1. Tuesday, 12th March: Chief Assessor's Forum on the 2018 VCE Physics Exam, 5:00pm, University High School
Vicphysics and the Chief Assessor, Andrew Hansen, would again like to provide teachers with the opportunity to hear about the full exam with an extended opportunity to ask questions and a chance to speak with Andrew.
The Chief Assessor's Forum is a question by question coverage of the students' responses to last year's Physics exam. The event will also be streamed live.
2. Proceedings of the 2019 Physics Teachers' Conference
The forum will start at 5:00pm, with a meal break at 6:30pm, commencing again at 7:15pm. Dinner will be provided.
Cost: $60 to attend the event, including the meal. $30 to view online.
Venue: The Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences at University High School in Story St, Parkville.
Booking: You will need to book through Trybooking, check our website for details. Bookings close Monday, 4th March.
Extra workshop material is now on conference webpage . Workshops with material are:
Material from the the addresses as well as the videos are also available.
- A1 & B1 VCE Physics beyond the current mess, Neil Champion
- A5 & C5 Shining light on Diffraction, Interference and Image Resolution, Dr Barbara McKinnon, Kew High School
- A8 Uncertain Uncertainties, Theo Hughes, Monash University
- A11 Unit 3 Electricity and Magnetism Demonstrations, Man Lam, Mount Alexander College and Sarah Lee-Johnston, Hume Anglican Garmmar School
- B3 & C3 Using Log-books and Rubrics in scaffolding inquiry, Dino Cevolatti & Stuart Bird, Castlemaine Secondary School
- B7 & C7 Designing SACs and assessments that aren't tests, Jane Coyle, St Columba's College
- B11 and C11 Constructing DC Motors from the kit and Ideas on EPI Projects used, Gracie Saxena and Joshua Le, Manor Lakes P12 College
- B16 Climate Change - The Missing Science, Keith Burrows, Beyond Zero Emissions
- C1 Literacy from a physics education perspective, Neil Champion
- C6 Minkowski Diagrams, Theo Hughes, Monash University
- C15 Tune to the music and wave to the Science, Brian Lannen, Wodonga TAFE
3. Items from Back Issues of Vicphysics News
Vicphysics News has been running since 2003. Most editions in that time included a story about a new resource and a new take on teaching strategies. These stories have been compiled and added to over the years. By the end of 2018 there were over 300 items.
The titles of these items have been grouped into categories, one for each Area of Study as well as a category for Teaching Strategies and a General category for cross topic resources, careers material, etc.
On the Vicphysics News webpage on our website, there are two documents, one is the list of titles, grouped with each title given a code. This is a nine page document. The other document has the full stories sorted by the code and runs to over 130 pages.
4. Events for Students and the General Public
a) Physics Days at Luna Park: Tuesday, 5th March to Friday, 8th March, 2019
This year there will be an extra ride on offer: the Speedy Beetle located behind the Ferris Wheel. It is a mini roller coaster that moves in a figure 8 with sharp rises and falls and a quick banked turn. The worksheet is now on the website.
Bookings are now open . Tuesday and Friday are fully booked, but there is plenty of room on Wednesday and Thursday.
There will be no aerobatic display this year, principally due to Roulette commitments with the Avalon Air Show.
Worksheets are available here.
Schools can also book a Pasco data logger for a half day by accessing the Ciderhouse website here.
Synchrotron Tours: The Australian Synchrotron is offering post excursion tours of the Synchrotron on each of the four days. The capacity of each tour is 25 and the times vary because of bookings earlier in the afternoon.
Tues, 5th March - 4:30pm (Full), Weds, 6th March - 5:30pm, Thurs, 7th March - 5:00pm, Fri, 8th March - 3:15pm.
To book, please email ANSTO. Note: The Synchrotron is giving preference to regional schools.
b) Tuesday, 12th March. Origins: How the Earth Made Us, 6:30pm, Monash University
Speaker: Lewis Dartnell, Professor of Science Communication at Westminster University and author of the book 'How the Earth has shaped our destinies'. He is best known to the public as a popular science writer, especially for 'The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch', and this TED talk
Abstract: When we talk about human history, we focus on great leaders, mass migration and decisive wars. But how has the Earth itself determined our destiny? How has our planet made us? As a species we are shaped by our environment. Geological forces drove our evolution in East Africa; mountainous terrain led to the development of democracy in Greece; and today voting behaviour in the United States follows the bed of an ancient sea. The human story is the story of these forces, from plate tectonics and climate change, to atmospheric circulation and ocean currents.
c) Girls in Physics Breakfasts in 2019
How are the Himalayas linked to the orbit of the Earth, and to the formation of the British Isles? By taking us billions of years into our planet’s past, Professor Lewis Dartnell tells us the ultimate origin story. When we reach the point where history becomes science we see a vast web of connections that underwrites our modern world and helps us face the challenges of the future. From the cultivation of the first crops to the founding of modern states, 'Origins' reveals the Earth’s awesome impact on the shape of human.
