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Abstract Title: Hidden Value: Investigating the Physics Demonstration as Aesthetic Experience
Abstract: Physics demonstrations have a rich history both in and outside the classroom. Evaluations of physics demonstrations have traditionally focused on their ability to facilitate comprehension and retention of information; however, John Dewey's theory of aesthetic experience allows us to instead examine them as meaningful interactions between demonstrators and audiences. In this work, we demonstrate the utility of aesthetic experience as a model for science communication by investigating an undergraduate student group that performs physics demonstrations at family science events. Using observation and interviews, we collected stories from the presenters and analyzed these data using grounded theory. We found that the performers were engaged in performing expressive acts alongside their intention to explain the physics content correctly. Thus, this work shows that the experience model of science communication has the ability to reveal the significance of these demonstrations and also may be applicable to many informal learning and public engagement interventions.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: A25
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Sydney Seese
Michigan State University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Kathleen Hinko, Michigan State University
Megan Halpern, Michigan State University