4. Events for Students
The dates for this year are Tuesday 9th March through to Friday, 12th March.
1. 2021 Physics Teachers' Conference, Friday, 19th February - A Virtual Conference.
The Conference website now gives access to those who have registered, to the pre-recorded sessions. This includes video files of Andrew Hansen, the Chief Assessor, full report on last year's exam paper. You can view them at your leisure and submit questions for Andrew to address at the live session on Friday.
If you haven't registered yet, there is still time. Some background: Vicphysics and STAV are partnering with Monash Tech School to bring you an innovative virtual conference experience that will allow you to network, interact with sponsors, attend live workshops and keynotes and access a wealth of pre-recorded material.
- The highly topical keynote by climate modeller Professor Todd Lane will be followed by a small group discussion session in which you can exchange ideas and resources for teaching climate change in your classroom.
- The Chief Assessor, Andrew Hansen, has kindly agreed to pre-record a complete review of the 2020 exam, which can be accessed by participants in the week before the conference. He will then lead a live session specifically focussed on your questions and the key issues arising from the paper.
- 27 Live workshops across three sessions
- 5 Pre-recorded presentations
- Member Chat and Networking Lounge: Catch up and network with other participants
- Discussion Forum: Engage in a dialogue around a presentation or a workshop
- Check out the new resources of exhibitors in dedicated 'Meet and Greet's.
- Access to all workshops and presentations and their resources up until 31st December.
Click here to view the conference landing page and to access the program and registration.
We have also produced a video to help you navigate the conference website.
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2. Preparing Future Physics Teachers: What do they need?
Dr Merryn Dawborn-Gundlach and Dr Syd Boydell help prepare future Physics teachers at Melbourne University and are looking for feedback from teachers on the most important features to focus on. There is a very short survey and they would really appreciate your input.
3. Climate Change Teaching Resources
The ARC Centre of Excellence on Climate Extremes held a curriculum writing workshop earlier this month. We will hear more about that later in the year. In the mean time, their website has a large range of educational resources including:
a) Carbonator: Students can investigate the effect of 12 different climate scenarios on temperature, sea level and other climate properties. Scenarios include: Rapid emissions reduction, Business as usual, White roofs, Geoengineering, solar variations and volcanic eruption
b) Climate Classrooms provides free, easily accessible lesson plans on climate science tailored to meet the needs of teachers teaching Years 7 to 12 STEAM subjects. The lesson plans describe how topics from the Australian curriculum can be taught by using examples and case studies related to climate science. They reference locally relevant impacts and examples and incorporate a range of learning activities and strategies.
c) Plastics Adrift shows where plastic ends up in the ocean over time. Pick a spot and let the simulation run.
d) Monash Simple Climate Model. It comes in a basic and standard model. Year 11 students could start with the basic model, then move to the standard model. There are over 20 different scenarios available. There are several tutorials available as well as puzzles.
The cost is $27.90 per student with teachers free.
The Luna Park website is taking bookings. There is also a link on the website if you wish to book a datalogger.
Check our website for worksheets etc.
5. Events for Teachers
a) Big Ideas in Physics: A New Scientist Online Lecture Series
The Rovelli talk will be held at 4:00am Melbourne time on the Friday morning, however a ticket purchase gives you on demand access to the lecture and the Q&A session for 12 months.
- Making Sense of Quantum Theory with Carlo Rovelli, 6pm, 1st April (UK time). Prof Rovelli is the author of the popular books 'Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and 'Reality is not what it seems'.
- How fast is the Universe growing? with Jo Dunkley, 6pm, 6th May. Prof Dunkley is a British astrophysicist and Professor of Physics at Princeton University.
- Ten Keys to Reality with Frank Wilczek, 6pm, 28th January. Prof Wilczek won the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics
- How Time Works with Sean Carroll, 6pm, 3rd June. Prof Carroll is a Research Professor at CalTech.
Individual tickets are £13 (early booking rate) and there is a 25% discount on the series ticket.
b) Quantum Computing: A New Scientist Online Lecture, 6pm 11th March (UK Time)
Prof Michelle Simmons and Prof John Martinis present two 25 min talks plus Q&A on the physics of quantum computers. Prof Simmons is the Director of the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computer Technology and Communication Technology at UNSW and she was Australian of the Year in 2018. Prof Martinis is based at University of California. In 2019 he worked at Google and currently is in Australia working with Michelle.
Tickets are £13 (early booking rate) with on demand access.
c) Online: The Science of Learning
The course will develop an understanding of the science of learning and discuss its impact on your teaching. It will draw upon educational neuroscience and psychology to help you interpret student learning and behaviour in your classroom. It is produced by STEM Learning in the UK.
It will cover: i) Learning to learn, ii) Engagement for learning, iii) Construction, iv) Consolidation of learning and v) Plasticity.
The five week course takes around three hours per week to complete and you do not need to be online at any specific time. The course is free with time limited access. There is a cost for unlimited access and a certificate.
6. Physics from the Web
Items selected from the bulletin of the Institute of Physics (UK).
a) Why free will is beyond Physics
Philip Ball argues that “free will” is not ruled out by physics – because it doesn’t stem from physics in the first place. Is free will really undermined by the determinism of physical law? Philip thinks such arguments are not even wrong; they are simply misconceived. They don’t recognise how cause and effect work, and by attempting to claim too much jurisdiction for fundamental physics they are not really scientific, but metaphysical.
b) Powering the beast: why we shouldn’t worry about the Internet’s rising electricity consumption
The Internet will use a fifth of all the world’s electricity by 2025 – and that’s no bad thing, says James McKenzie in an article in PhysicsWorld.
c) Accelerating egg yolks shed light on brain injuries
New insights into how brain injuries occur have been gleaned from a simple study of how an egg yolk is deformed when rotational forces are applied to its outer shell. The experiments were done by Ji Lang, Rungun Nathan and Qianhong Wu at Villanova University in the US, who conclude that brain injuries are far more likely to result from rotational impacts on the skull than from direct translational impacts. Their work provides new insights into how soft matter behaves and could lead to a better understanding of how certain sports injuries occur.
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