Using benchtop experiments to teach dimensional analysis and analogue modeling to graduate geoscience students

Jones, T.J. and Ehlers, T.A. (2021) Using benchtop experiments to teach dimensional analysis and analogue modeling to graduate geoscience students. Journal of Geoscience Education, 69 (3). pp. 313-322. ISSN 1089-9995

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Abstract

The need for geoscience students to develop a quantitative skillset is ever increasing. However, this can be difficult to implement in university-style lecture courses in a way that is both manageable for the instructor and does not involve lengthy, potentially repetitive, question sheets for the students. Here, a method for teaching dimensional analysis, basic fluid dynamics, and the interpretation and scaling of experimental data is presented for a graduate student audience. The proposed method utilizes simple fluid dynamic benchtop experiments that require a small amount of teaching space and use readily available, low cost materials. Our analysis of student performance through pre- and post-tests demonstrates that students have a better knowledge of dimensional analysis, data interpretation and experimental design after the series of practical sessions compared to instruction through a single, passive lecture. We therefore show that simple benchtop experiments can be an effective way to improve and integrate quantitative learning into a graduate geoscience class.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Geoscience Education
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Geoscience Education on13/01/2021, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/10899995.2020.1855040
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900
Subjects:
ID Code:
176212
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
06 Oct 2022 14:40
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 11:50