Physics & Industry
Prof. Bat Sheva Eylon
Dr. Rami Arieli
Dr. Dorothy Langley
Postdocs and students
Shay Soffer, ex-PhD Student
Zvi Arica, PhD Student
Dr. Dorothy Langley
Dr. Rami Arieli
The “Physics & Industry” program (P&I) was conceived as a joint effort of the physics education community (academy, ministry and schools) and the technology-based industries. It has been implemented for over a decade in several formats (Sofer, 2007). In this paper we shall refer to the “Regional Class” format the authors have been implementing within the Davidson Institute for Science Education, since 2003.
Eleventh grade high school physics’ majors within a 10-15 km radius of the Weizmann Institute of Science, are invited to participate in a 15 month program during which they design and construct a working prototype of a product dealing with a defined technological problem. The students also prepare a detailed project report documenting the different stages of their work and the results of experiments they performed. Each program cycle starts in November in the 11th grade and ends around April in the 12th grade (summer vacation and festive holidays excluded). During this period students of the regional class attend approximately 40 bi-weekly, 3 hour, afternoon meetings, for which they are required to pay a moderate fee. Typically, the class includes two groups of 12-18 boys and girls. The students are introduced to contemporary topics in electro-optics, become acquainted with technological components and instruments, gain practice in technological thinking and technical skills and gradually construct and improve their product.
The program is intended for capable students who can manage the burden of sustained extracurricular work. The students are not exempted from any of their school obligations, except the final examinations in 2 out of the 5 units in the physics majors’ syllabus: the Laboratory unit and the Radiation and Matter unit. Student evaluation is based on an informal, ongoing assessment by the P&I program instructors and a final, external oral exam evaluating the quality of their model and printed report and their ability to describe and explain the technological and scientific principles involved. The instructional team includes experienced physics and technology teachers with academic science-education expertise, engineers from the electro-optics industry, a Systematic Inventive Thinking expert, some PhD physics students and one or two experienced specialist technicians. The P&I program employs a variety of ICT tools for communication, instruction and submission of assignments. A full description of the main features of the P&I program can be found in (Langley, Arieli & Eylon, 2010).
The program was also carried out in an urban class with underachieving students, see “Physics and Industry with Underachieving Students”.
Papers presented at scientific meetings & published in proceedings
- D. Langley, R. Arieli, Digital photography for scaffolding project-based learning, Proc. GIREP-EPEC & PHEC Int’l. Conf. 2009: Physics Community and Cooperation, Selected Contributions, R. Raine, C. Hurkett, L. Rogers (eds.), Lulu/The Centre for Interdisciplinary Science, Leicester, England, 2010, 17-21 August 2009 (308-323)
- D. Langley, R. Arieli, B.S. Eylon, Enhancing four science learning dimensions: The Physics & Industry experience, GIREP-ICPE-MPTL 2010 Int’l. Conf. on Teaching and Learning Physics Today: Challenges? Benefits? Reims, France, 22-27 August 2010 (108-109)
- D. Langley, R. Arieli, Magical Elves and Formulas as a key to technological inventiveness: The case of non-contact distance measurement, GIREP-ICPE-MPTL 2010 Int’l. Conf. on Teaching and Learning Physics Today: Challenges? Benefits? Reims, France, 22-27 August 2010 (109-111)
Accepted for publication in journal
- D. Langley, Y. Zadok, R. Arieli, Exploring spatial relationships: A strategy for guiding technological problem solving. J. of Automation, Mobile Robotics & Intelligent Systems (JAMRIS) July 2013, Proc. 4th Int’l. Conf. on Robotics in Education (RiE2013)
- D.V. Langley, R. Arieli, B. Eylon, Mini-projects: Bridging the gap between school knowledge and model design, 2006 AAPT Summer Meeting: Syracuse, NY, USA, 22-26 July 2006
- D. Langley, R. Arieli, Building the concept of colours of light, GIREP-EPEC Conf. – Frontiers of Physics Education, Opatija 200726-31 August 2007 [poster]
- D.V. Langley, R. Arieli, Fostering a view of optical systems as products of design-based problem solving, GIREP 2008 Conf. – Physics Curriculum Design, Development and Validation, Nicosia, Cyprus, 18-22 August 2008 [poster]