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2005 RET Participant Kara Krinks

                                 Kara Krinks
                                 . King Magnet High School
                                 AP Physics teacher

Dr. Cynthia Pascal and Dr. Stacy Klein-GardnerÑMedical Imaging

I worked with a group of professors and undergraduates to develop medical imaging curriculum for high school and college students. This summer, the group focused on ultrasound imaging and nuclear imaging (i.e. Positron Emission Tomography). In order to design the curriculum, I spent time researching and observing these imaging modalities. All activities were designed to be low budget so that any teacher could implement them in the classroom. For the ultrasound curriculum, we created and tested activities on concepts such as wave propagation, transduction, attenuation, reflection, interference, Doppler Effect and image reconstruction. In the nuclear imaging curriculum, we developed materials to teach topics such as electron-positron annihilation, gamma ray generation and radioactivity.

Since I teach AP Physics, I decided to work primarily on developing an ultrasound module that I could use to teach my sound chapter. With limited time in an AP class, I had to make a module that was brief enough to be feasible, but detailed enough to allow the students to answer the challenge question. I decided to show a video of an ultrasound image of the carotid artery for my challenge question and ask the students to tell me how the image was made. By going through my module, I hope my students will learn the necessary AP topics, as well as gain a deeper understanding of a very common medical procedure.

I have been working with a team of other people to develop an Ultrasound Imaging Mosaic (high school version and undergraduate version). Before I arrived, the team of undergraduates that I work with came up with a preliminary list of US objectives and activities to teach the concepts. I have helped them with their designs on occasion (piezoelectric lab, wave tank lab, etc), as well as offered feedback on how they can better tailor their methods to a real high school classroom. I also designed my own activity (the Doppler ball) and am in the process of writing it up. While the undergrads are working on writing up their activities and creating animated Power Point slides, I have decided to focus on creating detailed physics notes for the teacher. I am operating under the assumption that some teachers teaching this mosaic may have limited physics knowledge, so I am trying to write lecture notes that are clear and useable for any teacher. I have had great fun becoming intimately acquainted with the Microsoft drawing feature, and I have created several diagrams to include in the lecture notes.

For my own personal RET module, I have decided to focus on a pared-down version of the US mosaic to take back to my AP class. This module will use the context of US to teach the physics concepts of waves, reflection, intensity, Doppler, etc. I have also researched some web links to ultrasound machines, ultrasound surgery, echolocation in bats, and other related topics. These links may be used in a research/revise component of the module. I have not begun to think of a challenge question yet. Most of the interesting scenarios that I can come up with would involve teaching much more about ultrasound than I will have time for in AP.