason why diverse problem solvers outperform
a group of high ability performers in an optimization task. This result holds only for almost perfect
agents. However, human beings are error prone and this has to be taken into account considering
e.g. recruiting problems as suggested by Hong and Page (1). Here we show that errors of agents can
help to overcome the lack of diversity. Our simulation shows that any group of agents from the same
error probability level in the medium range solves the optimization problem with the same
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
performance. Moreover, the grade of the solution is equal to the grade of a group of randomly
selected perfect problem solvers.
1. Hong L, Page SE. Groups of diverse problem solvers can outperform groups of high-ability
problem solvers. Procceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2004;101(46):16385 - 9.
Keywords: Agent based model, diversity, group performance
Topics: Learning, Teaching
Dealing with students’ representational competence in South African
university physics
Anne Linder1, John Airey1, Paul Webb2 and Nokhanyo Mayaba2
1Uppsala University, Sweden
2Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Over the past two to three decades it has been convincingly argued that many of the learning
challenges faced by science students are rooted in coming to understand and work with the
specialized forms of communication that the teaching of science calls for. From such a viewpoint the
disciplinary ways of knowing become inseparable from their discursive representations; for Physics
these include written and oral language, diagrams, graphs, mathematics, apparatus, laboratory
routines, etc. Taking representational competence in university physics to mean the ability to engage
meaningfully with the discourse of physics we found no studies dealing with this. In particular, we
found no studies looking at how physics lecturers think about the representational competence of
their students and how they subsequently craft their practice to enhance the possibility of learning.
Our research question is: When South African Physics lecturers perceive a lack of representational
competence in their students, in the particular contexts in which they work, what are their response
strategies to address the issue? Twenty physics lecturers from five very different South African
Universities were involved in our study. Mother tongue and socio-cultural diversity across both
students and lecturers were important factors in selecting the participating universities (for ethical
reasons neither the lecturers, nor their universities are identified). The participating lecturers took
part in semi-structured and individual interviews of between 30 and 60 minutes. These discussions
were recorded and then later transcribed.
Five qualitatively different categories of response strategies to deal with the perceived lack of
disciplinary representational competence in their students were formulated, viz:
• Recognize but not the lecturer’s problem
• Recognize but do not see as relevant
• Recognize but avoid facing
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
• Recognize and offer alternatives
• Recognize and offer passive support
• Recognize and actively engage
These categories and their implications for physics education are discussed.
Keywords: Representational competence, response strategies, crafting of practice
Topics: Teaching
Is there a need for Foundation Programmes in Physics?
Deena Naidoo1, Daisy Matlou2 and Douglas Clerk1
1School of Physics, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
2Engineering Support Programme, University of the Witwatersrand,
Johannesburg, South Africa
In 1992, the College of Science was established in the Faculty of Science, University of the
Witwatersrand. A new credit bearing BSc Foundation Program was designed for students who didn’t
meet the minimum requirements for admission into the 3-year BSc mainstream degree program. The
BSc Foundation Programme was generally offered to the former socio-economically and
educationally disadvantaged students and admission was based on selection tests. In 2006, the
foundation program was transformed into a new BSc Extended Programme with similar entrance
criteria as the foundation program. The 2+2 model program was designed to develop language,
scientific and mathematical skills, bridge knowledge gaps and attitudes of these underprepared
students through counselling, innovative teaching and learning experience. In this contribution, the
course structure, content and activities of these Physics programmes both at foundation and
mainstream levels will be outlined with particular attention given to how indirect interactive
instructional skills and experiential learning has impacted on the effectiveness of lectures, laboratory
and tutorials learning sessions. The presentation will focus on activities surrounding small group
tutorial sessions which is the primary learning activity of any first year Physics course, in particular
problem solving and conceptual understanding. In 1999, Heller and Heller emphasised the
importance of cooperative group work in solving text-rich problems (Heller & Heller, 1999). The
guided discovery approach developed by Redish (1999) and the Technology Enabled Active Learning
program designed by Belcher (2001) both highlight the importance of small group learning activities.
Although at Wits we have long employed “small” group tutorial sessions, we continually seek to
improve the effectiveness of learning activities. Surveys will be presented that suggest changes that
have implemented in these activities have had a positive effect on the learning of physics by the
students in these courses. A direct comparison of the performance of “foundation students” who
merged with new first-time mainstream undergraduate students will be compared over an eight year
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Heller P. and Heller K. (1999). Cooperative Group Problem Solving in Physics. Minnesota: University
of Minnesota.
Redish E.F., (1999). Milikan Award Lecture (1998): Building a Science of Teaching Physics. American
Journal of Physics, 67, 562-573.
Keywords: Foundation level, cooperative group work, small group learning activities
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Curriculum, Learning, Teaching
Project Day: Technology of metal manufacturing
Rita Chalupnikova
Lower secondary school Sec, Czech Republic
The article describes a one-day project targeting pupils of secondary schools (lower). The aim of the
project was to get pupils familiar with the characteristics and technology of metal manufacturing.
Pupils experienced mechanical manufacturing and shaping of copper. They made simple copper
jewellery, like our ancestors used to do. They also observed and experienced other metal
manufacturing processes – smelting of tin and tin casting in tufa stone made by students themselves.
Pupils gained knowledge in the characteristics of some metals and alloys, they experienced craftwork
using simple tools, and using old techniques they understood how today�s blast furnaces work.
Pupils� own effort and skill practice helped them awake their interest in craftwork and respect to
honest work.
Keywords: Secondary school (lower), project�s day, mechanical shaping of copper, smelting of tin
Topics: Teaching
Illustrative and easy-to-perform experiments with Vernier that
connect physics to other subjects
Pavel B�hm
Department of Physics Education, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles
University in Prague, Czech Republic
Computer-assisted experiments may help teachers to conduct experiments in more efficient and
illustrative ways compared to classical ways that do not make use of modern technologies.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
I will present two experiments in detail and mention a few more briefly based on several years of
using Vernier in the classroom. Both experiments can be performed demonstratively, as studentexperiments
or combined (start with demonstration and than let students do their own
Experiment 1 (melting of ice cubes in tap-water and in salt water) helps students to train their
observation skills. Computer-assisted measuring is not needed here but it helps to make observation
more illustrative.
Experiment 2 (fast measuring of light sources with light sensor) helps students to understand the
importance of proper sampling frequency. Light bulb and fluorescent tube is observed using light
sensor with several sampling frequencies: 10 kHz, 1 kHz, 200 Hz, 120 Hz, 100 Hz.
Keywords: Secondary education (lower & upper), computer-assisted experiments, Vernier, overlap
with chemistry, overlap with biology, overlap with ICT, overlap with mathematics
Topics: Experiments
Experimental investigation of electric power in an AC circuit at
secondary school
Peter Zilavy
Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Czech
Electric power is one of the quantities, which we meet in our everyday life "full" of various electrical
appliances the most often. However, especially in the case of AC circuits, the real understanding of
its principle is for many students (and also for some their teachers) unsolvable problem.
The paper presents a set of school experiments which (using an AC power supply, the Vernier system,
PC and several other components) clarifies the concept of instantaneous and real electric power and
which allows us to clearly understand their meaning in case of appliances of different characteristics.
Subsequently, the paper shows some experiments related to the concept of RMS current and
Keywords: Secondary education: upper, school physics experiments, electric power, real power,
instantaneous power, RMS value
Topics: Experiments, ICT
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Influence of textual contextualization in the solution of physics
Nathan Pinheiro and Fernanda Ostermann
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
One issue that has a central role in modern debates in psychology of learning is the nature of
knowledge, especially to what extent it’s universal or context-based. One perspective that
participates in this debate is the situated cognition, which advocates that all knowledge is intrinsically
situated in human activity and bound to cultural and physical contexts. This approach has many
implications to teaching and to the understanding of learning, including that the kind of knowledge
that a individual may use for explaining and predicting the physical world may vary from one context
to another, getting to physically correct or wrong answer to the same kind of problems depending on
the context in which they are presented.
