In 2015, the physics department was awarded a $165,000 grant from the National Science Foundation under the Integrative Activities in Physics program (IAP). This 3-year grant allows us to expose students to research-grade optics equipment in their sophomore and junior years to better prepare them to conduct research in our labs.
This innovative, hands-on initiative fosters deep, inquiry-based learning through carefully designed modules that encourage creativity and independence. Modules are available at the sophomore level (designed for about 3-hour labs) and the junior level (designed for about 12-hour labs). We are also working with faculty from Chemeketa Community College to develop modules relevant to their students, and collaborate with faculty from the biology department to develop modules for their majors to prepare them better before they use the commercial microscopes on campus. In collaboration with the Gilbert House Children's Museum in Salem, Oregon, we are developing hands-on guided lessons to share the excitement of physics in general and optics in particular with young children (ages 9 - 11).
Students may download the modules and watch the accompanying videos by following the links below.
Instructors may also request the corresponding assessment tools from Prof. Kleinert.