Grace Mackessy presents at Physics Education Research Conference 2021

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Physics alumna Grace Mackessy (C’21) presented a poster entitled ‘Comparing student conceptions and construction of while loops in modeling motion’ at the 2021 Physics Education Research Conference (PERC). With the integration of computation into physics courses becoming more prevalent, there is a need for instructional and assessment materials for computational practices. Working with Professor Leanne Doughty, along with Michigan State faculty members Marcos D. Caballero and Paul W. Irving, Grace analyzed interview data to investigate student understanding of loop constructions when modeling motion in introductory physics. The study found that even when different students have similar conceptions of loops in one context, they may have different outcomes when engaging with a new problem. This suggests that additional conception aspects and resources are necessary for successful interpretation and construction of new code.