This research is inspired by a research about mathematics learning held by Nunes et al. (Street and
School Mathematics, 1993). One of the findings in the original research were that individuals who
had poor achievement in mathematics at school but some ability in mathematics in everyday life
would have better results in school tests if they were composed by questions with textual references
to concrete situations (word problems) rather than a abstract calculation questions. This suggested
that the reference to a familiar context were enough to activate different kinds of knowledge that
helped to the solution of the problem. In search of the same kind of phenomena in the solving of
physics problems, we elaborated a series of physics questions with two versions each one: one
formulated in purely abstract terms and another with reference to a specific context. Both versions
of each questions involved exactly the same stages to the solution of the problem and the same
calculations, the only difference was the presentation of the problem. The two versions were
ramdomly combined in tests that were applied to about one hundred high school students. The
assumption was that the references to concrete situations would activate in students certain kinds of
intuitive physics knowledge associated to everyday activities that, if on one side could be wrong from
the scholar physics perspective, could help to get to write solutions. The results of the tests were
analyzed statistically and discussed in the light of the theoretical framework.
Keywords: Secondary education, problem solving, situated cognition
Topics: Learning
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Student�s Competition in Science Theme – part Physics
Libor Kon�ček and Lenka Ličmanov�
University of Ostrava, Czech Republic
The Faculty of Science of University of Ostrava provides a lot of promotion for secondary school
students. Some activities are prepared individually by departments of faculty – Department of
Mathematics, Department of Physics, Department of Informatics and Computers, Department of
Chemistry, Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Department of Biology and Ecology,
Department of Human Geography and Regional Development. There are some demonstrations of
experiments, some presentations of new inventions or technologies. Collective activity named “Little
Windows” was prepared as competition for secondary school students.
Activities for students were very different. In this contribution will be described activities prepared by
Department of Physics. Results of some small investigation will be present too. Investigation was
focused to estimation of students in Physics.
Keywords: Propagation of physics, estimation of students, investigation in physics
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning
Conservation of energy in collisions of rolling spheres
Jerzy Jarosz and Aneta Szczygielska
Faculty of Didactics of Physics, University of Silesia, Poland
To analyse both elastic and nonelastic collisions of spheres, the principle of conservation of
momentum is usually applied. It allows one to find the velocity vectors of spheres after the collision.
A little attention is usually paid to the principle of conservation of energy. However, the application
of this rule is necessary to understand properly phenomena related to collisions of rolling balls.
In this case, the sphere’s energy is accumulated in two forms: the kinetic energy of translational
motion, which can be transferred to another sphere during the collision, and the kinetic energy of
rotational motion, which cannot be transferred. If we collide two balls of equal masses, one of them
rolling and another one motionless, the first one stops, but still rotates, and due to the friction starts
to roll again, while the second one starts to slide without rotation, and finally, roll again too. Using
bowling balls of various masses, changing the initial parameters of their motion, and taking into
account the friction with the base, a rich variety of quite interesting effects could be observed. Using
a high-speed camera to observe them, gives a clear view of transferring and dissipating mechanical
energy, as well as of fundamental principles of mechanics.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Keywords: Secondary education, university education, principles of conversation, energy transfer,
collisions of spheres, high-speed movies
Topics: Experiments, Teaching
Creation of workbook in physics for pupils of technical fields at
secondary vocational schools
Věra Kerl�nov� and Erika Mechlov�
Faculty of Science, University of Ostrava, Czech Republic
The first version of the Workbook of Physics, Mechanics for the 1st year Secondary Vocational
Schools with electrotechnical focus, began forming during the school year 2007/2008. First it was
focused on explaining the physical concepts and solving physical tasks. On the basis of feedback
getting within pre-researches in school years 2008/2009 and 2009/2010, i.e. the results of input and
output tests, questionnaires, pedagogical observing and interviews with pupils, it was gradually
expanded, innovated and updated. In the school year 2010/2011, when the pedagogical research
was carried out at three secondary vocational schools and one grammar school, the Workbook has
consisted of parts targeted on physical concepts, examples from practice and real life, physical tasks,
physical terminology in English, records of pupils from viewed video projection and physical
experiments. The Workbook was created so that it could contribute to improving the quality,
streamlining and facilitating physics teaching and learning in the initial education at secondary
vocational schools, to facilitate pupils� homeworks, to awareness of interdisciplinary relations,
especially in the natural sciences and technical subjects, to minimize psychological burden of pupils
and to support pupils with learning disabilities.
By pedagogical research it was found out whether it is possible contribute to increasing knowledge
and skills of pupil and improve his attitude to physics by introducing of appropriately designed
workbook in physics inciting pupil's activity. There were one class with using Workbook and the
second one without using it at every school. The quantitative aspect was examined by testing the
knowledge and skills of pupil. The qualitative aspect, pupil’s attitude to subject physics and to physics
teaching with using workbook, was found out by the questionnaire survey. It turned out that the
both viewpoints are closely related to motivation of pupils in teaching physics at secondary schools.
The group of pupils learning with special designed Workbook were higher motivated and its results in
physics learning were statistically significantly better to compare with the second one.
Keywords: Secondary education upper, pedagogical research, workbook, technical fields, secondary
vocational school
Topics: Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Early childhood science education
Mil�n Moln�r and Katalin Papp
University of Szeged, Hungary
Our poster is presented one of the most pressing problems of science education, the situation of
student’s attitude. With the research that is based on domestic and foreign survey we analyze the
changes in the attitudes. We are looking for explanations of low attitudes of chemistry and physics
From several explanations we highlight the significance of early childhood science education. We
analyze why the scientific approach is overshadowed in lower grades of elementary school. Through
our examples we present how science could be teaching in this age group with attitude shaping.
Our analyze present a program that is under preparation, and with this program we would like to
examine the attitude of natural science of children from kindergarten and primary school with
empirical studies. With this program we also would like to measure the impact of our methods.
We present the developed specific methods and programs that can be helpful for teachers who
interested in the topic.
Keywords: Early childhood, science education, attitude
Topics: Experiments, Learning, Teaching
Modern metal materials, how we can present materials physics to high
school students
Zuzana Zdražilov�
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, Czech
Materials physics is very progressive branch and it needs new people with interest. However there is
not much time for this discipline in the school and there are not many books for students interested
in this theme. Therefor it is very difficult to learn something about phenomena in materials physics.
We would like to introduce this branch for high school students, mainly at some special courses for
talented student or during leisure activities. For this reason we prepared leaflets with basic
information about various topics from materials physics like testing methods, preparing of materials
or modern materials.
The main goal of our poster is to show what can be interesting in materials physics and how to
introduce modern metal materials and their applications to students who would like to know more.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Keywords: Secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19), materials physics, modern metals, metal
foams, composite materials
Topics: Informal Physics Teaching & Learning
Use Of Analogies In Modern Physics Classes
Roberto Cruz-Hastenreiter
IFRJ / USP, Brazil
This paper investigates the use of analogies in teaching activities, specifically in physics classes. We
review one hundred and ten publications (from 1990 to 2012) on the topic of the usage of analogies
in physics instruction published in recognized journals specialized in science education. The data
shows a peak in the number of such publications in 1993, likely due to a special issue on analogies of
the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, published in that year.
In the literature, justifications for using analogies in teaching activities are sometimes based on the
observation that, when two or more things are similar in at least one way, analogical thinking allows
one to “draw a conclusion” about an unknown factor on the basis of resemblance to a familiar or
known factor. However, in concordance with several papers on the present theme, we emphasize
the danger in using analogies when the analogous (that which represents the “object”) is unknown to
the student or, when they construct similarity relations based on their observations and these
relationship are often different from teacher intentions.
Overall, our work highlights risks occurring when the instructional content is modern physics where
the entities presented to students don’t have any relation with the immediate experience of the
sensible world.
