20-22 May 2015
Asia/Bangkok timezone
The Centennial Celebration of General Relativity Theory and 80 Years of Thai Physics Graduate

Surveying of high-school students’ ability in drawing free-body diagrams

21 May 2015, 08:00
3h
Board: EDU-14
Poster presentation Physics Education Poster-2

Speaker

Mr. Rathaphol Yooyued (Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, THAILAND 10400)

Description

There are various strategies for solving physics problems in mechanics. Each strategy contains particular steps that are appropriate for particular topics in mechanics. One of the most important steps in almost all strategies is drawing a free-body diagram (FBD). It is an essential skill students must have in order to solve physics problems successfully. In this study, we conducted a survey of high-school students’ ability in drawing FBD. A set of questions was given to a group of grade-12 students from various schools who have already learned how to draw FBD. They were asked to draw all vectors of forces acting on an object in different situations, including a stationary object placed on another stationary or moving object or on an inclined plane as well as an object moving with constant velocity or acceleration. We found from the survey that most of the students could not draw all the FBD correctly. It was quite a surprise that they had difficulties in drawing a correct direction of an object’s weight as well as “normal” forces due to other objects. We will show in the presentation students’ skill in drawing FBD as well as their alternative understanding of forces acting on an object. This research will be further used to develop instructional strategy for enhancing high-school students in such skill.

Primary author

Mr. Rathaphol Yooyued (Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, THAILAND 10400)

Co-authors

Dr. Kwan Arayathanitkul (Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, THAILAND 10400) Dr. Narumon Emarat (Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, THAILAND 10400)

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