“It is interesting to me that people are so afraid of physics, and yet it’s everywhere in their life and it’s really intuitive. My vision is to make physics in Philadelphia available to everyone.”
– Mary Jo Grdina, professor in the School of Education at Drexel University and co-project director
Through support from Subaru of America Foundation, the faculty and staff at Drexel University are designing an iPad®1 app for “Physics at the Art Museum.” The group is making an interactive learning experience out of an existing walking tour available for the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
With this collaboration, the museum’s offerings expand to include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) principles. Plus, the tool can be shared with educators and other venues.
The app will bring to life three aspects of physics: Newton’s law, center of mass, and optics. With each, the app will make science more approachable, relevant, and compelling. Also, it will connect science to the arts, and physics to the familiar.
The app’s modules will include audio and visual descriptions of specific museum objects, questions and answers based on physics principles, and interactive animations to reinforce physics concepts. The transfer of physics concepts into unexpected environments and contemporary contexts will help engage students in innovative, outside-the-box thinking.
The pilot program is expected to be launched to area middle school students in spring 2013, with the full app eventually being released for all audiences.
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