In this paper we present some results of a project-posed approach to the teaching of mechanical wave propagationfocused on observations and measurements of wave properties in solids and on modelling of these properties byusing different simulation tools. In particular, the propagation speed of sound waves in metallic rods is studied byusing simple experimental arrangements based on the measurements of contact times between a small body andlong metallic rods with which the body can collide. An interesting effect of this approach is the revision ofstudents’ ideas about the rigid body model, studied at high school or college level and usually hardly followed bydeepening on the fundamental role of wave propagation in the motion of real, elastic bodies. In particular, theperformed experiments can stimulate students to reflect about the role of constraints in wave propagation and thegeneral meaning of the constraint concept with respect to the dynamics of a real, elastic body. The approach hasbeen developed in the context of a workshop on Mechanical Wave laboratory of the two-year post-graduateschool for physics teacher education of University of Palermo. Some experimental results obtained by prospectiveteachers during lab activities and considerations about observed modifications in their attitude in utilisingexperiments and modelling to build pedagogical activities will be discussed.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|