TRASI course code 70388 Gravity – Physics by Inquiry

update 07 feb email deleted
i have 2 dates for this TRASI workshop!

1. Wee Loo Kang
2. Lye Sze Yee
Facilitator: YU Yoong Kheong
Venue: eduLab@AST 2 Malan Road Level 4 eduLab Room
Date: 23 Oct 2012
Time: 1500-1730 pm
Workshop: Comprises both discussion and activities
Subject Area: Physics
Grade Level: PSLE, O and A level
Technology Featured: Java
Audience Type: All
Other Comments:
Participants teaching at the ‘A’ level physics are preferred though not required

updated: TRASI course code 70388 Gravity – Physics by Inquiry
TRASI course code 70388 Gravity – Physics by Inquiry
Gravity – Physics by Inquiry 
Course Description Org Agency Duration Classes Available (Please Click on a Date) Max Class Size Course/ Class Fee Comments
By the end of the session, participants should be able to: (1) aware of the features and possible usage of the 4 computer models (2) able to design worksheets with 5E instructional strategy on one of the models.
Preferred Participants:
Physics Teachers
Other Requisites:
Media Dsgn & Tech For Learning,ETD,MOE  2.5 Hr(s) 23/10/2012-23/10/2012 (PM Session)06/11/2012-06/11/2012 (PM Session) 30



eduLab@AST Programmes Working Group Programme Proposal

Gravity – Physics by Inquiry 

The Open Source Physics community using Easy Java Simulation (Esquembre, 2004) has created hundreds of computer models (simulations) that could be finer customized (Wee & Mak, 2009) to the Singapore syllabus for more targeted productive activities. 

We will share the 4 computer models’ features for guided inquiry learning and existing worksheets designed by teachers in school. 

Teachers in groups will also design their own worksheets using the 5E instructional strategy that they can use in their classroom. 

Participants interested in using the free authoring toolkit called “Easy Java Simulation” can register for Physics Easy Java Simulation (Part 1 & 2) TRASI Code: 70391 instead. 

Our work include: 

eduLab project: NRF2011-EDU001-EL001 Java Simulation Design for Teaching and Learning 
2012 MOE Innergy (HQ) GOLD Award “Gravity-Physics by Inquiry”.


By the end of the session, participants should be able to: 
(1) aware of the features and possible usage of the 4 computer models 
(2) able to design worksheets with 5E instructional strategy on one of the models.


15 min: Introduction of Easy Java Simualtion (EJS) toolkit and the Digital Libraries.
  1. hundreds of EJS simulations, JDK applet etc.
  2. hundreds of EJS simulations
  3. my own library require login to download jar files, public can view and use using browser.
  4. eduLab simulations open access.
  1. currently require login google, i am trying to build a lesson package on gravity-physics with all icon users.
    1. worksheet are 2012 version from YJC 
  2. currently require login google Physics Handbook with ETD-AST-CPDD-Schools.

30 min: Sharing in depth of 4 gravity-physics computer models (computer models provided, writeup of innergy award worksheets for inquiry etc)

  1. computer models
Geostationary orbit model (Wee, 2012a; Wee & Esquembre, 2010) derived from Francisco’s original work (Esquembre, 2010a)
Two mass model (Wee, Duffy, & Hwang, 2012a) derived from Andrew’s original work (Duffy, 2009) showing a 2 mass system with gravitational and potential lines in 1 dimension

