Integrating Multimedia-based Life-science Applications
into College Physics Laboratories
Vicki L. Plano Clark and Robert G. Fuller
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
This project proposes to improve the general physics courses for life science students with a new sequence of introductory college physics laboratories that will unite intrinsically motivating medical and life science applications with the power of scientific computing tools. This project will address the two introductory college physics courses at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Intrinsically Motivating Applications
Most introductory college physics students are enrolled in a physics course in order to fulfill the requirements for careers in the medical and life sciences. Therefore we have an entire group of students who share common interests which are virtually ignored in the present traditional physics laboratory sequence. This project will develop a complete set of lessons that focus on fundamental physics concepts, but which also attempt to motivate the study of these concepts based on medical and life science applications.
Using the Computer For Data Acquisition and Analyses
Computer technology is becoming an important part of every day life, but no where is this more true than in the field of medical sciences. Essentially all scientific data are collected using automated data acquisition systems and analyzed using computers. By having our students use computing tools for the study of medical and life science applications of physics concepts, they have a unique opportunity to develop their awareness of and sophistication with the appropriate application of scientific computing tools. In addition, students will develop skills at using large electronic data bases to find needed information.