6. Vicphysics matters
1. Where To With Physics. A new Careers website developed by Vicphysics
The new website 'Where To With Physics' was recently developed by Vicphysics with funds from DET's Connecting Learning to Work Project.
What does it do?
Please promote this website to your students, particularly those in Year 10 and also to the Careers teacher at your school.
- It helps students identify their attributes in three areas: How I Work, How I think and How I am with others,
- links these attributes to various roles in STEM careers such as exploring, researching, communicating, innovating, etc.
- gives examples of careers where these job roles are important and finally
- provides profiles of individuals with similar attributes. The profiles include details of the work they do, what they did at school and university, and how their career has developed.
A webpage on our website has more details.
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2. Girls in Physics Breakfasts in 2022
After a break of two years, the Girls in Physics Breakfasts are back. So far two events are open for bookings. They are:
Click here for more details of each event, such as promotional flyers, speakers' bios and abstracts of their talks. There are also links for make a booking.
- Thursday, 19th May at Monash University. The speaker is Dr Amanda Karakas and her topic is 'Stars as chemical element factories'.
- Wednesday, 1st June in Bendigo. The speaker is Dr Semonti Bhattacharyya and her topic is 'Tinkering with atoms to build electronic devices for the future'.
Cost: $15 per student if booking with a credit card through Trybooking and $25 if using bank transfer with an invoice . There is a discount for low ICSEA schools.
There will be a date announced for Warrnambool in coming days. The dates for other regional centres are yet to be confirmed and will be announced early Term 2, but they are likely to be scheduled in Term 3.
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3. Conceptual Understanding Procedures (CUPs): New URL
The link to the Conceptual Understanding Procedures (CUPs) was one of the more popular resources on the Vicphysics website until the link was disabled while Monash University redesigned their website.
The CUPs now have a new home with more features. There are 13 CUPs covering Force, Energy, Momentum, Heat and temperature, Electric circuits and Reflection and refraction
The webpage now has sections on:
- What is a CUP?
- What does a CUP consist of?
- How do I use a CUP with my class?
- FAQs and Feedback on using CUPs
- Relevant articles and websites.
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4. Best Evidence Science Teaching (BEST). Resources from STEM Learning UK
Best Evidence Science Teaching (BEST) is a large collection of free resources for secondary school science. The resources have been developed from the best research evidence the STEM Learning group can find on common misunderstandings in science, effective diagnostic questioning and formative assessment, constructivist approaches to building understanding, and effective sequencing of key concepts. The resources are developed by the University of York Science Education group.
There are two sections for physics:
- BEST resources for Years 11 - 16 covering Matter; Forces and Motion; Sound, Light and Waves; Electricity and Magnetism; Earth in Space. 'The research-informed resources for each topic make up a progression toolkit that provides i) appropriately-sequenced steps for learning progression, ii) diagnostic questions to reveal preconceptions and common misunderstandings, and iii) response activities to challenge misunderstandings and encourage conceptual development.
- Is there a recommended teaching order? A Physics key concept map presents a possible route for progression through a five-year curriculum in science for ages 11-16.
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5. International Day of Human Space Flight - 12th April. Resources for Years 7 - 10
STEM Learning UK has also compiled resources to celebrate International Day of Human Space Flight.
These resources cover a range of topics from looking at:
There are nine different packages.
- life and the experiments on the International Space Station,
- how to design and build rockets and understand the benefits of different energy sources
- how plants could be grown on Mars
- how to generate oxygen by the electrolysis of water.
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- Subscriptions: Subscriptions will last for a year from the day payment is received. Both individual and school subscriptions are available.
- 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 is two (2) 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.
- Kew High School (0.6) (closes 4th April)
- Lara Secondary College (closes 6th April)
8. Events for Students
Moon Camp Challenge
9. Events for Teachers
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.
10. Physics News from the Web
i) 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,
- Session on teaching techniques with Colin Hopkins,
- Session on designing SACs and assessment tasks with Jane Coyle along with
- a presentation by the Chief Assessor, Andrew Hansen, on preparing students for the VCE Physics exam.
The event is not only for first year out teachers, but it will be of value for those coming back to teaching physics after an absence and for out-of-field teachers have been asked by their school to take physics.
ii) Online Lecture: What We Don't Know about Gravity
Cost: $40 which includes lunch. ($20 for Vicphysics subscribers). A travel allowance is available for regional participants.
Information about the program and the link to register can be found here. Registrations close Tuesday, 29th March
Abstract: We are all familiar with the concept of gravity, from the force that keeps us firmly on the ground, to the phenomenon that explains the orbits of the planets in the Solar System and the whole structure of our Universe. But what exactly is gravity? Is it a force? Is it the manifestation of the Curvature of spacetime?
Professor Claudia de Rham from Imperial College London, will explore how much we actually know about gravity and how much more there is left to uncover.
The New Scientist is holding a series of on-line lectures 'The Big Thinkers'. They can be viewed live if the time is convenient or viewed later anytime during 2022.
This lecture is on Thursday, 31st March, 6pm BST and on demand (Victoria will be 11 hours ahead)
Cost 15 pounds for a single lecture, 80 pounds for the series of 8 lectures.
For more details click here.
Other lectures in the series are:
- Physics at the end of the universe with Katie Mack, 28th April. Katie will be known to those who attended a Girls in Physics Breakfast in 2017. Katie was the AIP Women in Physics lecturer that year.
- A brief history of timekeeping with Chad Orzel , 12th May
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) Quantum gravity gradient sensor used outdoors to find tunnel
A quantum gravity gradient sensor developed by researchers in the UK has been used outdoors to locate a small underground structure. They used a pair of vertically oriented atom interferometers that are probed by the same laser system. Variations in Earth’s gravitational field can reveal useful information about what lies underground including the locations of large features such as aquifers and fossil fuels. Gravity measurements could also be used to find smaller metre-scale features such as tunnels, There is also a link to the article which includes diagrams of the equipment and graphs
b) The Curie Society: An action/adventure graphic novel for young adults
This article is a review of the book.
c) Physics frenzy: Battle of the Equations
The Perimeter Institute has set up a Battle of the Equations as part of March Madness to find the all-time greatest equation in physics. After a series of one on one play-offs, the equations are in the quarter final stage.
Schrodinger's equation beat the Uncertainty Principle to set up a match with Maxwell's equations. Vote at the above link.
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