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Physics Curriculum Projects


Physics Curriculum Projects Modeling Method Active Physics Comprehensive Conceptual Curriculum for Physics (C3P) Constructing Physics Understanding (CPU) – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Physics Curriculum Projects

Physics Curriculum Projects
  • Modeling Method
  • Active Physics
  • Comprehensive Conceptual Curriculum for Physics
  • Constructing Physics Understanding (CPU)
  • Mechanical Universe
  • Principles of Technology, etc.

Modeling Instruction in Physics
  • The Modeling Method has been developed to correct
    many weaknesses of the traditional
    lecture-demonstration method, including the
    fragmentation of knowledge, student passivity,
    and the persistence of naive beliefs about the
    physical world.
  • A project of Arizona State University
  • http//

Modeling Physics Coherent Instructional
  • To engage students in understanding the physical
    world by constructing and using scientific models
    to describe, to explain, to predict and to
    control physical phenomena.
  • To provide students with basic conceptual tools
    for modeling physical objects and
    processes,especially mathematical, graphical and
    diagrammatic representations.
  • To familiarize students with a small set of basic
    models as the content core of physics.

  • It's a WAY to teach not primarily a curriculum.
  • The course is centered around a small set of
    basic models as the core content of physics.
  • Students are provided with the basic conceptual
    tools for modeling physical objects and
  • Armed with these modeling tools, students come to
    view physics not as an endless string of facts
    and formulas, but as a coherent process that
    helps them make sense of the physical world.

Modeling Physics Instructional Strategy -- 1
  • Instruction is organized into modeling cycles
    which move students through all phases of model
    development, evaluation and application in
    concrete situations -- thus promoting an
    integrated understanding of modeling processes
    and acquisition of coordinated modeling skills.
  • The teacher sets the stage for student
    activities, typically with a demonstration and
    class discussion to establish common
    understanding of a question to be asked of
    nature. Then, in small groups, students
    collaborate in planning and conducting
    experiments to answer or clarify the question.

Modeling Physics Instructional Strategy -- 2
  • Students are required to present and justify
    their conclusions in oral and/or written form,
    including a formulation of models for the
    phenomena in question and evaluation of the
    models by comparison with data.
  • Technical terms and concepts are introduced by
    the teacher only as they are needed to sharpen
    models, facilitate modeling activities and
    improve the quality of discourse.

Modeling Cycle
  • The modeling cycle has two stages, involving the
    two general classes of modeling activities Model
    development and model deployment.
  • Roughly speaking, model development encompasses
    the exploration and invention stages of the
    learning cycle.
  • Model deployment corresponds to the deployment
    stage. It will be noted that the "modeling
    terminology" is more descriptive of what the
    students actually do in the cycle.

Active Physics - 1
  • Course designed to reach non-traditional
  • NSF-funded project for 9th - 12th grades.
  • Uses enticing themes
  • sports
  • medicine
  • home
  • transportation
  • predictions
  • communications
  • Field-tested in 51 high schools in 95-96.

Active Physics - 2
  • Each module includes 3 chapter challenges. A
    sample of these chapter challenges include
  • Home - design a prototype home that can be used
    in developing nations.
  • Sports - invent a sport for the moon.
  • Transportation - design and build an improved
    safety device for a car.
  • Communications - create a light and sound show
    for your class.
  • Medicine - convince your principal you can have a
    dance concert and nobody's hearing will be

Active Physics - 3
  • Uses five proven techniques
  • flexibly formatted
  • engaging scenarios
  • multiple exposures
  • constructivist approach
  • authentic assessment
  • Uses equations and graphs only to represent ideas
    symbolically, and provides instructions for
    calculators and spreadsheets.
  • All reading at 9th grade level.
  • Students solve problems hands-on and in groups to
    foster teamwork.

Comprehensive Conceptual Curriculum for Physics
  • C3P is a curriculum project designed to implement
    research from physics education into high school
    physics courses and is supported by a grant from
    the National Science Foundation.
  • The offices of C3P are located at Department of
    Physics, University of Dallas, Irving, Texas
  • Principal Investigator Richard P. Olenick
  • http//

Comprehensive Conceptual Curriculum for Physics
  • C3P "Fun Physics for Everyone".
  • The CD-ROM platform contains curriculum, learning
    cycle-based activities, lesson plans, terms,
    misconceptions and much more to help teachers
    engage students in an activity-based learning
    environment. Based upon PRISMS includes the
    Mechanical Universe, CASTLE, etc.

  • A high school curriculum that integrates
    video-based, inquiry-based, and lab-oriented
    materials with an effective pedagogy that
    promotes student explorations and that is based
    on findings from current research in students'
  • The mission of the Project is "to produce a
    comprehensive conceptually based physics
    curriculum for all high schools, usable by all
    teachers, and effective with all students."

Constructing Physics Understanding
  • The CPU pedagogy allows students to construct
    ideas in small groups and as a class to explain
    physical phenomena based on carefully designed
    experimental activities, and small group and
    whole class discussions, but without a textbook
    or the instructor giving the ideas.
  • Based upon the belief that computer software and
    innovative pedagogical methods can support the
    creation of significantly more effective learning
  • The project is based on previous work
    incorporating computer technology to build a
    constructivist-oriented learning environment.

  • Exploration activities, concept development,and
    application activities characteristic of the
    learning cycle.
  • PRISMS was awarded a grant in 1998 to develop
    more activities in interdisciplinary areas such
    as biophysics.

The Mechanical Universe
  • Seven quads
  • Physics on Earth and in the Heavens
  • Conservation Laws and Fundamental Forces
  • Kinematics and Scientific Methods
  • From Kepler to Einstein
  • Electricity
  • Magnetism and Beyond
  • Modern Physics
  • Each quad has four associated videotapes.
  • Linked to major textbook chapters
  • Comes with Teachers Guide

  • Course in applied science for those who plan
    careers as technicians.
  • Blends an understanding of basic principles with
    practice in practical applications.
  • Units -- Force, Work, Rate, Resistance, Energy,
    Power, and Force Transformers.
  • An equipment-intense course.

An interesting approach
  • The Physics First Initiative