Networking Day at CCSE

The purpose of this Networking Day is to strengthen our regional Scandinavian network of physics and astronomy researchers working on a variety of projects related to computing in science education. Each visitor will give a 20 minute presentation, followed by 10 minutes for questions, and participants are encouraged to actively use the coffee and lunch breaks for networking.


1000–1030: Welcome and introduction to CCSE

1030–1100: Overview of current work at CCSE

1100–1130: Coffee break and networking

1130–1200: Presentation by Ben Pollard, University of Colorado Boulder, USA

1200–1230: Presentation by Ian Bearden, Niels Bohr Institute, Denmark 

1230–1330: Lunch

1330–1400: Presentation by Urban Eriksson, Lund University, Sweden

1400–1430: Presentation by Kim Svensson, Lund University, Sweden

1430–1500: Coffee break and networking

1500–1530: Presentation by Robert Hagala, Department of Astronomy at UiO

1530–1545: Wrap up



Tablet Computers as Notebooks and Apparatus in an Introductory Lab Course

Benjamin Pollard, University of Colorado Boulder, USA

Computation is an increasingly essential skill for physicists to master. Experimental physicists regularly use computation to collect, analyze, and communicate data. Such skills are naturally developed in physics lab courses. For example, students may use tablet computers as an electronic lab notebook, and for real-time data collection and analysis. My colleagues and I have fully integrated tablet computers in a transformation of the introductory physics lab course at our home institution. Preliminary results show that students are more engaged, show an increased appreciation for the role of experiments in physics, and gain basic computational skills after taking the transformed course.


Real Labs for Young Physicists 

Ian Bearden, Niels Bohr Institute, Denmark

At the Niels Bohr Institute we have spent considerable effort over the past few years on the development and implementation of laboratory instruction which provides students with genuine scientific experience. I will discuss the status of the this effort in both our introductory Classical Mechanics and Special Relativity course and our course aimed at pre- and in-service upper secondary level physics teachers. I will attempt to emphasise the various intersections of experiment and computation, as well as other ICT skills necessary for a modern physicist to master. 


Disciplinary discernment of three-dimensionality in virtual learning environments (VLEs)– important for teaching and learning physics and astronomy?

Urban Eriksson, National Resource Center for Physics Education, Lund University, Sweden

When learning about the Universe, students must come to appreciate not only the immense scale of the Universe, but also its multidimensional structure. Recent research has shown that to extrapolate three-dimensionality from 1D and 2D semiotic resources is a competency very hard for students to acquire [1]. Also, in most university teaching situations the students are left to construct this aspect by themselves. In this talk, I report on earlier research concerning disciplinary discernment of three-dimensionality and elaborate on how to address this severely overlooked competency in physics and astronomy education, taken into account visualization possibilities offered by VLEs, such as planetaria and VR/AR.

[1] Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Redfors, A. (2014). Who needs 3D when the Universe is flat? Science Education, 98(3), 31.


Programming: A tool for meaning-making and a transductive link between semiotic systems

Kim Svensson, National Resource Center for Physics Education, Lund University

Programming could potentially be used as a tool for meaning-making in physics. As a semiotic system [1], programming can be used as a transductive link between other semiotic systems, such as mathematics or visual representations. In this project I am investigating this link to find how it can affect learning physics. Upper secondary school students have created computational models of physical phenomena to explore the physics and the model-making process. In this process, the students identify disciplinary relevant aspects, important relations and interactions, and devise logical machines to combine them into simulations. The whole process is being monitored and data will be qualitatively analysed using a social semiotic lens.

[1] Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2017). Social semiotics in university physics education. In Multiple Representations in Physics Education (pp. 95-122). Springer, Cham.


AST2000 Satellite Mission

Robert Hagala, Department of Astrophysics, University of Oslo, Norway

In the first astrophysics course for physics students, we have given the students the possibility to choose a large project work instead of mandatory hand-ins and the exam. The project covers all the topics of the course through a space mission to another planet. The students simulate the rocket engine, calculate the orbits, develop software for the satellite, and analyse the atmospheric spectra of the target planet. All this in order to simulate a soft landing on the surface. After months of planning, calculations and simulations, the students will perform the space mission 'for real' where they will receive pictures and videos from the space mission using a 3D computer software developed specifically for this course. All students have their own random solar systems with procedurally generated planet.




Emneord: Physics education, astronomy education
Publisert 11. mai 2018 12:09 - Sist endret 16. mai 2018 19:43