Vicphysics Teachers' Network Inc.
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The Adjusted Study Design for 2020 is now available.  Vicphysics has prepared a summary of the changes and compiled a list of past paper questions that students can skip when revising for the 2020 end of year exam.

There is likely to be a VCAA presentation on the changes within the week and Vicphysics is planning to hold a Q&A session for teachers with Maria James, the Science Curriculum Manager, possibly in the following week. More details in the next newsletter.

There are also some more resources to help with online teaching and learning.


The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers' Network will be on Wednesday, 13th May by Video Conference starting at 5:30pm.   If you wish to participate, please email Vicphysics

Jane Coyle (Pres), Dr Barbara McKinnon (Vice-Pres), Dan O'Keeffe OAM (Sec) and Paul Walters (Treas)

Table of Contents
  1.  Adjusted Study Design is now available
  2. More Resources on Managing Learning when Schools are closed 
  • FARLabs: Freely Accessible Remote Laboratories
  •  A Procedure for conducting Assessment Tasks Online
        3. Events for Students and General Public
  •  The End of Everything (Astronomically speaking) - A Conversation with Katie Mack, 9:00am 7th May, On-Line
  • UNSW Bragg Science Prize for Science Writing for Years 7 - 10. Entries by 27th August, 2020
  • Big Science Competition - Revamped for online
        4. Physics News from the Web 
  •  For Concussion, the Eyes are the Window to the Brain
  • The Diamond Quantum Revolution
  •  COVID-19 symptoms detected from a safe distance using infrared light and microwaves
       
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1.  Adjusted Study Design is now available.
VCAA has released the Study Design that is to apply for the remainder of 2020.  Some dot points in Areas of Study 1 and 2 in Unit 4 have been deleted and the Practical Investigation has been substantially modified.  Teachers should check out the document either on the VCAA website or on our Vicphysics website, where there are additional resources.

Vicphysics has produced a summary of the changes to the study design that will apply in 2020.  We have also compiled a spreadsheet of the past paper questions from the November exam papers and the NH exam papers for the years 2017 - 2019 that students can skip when using these papers for revision. Core sections of exam papers prior to 2017 can be used unchanged.  The summary and the spreadsheet are on our 'online learning' webpage.

Vicphysics is also preparing a teaching schedule for Unit 4, based on exams starting in early December and a delayed start to teaching Unit 4 to give more time to consolidate Unit 3 and also hold mid year exams.

Vicphysics is organising a Q&A session for teachers with Maria James.  It will be held in a week or so. Details will be in the next newsletter.


2.  More Resources on Managing Learning when Schools are closed 
These resources plus all those listed in previous newsletters are now on a separate web page and there is a direct link to the page from our home page.

  •  FARLabs: Freely Accessible Remote Laboratories:  FARLabs presents a technological solution to the challenge of providing engaging, cost-effective, practical experiments to secondary schools across the country. The remote-access laboratory allows secondary educators and students to operate science equipment (such as radioactive sources and detectors) hosted at La Trobe University, through their web browser.  Each experiment contains downloadable student and teacher notes, worksheets, quizzes, videos and examples of the impact that science has on society. Besides providing informative and engaging content, the materials provide pathways for students to understand the process of scientific research.
     
    Teachers can normally book time for their students to do an experiment as part of normal class time. However, with students currently learning from home, there is more flexibility, but access time still needs to be booked.  There are experiments on Radioactivity, and Photoelectric Effect, and Interference and Diffraction.  There are also a link on our Vicphysics website .
     
    FARLabs is online, and it is free.  Teachers need to register before they can book a time.
     
  • A Procedure for Conducting Assessment Tasks Online
    Our Online Learning webpage has a one page document describing the method used by Albert Park College to conduct assessment tasks online. The method is consistent with VCAA Guidelines in authentication.

The Online Learning webpage will be updated as new resources are identified.  If you find any, please pass the details to Vicphysics.

 Return to top

 
3. Events for Students and General Public
a) A Conversation with Katie Mack, 9:00am, 7th May Online
The Perimeter Institute is holding a live webcast in the evening, Toronto time.  With local students currently working from home, they should be able to arrange their work schedule to catch the webcast at 9:00am in the morning.
Not only is Katie a theoretical cosmologist, science communicator, and self-described "connoisseur of cosmic catastrophes," she is also a former AIP Women in Physics lecturer.  Katie spoke on Dark Matter at the two Girls in Physics Breakfasts we held in 2018.
She will chat about her favourite subject: the end of the universe. In her upcoming talk, she will give viewers a sneak peek at her soon-to-be-released book 'The End of Everything (Astronomically speaking) '

b) UNSW Bragg Prize for Science Writing for Years 7 - 10. Entries close 27th August.
The 2020 Theme is 'The Big Ideas saving the Planet'.
Students write up to 800 words to describe some scientific research that has delivered a solution that the student believes could change the future for the planet.
This website has entry details, as well as FAQs, Teacher's resources and Writing tips.

c) Big Science Competition - Revamped for online.
The Big Science Competition now has flexible options: i) student access from school or home, ii) extended competition window from 20th May to 5th June.
The Competition is for students in Years 7 to 10.  It is a '50 minute multiple choice competition testing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, not just factual recall'.  The cost to participate online is $7.00 and $8.00 for a pen and paper test. Parents cannot register their children, it needs to be through the school.
 
4.   Physics 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) For Concussion, the Eyes are the Window to the Brain 

The way the eye moves in the moments after a head impact serves as a reliable proxy for the acceleration experienced by the brain, reports a research team in the US. The researchers observed the effect in a physical head phantom and a human volunteer, and say that the measurement could one day be made using “smart” contact lenses. Routine eye-motion measurements in athletes could allow sports-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) to be detected at the side-line.
 

 b) The Diamond Quantum Revolution
Diamond is more than just a pretty gem – it has many attractive properties that stretch far beyond its aesthetic appeal.  This article explains how this special form of carbon now has many practical quantum applications too.  It nicely complements the keynote address at this year’s Physics Teachers’ Conference.

 c) COVID-19 symptoms detected from a safe distance using infrared light and microwaves
 A system that checks from a safe distance whether someone is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 has been developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation in Stuttgart, Germany. The team’s “access checker” combines infrared and microwave.
 
One part of the access checker scans a person’s body temperature by measuring infrared radiation emitted by their skin. This is done to detect fever, which is a symptom of COVID-19.  The device also checks for increased heart and breathing rates associated with the disease. This is done using a micro-Doppler radar system that bounces microwaves off the subject to detect body motions associated with breathing and blood flow.
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