Additional Participants

Graduate Student

Katrina Black

Roger Feeley

Jeffrey Morgan

Eleanor Sayre

Project Period

September 2006-August 2007

Level of Access

Open-Access Report

Grant Number


Submission Date



This project improves student conceptual and epistemological knowledge in the sciences while developing a template for formative assessment in a general education course at the University of Maine. A general education course in Intuitive Quantum Physics is being created in which non-science students learn quantum physics through simple observations, basic logical reasoning, and graphical analysis. Materials from three proven curricula are being adapted to include explicit discussions of epistemological issues. The three curricula (developed in part with NSF funding) that are being adapted to create the Intuitive Quantum Physics course include Activity-Based Tutorials in wave mechanics, New Model Course in Applied Quantum Physics, and materials from Tutorials in Introductory Physics.

Through these experiences, students become aware of their thinking and why they can believe seemingly counter-intuitive ideas. Students leave the course with deeper understanding of the process of science, confidence in their capacity for seemingly difficult and counter-intuitive physics, and deeper conceptual knowledge of modern physics. Results from the course are being shared at the university, state, and national levels.