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Abstract Title: Novice Implementation of the Impulse-Momentum Theorem in VPython Programs
Abstract: One of the goals in introductory mechanics is to help students understand the Impulse-Momentum theorem to the point where they can successfully apply it in many different circumstances.  Typically, these are limited to analytic applications of Newton's second law or the conservation of linear momentum.  Difficulties arise, however, when computational modeling is introduced to students who then must focus on the numerical integration of an open-ended form of the Impulse-Momentum theorem, rather than a closed form solution.  Even ten weeks into an introductory lab sequence which prominently features programing tasks, students are found to have lingering difficulties in reframing their application of the Impulse-Momentum theorem to productively generate computational models.  We will present preliminary data demonstrating the difficulties that emerge as students work to complete VPython programs during a first semester Matter and Interactions lab.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Brandon R. Lunk
North Carolina State University
1819 Evergreen Ave
Raleigh, NC 27606