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### Physics For Everyone

Mats Selen, UIUCNov/4/04

UIUC Physics Outreach: Be Proud!

- Saturday Physics Honors
- 12th year !
- Very popular; high attendance.

- Physics Van
- 11th year !
- Over 62,000 people have seen a show
- Big presence on web (van.hep.uiuc.edu):
- Top-ranked Google “Outreach & Entertainment” page.

(Go there)

(Go there)

(Go there)

Two Other Efforts (i.e. this talk):

- Physics 123: “Physics Made Easy”
- Physics for future elementary school teachers.
- Brand new - spring/05 will be 2nd offering.

- The Whys Guy
- Two live spots every Wednesday morning on
- In 3rd year (or 5th – depends on how you count.)
- Seems to have a pretty good following
- Biggest ratings of any regular Morning Show segment (even though its rather stupid.)

(Go there)

(www.whysguy.net)

Not your grandfathers physics class !

- The typical elementary education curriculum does not deal directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:

Content:

Methods:

Why ?

- Many (most) elementary school teachers are not confident in their knowledge of math & science, in particular physics.
- This can’t help but rub off on their students.
- This is particularly bad for girls since most elementary school teachers are women.

So, what counts as a directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:“Physical Science” ??

In addition to the obvious (Physics, Astronomy, and Chemistry), these do:

Elementary Ed students typically take Food Science and Nutrition and Geography(or Geology) to satisfy their PS requirement

Contrast this with the K-4 National Standards: directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/html/6c.html

Q:Where will the teachers learn all this stuff ?

Our Idea directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:

- Create a class that will give students confidence in their ability to understand physics concepts.
- Should come out with a positive “I can do this” attitude.
- When their own students ask them a science question their response should be one of two things:
- “Great question. Let me explain the answer…”
- “Great question. I don’t know the answer, but I know we can find out what it is…”

- Considerations:
- Students must be attracted to the class.
- Methods used in this class should be consistent with the way they will ultimately teach their own classes.
- No point making it if no-ones takes it.

- Must have appropriate scope.
- Can’t cover all of the materials in the national standards.

- Must give students appreciation for concepts without math.

Methods used are consistent with the way directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:they will ultimately teach their own classes.

- Hands on labs:
- Have them use materials and do activities that they can replicate in their own classrooms.
- Students keep inexpensive “equipment” – build teaching kit.
- Washers from Farm & Fleet ($1.09/lb),
- Cheap thermometers, stopwatches etc
- Mystery Tube, States of Matter, Oobleck

- Students keep inexpensive “equipment” – build teaching kit.

* directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below: Student projects

Appropriate Scope (?)

- There are 11 full 3 hour labs in a semester (14 weeks – 3 special*).
- We can cover at most 11 topics.
- We need to choose the right ones:
1. Uncertainty and the Nature of Science

2. Atoms and the States of Matter

3. Heat and Temperature

4. Mass, Weight and Balance

5. Volume, Density, Floating, & Sinking

6. Measuring and Graphing Motion

7. Simple Forces & Newton's Laws

8. Investigating Gravity

9. Simple Machines

10. Simple Circuits

11. Magnets & Motors

Our picks for now

Class Structure directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:

- A different topic is covered each week.
- Each week has the following structure:
- Students come into Monday lab “cold”.
- The web based homework and preflights probes conceptual understanding and feed me info for the lecture.
- “Lecture” ties up loose ends and has lots of demos.

Who are directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:the students?

- Mostly women (all 24 last semester, in fact)
- Almost all had physics in high school.
- Most liked their high school physics class !

- They are all very smart but lack confidence.
- Especially true in math & physics.

- They socialize extremely well and enjoy working in groups.
- Took me a while to really appreciate how nice this is.
- Not true for all physics and engineering majors

- Took me a while to really appreciate how nice this is.
- They love getting their hands on stuff and playing.
- They love to learn.

Appreciation for concepts without math. directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:

- Examples:
- F = ma (well, a = F/m actually)
- Torque
- Heat Capacity
- Temperature (& Mittens)
- Density, Floating & Sinking
- Light the bulb
- Motor

Got this idea about half way through the semester… directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:

This question always gets very interesting results: directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:

This is a great opportunity to show students “how to figure out”the answer to questions they will get from their class some day.

Click here to see web page…

demo directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:

demo directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:

Outlook directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:

- I am delighted with the way the course went.
- We covered quite a bit of physics !
- The students loved it and I know they are saying good things about it to their friends. This is really very important.
- Expect big enrollment in Spring/05 (100-200).

Whys Guy directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:

OK – I admit this is a bit stupid - but it’s a good excuse to do cool demos

- Weight of air directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:
- glass of water
- crush can
- video

- Some R & D directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:

- Favorites: directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:
- kinematics
- microwave
- kaboom

In Conclusion: directly with this. The UIUC science & math requirements are shown below:

- Physics 123 may not have high-end content, but I think it’s a very important thing to do.
- Big impact (100-200 teachers per year)!

- Our department is supporting some pretty interesting outreach programs.
- Wide appeal
- Great PR

- Sorry if you’re deaf…

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