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Call for Review of Physics Labs - July 2011

Page history last edited by Gina Bennett 8 years, 7 months ago

NEW! Please click here to view and evaluate the full-text version of each of the currently-available Physics labs. We need your feedback -- by September 3 if at all possible!


Relationship of labs to theory portion of the course


Labs can be used

  • to illustrate theory (post-theory presentation of labs)
  • to develop curiousity about theoretical concepts (pre-theory or inquiry-based learning approach)
  • to introduce and/or develop concepts separate from concepts developed in the 'theory' portion of the course


We will structure the lab experience primarily around the "post theory" model although some labs may be used in a "pre-theory" way to provide an inquiry-based experience while some may introduce concepts not extensively developed in the theory portion of the course.


Learning outcomes/Goals of the lab experience

For more detailed copies of correspondence, click here.


1. Connect theory to experiences in the physical world



2. Conduct experimental investigations and guided research to verify and further explore physical laws

Evaluate uncertainties, analyze errors, select options for recording, interact with colleagues, maintain scientific notebook


3. Develop awareness of how research is done and experiments are designed

Learn how research is done (conceptual understanding, investigations, verification, making sense of results), Consider experiment variations and procedural options, set up lab configurations.


4. Deepen conceptual understanding through communication with others

Use an inquiry-based approach to ask "what if?" questions and develop theoretical concepts based on experimentation and other research activities. Communicate results using formal scientific record-keeping as well as a variety of representations (graphs, equations, diagrams, etc..) 



Potential list of labs to support first semester (calculus-based) Physics


(Based on BCcampus lab list):

BCcampus lab
follows this Theory Unit
Orientation to lab work in first-semester (calculus-based) Physics (not written yet)
(can be delivered during first week/unit of course)
Measurements and experimental errors (Lab Kit) Introduction
One dimensional motion (RWSL) Kinematics in One Dimension
Resolving forces (Lab Kit) Kinematics in Two Dimensions
Conservation of energy (RWSL) Work and Energy
Conservation of momentum (RWSL) Momentum
Torque and rotational equilibrium (Lab Kit) Rotation and Equilibrium
The simple pendulum (Lab Kit) Oscillations, Waves and Sound (could possibly be designed to precede this lab, providing an inquiry-based learning experience)
Oscilloscope speed of sound (RWSL) Oscillations, Waves and Sound



CCCS students may complete any 10 of the following:


01   Experimental Errors and Uncertainty
02   Measurement
03   Trigonometric Measurements
04   Data Collection
05   Acceleration
06   Friction
07   Simple Machine - Lever
08   Simple Machine - Pulleys
09   Pendulum and the Calculation of g
10   Centripetal Acceleration
11   Hooke's Law
12   Specific Heat Capacity of Metals
13   Determining the Speed of Sound

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