1. VCE Physics Teachers Conference, Friday, 18th February
The VCE Physics Teachers’ Conference in 2022 jointly organised by STAV and Vicphysics, will take place on Friday 18 February 2022. It will be a virtual conference. There will be synchronous (live) and asynchronous (pre-recorded) sessions.
Registration is available at the STAV website . The program is available there and also on the Vicphysics website.
If you register you will get on-going access to all the presentations, both live and pre-recorded. So if your school is not able to cover your classes on the day, you can still gain the benefits of the conference.
This conference will also feature a Conference Forum, open from XXX, principally for participants to lodge questions for the presentation on the 2021 Physics Exam paper, but also to ask questions and comment on all the other presentations.
- Individual STAV member: $99
- School STAV member: $198
- Non-member: $264
- Presenter/ Moderator: Complimentary
- Pre-Service Teacher: $55
- Retired Teacher: $55
The program includes:
- Keynote address: Innovations in Electricity is !00% renewable now possible? with Dr Bob Sheehy
- Three sessions of live workshops, each with six workshops on offer
- Seven asynchronous sessions which will be available to be viewed from 11th February.
- VCAA Update and Unpacking assessment in the new VCE Physics Study Design with Maria James, Science Curriculum Manager at VCAA
- Review of the 2021 VCE Physics Examination by Andrew Hansen, Chief Assessor. A summary of the report will be available on video prior to the conference for teachers to view and add questions to the Conference Forum which will be addressed on the day by Andrew.
2. Vicphysics Website Update
Editions of this newsletter frequently feature new resources and teaching ideas. Over the holidays, such items for the newsletters during 2021 have been added to the webpages for the each Area of Study.
Also from time to time, the web link to a resource breaks, usually because the source has redesigned their website and changed the URL. Often the new URL can be found with some searching and our link can be repaired.
So when planning a unit, please check out the resources available.
3. Resources from Perimeter Institute
The Perimeter Institute has an extensive range of high quality teaching materials suitable for senior physics. You can check these out by going to 'What we do' and selecting Outreach or going to 'Info for' and selecting Teachers.
a) They have also recently added extra posters including ones for:
There are now 23 posters available for free download from here.
- Hedy Lamarr (actress and inventor of the frequency hopping method to guide torpedoes and now an essential part of wireless technologies) and
- Rosalind Franklin (X-ray crystallographer who worked on the structure of DNA)
b) Their classroom resources include:
c) EinsteinPlus : A week long workshop for Canadian and international teachers, 3rd - 9th July.
- Dark matter and circular motion
- Planck's Constant with LEDs
- Fields and
This workshop is held at the Perimeter Institute in Toronto, Canada. Applications close April 10th.
The cost is $300 (CAD) to cover the program, meals and accommodation. Overseas participants need to cover their own travel costs. Vicphysics does offer a Travelling Scholarship to assist with costs. Previously two Victorian teachers have attended this highly regarded PD.
- Innovative teaching strategies suitable for all areas of physics
- Quantum physics: Wave-particle duality and the electron double-slit experiment
- GPS and relativity
- Dark matter as an application of uniform circular motion
- Measuring Planck's constant using a simple electronic circuit
4. Case Studies of the video analysis of physics of sporting events
a) Quintic Case Studies is a set of 43 case studies of various sporting events generated with Quintic's video analysis software. The case studies are designed to promote the product, but from a school's point of view, they can show students what can be done with other software such as Tracker.
The topics include a sprint start (Impulse), weight lifting (Power) and bouncing ball (Coefficient of restitution) as well as field events, soccer and cricket. Each topic has a description of the physics, the experimental setup, typical data and graphs as well as downloadable files of the written up case study and in most cases the actual data in an excel spreadsheet and the avi files.
5. Vicphysics matters
- Subscriptions: Vicphysics has changed its subscription model. From now on, subscriptions will last for a year from the day payment is received. So if you start a new subscription this week, the renewal date will be in January 2023. Previously any new subscription expired on the same date of 28th February, 2022.
For current subscribers, your renewal date is still 28th February 2022.
- Tutor Listing Service: The website has a Tutor Listing Service. There are now four tutors listed. If you tutor and wish to add your name to the list, please check the website.
6.Seeking a Physics teacher? Seeking a new position?
The Vicphysics Teachers' Network has a Job Ads page to assist schools in finding a physics teacher.
There is two (2) schools seeking a physics teacher:
The webpage is updated every weekend. The webpage also has a link on how schools can register a position and lodge a payment for this service.
