Event Title

Investigation of Absolute and Relative Scaling Conceptions of Students in Introductory College Chemistry Courses

Mentor 1

Kristen Murphy

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

29-4-2016 1:30 PM

End Date

29-4-2016 3:30 PM

Description

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has outlined several themes that define science literacy. These themes include systems, models, constancy and change, and scale. More recently, the National Research Council has released the framework for K-12 science education that includes “Scale, Proportion, and Quantity”. Our research has already shown that scale literacy is a better predictor for success in a general chemistry course than traditional measures and integrating scale as a theme in the undergraduate general chemistry curriculum has been accomplished through a variety of methods. One activity that was completed as a laboratory experiment, mirrored the work of Gail Jones. Students were asked to create “bins” (size ranges) to categorize 20 objects with sizes ranging from very small to very large. Students were then given 20 cards containing the names of these objects and asked to sort the items into their bins and order them from smallest to largest. The results show that students are much less familiar with objects that lie outside of three orders of magnitude larger or smaller than themselves. This was evidenced by the fact that most often all small and large items were grouped together in a single bin, and the many orders of magnitude separating these items was ignored. Additionally, the data suggests that students have a limited scaling ability at these extremes, as they struggled to correctly order the items in these categories. The analysis of this laboratory experiment as well as its implications will be discussed.

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Apr 29th, 1:30 PM Apr 29th, 3:30 PM

Investigation of Absolute and Relative Scaling Conceptions of Students in Introductory College Chemistry Courses

Union Wisconsin Room

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has outlined several themes that define science literacy. These themes include systems, models, constancy and change, and scale. More recently, the National Research Council has released the framework for K-12 science education that includes “Scale, Proportion, and Quantity”. Our research has already shown that scale literacy is a better predictor for success in a general chemistry course than traditional measures and integrating scale as a theme in the undergraduate general chemistry curriculum has been accomplished through a variety of methods. One activity that was completed as a laboratory experiment, mirrored the work of Gail Jones. Students were asked to create “bins” (size ranges) to categorize 20 objects with sizes ranging from very small to very large. Students were then given 20 cards containing the names of these objects and asked to sort the items into their bins and order them from smallest to largest. The results show that students are much less familiar with objects that lie outside of three orders of magnitude larger or smaller than themselves. This was evidenced by the fact that most often all small and large items were grouped together in a single bin, and the many orders of magnitude separating these items was ignored. Additionally, the data suggests that students have a limited scaling ability at these extremes, as they struggled to correctly order the items in these categories. The analysis of this laboratory experiment as well as its implications will be discussed.