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United States : Cornell 'physics camp' equips teachers with knowledge, lab hardware.

This lab problem stumped Dryden High School physics teacher Mike Mangini when he originally tried it, and he passed it on to a group of science teachers in the Center for Nanoscale Systems Institute for Physics Teachers, a physics workshop for high school teachers at Cornell University this week.

"The value is in the process," said Mangini, a 24-year veteran of physics education. "It's not some neat little number they can pull out of a hat."

As expected, the teachers worked out a way to get the answer. But would their students figure it out? And what's the best way to convey an understanding of the problem and its solution?

This was the real problem they were interested in -- the marble on the dome was an exercise they attacked with verve, but the furrowed eyebrows deepened when they questioned if the lab was student-ready.

It wasn't just a hypothetical question. Once participants have worked through a lab in the program, the equipment is theirs to borrow -- free of charge -- for as long as it is available in the program's lab library.

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Date:Jul 28, 2010
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