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Tuesday 12 October

Chris Bormann & Tammy Humphrey 
NSW Department of Education

Invest for success in Physics.  Seeing is believing! Visual tools and technologies (Module 1)

Seeing is believing! Visual tools and technologies let students explore and engage with challenging concepts in physics and think critically. Invest early in Year 11 in tools that support sensemaking and develop deeper understanding.

Tracker video analysis lets students explore motion, measure quantities, apply and evaluate mathematical models. The skills your students build by using Tracker in Module 1 can be applied throughout the Stage 6 course and creates opportunities for depth studies.

Energy is a difficult topic for students. Energy flow diagrams (EFDs) and work-energy bar charts (WEBCs) are simple but powerful tools that students can use to make sense of energy flows in systems. They enhance visualisation and problem solving when applying conservation of energy.
Workshop participants will apply these tools in the workshop to specific examples from across the Stage 6 modules including past HSC questions.

Chris is passionate about science education and strives to engage students through inquiry-based learning and contemporary science contexts. Chris has developed expertise in physics education and participated in the international teacher program at CERN in 2019. He has over 10 years’ experience teaching in NSW schools and is currently supporting teachers as Science Curriculum Officer for NSW Department of Education. In this role he provides advice on curriculum implementation, develops classroom resources and professional learning and provides support for the NSW Science Statewide Staffroom and the HSC Hub.

 

Dr. Tammy Humphrey teaches physics at James Ruse Agricultural High School. She also a lecturer in physics method for preservice teachers at the Australian Catholic University and is the physics teacher for the ASI Junior Science Olympiad team. She has contributed to the HSC Hub as well as to the NSW Department of Education Module guides for Year 11 and Year 12 physics.

Prior to undertaking her teaching degree Tammy worked in physics research as a Marie Curie Incoming International Fellow at the University of Geneva.
Tammy has strong interests in gifted education in physics, as well as in producing resources which utilise the findings of physics education research to improve educational outcomes for HSC physics students.

Chris Bormann & Hardeep Phull
NSW Department of Education

Desmos: create engaging graphs for Physics (Module 3)

Save time and create interactive graphs to support your teaching and engage your students.
Using desmos, students build their intuition of the mathematical models describing physical phenomena across the Stage 6 course. This powerful and flexible tool can also be used to create, share and adapt graphs to meet your needs and those of your students.

Participants will learn how to use and design interactive visualisations to support their students’ understanding of complex physics concepts. Examples graphs and activities tailored to the NSW Stage 6 Physics course will be provided so that participants can start their desmos library immediately. Beginners and experienced desmos users welcome.

Chris is passionate about science education and strives to engage students through inquiry-based learning and contemporary science contexts. Chris has developed expertise in physics education and participated in the international teacher program at CERN in 2019. He has over 10 years’ experience teaching in NSW schools and is currently supporting teachers as Science Curriculum Officer for NSW Department of Education. In this role he provides advice on curriculum implementation, develops classroom resources and professional learning and provides support for the NSW Science Statewide Staffroom and the HSC Hub.

 



Hardeep has been teaching science since 2009, specialising in the area of physics. He has worked across a range of school settings including academically selective, partially selective and comprehensive high schools.  Hardeep has developed a wide range of teaching strategies to facilitate student engagement and improvement in their learning of science. He is currently supporting teachers as Curriculum Support Officer for NSW Department of Education. In this role, he has the opportunity to work with a wide range of teachers in supporting the delivery of high-quality science education.

 

Dr Thomas Dixon, Dr Kate Jackson & A. Prof. Elizabeth Angstmann
UNSW

Excursions to UNSW for Physics modules 3 and 4

The presentation will demonstrate some of the experiments that students can conduct in first-year physics labs at UNSW and discuss their pedagogical basis. The excursions have been developed in collaboration with high school teachers through our Visiting Teaching Fellow program, where a high school teacher is seconded to work for a year. While these experiments can be performed in a classroom if you have access to the equipment, in UNSW labs, schools have access to class sets of equipment to perform a range of experiments, including using a calorimeter to measure the specific and latent heat of water, plotting equipotential lines to determine electric field lines for different charge distributions, and a standing waves experiment. Several schools have been utilising these as part of their assessment, while others have been using them as a hands-on learning activity. As part of the excursion, classes may also choose to tour research labs and/or listen to a talk by a researcher. UNSW are keen to extend this program further and are very interested to hear from teachers about which experiments you would most like to conduct. Information about the excursions can be found here: https://www.physics.unsw.edu.au/impact-and-engagement/community-outreach/book-excursion

Dr Tom Dixon runs the First Year Teaching Laboratory in the School of Physics at UNSW Sydney. He completed his PhD in Optics and Photonics at UNSW, and has taught upper and lower year experimental and computational physics at UNSW. Tom’s work at PERfECT involves evaluating the impact of educational interventions, data-processing and statistics. Tom’s current research interests are in lab-based pedagogy, design of experiments for conceptual understanding and implementing new educational technology (such as livestreaming studios) in the laboratory setting.

