Clarity beats accuracy

Quantum Physics for 7 Year Olds
Dominic Walliman
May 24, 2016
In this lighthearted talk Dominic Walliman gives us four guiding principles for easy science communication and unravels the myth that quantum physics is difficult to understand, it’s all in how it’s explained.

1. Start off in the right place. Everyone has a different background, everyone has a different set of knowledge …
2. Don’t go too far down the rabbit hole.
3. Clarity beats accuracy

4. Explain what you think is cool


Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.
A. P. W. B. Dumbledore
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


NGSS > Phenomena


Phenomena (e.g., a sunburn, vision loss) are specific examples of something in the world that is happening—an event or a specific example of a general process.
Phenomena are NOT the explanations or scientific terminology behind what is happening. They are what can be experienced or documented.
September 2016

Three-dimensional learning

NGSS EQuIP Rubric: 3-Dimensional Learning


Science education: Spare me the lecture
Nature 425, 234-236 (18 September 2003)

Evidence of this failure is provided by assessments such as the Force Concept Inventory (FCI), a multiple-choice test designed to examine students’ understanding of Newton’s laws of mechanics.

Peer Instruction: Ten Years of Experience and Results.
Catherine H. Crouch and Eric Mazur.
Am. J. Phys., 69, 970-977 (2001).

sets of qualitative exam questions that rely on understanding a concept rather than simply using physical formulae. His methods have been adopted by physics teachers around the United States and have also been adapted for chemistry, astronomy, geology and mathematics courses.

Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations.

R. R. Hake Am. J. Phys. 66, 64–74; 1998

some newcomers to the field are in danger of wasting their enthusiasm on experimental teaching projects that largely repeat what has gone before. “Does someone need to test peer instruction again? No, we know it works and now we’ve moved on to more sophisticated things,”


Learning Science Through Computer Games and Simulations

Two-factor experiments with interactions

molasses_vs_honeyTwo-factor experiments with interactions
(Taste results: 1=bad, 10=exceptional
A= baking time
B= sugar type)

When the lines are not parallel, this is evidence of interaction:
The effect of sugar type depends on the duration that it is baked for.

Definition of “interaction”:
The effect of one factor depends on the value (or the level) of another factor.

from the MOOC:
Experimentation for Improvement
McMaster University