- Virtual School Victoria (closes 31st January)
- Bayside P - 12 College (closes 9th February)
7. Events for Students
8. Events for Teachers
a) Inspiring Future Women in Science - Live Q&A: 8:00am Friday, 11th February
In celebration of the UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the Perimeter Institute (Canada) is bringing together an astronomer, a chemical engineer, a medical student, and a construction and facility management professional to answer high school students’ questions about the rewards, challenges, and possibilities of a career in these fields. During the 60-minute online session, students can submit questions using their Q&A text tool and vote on other students’ questions.
The event is being held at 4pm, Thursday 11th,Toronto time, which corresponds to 8:00am Melbourne time on the Friday. The event is open to all students.
Students and teachers can register here . The site has details of the guests.
b) Physics Days at Luna Park: Tues 8th March to Fri, 11th March - Aerobatic Displays
If the time is inconvenient, the presentations from previous years, going back to 2015, can be viewed at the above link. Each has a similar format. In the past students have asked questions on topics including productivity tips, which extracurricular activities to pursue, work-life balance, choosing the right career path, how to stand out from the competition and what’s the one thing you wish you knew in high school?.
This year Physics Days at Luna Park will be on the above dates. You can make a booking here.
The cost will be $29.50 per student with teachers free. Schools are invoiced after the event based on the number of your students who pass through the turnstiles.
There will be aerobatic displays on both Thursday, 10th and Friday, 11th. On each day the Display will be at 10:00am with the Physics Day at Luna Park starting at 10:30am and finishing at 2:30pm.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the days will start at 10:00am and finish at 2:00pm.
Details about worksheets including ones for the aerobatic display, costs, etc. are on our website.
COVID: Guests of Luna Park who are above the age of 12 years and 2 months must be fully vaccinated. Those 18 years + are required to show proof of their vaccination certification at entry via one of the approved methods.
c) Moon Camp Challenge
Moon Camp is an education project run in collaboration between European Space agency (ESA ) and the Airbus Foundation, in partnership with Autodesk. Students are challenged to design their own Moon settlement with the free 3D modelling tool, Tinkercad. It features preparatory classroom activities that focus on learning by design and science experimentation.
There are three levels of challenge from beginner to advanced for students from upper primary to senior secondary, with at least two levels available to any student.
Students can compete in teams of up to 6.
Registrations opened last year and entries are due by 21st April, 2022.
d) Future Event: Online Revision Lecture, Sunday, 11th September
Vicphysics will continue to offer an online revision lecture for Year 12 students. This year it will be on Sunday, 11th September. Registration will open later this year. For more details click here.
a) Synchrotron Excursion Taster: 9:00am, Saturday, 19th February
The Australian Synchrotron is a popular excursion venue, offering programs to support the Unit 4 Areas of Study on Waves and Light, and Light and matter as well as the Unit 2 Option on the Synchrotron. This taster shows the range of experimental activities the students can do as well as including a tour of the Synchrotron.
The event will go for at least 90 minutes. There is no cost.
For more details and to register for the taster click here. To find out more about the Synchrotron resources and school tours, click here.
b) Beginning Physics Teachers' In-Service, Term 1 holidays
The Beginning Physics Teachers' In-Service will be held during the Term 1 holidays, probably on Monday, 11th April. Details will be announced in future emails. Information about last year's event can be found here.
9. Physics News from the Web
Items selected from the bulletin of the Institute of Physics (UK).
Each item below includes the introductory paragraphs and a web link to the rest of the article.
a) Hybrid device acts as both solar cell and battery
A photoelectric system that converts light into charge and then stores the charge like a battery – a first for a single device – has been developed by researchers in China and Singapore. Made from layers of a 2D semiconductor and a transparent conductor held together by weak van der Waals interactions, the new device converts 93.8% of incident photons into electric current – far higher than the 50% typical for so-called “high performance” photoelectric devices – and can store charge for up to a week, making it suitable for applications in energy generation, photodetectors or light-based memory.
b) The science and scientists of Don’t Look Up
The sci-fi film Don’t Look Up is an end-of-the-world satire that has garnered both praise and scorn from viewers, critics and scientists. This episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast explores the scientific themes of the film and give a verdict on how A-list actors Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio played two hapless astronomers who discover a comet that could destroy the Earth. (25 mins)
c) Fighting Flat Earth Theory
Physicists will find it shocking, but there are plenty of people around the world who genuinely believe the Earth is flat. The article explores why such views are increasingly taking hold and how the physics community should best respond. It also describes the origins of views and evidence to show that earth is not flat.
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