 




Dr Kate Jackson is an Education Focused Lecturer and Deputy First Year Director in the School of Physics at UNSW Sydney. She completed her PhD in theoretical astrophysics at Monash University (Melbourne) and has experience teaching large cohorts in astrophysics, physics, and biophysics. She has also worked in education design, particularly in online learning environments, and is passionate about implementing active learning in the classroom. Kate is currently developing an evidence-based learning assistant training program in the School of Physics, which aims to develop the pedagogical knowledge and teaching skills of undergraduate teaching assistants.

 


A. Prof. Elizabeth Angstmann, first year director in the school of physics since 2011, is responsible for the education of thousands of students each year. Being a trained school teacher, she uses sound pedagogical basis when running first year physics courses, where possible utilising technology in appropriate ways and active learning methods. In 2018 Elizabeth introduced a graduate certificate in physics for science teachers as she is passionate about assisting school teachers to provide the best possible physics experience for their students. Elizabeth is the current Chair of Physics Education Group of the Australian Institute of Physics. Her work is recognised through the award of an Australian Award for University citation in 2018 and the prestigious Australian institute of Physics Education Medal in 2020.

Mr Tom Gordon, The University of Sydney

Electricity & Magnetism to Electromagnetism (Module 4)

Electricity and Magnetism are often talked about as completely separate ideas. Electricity or magnetism with their own set of experiments and equations), or electromagnetism as a part of the EM spectrum. But as we know they are connected through the well known Maxwell equations. Electromagnetic waves were described through electric and magnetic fields, long before any measurement. This workshop will make that connection and show how you get from Maxwells equations to the speed of light.

Tom Gordon has over 15 years of experience in science communication & education. He is a PhD candidate in Physics education focusing on Inquiry in education & outreach programs with the Sydney University Physics Education Research (SUPER) group. He is a Science communication professional who practices what he teaches through writing, public talks, events, radio, videos & podcasts

Julie Mulholland & Bridget Murphy

ANSTO - Addressing working scientifically skills using real-world science (Multidisciplinary)

Teaching at a working science facility like ANSTO, we focus on the process of science, not just the facts that go with it. Teachers will hear from one of our scientists talking about how they use working scientifically skills as part of their job at ANSTO. We’ll then discuss our data set resources, developed specifically to engage students with real ANSTO scientific investigations and data. These resources guide students in deconstructing the investigation, processing and analysing the data and formulating the same conclusions as the scientists – all working scientifically skills.

Julie Mulholland is an Education Officer from Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). She is a highly experienced science educator, having over 30 years of experience teaching science, senior chemistry and senior physics in both TAFE and high schools, as well as 14 years as a Head Teacher Science. In 2013, she achieved a Minister’s award for excellence in teaching. Julie is instrumental in developing ANSTO’s data set resources for high school students.

 

 

Bridget Murphy has experience as a science researcher and science educator and is the Education Manager at the ANSTO Discovery Centre.

 

 

Wednesday 13 October

A. Prof. Elizabeth Angstmann, School of Physics, UNSW

Teaching tips for Advanced mechanics (Module 5)

In this seminar we will be looking at the Advanced Mechanics topic. The seminar will include discussion evidence based methods for explaining some of the more challenging concepts in this topic. Examples of demonstrations, experiments and simulations with readily available materials related to this topic will also be included. For example, did you know there is free video analysis software available that can measure the displacement, velocity and acceleration of a thrown ball (projectile motion) or a toy car performing a loop-the-loop (circular motion)? A list of useful resources, including videos I have produced will be provided for participants.

Elizabeth Angstmann has been the first year director in the School of Physics UNSW since 2011. She is responsible for the education of thousands of students each year. Being a trained high school teacher, she uses sound pedagogical basis when running first year physics courses, where possible utilizing technology in appropriate ways and active learning methods. In 2018 Elizabeth introduced a graduate certificate in physics for science teachers as she is passionate about assisting school teachers to provide the best possible physics experience for their students. Elizabeth is the current Chair of Physics Education Group of the Australian Institute of Physics. Her work is recognized through the award of an Australian Award for University citation in 2018 and the prestigious Australian institute of Physics Education Medal in 2020

Dr Carl Masens, Giraween High School

Designing your depth study - Big Thinking, Little Thinking (Module 6)

Designing Depth Studies is challenging. This talk offers some perspectives based on experiences at Girraween High in Physics, a Selective High School in Western Sydney. Under consideration are two paradigms. One based on grand ideas and unifying contexts, the other based on the logistics of student numbers and limited time and equipment to measure with. The marking of a Depth Study will also be discussed.

Carl Masens is a Teacher at Girraween High - Physics since 2007
PhD in Applied Physics UTS (2004)

Prof Judith Dawes, Macquarie University

Seeing and Hearing the Properties of Space (Module 7)

Starting with the properties of light as a wave, we will review the Michelson Morley experiment that used light to sense the existence of an "ether". Their experiment did not show an ether, and this led Einstein to think about the properties of space and time in terms of General Relativity. In General Relativity, massive objects create a curvature of space-time, so that light does not travel in straight lines near such objects. Einstein also predicted the existence of gravitational waves travelling through space-time. Now we introduce the Laser Interferometric Gravitational-Wave Observatory, LIGO. This was designed and constructed as an interferometer just like the Michelson Morley Experiment. The first gravitational waves detected with LIGO after the merger of two massive black holes can be "heard" as a movement of space itself. This detection (correlated at two locations) resulted in the award of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics to the LIGO team.

Judith Dawes is Professor of Physics at Macquarie University and Director of MQ Photonics Research Centre. She is Treasurer for Science and Technology Australia and she is a former President of the Australian Optical Society. She is active in promoting Women in STEM and is a Fellow of SPIE and OSA, major international Optics societies and a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW.

Interested in laser applications in medicine and dentistry, she researches light interactions at the nanoscale. She applies nanotechnology for medical diagnostics and sensing. Her achievements include the invention of a new laser crystal, and the invention of a laser-cured protein solder for microsurgery.

A/Prof Matthew Arnold & Dr Annette Dowd
University of Technology Sydney

Teaching spectroscopy for understanding physics (Module 7)

Spectroscopy is one of the most powerful tools for using light to understand the universe and design new technologies. In this module, we will show how to get the most out of simple spectroscopes and analyse data from some simple spectra. We will model accurate presentation to avoid student misconceptions, and discuss how concepts developed in spectroscopy can broaden student understanding of topics such as thermal physics (e.g. blackbody radiation) and materials physics (e.g. the photoelectric effect).


A/Prof Matthew Arnold has taught physics at UTS for 15 years, and contributed to several STANSW Physics Teachers Conferences. He has a passion for using optical techniques to understand and design nanostructured materials and devices.

 

 


Dr Annette Dowd is a Senior Lecturer at UTS. She uses spectroscopy from x-rays to far infrared to study structures in physics, chemistry and biology. She also conducts educational research to enhance student learning.

 

 

 

Prof Geraint Lewis & Dr Luke Barnes

Understanding Cosmology: From successes to challenges (Module 8)

Cosmology and the Big Bang are a great success of twentieth century science, but just what does a universal birth and expanding space really mean. As a working cosmologist, these concepts feel second nature, but it is clear that to many they remain mysterious. In this talk, we will explore the Big Bang and evolution of the universe, unpacking the key events and explaining the concepts. But it is important to remember that cosmology is not finished, and there is more to learn, and we'll highlight the key challenges that face cosmologists, and spark intrigue in students.


Geraint F. Lewis is a Professor of Astrophysics at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy. After studying in London and Cambridge, he held research positions in the USA and Canada before moving to Australia in 2000. He joined the University of Sydney in 2002. His research combines observation and theory to reveal the dark-side of the universe, the matter and energy that shape the cosmos.

 

 


Luke A. Barnes is a lecturer in physics at Western Sydney University, with a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Cambridge. The focus of his research has been the cosmic evolution of matter, and he has published papers in the field of galaxy formation and evolution, and on the fine-tuning of the universe for life. He is the co-author with Prof. Geraint Lewis of "A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely-Tuned Cosmos" and "The Cosmic Revolutionary's Handbook", both published by Cambridge University Press.

 

 

Julie Mulholland

ANSTO - Ideas for teaching nuclear science in Module 8 Physics (Module 8)

Presented by the ANSTO Education team, this interactive workshop will present a range of ideas, resources and strategies for teaching nuclear science in Module 8 of the NSW physics syllabus. Join us to discuss examples of hands-on activities, data processing questions, using models to explain phenomena, and alternative ways of explaining difficult concepts. We also encourage teachers to share their own experiences with their class during the session.

Julie Mulholland is an Education Officer from Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). She is a highly experienced science educator, having over 30 years of experience teaching science, senior chemistry and senior physics in both TAFE and high schools, as well as 14 years as a Head Teacher Science. In 2013, she achieved a Minister’s award for excellence in teaching. Julie is instrumental in developing ANSTO’s data set resources for high school students.

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