Presentation on theme: "Conceptual thinking versus plug-and-chug problem solving: Radiocarbon dating and interactive animated spreadsheets Scott A. Sinex and Barbara A. Gage Prince."— Presentation transcript:
Conceptual thinking versus plug-and-chug problem solving: Radiocarbon dating and interactive animated spreadsheets Scott A. Sinex and Barbara A. Gage Prince Georges Community College Presented at ACS MARM, College Park, MD, May 2011
The classic decay equation where P = number of parent nuclei, P o = parent number at t = 0, t = time, and k = rate (decay) constant P D parent daughter So do we just plug-and-chug out some ages?
How do the General Chemistry textbooks do? Todays discussion
So can we approach the topic of radiocarbon dating from the conceptual thinking direction and in an interactive fashion using spreadsheets?
The radioactive decay concept
The P o assumption in radiocarbon dating
The input-output model
Dating and possible uncertainties
Assessment… Eight questions – maximum score of 30 points
Student Survey Feedback (n = 24 students) Ease of overall use of the Radiometric Dating III: Carbon-14 Method Excelet: real difficult difficult so, so easy real easy 2.5% (3) 8.3% (2) 29.2 (7) 41.7% (10) 8.3% (2) I like the interactive nature of Excelets because it lets me play & experiment discover on my own think all of these dont know 18.5% (5) 22.2% (6) 18.5% (5) 29.6% (8) 7.4% (2)
In the end… A more conceptual approach Numerical experimentation Higher-order questions addressed More science process and it appears students liked it
More on radiometric dating Sinex, S.A. (2010) Radiometric Dating for Novice Learners: Visualizing, Modeling, and Simulating via Animated Spreadsheets, Spreadsheets in Education 4 (2), Article 5 Radiometric dating – D/P methods Radiocarbon dating Excelets
More info… Scott Sinex Barb Gage Thanks for attending!!!