Tips and training techniques: math and physics for technology students.
Mathematics and physics are very important to technology. However, these subjects are often presented in a very theoretical abstract manner which many students find very difficult. Texts and lectures must teach the concepts in an applied contextual manner with examples of real-world applications--motors, electronics, and machine technology.
Although some proofs and derivations can reinforce the concepts, this must be kept to a minimum and not overwhelm the students. For example, calculus concepts should be explained with differentiating and integrating electronic circuits, or acceleration of a motor to a final rotational speed. Physics concepts such as mechanical, rotational velocity and torque should have examples of gears and machine technology.
Technology instructors may need to do some review to show how the math and physics classes are the foundation of the technical concepts presented.
Math and physics instructors should have dialog with each other to discuss the best texts and methods of presentation. Invite the math and physics instructors to sit in on a few lectures in the technology classes. Offer to do lab demonstrations to illustrate how the math and physics concepts apply to industrial systems.
Several excellent study guides are available in book stores and online in physics, trigonometry, precalculus and calculus which give good examples of technology applications. Two that are especially useful are:
--CliffsQuickReview cliffnotes.com $9.99 each
--Barron's EZ Guides www.barronsedu.com $ 16.99 each Two organizations of interest:
* American Association of Physics Teachers Committee on Physics in the Two-Year College www.aapt.org
* American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges Committee on Mathematics for AAS Programs www.amatyc.org
Technology instructors must reach out to the math and physics departments to strengthen the introductory foundation courses to succeed in the class and future careers.
Glen W Spielbauer is a Life Member of ATEA.