Monday, 26 October 2020


4:00 - 4:10pm: Welcome on behalf of UTS - Anthony Dooley, Head of School

Anthony Dooley took up the position of Head of the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at UTS in January 2016, following a period of 4 years as Professor of Mathematics at the University of Bath, UK, where he was Deputy Head of Department and the inaugural Director of the Bath Institute for Mathematical Innovation.  Before that, he was Professor of Mathematics at UNSW, where he was Head of School of Mathematic s and Statistics, Chair of the Academic Board and Associate Dean (Strategy).
His research is in the area of Modern Analysis, including harmonic analysis and dynamical systems.  He has published over 90 peer, reviewed articles, held ARC grants continuously for 20 years, and been a Chief Investigator on the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematics and Statistics of Complex Systems (MASCOS). He has supervised 18 PhD students to completion, and over 30 honours projects in mathematics.

4:15 - 4:45pm: K-12 Keynote - Making stories out of science: or, how to use Quantum Physics in every classroom - Chris Ferrie

With even Nobel Prize winners the likes of Albert Einstein complaining about the difficultly in understanding quantum physics, it certainly seems like an odd choice of topic for a children's book. But Quantum Physics for Babies is not only a real book, it's a hit! How did this book come to be and why does it work so well? Along with the trivia of who, what, where, and when it all came together, I will tell you about the why and how—my approach to talking about big ideas in maths and science to children and why it's not much different than my approach to teaching it to teenagers, or even adults.

Chris Ferrie is an Associate Professor at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia, where he researches and lecturers on quantum physics, computation, and engineering. He is the author of over 40 children's books about science, including titles such as Quantum Physics for Babies and There Was A Black Hole That Swallowed The Universe. As the father of four curious children, he believes it is never too early to introduce kids to big ideas!



5:00 - 6:00pm: (K-6) Using MakeyMakey to create interactive posters, Martin Levins

Poster sessions are traditional in Science to demonstrate a concept or development. In primary education, we can use them to demonstrate an understanding. Using devices such as MakeyMakey, students can build touch-enabled posters that create interactions using speech, text, and/or animations to show their understanding. This presentation shows you how, what pitfalls exist and how to avoid them.

Martin Levins works with ACARA as a Curriculum Officer in the National Innovation and Science Agenda funder Digital technologies in focus project.






4:50 - 5:20pm: (7-12) Keynote: Solid State Quantum Photonics - Milos Toth

Solid state quantum photonics is a field of research focused on electronic and photonic circuits that employ individual quanta of light (photons) as a basis for unbreakable cryptography, quantum computing, navigation and metrology. It provides an opportunity to stimulate interest not only in modern physics, but also in related disciplines — such as mathematics, chemistry, materials science, electronics and computer science — and to highlight their relevance to real-world problems facing society today, and exciting future-generation technologies. I will illustrate this by drawing on examples of recent advances in quantum photonics and nanotechnology which are enabling the development of integrated circuits for the generation and manipulation of individual photons.

Milos Toth received a PhD in 2001 from University of Technology Sydney (UTS) where he worked on the luminescence properties and defect structure of wide bandgap semiconductors. He subsequently worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, and a research scientist at FEI Company laboratories in Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Oregon (USA). His work in industry was focused on the development of novel nanofabrication techniques.

Milos returned to UTS in 2011 to take up a Professorial Chair, and to set up a research group focused on self-assembly and top-down nanofabrication techniques, and their application to nanophotonics. His current work is focused on 2D materials and wide bandgap hosts of singe photon emitters.

5:30 - 6:00pm:(K-6) Keynote: Astronomy in the Era of Big Data - Tara Murphy

Forget looking through a telescope at the stars. An astronomer today is more likely to be online: digitally scheduling observations, running them remotely on a telescope in the desert, and downloading the results for analysis. The Square Kilometre Array, a next generation radio telescope that will be built in Australia, is expected to generate a petabyte of data per night. The detection of gravitational waves, discovery of new exoplanets and understanding the evolution of our Universe all depend on big data.

For many astronomers the first step in doing science is exploring this data computationally. It may sound like a buzzword, but data-driven science is part of a profound shift in fields like astronomy. To prepare the next generation, we must develop new teaching methods that recognise data-driven and computational approaches as some of the primary tools of contemporary research.

In this talk I will discuss how the big discoveries in astronomy, and science more generally, are dependent on our ability to work with and understand big data, and how we can incorporate data-driven approaches in school and university science education.

