Using benchtop experiments to teach dimensional analysis and analogue modeling to graduate geoscience students



Jones, Thomas J ORCID: 0000-0003-4981-5131 and Ehlers, Todd A ORCID: 0000-0001-9436-0303
(2021) Using benchtop experiments to teach dimensional analysis and analogue modeling to graduate geoscience students. Journal of Geoscience Education, 69 (3). pp. 313-322.

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Abstract

The need for geoscience students to develop a quantitative skillset is ever increasing. However, this can be difficult to implement in university-style lecture courses in a way that is both manageable for the instructor and does not involve lengthy, potentially repetitive, question sheets for the students. Here, a method for teaching dimensional analysis, basic fluid dynamics, and the interpretation and scaling of experimental data is presented for a graduate student audience. The proposed method utilizes simple fluid dynamic benchtop experiments that require a small amount of teaching space and use readily available, low cost materials. Our analysis of student performance through pre- and post-tests demonstrates that students have a better knowledge of dimensional analysis, data interpretation and experimental design after the series of practical sessions compared to instruction through a single, passive lecture. We therefore show that simple benchtop experiments can be an effective way to improve and integrate quantitative learning into a graduate geoscience class.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2022 16:44
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 21:11
DOI: 10.1080/10899995.2020.1855040
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3150039