Conference 2015

2015 Physics Teachers Conference, Friday 20th and Saturday 21st February at Monash University, Clayton VICTORIA

Program Description, Conference Opening, Conference Proceedings

Program Description

$400 Grants to attend the Conference: The Laby Foundation offered grants to teachers and schools with the aim of building capacity in physics teaching across Victoria, specifically targeting (but not solely limited to) disadvantaged and rural schools. The grants were available to help fund teachers to attend the 2015 Physics Teachers' Conference. The Committee processed the applications and made recommendations to the Laby Foundation. The grants were to a maximum of $400 per applicant. The Laby Foundation is willing for the Committee to receive retrospective applicants. The document below has the application form, the selection criteria, the expectations of successful applicants, information about how payment will be made and details of where to send the application. Retrospective applicants can apply until Friday, 6th March.

The Program included:

  • An opening address by Prof David Jamieson of University of Melbourne on 'Thermodynamics and Climate Change'.
  • A briefing on the new Physics Study Design by Maria James, VCAA Science Manager.
  • Report by Bruce Walsh, the Chief Assessor, on the 2014 Physics Exam (repeated)
  • Five sessions of over 70 workshops in the day and late afternoon program on the Friday.
  • A Karaoke session of short presentations in adjacent and linked venues, see details below.
  • Extensive display of texts and equipment.
  • A Saturday program of excursion tasters (see details below) and a medical physics in-service. Three physics excursion venues will offer tasters at three times. You select which one or more to attend. A two hour medical in-service at Peter Mac is also available.

* Karaoke Session:

A1: Victorian Young Physicists' Tournament (VYPT) Russell Downie, PLC. A presentation on what students do in VYPT, the benefits to them and the role of the teacher.

A2: Satellites in Schools, Paul Butler, Lauriston Girls' School. The aim of the FUNcube project is to create an educational satellite through which school students can learn about radio, space, physics and electronics. The presentation i) how FUNcube is used, ii) what resources and software are needed and iii) the benefits for the students.

A3: VYPT video A video highlights package from the 2014 VYPT

A4: Flipped Classroom and Light Spiros Liacos, Cheltenham Secondary College. A presentation on how to teach light in a flipped classroom, with an outlines of the resources needed and the benefits to the students.

B1: Physics Enrolments: Past, Present and Future Dan O'Keeffe, Vicphysics Teachers' Netwwork Committee. A presentation on trends in the participation in physics

B2: Integrating Computer-Aided Design into the Astrophysics Detailed Study Milorad Cerovac, King David School. As part of the Astrophysics students were introduced to multi-wavelength astronomy. Students do an extended project to design a space-based observatory using the freely available Autodesk Inventor product. The completed CAD designs were then 3D printed (optional) and exhibited in conjunction with a poster presentation. The benefits will be outlined

B3: VYPT video A video highlights package from the 2014 VYPT

B4: A proposal for a Physics Demonstration Library Kristian Grayson, University of Melbourne. Kristian is developing a scheme for schools to access equipment from the University of Melbourne to do demonstrations not normally possible in schools. The talk will outline the plans so far and seek teacher input.

C1: Electronics with Yenka Paul Cuthbert, University High School. A presentation on how to use the Yenka circuit simulation software and the benefits to students.

C2: Space Camp Paul Natoli, Ballarat High School. A shortened version of workshop A4 looking at the journey of putting a space camp trip together, from getting students to fundraising and finally the trip itself.

C3: VYPT video A video highlights package from the 2014 VYPT

C4: VCE Systems Engineering Colin Chapman, Caroline Chisholm Catholic College. A shortened version of B15. Physics teachers may be interested in adding the 'Systems Engineering' string to their bow. The study design 'Systems Engineering' has much physics content drawn from computer science, machines, electricity and electronics.

*Excursion Tasters: There are excursion tasters to the Australian Synchrotron, Victorian Space Science Education Centre and Quantum Victoria. Check the program for details and times.

* Synchrotron Taster: If you are planning to book the Synchrotron for Saturday morning, the following documents will be useful, particularly the safety rules in regard to footwear.

Conference Opening

The opening to the conference included a rolling powerpoint of events and activities for students and teachers organised by the AIP (Vic Branch) Education Committee, see below. The events and activities include:

Conference Handouts

Conference Proceedings

Opening Address by Prof David Jamieson, University of Melbourne on Thermodynamics and Climate Change

Chief Assessor's Report

Workshops and Karaoke:

Presentations on specific Areas of Study or Physics related issues: Material can be downloaded from the relevant web page. Click on link.

  • The workshop 'D1, E1: Physics in General Science: Electronics, electricity and magnetism' by Helen Lye, ACER and Dan O'Keeffe, AIP Ed Comm. Years 9 - 10
  • The workshop 'A9 and D3 Easy and Engaging Light Pracs by Spiros Liacos, Cheltenham Secondary College has 7 files. These are at Wave-like Light and a couple at Electricity.
  • The workshop 'A3: Climate Change - What happened to the Science?' by Keith Burrows, AIP Ed Comm. Teaching Climate Change
  • The workshop 'Karaoke: Physics Enrolments: Past, Present and Future' by Dan O'Keeffe, AIP Ed Comm. Educational Research

Teacher developed Websites

  • SACs, Pracs and Resources for Units 1 & 2 Detailed Studies: Paul Fitz-Gerald's and Paul Fielding's website Paul Fitz-Gerald is at Ivanhoe Girls' Grammar School, Paul Fielding is from Billanook College.
  • The Virtual Physics Course VCEPhysics.com: A website by Justin Vincent from Warrnambool College of resources including podcasts, videos, simulations, quizzes, etc.
  • Coyley's Pages: A website by Jane Coyle from Albert Park Secondary College of course material for students.

General Workshops