|The Physics Teachers’ Conference in 2022 jointly organised by STAV and Vicphysics, will take place on Friday 18 February 2022 and, following on from the success of this year's Conference, it will be a virtual conference. There will be synchronous (live) and asynchronous (pre-recorded) sessions.
Teachers are invited to offer a workshop in either format. The live workshops are 45 minutes and the pre-recorded workshops are 20 minutes. Both the principal presenter and any co-presenter will receive complimentary conference registration.
To register a workshop, please click here. The closing date is Thursday, 28th October.
If you have any questions, please email the STAV Administration Officer
2. Vicphysics Revision Lecture follow up
Colin Hopkins OAM planned to hold his regular series of revision lectures across regional Victoria and metropolitan areas. But the program had to be cancelled. As a replacement, Vicphysics organised an online webinar. This was held last Tuesday with Sandor Kazi from Melbourne Girls' College and Paul Cuthbert from University High School as presenters.
Colin contributed the material he had prepared, 17 files of topic summaries, each with sample questions, to a folder in the Vicphysics Google Drive. Students who booked were given access to the drive.
While Paul and Sandor were presenting, students could submit questions through the Q&A facility in Zoom. Responses were entered in the Q&A by a panel of teachers in the background. The questions and responses, four pages in all, were saved and added to the folder. Links to applets used in the talk along with other useful resources were also added to the document.
Colin has very kindly offered to make his material freely available. So the folder in the Google Drive now has open access.
The physics teacher community greatly appreciates Colin's generosity.
Students can access the link to the folder on the Revision Lecture webpage in the 'Students' section of our website. The 'Students' section also has webpages on 'Advice on Revising Physics' and 'Advice on Learning Physics'. Alternatively you can share this link with your students.
One short video that caught people's attention was Derek Muller's demonstration and explanation of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as it applies to Diffraction.
3. Physics Competitions - Entries Due Soon
Finding time to promote enrichment activities and then encouraging students to get involved has been difficult during lockdown. Nevertheless, entries in the competitions are starting to come in. The closing dates are:
- Photo Contest - Due by the 1st Friday of Term 4. For details click here.
- Video Clip Contest - Due by the 1st Friday of Term 4. For details click here.
- Poster Competition for Year 11 Physics Investigation - Due by the 2nd Friday of Term 4. For details click here.
4. COP 26: Resources on Climate Change
The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Glasgow from 31st October until 12th November. Education authorities in the UK have heavily engaged producing resources and organising events.
- There are dozens and dozens of primary and secondary resources at this site.
- Their student magazine, CATALYST covers scientific research and industrial developments, real life STEM stories, career journeys, etc.. This edition focusses on Climate Change.
A Careers in Climate Change Virtual Fair is being planned for 1st to 12th November, but there are no details available at this stage. The next newsletter should have an update.
5. Perimeter Institute: Vote for Best home made Demo plus New Resources for Physics Teaching
a) Kitchen Wars!
The Perimeter Institute set up a friendly competition for teachers in their network. They were invited to share an innovative home made demo that teaches science in a fun, hands-on way.
Now you can vote for your favourite. There are 8 demos to choose from. A closing date is not indicated.
b) New Resources from PI
- Exploring Light with Optics: Primary to Middle Years on human vision, telescopes, optics equations, fibre optics, and lasers
- Beyond the Atom: Remodelling Particle Physics, 2nd Ed. Activities focus on Rutherford’s scattering experiment, patterns within the particle zoo, and the analysis of bubble chamber images. Students also investigate data and determine the mass of the Higgs boson; they delve into evidence for antimatter and visualise interactions between fundamental particles. Cutting-edge physics topics include neutrinos, the SNO detector, tetraquarks, pentaquarks, and the LHC.
Both classroom resources include hands-on activities, modifiable worksheets, and short videos and they are free to download from here.
6. Relativity in the F- 10 Curriculum
David Blair, Director of the Australian International Gravitational Research Centre and emeritus professor of physics at UWA, along with Magdalena Kersting has recently published a book titled 'Teaching Einsteinian Physics in schools' . David has been active in this area for many years. Below are some relevant links:
Thanks to Helen Lye and John Cripps Clark for the item and the links.
7. Australian Physicist in TIME magazine's '100 Most Influential People of 2021'
TIME magazine has named Professor Lidia Morawska as one of their 100 Most Influential People of 2021 for her work in recognising the importance of aerosol transmission and marshalling the data that would convince the World Health Organization and other authoritative bodies to do the same.
Lidia is a Distinguished Professor at QUT. She was also the 2002 AIP Women in Physics lecturer.
8. Ada Lovelace Day - 12th October
You can read more here.
STEM Education in the UK has assembled a batch of resources on Ada Lovelace and Computing. Another source is the Finding Ada website, which has posters and teaching materials.
9. World Space Week - 4th October to 10th October
STEM Education in the UK has also compiled resources for World Space Week. They also have a separate webpage on Careers in Space.
The 'landing page' for World Space Week is the home page for the US based Space Foundation. This site also a range of lesson plans that use the characters from the 'Peanuts' cartoons and are suitable for primary and middle school students.
10. Vicphysics matters
- Subscriptions: The free introductory offer has lapsed. To now access the Teachers resources section of the website a paid subscription is required. Details are at the bottom of the home page.
- Tutor Listing Service: The website has a Tutor Listing Service. There are now two tutors listed. If you tutor and wish to add your name to the list, please check the website.
11.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 are nine 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.
- Cheltenham Secondary College (closes 12th October)
- Diamond Valley College (closes 5th October)
- Kerang Tech High School (closes 4th October)
- Ashwood High School (closes 4th October)
- Baimbridge College (closes 10th October)
- Mildura Senior College (closes 10th October)
- Sunbury College (closes 7th October)
- Richmond High School (closes 3rd October)
- Robinvale College (closes 6th October)
12. 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) The enduring mystery of the solar corona
Physicists have long known that the Sun’s magnetic fields make its corona much hotter than the surface of the star itself. But how – and why – those fields transport and deposit their energy is still a mystery
b) Physicists are competitive, but that doesn’t make them cut-throat
Robert P Crease discusses discusses how competition and cooperation can go hand in hand in science.
c) Head-mounted magnetic device shrinks brain tumour
A team of US-based researchers has used an innovative head-mounted device to shrink a brain tumour – potentially paving the way for a powerful new non-invasive therapy for glioblastoma.
The portable, wearable device consists of “strong permanent magnets rapidly spun by high-speed electric motors, whose rotation and timing are controlled by a programmable microcontroller operated by a rechargeable battery”.