THE PURPOSE OF INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS LABS
Introductory physics labs give students a chance to apply what they have learned from physics books and lectures to real-world problems. When you get your first job, you will not be paid for what you have learned. You will be paid for what you can do with what you learned! All the book-learning in the world will not guarantee a successful career. What counts is two things:
1. How you can use what you have learned to produce results.
2. How you can use what you have learned, about how to learn, to learn more and produce better results.
Introductory physics labs are your chance to practice applying what you have learned.
- There is hands-on experience in following directions, solving problems, and writing formal reports.
- It is the first exposure for most to the power of spreadsheets such as EXCEL to analyze data.
- It is a chance to learn to use Microsoft Equation Editor for writing mathematical equations quickly and legibly.
The skills in problem solving that students learn in labs will translate into greater ability in solving problems, and into greater confidence in the ability to solve problems, in any future job.
Remember: "Life is one big word problem." *
* Mr. Roy Frontani, WPAFB, 1987.