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VicPhys/STAV Conference 2018

2018 Physics Teachers Conference, Friday 16th February at La Trobe University, Bundoora VICTORIA

Program Description, Conference Opening, Conference Proceedings

Program Description

The Program included:

  • The Opening address by Andrew Hansen, the Chief Assessor, on the 2017 Physics Exam
  • Small Group discussions evaluating strategies for addressing poorly done exam questions
  • A VCAA Update Summary by Maria James, Science Manager
  • A keynote address on Black holes and merging neutron stars: frontiers in gravitational-wave astronomy by Dr Eric Thrane, Monash University
  • Three sessions of workshops
  • Extensive display of texts and equipment.
  • A Saturday program of excursion tasters and a medical physics in-service. You select one or more to attend. A two hour medical in-service at Peter Mac is also available. See details below

Online registration was available at STAV.

* Directions to Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Excursion Tasters

11:00am Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre: 305 Grattan St, Melbourne. Please be in the foyer of the hospital 5-10 minutes before the starting time.  Glenn Trainor will be meet you there and escort the group up to the seminar room. You can bring a camera if you wish. Note: You need to either have registered for this session as part of the conference registration, or to have booked through Vicphysics with subject: Peter Mac Booking.

There are excursion tasters to the Australian Synchrotron, Victorian Space Science Education Centre. Check the program for details and times.

9:00am Synchrotron Taster: 800 Blackburn Rd, Clayton. See map below for directions. The following documents will be useful, particularly the safety rules in regard to footwear.

2:00pm. Victorian Space Science Education Centre: 400 Pascoe Vale Rd, Strathmore. Ph 9379 3456.

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Conference Opening

The opening to the conference included a rolling powerpoint of events and activities for students and teachers organised by the Vicphysics Teachers' Network, see below. The events and activities include:




Microsoft Powerpoint

Rolling Powerpoint at the Opening of the Conference

15 MB

Conference details and information about Vicphysics events for 2018.

Conference Handouts




Microsoft Word

Vicphysics Newsletter

696 kB

This four page newsletter describes professional development activities and events for VCE physics students organised by the Vicphysics Teachers' Network. There is also a description of the general tasks done by the group, who is involved and the structure of the vicphysics website.

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Conference Proceedings

Opening Address: Does the new exam structure change the way students respond? Chief Assessor, Andrew Hansen





Opening Address: Chief Assessor's Report - Does the new exam structure change the way students respond?

1.98 MB

Presented by Andrew Hansen, Ringwood Secondary College. The powerpoint presentation.


Chief Assessor's Full Report of the 2017 Exam

3.86 MB

Presented by Andrew Hansen, Ringwood Secondary College. The powerpoint presentation from 1st March 2018 at University High School.

Microsoft Excel

The Grade Points

31.2 kB

A spreadsheet of the grade points for the years 1999- 2016. The grade point is the raw score cut off for a particular grade. The cumulative percentage of candidates is also included alongside the raw score. The table also has the mean and standard deviation for each exam. The data for 2017 becomes available some time in Term 1.

Keynote Address: Dr Eric Thrane 'Black holes and gravitational waves'. A link to his powerpoint presentation. It is a large file at 167 MB.

Small Group Discussions on Teaching strategies and exam techniques for poorly done exam questions focussing on i) Connected bodies, ii) Projectile motion, iii) Energy and energy transfer and iv) the Photoelectric Effect.

The material available includes:

  • Resources covering Key Principles, Misconceptions, Exam question that was poorly done, Teaching strategies, Exam Techniques and Discussion questions for each of the four topics mentioned above.
  • Compilations of the reports for the following topics: The Photoelectric Effect, Connected Bodies and progress report on Energy and Energy Transfer. Report on Projectile Motion will follow shortly.

Keynote Address by Dr Eric Thrane from Monash University on 'Black holes and merging neutron stars: fronyiers in gravitational wave astronomy'. File available soon.






A5 Tips and hints for beginning teachers

245 kB

Presented by Colin Hopkins. Repeated in b5. Tips on engaging student in physics.

Adobe PDF

A1 Practical Investigation: Using Log books and Rubrics to scaffold inquiry: Handout

372 kB

Presented by Dino Cevolatti and Stuart Bird, Castlemaine Secondary College. Repeated in B1. A four page handout to support the presentation.


A1 Practical Investigation: Using Log books and Rubrics to scaffold inquiry

3.23 MB

Presented by Dino Cevolatti and Stuart Bird, Castlemaine Secondary College. Repeated in B1. How structured log books, rubrics, and similar tools, can be used in the classroom to support students in engaging effectively in the inquiry process.

Microsoft Powerpoint

A3: Teaching Einstein's Relativity in Unit 3: Powerpoint

29.1 MB

Presented by Jill Detez, PLC. An overview on teaching Einstein’s Special Relativity in Unit 3 Physics.

Adobe PDF

A3: Teaching Einstein's Relativity in Unit 3: Worksheet

29 kB

Presented by Jill Detez, PLC. A worksheet of the lifetime of high speed muons.

Microsoft Powerpoint

A8 Using webpages to assess the Unit 2 Options

426 kB

Presented by Kathryn Grainger, John Monash Science School, and Dr Penny Hale, Wellington High School. Each student prepares webpages for their chosen option, which are assessed by their peers.


A9 How to make a working model of a DC motor & EPI topics related to sound topic

16.3 MB

Presented by Gracie Saxena and Joshua Le from Manor Lakes P12 College.


B8: From the turbine to your TV

4.87 MB

Presented by Matthew Bourne, Monash University. Repeated in C8. The stages of power generation and distribution with their myriad curriculum links.


B10: Special Relativity - what worked and what did not?

4.21 MB

Presented by Theo Hughes, Monash University. Repeated in C10.

Adobe PDF

B12 Physics equipment from The Logical Interface with Phil Jones

1.17 MB

Presented by Phil Jones, The Logical Interface. An 8 page document of experiments and demonstrations using datalogging, simulations and video analysis.

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