IPPEX – Plasma Physics

From site:  IPPEX uses interactive multimedia over the World Wide Web to engage students in formulating questions and creating meaning from their own experiences. Rather than passively learning facts and following routine instructions, students solve problems and learn how to find information and solutions in complex, non-linear material (as actual scientists must). Some activities are similar to a video game or a CD-ROM presentation. Abstract concepts, such as nuclear energy, are developed from concrete experience and examples from everyday life.

Engaging background material on energy, matter, electricity, magnetism and the laws of motion is woven into a scenario that motivates today’s plasma scientists: “By better understanding the forces of the universe we can harness the energy of the sun and stars to improve human life in an environmentally responsible way.”

Students create a knowledge base that helps them operate a virtual tokamak (a fusion energy device) and analyze data from the actual experiment (which may have been acquired just minutes before) in the same way that professional physicists do.

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