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Archive: Fall 2015 Awards

Archive: Fall 2015

Strand: Scholar-in-residence

Development and Research in Model-Centric Physics Courses
Daryl McPadden and Eric Brewe

This project will support the formation of a new collaboration between the Michigan State University (MSU) and Florida International University (FIU) physics education research groups, focusing on aspects of teaching and researching in a model-centric physics course.  The Scholar-in-Residence grant will fund a summer visit to MSU for Daryl McPadden, a graduate student at FIU, who has extensive experience in Modeling Instruction curriculum development and has conducted qualitative problem-solving interviews with students in the Modeling Instruction course.  Daryl will be working closely with Dr. Vashti Sawtelle and the Physics Education Research Lab (PERL) at MSU on the qualitative analysis of her interview data, while contributing to an ongoing collaboration at MSU to develop model-centric, interdisciplinary introductory courses for physics, chemistry, and biology.

Initiating Collaborative Studies of Upper-Level Physics Laboratory Courses
Charles L. Ramey, II

In an effort to foster a strong and growing collaboration between Texas Tech University (TTU) and the University of Colorado Boulder (CU), I will be visiting CU for one week during Spring 2016. At CU, I will collaborate with Prof. Heather Lewandowski and Dr. Dimitri Dounas-Frazer to analyze data I have collected for research involving transformation of the TTU Modern Physics Lab. This research is part of my thesis work and is being done under the supervision of my advisor, Dr. Beth Thacker.  This effort will garner new research and discoveries about upper-level lab environments for the PER community.  To strengthen ties between TTU and CU, I will attend PER and DBER research seminars, and I will also meet with various members of the PER group at CU to gain new perspectives and potentially establish new projects related to upper-level lab environments.  This collaboration will invoke new theories and discussion within the local TTU and CU research groups, which will ultimately contribute to productive dialogues about upper-level labs in the broader PER community.

Using Eye Tracking to Investigate Student Reasoning about Graphed Data
Rebecca Rosenblatt

This travel grant funds collaborative research between Dr. Rebello at Purdue University and Dr. Rosenblatt at Illinois State University. At ISU, we have been working on a graphical and pictorial reasoning project. Findings suggest important things about student reasoning with control of variables and how it plays a role in their analysis of both graphed and pictured data.  For example, students have significant issues over using logical reasoning schemes that work for 1 cause – 1 effect data but do not work if there could be multiple causes for an effect. Students make incorrect claims like, "If variable A is unchanged and variable B does change than variable A must not affect variable B." This travel grant allows Dr. Rebello and me to improve this project by using an eye tracker to investigate students' attention to the different variables in the graphs and pictures and the affect this has on reasoning.

Strand: Organizer

Funding to support 2016 GRC
Dean Zollman

Funding to support speakers at the 2016 Gordon Research Conference.  The Gordon Research Conference: Physics Research and Education (GRC:PRE) has been bringing together a community of researchers, educators, and education researchers since 2000. This conference is unique among the GRCs due to the focus on education and the connection between cutting edge research and making this research accessible to our students at all levels of instruction. Every two years this conference brings together leaders in the content area, leaders in education, and leaders in education research to engage in open ended discussions. Although the underlying theme of Physics Research and Education is a common thread for this GRC, every two years the focus of the meeting changes.

A Race, Ethnicity, and Equity Workshop for Physics Educators and Researchers
Vashti Sawtelle, Chandra Turpen, and Angela Little

This PERTG/PERLOC grant will build a workshop that embraces the novice position many in our community feel toward issues of race and ethnicity. This grant is intended to support the design and implementation of an active engagement workshop to address the needs of educators and researchers beginning to attend to racial/ethnic inequities in instruction and research. Sawtelle, Turpen, and Little committed to creating and running the first iteration of this workshop and secured PERTG/PERLOC funds to help defray the costs of developing, designing and implementing this workshop for the community.

Strand: Innovation and Community Resources

Development of seminar course titled
"Ten Essential Readings for Physics Education Researchers"
Rachel E. Scherr and Paula R. L. Heron

New physics education researchers – grad students, postdocs, or faculty – need a thoughtful induction into the field of physics education research, one that goes beyond the research currently being conducted by whatever group or team they may be joining. They need to know about the shared cultural touchstones of our field (e.g., the FCI, Peer Instruction, the Hake survey), and they need to know how PER relates to other disciplinary perspectives (e.g., Piaget and Vygotsky). We will create a complete course including a thoughtfully sequenced ten-week reading list, activity structures to support deep engagement with the readings, and a facilitator's guide answering key questions about each article in the sequence. Scherr and Heron will pilot the course with a group of 8 new PER graduate students, one from the Physics Education Research Group at Seattle Pacific University and 7 from the University of Washington Physics Education Group.

Strand: Travel

Ben Geller

Funding to attend 2016 Winter AAPT meeting and present invited work.  

Cody Gette

Funding to attend 2016 Winter AAPT meeting and present work.  

Amber Henry

Funding to attend 2016 Winter AAPT meeting and present work.  

Alexis Papak

Funding to attend 2016 Winter AAPT meeting and present work.  

Trevor I. Smith

Funding to attend 2016 Winter AAPT meeting and present invited work.  

Bethany R. Wilcox

Funding to attend 2016 Winter AAPT meeting and present invited work.  

Tugba Yuksel

Funding to attend 2016 Winter AAPT meeting and present work.