1. VCE Physics Teachers Conference, Friday, 18th February
The VCE Physics Teachers’ Conference in 2022 jointly organised by STAV and Vicphysics, will take place on Friday 18 February 2022. It will be a virtual conference. There will be synchronous (live) and asynchronous (pre-recorded) sessions.
The program is available on the STAV website and on the Vicphysics website. Registration will be available by Friday, 10th December.
The program includes:
- Keynote address: Innovations in Electricity is !00% renewable now possible? with Dr Bob Sheehy
- Three sessions of live workshops, each with six workshops on offer
- Seven asynchronous sessions which will be available to be viewed from 11th February.
- 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. A summary of the report will be available on video prior to the conference for teachers to view and forward questions which will be addressed on the day by Andrew.
2. Solutions to VCE Physics Exam
4. Thinking about Our Wellbeing.
Suggested solutions have been prepared by members of the Vicphysics Teachers' Network to assist teachers and students when using the exam paper as a revision exercise. A suggested marking scheme is provided in italics. At the end of the solutions there are additional questions using the information provided in the stem for some of the questions in the paper. The solution of this and previous papers are available here.
When made available by VCAA, the average and maximum scores, and the average as a percentage will be included at the end of each solution in square brackets.
3. Resources from AAPT (American Association of Physics Teachers)
a) Contemporary Physics Education Project. The CPEP is a comprehensive website of resources on Fundamental particles, Fusion, History and fate of the Universe, Nuclear Science and Gravitation. Each section has free classroom activities and posters which can be purchased,
b) Teaching High School Physics: Free download of first chapters. The AAPT and AIP Publishing are producing a set of books on teaching physics. To promote the books you can download the first chapters from three of the books. These are:
c) Articles from The Physics Teacher you might be interested in.
The AAPT is currently provided free short term access to selected articles. Current ones of interest are:
- Collisions of Coins: This paper describes a set of experiments with colliding coins that make for engaging science lessons, and are relatively easy to perform. The experiments feature interesting scenarios in which the students are asked to reconstruct the trajectories from known initial and final positions of the coins using their knowledge of conservation laws. The questions provided formed the basis of an exciting science competition for young students of physics.
- Using Maths in Physics 3: Anchor Equations. Third is a series of articles by Edward Redish. In this paper, the author proposes “anchor equations” as a construct to support teaching and learning in introductory physics. The author defines anchor equation, provide examples, and suggest ways anchor equations can be used in instruction to support the development of students’ mathematical sense-making.
The last two years have been demanding, with much pressure to innovate on the run. STEM Learning (UK) has produced two articles of advice. The articles have a UK focus, but they are thoughtful and constructive.
5. Rollercoasters, COVID and Poetry
Young English poet Jasmine Gardosi juxtaposes the experience of a roller coaster ride with our experience of COVID in the last two years. She delivers her poem to camera while riding the roller coaster. Worth a view (2.49 min). The link also has her text.
6. Vicphysics matters
- Subscriptions: Vicphysics has changed its subscription model. From now on, subscriptions will last for a year from the day payment is received. So if you start a new subscription this week, the renewal date will be in November 2022. Previously any new subscription expired on the same date of 28th February.
For current subscribers, your renewal date is still 28th February 2022. If you have taken out a subscription in recent weeks, we will investigate whether it is possible to change your renewal date.
- 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.
7.Seeking a Physics teacher? Seeking a new position?
The Vicphysics Teachers' Network has a Job Ads page to assist schools in finding a physics teacher.
There are four (4) schools seeking a physics teacher:
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.
- Mount Erin Secondary College (closes 15th December)
- Myrtleford P-12 College (closes 13th December)
- University High School (closes 7th December)
- Warrandyte High School (closes 6th December)
8. Events for Students
9. Events for Teachers
a) Physics Days at Luna Park: Tues 8th March to Fri, 11th March
Next year Physics Days at Luna Park will be on the above dates from 10:00am until 2:00pm . You can make a booking here. Bookings can be tentative, in that you can change the date once your timetable is known. However, please remember to advise Luna Park by the end of February of any date change.
The cost next year 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.
An aerobatic display has been requested, but the Roulettes are not always available and confirmation is usually not until February.
Details about worksheets, costs, etc. are on our website.
a) Igniting a Breakout Activity, 8:00am, Thursday, 9th December. An International online activity
Explore (online) breakout activities for your classroom. An opportunity to participate in an international PD event.
Perimeter Institute is organising an after school PD, Canada time, 8:00am Melbourne time. In this workshop, you will discuss what makes a great breakout activity and classroom applications, then you will collaborate with other teachers to complete the online version of Perimeter’s “Igniting the Orbitron: Breakout Activity”. See details below. To register for this event, click here.
Breakout activities are tabletop escape rooms where students solve a series of challenges in the context of an exciting scenario—a mystery to solve or a mission to complete.
In Igniting the Orbitron, (a free download) students act as a team of particle accelerator engineers. They need to determine missing parameters in order to start the Orbitron, a revolutionary particle accelerator in orbit around Earth. This resource uses several different challenges (from simple to complex) to engage students with particle physics. It also draws upon student knowledge of standard physics curricula, including electric charge, conservation of momentum, and the Lorentz force.
10. Physics News from the Web
Items selected from the bulletin of the Institute of Physics (UK).
a) CO2, the greenhouse effect and global warming. From the pioneering work of Arrhenius and Callender to today's Earth System Models
Climate warming during the course of the twenty-first century is projected to be between 1.0 and 3.7 °C depending on future greenhouse gas emissions, based on the ensemble-mean results of state-of-the-art Earth System Models (ESMs). Just how reliable are these projections, given the complexity of the climate system? The early history of climate research provides insight into the understanding and science needed to answer this question. We examine the mathematical quantifications of planetary energy budget developed by Svante Arrhenius (1859–1927) and Guy Stewart Callendar (1898–1964) and construct an empirical approximation of the latter, which we show to be successful at retrospectively predicting global warming over the course of the twentieth century.
b) The importance of publishing null results
A scientist who fails isn’t a failure if they learn from their actions. It is time that the physics community recognises this and makes a collaborative effort to prevent future researchers from replicating mistakes.
c) So you think the history of science is easy?
A neurosurgeon, who is about to retire, approaches a historian of science and says: “I’m thinking of taking up history of surgery; can you give me any tips?”
“Yes I can!” replies the historian. “As it happens, I’m also retiring and I plan to take up brain surgery; do you have any pointers for me?”
This caustic and surely apocryphal story is beloved by historians, for it highlights and mocks a perceived asymmetry between professions. Science and medicine are regarded as much more difficult, and to require much more specialized training, than history, which seems to be within the skill set of amateurs.