COLUMBIA STATE HOSTS PHYSICAL SCIENCE STUDENT COMPETITION

(Columbia, Tenn. – January 20, 2011) - - - Columbia State Community College’s Science, Technology and Mathematics Division recently held a Physical Science Competition for students enrolled in the Physical Science 1030 course. This group competition is part of their overall grade and has become a standard each semester for students to collaborate and present the best written report and presentation to the class on some aspect of physical science. Twelve groups of students participated in the Fall 2010 semester. The presentations took place during the last two class sessions prior to final exams and each presentation was videotaped for the students.

The winning group was “The Team 6” which provided a presentation entitled “The Little Car That Could” by making a scale-model car based on Newton’s Laws of Motion. Students received a plaque and certificate for their efforts. Pictured above (left to right) Molly Prosser, Adjunct Physics Instructor James Watson, Kathy Buzza, Skylar Vasquez and Braxton Holloway.

“Many of the students have chosen teaching as their career path and are working towards their Associate of Science in Teaching degree, therefore their participation in the written report and verbal presentations are very helpful in preparing them for the education courses where such activities are routine,” said Dr. Glenn Hudson, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Columbia State. “In addition, students receive a video of the presentation and can use the information as part of their initial portfolio to the field of education.”

The presentations included physical science concepts such as sound, light, gravity, temperature, quantum theory, earthquakes, ocean life, and motion of objects. The reports and presentations were developed as if they were being presented to an audience of elementary students.

“The Sound Waves” team received Honorable Mention for their presentation on the physical qualities of sound and human hearing. (Left to right) James Watson, Adjunct Physics Instructor presented a plaque and certificate to Matt Little, Chris Dion and Anita Slack.

Honorable Mention was also awarded to “The Endurance” team for their presentation on the various aspects of earthquakes. (Left to right) James Watson, Adjunct Physics Instructor presented a plaque and certificate to Jessica Flick, William Holloway and Noah Nielson.

In a separate competition arising from a geology field trip to local stream beds, the team “The Adventurers” was selected as having found the best rock collection and overall effort from all Physical Science team collections. (Left to right) James Watson, Adjunct Physics Instructor presented a plaque and certificate to Tabitha Grantham, Zach Gonzales and Morgan Newton (not pictured).

“Students are graded on the originality and creativity of the project, the written report and on the group presentation made to their classmates and independent reviewers,” explained James Watson, Adjunct Physics Instructor at Columbia State. “It is an excellent way for students to engage in the course and to encourage teamwork while learning additional topics about physical science.” 

The project grade is based on multiple criteria including the quality and content of the report and the in-class performance which consists of student introductions, interest levels during the presentations, description of projects, materials and methods used, timing of the presentation and group member interaction. Entries were judged by James Watson, Adjunct Physics Instructor and Dr. Glenn Hudson, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Columbia State.

For more information on Columbia State degree programs visit www.columbiastate.edu.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation.  For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.

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