In order to do extend our analysis, we obtained transcriptions from the classes of two teachers from
two different public schools in S�o Paulo. The themes discussed by the teachers were: (i) wave
particle duality and photoelectric effect, (ii) atomic models and quantization of energy. The classes
were aimed at students of the 10th grade, both of them at public schools in Sao Paulo. The students'
age range was between 17 and 18 years old.
We generated a categorization of the analogies used in teaching activities based on the work of
Curtis and Reigeluth (1984) entitled The Use of Analogies in Written Text. We used 18 categories
comprising two sets. The first group of categories describes the nature of the analogies and the
second describes the usage of the analogies in physics classes.
From this analysis we identified several problems with using analogies in classes of modern physics.
Usually the teachers tried to use elements from classical (Newtonian) physics to represent a concept,
for example, of quantum physics. This approach seemed to compel the students to learn the model
but did not necessarily compel them to learn the concept that it was meant to present.
Because this part of the research was based on observations of only two teachers, the resulting data
is not robust enough to inform a statistical analysis. We thus emphasize that our research wasn't
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
based in empirical data analysis; rather we share our theoretical reflections stemming from the
review of the selected works and the observations of teachers in a real world setting. This work is
a part of a line of research addressing the question of representation based in the Philosophy of
Symbolic Forms by Ernst Cassirer.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19), analogies, teaching and learning, modern
Topics: Learning, Teaching
An inquired-based laboratory on friction
Vera Montalbano
University of Siena, Italy
Friction is a complex phenomenon, usually missing in high school laboratory. Nevertheless, sliding
friction is often introduced in the easier way in mechanic because of simple exercises which can be
done in this subject. Another important aspect is the relation between static and dynamic friction.
A closer look in this topic allows to introduce interesting discussions on the structure of matter,
relations between macroscopic and microscopic modelling, which aspects of a phenomenon are
really relevant, which others can be omitted and for which reason, and so on. Last but not less, it can
be the starting point for introducing to nanoscience world.
Inspired by a recent study in higher education, a learning path designed for high school student is
presented. Students are invited to predict the behavior of different sliding surfaces by using their
previous knowledge and their experience. Then, they can realize and observe what really happens.
New previsions can be made and checked. Their description of phenomenon can be change during
this qualitative path on friction, some hints are given by proposing an activity that can inspire which
aspect can be relevant and which interaction is involved. After this introductory activity, two
different quantitative experiments are proposed for studying Leonardo's laws for friction.
All activities are realized with low-cost materials.
This laboratory on friction was tested with two high school classes (44 students, ages about 15-16)
during a instruction trip in our department. Students were very involved in the inquired-based
introductory activity and seemed to realize with care the measurements. However, the analysis of
their reports on this laboratory shows some learning difficulties which are discussed.
Keywords: Secondary education: upper (ages 15-19), friction, active learning in laboratory
Topics: Experiments, Teaching
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Use of virtual grouping within online social networking: articulating
new teaching-learning strategies aimed at high school
Allan Victor Ribeiro, Moacir Pereira Souza Filho, Andr� Luiz Malvezzi and Sergio Rykio
Sao Paulo State University, Brazil
One tool that has been in evidence, especially among young people, is Facebook, which can be
classified as a synchronous communication tool allowing communities of people with similar
interests to discuss and exchange experiences in real time, promoting the sharing of information and
the creation of collective knowledge. In this sense we can not ignore the potentialities and the
impact that virtual communities exert in the creation, dissemination and building of knowledge [1]
[3]. The central focus of this work is to present some possible uses of Facebook as an educational
tool to support the work done in the classroom and analyze the impact of creating closed groups on
social networks for educational purposes [2]. The survey was conducted with a group of high school
students from a private school in the city of Bauru – SP – Brasil. We investigated the interaction
profile of students with a closed group created on Facebook and through a questionnaire analyzed
whether students use virtual environments for personal or educational purposes. The data show that
67.1 % of students admit that the interaction through restricted groups inside online social networks
is interesting because the exchange of information related to school activities, allows them to
improve their knowledge and to learn new subjects. The research reveals that students investigated
often interact with the new technologies primarily for educational purposes. Additionally, students
reveal that the group created within Facebook provides interactive elements that strongly contribute
for a meaningful learning which translates itself into a virtual learning environment. We highlight
several positive aspects related to the use of online social networks in the educational context.
We conclude that online social networks in the educational field can be a strong ally to the teacher in
the work to be developed in extra-class activities, which through a well-designed plan with regard to
the methodology of its use, can translate into a teaching strategy fruitful for the learning process.
The research reveals the perception of students about the relevant aspects and the potential use of
this tool as a strategy for teaching and learning.
[1] Ribeiro, A. V., & Souza Filho, M. P. et al. (2011) Blog e redes sociais: Caminhos e possibilidades
voltados ao ensino de ci�ncias da natureza. In: I Simp�sio Internacional de Educa��o a Dist�ncia.
Presidente Prudente, Brazil.
[2] Kenski, V. M. (2010) As muitas tecnologias e as muitas formas de comunidades de
aprendizagem. In: Converg�ncias e tens�es no campo da forma��o e do trabalho docente.
�ngela I. L. F. Dalben [et al.] (org.). Belo Horizonte: Aut�ntica.
[3] Wodzicki, K., Schw�mmlein, E., & Moskaliuk, J. (2012). "Actually, I wanted to learn": Studyrelated
knowledge exchange on social networking sites. The Internet and Higher Education,
15(1), 9-14
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Keywords: Online social networks, information technology and communication, teaching and
learning process
Topics: ICT, Informal Physics Teaching & Learning, Teaching
A Practice of Interactive Lecture Demonstrations for pre-service
science teacher training in Japan
Kazunari Taniguchi and Takatoshi Murata
Kyoto University of Education, Japan
Since 2010 we have been practiced “Interactive Lecture Demonstrations [1]” on kinematics and
dynamics including Newton’s Three Laws, in the pre-service science teachers training course in our
university. To assess the conceptual learning gains, we carried out a pre-test and two post-tests, after
of the practice with FMCE [2], once just after the practice (post 1), and another three months later
(post 2). In addition, we asked the students to review a change of their own understanding through
the activities, and to submit a report in 2 weeks after the end of the practice in order to promote the
metacognition. The normalized gain [3] of post 1 and 2 were 0.70 and 0.62, respectively. This result
shows that the students’ conceptual understanding is considerably revised and retained even after
3 months. This is similar to the results shown by Thornton and Sokoloff [2]. Furthermore, we
obtained noticeable results that personal gains of about 30 % of students increase in post 2 than in
post 1. In the submitted reports of these students, we noticed that metacognitive description of their
observation and understanding is noteworthy.
[1] D. Sokoloff, R. Thornton, “Interactive Lecture Demonstrations”, Wiley (2004).
[2] R. Thornton, D. Sokoloff, Am. J. Phys. 66(4), 338(1998).
[3] R. Hake, Am. J. Phys. 66(1), 64 (1998).
