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

Conference Proceedings: The Physics Teachers' Conference was held last Friday and many of the presenters have submitted their presentations or support materials. These are now on the Vicphysics website in the Teachers section, so they are only available to subscribers.  The material will be added to as more come in. 

The Chief Assessor's report of last year's physics exam is now on the VCAA website.

There is also news on plans for public consultation as part of the study design review.


The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers' Network will be on Wednesday, 10th March at 6:30pm online. 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. 2021 Physics Teachers' Conference, Conference Proceedings
       2. Physics Teachers' Conference: Recording of Sessions available soon.
       3. Physics Teachers' Conference: Reminder for evaluations


       4. 2020 VCE Physics Exam:
  • Chief Assessor's Report now available
  • Vicphysics solutions updated
       5. VCE Physics Review and Consultation
     
       6. Vicphysics Subscriptions


       7. Events for Students        8. Events for Teachers
  • Big Ideas in Physics: A New Scientist Online Lecture Series
  • Quantum Computing: A New Scientist Online Lecture
  • Beginning Physics Teachers' In-Service, Thursday, 15th April
       9. Physics News from the Web 
  • Why breadth beats depth when it comes to teaching
  • The 10 greatest predictions in physics
  • Building a quantum-powered future
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1. 2021 Physics Teachers' Conference: Proceedings
Material from last Friday's Conference is being put up on the Vicphysics website as it is released by the presenters.  Material from the following workshops can be found hereNote: This webpage is now in the Teachers section of the website, so you will need to be a subscriber to access it, which is different from being on the mailing list for this newsletter, which is open to anyone.

  • Opening Address: Telling the Future - The Latest Advances in Climate Modelling, Prof Todd Lane, University of Melbourne
  • A4 Planning and developing SAC Tasks for teachers new to VCE Physics, Maria James, Science Curriculum Manager, VCAA
  • A6 Victorian Young Physicists' Tournament: Tips: Teachers' panel
  • A7 Detecting the Unseen: Australia's Hunt for Dark Matter and Gravitational Waves, Jacqui Bondell, Faculty of Science Engineering and Technology, Swinburne University
  • B1 DIRTSCAN A Scaffolded Problem Solving Strategy, Dino Cevolatti, Stuart Bird, Castlemaine Secondary College
  • B2 The Heated Practice of Uncertainty: Skill Building using Thermal Physics, Dr Penelope Hale, Templestowe College, Kathryn Grainger, John Monash Science School 
  • B3 Applets for Activating Thinking, Rachael Gore, Albert Park College
  • B4 Designing Creative and Effective SACs and ATs that are not Tests, Jane Coyle, St Columba's College
  • B6 What's Up CSIRO's initiatives in Space, Robert Hollow, Education Officer, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
  • B7 Tips and Tricks for Beginning Teachers, Colin Hopkins, Vicphysics Teachers' Network
  • C1 Encouraging Students to Engage in Meaningful Discussions in Physics and to Get Students to Teach Each Other, Sandor Kazi, Melbourne Girls' College
  • C2 Practical Investigation: Topic with some depth, Dan O'Keeffe, Vicphysics Teachers' Network
  • C3 Wolfram Mathematica - Physics Simulations and Data Visualisation, Gary Bass, Virtual School Victoria
  • C6 Usain Bolt vs Spiro Liacos: It was Neck and Neck! And then the Gun went off, Spiro Liacos, Cheltenham Secondary College
  • C8 An Online Physics Degree for Science Teachers, Prof Elizabeth Angstmann, School of Physics, UNSW.
  • OD6 The Surprising Physics of the Bounce, Dan O'Keeffe, Vicphysics Teachers' Network

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2. Physics Teachers' Conference: Recordings of Sessions
All the presentations at the conference were recorded. They are currently being migrated to the STAV website, along with the resources in the workshops' google drives.

Conference participants will be advised when this has been completed.

If you missed out on the conference, you can still register to access the recordings and all the workshop materials. This STAV conference link should still work.

3. Reminder: Evaluations of the Physics Teachers' Conference
Participants can still submit their evaluation of the workshops they attended.  This is the link.
Presenters appreciate the feedback, so please spend a few minutes to pass on your thoughts.


4. 2020 VCE Physics Exam
a) The Chief Assessor's report on last year's exam is now on the VCAA website

b) Vicphysics produces a set of solutions to assist teachers and students when using previous VCE exam papers during the revision. The solutions are detailed with a suggested marking scheme for each question along with the statistics extracted from the Chief Assessor's Report. 
At the end of the solutions there are a set of additional revision questions that draw on the stem of many of the exam questions. 
The solutions are in the Teachers section of the website and are available to subscribers to the website.


5. VCE Physics Review and Consultation
The accreditation period for the current Physics Study Design continues until the end of 2022 for all four Units.
VCAA is currently conducting a review of the Study Design.

This VCAA webpage has a link to the review plan.  The five page document includes the terms of reference and the timeline.  There will be public consultation between 1st June and 3rd August this year, with VCAA approval of the revised study design expected by December 2021, followed by VRQA approval in January.  It is expected that the revised study design will be published in Term 1, 2022 to give teachers a year to prepare for the new course being introduced in 2023.

There is also an email address if you wish to register interest in the public consultation.

6. Vicphysics Subscriptions to the Website Resources
Last year Vicphysics Teachers' Network  moved the 'Teachers' resources section of the website to a subscription basis. 
An introductory free subscription was and is available, but the access it provides expires at the end of February this year.  After that a paid subscription is required.
Subscriptions are available for individual teachers, schools (max of four teachers), retirees and pre-service teachers.

7. Events for Students
The dates for this year are Tuesday 9th March through to Friday, 12th March.
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.  There will be no aerobatic display this year.

COVID safe: Mask policy - Students should carry a mask as they may be requested to wear it whilst riding, while waiting in queue lines or when enjoying indoor attractions, outlets and facilities. Masks should also be worn when social distancing cannot be achieved throughout the Park grounds.  The contact surfaces on the rides are cleaned after each ride. Surfaces elsewhere in the grounds are also regularly cleaned.
 
8. Events for Teachers
a) Big Ideas in Physics: A New Scientist Online Lecture Series
  • 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.
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.
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) Beginning Physics Teachers' In-Service, Thursday, 15th April.
The 2021 event will be held on Thursday, 15th April. The venue is yet to be decided and this year there will be a small registration fee.  The program is currently being put together. Venue, costs and the program will be announce at the end of February.

  9.   Physics from the Web
Items selected from the bulletin of the Institute of Physics (UK).
a) Why breadth beats depth when it comes to teaching
Niki Bell, teacher and columnist, argues that subject-matter experts do not necessarily make the best teachers.
b) The 10 greatest predictions in physics 
In this article the author describes and argues for their personal 10 greatest theoretical physics predictions of all time.
c) Building a quantum-powered future
Quantum physicist and chief executive of Oxford Quantum Circuits llana Wisby talks to Physics World about deep tech, entrepreneurship and quantum technologies of the future.
With an undergraduate degree in physics and music, a PhD in quantum technology and a number of years building “deep tech” start-ups from the ground up, physicist Ilana Wisby was the perfect candidate to lead and build Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC). Founded in 2017 OQC developed its first technology at the University of Oxford and today produces the UK’s most advanced quantum computers. Wisby talks here about her career pathway, what it means to be a leader and an entrepreneur, and how quantum technologies will change the world

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