What Do Students See in a Particulate Animation of Phase Changes and Why Does it Matter for Instruction and Assessment?

Presented by Kimberly Cortes & Tyler Kinner
Tuesday, June 7, 2022 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Have you ever used an animation, simulation, or a similar digital tool – and been surprised by what students took away from it? As science teachers are well aware, it takes more than well-intentioned utilization of educational technology to make students “get it”. This is particularly true with the implementation of the Science and Engineering Practices, where students must go beyond passive absorption of information and become active participants in the science and engineering processes.

In this workshop, teachers will explore research into student interpretations of a particulate animation of phase changes to support their instructional planning and assessment design. The NGSS and GSE call for explicit student engagement in the practice of Developing and Using Models, often in conjunction with other practices such as Constructing Explanations and Engaging in Argument from Evidence. Many edtech tools are likely to be used by teachers in the engagement of these Science and Engineering Practices, but the use of these tools begs the question, what do students really see?

To support an evidence-based approach to the use of animations in K12 physical science and chemistry, the presenters will share findings from an exploratory study of an age-diverse K12 cohort. Alongside these findings, the presenters will share broad recommendations, as well as specific instructional and assessment strategies that blend the NGSS’ Disciplinary Core Ideas, Science and Engineering Practices, and chemical education research to support the teaching and learning at the particulate level.

Participants will leave this session with knowledge and resources to translate chemical education research into practice as it relates to particulate-level animations in the K12 setting; examples include phases of matter, phases changes, gas laws, etc.

Target Audience: K12 teachers, instructional leaders, science coordinators, pre-service teacher educators

NGSS Alignment – MS-PS1-4 Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.

GSE Alignment
S8P1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the structure and properties of matter.
– Develop and use models to describe the movement of particles in solids, liquids, gases, and plasma states when thermal energy is added or removed.

S8P2. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the law of conservation of energy to develop arguments that energy can transform from one form to another within a system.
– Plan and carry out investigations on the effects of heat transfer on molecular motion as it relates to the collision of atoms (conduction), through space (radiation), or in currents in a liquid or a gas (convection).

SPS5. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to compare and contrast the phases of matter as they relate to atomic and molecular motion.

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Kim is an Associate Professor of Chemistry Education at Kennesaw State University. She has has a background in secondary chemistry instruction and currently works with pre-service and in-service science teachers across the state of Georgia in the development of science content knowledge and assessment practices. Her research focuses on the development of visual literacy skills in students while learning chemistry and biochemistry concepts. Additionally, she currently serves as Chair-Elect of the ACS Division of Chemical Education.
Tyler is a Research Scientist II at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and STEM Curriculum Development for STEM@GTRI, GTRI’s K12 Education Outreach and Research office. In his current role, Tyler leads STEM@GTRI’s curriculum development, school-based programming, and new ventures into STEM+CS education and workforce development. Prior to joining GTRI, Tyler was the 6-12 Science Instructional Coach for Gwinnett County Public Schools, where he created professional learning, led curriculum development, and supported school-level science teams to advance the vision of science instruction for the district’s students. He is currently a doctoral student under the advisement of Dr. Cortes at Kennesaw State University. He received an Education Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Piedmont University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry from the University of Toledo.