Keywords: University education, active learning, Interactive Lecture Demonstrations, pre-service
teacher training, metacognition, normalized gain
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation, Learning, Teachers
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
Surprising behavior of a balloon and a foil boat in a gas denser than
air: A video-based delayed transfer test for students’ understanding of
buoyant forces
Josip Sliško1 and Jelena Radovanović2
1Facultad de Cincias Fisico Matematicas, Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de
Puebla, Mexico
2Elementary school "Slobodan Sekulić", Užice, Serbia
The paper describes one video-based activity intended to serve as a four-month delayed transfer test
of understanding of buoyant force, floating and sinking. The aim was to check if the students were
able to apply their knowledge by explaining situations shown to them in a video sequence which, at
first glance, looked quite surprising and almost surreal. This assignment was designed as a final part
of pilot research on efficacy of active physics learning experiences inserted in traditional lecturebased
teaching on buoyant force and related topics. The research took place during the second
semester of academic 2011/2012 in Uzice (Serbia). The sample consisted of 68 seventh-grade
students (age 13), divided into three groups. Each group was asked to fill in a worksheet relating to
a video sequence (“SF6 Denser than air” at the video portal www.fizik.si) showing: a) sinking of an
air-filled party balloon placed in a container filled with air, and then its floating in the same container
filled with an invisible gas denser than air; b) floating of a tin foil "boat" placed in a container with the
same dense gas, and then its sinking after the dense gas was poured into the "boat" itself. Students
were asked to describe what they saw and to give their explanations why it happened. They were
also given the opportunity to estimate how much this activity helped them test their physics
knowledge, on a scale from 1 to 5, and to express if they liked or disliked the task. Different groups
had different viewing experiences with the video sequence: 1) seeing the video with sound off;
2) seeing the video with sound on; 3) seeing video with sound on after a short predict-observeexplain
activity which had equal elements as the video sequence, but with water being used instead
of the dense gas. This poster presents the results we obtained and some selected opinions from
students belonging to each of the groups. It seems that this task could be a transfer test of an active
learning sequence dealing with buoyant force and related phenomena, since through this activity
a clear estimate can be gained of students' understanding of conditions leading to floating and
sinking. Success rate is significantly related to classroom and homework experiences with buoyant
force. Students who have carefully completed the investigative homework assignment dealing with
floating and sinking shown greater success than other students, even when compared with those
students who had the predict-observe-explain activity before being shown the video, but who have
not done the homework assignment. These results clearly show the importance of those activities in
which students are directly involved with the phenomena they are learning about.
Keywords: Secondary education: lower (ages about 11-15), active physics learning, predict-observeexplain,
floating and sinking, delayed transfer test
Topics: Assessment & Evaluation
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
The last ring before Polish matura exam in physics and astronomy
Daniel Dziob and Justyna Nowak
Jagiellonian University, Institute of Physics, Krakow, Poland
“The last ring before matura exam in physics and astronomy” is the name of the series of workshops
for students in the last class of high school. It is organized at the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and
Applied Computer Science, Jagiellonian University, since 2012.
In 2012 workshops were attended by 53 graduates from South of Poland, which was a significant
number with respect to the population of students who take the matura exam in physics. The
workshops lasted one Saturday. They started with the lecture entitled “The most common mistakes
and traps during matura exam” and then each student could take part in three out of six successive
workshop groups. The groups in following fields were organized: “mechanics”, “thermodynamics”,
“vibration, waves and optics”, “electricity and magnetism”, “gravitation and astronomy”, “particle
physics and structure of matter”, which discussed all the topics considered during the matura exam.
Workshop groups were led by 14 students from four scientific circles and 5 other students were
responsible for facilities such as a coffee break and registration. After the session all participants
were asked to fill out the online evaluation questionnaire.
In 2013 workshops were attended by 88 graduates from all over the Poland. They consisted of six
meetings, organized weekly, each in a separate field, as in the first edition. Every Saturday students
met at the introductory lecture and subsequently took part in problem solving workshops in small
group. After the last session participants were asked to fill out the evaluation questionnaire. The
organization of workshops involved students from all scientific circles from our Faculty.
The program was supported financially by the Dean and the Director of Institute of Physics,
Jagiellonian University.
Keywords: Informal education, matura exam, high school
Topics: Informal Physics Teaching & Learning
Science lessons for 13 year old students in 10 countries in Europe:
curricula, the perception of science teachers and perception
of the 13 year old learners
Wim Peeters1, Tom Lambert1 and Job De Meyere2
1Dienst Katholiek Onderwijs vzw, Antwerpen, Belgium
2Thomas More Kempen, Vorselaar, Belgium
The SECURE project (1) has collected a huge amount of data for comparative analysis of the curricula
of science, mathematics and technology of 10 countries spread all over Europe, for analysis of the
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
perceptions of those that implement curricula (the teachers) and for better understanding of the
perceptions of the learners concerning the science lessons they attend.
In this presentation we limit our focus to 13 years old learners, to science as a discipline and to the
teachers teaching science. We present an overview of the curricula of 10 countries and look for
particularities among the different countries. Interviews and questionnaires are the means by which
we collected people’s opinions on a range of topics provided by the curriculum spider web developed
by van den Akker, J (2003) (2) of SLO, the Netherlands. This includes rationale, aims and objectives,
content, learning activities, teacher role, materials and resources, grouping, time, location, activities
and assessment. In the course of the project, SECURE added “motivation” as a topic to that list.
Curricula for the 13 years old are very different throughout the 10 countries. In 4 countries 13 year
old learners are in the final year of a 4 year cycle, while in 6 countries they are in the second year of
secondary education. In 9 countries science is consists of biology, chemistry and physics separetely,
while only in Belgium there is an integrated science course. These different starting situations lead to
a very complicated situation in view of comparative analysis. Nevertheless we will present some
ideas, trends and conclusions.
The teachers’ answers to the questionnaires reveal a rather traditional attitude towards the nature
of teaching. Most activities take place for the whole class, where after the students make exercises in
a book, mostly on their own. Active learning is organised only sometimes. However, we can see some
indications of good practices too. In most cases interviews have confirmed but also deepened the
insights provided by the questionnaires.
About 1200 13 year old learners that were questioned have given their opinion by filling out
questionnaires. For science alone this leads to 90 pages of graphs on which the answers to about 170
questions in 6 spider web topics are shown. These graphs show that answers can vary in a significant
way from country to country on some spider web topics, while, on the other hand some answers are
almost the same. In general learners indeed are motivated but their ideal of learning differs rather
drastically from reality. They like the lessons because of the topics rather than because of the
teacher. They enjoy learning a lot (more than 70 %) but only 40 % want more.
The previous are only some conclusions that illustrate the richness of the outcomes.
Apart from questionnaires, interviews reveal good examples of general ideas coming up from the
Since the analysis of the results is in full progress now (April 2013), there will be more detailed
information available in August 2013.
Special attention will go to the conference theme: “Active learning – in a changing world of new
technologies”, covered by the spider web components “teacher role” and “learning activities”
combined with “teaching materials”. This will be searched for in curricula, as well as in
questionnaires and interviews of both teachers and learners.
This work is based on the SECURE research project (No SIS-CT-2010-266640), which received funding
from the European’s Unions Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development.
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
(1) SECURE—Science Education CUrriculum Research, Project number 266640, Call (part) identifier
(2) van den Akker, J. (2003). Curriculum perspectives: An introduction. In J. van den Akker, W.
Kuiper, U. Hameyer (Eds.), Curriculum landscapes and trends (pp. 1-10). Dordrecht: Kluwer
Academic Publishers.
Keywords: SECURE project, 13 years old learners, comparative analysis, science, mathematics,
Topics: Curriculum
Superconductor-magnet interaction studied through high-speed
Assunta Bonanno, Giacomo Bozzo, Michele Camarca and Peppino Sapia
Physics Education Research Group, Physics Department, University of Calabria,
In this work we present an experimental learning path on superconductivity, designed for university
undergraduate students, tested during the current academic year at the University of Calabria, Italy,
in the context of an Electromagnetics Laboratory teaching module. The experimental activity is based
on high-speed video analysis of a magnet falling through an YBCO superconducting cylinder. The use
of an Atwood’s machine allowed us to vary the magnet’s kinetic energy during its interaction with
the superconductor. In this way, we highlighted the existence of two interaction regimes: below
a certain crossing kinetic energy, the magnet is repelled by the superconductor and reaches
a levitation equilibrium state; when the crossing energy exceeds such a value, the magnet passes
through the superconducting cylinder, and a fraction of its energy is transferred to the magnetic field
of persistent supercurrents. The use of a commercial-grade high speed imaging system, together
with video analysis performed by means of the “Tracker” software tool, allowed us to attain
a precision in space and time measurements sufficient to implement a quantitative modeling of the
superconductor-magnet interaction. Receiving coils, mounted both on the superconducting cylinder
and fixed to the falling magnet, allowed us to study the magnetic flux variations in both reference
frames (i.e., the frame fixed to the falling magnet and that fixed to the superconducting cylinder).
In this way, the magnetic flux patterns around the superconductor has been studied and connected
to the Meissner and pinning effects.
