Exam date, Webinar, NASA Resource – VicPhys News 6/T2/20

VCAA has announced the dates of the VCE exams.  Physics is on Tues, 24th Nov.  Their website also has the adjusted formula sheet and Exam Specifications.
Registration are coming in for Vicphysics’ webinar on planning for the second half of 2020.  The event is primarily designed for teachers taking either Unit 2 or Unit 4 for the first time, but given the curriculum changes it may be of interest to others.  It will be on Friday, 10th July from 9:30am to 12:30pm..

NASA has produced a data set from the sun’s Corona Mass Ejections. Students use the data to produce position and velocity time graphs. It will be a useful resource for Unit 2.

The next meeting of the Vicphysics Teachers’ Network will be on Thursday, 23rd July 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.  VCE Physics Exam is on Tuesday, 24th November from 9:00am until 11:45am
  2.  Vicphysics Webinar: Friday, 10th July
  3. More Resources on Managing Learning when Schools are closed 
  • NASA Kinematics Digi Kit: Data from Sun’s Corona Mass Ejections for Vel vs T graphs

4.  Survey of Teachers on their awareness of Brain Research and its impact on Education and Learning
5.  Seeking a Physics teacher? Seeking a job?
6. Events for Students and General Public

  •  UNSW Bragg Science Prize for Science Writing for Years 7 – 10. Entries by 27th August, 2020

6. Physics News from the Web

  •   Colliding galaxies created the solar system, say astronomers
  •   The feelings you get when you discover something in physics
  •   More evidence found for a ‘fifth force’ in radioactive decay measurements

1.  VCE Physics Exam is on Tuesday, 24th November from 9:00am until 11:45am
The Adjusted Exam Specifications for 2020 and the Adjusted Formula Sheet are available here.
Examination materials for Physics are:

  • one scientific calculator
  • one folded A3 sheet or two A4 sheets that are bound together by tape, and single- or double-sided. Notes may be typed or handwritten, and from any source (including commercially available notes)

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2.  Vicphysics Webinar: Friday 10th July
Vicphysics will hold a webinar on planning for the second half of 2020.  It is primarily designed for teachers taking either Unit 2 or Unit 4 for the first time, but given the curriculum changes it may be of interest to others.  It will be on Friday, 10th July and run from 9:30am to 12:30pm.
The program will cover:

  • Teaching the adjusted Unit 4 and Unit 2 Areas of Study
  • Practical Activities and the Practical Investigation in Units 2 and 4
  • Possible assessment tasks and
  • Managing the Unit 2 Detailed Studies.

The program will be provided by Jane Coyle, Dr Barbara McKinnon and other members of the Vicphysics Committee.
To register, to raise any specific questions you would like addressed and for more details, you will need to go to our website.  If you wish to attend in person you can indicate that when you register, however space is limited.  The venue is Monash Tech School at the Clayton Campus of Monash University.

3.  More Resources on Managing Learning when Schools are closed 
In many countries schools are still in lock down. Physics Associations around the world are publicising curriculum materials to assist teachers   A new resource from NASA is described below.   Items from previous newsletters are on a separate web page and there is a direct link to the page from our home page.

  • NASA Digi Kit for High School Physics:   This Digi Kit blends physics and space science as students analyse authentic data from the NASA SOHO space observatory to measure the speed of a coronal mass ejection (CME).  Learners will take on the role of scientists by examining image sets of two different CMEs.  The task is to plot graphs of position vs time and velocity vs time, then determine how long it would take for each CME to reach the Earth.  The package has lessons with assessment, interactives and videos and animations.

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4. Survey of Teachers on their awareness of Brain Research and its impact o Education and Learning.
A Monash University PhD student is conducting research on the prevalence of ‘myths’ about neuroscience among teachers.
Participants will be required to complete an anonymous online quiz/survey that is expected to take less than 12 minutes.  She says: ‘It is not lost on me that most teachers are very busy in the current environment having to rapidly adapt and change the way they teach. Your expertise and input will be extremely valuable in making recommendations to include neuroscience-based instructional strategies for future use. I would therefore greatly appreciate your participation in this study’.
To read the explanatory statement and begin the survey, click here.
5Seeking a Physics teacher? Seeking a job?
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 two Government schools seeking a physics teacher: Roxburgh College and Manor Lakes P-12 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.

6. Events for Students and General Public
a) 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.

7.   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) Colliding galaxies created the solar system, say astronomers
The solar system may have been formed in a long-ago collision between the Milky Way and its orbiting companion the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy. That is the conclusion of astrophysicists in Spain, who have analysed data from the Gaia space observatory. This cosmic “fender bender” – which occurred as Sagittarius’ orbit plunged it through the plane of our galaxy – helped to concentrate cosmic dust in and usher in a period of heightened star formation.
b) The feelings you get when you discover something in physics
How do you react when something unexpected happen in physics. Robert Crease, a philosopher of science, explores the gamut of responses.
c)  More evidence found for a ‘fifth force’ in radioactive decay measurements.
Anomalies in the radioactive decay of beryllium-8 and helium-4 point to the existence of a new force of nature. That is the conclusion of a group of theorists in the US, who have scrutinized data from experiments carried out by nuclear physicists in Hungary over the past five years. Results from the two different isotopes agree on both the mass and interaction strength of the hypothetical boson that would carry the long-sought fifth force, the team found.
The Standard Model of particle physics tells us that matter particles interact with one another via four forces: electromagnetic; strong; weak; and gravity. But theorists have long hypothesized the existence of other forces, including “dark photons” that might mediate interactions between particles of dark and ordinary matter.

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