The educational software "Phenomena and models of the physical world" and the learning of electrostatic phenomena
The aim of the present research was to reach conclusions on whether the educational software "Phenomena and models of the physical world" can help students develop representations of the structure of matter in the microscopic level in order to better understand and explain electrification phenomena. A teaching intervention has been organized with the use of the educational software "Phenomena and models of the physical world" to teach electrostatic phenomena to secondary students, by taking into account their conceptions and learning difficulties. In the research participated 50 secondary students (13-14 years old). The students answered an initial questionnaire, and a final one a week after the teaching intervention. Two classes participated in the research, the experimental class (26 students) and a control class (24 students). Data analysis showed that teaching with the use of the software really helped the students of the experimental class to develop proper microscopic representations of the structure of matter and to explain the electrification phenomenon more sufficiently than the students of the control-class.