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“Sweetening” Technical Physics with Hershey's Kisses
1.In 1993 Sinclair Community College and the University of Dayton formed a partnership and established the Advanced Integrated Manufacturing (AIM) Center. Two of AIM's objectives are to improve the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector through mission-critical projects, education, and training research, as well as upgrading the skills of the manufacturing workforce. To meet these needs, the AIM program has developed a sequence of instructional modules. Each module contains a set of interdisciplinary curriculum materials called Authentic Learning Tasks (ALTs), a series of discrete learning events that build experience and competencies related to specific instructional goals. ALTs often replicate a real-world application, but they are more limited in scope. More information on the AIM Center's mission and resources can be found at http://www.aimcenter.org. To supplement the graphical analysis needs of PHY 133, I utilized an Authentic Learning Task that I discovered while attending the Two-Year College Physics Workshop on Physics in Context, held at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, during Nov. 2–4, 2000. During this workshop, Bob Chaney (Department of Mathematics, Sinclair Community College; firstname.lastname@example.org) outlined the instructional module called Basic Statistical Variation. This module contains four ALTs entitled “Measures of Central Tendency,” “Measures of Variability,” “The Coin Toss,” and “Is a Kiss Just a Kiss?” all designed to give the student an awareness of both the usefulness of statistics to manufacturing and ways in which computers can be used to simplify data analysis.
2.Janet T. Spence, John W. Cotton, Benton J. Underwood, and Carl P. Duncan, Elementary Statistics, Rev. 5th ed. (Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1992), Chaps. 4 and 5.
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