Vicphysics Teachers' Network Inc.
Dear *|FNAME|*,

Vicphysics is organising a half day workshop for science teachers.  It is on practical activities for the physics aspects of the science curriculum for Years 9 and 10. Check details below.

We will also be meeting online this Wednesday, 28th July, starting at 5:30pm  to finalise our response to the proposed VCE Physics Study Design. If you would like to participate, please email Vicphysics .

Vicphysics is advertising for a Project Officer, the position is part time with an average time fraction of one day per week.  There also has been interest in the Tutor Listing Service.  If you wish to add your name to the list, check details below.

If you have had difficulty booking for our Talk, Dinner and Catching up on Weds, 25th August, an anomaly has been corrected.

Also check out the 'Decathlon of Questions on the Physics of Sport'.


The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers' Network will be on Wednesday, 11th August at 5:30pm. If you wish to participate, please contact Vicphysics.

Dr Barbara McKinnon (Pres), Sandor Kazi (Vice-Pres), Dan O'Keeffe OAM (Sec) and Deepa Jain (Treas)

Table of Contents
       1. The Proposed VCE Physics Study Design
       2. Prac Workshop on Years 9 - 10 Physics, Tues, 14th September
       3. Vicphysics matters
  • Subscriptions
  • Tutor Listing Service
  • Project Officer position
       4   A Decathlon of Questions on the Physics of Sport
       5
. Events for Students        6. Events for Teachers and Lab Techs        7. Physics News from the Web 
  • Measuring up: how our search for the speed of light lead to our current understanding of physics
  • Replicating how plants move
  • How Stephen Hawking became the world's most famous physicist.
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1. The proposed Study Design
Vicphysics is meeting online on Wednesday, 28th July to finalise its response to the proposed Study Design.  If you wish to participate, please email Vicphysics.

Copies of the draft and a summary can be found on the VCAA website and on the Vicphysics website.  There is also a questionnaire on the VCAA site.  A pdf copy of the questionnaire is available on our website . The questionnaire is comprehensive and extensive (35 pages). It may be easier to read the pdf, think about the questions and prepare your responses in your own time and then paste them into the online questionnaire
.

Consultation closes on Tuesday, 3rd August.

 
2. Prac Workshop on Years 9 - 10 Physics. Afternoon of Tuesday, 14th September
Vicphysics is organising a half day workshop for science teachers. The focus will be on hands-on practical activities for the physics aspects of the Years 9 - 10 Science curriculum. 
The event will run from 2:00pm until 4:15pm and will be held at Camberwell Grammar School.
The cost is $80.
For information of the activities and registration, please click here.  The event is being organised jointly with Camberwell Grammar School.
3. 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 last newsletter introduced our Tutor Listing Service.  There is already one person who has registered. If you tutor and wish to add your name to the list, please check the website.
  • Project Officer position.  Vicphysics physics is advertising the position of Project Officer.  It is a part time position with an average time fraction of one day per week.  The role is to support and enhance the activities of Vicphysics with a particular focus on their promotion, marketing and publicity as well as the administration of the activities. For more details of the position, please click here.
 
4. A Decathlon of Questions on the Physics of Sport
A question for each event in the decathlon, e.g.
  • When timing moved from stop watches to electronic timing, why did average timing for the 100m increase?,
  • Why is the pole vault record above the theoretical limit for 100 % conversion of KE into GPE?
Check this Physics World Article for the other questions and all the answers.

a) VCE Lectures: Wednesdays at 4:30pm, University of Melbourne
Future dates are 4th Aug, 18th Aug, 1st Sept, 15th Sept, 6th October.
Check here for details of future talks.

 

b) The Exciton Solar Cell Challenge
The special features of the Exciton Solar Cell Challenge are:
  • It is an experimental challenge for Year 7-10 students in teams of 2 - 3.
  • Students construct their own Dye Sensitised Solar Cell (DSSC) using a dye they source.
  • Kits are sent to schools and students complete the challenge with teacher support (20 free kits per school, extra kits are $20 each) and then send in evidence of experimentation.
  • This challenge is best for extension groups and STEM clubs.
  • Prizes and certificates are sent to students upon challenge completion.
  • The challenge is running through Terms 2-4 this year with a very flexible timeline.
The website has sections about key dates, information for teachers, digital copy of resources and a registration link.  The kits sent to the schools has the two more difficult to acquire materials, the rest are common science equipment and chemicals.

When you register you can request a researcher to present an introductory zoom lesson (30 mins) for the students.
 
6. Events for Teachers and Lab Techs 
a) Last July Lecture in Physics, 6:30pm, this Friday, University of Melbourne - Online via Zoom and In person
  • Friday, 30th July Ahead of their time - Revolutionary Discoveries in Physics made too soon with Prof David Jamieson.