Professor Tara Murphy
is an astrophysicist working at the University of Sydney and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Sydney and a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Edinburgh. Tara leads an international team of researchers trying to detect and study transient and highly variable astrophysical phenomena with the ASKAP radio telescopes in Western Australia. In 2017 her team detected the first radio emission from a gravitational wave event caused by the merger of two neutron stars. Tara is also passionate about teaching and public outreach. In 2014 she co-founded a start-up company, Grok Learning, to get high school students around the world excited about computational thinking.



Understanding the Big Bang Theory - Luke Barnes

When: Tuesday 27 October, 4:00- 5:30pm

This presentation will provide a deep dive into the HSC Physics module "From the Universe to the Atom". We will look in detail at the best modern evidence for the expansion of space, and the physics of the production of elements in the universe.

Luke A. Barnes is a Lecturer 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 has held Super Science and John Templeton Fellowships, and speaks regularly to public audiences on physics, cosmology and astronomy.




Misconceptions in Electricity - Sandra Woodward and Andrew Roberts

When: Tuesday 27 October, 4:00 - 6:00pm

This workshop will address the common misconceptions that students have about electricity, charge and electrical forces. Participants will also consider teaching strategies to prevent misconceptions and encourage deep understanding of electrical concepts. Online simulations will be explored, as well as suggested hands-on activities for classrooms. (2hrs)

Sandra Woodward has over 20 years of experience teaching Science in several secondary schools – in years 7-10 as well as in senior school classes. Her particular area of interest is Physics, but her overriding aim is to encourage more students to have a passion for Science, and to raise the profile of Science within the school community.

Currently, Sandra is the Head of Science at Wenona School but has held various leadership roles during her time in education. These include Gifted and Talented Coordinator and Assistant Science Coordinator. All roles have allowed Sandra to develop programs to enrich the students’ learning and to provide improved resources for staff.

As a teacher of Science and Physics, Sandra is constantly searching for ways to inspire students and harness their curiosity, enthusiasm and energy to drive them to understand more about the sciences and improve learning outcomes. Her search is supported by maintaining expert curriculum knowledge through the marking of the HSC, the writing of advancement programs and a text book and course units in the sciences.

Andrew Roberts has been teaching Physics in the Hunter Valley for over 10 years, in both public and private schools. More recently he has also been teaching engineering and philosophy to Stage 5 students. He has experience in co-ordinator roles for gifted and talented students and STEM programs.

Andrew enjoys involving students in programs beyond the classroom that allow students a taste of genuine scientific Exploration, such as Pulse@Parkes, the Science and Engineering Challenge, and Cuberider.

He has a background in Physics Education Research, having completed his honours project with SUPER (the Sydney University Physics Education Research group).

Physical World with Toys - Annie Martin and Scott Gregory

When: Tuesday 27 October, 4:00 - 6:00pm

It is essential to teach Primary School Science through a context in which the children can understand and connect. In this workshop, participants will explore the forms of energy and forces involved in how certain toys work. They will hypothesise what specific components of toys are and how properties of materials assist in the functioning of such toys. The participants will then go on to make their own simplified version of some toys that they can then work scientifically to further investigate. Outcomes covered will include ST1-7MW-T, ST2-7MW-T, ST1-8PW-S, ST2-8PW-ST, ST3-8PW-ST, ST1-9PW-ST, ST2--9PW-S.

Annie Martin is a vibrant, enthusiastic teacher who is the Junior School Science Coordinator at PLC Sydney. She has a BSc and DipEd from The University of Sydney. Prior to her current role of teaching Primary School Science, Annie taught Secondary Science for over 10 Years, including HSC Chemistry and Biology.

Annie loves to inspire and encourage her students to inquire and investigate using hands-on activities in suitable contexts. Annie's students have achieved many accolades including winning the Eureka Sleek Geeks competitions for the last three years and also winning many awards in the STANSW Young Scientist and BHPFSEA competitions. Annie is a current member of the STANSW Young Scientist Committee and also teaches Science at MindQuest to gifted and talented primary school students.

Scott Gregory is a Year 3 classroom teacher at PLC Sydney. He has a Bachelor of Business from the University of Technology Sydney and a Masters of Teaching (Primary) from Charles Sturt University. Scott has recently commenced his teaching career, having previously worked in the Accounting and Banking professions, focusing largely on technology management and implementation, and application development.

Scott is a passionate teacher who constantly seeks to motivate his students through the delivery of contextual and engaging learning experiences, including the incorporation of technology in meaningful ways in the classroom, promoting problem-solving, and allowing his students to form connections with their own backgrounds and interests.

