Vicphysics Teachers' Network Inc.
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Survey: Researchers from a number of local universities are conducting an important survey on the teaching and learning of Physics in Years 7 - 10. Please check out the details below.

There are also updates on last week's Conference and VCAA's release of the revised study design and exam report.

The next PD event is the Beginning Physics Teachers' In-Service on 11th April.

There are two schools seeking physics teachers and a tutor position.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics committee will be on Wednesday, 9th March online at 5:30pm.  If you wish to attend please email Vicphysics.


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

Table of Contents
       1. VCE Physics Teachers' Conference Register to access videos of sessions
       2. Revised VCE Physics Study Design released
       3. Chief Assessor's Report

       4. A Survey: Supporting Physics in Years 7 - 10 Science
       5. Vicphysics matters
  • Subscriptions
  • Tutor Listing Service
       6. Seeking a Physics teacher? Seeking a new position? (2 positions and a tutor position)
       7. Events for Students
  • Physics Days at Luna Park, Tuesday 8th March to Friday, 11th March - Aerobatic Displays
  • Moon Camp Challenge
       8. Events for Teachers
  • Beginning Physics Teachers' In-Service, Monday, 11th April at John Monash Science School
       9. Physics News from the Web 
  • Ask me anything: Donna Strickland - 'I wouldn't have wanted to know that I would win a Nobel Prize
  • Electrically responsive fluid creates a variable focus liquid lens
  • Why smaller is better when it comes to nuclear power
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1.  VCE Physics Teachers Conference, Register to access videos of sessions
The VCE Physics Teachers’ Conference was held last Friday.  If you did not attend you can still register to access videos of all sessions.

Registration is available at the  STAV website . The program is available there and also on the Vicphysics website.
Registration fees:

  • Individual STAV member: $99
  • School STAV member: $198
  • Non-member: $264
  • Pre-Service Teacher: $55
  • Retired Teacher: $55

The program included:

  • Keynote address: Innovations in Electricity is !00% renewable now possible? with Dr Bob Sheehy
  • Eighteen workshops and seven presentations
  • VCAA Update and Unpacking assessment in the new VCE Physics Study Design with Maria James, Science Curriculum Manager at VCAA
  • Review of the 2021 VCE Physics Examination by Andrew Hansen, Chief Assessor.
 
2. Revised VCE Physics Study Design released
The revised Study Design was released by VCAA last Thursday. It is available on their website as a Word document.  The information is located at the bottom of the page. 
The study design is for Units 1 and 2 from 2023 and for Units 3 and 4 from 2024.
Maria James, the Science manager at VCAA, announced at the Conference on Friday that VCAA will be holding webinars later this year to assist with the introduction of the revised study design.  Support materials will also be released prior to the webinars.
3.  Chief Assessor's Report
VCAA has also released the Chief Assessor's Report for the 2021 VCE Physics Exam.  It  is available here.

The average score for each question has been incorporated into the Vicphysics Exam solutions.  For the Section A multiple choice questions, The percentage for each of the responses A to D has been added along with comment for any distractors that attracted a large number of students.

As with solutions of previous exams, to assist students with their end of year revision, these solutions include additional questions that can asked using the information in the question.  Solutions can be accessed here.
4.A Survey: Supporting Physics in Years 7 – 10 Science
A team of researchers: Dr Victoria Millar and Dr Merryn Dawborn-Gundlach (the University of Melbourne), Dr Jared Carpendale (Massey University), Dr John Cripps-Clark (Deakin University) and Dr Bec Cooper (Monash University) are conducting a joint project about the teaching and learning of physics in Years 7-10 in Victoria.

They are inviting teachers to take part in the project.

They are seeking the views of practising science and physics teachers on the teaching of Year 7 – 10 physics topics. Additionally, they are exploring the role that physics teachers have on the design and support of physics-based units in these years.

If you are keen to be involved please complete this survey.