The work aims providing students with an accessible quantitative experimental activity, allowing
them to better understand either electromagnetic induction or superconductor physics. The
proposed activity, with minor changes regarding quantitative aspects and modeling, is also suitable
for last year high school students, allowing teachers to exemplify and discuss several topics, ranging
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Thursday, session P3
from the superconductivity, to magnetic flux’s variation, to the energetic issues related to the
magnetic field.
Keywords: University education, secondary education: upper (ages about 15-19), superconductivity,
video-analysis, electromagnetic induction
Topics: Experiments
ICPE-EPEC 2013 List of Reviewers
List of reviewers
A kind help of all reviewers is appreciated very much by the conference organizers.
Maria Almeida
Simon Bates
Ana Gostinčar Blagotinšek
Zdeněk Bochn�ček
Morag Casey
Philippe Colin
James Collett
Beatriz Cortela
Mojca Čepič
Cecile de Hosson
Nicolas Decamp
Jiř� Dolejš�
Zdenek Drozd
Leoš Dvoř�k
Irena Dvoř�kov�
Eugenia Etkina
Sergej Faletic
Claudio Fazio
Tom�š Franc
Sandra Gatti
Tomasz Greczylo
Claudia Haagen-
Jakub Hal�ček
Osamu Hirayama
Peter Hockicko
Renata Holubov�
Martin Hopf
Peter Horv�th
Jitka Houfkova
Dina Izadi
Jerzy Jarosz
Zuzana Ješkov�
Rajka Jurdana Sepic
Petr K�covsk�
Masahiko Kanenaga
Alexander Kazachkov
Ewa Kedzierska
Isabelle Kermen
Mari�n Kireš
Akizo Kobayashi
Zdeňka Koupilov�
Tomaz Kranjc
Priscilla Laws
Anssi Lindell
Dana Mand�kov�
Leopold Mathelitsch
Cesar Mora
Deena Naidoo
Roberto Nardi
Hideo Nitta
Jon Ogborn
Eizo Ohno
Fumiko Okiharu
Jerneja Pavlin
Maja Pecar
Maja Planinic
Gorazd Planinšič
Derek Raine
Nada Razpet
Jaroslav Reichl
Miloš Rotter
Abraham Salinas Castellanos
David Sands
Minoru Sato
Bruce Sinclair
Josip Slisko
Dagmara Sokolowska
Rosa Maria Sperandeo-
Katarina Susman
Elizabeth Swinbank
Aneta Szczygielska
Zdeněk Šabatka
Jana Šest�kov�
Naoshi Takahashi
Fatih Tasar
Josef Trna
Ed van Den Berg
Laurence Viennot
Michael Vollmer
Jun-Ichiro Yasuda
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Author index
Author index
The codes of abstracts are described in the section “How to find information in this book”.
You can go the abstract just by letting your PDF reader find the code of the abstract.
Aban, Christine Joy … 308.O8B
Afonina, Svetlana … 292.O9A
Ageorges, Philippe … 047.O2A
Airey, John … 330.P3, 332.O4D
Akabane, Akira … 223.O10A, 252.P2
Alessandra, Mossenta … 139.P1
Ali, Syed … 041.P1, 156.P2, 157.O11D
Allevi, Alessia … 090.O9D
Almeida, Maria … 274.O6C
Almeida, Maria Jos� P. M. de… 107.O6C,
Andrade, Lucas Mateus … 216.P2
Angell, Carl … 226.O5B
Antimirova, Tetyana … 113.O5A
Anwar, Muhammad Sabieh … 171.O9C,
Anzules, David … 001.O4E
Ara�jo, Francisco Adeil … 059.P1
Araujo, Ives … 035.P1, 042.O7A
Araujo, Ives Solano … 206.P2
Arayathanitkul, Kwan … 196.O3D
Arndt, Markus … 268.O1C
Asghari, Nasrin Taheri … 203.O2B, 204.O3D
Aubrecht, Gordon … 134.O4A, 135.P1
Aubrecht, Michelle … 126.P1
Autio-Hiltunen, Marjo … 088.O9B
Ayene, Mengesha … 291.O2C
Babič, Vitomir … 159.O10D
Bacila, Adriana … 047.O2A
Bagno, Esther … 182.O5B
Baimuldina, Saule … 210.P1, 234.P2
Ballesteros-Rom�n, Alejandro … 013.O8C
Barbieri, Sara … 121.O1B, 123.O10D
Barna, Emil … 073.P1
Barojas, Jorge … 120.O3C
Barroso, Marta … 272.O10E
Basson, Ilsa … 081.O1B, 096.O4B
Bates, Simon … 215.O3D
Battaglia, Onofrio Rosario … 056.O5C,
Beamish, John … 198.O4C
Begalli, Marcia ... 179.O4E
Beishuizen, Jos … 110.O1C
Benedetti, Roberto … 128.O11A
Bernardo, Jos� Roberto … 103.O4C
Blandin, Bernard … 047.O2A
B�hm, Pavel … 344.P3
Bochn�ček, Zdeněk … 228.WN2D
Bolte, Claus … 244.O6E, 245.P2
Bomfim Goulart, Janice Anita … 064.P1
Bonanno, Assunta … 372.P3
Bondani, Maria … 090.O9D, 091.O10F, 133.P3,
Bonello, Charles … 098.O1A
Bonilla, Alexander … 327.P3
Borg Marks, Joan … 015.O1B
Bowen, Warwick … 286.O3A
Bozzo, Giacomo … 372.P3
Brady, Sarah … 362.WN1F, 364.O6A
Brincones Calvo, Isabel … 278.O11F
Briones, Carlos Alberto Martinez … 010.O8C
Brom, Pavel … 279.P3
Bruno-Alfonso, Alexys … 261.P2
Buaraphan, Khajornsak … 094.O6A
Cahyono, Giri … 263.P2
Caldwell, Douglas… K8
Calin, Marius … 073.P1
Camarca, Michele … 372.P3
Camillo, Juliano ... 346.O4E
Campos Flores, Ignacio … 277.P3
Ca�ada Ca�ada, Florentina … 280.O6E, 323.P3
Cardoso, Dayane Carvalho … 231.P1, 269.P2
Carreto-Ar�mburo, Gema Alejandra … 031.P1
Casey, Morag … 215.O3D
Castro Ronquillo, Gabriel Leonardo … 281.P3
Castro, Gabriel … 010.O8C
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Author index
Cavallo, Ann… 345.O9A
Cavallo, Ann … 283.O11F, 347.O6A
Cavinato, Michela … 121.O1B
Cerny, Michal … 224.P2
�etin, Nagihan İmer … 318.O10A
Cifuentes , Mar�a Cristina… 069.P1
Clerk, Douglas … 321.O11F, 331.O4D, 334.P3
Cohen, Elisheva … 182.O5B
Collado, Resty … 191.O7B
Colombo Junior, Pedro … 175.P2
Corney, Joel … 286.O3A
Cortella, Beatriz Salemme Corr�a … 250.O3B
Covlea, Vania … 073.P1
Cruz-Hastenreiter, Roberto … 358.P1, 361.P3