Building Motion Measurement Devices - Martin Levins and Shane Byrne

When: Wednesday 28 October, 4:00 - 6:00pm

The analysis of motion traditionally relies on purchased light gates or similar devices. Having students make their own lends an additional dimension to such analysis, with engineering, calibration and error analysis—real science. Let's use inexpensive equipment such as Micro:bits and a few sensors to achieve this.

Martin Levins work with ACARA as Curriculum Officers in the National Innovation and Science Agenda funded Digital Technologies in focus project.


Shane Byrne work with ACARA as Curriculum Officers in the National Innovation and Science Agenda funded Digital Technologies in focus project.





Misconceptions in Force and Motion- Brett McKay, Kirrawee High School

When: Wednesday 28 October, 4:00 - 6:00pm

Misconceptions & Mistaught Concepts in Force and Motion. The order of concepts or the terminology used across the schooling years leads to misconceptions. Some of these may be resolved by looking at the order we teach things, like Newton's Laws or being careful to not use common language when developing ideas. This workshop will look at some techniques and ideas in trying to prevent misconceptions, including looking at why teaching Newton's Laws in order may increase misunderstandings and some practicals to improve understanding.


The Language of the Syllabus

When: Friday 30 October, 4:00 - 6:00pm

The Importance of Using the Language of the Syllabus. This workshop will look at how the language of the Physics and Science syllabuses has changed over time and why it is important to correctly use the terminology if we are to allow students to allow students to perform to the maximum of their ability. It will look at terminology that starts to develop in the junior years, that if not discouraged leads to difficulties in the later years of a physic course.


Brett Mckay is Head Teacher Science at Kirrawee High School, with over 20 years of teaching experience. He has been involved in teaching Physics, doing HSC lectures and involved in HSC marking over this time.




MANSW/ STANSW Authentic Integration of Maths/Science ST3

When: Wednesday 28 October, 4:00 - 6:00pm

Teaching Forces: Avoiding Repetition and Encouraging Progress with the Continuum of Learning - Helen Georgiou, UOW

Students learn about Forces in every stage in the K-10 syllabus, making it the most represented concept in the Science Curriculum. Despite this, it remains one of the most conceptually challenging. In this talk, I will refer to the continuum of learning to explain what should come first and what should come next, highlighting the potential for unintentional repetition and the risks associated with introducing ideas too early. This focus on curriculum knowledge will give you the tools to think about how knowledge is structured not only in the topic are of Forces, but also across the whole curriculum. (1hr)

Helen Georgiou is a former physics teacher and current lecturer in science education at the University of Wollongong. She is interested in primary Science and Technology, Physics and the curriculum.

Maths and Physics: Integration Across KLAS in a Stage 3 Investigation on Forces - Fiona Foley, MANSW

Integration across a range of KLAs in Primary teaching is both possible and natural. It has the benefits of teaching concepts in authentic concepts, and potentially saving time and avoiding unnecessary repetition. In this workshop, we will demonstrate a practical investigation based on the Stage 3 Physical World outcome related to forces that integrates the Mathematics outcomes related to Data. (1hr)

Fiona Foley is the PreK-8 Mathematics Education Consultant with MANSW.
Recently retired from DET having held a variety of roles including classroom teacher, Assistant Principal, Highly Accomplished Teacher(HAT), relieving executive positions, Literacy Consultant with DET HCC and sessional tutor for Creative Arts(Music) at UoN. With a focus on improving student engagement and outcomes through building teacher capacity in knowledge of content, pedagogy and research-based innovative classroom procedures and strategies.

Education Director with Cognitive Behavioural Education providing online self-paced, evidence based Trauma Informed Education modules for teachers.


The Present and Future of Particle Accelerators, ANSTO

Paul Looyen, Dr Rebecca Auchettl and Dr Richard Garrett

When: Thursday, 29 October, 4:00 - 6:00pm

Speakers will share their experience and knowledge of particle accelerators, including the Australian Synchrotron, CERN's Large Hadron Collider and the latest accelerator projects around the world. You will learn about how different accelerators work and their roles in highly collaborative research about fundamental and applied science.


Paul Looyen has been teaching Physics for over 24 years, both in government schools and independent schools, as well as in the USA. He currently is the Head of Science at Macarthur Anglican School. Apart from spending time with his family, he keeps busy by running a Youtube channel as well as being a keen photographer.


