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Abstract Title: Building Modeling Skills and Developing Science Identity in Physics Freshmen
Abstract: Acquiring research skills and developing an identity as a scientist are critical to the development of young physicists but often neglected in undergraduate physics courses. While some students develop these traits "on the job" as undergraduate researchers, many leave the physics major before experiencing what being a scientist is all about. To counteract this trend, the Berkeley Compass Project offers a freshman course called "Introduction to Modeling" that emphasizes the actual practice of science. In it, students engage in model-building through guided activities related to the ray model of light. They then use the skills acquired to conduct research projects guided by graduate student advisors and culminating in papers and a poster session. The students also reflect on their "scientific identities" through a series of readings, discussions, and self-evaluations. In this presentation, we discuss the methods and activities used in this course and the positive outcomes experienced by our students.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Joel C. Corbo
University of California, Berkeley
1930 Channing Way, #3C
Berkeley, CA 94704
Phone: 718-757-8844