MEAGAN SUNDSTROM: How are you three ladies doing?
SPEAKER 2: [? Good. ?] We are doing good.
SPEAKER 3: We're slowly [? fighting ?] problems.
MEAGAN SUNDSTROM: You're what? Oh, [? fighting ?] problems? [MUSIC PLAYING]
NATASHA HOLMES: As far as I can tell so far, our lab projects have been quite a big success for a lot of students, seeing how they really adapted to doing physics at home, taking ownership, and really being ambitious.
DOMINIC MATRAS: We've sort of shifted our focus a little bit to measuring magnetic fields with an app in our phones. So we're actually able to measure magnetic fields from electronic components or from the Earth.
JULIA PROCTOR: And someone came up with the idea of using fruits as batteries, and then measuring those magnetic fields and seeing which fruits produce a stronger current, and therefore, stronger magnetic fields.
MEAGAN SUNDSTROM: So I am a PA for physics 1112, which is mechanics and heat. In a sense, it is similar to what we had been doing in person. I usually walk around the room, check in on groups every so often.
What have you come across?
SPEAKER 3: How to attach the hair tie to the paper shelf.
MEAGAN SUNDSTROM: What do you mean by a paper shelf?
SPEAKER 3: Like this, where you can put quarters in.
MEAGAN SUNDSTROM: Oh, OK.
NATASHA HOLMES: I've seen some students getting really creative with, how do you measure force? And if you use weight, hanging mass, as an analogy for force, some of the students are coming up with using coins, which have standard weights that you can look up on the internet, clearly showing, I think, what students are really capable of.
MEAGAN SUNDSTROM: Were you able to come up with a solution to your--
SPEAKER 3: Yeah, I'm going to use Ziploc bags and then staple [? them. ?]
NATASHA HOLMES: As an instructor, we've also had to get creative with coming up with activities at home. In physics, we usually do all kinds of really fun and interactive demonstrations in the class. And so now, I've had to think outside the box and look around my house. And what have I got that can replicate this fun demonstration that I would typically do? And how do I adapt it?
Hey, hey. Nice. Thank you, thank you! Dominic says, "We have a lot of trust in physics." Thank you.
I think the shift to online has caused us all to really focus on what's important and critical for students moving forward. And so I think that has set us up for success with whatever happens in the fall for students to come back and continue on into their next courses.
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Natasha Holmes, the Ann S. Bowers Assistant Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, along with teaching assistants and current undergraduate students, speak about the shift to virtual instruction during the Spring 2020 semester.