ERIC Number: ED362390
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Effect of Interactive, Three Dimensional, High Speed Simulations on High School Science Students' Conceptions of the Molecular Structure of Water.
Hakerem, Gita; And Others
The Water and Molecular Networks (WAMNet) Project uses graduate student written Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) computer simulations of the molecular structure of water to assist high school students learn about the nature of water. This study examined: (1) preconceptions concerning the molecular structure of water common among high school students; (2) the effect of making and testing predictions using visual, interactive computer simulations on students' conceptions of the microscopic properties of water; and (3) aspects of the simulations that were most helpful in promoting conceptual change. Ten students from high schools in the Boston, Massachusetts area participated in 50 hours of individual and pair demonstration interviews in which students were asked to think aloud and interpret what they saw on the computer screen as they used the computer simulations. Analysis of transcriptions of the interviews indicated that: (1) students had preconceptions concerning the composition of individual water molecules and the structure of molecular water in ice, vapor, and vapor forms; (2) student concepts of water composition, the molecular structure, and the relationship between the kinetic energy of particles and their temperature changed as a result of working with the water simulation; and (3) visualization, multiple representations, interactive control of parameters, and debate with partners contributed to that change in the students' concepts. Contains 14 references. (MDH)
Descriptors: Chemistry, Cognitive Development, Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Simulation, Computer Uses in Education, Concept Formation, High School Students, High Schools, Interviews, Misconceptions, Molecular Structure, Schemata (Cognition), Science Education, Science Teachers, Scientific Concepts, Secondary School Science, Student Attitudes, Teaching Methods, Visual Learning, Water
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Boston University MA; WAMNet Project
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (Atlanta, GA, April 15-19, 1993).