The CPU Project

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Welcome to CPU!


CPU Introduction
Get an
overview of CPU, and see an example of the underlying pedagogy.

Curriculum Units
Read short or long summaries of
seven curriculum units developed using the CPU pedagogy, and view sample activities. Download the Curriculum Units (241 MB) (read me first).

Simulation Software
See illustrated descriptions of
20 Java simulators that help students construct their own ideas about physics. Use them on-line or download them (read me first). 

Last Updated: July 2011



Constructing Physics Understanding (CPU) is aimed at creating laboratory and computer-based materials that support a learning environment in which students take primary responsibility for developing a valid and robust knowledge about physics.

The intended learners are secondary physics and physical science students working in their high school classrooms, and also prospective or practicing teachers who participate in workshops and university courses.

Following six years (1995-2000) of design, development, extensive field testing, and evaluation, the CPU development team produced seven stand-alone curriculum units and a companion set of simulation software. The CPU Simulation Software are available for download (ZIP archive, 16 MB) (see the Read Me doc [PDF] for installation instructions). Note the system requirements. The Curriculum Units are also available for download (ZIP archive, 241 MB) (see the Read Me doc [PDF]).  CPU Simulators (and related software) are also available online, along with software tutorials. Both the CPU Simulation Software and the CPU Curriculum Units are offered here at no charge to educational institutions, instructors and students.

CPU development was funded in part by National Science Foundation grant ESI-9454341 and San Diego State University. The CPU Simulation Software was developed in collaboration with Physicon, Ltd., a member of OpenTeach Group and MetaMind Software. Inc.

The CPU Project - Copyright © 2011