US & UK resources; Events for students. VicPhys News 2/T2/20

There are now more resources to support students and teachers at the challenging time – an extensive set from the American Association of Physics Teachers and another from the UK group ‘STEM Learning’.

There are also three events for students.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be on Wednesday, 13th May 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.  More Resources on Managing Learning when Schools are closed (AAPT)
  2.  Home Learning Resources and Home Teaching Resources (STEM Learning)
  3.  PhyPhox: Physical Phone Experiments
  4. Events for Students and General Public
  •  The End of Everything (Astronomically speaking) – A Conversation with Katie Mack, 9:00am 7th May, On-Line
  • UNSW Bragg Science Prize for Science Writing for Years 7 – 10. Entries by 27th August, 2020
  • Big Science Competition – Revamped for online

5. Physics News from the Web (Articles from The Physics Teacher)

  •  Is Modern Cosmology in crisis?
  • USB powered experiments
  • Free Fall Demonstrations in the High School laboratory
  • Extending the role of analogies in the teaching of physics
  • From Helicopter to Lighthouse: My teaching aligns with my parenting
  • Momentum as a maintaining agency: A different approach to teaching Force.

1.  More Resources on Managing Learning when Schools are closed 
The last few newsletters had information on a variety of ways for schools and teachers to manage the learning of their students.  Ideas keep coming in. They are all now on a separate web page and there is a direct link to the page from our home page.

Resources added to the webpage since the last newsletter are:

  •  The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) is making freely available a collection of specialised articles that focus on remote learning. These articles highlight the use of smartphones for lab experiments (11 articles from TPT) as well as other activities (6 from TPT, 16 from AJP) that can be adapted for use by students at home. The articles have been made free to read, download and share for a limited time.

This webpage will be updated as new resources are identified.  If you find any, please pass the details to Vicphysics.

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2Home Learning Resources and Home Teaching Resources
The authoritative UK website ‘STEM Learning’ has compiled two sets of materials, one on Home Learning to support families and one on Home Teaching to support teachers.
The Home Learning webpage has sections on i) curriculum resources from Prep to Senior years, with about 8 Senior Physics activities, ii) Guidance for families and iii) Educational family activities.
The Home Teaching webpage has sections on i) Curriculum resources on 17 physics topics, with each topic having several activities, ii) ‘Activities for in-school delivery’ has articles assessing the research on the approaches schools adopt to support students’ learning while schools are closed due to COVID-19.

3.PhyPhox – Physical Phone Experiments
A few years ago this newsletter had an item about PhyPhox.  Paul Fielding has reminded us that it will be a useful tool, while students are learning from home.
PhyPhox is a website dedicated to experiments that can be done with a mobile phone, with many being free. The app can be downloaded from Google Play or the App Store.  PhyPhox is an initiative of Aachen University in Germany, the website has an English version.  There are monthly newsletters going back to 2016 as well as a Forum that has many contributions on experiments, etc4. Events for Students and General Public
a) A Conversation with Katie Mack, 9:00am, 7th May Online
The Perimeter Institute is holding a live webcast in the evening, Toronto time.  With local students currently working from home, they should be able to arrange their work schedule to catch the webcast at 9:00am in the morning.
Not only is Katie a theoretical cosmologist, science communicator, and self-described “connoisseur of cosmic catastrophes,” she is also a former AIP Women in Physics lecturer.  Katie spoke on Dark Matter at the two Girls in Physics Breakfasts we held in 2018.
She will chat about her favourite subject: the end of the universe. In her upcoming talk, she will give viewers a sneak peek at her soon-to-be-released book ‘The End of Everything (Astronomically speaking) ‘

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.

c) Big Science Competition – Revamped for online.
The Big Science Competition now has flexible options: i) student access from school or home, ii) extended competition window from 20th May to 5th June.
The Competition is for students in Years 7 to 10.  It is a ’50 minute multiple choice competition testing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, not just factual recall’.  The cost to participate online is $7.00 and $8.00 for a pen and paper test. Parents cannot register their children, it needs to be through the school.

5.   Physics from the Web
Some items selected from The Physics Teacher.  The journal is free due to the COVID-19 crisis. To register click here.  Note this offer is currently available until the end of April.
Vol 58, Issue 4, April 2020

  • Is Modern Cosmology in crisis?
  • USB powered experiments

Vol 58, Issue 1, January 2020

  • ‘Free Fall Demonstrations’ in the High School Laboratory
  • Extending the role of Analogies in the Teaching of Physics
  • From Helicopter to Lighthouse: My teaching aligns with my parenting

Vol 57, Issue 6, September 2019

  • Momentum as a maintaining agency: A different approach to teaching Force

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