Interactive, Microcomputer-Based Undergraduate Physics Laboratory

Project: Research project

Project Details


The goal of the project is to improve interest in and understanding and application of physics concepts by undergraduate students in general education, engineering, technology and science tracks. The project builds on preliminary local work to use a microcomputer-based laboratory (MBL) to improve student involvement in laboratory experiences, to link kinesthetic, perceptual and logical-symbolic experience of phenomena, and to increase the quality and immediacy of data capture and display. Experiments, demonstrations and simulations apply and extend publicly reported MBL experiments. Experiments based on active, collaborative, learner centered pedagogical techniques are used in mechanics, electricity and magnetism, heat and thermodynamics, and in modern physics. The project is unusual in involving two neighboring campuses, which should speed development of learning modules in its connections to 12 campuses in the Penn State Commonwealth College at which lower-division physics is taught with good opportunity for internal and external dissemination, and in using laboratory experiences to connect physics and mathematics instructions to each other. Support provides software and hardware to equip a basic MBL at York and Mont Alto and for additional instrumentation and equipment to develop a wide range of experiments at York. The two campuses are collaborating to speed development of a complete set of laboratory experiences for students. It is expected that learning in physics will improve measurably and it is hoped that the bridge between science and mathematics instruction will enhance learning in both disciplines.

Effective start/end date9/1/988/31/00


  • National Science Foundation: $35,264.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.