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Abstract Title: Integrating electrostatics concepts in conductors through a mechanistic model
Abstract: We have been conducting a long-term investigation at the University of Washington into student difficulties with electrostatics concepts at multiple levels.  One of the results from this study suggests that standard lecture instruction does not provide students with a coherent conceptual model to understand conductors in electrostatics.  To address these difficulties, we developed new tutorial worksheets for both Tutorials in Introductory Physics and Tutorials in Physics on the electric properties of conductors.  This paper demonstrates that a teaching strategy designed to help students build a mechanistic model of charges in conductors significantly improves student understanding of conductors, at both the introductory and junior level.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Ryan Hazelton
University of Washington
and Co-Presenter(s)
Peter Shaffer, University of Washington
Paula Heron, University of Washington