Čepič, Mojca … 152.WN2E, 158.O11E,
159.O10D, 168.P2
Čes�kov�, Jana … 071.P1
Damitie, Baylie … 291.O2C
Daniel, Scott … 285.O11D, 287.O5E
Dantas, Adilmar Coelho … 231.P1
Danworaphong, Sorasak … 028.O11E
Daraei, Sara … 195.P3, 217.P2
Davis, Matthew … 286.O3A
De Meyere, Job … 140.O7B, 371.P3
De Nicola, Maria … 138.P1
Del Valle D�az-Mu�oz, Gabriela … 114.P2,
Di Renzone, Simone … 138.P1
Dickman, Adriana G.… 216.P2
Donaldson, Paul … 292.O9A
Donkor Taale, Kodjo … 083.O5A
Doughty, Leanne … 295.O4B, 365.O2D
Drinkwater, Michael … 286.O3A
Drozd, Zdenek … 213.O8A
Drozd, Zdeněk … 185.O8A
Dulli, Hani … 131.O4A
Dvoř�k, Leoš … 132.P1, 302.P3, 311.WN2F,
362.WN1F, 364.O6A
Dvoř�kov�, Irena… K4
Dziob, Daniel … 168.P2, 369.P1, 370.P3
Elejalde-Garcia, M� Jesus … 058.P1
Ellermeijer, Ton … 110.O1C, 362.WN1F,
Elsholz, Markus … 309.P3
Emarat, Narumon … 196.O3D
Eriksson, Urban … 332.O4D
Eryurt, K�bra … 061.O5E
Esanu, Tiberiu … 073.P1
Esperan�a, Telma … 124.O2D
Esp�ndola, Rodolfo … 114.P2
Etkina, Eugenia … 190.O9D, 251.O2B, K1
Eusebio, Manuel … 150.O10E
Eylon, Bat-Sheva … 182.O5B, 183.O4C
Favale, Fabrizio … 090.O9D, 091.O10F, 133.P3,
Fazio, Claudio … 056.O5C, 080.O2A, 106.P1,
123.O10D, 362.WN1F, 364.O6A
Feigenberg, Josef … 262.P2
Fejes, Imre … 149.O11E
Feldman, Gerald … 039.O1A, 040.O11F
Feng, Xiumei … 053.O7A
Ferreira, Amauri Carlos … 216.P2
Ferreira, Marcello … 060.P2
Figueira, Maykell … 275.P3
Finlayson, Odilla … 362.WN1F, 364.O6A
Flores, Jorge … 001.O4E
Franc, Tomas … 240.P2
Frati, Serena … 138.P1
Fulop, Csilla … 077.W3F, 078.P1
Galili, Igal … 239.O6B
Galloway, Ross … 162.O4A, 215.O3D
Gama, Eduardo … 272.O10E
Ganajova, Maria … 349.O5E
Gangoso, Zulma Estela… 219.O2B, 278.O11F
Gannaway, Deanne … 286.O3A
Garcia, Miguel … 030.O5E
Garc�a-Salcedo, Ricardo … 006.O11E, 011.P1,
Garry, Anna … 292.O9A
Gatti, Sandra Regina … 247.O3B
Gedigk, Kerstin … 335.O2C
Gedraite, Rubens … 231.P1
Giliberti, Marco … 121.O1B, 123.O10D,
Gojkošek, Mihael … 246.O3A
Goldstein, Kevin … 331.O4D
Gon�alves , Maykon M�ller… 206.P2
Gonzales, Erin E.… 345.O9A
Gonzalez Coghlan, Leonardo … 027.P2
Gonz�lez Y Hern�ndez, Alejandro … 102.O3C
Gonzalez-Cruz, Tame … 011.P1
Gordo, Paulo … 124.O2D
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Author index
Gottwald, Stanislav … 243.P2
Greczylo, Tomasz … 229.W4F
Greenman, Mark … 014.W9E, 023.O7C
Gregorcic, Bor … 190.O9D
Grimmig, Simone … 373.P1
Gr�f, Andrea … 211.O1D
Haagen-Schuetzenhoefer, Claudia … 065.O9D,
066.P1, 067.O9D
Hale, Greg … 283.O11F, 347.O6A
Hale, Gregory R. … 345.O9A
Hardy, Judy … 215.O3D
Hasegawa, Makoto … 093.P1
Hasnain, Aziz … 157.O11D
Hawner, Martin … 118.O8D
Hejnova, Eva … 085.P1
Hern�ndez Morales, Ma. Guadalupe … 277.P3
Hern�ndez, Guadalupe … 114.P2
Herscovitz, Victoria Elnecave … 117.P1
Hirayama, Osamu … 020.O4D
Hollan, Jan … 298.WN1D, 322.O10A
Holmstr�m, Simon … 100.O7B
Holubova, Renata … 045.O2A
Hopf, Martin … 268.O1C
Horv�th, Peter … 122.O10E
Houfkova, Jitka … 185.O8A, 213.O8A
Huerta, Virgen … 238.O3B
Huli, Saurabhee … 201.O5C
Hussain Shah, Syed Neseem… 041.P1, 156.P2,
Chalupnikova, Rita … 338.P3
Chang, Sheh Lit … 092.O11A
Chang, Wheijen … 026.O10F
Chantharanuwong, Warawun … 094.O6A
Chen, Junyi … 207.P3
Cheung, Kwok-Cheung … 032.O7A
Imai, Tomoyuki … 072.O4B
Imanbayeva, Akmaral … 210.P1, 234.P2
Imenda, Sitwala Namwinji … 233.O10F
Ingerman, �ke … 291.O2C
Ishii, Kyoko … 099.W6D, K7
Islam, Aquila … 041.P1
Ivchenko, Vladimir … 004.O1A
Iwamoto, Tetsuya … 304.P3
Jahanifar, Mojtaba … 203.O2B, 204.O3D
Jarosz, Jerzy … 353.P3
Ješkov�, Zuzana … 087.P1, 349.O5E
Jim�nez, Jos� Luis … 277.P3
Jipa, Alexandru … 073.P1
Jolly, Pratibha… K5
Jugueta, Eleanor Alma … 254.O9A
Jurmanov�, Jana … 306.O9C
K�covsk�, Petr … 208.P1, 209.P2
Kahkonen, Anna-Leena … 088.O9B
Kalka, Frank … 373.P1
Kapanadze, Marika … 244.O6E, 245.P2
Karam, Ricardo … 296.O6B, 300.O6B
Karapanos, Marios … 373.P1
Kawakatsu, Hiroshi … 099.W6D
Kazachkov, Alexander … 342.O9B
Keartland, Jonathan … 325.O9C
Kedzierska, Ewa … 362.WN1F, 364.O6A
K�har, Ota … 068.O8D
Kekule, Martina … 301.P3, 349.O5E
Kerl�nov�, Věra … 354.P3
Khaparde, Rajesh … 260.O8B
Kim, Seungman … 310.O6E
Kimakova, Katarina … 349.O5E
Kireš, Marian … 349.O5E, 362.WN1F, 364.O6A
Kireš, Mari�n … 086.P1
Kiselev, Denis … 292.O9A
Kitayama, Yoshinori … 304.P3
Kobayashi, Akizo … 052.O9C, 072.O4B
Kobel, Michael … 335.O2C
Kodejška, Čeněk … 160.P2
Kogetsu, Hisashi … 095.P1, 099.W6D
Kolarova, Lucie … 328.P3
Koleci, Carolann … 253.O8C
Koltachykhina, Oksana … 046.P3
Kondrashova, Diana … 082.O11D, 164.P2
Konečn�, Pavel … 228.WN2D
Kon�ček, Libor … 350.P2, 352.P3
Kosionidis, Aristeidis … 337.O8D
Koudelkov�, Věra … 208.P1, 209.P2, 302.P3
Koupil, Jan … 132.P1
Koupilov�, Zdeňka … 038.O1C, 132.P1, 276.P3
Kozma, Cecilia … 101.O8A
Kranjc, Tomaz … 022.O2D, 129.O5C
Kriek, Jeanne … 081.O1B, 096.O4B, 291.O2C
Kř�žov�, Michaela … 071.P1
Kub�nek, Roman … 160.P2, 328.P3
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Author index
Kudo, Tomoshige … 257.O3D
Kuehn, Markus … 373.P1
Kurišč�k, Pavel … 258.P2
