A quick look at what’s been going on in the Little Shop of Physics!
Posted: February 19th, 2016
Check out what Little Shop of Physics and Brian Jones have been up to for the last year. Everything from meetings, funding, baseball, workshops, Africa and more!
Brian Jones was awarded a $7,200 grant from TILT to develop models for facilitating small-group work in large lecture classes. The support will be used to hire and train undergraduate learning assistants who will assist with in-class exercises in PH 121-122, starting in Fall, 2016.
Interactive exercises and small-group work are already a large part of Jones’ instructional approach.
In January, 2016, the Little Shop of Physics team helped inaugurate a new education center on the B2Gold mine site in Namibia by hosting a series of workshops for teachers and camps for K-12 students. The Little Shop style of hands-on, open-ended inquiry applied to traditional science subjects was very popular with teachers and students alike, and attracted official attention; members of the Ministry of Education flew in from the capital for a day to see the workshops in progress and to ask questions. Plans for regular return visits are in the works.
Exploring motion with the use of high-speed cameras, which are part of a collection of equipment left at the education center.
Brian Jones was selected to give the commencement address for the College of Natural Sciences. A highlight of the address was the “rainbow glasses” given to each graduate and each attendee.
Sheila Ferguson, Teacher in Residence with the Little Shop of Physics, has been leading an effort the past five years to put kits of instructional materials in all K-8 classrooms across the Poudre School District. This effort is funded through the Pharos Fund of the Bohemian Foundation. In November, we held the first workshops for middle school teachers, sharing kits of materials for teaching about waves (8th grade) and states of matter (6th grade).
Teachers learning about force and motion using air pucks, from a 2013 workshop.
A $30,000 grant from Halliburton has allowed the Little Shop of Physics team to make more connections with Native American groups than ever before. In this academic year, we will visit 5 different reservation areas, do workshops with dozens of teachers, and host visits of teachers and students to campus. All programs are in partnership with CSU’s Native American Cultural Center.
For the November, 2015 trip to the Pine Ridge reservation we were joined by volunteers from the local Oglala Lakota College and volunteers from an alternative high school in Minnesota.
Brian Jones was selected for the WaterPik Excellence in Education Award by CSU Athletics. The award was presented on the field during a home game against Minnesota. Brian was nominated for this award by student athletes.
Brian Jones was invited to give a full-day workshop to K-12 teachers in Norway. The title was “A Warm Planet in a Cold Universe: Activities for Teaching About Climate and Climate Change.” Brian was the visitor of the Jarmuseet Science Center for a week, and participated in school programs and other activities as well.
Brian Jones was an invited performer at the 7th annual Znanstival (Science Festival) in Ljulbljana, Slovenia. Brian also was an instructor at the 3rd annual INSPIRE conference the week before.
At a public presentation at “Three Bridges” in central Ljulbljana.
Over 10,000 K-12 students took part in the Little Shop of Physics program at the 2015 Weather and Science Day hosted by the Colorado Rockies, Colorado State University, and 9News. Each participant took part in hands-on activities and observed large-scale demonstrations on the field.
Brian Jones and Dinger demonstrating the use of Chromadepth glasses for observing colorful on-field demonstrations.
2014-2015 Academic Year
Brian Jones was part of a team supported by TILT exploring the use of writing to learn approaches in the classroom. The group included Jones and faculty from Math, Chemistry and English. Jones has adopted many new approaches in the PH 121-122 sequence.
Writing to learn in the PH 121 classroom.
Brian Jones gave two invited talks at the summer AAPT meeting, a rare exception to the rule of one invited talk per speaker per meeting. One talk was on the legacy of Al Bartlett to physics education, one on the creation of a modern textbook.