Physics positions – Vicphys News 4/T4/19

Physics positions:

  • VCAA is inviting teachers to apply for the position of State Reviewer for Physics
  • Vicphysics is also inviting teachers to nominate for executive and committee positions

There is a talk this week for physics teachers on using Amusement Parks to assist student learning.  It will be at Swinburne University on Thursday, 31st October at 6pm.  Booking is required.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be on Thursday, 14th November at Swinburne Senior Secondary College starting at 5:00pm.  It will focus on reviewing the 2019 Physics Exam paper.  Teachers are welcome to these meetings. If you wish to come, please email Vicphysics

Frances Sidari (Pres), Jane Coyle (Vice-Pres), Dan O’Keeffe (Sec) and Terry Tan (Treas)

Table of Contents

  1. VCAA State Reviewer position
  2. Vicphysics Executive and Committee nominations
  3. Seeking a Physics Teacher? Seeking a job?
  4. Events for Students and General Public
  • Brian Cox, A Symphonic Universe, 11:00am, 15th November, Hamer Hall, Arts Centre
  • Mystery Guest, 7:00pm, 29th November, Swinburne University
  • Physics Days at Luna Park: 3rd March – 6th March, 2020

5. Events for Teachers

  • Amusement Park Physics Lecture: 6pm Thursday, 31st October, Swinburne University

6. Physics News from the Web

  • Encrypt Me! A game-based approach to quantum cryptology for secondary students.
  • The physics of blood splatter.
  • Giant negative thermal expansion seen in nanomagnet
1. VCE Physics State Reviewer for 2020 – 21
VCAA is seeking applications from experienced teachers to be the State Reviewer for Physics for the years 2020 and 2021.  The position is about school-based coursework and the responses to VCAA’s School-based Assessment Audit.  The closing date is Monday 4th November, 2019

To apply you need to enter your details on SSMS , the Sessional Staff Management System. If you have not used SSMS before to apply to be an assessor, for example, you will need to apply as a new applicant to obtain a username and password.  Once you have logged in, you go to ‘Select Job’ and search for the position. You will need to enter details of your qualifications, teaching experience and possibly name(s) of referee(s).

A detailed description of the responsibilities of the position are available here.

For enquiries: Meredith Young (Program Manager School-based Assessment Audit) VCE Unit, Curriculum Division (VCAA) Tel: 9032 1735 Email: 

2. Vicphysics Executive and Committee nominations
The Vicphysics website features many activities and resources for teachers and students.  To continue with these requires an active committee.  Vicphysics invites you to nominate for one of the up to five ordinary committee positions or for one of the four executive positions.
You can simply nominate yourself by emailing the returning officer preferably by Friday, 6th December or at the AGM on Thursday, 14th December.
Please note: To nominate you need to be a member of Vicphysics Teachers’ Network, but receiving this newsletter does not mean you are automatically a member of Vicphysics, rather you need to lodge a membership form with the Secretary.  However there is no membership fee, so a membership application can be lodged at the same the nomination.  As an incorporated association, Vicphysics is required to have a membership structure.

3. Seeking a Physics Teacher? Seeking a job?
Last year 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.  Several schools placed notices.
The web page also lists the Government schools seeking a physics teachers, currently there are twelve.  This web page will be 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)  Brian Cox, A Symphonic Universe, 11:00am, 15th November, Hamer Hall, Arts Centre
An MSO Education Concert for upper primary and secondary students.  Be whisked through space and time by Professor Cox in this science meets music, special schools-only event. Joining Professor Cox on stage will be conductor Daniel Harding, to lead the Orchestra through some of classical music’s most universal repertoire.

MSO Education Concerts for secondary schools offer you and your students the opportunity to explore the power of music in colourful, engaging, narrative-based concert experiences.

Recommended for secondary school-aged students, with broader suitability at the discretion of teachers.

To discuss the suitability of this content to the learning interests and needs of your students, please feel free to contact the MSO education team:
Important information
Ticket price: $17 per ticket, one free teacher per 10 students  Duration: 50min.
To book tickets, click here.

b) Mystery Guest, 7:00pm, 29th November, Swinburne University
A special End of Year Lecture in ATC101.  For more details and to book, click here.

c) Physics Days at Luna Park: 3rd March – 6th March2020
The dates for 2020 are Tuesday, 3rd March to Friday, 6th March.
Bookings are open for next year’s Physics Days at Luna Park, click on ‘Events’.  You can make a booking for a particular day this year and change your day once your timetable for 2020 is known. But please remember to notify Luna Park on any change of date at least a fortnight before the event.
An aerobatic display by a member of the Roulettes has been requested, but confirmation is often not provided before February next year.

Return to top

5. Events for Teachers

Amusement Park Physics Lecture: 6pm, Thursday, 31st October, Swinburne University

Title: Amusement Parks as informal learning environments: Physics, maths and technology for the whole body
Abstract:  Luna Park can be seen as a large physics laboratory, where your own body can feel many times heavier than normal or experience seconds of free fall weightlessness and live to tell the tale.  The forces on the body can also be captured with a smart phone, when built-in acceleration, rotation and pressure sensors capture the motion.
The data offers rich opportunities to discuss challenging physics – acceleration is no longer abstract when experienced in your own body.  In this way acceleration can be accessible to younger learners.  The function of sensors can also be illustrated by simple toys, such as a short slinky spring providing visual measurements of ‘g forces’ and a soft toy on a string used as  miniature Foucault pendulum to illustrate rotation measurements.
The presentation also addresses pedagogical strategies to ensure that an exciting outing also results in student learning.
Speaker: Prof Ann-Marie Pendrill is Professor of Physics and Director of the Swedish National Resource Centre for Physics Education.  She has used Amusement Parks in physics teaching since 1995, in physics, engineering and teacher education programs, as well as in teacher professional development.  She has been involved in arranging large scale STEM days Liseberg and Grona Land, amusement parks in Sweden. Her articles can be found here.
Ann-Marie is in Melbourne partly to record data from some of Luna Park’s distinctive rides.  She will be at Luna Park on Friday evening, 1st November.
Date: Thursday, 31st October
Time: 6:00pm
Venue: Swinburne University, Hawthorn Campus, EN103, Engineering building.  Map
Tickets: Free, but you need to register, click here.
Dinner: If you wish to join others for dinner with the speaker afterwards at a nearby restaurant, please indicate when you register.
Extra: Doug Bail from Ciderhouse ICT will display data logging equipment from 5:30pm.
Queries: Please contact Vicphysics if you have nay questions

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.

Encrypt me! A game based approach to quantum cryptology for secondary students

The authors present a game-based approach to teach quantum cryptography at high school. The approach is based on kinaesthetic activities and allows students to experience and discover quantum features and their applications first-hand. They represent quantum states by the orientation of students, and mimic quantitative random behaviour and measurements using dice and apps.

The physics of blood splatter
Analysing the blood stains following a shooting can be key to finding the perpetrator, but it’s a field of forensics that is being called into question. Sidney Perkowitz explains how understanding the physics behind the blood distribution could help uncover the truth.

Giant negative thermal expansion seen in nanomagnet

Most materials expand when they are heated up and contract when cooled down – a phenomenon known as positive thermal expansion (PTE). Over the past three decades, however, an increasing number of materials showing the opposite effect – that is, negative thermal expansion (NTE) – have been discovered. Researchers in Portugal and the US say they have now found NTE above the magnetic ordering temperature in magnetic nanoparticles for the first time. The new discovery will be important for making composites from PTE and NTE materials that have zero thermal expansion for use in a host of technology applications.

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