Earth-Moon model (Wee, Duffy, & Hwang, 2012b) derived from Andrew’s original work (Duffy, 2009) showing a 1 dimensional realistic model of the moon and earth system useful for exploring escape velocity concept.
Figure 8. Kepler’s 3rd Law system model (Timberlake & Wee, 2011) derived from Todd’s original work (Timberlake, 2010) showing earth and mars and their orbital trails for data collection of periods of planets.
    1. ejs_GFieldandPotential1Dv7EarthMoon.jar (1579k)
    2. ejs_EarthAndSatelite.jar (2456k)
    3. ejs_KeplerSystem3rdLaw03.jar (2782k) 
    4. ejs_GField_and_Potential_1D_v7wee.jar (1094k) 
  1. worksheet are 2011 version from YJC here in ICT connection portal lesson examples.
  2.  Virtual Laboratory of Kepler's Third Law Solar System Model Download All Resources required edumall2.0 login
  3. Virtual Laboratory of Geostationary Satellite around Earth Model Download All Resources required edumall2.0 login
  4. Virtual Laboratory Gravitational Field & Potential of Earth and Moon  Download All Resources required edumall2.0 login
  5. Virtual Laboratory Gravitational Field & Potential of 2 Mass Model  Download All Resources required edumall2.0 login
  6.  Writeup:
  9. Gravity - Physics by Inquiry, GOLD Innergy Award: 2012, 03 May 2012, 0940-1000
  10. 模拟软件让课堂“动”起来(2012-03-30)
  11. Short article on Innergy Project for ASPIRE magazine (May 2012)
  12. lift posters Innergy (HQ) Awards 2012 Gravity Physics by Inquiry
  13. Innergy award GOLD 2012
  14. 1st Physics Subject Chapter Meeting 2012 23 Feb
  15. Gravity-Physics by Inquiry 2012 Innergy Award Submission

15 min: Study the existing worksheets designed by school teachers

30 min: in Groups, design an worksheet with the 5E instructional strategy on one of the 4 models
taken from
15 min: Break 
30 min: Participants sharing their ideas on the worksheets designed using 5E instructional strategy 
15 min: Upload to NTNU Java Virtual Lab the worksheets in progress and Closing discussions by particpants with presenters
  1. Ejs Open Source Gravitational Field & Potential of Earth and Moon Java Applet required NTNU java login
  2. Ejs Open Source Gravitational Field & Potential of 2 Mass Java Applet required NTNU java login
  3. Ejs Open Source Geostationary Satellite around Earth Java Applet required NTNU java login
  4. Ejs Open Source Kepler 3rd Law System Model Java Applet  required NTNU java login


Relevant pedagogical and theoretical underpinning(s)  

Experiential learning (Dewey, 1958; Kolb, 1984) with computer model (Wolfgang Christian, Esquembre, & Barbato, 2011; Wee, 2012b) 

Literature include: 
Open Source Physics OSP research:(M. Belloni, Christian, & Brown, 2007; Mario Belloni, Christian, & Mason, 2009; Brown & Christian, 2011; W. Christian, Belloni, & Brown, 2006; Wolfgang Christian, et al., 2011; Wolfgang Christian & Tobochnik, 2010; Esquembre, 2004; Hwang & Esquembre, 2003; Wee, 2010, 2012a; Wee, Esquembre, & Lye, 2012; Wee & Mak, 2009) 

Physics Education Technology PhET research:(W. K. Adams, 2010; Wendy K. Adams, Paulson, & Wieman, 2008; Finkelstein et al., 2005; /Documents%20and%20Settings/Temp/Desktop/Forms_eduLab@AST%20Educatorswee2.docx#_ENREF_17" style="color: rgb(136, 136, 136);">K. Perkins et al., 2006; K. K. Perkins, Loeblein, & Dessau, 2010; PhET, 2011; Weiman & Perkins, 2005; C. E. Wieman, Adams, Loeblein, & Perkins, 2010; Carl E. Wieman, Adams, & Perkins, 2008; Carl E. Wieman, Perkins, & Adams, 2008) 

Strategy include : 
Physics by Inquiry (McDermott, Shaffer, & Rosenquist, 1995; MOE, 2012; Wee, Lee, & Goh, 2011) 
Modeling Instruction (Jackson, Dukerich, & Hestenes, 2008) 

Student outcome:

In my paper (Wee, 2012b, p. 306), evidence on student learning outcomes include: 

Active learning can be Fun 
“…[It] is an eye opener...[we] don’t usually get to learn with virtual learning environment…and it makes learning fun and interesting”. 

“The lesson was fun and makes us think instead of just listen[ing] to teacher and remember[ing] whatever the teacher said”. 