Oliver Heaviside prematurely discovered a fundamental result of Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity in 1888 nearly twenty years before Einstein. Ida Noddak explained anomalous results from Enrico Fermi’s experiments as evidence for nuclear fission, but her explanation was dismissed as ridiculous for nine years before it was accepted as correct.

Through this lecture, Professor David Jamieson will look at advances in physics that were ahead of their time and asks: can we identify the premature discoveries of the present day that may shape the future? To find them, should we be looking for a ‘lone genius’ or is scientific creativity more complex than that?

Venue: Basement Lecture Theatre 117, Glyn Davis Building, University of Melbourne
To register, click here

Video recordings of past July Lectures in Physics   This archive has videos of all the lectures going back to 1991.  Some titles that immediately catch your eye are:

  • Physics of Life: What do the laws of Physics say? with Prof David Jamieson
  • Physics of epidemics: helping to keep us safe with Prof James McCaw
  • The physics of the Apollo Moon Mission in 1969: Do astronauts obey Kepler's Laws? with Prof Tony Klein
  • Physics and the Moon: The Double Planet with Prof David Jamieson


b) Talk, Dinner and Catching up, 6:00pm, Weds, 25th August
The Vicphysics Teachers’ Network invites physics teachers and others interested in physics education to gather in an informal setting for a series of dinners with a guest speaker. The guest speakers will address diverse topics touching on curriculum, pedagogy and the discipline itself.  Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in discussion and network with colleagues over dinner. 

The first occasion has been re-scheduled to Wednesday, 25th August at the Auburn Hotel at 85 Auburn Rd, Hawthorn starting at 6:00pm.

The speaker will be Dr Victoria Millar from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne.

Topic: What is the role of physics education and how does that determine the elements of a physics curriculum?

This is particularly opportune with a revised study design to be implemented in 2023.

Dr Millar is a senior lecturer in the Graduate School of Education and has been at the University since 2011. Prior to that she taught Physics in schools in Victoria. Her research interests are in physics and science education, particularly science participation, curriculum and interdisciplinarity.

The cost is $35 ($30 for Vicphysics subscribers) and covers a main course and drinks.

For more details and to book click here. If you have had difficulty booking, please try again, an anomaly has been corrected.


c) Workshops for Lab Techs - Physics in Years 7 - 10. Weds, 15th Sept, Camberwell Grammar School

Purpose: To enhance the skills and confidence of laboratory technicians in supporting the physics aspects of the Years 7 – 10 Science Curriculum. The focus is on the resources commonly found in schools.

The program includes workshops on:

  • Learning new skills: i) Using and repairing multimeters, ii) Setting up a CRO for demonstrations with both analog and digital versions, iii) Using a Ruhmkorff coil for high voltage demonstrations. (45 mins each)
  • Quick Tests on Equipment to see if it is working or not plus a few hints on fixing stuff with Harvey Edwards from Principles and Practice. Some suggestions are i) Basic fault finding technique, ii) LED and other electronic component testing, Hodson Light Box lamps – common faults, iii) Power supplies (power packs) – testing, iv) Maintaining ac/dc hand generators. 1 hour)
  • Tips, tricks and techniques with sensor technologies with Doug Bail from Ciderhouse, to help you, teachers and students make the most of the digital data acquisition available to schools.  The workshop will include some experiments, chat through tips, maintenance, calibration and analyse some data to help you support the use of this equipment.  The session will use PASCO gear but is intended for support of all equipment and particular notes will be made of options available from other suppliers. ( 1 hour)
  • Safe handling of ionising radiation and storage of radioactive sources ( 45 mins)
  • Laboratory management hints and lab tour ( 45 mins)

Cost: $60. Lunch is provided. .
For more details and to register, click here.

7.   Physics News from the Web
Items selected from the bulletin of the Institute of Physics (UK).
a) Measuring up: how our search for the speed of light led to our current understanding of physics

A review of the book 'Lightspeed: the Ghostly Aether and the Race to Measure the Speed of Light written by John Spence.  The review features a few delightful anecdotes from the book, which are worth the few minutes to read the review.
b) Replicating how plants move
The article investigates the physics behind plant phenomena, such as the rapid response of the venus fly trap, the seed pod that catapults its seeds at 10^5 g, etc and the link to soft robotics.
c) How Stephen Hawking became the world's most famous physicist.
In a new book titled Hawking Hawking: The Selling of a Scientific Celebrity, the US science writer Charles Seife controversially claims that Hawking’s fame stemmed not from his science but his mastery at self-promotion.  This article is a review of the book by Laura Hiscott.
There is also a podcast in which Laura talks with the author.

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