Hope College Department of Physics and Engineering
Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Summer 2006
Project Summary

 

Project Title:

Introduction To The Physics Of The Universe Curriculum For AP Physics Classrooms

Student Name:

Stephanie Allen

Student's Home Institution: Hope College
Research Advisor: Dr. Peter Gonthier
Source of Support: This material is based upon work supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Education Scholars Program

The purpose of this research was to develop a sequence of Astrophysics and Astronomy curricula to use in AP Physics classrooms for three to four weeks after the AP test is administered near the end of the year. In this sequence, students will interactively learn about gamma-ray bursts through first understanding the size and contents of the universe, stellar evolution, black holes, and the electromagnetic spectrum along with NASA observatories. These five lesson topics include various activities, demonstrations, real data labs and discussion-based lectures. As a result, students will understand how a complex event can be explained through using knowledge of other objects and events that are better understood. This project was completed by gathering resources from various scientific organizations, developing new ideas and speaking with scientists at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center during a four week stay there. The result is a manual of lesson plans, activities and answer keys for teachers to use in their own classrooms.

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Publications and Presentations:

"Introduction to Physics of the Universe in AP Physics Classrooms", Stephanie Allen, Poster session at the Joint meeting of the American Astronomical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers Winter 2007, January, 2007.
"Introduction to Physics of the Universe in AP Physics Classrooms", Stephanie Allen, Oral presentation at the Joint meeting of the American Astronomical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers Winter 2007, January, 2007.
"Introduction to Physics of the Universe in AP Physics Classrooms" Stephanie Allen, , Michigan Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers Spring 2007 Meeting, March 17, 2007.

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