Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS March Meeting 2021
Monday–Friday, March 15–19, 2021; Virtual; Time Zone: Central Daylight Time, USA
Session J01: Excellent Laboratory Education for online and in-person teaching: Jonathan F. Reichert and Barbara Wolff-Reichert Award Session
3:00 PM–6:00 PM,
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Sponsoring Unit: FED
Chair: Catherine Crouch, Swarthmore College
Abstract: J01.00004 : Constraints in Physics Lab Courses: the Good, the Bad, and the Pandemic*
4:48 PM–5:24 PM
Lab instructors also manage constraints. Choices must be made about which types of experiments and methods will be treated and how best to organize limited instruction time. The ongoing pandemic complicates these choices and exacerbates constraints on the availability of and access to equipment. Thus, within a given program’s constraints, how can advanced labs best support authentic experiences in experimental research?
Here we report on pandemic-resilient flipped-lab methods leveraging the Maker movement and empowering students to design and conduct experiments at home at intermediate and advanced levels. Constraints on facilities and in-person contact time are overcome by the wide and growing variety of inexpensive solid-state and modern MEMS sensors which students control with self-programmed microprocessors. Enabling open scientific inquiries guarantees that students learn to control and even utilize constraints in experimental research.
*We would like to acknowledge support in this project from the Comenius Fellowship grant from the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (NRO) and the Dutch Ministry for Education (OCW).
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