Physics Students Present at the University of Rochester


Contributed by Valerie Munroe

Two outstanding students, Lia Stelljes '08 and Rhea Hanrahan '09, presented at the Society of Physics Students Zone 2 meeting held in conjunction with the Rochester Symposium for Physics Students at the University of Rochester.

Lia Stelljes presented "Finding the Fun in Physics -- Teaching Science with Summer Camp Activities." Her presentation included the following: "In my high school physics class, I was discouraged by the numbers of my peers who were intimidated by physics, who were resistant to even the thought of learning such difficult, confusing, and boring topics. Perhaps if we had been exposed to physics concepts at an earlier age, in a more relaxed, fun atmosphere, these theories would seem more manageable for more people. Making physics more attainable became my goal for my summer internship at the Sciencecenter." Lia has had the opportunity to design, teach, and develop activities and hopes to inspire others to become involved.

Rhea Hanrahan presented "Modification of Laboratory Experiments for Use in a New Performance-Based Physics Classroom." She revised traditional laboratory experiments to work in a new room, with new equipment, class format, and teaching style. The physics department is currently engaged in a physics education research project to assess the impact of the new space on student learning. The first year's data is expected this summer.