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Title: Teaching physics and mathematics for earth sciences with computational modelling
Authors: Neves, Rui
Neves, Maria da Conceição
Teodoro, Vítor
Keywords: Physics
Computational Modelling
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Pegem Akademi
Citation: Neves, R., Neves, M. C., & Teodoro, V. (2014). Teaching physics and mathematics for earth sciences with computational modelling. In Tasar, M. F. (Ed.), Proceedings of the World Conference on Physics Education 2012 (WCPE 2012) (pp. 685-695). Ankara: Pegem Akademi
Abstract: Modern research and other professional activities in many earth sciences areas require advanced knowledge about mathematical physics models and scientific computation methods and tools. Learning such advanced knowledge skills is a difficult cognitive process that progressively should bring up a strong background in physics, mathematics and scientific computation that is appropriately adjusted to each different area of the earth sciences. At introductory levels, from secondary education to the first two years of university education, the corresponding earth sciences learning environments should then be based on curricula that balance the integration of interactive engagement sequences of computational modelling activities, created with computer modelling systems which give students the opportunity to improve their knowledge of physics, mathematics and scientific computation, while simultaneously focusing learning on the relevant earth sciences concepts and processes. In this paper we discuss the application to this context of exploratory and expressive computational modelling activities implemented in the Modellus environment. To illustrate, we describe a sequence of activities about the blackbody radiation laws implemented in undergraduate university introductory meteorology courses involving students possessing only very basic secondary education knowledge about physics and mathematics and no significant prior knowledge about scientific computation. We show that students were able to create and explore the proposed mathematical physics models and simulations, establishing meaningful and operationally reified relations with the appropriate meteorological phenomena. The activities also show that introductory learning processes of models can involve differential equations solved by simple numerical methods and that students are able to appreciate the differences between numerical solutions and analytical solutions. We also show that students reacted very positively to the activities, considering them to be important in the context of earth sciences courses and professional training, as well as to Modellus, considered user-friendly and helpful for meaningful learning processes of mathematical physics models.
Peer Reviewed: yes
ISBN: 978-605-364-658-7
Appears in Collections:DCT - Livros e Capítulos de Livros

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