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PERC 2011 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Student Conversations while Completing Minimally Working Computational Models
Abstract: One learning objective of contemporary physics instruction is to introduce students to iterative predictions of motion and to some of the numerical integration techniques used to model problems that lack closed-form solutions. The Matter & Interactions introductory mechanics labs enact this objective by having student groups add the fundamental interactions and relations into a sequence of incomplete, yet functional computational models. We present an initial analysis of student conversations as they work in groups to construct a physically appropriate computational model of Rutherford Scattering. Interestingly, the students are able to invoke appropriate physics knowledge in this novel context, but they can also invoke knowledge of the analytic procedures emphasized in other aspects of the course, leading to confusions over the iterative structure of the computational models.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Brandon Lunk
NCSU
2401 Stinson Drive
Box 8202
Raleigh, NC 27695
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Ruth Chabay, NCSU.