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PERC 2014 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Feeling a Vector: Using Embodied Learning to Explore Angular Momentum
Abstract: We developed a set of activities that uses a double bicycle wheel system to explore the vector nature of angular momentum.  Students in an introductory physics class worked in pairs, with one student (actor) manipulating the wheel system, and the other (observer) obtaining visual information about the wheel system from the movement along a wall of the dot of a laser mounted in the wheels' axle.  Students took a quiz on angular momentum and torque several days later.  The actor group outperformed the observer group, particularly on questions involving the vector properties of angular momentum.  In a related study using a similar set of activities, actor and observer participants were placed in an fMRI scanner and brain image data were collected while they were asked to compare pairs of angular momentum systems. Being an actor increased activation in motor-related brain regions which, in turn, predicted better quiz performance post scanning.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Susan M. Fischer
Department of Physics, DePaul University
211 Byrne Hall
2219 N. Kenmore Ave.
Chicago, IL 60016
Phone: (773)325-1379
Fax: (773)325-7334
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Carly Kontra, Daniel J. Lyons, and Sian L. Beilock
Department of Psychology and Committee on Education, University of Chicago

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster