June 10, 2023
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Chat Physics Live 2021 Day 4 – Physics Topics

Welcome to day 4 of ChatPhysics Live 2021!

Today’s we look at specific topics in physics and how to approach the teaching of them.

Are you ready to teach radioactivity? Are you enthusiastic about energy? Do you want to get geology into your physics lessons? Do waves make you weep? Do you want to teach mechanics more meaningfully? These five videos today will be sure to help you out!

Radioactivity with(out) the resources – by Joe Rowing (@jrowing)

Joe Rowing is Deputy Headteacher at Exeter Mathematics School, an outstanding state funded, University supported, 6th form for able students of Maths and Science. He works extensively with students and teachers in other schools as part of the school’s outreach for for maths, physics and computing across the south west. In addition he leads teacher training courses, CPD and works as a coach for the Institute of Physics. He is a keen cyclist and a lover of the great outdoors, but mostly has a passion for practical physics and a love of teaching that truly inspires.

Joe’s talk is on “Radioactivity with(out) the resources”. Scratching the surface of a fantastic topic, with some stories, information and activities to support teaching radioactivity, even if you have no sources. Suitable for KS4 and KS5.

Continue the discussion with Joe on Twitter:

Why I Love Teaching Energy! – by David Gash (@djgteaching)

David is a Head of Science from Liverpool, and a teacher of Physics for 13 years. He is loving how the current thinking of how we teach energy actually frees us from constraints and allows us to focus on what’s important – calculating stuff! (And David cannot wait to share this with you!)

David’s talk is on “Why I Love Teaching Energy!”. Energy stores pops up every month or so on Twitter and get a bashing. David is hoping to show, using some classroom based examples, why the energy stores model is wonderful and help staff to avoid pitfalls such as “ah yes, but in photosynthesis…”

Continue the discussion with David on Twitter:

Physics Rocks! – by Alexandra Inchenko (@PhysicsGeo )

Alex is a Physics teacher at a London girls school, she is keen to promote women in STEM and encourage students to see physics in the world around them. She has a background in Earth science and was an oil industry geoscientist in a previous life, where she frequently participated in school and university outreach work.

Alexandra’s talk is on “Physics Rocks!”, and is an exploration of how to use rocks and Earth Sciences to add context and interest to Physics teaching, including examples of activities and demonstrations, which are low cost and easy to put together. The talk focuses on:

  • Using fluorescent rocks as an additional demonstration for fluorescence, linked to energy levels in atoms and the EM spectrum.
  • Using biological microscopes and polarising filters to ‘make-your-own’ polarising microscope, to look at thin sections from rocks.

It is particularly aimed at KS4 with a little KS5 but may be adapted for KS3. Suitable for specialist and non-specialists.

Continue the discussion with Alexandra on Twitter:

Introducing EM WAVES more meaningfully – by Tom Norris (@physicsuk)

Tom Norris is a practising physics teacher. He has taught physics to 11-18 year olds in state schools in England since 2010, including 7 years as Head of Physics at Huntington Research School. During this time Tom has also worked as a Physics Coach for the Institute of Physics, supporting numerous teachers and science departments to develop their practice and curricula. Tom can often be found talking about teaching physics on twitter using the handle @physicsuk, and he occasionally blogs about aspects of physics and science education.

Tom’s talk is on “Introducing EM WAVES more meaningfully”. How do you introduce what electromagnetic waves actually are? This talk gives some ideas for doing this more meaningfully, with a focus on connecting ideas about EM waves to what students already know about other kinds of waves, and waves in general. This should be really useful for teachers of 14-16 physics but also at 11-14 to help gain a more meaningful understanding of light waves.

Continue the discussion with Tom on Twitter:

Mechanics: the key to A-level Physics? – by Suva De (@ForestLearn)

Suva is a maths and physics private tutor, with over four years of experience. He studied theoretical physics at Imperial College London as an undergraduate, and obtained a Masters and PhD in Quantum Information from the University of Leeds. As a member of Educate One Kid, Suva helps underprivileged children in Bankura (India) with their education. Suva also has an A-level physics YouTube channel called Forest Learn.

Suva’s talk is on “Mechanics: the key to A-level Physics?”. In this talk, Suva will draw on his experience as a private tutor of physics to discuss the importance of mechanics in A-level physics. Basic concepts in mechanics such as work done are unifying principles, and provide coherence to the subject as a whole. This is not a novel observation, but he argues that its implications need to be considered and that the importance of mechanics should be impressed onto students. Implications involve the ordering of topics, thinking of the specification as a network with mechanics as the central node, and the utility of explicitly discussing common misconceptions in mechanics. Suva draws on examples gathered from his lessons, and discusses how these affect student understanding of mechanics and topics which build on mechanics.

Continue the discussion with Suva on Twitter:

We really hope you enjoyed the fourth day of our ChatPhysics Live 2021 conference.

Before you go…

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You may also be interested in these articles from our website:

The Beauty of a Copper Pipe and Magnet – Chat Physics by Daniel Lyng

Videos to support Physics Teaching & Learning – Chat Physics by David Boyce

Values, Knowledge and Love Lessons in Physics – Chat Physics by Dan Crittenden