Bio: Prof Dartnell graduated from Oxford University with a First Class degree in Biological Sciences and completed his PhD at University College London in 2007. His research is in the field of astrobiology and the search for microbial life on Mars. He has also held a STFC Science in Society Fellowship and is very active in delivering live events at schools and science festivals, working as a scientific consultant for the media, and has appeared in numerous TV documentaries and radio shows. He has won several awards for his science writing and outreach work and regularly freelance for newspapers and magazine articles. He has also published four books: The Knowledge was a Sunday Times Book of the Year and international bestseller.
Check here for details of the venue.
This year there will be two extra country breakfasts, in Warrnambool and Wodonga.
The dates, venues, speakers and topics are:
For more details including flyers and how to book please go to the Vicphysics webpage
- 22nd March, Ballarat Speaker: Dr Dianne Ruka, Monash University, Topic: Future Computing and Low Energy Electronics.
- 3rd May, Geelong Speaker: Dr Ellen Moon, Deakin University, Topic: Science in the Antarctic: Where can STEM take you?
- 10th May, Warrnambool Speaker: Dr Gail Iles, RMIT, Topic: Human spaceflight and science in space
- 17th May, Bendigo Speaker: Dr Judy Hart, University of New South Wales, Topic: Developing new materials for renewable energy
- 24th May, Wodonga Speaker Dr Adelle Wright, ANU, Topic: Nuclear Fusion: An Australian Perspective
- 30th May, Melbourne Speaker: Dr Susie Sheehy, University of Melbourne and Oxford University, Topic: Colliding worlds: Using particle physics to cure cancer.
- Late July, Clayton The date, venue and speaker are yet to be finalised.
d) Friday, 29th March: Watching a Little Gas Cloud on its Way into the Galactic Supermassive Black Hole 6:30pm, Swinburne University
Speaker: Prof Andreas Burkert, Ludwig Maximalians University, Munich
Venue: Swinburne University, Hawthorn campus, ATC building, ATC101 (Enter from Burwood Road)
Registration and Details: For further information and registration, please click here.
5. Events for Teachers
a) Monday, 8th April: Beginning Physics Teachers In-Service, Kew High School
Vicphysics will be running a full day in-service on Monday, 8th April at Kew High School. The event is free, lunch is provided and travel support is available for country participants.
The event is for:
The program will include:
- Teachers beginning their teaching career,
- Teachers returning to physics teaching and
- Teachers who have been asked by their school to take a VCE Physics class
- Information on course planning, resources, advice of teaching specific topics and suggestions from some of last year's participants after teaching physics for the first time in 2018,
- Andrew Hansen, Chief Assessor for the Physics exam, from Ringwood Secondary College on Exam advice.
To register please complete the details on this Vicphysics webpage. . It also has information about last year's program.
6. Physics from the Web
Items selected from the bulletins of the Institute of Physics (UK).
Each item below includes the introductory paragraphs and a web link to the rest of the article.
a) An Unelementary Affair: 150 years of the Periodic Table
With thousands of different versions, Robert Crease investigates why Mendeleev's version is the one most familiar to us. He explores the history of periodic tables and how chemists and physicists differ in the interpretation of the table and the word 'element'.
b) Doppler Effect lights up future of self driving cars
Unlike conventional lidar systems – which measure distances using reflected pulses of laser light – Doppler-based systems are able to resolve the velocity of vehicles and pedestrians as well as their precise location.
On the screen, objects moving away were displayed in oranges and reds, with the hue depending on their speed, while people and vehicles coming towards appeared in greens and blues. Buildings and other stationary objects were picked out in white, which makes the coloured moving objects really stand out from their background.
c) Self propulsion of inverse Leidenfrost droplets explained by physicists
In a twist on a classic physics experiment, researchers in the Netherlands and France have worked out why room-temperature alcohol droplets will levitate and propel themselves across a pool of liquid nitrogen for long periods of time. The team, led by Anaïs Gauthier at the University of Twente, have studied the propulsion associated with the “inverse Leidenfrost effect” and their work could lead to more efficient ways to transport small amounts of biological material.
The Leidenfrost effect arises when a liquid droplet is deposited onto a surface hotter than its boiling point, causing the bottom of the droplet to evaporate continuously. This creates a repulsive cushion of vapour, which both prevents the droplet from quickly boiling away, and causes it to hover above the hot surface. There is virtually no friction between droplet and surface, and changes in surface texture can cause the droplet to accelerate, climb small hills and even negotiate a maze.