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Abstract Title: Students' Understanding of Inclined Planes Using the CoMPASS Curriculum
Abstract: We discuss how students enrolled in a conceptual physics class for future elementary school teachers progress through the CoMPASS (Concept Map Project-based Activity Scaffolding System) curriculum for inclined planes.  The curriculum challenges students to design the best inclined plane to lift a pool table into a van.  We have found that students typically predict the correct type of board (long and smooth) to complete the challenge, but their responses include evidence of both physics and everyday reasoning.  After working through the materials, the majority of students understand the relationship between distance and force in the inclined plane as well as why the inclined plane is useful to lift heavy objects.  However, students have difficulty both relating a plane's steepness to the force required to pull an object and discussing work in a scientifically correct manner.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster
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Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jacquelyn J. Haynicz
Kansas State University
Department of Physics
116 Cardwell Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-2601
and Co-Presenter(s)
N. Sanjay Rebello
Department of Physics, Kansas State University

Sadhana Puntambekar
Dept. of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison