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Abstract Title: Blending Physics and Other Interests (In and Out of the Classroom)
Abstract: In this session we will explore the intersection of physics with musics, sports, hobbies, the arts, and the many other areas of interests that are experienced by physicists and how to bring this into an informal or classroom setting. Many examples of these blended spaces exist, for instance, music and physics classes, cooking and physics workshops, "Physics of XYZ" books and media, summer camps blending art and physics, etc. This session will start with a 10-15 minute, non-traditional activity from a physics lesson, such as a yoga/physics activity, to give all attendees a shared experience of thinking about physics within a context outside of the discipline. This will be followed by a quick round of introductions from all attendees so that we can get a sense of their interests for discussion. We will then have three distinct talks, each 5-10 minutes in length, that explore 1) the theories that inform the design of these spaces, 2) the diverse contexts that already exist where physics and other topics are being explored (including examples of real informal programs and classrooms), and 3) the ways learners can make meaning and build identity from these activities. The second half of the session will start with a 30 minute discussion that we will tailor to the interests of the attendees. Each small group will be tasked with creating an artistic (drawing, skit, performance, etc) representation of their discussion that will be shared out during the final fifteen minutes of the session. We will share output from this session with the attendees including notes taken during this session, documentation of the artistic products created, and any design considerations discussed.
Abstract Type: Talk Symposium
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster II
Room: Cascade B

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Brean Prefontaine
Michigan State University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Katie Hinko

Symposium Specific Information

Presentation 1 Title: The Art Lab Project: The Schrodinger's Cat is in Town!
Presentation 1 Authors: Dena Izadi
Presentation 1 Abstract: Physics seems to be intimidating for the general public and art is a powerful medium that can be used to visualise physics. We organized the first session of 2-hour public workshop series that brought together physicists, artists and the public in a venue that physics phenomena was communicated through art. Guest physicists present one or several physics concepts briefly and broadly via a short (5-10 minute) ignite talk/presentation.The audience, with the help of both artists and physicists in the room, are encouraged to use words/figures/cardboards/printed pictures/paint/other media in order to create visual posters of the concepts presented.The activities take place in several groups and the best work is selected by the public. These events are co-hosted and sponsored by the The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU.
Presentation 2 Title: Performing Physics: An Analysis of Design-Based Informal STEAM Education Programs
Presentation 2 Authors: Simone Hyater-Adams
Presentation 2 Abstract: Informal educational programs that integrate the arts with sciences technology engineering and mathematics, or STEAM, are growing in prominence, including within informal physics. There are learning and social benefits that can come from blending physics with arts through STEAM education. One benefit that drives this work is the ability of STEAM programs to shift the exclusive culture of typical science learning environments, which is especially relevant to typical physics settings. However, there is room in the literature to understand the different ways we can integrate arts and STEM. This work presents two models for a design-based informal STEAM program that integrates performance art and physics content. We analyze artifacts, video and interview data from a ''performing physics'' program that was designed and run in the fall of 2015. We use this analysis to inform a second model of the program that will run at the end of this summer.
Presentation 3 Title: We Are Not Only Physicists: Creating Spaces That Support Students in Many Ways
Presentation 3 Authors: Brean Prefontaine
Presentation 3 Abstract: Creating informal physics experiences that support students by integrating personal interests with physical concepts can provide a unique opportunity for students to cultivate multiple identities. These blended spaces present activities that allow learners to make meaning in ways that might not otherwise be possible and build meaningful interest in physics. Informal physics programs that intentionally blend physics learning with other areas of interest (art, music, sports, etc.) allow for supportive of more than just
the student's physics identity, including their racial, cultural, and gender identities. Considerations for program design and implementation will be discussed as well as current efforts to research and understand existing informal programs intentionally blending physics and other interests. Finally, work that is aiming to create new programs and frameworks for understanding program design and identity support will be discussed.

Invited Presentation

Invited Presentation: Download the Invited Presentation