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Thursday, July 9 • 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Rethinking STEM

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A Novel Interactive Paradigm for Teaching Quantum Mechanics
Mithila Tople, Rose Peng, William Dorn, Azad Naeemi, Nassim Jafarinaimi

Quantum Mechanics (QM) is the foundation for science and engineering disciplines as diverse as physics, materials science, chemistry, and nanotechnology. However, educators face major challenges in teaching QM concepts to students given the abstract and non-experiential nature of QM. To address the above challenges we are creating a virtual environment governed by the laws of quantum mechanics as a way to engage alternative ways of teaching and learning QM.

In our current prototype, the students begin in a classical world that is governed by laws found in our everyday experiences. Here, they encounter potential and kinetic energies, the conservation of energy, the predictability of position, and the continuous nature of energies allowed. They later move into a nanoscale environment in which energies are quantized, electrons can tunnel through potential barriers, and only probabilities are known. The juxtaposition of these two worlds enables students to compare classical and quantum mechanics.

Shooting for Equality: From Stereotype Threat in Games to Gender Disparity in STEM
Rabindra Ratan, Joseph Fordham, Kuo-Ting Huang, Corrie Strayer

The connection between video games and STEM interest has become a key focus for education and game scholars alike. While games have the potential to bring more girls and women into STEM fields, gender stereotypes about gaming ability potentially prevent this outcome. To examine this issue, the present study investigates the effect of stereotype threat induced in a gaming context on female video game players’ perception of STEM fields. A 2 (article type: stereotype threat or non-threatening) x 2 (gender of opponent: male or female) experiment found that stereotype threat induced in the game context increased participants’ ratings of STEM fields as better suited for men than women. These results suggest that one approach to increasing the representation of women in STEM fields is for our society to promote gender equality in video games.

Disciplinarily-Integrated Games: A Generalizable Genre?
Douglas Clark, Sat Virk, Pratim Sengupta

Disciplinary integration can be thought of in terms of Collins and colleagues’ analyses of model types (epistemic forms) and modeling strategies (epistemic games). More specifically, the puzzles and game-play mechanics of disciplinarily-integrated games distill modeling strategies for navigating and manipulating model types. Framing disciplinary integration in terms of model types and modeling strategies opens a vast trove of epistemic forms and epistemic games that span across disciplines (in fact well beyond STEM into the social sciences). To explore the generalizability of disciplinary integration to games, the following sections propose other hypothetical examples in physics, biology, chemistry, and the social sciences. We discuss this generalizability in terms of its economic, curricular, and developmental implications.

avatar for Douglas Clark

Douglas Clark

Vanderbilt University
www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jaznkUOW6E chais 2013 talk (1 hour) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlMfk5rP9yI&feature=youtu.be cyberlearning summit 2012 talk (10 minutes) Doug Clark's research investigates the learning processes through which people come to understand core science... Read More →

Rabindra Ratan

Assistant Professor, Michigan State University

Thursday July 9, 2015 2:30pm - 3:30pm CDT
Old Madison

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