Lesson Plans from the ADAPT Program


Date of this Version



The ADAPT physics labs were arranged to encourage students to develop formal reasoning as explained by Robert Karplus and Jean Piaget. Each lab is organized as a Karplus Learning Cycle. {Reference: R.G. Fuller (editor), "A Love of Discovery: Science Education, The Second Career of Robert Karplus", Kluwer Academic/ Plenum Publishers, New York, © 2002}

A primary function of the labs was to get the students to develop their skills at finding patterns in the data they would get from the laboratory experiments.

This is the beginning of the data collecting laboratories. The students begin with a series of experiments that can give data that will result in a linear relationship between the variables. Then there follow experiments that yield power law relationships that can be shown as linear on log-log graph paper. Finally, the laboratories are experiments that can be exponential relationships which can be shown a linear on semi-log graphs.

Each group of students, in teams of four, are given a set of eight data cards that have numerical data sets on each card. They are asked to sort them into groups by their similarities. The students are encouraged by the instructions to seek the relationship between the two variables. Some students will insist on only looking as the spacing, etc. between the numbers in one set of the numbers.

After the groups have sorted their numbers into batches that are similar, the source of the data sets can be given to the groups to help them evaluate their batching process