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

This week's newsletter has more Practical Investigations resources, in particular videos of experiments from which students can extract data and analyse .

Teachers may also be aware that government guidelines now permit VCE students to go to school to complete assessment tasks. See more details below.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers' Network will be on Wednesday, 9th September by Video Conference starting at 5:30pm.   If you wish to participate, please email Vicphysics


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

Table of Contents
  1.  Prac Investigations at home More Resources
  2. Completing Assessments Tasks at School
       3.  Seeking a Physics teacher? Seeking a job?
       4. Events for Students and General Public
  • Behind the Scenes of Big Science, 7:00pm - 8:30pm, Weds, 19th August
  • UNSW Bragg Science Prize for Science Writing for Years 7 - 10. Entries by 27th August, 2020
       5. Events for Teachers
  • 2020 Physics in the Cloud: A Physics Free-For-All Variety Night. 6:00pm, Friday, 21st August
       6. Physics News from the Web 
  • First 'open flavour' tetraquark is spotted by LHCb at CERN
  • Microwave anomalies strengthen the case for loop quantum cosmology, say physicists
  • NASCAR - The science of car safety
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1. Prac Investigations at home - More Resources

Last week's newsletter described a variety of strategies to conduct practical investigations under this year's constraints. 

One of these was to provide videos of a range of experiments from which students would be able to extract data for analysis. The videos have been recorded and are now available, see details below.

Data sets for students to analyse are also being put together, see details below.

Investigations on Video:    Topics are:
  • How the strength of the magnetic field between two bar magnets varies with separation as measured with a top loading balance.
  • How the strength of the magnetic field between two disc magnets varies with separation as measured with a top loading balance.
  • How the magnitude of the electrostatic attraction between a charged rod and a metal sheet varies with separation as measured with a top loading balance.
  • How the energy loss and the force of impact of the bounce of a basketball varies with drop height.
  • How the energy loss, force of impact and compression of a spring vary when a set of metal washers fall down a rod onto the spring from various heights.
  • How the energy loss, force of impact and compression of a spring vary when a sets of metal washers of different mass, fall down a rod onto the spring from a fixed drop height.
Other teachers are preparing videos on the Saxon bowl as well as other ball experiments. 
These videos are now available in a folder on the Vicphysics Google Drive rather than on our website. Teachers may request access to the drive and download the files for their students by emailing Vicphysics.

Data Sets:  The Vicphysics Google Drive also has a folder for data sets.  There is only one data set at this stage, it is on resistivity. To access this data set, please email Vicphysics If you have a data set to share please send it to Vicphysics.

Other suggestions from the last newsletter were (these are also on our website):
Investigations at home: Our homes have many items that can be used in an investigation, such as balls, toys, rubber bands, plastic bottles, cloths, etc. Measuring instruments can include kitchen scales, ruler, stop watch apps, indeed there are a range of measuring tools in apps such as Phyphox, The Physics Toolbox and SparkVue.  The video analysis software, Tracker, is also a very powerful tool.
Lab techs: In some schools, the lab tech may be still coming in, as it is their workplace. They may be willing to set up and video some experiments and investigations for you.
Online Experiments: There are not many experiments that can be controlled remotely, but the Australian Synchrotron has two.  Freely Available Remote Labs (FARLabs) enable students to control an experiment and take their own measurements.  There are two: Photoelectric Effect and Diffraction of Light.  They are designed as formal experiments, but may allow greater investigation, for example how does the distribution of energy of photoelectrons vary with the frequency of the light.

Simulations:  There are several websites, such as PhET, Walter Fendt, etc that provide simulations as educational material.  They may have some value as topics for investigations, but they are usually limited as far as repeated trials and uncertainty in the data recorded.  These can be found here on our Apps and Applets webpage.
2. Completing Assessment Tasks at School
Government guidelines now permit VCE students to go to school to complete assessment tasks.

The VCAA can confirm that the Stay at Home Directions across Victoria enable:

  • students to leave their premises to undertake essential VCE and VCAL assessments onsite,
  • a school or other educational facility or institution to operate for the purposes of providing those services to those students, where it is ‘not reasonably practicable for those assessment to be undertaken’ from the student’s home, and
  • education staff can leave their premises to undertake support for the delivery of mandatory VCE and VCAL assessments onsite.
For further details click here.
For physics, this could include formal SAC tasks as well as an authentication task for the home-based Practical Investigation.
The Vicphysics Teachers' Network set up a Job Ads page on our website to assist schools in finding a physics teacher, either to be a LSL replacement or to fill an ongoing position or just to cover an extended sick leave.
  • There are three Government schools seeking a physics teacher: The Lakes South Morang College (2 positions), Richmond High School and Wantirna College.
This webpage is updated every weekend.  The webpage also has a link on how schools can register a position and also lodge a payment for this service.

4. Events for Students and General Public
a) Behind the Scenes of Big Science, 7:00pm - 8:30pm, Weds 19th August
This National Science Week ANSTO are giving the public a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes at the Australian Centre for Neutron Science, online and for free.  Students can see the different kinds of instruments the Centre hosts, and hear the results that they bring.  Five of their scientists will each walk the students through their world-class science machines, and after there will be a live Q&A where they can quiz them more.  This is a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes of this big science factory.  
 
When: Wednesday 19 August, 7pm-8.30pm (AEST)
To register, click here. There is no cost.


b) UNSW Bragg Prize for Science Writing for Years 7 - 10. Entries close 27th August.
The 2020 Theme is 'The Big Ideas saving the Planet'.
Students write up to 800 words to describe some scientific research that has delivered a solution that the student believes could change the future for the planet.
This website has entry details, as well as FAQs, Teacher's resources and Writing tips.
 
5. Events for Teachers
a) 2020 Physics in the Cloud: A Physics Free-For-All Variety Night, 6:00pm, Friday, 21st August
Physics in the Pub has gone virtual! An AIP Initiative.
Tiny magnets, cell goop and the future of the Universe
"We’ve digitized and uploaded our scientists and they’ll be streaming to you from the cloud, about the complex protein structures in our cells, how tiny magnets can cure cancer and, well, the philosophy of everything!
There’ll be songs, poems and quizzes, so have your device ready. Grab yourself a drink and join us online, with host Dr Phil Dooley of Phil Up On Science."
Cost: Free, thanks to the AIP
For more information, click on Facebook here
To register, click here


6.   Physics 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) First ‘open flavour’ tetraquark is spotted by LHCb at CERN
The first tetraquark composed of four quarks of different flavours has been discovered by physicists working on the LHCb experiment at CERN. Dubbed X(2900), the “open flavour” tetraquark has a mass of about 2.9 GeV/c2 and has been spotted in two spin states. The tetraquark was made by smashing protons together at the Large Hardron Collider (LHC) to produce B mesons – and then searching the B meson decay products for signs of new particles.

b) Microwave anomalies strengthen the case for loop quantum cosmology, say physicists
A theory of quantum gravity that describes the universe as beginning in a “Big Bounce” rather than a Big Bang has succeeded in explaining several anomalies in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation.
c) NASCAR - The science of racing safely
An article describes the features to make racing cars safer for drivers.
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