TYC Physics Workshop Project


TYC Physics Workshops for the 21st Century

NSF Advanced Technological Education Program Grant # DUE-#9950062

Major Participant Projects



(new) Using Just-in-Time-Teaching Techniques in an Algebra-based Physics Class by James E. Heath, Jr. from Austin Community College in Austin, Texas - jheath@austincc.edu

The technique of "Just-in-Time-Teaching" developed by Gregor Novak and Evelyn Patterson, has greatly improved physics teaching at institutions such as IUPUI and the Air Force Academy. I implemented this technique in my General Physics I classes at Austin Community College to assess its effectiveness. I prepared a series of Web-based "warm-ups" modeled after the ones employed by Novak and Patterson. The "warm-ups" were integrated into some of my sections of GPI, while other sections were held as "controls." Unfortunately, the JiTT techniques appeared to have no effect on class attendance, student retention and student performance Download the 72 kB zip file.


(new) Development of LabVIEW Controllers for Physics Laboratory Exercises by Kent Reinhard from Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska - kreinhar@southeast.edu

The goal of this project was to write a series of lab control interface routines, using LabVIEW modules, which can be used to control the Educational Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Suite (ELVIS) system manufactured by National Instruments.These new LabVIEW control interfaces and ELVIS replaces the LoggerPro and ULI systems currently employed at Southeast Community College. Additional work was required to update the lab manual to reflect the new LabVIEW control interfaces and Elvis operation. The project files includes lab writeups and VIs for introduction to motion, acceleration, energy, SHM, rotational motion, and buoyant forces. Download the 2.9 MB zip file for this project.


(new) Alternating Current and Voltage Circuit Project (A Microcomputer Based Laboratories Using Logger-Pro Interface ) by Imad A. El-Jeaid at Middle Georgia College in Cochran, GA 31014

More than 99% of the electrical energy used today is produced by electrical generators in the form of alternating current, which has a great advantage over direct current in that electrical energy can transported over long distances at very high voltages and low currents to reduce energy losses due to Joule heat effect. The goal behind this MBL-AC-Laboratory development is to revitalize and improve the quality of learning as well as understanding the concept of alternating current (AC) and AC voltage of undergraduate science, mathematics, engineering and technology education by all students at all types of institutions. The purpose of these activities/labs is to investigate the concept as well as the causes of AC circuits. To learn to create physical representations that accurately represent the processes that involve in creating AC currents, voltages, and various electrical components, like Resistor, Capacitor, inductor, and combinations of two or more of these components in series or parallel. Most importantly, how AC circuits are different from DC ones. Specially, how in AC Circuits the voltage and the current vary sinusoid ally with time. Also, because the voltage and current take on negative values with the same frequency and to the same degree as they take on positive values. This is why in AC the root mean squares (RMS) values of the voltage and currents are usually used to characterize the AC circuits. The study of the voltage/current across each component of RCL circuits can be either in phase with the voltage/current source or be out of phase by a phase shift angle. Also, how the frequency of the AC source play an important role in the analysis of RCL combinational circuit, series or parallel, as well as the phenomena of resonance. Download the 1.1 MB zip file with all the information.


(new) Quantum Physics Module for an Introductory Physics Course for Technology Students by Kai Druhl from Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa - kdruhl@ihcc.cc.ia.us

Download the 456 kB zip file for the module that contains the following materials:

The lesson manuals contain the following sections

(new) Using GPS to Analyze Real Life Motion in Introductory Mechanics by J.B. Sharma from Gainesville College in Gainesville, Georgia - jsharma@gc.peachnet.edu

The Global Positioning System is a revolutionary technology that is beginning to pervade every aspect of contemporary life. A commercially available low-end handheld GPS unit can locate any position on the planet with a RMS error of 6 m, i.e. within a circle of uncertainty of 6 m. There are techniques by which this error can be corrected in real time or by post processing to within a circle of uncertainty of less than 0.5 m. The sampling rate of a typical GPS unit is 1 second, during which it captures the latitude, longitude and altitude. Therefore, for a moving object, the (x,y,z) coordinates can be collected every one second to generate a time dependent 3-D position vector. If the mass of the moving object is known, then the entire kinematics, dynamics and energetics of the object can be calculated and analyzed. The goal of this project will be to develop a series of activities that can be used in a high school of college level introductory mechanics course. Download the 1.5 MB zip file with all the files.

