Showing posts from July, 2012

Learning in Physical Science

The SC 130 Physical Science curriculum is built around four course level student learning outcomes and fifteen specific student learning outcomes which serve four general education program learning outcomes. Student learning outcomes are prefaced by the phrase, "Students will be able to..." and followed by a measurable ability, knowledge set, or value. These course and specific outcomes form the core of the course outline.

General Education Program Learning Outcomes

1.1 Write a clear, well-organized paper using documentation and quantitative tools when appropriate.
3.2 Present and interpret numeric information in graphic forms.
3.4 Define and explain the concepts, principles, and theories of a field of science.
3.5 Perform experiments that gather scientific information and to utilize, interpret, and explain the results of experiments and field work in a field of science

Course and Specific Student Learning Outcomes
1. Demonstrate core scientific skills
1.1 Explore physical s…

Numeric information in graphic forms skills pre-post assessment

The second program learning outcome which SC 130 Physical Science addresses is "3.2 Students will be able to present and interpret numeric information in graphic forms." The sixteen students in physical science this summer were given six questions which focused on this outcome as skills pre-assessment at the start of the term.

As reported in June, beyond a basic ability to plot data which was presented in an xy table, student abilities range from weak to almost no ability to complete the items correctly.

The following table indicates the number of students out of sixteen answering a given question correctly on the pre-test instrument and the number who answered the same item correctly as part of the final examination (post).

SkillPrePostCalculate slope from line on graph414Determine units from axis labels313Determine y-intercept from line on graph111Write out the equation of line from graph17Plot xy data given a table labeled x, y1015Calculate slope from line on graph316


Site swap mathematics laboratory

Daniel Kahneman in Thinking, Fast and Slow noted that the remembering mind rates experiences using a peak-end rule. Although I had not known this particular fact when I designed laboratory 15 five years ago, I had always shared George M. Cohan's belief that one should "always leave them laughing when you say goodbye."

Jackie juggles three in cascade pattern

A class that ends on a pleasant activity makes for better memories looking back on the course. SC 130 Physical Science Laboratory 15 is both fun and yet is also a chance to introduce an mathematical model that is very different.

Beverleen throws one high

Laboratory fifteen in physical science sought to push the boundaries on the mathematical box for the students. In laboratory one a quote from Freeman Dyson was used to start a journey through the mathematical models that explain physical systems. Dyson calculated how an electron ought to behave. Later someone went into a laboratory and the electron behaved as predicted…

Ball bounce height lab

Laboratory 14 is intended as a form of practical examination. The students investigate a physically simply system and then have to determine the mathematical model underlying that system.

Laurie and Tommy, their super ball in mid-flight

Summer 2012 the students explored the bounce number versus bounce height. The students then have to write up their analysis of the system based on their data. Their laboratory report is marked both for content and syntax.

Tommy notes the bounce height

The objective is to determine when given a system that they have never worked with before, the students can work their way through to a mathematical analysis. This system has a twist in the mathematical model. The students are more familiar with a linear analysis, and points are given for running with the familiar. Full credit, however, requires following the data wherever it leads mathematically. During the term the students have seen quadratic and square root mathematical models, this one pushes into ot…

Pohnpei Cup Sailing Regatta Preliminary Round One

On the 7th of July the first Pohnpei Cup races were begun with preliminary heats. Sunny skies and light breezes provided ideal weather for the first day.

Boats were set-up at 10:00 prior to the opening ceremony.

Race director Kazuo Ishikawa reviewed the starting flag sequences with the skippers.

After the

All skippers took an oath of good sportsmanship and to abide by the rules of the regatta.

The trophies to be won were on display.

Pohnpei Sailing Club Chair Chief Andrew Lucky addressed the skippers.

Race director Kazuo Isikawa posed with the skippers for a photo opportunity.

Regatta chair Kiyoshi Umezu joined the skippers for the opening photo.

Dr. Umezu provides guidance to a skipper on boom attachment safety.

A skipper heads out for the first heat of the day. The water is still shallow, hence her dagger board is still up.

The races were conducted with Sokeh's ridge and Peipalap as a background.

At the end of the day the race director tallied results and planned for the second …