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Student-Professor Collaboration Selected for Best Pedagogical Presentaton Award

April 20, 2021

Congratulations to Professor Nandana Weliweriya and Undergradaute Researcher Richa Bhome!

The North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) has selected the work of Professor Nandana Weliweriya and undergraduate researcher Richa Bhome for their Best Pedagogical Presentation award. 

As one of the active researchers in UGA's physics education research group, Professor Weliweriya mentors undergraduate researchers. Six of his mentees have presented at UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) Symposium. 

My goal,” Weliweriya says, “is to have these undergraduate researchers present at a national conference by the end of this summer.”  

Richa Bhome first presented her research “Use of Lottery Tickets (IF-AT scratch-off cards) to Solve Problems in Introductory-Level Physics Courses," as a poster at UGA’s 2020 Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Symposium. The abstract and the poster are available here. 

Example of a scratch-off IF-AT card

The main ideas behind using the IF-AT cards are to improve physics instructions by using fun activities (lottery cards) to solve physics problems, promote group work, and boost students' conceptual thinking.  

In November of 2020, Professor Weliweriya presented the poster at the Fall 2020 NCS-AAPT/ SACS-AAPT virtual meeting.  

This award recognizes Weliweriya’s commitment to education and research, and it supports further research and the presentation of similar research at a national meeting. This award is a step toward the goal of having an undergraduate researcher present a paper at a national conference.

About his plans for the futureWeliweriya says, I am hopeful that we will get back to traditional teaching methods in the fall or spring that may help us collect data and submit an AAPT or Physics Education Research Conference article on this project for the following summer."  

In the meantime, Professor Weliweriya is bringing his innovative pedagogy to other UGA institutions. The Center for Teaching and Learning recently selected him as a participant in the Active Learning Summer Institute’s project to redesign Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs courses.

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