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Abstract Title: Inquiry-based activities and its effect on students’ ability to explain related problem scenarios
Abstract: This research investigates the impact of several directed-inquiry experiments in mechanics and heat on introductory college physics students' ability to solve or make sense of problem scenarios.  The students performed experiments where they were guided in discovering for themselves the physical concepts or principles rather than having them verify concepts/principles as in traditional lab classes. At the end of each laboratory activity, students were asked to answer problem scenarios with solutions or answers requiring a direct application of the physical concepts investigated in the laboratory experiment. Our preliminary results indicate that students are able to use the concepts learned from the laboratory activity in explaining problem scenarios only in some topics (e.g. thermal expansion, buoyancy) but not in other topics (e.g. momentum conservation, two-dimensional motion).
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Edgar De Guzman Corpuz
Department of Physics, University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley
1201 W. University Dr
Edinburg, TX 78539
Phone: (956) 665-2153
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Ma. Aileen Corpuz
Department of Physics
University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley


Brenda Ramirez
McAllen High School
McAllen Independent School District