 
5. Vicphysics matters
  • Subscriptions: Vicphysics has changed its subscription model.  From now on, subscriptions will last for a year from the day payment is received. 
  • Tutor Listing Service: The website has a Tutor Listing Service.  There are now four tutors listed.  If you tutor and wish to add your name to the list, please check the website.
6.Seeking a Physics teacher? Seeking a new position?
a) School Positions
The Vicphysics Teachers' Network has a Job Ads page to assist schools in finding a physics teacher.
There is two (2) schools seeking a physics teacher:
  • Homestead Senior Secondary College (Point Cook) (closes 27th February)
  • Mornington Secondary College (closes 1st March)
The webpage is updated every weekend.  The webpage also has a link on how schools can register a position and lodge a payment for this service.

b) Tutoring Position
TSFX has placed an ad on our website seeking a teacher for tutoring:
Wanted: VCE Physics Teachers (& Other Subjects)
Position: Casual weekly teaching appointment (TSFX Master Classes) outside school hours.
No marking, no meetings, no parent-teacher interviews, no writing.. Detailed course notes will be provided. Excellent PD opportunity.
Commencement Date: From Monday 21 February 2022
Venue:  In-person classes = Melbourne University (Parkville).  Live-streamed classes = TSFX office in Essendon
Additional Info .   Contact:   Andrew Murchie (9663 3311 or 0439 036 561)

 
7. Events for Students
a) Physics Days at Luna Park: Tues 8th March to Fri, 11th March - Aerobatic Displays
This year Physics Days at Luna Park will be on the above dates.  You can  make a booking here

The cost will be $29.50 per student with teachers free.  Schools are invoiced after the event based on the  number of your students who pass through the turnstiles.

There will be aerobatic displays on both Thursday, 10th and Friday, 11th.   On each day the Display will be at 10:00am with the Physics Day at Luna Park starting at 10:30am and finishing at 2:30pm.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the days will start at 10:00am and finish at 2:00pm.

Details about worksheets including ones for the aerobatic display, costs, etc. are on our website.


b) Moon Camp Challenge
Moon Camp is an education project run in collaboration between European Space agency (ESA ) and the Airbus Foundation, in partnership with Autodesk. Students are challenged to design their own Moon settlement with the free 3D modelling tool, Tinkercad.  It features preparatory classroom activities that focus on learning by design and science experimentation.
There are three levels of challenge from beginner to advanced for students from upper primary to senior secondary, with at least two levels available to any student.
Students can compete in teams of up to 6.
Registrations opened last year and entries are due by 21st April, 2022.
8. Events for Teachers
a) Beginning Physics Teachers' In-Service, Monday, 11th April at John Monash Science School
The Beginning Physics Teachers' In-Service will be held during the Term 1 holidays on Monday, 11th April. 
The program will include practical activities demonstrated by experienced teachers, Sessions on teaching techniques and assessment strategies along with a presentation by the Chief Assessor, Andrew Hansen on preparing students for the VCE Physics exam.
Cost: $40 which includes lunch. ($20 for Vicphysics subscribers)
Information about the program and the link to register can be found here.
9.   Physics News 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) Ask me anything: Donna Strickland – ‘I wouldn’t have wanted to know that I would win a Nobel prize’
Donna Strickland shared the Nobel Prize for Physics for her work developing the technique of “chirped pulse amplification” of lasers.   Donna answers questions such as:
  • What skills do you use every day in your job?
  • What do you like best and least about your job?
  • What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out in your career?
b) Electrically responsive fluid creates a variable-focus liquid lens
Materials scientists in China have used a novel electrically responsive fluid to create an adaptive liquid lens. The lens has a convex shape that changes its curvature when a voltage is applied, changing the lens’ focal length. The researchers say that this gives the lens eye-like functionality that could be used to create ultrathin lenses that can quickly adjust their focal point.

c) Why smaller is better when it comes to nuclear power
A lot of attention is turning to smaller and potentially safer “modular” reactors that are, in principle, quicker and cheaper to build.
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