Resources and community for teaching physics for life sciences


Portal talks at AAPT Winter Meeting 2020

January 18, 2020 at 8:00am - January 21, 2020 at 4:00pm Eastern Time
AAPT Meeting in Orlando, FL

Talk: From the Classroom to the Living Physics Portal (FG01)

By Juan Burciaga, Type: Invited, Tue 01/21, 8:30AM - 9:00AM

The transition from preparing an educational supplement for the classroom to submitting the material to the Living Physics Portal can be daunting. The presentation will focus on two educational supplements that were developed for the IPLS classroom but then expanded, developed and submitted to the Portal for community sharing. The process of educational scholarship that transformed a class supplement into an educational supplement that can be shared, the submission to the Portal, and the use of feedback from the reviewers and community will be discussed.

Talk: Reforming Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences at an Urban Research University (FG02)

By Peter Hoffmann, Matthew Gonderinger, Edward Kramkowski, Type: Invited, Tue 01/21, 9:00AM - 9:30AM

Wayne State University (WSU) is an urban research university with many first-generation students. Lacking prior exposure, many students see physics courses as of low relevance to their careers. The previous use of a physics curriculum with poor alignment to the life sciences acerbated this problem. Through an NSF-IUSE grant "Student Success through Evidence-based pedagogies" (SSTEP), of which the presenter is a Co-PI, a team in the department of physics overhauled the physics sequence for life science students in 2015. The goal was fourfold: To increase relevance, to consistently introduce active learning strategies in lectures, discussion and labs, to improve student success and retention, and to create student interest in biomedical physics. I will report on the rationale, process, challenges, outcomes and future of this reform project, and how it fits into the context of institutional reform around student-centered teaching and broad use of evidence-based teaching methods.

Talk: Follow the Heartbeat – Physics of the Cardiovascular System (EE01)

By Nancy Donaldson, Type: Invited, Mon 01/20, 6:30PM - 7:00PM

The Physics of the Cardiovascular System Module is an NSF-funded, vetted, curricular resource on the Living Physics Portal – an online, community-sourced platform for physics for the life sciences faculty. Using hands-on active learning curriculum, this module guides students through an investigation of the mechanics of the cardiovascular system and the pressure differences that guide blood flow in health and disease. The target learning audience is students pursuing graduate school/careers in medicine or healthcare. Module activities address Pre-Health Competency E3 (Demonstrate knowledge of basic physical principles and their applications to the understanding of living systems) and Foundational Concept 4B (Importance of fluids for the circulation of blood, gas movement, and gas exchange) and are directed toward an application of physics to medicine. This Living Physics Portal curriculum includes complete instructor resources including pedagogy, materials, all solutions to qualitative and quantitative assessment questions, building instructions, and suggestions for use in different educational environments.