- Prof. Mordechai (Moti) Ben-Ari
- Prof. Michal Armoni
- Rivka Taub
This study examines the learning process prompted by a computational science course for excellent high school students. In particular, we analyzed and characterized the contribution of computer science to the meaningful learning of ideas and concepts in physics. Our findings show that learning physics in the context of computer science has both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, learning more than one discipline at the same time may sometimes be confusing. On the other hand, computer science clearly contributes to the learning physics: for example, when students construct a computational simulation of a physical system they are actually representing their physical knowledge in a different way. This concrete representation of their knowledge reflects it back to them more clearly, and therefore serves as criteria by which they can evaluate their own knowledge. We have also seen that, in the context of a computational science course, computer science encourages and promotes advanced problem-solving strategies.
We conclude that it is advisable to provide appropriate support while taking the course – support which will strengthen the course’s advantages while reducing the disadvantages of learning such an interdisciplinary course.
This is the doctoral research of Dr. Rivka Taub.