Concept Map & Synthesis

We are almost done with our brief encounter with quantum mechanics. You’ve read about it (from Kumar, Frayn, and Feynman -or you will read Feynman soon-), discussed it in lecture and seminar, and completed some hands-on and computer-based activities. This seems a good time to consolidate your studies, review what you have learned, and articulate your questions.

The tool that we will use to start this is called a Concept Map. If you’ve never worked with or made a Concept Map before, there are numerous examples available on the web. I ask that, at this stage, you do not search the web for a quantum mechanics concept map, as that negates the learning that can happen if you struggle and construct your own map. You can see Concept Maps that the students in my calculus and physics program last year made about 4 weeks into their study of classical mechanics, here.

There are many ways you might begin. Here are three possibilities:

  1. You might list scientists, connecting them to concepts/key terms & historical experiments, and the hands-on/computer-based activities you did.
  2. You might describe the concepts/key terms & historical experiments, connecting them to scientists and the hands-on/computer-based activities you did.
  3. You might explain the hands-on/computer-based activities you did, connecting them to scientist and concepts/key terms & historical experiments.

You’ll notice that my suggestions above are very similar, differing in where you start/what you use as your organizing principle. Please feel free to come up/explore your own organizing principles – I am eager to see how you are making your own sense of what we have studied. You’ll see in the Concept Maps my students made last year a wide variety of ways in which the students thought about and showed the connections between concepts.

I have blank paper available, or you may use your own lined paper if you prefer. Please put your name on the back of your Concept Map. I’ll return your Concept Map to you, though I’ll keep a copy.

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