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Physics in Context--A Means to Encourage Student Interest in Physics

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Physics Education Volume 42, Number 5, ISSN 0031-9120


Physics instruction that is student oriented will generate a long-term individual interest and therefore a lifelong openness to science. Phenomena of nature are part of the fields of interest which provide context leading to greater student interest. In this paper we present the locomotion of fish and sperm in a way which can be used to teach in physics classes. For the development of the topic, a free computer simulation can be downloaded, which illustrates the different kinds of movement pertaining to fish: paddling, oscillation and undulation. The physics of the three different kinds of movement is explained in the simulation by demonstrating the force vectors that are relevant. (Contains 7 figures.)


Waltner, C., Wiesner, H. & Rachel, A. (2007). Physics in Context--A Means to Encourage Student Interest in Physics. Physics Education, 42(5), 502-507. Retrieved April 22, 2019 from .

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Cited By

  1. The Development and Implementation of a Flight Simulation Based Environment for Teaching Math & Science

    M. Javed Khan, Tuskegee University, United States; Marcia Rossi, Alabama State University, United States; Chadia Aji & Bruce Heath, Tuskegee University, United States

    Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2012 (Mar 05, 2012) pp. 2558–2562

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