Sometimes there’s a skill or content area you want your students to have, but it doesn’t represent a full course’s worth of material. Or, it’s an as-you-need-it skill to apply to a particular project or situation. Already utilized in several disciplines, the pop-up course is just as applicable to physics education.
The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has prototyped a number of pop-ups that bring skills to students. Need your students to gain basic electronic assembly skills? Build [Arduino-based projects](/resources/arduino? Learn a 3D CAD program? A short, one- to few-day experience may be all you need to achieve the learning goals. Taught outside of the “usual” course structure, pop-ups let you enhance student learning without, necessarily, complicating course scheduling and teaching loads.
Activity DescriptionA short course where students assemble a fabricated kit (Christmas Tree).
- Students learn to solder components
- Student learn to read schematics/diagrams
- Students have fun!
Sophomore physics majors; no prior experience with electronics
Suggested context for implementation
End of fall semester leading up to the holidays is a good time. Could be a final project in a lab course or a fun activity to wrap up a semester.