Kusak, Radim … 212.WN1E
Kussuda, Sergio Rykio … 248.P1, 261.P2,
Kuznetsov, Sergey … 082.O11D, 164.P2
Kvapil, Jiř� … 289.P3
Lakatos, Michael … 373.P1
Lambert, Tom … 008.P1, 009.P2, 371.P3
Lambourne, Robert … 049.O1C
L�tal, František … 188.O11D
Lavrik, Lea Valentina … 161.O6C, 262.P2
Lavrishev, Oleg … 234.P2
Laws, Priscilla … 167.O10E
Lee, Siew-Lin … 111.O3A
Lehavi, Yaron … 182.O5B, 183.O4C, 184.P2
Leitner, Rupert… K2
Lemmer, Miriam … 081.O1B, 096.O4B
Leto, Francesca … 139.P1
Ley Koo, Marcos … 153.P2
Liang, Xi Xia … 019.P1
Ličmanov�, Lenka … 350.P2, 352.P3
Lichtenberger, Andreas … 315.P3
Lima Junior, Paulo … 199.O4D, 200.O1A
Lindell, Anssi … 088.O9B
Linder, Anne … 330.P3
Linder, Cedric … 332.O4D
Lindstr�m, Christine … 089.O11A
Lipertova, Katerina … 205.P2
Lokka, Antti … 088.O9B
L�pez Rios, Sonia Janeth … 035.P1, 145.P2
Lopez, Ramon… 345.O9A
Lopez, Ramon … 283.O11F, 347.O6A
L�pez-Lop�z, Mario … 031.P1
Losert-Valiente Kroon, Christiane Maria …
Lukoff, Brian … 253.O8C
Lustig, František … 258.P2, 279.P3
Macabebe, Erees Queen … 254.O9A
Macho-Stadler, Erica … 058.P1
Mackay, James Ross ... 290.O3A
Malvezzi, Andr� Luiz … 366.P3
Manakov, Sergei … 210.P1
Mandikova, Dana … 038.O1C, 213.O8A
Mann, Llewellyn … 287.O5E
M�ntyl�, Terhi … 300.O6B
Mar�n Resendiz, Esther … 323.P3
Markovic, Vesna … 292.O9A
Marquis, Janina … 373.P1
Martinez, Miguel Cuauhtli … 120.O3C
Martins, Alexandre O.… 216.P2
Mathelitsch, Leopold… K3
Matlou, Daisy … 334.P3
Mattos, Cristiano … 346.O4E, 357.O4E, 358.P1
Mayaba, Nokhanyo … 330.P3
Mazur, Eric … 253.O8C
Mazzolini, Alexander … 285.O11D, 287.O5E
McGrath, Dominic … 284.O8B, 286.O3A
McIntyre, Timothy … 284.O8B, 286.O3A
McLoughlin, Eilish … 295.O4B, 362.WN1F,
364.O6A, 365.O2D
Medetov, Bekbolat … 210.P1
Medina, M�rcio ... 179.O4E
Medsker, Larry … 039.O1A, 040.O11F
Medvegy, Tibor … 078.P1, 303.P3
Mechlov�, Erika … 354.P3
Meldrum, Al … 198.O4C
Mellado Jim�nez, Vicente … 280.O6E
Melo Ni�o, Lina Viviana … 280.O6E, 323.P3
M�ndez Coca, David … 036.P1
Mendez Moreno, Ada T.… 146.O3C
Meszena, Tamas … 225.O1D
Meškan, V�clav … 192.O7C
Mchunu, Stephan Paraffin … 233.O10F
Miguel, Irma … 006.O11E
Michel, Bertha … 030.O5E
Michelini, Marisa … 097.O2C, 127.O1B,
130.P2, 139.P1, 141.O8A, 143.O10D
Mikami, Shuji … 099.W6D
Mil�ř, Tom�š … 322.O10A
Miller, Kelly … 253.O8C
Miyamoto, Shuhei … 099.W6D
Mois�o, Augusto … 271.O2C
Moln�r, Mil�n … 355.P3
Montalbano, Vera … 128.O11A, 138.P1,
Montes Jim�nez, Carlos Mario … 003.O7D
Mora Ley, Cesar … 006.O11E, 021.P1, 031.P1,
102.O3C, 145.P2, 195.P3, 217.P2
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Author index
Moreira, Marco Antonio … 084.O4C, 117.P1,
Mori, Masazumi … 070.P1
Moriguchi, Masanobu … 257.O3D
Mota, Ana Rita Lopes … 155.W7E
Moura, Rener Martins … 231.P1
Mueller, Andreas … 165.W6F
Mueller, Rainer … 178.O5C
M�ller, Rainer … 180.O7C
Mu�oz Guti�rrez, Andrea … 153.P2
Murata, Takatoshi … 367.P3
Nachane, Madhura … 201.O5C
Naidoo, Deena … 321.O11F, 331.O4D, 334.P3
Nardi, Roberto … 107.O6C, 247.O3B, 248.P1,
249.O3B, 250.O3B
Nardo, Luca … 090.O9D
Naurzbayeva, Aisha … 210.P1
Neri, Hermes Gustavo … 231.P1
Nishimura, Ruita … 257.O3D
Nitta, Hideo … 257.O3D
Nobre, Eloneid … 059.P1, 074.O7D, 163.O4A
Nov�kov�, M�ria … 086.P1
Novotn�, Jan … 306.O9C
Nowak, Justyna … 369.P1, 370.P3
Nunes, Albano … 163.O4A
Occhipinti, Susanna … 048.O11A
Oese, Erik … 037.O5B
Ogawa, Shinjiro … 099.W6D, 232.P2
Ohno, Eizo … 012.P1
Okiharu, Fumiko … 052.O9C, 072.O4B,
Okoronka, Augustine … 083.O5A
Olah, Eva Maria … 077.W3F
Oliveira, Meiriv�ni … 059.P1
Onishi, Haruka … 099.W6D
Ortega, Alexander … 010.O8C
Ortiz, Maria De Los Angeles … 238.O3B
Osawa, Kanako … 304.P3
Ostermann, Fernanda … 199.O4D, 200.O1A,
Ottander, Christina … 364.O6A
Padalkar, Shamin … 214.O8D
Pagunsan, Marmon … 307.O9B, 308.O8B
Pantoja, Glauco … 221.O5A
Papp, Katalin … 355.P3
Parisoto, Mara Fernanda … 084.O4C
Pathare, Shirish … 201.O5C
Patoz, Aurelien … 292.O9A
Pavlin, Jerneja … 152.WN2E, 159.O10D
Pecar, Maja … 152.WN2E, 158.O11E
Peeters, Wim … 140.O7B, 371.P3
Pendrill, Ann-Marie … 100.O7B, 101.O8A
Pendrill, Leslie … 115.P1
Pengpan, Teparksorn … 075.O7A, 222.O9A
Pereira, Alexsandro … 043.O5A
Pereyra, Mar�a E. … 278.O11F
Persano Adorno, Dominique … 106.P1
Pető, M�ria … 255.O7D
Pfeffer, Jeremy … 202.O1D
Pinheiro, Nathan … 351.P3
Pinho, Cristina … 271.O2C
Piskač, V�clav … 194.O4B
Pizzolato, Nicola … 106.P1
Planinšič, Gorazd … 165.W6F, 190.O9D,
246.O3A, 251.O2B
Plybour, Chaiphat … 360.O3A
Poklinek, Maja … 251.O2B
Pospiech, Gesche … 037.O5B, 335.O2C
Poutot, G�raldine … 047.O2A
Pradhan, Hemachandra … 201.O5C
Prados Ribeiro, Jair L�cio … 062.P3
Prasad, Amrita … 229.W4F
Pshenova, Ulyana … 082.O11D, 164.P2
Puente Leos, Estela Margarita … 153.P2
Pucholt, Zdeněk … 188.O11D
Puttisanwimon, Supachoke … 222.O9A
Qiu, Leiju … 092.O11A
Racz, Ervin … 149.O11E
Radovanović, Jelena … 368.P3
Rakkapao, Suttida … 075.O7A, 222.O9A
Ramadas, Jayashree … 214.O8D
Ramalho, Margarida … 274.O6C
Ramanathan, Subramaniam … 111.O6C
Ramos, Edgar … 030.O5E
Randa, Miroslav … 068.O8D