“It makes learning much more interesting and fun. It makes us want to learn and find out more about the topic”. 

Need experience to understand 

“…it [this lab] lets me figure out the concepts rather than just listen[ing] and believing what is taught without understanding”. 

“Normally people would have to experience any physics concepts themselves through hands[-]on to really remember concepts. Lectures on the other hand may not be effective since maybe what the lecturer is bringing through us is unclear, and thus practical lessons to learn concepts is a great learning deal”. 

Simulation can support inquiry learning and thinking like real scientist 

“These kinds of lesson force us to think critically. It makes us look at the results, analyze and then find the trend within, which is a really good way to learn independently. It also gives us confidence and a sense of accomplishment when the conclusions we arrive at are correct.” 

“Such vlab[virtual lab] lesson effectively utilizes the IT[information technology] resources to enhance lessons, making physics lessons less dry. Besides, by identifying trends in values first hand, I can remember it easier rather than via lecture notes and slides” 

Need for strong inquiry learning activities 

“The activity worksheet did not generate much thinking and concept understanding, just simply presents a set of values to copy to get the answers”. 

“It [virtual lab] helps hasten the process of learning but the exchange of data [in the worksheet activities] is troublesome”. 

Need for testing and well designed simulation (N. D. Finkelstein, et al., 2005) 

Some students suggest visual and audio enhancements like “better quality so that the simulations could be more interesting and appealing” and “add sound effects”. 

A good suggestion surface is to make the “program[simulation] designed as a game , thereby making it more interactive. At the end a table can be provided and it would provide us[students] with the values. From there, we do analysis”. 

This suggestion has inspired us to design ‘C Game for concept testing’ in earlier part III.

Appreciative learners 

“I[student] really thank you for spending time coming up with this program[simulation]. You are really an educator who cares and dares to try new things. Thanks! Hope you can come up with even better programs so that they can empower students in physics subject.” 

“Thank you teachers for spending time to develop this app[lication] :)” 

Intended benefit(s) to teachers
Allow teachers to design productive experiential activities around the investigative data collection on one of the 4 computer models. 

1. Wee Loo Kang 
2. Lye Sze Yee 
Venue: eduLab@AST 2 Malan Road Level 4 eduLab Room 
Date: 23 Oct 2012
Time: 1500-1730 pm
Workshop: Comprises both discussion and activities 

Subject Area: Physics 

Grade Level: PSLE, O and A level

Technology Featured: Java
Audience Type: All
Other Comments:
Participants teaching at the ‘A’ level physics are preferred though not required 

My research papers:
My CV:

