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Paper: The COSMOS Optics Inquiry: An Inquiry Activity for High School Students on Geometric Optics
Volume: 436, Learning from Inquiry In Practice
Page: 138
Authors: Raschke, L.; Severson, S.; Seagroves, S.; Porter, J.
Abstract: Within the California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS) program at UC Santa Cruz, an inquiry activity on geometric optics was designed and taught in a course led by Professional Development Program (PDP) participants. This inquiry was taught in five different years with class sizes from 15–18 students, ranging in age from recent 9th graders to graduated seniors. The optics inquiry was designed to teach specific content about geometric optics and image formation, as well as a number of inquiry process skills. Additionally, the inquiry was designed to accomplish larger programmatic goals related to developing community and intellectual curiosity among the students. Because the students spanned a broad range in grade levels, the diversity of prior knowledge and experience among the learners was one unique challenge we faced and addressed through the use of a tiered goal structure. This paper presents our goals, the basic activity design, and the assessments used to measure the student learning gains.
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