Rankin, Graham … 002.O10F
Razpet, Nada … 022.O2D, 129.O5C
Rebello, N. Sanjay … 119.O8C
Redfors, Andreas … 332.O4D
Reeves, Mark … 040.O11F
R�go, Florbela … 271.O2C
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Author index
Reichl, Jaroslav … 189.P2
Reistad, Nina … 100.O7B
Rezende, Flavia … 199.O4D, 200.O1A
Ribeiro, Allan Victor… 261.P2, 366.P3
Ribeiro, Anderson ... 179.O4E
Rigon, Enrico … 267.O2D
Richterek, Lukas … 188.O11D
Ristea, Catalin … 073.P1
Ristea, Oana … 073.P1
Rodenberg, Alexander … 292.O9A
Rodriguez, Andr� ... 357.O4E
Rogov, Andrii … 292.O9A
Rogozin, Konstantin … 076.O10A, 082.O11D,
Rogozina, Irina … 076.O10A
Rocha, Carlos Raphael … 117.P1
Rojas Garcia, Angel Antonio … 145.P2
Roleda, Lydia … 191.O7B
Rovsek, Barbara … 140.O7B
Rožič, Marko … 159.O10D
Ruddock, Ivan … 218.O1D
Ruiz Mendoza, Juan Carlos … 021.P1
Ř�ha, Jan … 160.P2, 188.O11D
Sajor, Normie Jean … 308.O8B
Salinas Castellanos, Abraham … 342.O9B
Salvador, Andreia … 274.O6C
Sands, David … 236.O2B
S�nchez-Guzman, Daniel … 006.O11E, 011.P1,
Sanjose, Vicente … 219.O2B
Santi, Lorenzo … 130.P2
Santiago, Silvany … 074.O7D
Santos, Filipe … 187.P2
Sapia, Peppino … 372.P3
Sarmento, Jos� … 074.O7D
Sasaki, Takanari … 099.W6D
Sassi, Elena … 165.W6F
Sato, Minoru … 282.P3
Sebestyen, Dorothy … 033.O9B
Segarra, Pilar … 238.O3B
Şent�rk, Eray … 061.O5E
Serafim, Francisco … 271.O2C
Seyed Fadaei, Azita … 195.P3, 217.P2
Sharma, Nidhi … 092.O11A
Sheppard, Karen … 286.O3A
Shogenji, Takahiro … 099.W6D
Shozawa, Jun … 223.O10A
Shunyakov, Vladimir Meir … 161.O6C, 262.P2
Schiltz, Guillaume … 057.P1
Schmeling, Sascha … 118.O8D
Schneider, Vincent … 245.P2
Schuster, David … 360.O3A
Silva, Cibelle … 175.P2
Silva, Thomaz … 163.O4A
Sliško, Josip … 246.O3A, 368.P3, K6
Slovinsky, Ekaterine … 244.O6E, 245.P2
Snětinov�, Marie … 038.O1C, 208.P1, 209.P2,
Sokoloff, David … 005.W1F
Sokolowska, Dagmara … 140.O7B
Souza de Jesus, Andr�a Cristina … 249.O3B
Souza Filho, Moacir Pereira … 261.P2, 366.P3
Souza, Thiago … 163.O4A
Sperandeo-Mineo, Rosa Maria … 056.O5C,
080.O2A, 106.P1
Stach, Manuel … 373.P1
Stefanel, Alberto … 097.O2C, 141.O8A,
Stellato, Marco … 267.O2D
Strahl, Alexander … 180.O7C
Sujarittham, Thanida … 196.O3D
Sulc, Miroslav … 292.O9A
Susman, Katarina … 152.WN2E, 168.P2
Suzuki, Shinnosuke … 099.W6D
Svobodov�, Jindřiška … 306.O9C, 322.O10A
Swinbank, Elizabeth … 181.W2E, 186.O7B
Syzdykova, Rabiga … 234.P2
Szczygielska, Aneta … 353.P3
Šest�kov�, Jana … 305.P3
Takahashi, Eduardo … 231.P1, 269.P2, 275.P3
Takahashi, Hiroshi … 223.O10A
Takahashi, Naoshi … 070.P1
Talbot, Cavin … 284.O8B
Tamaki, Toyomi … 223.O10A
Tamborini, Marina … 267.O2D
Tanamatayarat, Jintawat … 196.O3D
Tanemura, Masako … 099.W6D, 304.P3
Taniguchi, Kazunari … 095.P1, 367.P3
Taniguchi, Masaaki … 304.P3
Taniguchi, Masa-Aki … 099.W6D, 166.O7C
ICPE-EPEC 2013 Author index
Tasar, Mehmet Fatih … 318.O10A
Tasn�di, Anik� … 270.P2
Temirbayev, Amirkhan … 210.P1
Teodorescu, Raluca … 039.O1A, 040.O11F
Thaisiam, Wandee … 028.O11E
Thathong, Kongsak … 094.O6A
Theve, Andreas … 101.O8A
Thomas, Gregory… 094.O6A
Thomas, Gregory … 198.O4C
Thomas, James … 256.O6E
Timkov�, Veronika … 087.P1
Tokuda, Kazuhiro … 099.W6D
Tomandl, Mathias … 268.O1C
Torres-Montealb�n, Jonas … 027.P2
Tran, Trinh Ba … 110.O1C
Trefzger, Thomas … 118.O8D, 309.P3
Truyol, Mar�a Elena … 219.O2B
Tuay Sigua, Rosa Nidia … 174.P2
Tucker, Laura … 253.O8C
Tyntarev, Mikhail … 144.O3C
Uchida, Tasuhiro … 099.W6D
Uchida, Tatsuhiro … 197.O5B
Urban-Woldron, Hildegard … 230.O6A
Uribe, Carlos … 069.P1, 327.P3
van Den Berg, Ed … 110.O1C, 343.W8F
van Graf, Marja … 140.O7B
van Kampen, Paul … 295.O4B, 365.O2D
Vanacore, Antonio … 143.O10D
Vasconcelos, Francisco … 163.O4A
Vaterlaus, Andreas … 057.P1
Vaupotič, Nataša … 159.O10D
Veit, Eliane… 206.P2
Veit, Eliane … 035.P1, 042.O7A
Vercellati, Stefano … 127.O1B, 130.P2
Verdeaux, Maria De F�tima Da Silva … 060.P2,
062.P3, 064.P1
Vieira, Alex … 042.O7A
Viennot, Laurence … 165.W6F
Villamaina, Diego … 292.O9A
Villanueva, Roxane … 308.O8B
Vinitsky-Pinsky, Lina … 239.O6B
Voln�, Marie … 235.P3, 237.P2
Wadhwa, Ajay … 051.O2A
Wagner, Clemens … 329.P3
Wallace, Marsali … 162.O4A
Webb, Paul … 330.P3
Wegener, Margaret … 284.O8B, 286.O3A
Wehrle, Marius … 292.O9A
Wolf, Jean-Pierre … 292.O9A
Yanyshev, Denis … 082.O11D
Yasuda, Jun-Ichiro … 099.W6D, 166.O7C
Yokoe, Mika … 099.W6D
Yokokawa, Katsumasa … 070.P1
Yoo, Junehee … 253.O8C, 310.O6E
Yuenyong, Chokchai … 094.O6A
Zajacov�, Blanka … 299.P2, 301.P3
Zak, Vojtech … 349.O5E
Zdražilov�, Zuzana … 356.P3
Zetterberg, Johan … 100.O7B
Zietsman-Thomas, Aletta … 081.O1B,
096.O4B, 256.O6E
Ziherl, Sasa … 152.WN2E
Zilavy, Peter … 348.P3
Zollman, Dean … 119.O8C
Zuccarini, Giacomo … 097.O2C
Search more related documents:ICPE-EPEC 2013
Download Document:ICPE-EPEC 2013

Set Home | Add to Favorites

All Rights Reserved Powered by Free Document Search and Download

Copyright © 2011
This site does not host pdf,doc,ppt,xls,rtf,txt files all document are the property of their respective owners. complaint#downhi.com