Submitter:Brian Woodahl, PI

Addition (2):Interactive, User-Based Experiments in Introductory Physics Labs Dr. John Ross, Dr. Brian Woodahl, Department of Physics, IUPUI

Title:Curriculum Enhancement Grant Proposal

CTL Funding Level:$8,600.00

Abstract:With the advent of the new microelectronic sensors, portable data buffers and related devices, it is now possible to update our introductory physics labs with technology that allows active student participation in the experiments at a greater level than ever before. For example, a force plate sensor is now available which a student can step on, jump on, bounce a ball on, or even bring on an elevator. The plate digitizes and records the force felt by the student’s feet which may be analyzed later. Another example is a pocket-sized 3-axis accelerometer. With this device, a student can study the three-dimensional, time-dependent acceleration (“g-force”) she experiences during an amusement park ride, a drive around the IUPUI campus, or a run through an obstacle course. Other interactive measuring devices include GPS and a heart-rate monitor. All of these devices are portable, easy to use, and, most importantly, enhance student learning by “personalizing” data collection, i.e. making the student an active part of the measurement process and no longer a passive observer. Furthermore, they expose students to computer-based data-acquisition methods that are used routinely in industry and research.We request funding to purchase specific sensors and data-acquisition equipment manufactured by the Vernier Software and Technology Company to continue our effort to improve the introductory labs. We wish to upgrade several first-semester introductory physics labs by developing interactive (user-based) experiments implementing this technology.