All a person needs is a GPS unit, internet access to download the GPSTrackmaker program (free), Microsoft Excel to process the data and Verniers Graphical Analysis to analyse the data. I have tried to spell out the entire procedure in detail such that this ought be to readily usable by anyone. In the folder is a pdf andword document along with sample sets of GPS data (I, 2, ,3,).

Waves and Sound using LabVIEW and LabPro by Martin S. Mason from Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California - mmason@mtsac.edu. The materials includes a complete application written in LabVIEW to allow students to collect data in waves and sound using only a computer and microphone, and a set of curricular materials on Waves and Sound using the stand-alone application.  The materials were classroom tested in both a Two Year College and High School environment. This LabVIEW application will probably only work on a Windows computer.Zipped application file. and Source file.

Josephine Golcher (Rosary High School) "Teaching Wave Motion using a Variety of Approaches" reports on using Martin Mason's Major Project on using LabVIEW on sound.


Can You Explain This? - Conceptual Exercises for Physics Students by Christopher Wozny from Waycross College in Waycross, Georgia

This workbook of conceptual exercises has two purposes: one is to help students understand important physics concepts and principles; the second is to help students develop the problem-solving skills needed to solve conceptual exercises consistently and correctly. Each chapter of the workbook examines a different physics topic encountered in a general physics or technical physics course, and each unit has three different types of conceptual exercises. The exercises are Conflicting Contentions tasks, Qualitative Reasoning tasks, and "Can You Explain This?" tasks. Download the 21 MB file with all the materials.


VideoPoint Analysis of Bicycle Motion (or as a word file) by Chuck Stone, Forsyth Technical Community College, Winston-Salem, NC

This project involves the video analysis of the wheel motion of a multi-gear bicycle. It includes a User's Guide (html or word ) which describes a VideoPoint*-based project that investigates how a bicycle's speed depends on the pedaling gear. The gear ratio dictates how much power a cyclist can transmit to the rear wheel of a bike. This project utilizes two different methods to measure gear ratios. The first method determines the gear ratio by simply counting the number of teeth on the driver and driven gears. The second method determines the gear ratio by using VideoPoint to measure the angular velocities of the rear wheel and pedals. Preliminary analyses indicate that both methods yield consistent results. The extensive use of technological tools, computer software, and data analysis routines makes this project a viable activity for technical physics students. Movie files and VideoPoint files on the accompanying CD for this project give instructors the opportunity to present this activity as an interactive lecture demonstration.

*VideoPoint is a video analysis software package for both Macintosh and Windows based computers that allows one to collect position and time data from digital video images in the form of "video points." The VideoPoint software is published by Lenox Softworks and distributed by PASCO Scientific. Download the 120 kB zip file for this project.


Very Large Contexts (VLC) in Physics (updated March 8, 2002) by David Weaver of Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Mesa, AZ

Physics is more about skills than subjects, techniques more than topics.  When I ask faculty of "downstream" courses (those that require physics as a prerequisite) and technical employers why they want their students/employees to take physics, they typically cite problem solving as the most important outcome.  Teamwork, technical communication skills and willingness to experiment also usually outrank content in my anecdotal interviews, but these results seem to resonate with other, more formal, interviews.  Therefore, I see my role primarily as helping students learn the process of physics within the contexts of the content. Download the 57.4 zip file for this project.


"Analysis of Motion: An Introductory Tutorial" this downloads a Microsoft PowerPoint tutorial presentation (without the movies) on using VideoPoint in the Window platform to capture and examine the motion of objects by David G. Iadevaia, Pima County Community College, Tuscon, AZ Download the 10.4 MB files for this project.


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