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Abstract Title: Students modeling of thermal contact - From particle diffusion to Energy Spreading
Abstract: An introductory curriculum was developed which builds the conceptual physics framework behind complex phenomena that are of interest to the materials and life sciences. The curriculum was implemented, evaluated and refined in a course for interested and capable high-school students.
To deal with their limited prior knowledge, students first analyzed particle diffusion by means of computational dynamical models concretizing the shift from Newtonian dynamics to random-walks, paving the way for a further shift from random walks to the statistical-thermodynamics treatment of particle diffusion. This analysis set the stage for an instructional unit presenting thermal contact in terms of energy diffusion in the system, in analogy to the more concrete context - particle diffusion they had already studied. In particular, students investigated thermal contact between particles in a simulation-based discovery activity demonstrating this approach. Findings regarding changes in students' perceptions following the thermal contact unit are presented.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: A1

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Ariel Abrashkin
Weizmann Institute of Science
6 Sderot Hatzionut
Tel Aviv, Non U.S. 62157
Phone: +972528779558
and Co-Presenter(s)
Ariel Steiner, Weizmann Institute of Science
Sam Safran, Weizmann Institute of Science
Edit Yerushalmi, Weizmann Institute of Science