  1. Adams, W. K. (2010). Student engagement and learning with PhET interactive simulations. NUOVO CIMENTO- SOCIETA ITALIANA DI FISICA SEZIONE C, 33(3), 21-32. 
  2. Adams, W. K., Paulson, A., & Wieman, C. E. (2008, July 23-24). What Levels of Guidance Promote Engaged Exploration with Interactive Simulations? Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference, Edmonton, Canada. 
  3. Belloni, M., Christian, W., & Brown, D. (2007). Open Source Physics Curricular Material for Quantum Mechanics. Computing In Science And Engineering, 9(4), 24-31. 
  4. Belloni, M., Christian, W., & Mason, B. (2009). Open Source and Open Access Resources for Quantum Physics Education. [Abstract]. Journal of Chemical Education, 86(1), 125-126. 
  5. Brown, D., & Christian, W. (2011, Sept 15-17). Simulating What You See. Paper presented at the MPTL 16 and HSCI 2011, Ljubljana, Slovenia. 
  6. Christian, W., Belloni, M., & Brown, D. (2006). An Open-Source XML Framework for Authoring Curricular Material. Computing In Science And Engineering, 8(5), 51-58. 
  7. Christian, W., Esquembre, F., & Barbato, L. (2011). Open Source Physics. Science, 334(6059), 1077-1078. doi: 10.1126/science.1196984 
  8. Christian, W., & Tobochnik, J. (2010). Augmenting AJP articles with computer simulations. American Journal of Physics, 78(9), 885-886. 
  9. Dewey, J. (1958). Experience and nature: Dover Pubns. 
  10. Esquembre, F. (2004). Easy Java Simulations: A software tool to create scientific simulations in Java. Computer Physics Communications, 156(2), 199-204. 
  11. Finkelstein, N. D., Adams, W. K., Keller, C. J., Kohl, P. B., Perkins, K. K., Podolefsky, N. S., . . . LeMaster, R. (2005). When Learning about the Real World is Better Done Virtually: A Study of Substituting Computer Simulations for Laboratory Equipment. Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 1(1), 010103. 
  12. Hwang, F. K., & Esquembre, F. (2003). Easy java simulations: An interactive science learning tool. Interactive Multimedia Electronic Journal of Computer - Enhanced Learning, 5. 
  13. Jackson, J., Dukerich, L., & Hestenes, D. (2008). Modeling Instruction: An Effective Model for Science Education. [Article]. Science Educator, 17(1), 10-17. 
  14. Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development: Prentice Hall. 
  15. McDermott, L., Shaffer, P., & Rosenquist, M. (1995). Physics by inquiry: John Wiley & Sons New York. 
  16. MOE. (2012). MOE Innergy Awards: MOE Innergy (HQ) Awards Winners : Gold Award :Educational Technology Division and Academy of Singapore Teachers: Gravity-Physics by Inquiry Retrieved 25 May, 2012, from
  17. Perkins, K., Adams, W., Dubson, M., Finkelstein, N., Reid, S., Wieman, C., & LeMaster, R. (2006). PhET: Interactive Simulations for Teaching and Learning Physics. The Physics Teacher, 44(1), 18-23. doi: 10.1119/1.2150754 
  18. Perkins, K. K., Loeblein, P. J., & Dessau, K. L. (2010). Sims For Science. [Article]. Science Teacher, 77(7), 46-51. 
  19. PhET. (2011). The Physics Education Technology (PhET) project at the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA from
  20. Wee, L. K. (2010, July 17-21). AAPT 2010 Conference Presentation:Physics Educators as Designers of Simulations. Paper presented at the 2012 AAPT Summer Meeting, Portland Oregon USA. 
  21. Wee, L. K. (2012a, Feb 4-8). AAPT 2012 Conference Presentation:Physics Educators as Designers of Simulations. Paper presented at the 2012 AAPT Winter Meeting, Ontario CA USA. 
  22. Wee, L. K. (2012b). One-dimensional collision carts computer model and its design ideas for productive experiential learning. Physics Education, 47(3), 301. 
  23. Wee, L. K., Esquembre, F., & Lye, S. Y. (2012). Ejs open source java applet 1D collision carts with realistic collision from
  24. Wee, L. K., Lee, T. L., & Goh, J. (2011, 10 November). Physics by Inquiry with Simulations Design for Learning Paper presented at the The Academy Symposium, Singapore. 
  25. Wee, L. K., & Mak, W. K. (2009, 02 June). Leveraging on Easy Java Simulation tool and open source computer simulation library to create interactive digital media for mass customization of high school physics curriculum. Paper presented at the 3rd Redesigning Pedagogy International Conference, Singapore. 
  26. Weiman, C., & Perkins, K. (2005). Transforming Physics Education. Physics Today, 58(11), 36-40. 
  27. Wieman, C. E., Adams, W. K., Loeblein, P., & Perkins, K. K. (2010). Teaching Physics Using PhET Simulations. Physics Teacher, 48(4), 225-227. 
  28. Wieman, C. E., Adams, W. K., & Perkins, K. K. (2008). PhET: Simulations That Enhance Learning. [Article]. Science, 322(5902), 682-683. 
  29. Wieman, C. E., Perkins, K. K., & Adams, W. K. (2008). Oersted Medal Lecture 2007: Interactive simulations for teaching physics: What works, what doesn't, and why. American Journal of Physics, 76(4), 393-399. doi: 10.1119/1.2815365
update 07 feb email deleted


photo gallery taken by yoong kheong. Thanks bro!