Physical Experience Improves Physics Learning

Sunday, February 14, 2016: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Coolidge (Marriott Wardman Park)
Sian Beilock,University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Students who are able to physically experience scientific concepts have a deeper understanding of the information and improve their scores on science tests. We show that giving students the opportunity to physically experience or feel (with their own bodies) difficult physics concepts such as angular momentum and torque led to activation in sensory-motor regions of the brain when students were later thinking about the concepts in question. This motor activation, in turn, was associated with better quiz performance. The study centered around introductory college physics students. Learning by doing helps students in science education.