Martin, Stephen

Stephen Martin is a graduate student in the Physics department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research interests include theoretical and computational soft condensed matter physics and biophysics. Most recently, his work has been the simulation of a proposed solar energy conversion device which mimics the mechanism of chemical energy conversion in muscle tissue. An educator for the past 9 years, Stephen is participating in the PDP in order to learn and refine strategies for improved classroom participation and learner engagement.


Teaching Activity Summary

Activity Name: Scaling Laws

Learners: 16 undergraduate students

VenueResearch Saturday Physics demo lab, UCSC, October 21, 2017

Reflection on how learners engaged with a STEM practice during the inquiry:

I was in charge of the Structural Engineers, where learners were actively taking data due to the fact that there was only one apparatus. I designated the students who were left out to be the "theorists", and peppered them with questions so that they could develop their understanding of the content. Then I had the "experimentalists" and "theorists" explain their findings to one another.

Learners quickly decided that the best way to try to understand the observed phenomenon was to first see how much weight each fishing line could hold and then see how the weight of the chandelier depended on its scale factor.