Talk:Physics and Astronomy Labs
In High Schools most teachers have their own classrooms. But if space is scarce, some teachers "float" through three or more classrooms, visiting each one while the host teacher does prep. In universities, most professors "float".
Why it is possible for Lake Campus Physics labs to "float"? Because these labs are not conducted in a conventional fashion.
- My teaching philosophy is that physics labs should model creativity, mathematical problem solving more than laboratory techniques.
- I am especially interested in labs that can be duplicated in high schools with low science budgets and limited equipment.
- I like to set up on experiment and study it with all my classes. A good example follows. It is relevant to Astronomy because Galileo did similar experiment with ball rolling down a ramp. He used bells to inform the "listener" of the time it took for the ball reach a certain point. In this lab, we used beads attached to a string. This is an old and well-known classroom demonstration. But we introduced the innovation of attempting to capture it on a Apple i-phone and using the data to measure the gravitational acceleration (i.e., to verify that g=9.8m/s/s).
The following Wikiversity pages were started as a result of this effort. All the pages are as yet unfinished, and it is hoped that future efforts to refine this experiment will lead to better resource pages on Wikiversity:
- Physics and Astronomy Labs/Beads on string drop. A student in the conceptual physics course made the video and published it on commons. The students also measured the spacing between the paperclips.
- Vernier scale. I inserted a Wikipedia sister-link out of w:Vernier_scale#External_links) into this online lesson on the Vernier scale. Here, the audio part of the video was captured and posted in an image on commons. Included in that image is a vernier scale. Of course there was a digital solution to the problem of finding the peaks. But the vernier scale was more fun. And it gives students some historical perspective into how clever scientists have been in the past.
- Physics and Astronomy Labs/Hooke's law and Young's modulus. This lab was motivated by the fact that we got a 30% error in our calculation. We accidentally discovered mechanicl hysteresis and made this Wikipedia sister-link: w:Hysteresis#External_links. Could this slinky drop effect explain the 30% error? Who knows...
- Physics and Astronomy Labs/Parallax was performed in the hallway (as was the Hysteresis lab). Labs like this could be performed in almost any high school.
- Physics and Astronomy Labs/Heisenberg's uncertainty and Beethoven's fugue is another of my favorite labs that require only access to the internet on an overhead projector (something almost all rooms at Lake campus have).
Other labs requiring simple equipment that could be transported on carts between lecture classrooms can be found at these two links:
Not every lab I do could "float" among the Lake Campus classrooms. For example, this lab requires a lab table. Fortunately, I have plenty of labs available that can float.