Physics Union Mathematics
PUM is a physics/physical science curriculum that strongly links middle and high school physics curricula and builds on the intrinsic mathematical reasoning to develop and strengthen students’ mathematical concepts at the pre-algebra, algebra and algebra 2 levels. PUM curriculum consists of logically connected modules that allow students to build their conceptual understanding of physics concepts, develop relevant mathematical reasoning and simultaneously learn how to think like scientists. The following modules are developed and are available upon request:
- Physics I (these can be used in middle school physical science courses, high school physical science courses, and high school conceptual physics courses): Motion; Forces, Energy, Matter.
- Physics II: (can be used in all high school physics courses including AP B): Kinematics, Dynamics, Momentum, Energy, Electrostatic Forces, Electric Fields, DC circuits (circular motion, geometrical optics and magnetism are under development).
PUM modules contain lesson activities, homework questions, daily quiz questions and final tests. They use simple equipment that any school is likely to have. In case of the lack of needed equipment, Rutgers has a small lending library. The modules work with any textbook and can be implemented “as is” or used to supplement any materials that the teacher already uses. Each module contains about 20-25 lessons.
To obtain the password to download the PUM modules, please contact E. Etkina at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Students learn physics by engaging in practices similar to that of physicists constructing and applying knowledge.
- Special focus on mathematical reasoning that strengthens students’ reasoning abilities in both math and physics.
- Students learn to collect data and to represent them in multiple ways, to use proportional reasoning to find patterns in the data, to explain them and to test their explanations in new experiments.
- Students work in groups designing their own experiments and have ample opportunities to pose and answer their own questions.
- PUM materials help teachers build a learning community in the classroom.
- Integrated videos of concept-developing physics experiments from the award winning website Rutgers Physics Teaching Technology Resource http://paer.rutgers.edu/pt3
- Pervasive use of the award winning PhET simulations form the University of Colorado http://phet.colorado.edu
PUM curriculum builds on the philosophy of the Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE, Etkina & Van Heuvelen, 2007) and utilizes many activities adapted from The Physics Active Learning Guide (ALG by Van Heuvelen and Etkina and published by Addison-Wesley). ISLE has been a highly successful college physics curriculum. Preliminary research indicates that ISLE students acquire content knowledge better than students in traditionally taught courses and have learning gains competitive with top active engagement programs. In addition ISLE students acquire various science process abilities (Etkina et al., 2006).
Websites with additional ISLE materials: