Incorporation of Studio Exercises for Physics Instruction at all Levels

By Christopher M. Sorensen

Department of Physics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

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It is now well known that physics instruction, or for that matter any instruction, is much more effective when the students engage in the instruction. One excellent way to create engagement is with hands-on activities in studios. Over the years, I have implemented hands-on studio instruction in classes for non-STEM students; the canonical, calculus based engineering physics; and an upper level optics class. In this talk I will give examples of studio activities from all three and observations with regard to how well this form of instruction works. I will also discuss problems incurred with regard to class size and time limitations. My goal is to encourage my audience to implement studio instruction and to show an essentially painless path to do so.


Christopher M. Sorensen is the Cortelyou-Rust University Distinguished Professor and a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar in the Departments of Physics and Chemistry (adjunct). He has won numerous teaching awards. In 2007 he was named the CASE/Carnegie Foundation United States Professor of the year for doctoral universities.

He is also an active scientist with over 280 publications and seven patents.  In 2003 he won the Sinclair Award of the American Association for Aerosol Research, and he is a past president of that organization. He is a Fellow of the AAAR and of the American Physical Society.

Chris graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1969 where he was Phi Beta Kappa and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He was drafted and served in Vietnam. He earned his PhD in physics from the University of Colorado in 1977. In 2008 he was named a Norlin Distinguished Graduate of that university

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  • Christopher M. Sorensen (2014), "Incorporation of Studio Exercises for Physics Instruction at all Levels,"

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