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Title: Free PowerPoint poster templates

Creating interactive animations for teaching
science Bekolay, Trevor1, Metz, Don2, Klassen,
Stephen2, Martin, Brian3, Mahaffy, Peter3
Rutherford scattering
Roemers experiment
The Rutherford scattering applets aim to
demonstrate and explain Rutherfords gold foil
experiments, which first observed an atoms
nucleus. The first applet presents a historical
recreation of the Geiger-Marsden experiment in
which the existence of the nucleus was first
established. The applet can be used to generate
data for student analysis.
The first determination of the speed of light was
made by Ole Roemer using the motions of the moons
of Jupiter. This applet simulates a simplified
model of Earths orbit around the sun, and Ios
orbit around Jupiter to assist a student in
making a rudimentary calculation of the speed of
This applet closely examines a copper wire in
four different situations dealing with
electricity. Each situation contributes to an
overall understanding of the underlying physical
processes associated with electricity.
Scientists use models to understand the world
around us. Those models form the base of more
complex concepts and theories. In todays
science education, there is a tendency for
educators to teach problem solving recipes for
problem types, and for students to learn those
recipes by rote. The underlying concepts, while
plainly obvious to the expert, are not well
understood by the novice. Interactive animations
aim to improve the conceptual understanding of
students by illustrating the models underlying
the problems they are learning to solve.
The first frame shows the copper wire at
equilibrium that is, with no charge running
through it.
Materials and methods
The second frame shows the copper wire with a
transient current. A transient current exist only
briefly before the negative and positive electric
potentials even out.
The interactive animations described here were
created with Adobe Flash CS3, using ActionScript
3. Some collaboration was made possible with
Adobe Dreamweaver. Flash has the advantage of
being inherently visual and cross-platform. Flash
animations can be embedded in a website and used
on any platform with a Flash-capable web browser.
The third frame shows the copper wire connected
to a constant source of charge, a battery. The
wire visibly heats up as electrons move through
the wire and bump into copper atoms.
  • These animations can be used in many different
  • As a pre-lab exercise.
  • As a replacement for a physical lab where
    equipment is too expensive or dangerous.
  • As an augmentation to a lecture or lab exercise.
  • As a visualization of a concept or demonstration.

The fourth frame shows the copper wire connected
to a strong source of charge, a power supply. The
wire heats up and eventually burns out.
1 Department of Computer Science, University of
Manitoba 2 CRYSTAL Manitoba, University of
Winnipeg 3 Kings Centre for Visualization in
Science (KCVS),Kings University College,
Edmonton And the other members of KCVSDavid
Dystra, Naomi Mahaffy, Ben Scott, Amanda
Thompson, and Kristen Tjostheim
In this applet the user can investigate the
behaviour of alpha particles as they interact
with various nuclei. Data can be represented
graphically or in tabular form for further