VicPhys/STAV Conference 2016

2016 Physics Teachers Conference, Friday 19th and Saturday 20th February at Monash University, Clayton VICTORIA

Program Description, Conference Opening, Conference Proceedings

Program Description

The Program included:

  • Two keynote addresses, one on Cosmology and one on Particle Physics about those aspects of the new Area of Study 'What is Matter?
  • Report by Andrew Hansen, the Chief Assessor, on the 2015 Physics Exam (repeated)
  • Four sessions of workshops in the day and late afternoon program on the Friday.
  • A Karaoke session of short presentations in adjacent and linked venues.
  • Extensive display of texts and equipment.
  • A Saturday program of excursion tasters and a medical physics in-service at Peter Mac. You could select which one or more to attend.

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:

Conference Handouts

Conference Proceedings

Addresses by Dr Phillip Urquijo from the University of Melbourne on 'Particle Physics: from Alpha Particles to Quarks' and by A/Prof Emma Ryan-Weber, Swinburne University on 'Cosmology: From the Big Bang to the Formation of Atoms'

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.

Karaoke Session

There were 12 fifteen minute presentations in three adjacent venues. Some were of general interest, others for Years 7 - 10 and some for VCE Physics. Participants were able to move freely from venue to venue during the hour. They included:

Graphing Real World Motion: Spiros Liacos, Cheltenham Secondary College. Here are some pracs and activities that will allow you to inject a little more real-world Physics into your classroom. Analyse Usain Bolt’s 100m sprint and the launch of NASA’s Space Shuttle, find out how fast you can throw, and marvel at the elegant beauty of a vertically moving projectile.

FAR Labs: Dr David Hoxley, Latrobe University The FAR Labs (Freely Accessible Remote Labs) project enables students and teachers to control experiments not normally available in schools and to collect their own data.

My Ongoing Experiences in the Flipped Classroom: Spiros Liacos, Cheltenham Secondary College At its most basic level, flipping your classroom means passing over the instructional side of teaching to robots, videos, web pages, books and other media, so as to be able to devote more time and energy to helping students develop and master new skills. So how effective is it? It’s going to take over!

Participation in VCE Sciences: Past, Present and Future: Dan O'Keeffe, Vicphysics Teachers' Network This presentation looked at the participation in Year 12 Sciences over the last 50 years, identifying significant events and overall trends, as well as an in depth analysis of the transition from Year 10 to Year 11 sciences and onto Year 12 sciences. Projections of Year 12 numbers in the Sciences over the next 10 years wass also provided.

Misconceptions: Diagnosis and Treatment: Dr Barbara Mackinnon, Kew High School This session briefly introduced the Modeling Instruction movement in the context of teaching to overcome misconceptions. This session also briefly introduced some useful web resources about diagnosis of misconceptions, including sources of diagnostic tests and auto-marking tools such as Flubaroo.

The Energy Spectrum as a theme in Unit 1 Physics: Dan O'Keeffe, Vicphysics Teachers' Network This presentation will identify how the concept of an Energy Spectrum can be referred to a number of times in Unit 1, in particular that the presence of a discrete spectrum implies the existence of an internal structure.

Count Rumford: Spy, Scientist, Social Reformer, Inventor: Dan O'Keeffe, Vicphysics Teachers' Network Count Rumford was a key figure in the development of the conceptual understanding of heat. He made a number of significant contributions relevant to Unit 1 Physics, but he was little acknowledged in his lifetime and is now largely forgotten.

Teacher developed websites by: Jane Coyle, Albert Park College: A website of course material for students.; Paul Fielding and Paul Fitz-Gerald on Unit 2 Investigations. Paul Fielding is from Billanook College, Paul Fitz-Gerald is at Ivanhoe Girls' Grammar School, check also their 2015 Conf presentation; Michael Rosenbrock, Wodonga Senior Secondary College has developed a Facebook page for Science Education.

European Tour: 'The history of the Scientific Revolution', Sept 2016: Russell Downie, formerly PLC Russell Downie is organising a European tour on the theme of 'The history of the scientific revolution' for September. The tour is for teachers and any others interested. The presentation will give details tour including itinerary, costs, etc.

Barbie Bungee Jumping: Dr Moses Khor, Camberwell Grammar School Barbie Bungee Jumping is a practical activity for Year 9 & 10 students in which they need to investigate and design a safe bungee cord for Barbie. This presentation will briefly the requirements, the process, the skills emphasised and the benefits of the task. The students need to find the length of the bungee cord that Barbie needs to make a successful and thrilling jump. This involves Barbie getting close to, but not hitting the ground.

General Workshops

B1: Investigation Resources for Unit 2 Outcome 3 by Paul Fielding from Billanook College and Paul Fitz-Gerald from Ivanhoe Girls' Grammar School.