American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/education Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
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American Journal of Educational Research. 2016, 4(16), 1164-1173
DOI: 10.12691/education-4-16-7
Open AccessArticle

Experiential Learning and Physics: The Correlation of Muon Flux with Variations in Local Pressure

Andreea Loredana Cretu1, Lucia Garritano2, and Marco Schioppa2

1Neural Control of Movement Lab, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

2Department of Physics, University of Calabria, Italy

Pub. Date: October 27, 2016

Cite this paper:
Andreea Loredana Cretu, Lucia Garritano and Marco Schioppa. Experiential Learning and Physics: The Correlation of Muon Flux with Variations in Local Pressure. American Journal of Educational Research. 2016; 4(16):1164-1173. doi: 10.12691/education-4-16-7

Abstract

The school is the place where we learn to combine thinking with doing. This paper describes the experimental activity conducted at the high school "Enrico Fermi" of Catanzaro Lido (Italy), within the Extreme Energy Events (EEE) Project. The Project is supported by the “Ministero dell’Istruzione, Università e Ricerca (MIUR)”, “Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche Enrico Fermi”, “Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN)” and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). The main scientific goals of this project are the investigation of the properties of the muon flux. The Project is also characterized by a strong educational and outreach aspect. The telescopes are located in Italian high schools and managed by teams of students and teachers who have also attended in their construction at CERN. The purpose of this article is to underline the educational value of the project. The activity, deriving from experiential learning, indicates that performing research in an advanced field of investigation can be a way to improve the learning of scientific topics. This paper describes how the teaching activity is conducted and describes the methodology to monitor the muon flux as a function of time: results show the negative correlation of muon flux with the variation of the local pressure. By combining our measurements with observations from two other solar imaging instruments we were able to look for unusual variation of the flux, such as solar flares. This approach has allowed students to learn not only a new physics topics but also a team-working methodology and benefit from experiential learning which will be useful in their future work.

Keywords:
experiential learning students muon flux atmospheric pressure

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