Workshop Descriptions
1999 Fall Meeting of ISAAPT at Augustana College
W1 - W2 - W3 - W4 - W5

W1 - Friday, Oct. 29, 1:30 - 3:30
W4 - Saturday, Oct. 30, 1:00 - 3:00

"Hands-On Use of the ScienceWorkshop
 500 and 750 Interfaces"

Tom Kuhn
Pasco Scientific

Science 119


In this workshop you will explore the features of the ScienceWorkshop activites using the latest software tool called DataStudio. Two stations will have the 500 interface connected to a COM port.  The other three will have the 750 interface and a SCSI card.  Each participant will be able to experiment with these sensors:  voltage, photogates, temperature, smart pulley, rotary motion, light, sound, picket fence, cart picket fence, acceleration, and motion.  The 750 has a built-in function generator, scope and FFT.

There will be a drawing among the participants in each of these workshops to receive a free 750 interface valued at $795.  One will be given away in each workshop.

The workshop is free but reservations are required (limit 15 in each workshop).


W2 - Friday, Oct. 29, 1:30 - 3:30
W5 - Saturday, Oct. 30, 1:00 - 3:00

"CASTLE Project - Electricity Visualized"

Jay Cutler
Physics teacher at Charles City
 High School, Charles City, Iowa

Science 107

I have used the CASTLE Project off and on, in part and whole, alone and as a supplement since 1987. Participants will experience a hands-on investigation, overcoming misconceptions and fostering effective explanatory models. I will point out sections that are difficult for students and those that are more difficult to teach.  CASTLE stands for Capacitor-Aided System for Teaching and Learning Electricity.

The CASTLE project was supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number MDR-9050189.  Teachers are expressly granted permission to copy the Student Manual for instructional purposes.  Section headings in the manual include: Why 0.1 Farad capacitors?  Happening in the wires? Moving charges originate?  Light bulbs do?  Makes charge 

move?  Series & parallel connections affect "pressure"?  Circuit variables measured? Variables determine energy transfer? "Pressure" in "at a distant conductor"?  Forces on point particles?  Semiconductors?  AC?

The equipment used in the CASTLE project is listed in the current Pasco catalog.

There is a $10 registration fee (limit 16 for each workshop).


W3 - Saturday, Oct. 30, 1:00 - 3:00

"Using Web Technology to Get
 Student's Minds On Physics

Brian Wegley
and Neil Schmidgall
Physics teachers at Glenbrook South
High School, Glenview, Illinois

Olin Technology Center 105

Physics education has been revolutionized in the past few years. We have developed research based curricula that offer more and more students hands-on rich experiences in physics like they have never had before.

However, two obstacles stand in the way of implementing these rich experiences effectively.  Schedules are cutting back the time we have to teach and rearranging our time with students in ways that could cut the impact we have on them.   And, as hard as it is to imagine, not every student completes the assigned material. Even the richest curriculum and course has little impact on the student who does not have the motivation to complete assigned work.

Current Web technology offers teachers an opportunity never before available. It motivates students, keeps us in constant contact, keeps students accountable, provides students with immediate feedback and help, and can offer this service at any time from any platform machine!

This workshop will provide teachers with a hands on look at some of these applications used and developed by Glenbrook South Teachers. This will include:

  • The Physics Classroom - This offers students physics help at any time and from home or school.
  • Internet Problems - These offer students immediate feedback on challenging high school problems. The problems also help students visualize problems by supplying an animated GIF along with the question which includes randomly generated questions.
  • Minds on Physics - This newly developed shockwave application provides students with the opportunity to test their grasp of concepts. It also maintains records of student responses providing teachers with valuable information about current student understanding. As students complete questions they can access the Physics Classroom for immediate help as it is needed.
  • Practice Quizzes - These practice quizzes help students test their preparation level for exams and provide immediate feedback about success before they attempt the formal examination.
  • The Project Corner - This area of our site offers projects used by our physics team and demonstrates some best uses of the Web along with the ability to communicate via the Internet.

Using Netscape or Internet Explorer, each participant will be able to access and utilize all of the above and will be introduced to what it takes to do similar things from your school's server.  Glenbrook South utilizes FileMaker Pro and Tango to do much of the interface work. This technology is becoming simpler to use and CAN be done at your school.

There is a $10 registration fee (limit 20).