Dr Rebecca Auchettl is an accelerator scientist at the Australian Synchrotron in Clayton, Victoria. Rebecca uses the Far Infrared beamline at the Australian Synchrotron to investigate icy materials in Titan’s atmosphere that could harbour important biological precursors formed by radiation chemistry.


Dr Richard Garrett is Senior Advisor, Strategic Projects at ANSTO. Richard provides advice on a range of strategic projects including particle therapy projects in Australia, Australia’s engagement with the ITER fusion project, the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory and X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) facilities. He manages relationships with a number of overseas accelerator laboratories including the National Institute for Radiological Sciences, Chiba, Japan, the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) in Tsukuba, Japan, the RIKEN Spring-8 Center in Harima, Japan, and the Shanghai Institute for Applied Physics (SINAP) in Shanghai, China. Richard promotes ANSTO engagement with synchrotron light source facilities across Asia via the Asia Oceania Forum for Synchrotron Radiation Research.

Wonders of the Night Sky + Resources for Astrophysics

Matt Dodds, Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School

When: Thursday, 29 October, 4:00 - 6:00pm

How to Explore the Wonders of the Night Sky with a Telescope + Resources to teach your students Astronomy and Astrophysics.  The telescope is to the Astronomer what the Bunsen Burner is to the Chemist. Join this workshop to learn how to operate a variety of Telescopes from Solar to Dobsonian (Newtonian) to fully computerized Telescopes. In 2020 Matt recorded a video series with Dr.Brad Tucker from ANU. This presentation builds upon those videos with hands-on demonstrations on how to use telescopes. Matt will also cover some Aboriginal Astronomy stories and how these relate to our unique view of the Milky Way from Australia. In addition to learning how to use telescopes, teachers will also learn about a variety of resources that they can use to teach the Astrophysics syllabus outcomes from the 2019 Siding Spring Observatory Depth Study Event. This includes calculating Hubble’s constant from data collected on type 1a Supernova.

Matt Dodds is a High School Physics Teacher with a decade of classroom experience. He is passionate about Physics and Astronomy. He has the honorary role of Teacher Volunteer for ASTRO 3D. ASTRO 3D is the ARC Centre of Excellence in All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions unifies over 200 world-leading astronomers to understand the evolution of the matter, light, and elements from the Big Bang to the present day.

Matt is also the coordinator of the ASTRO 3D Depth Study event held onsite at Siding Spring Observatory in 2019 and online in 2020. He can also be found travelling Australia with his telescopes, sharing the night sky with adults and children alike.

Inspiring STEM for Your Students - Science Space, UOW

Stuart Creal, David Lukins, Dr Johanna Howes and Amanda Kruger. 

When: Thursday, 29 October, 4:00 - 5:30pm

Science Space is the most successful and only dedicated science centre in NSW offering our region a valuable resource to bring STEM alive. Last year attracting over 17,000 school students who explored the exhibition, Science Theatre and digital Planetarium. The talented team of Experience Officers will bring you Liquid nitrogen demos, sound show experiments, K’nex vehicles on ramps, vertical wind tunnel and shake tables STEM demos focused around Physics. We demo what equipment we use, explain our shows, STEM activities and Virtual Science Space offerings then provide examples on how teachers could replicate similar experiments in their classroom e.g. DIY ramp, shake table, wind tunnel, substitute K’nex for LEGO.

Gravitational Physics in the Classroom - Jackie Bondell

When: Friday 30 October, 4:00 - 6:00pm

Since the first observation of gravitational waves in 2015, the science of detecting and interpreting gravitational waves events has steadily become more advanced with increasingly precise and frequent observations. In this session, we will review the latest advancements in gravitational-wave science. Then we will introduce teachers to multiple activities that can be used in the classroom to introduce Physics students to some of the major concepts related to understanding and detecting gravitational waves. Teachers will have the opportunity to participate in these activities and will receive materials with curriculum links to incorporate these activities in their own classrooms. This session can be presented face-to-face or in an online format.


Jackie Bondell is Education and Public Outreach Coordinator for OzGrav, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery, developing educational content for public outreach events and curriculum for school incursion programs, focusing on incorporating innovative technology. She designs curriculum-driven science lessons that effectively incorporate VR into student- centred activities while aligning with curriculum standards.

With a passion for promoting STEM to traditionally underrepresented populations, she aspires to reach more female students as well as those in rural and regional areas of Australia. Prior to joining OzGrav, Jackie spent 15 years as a Physics instructor in the US. During her teaching career, she was the recipient of multiple teaching awards, including the National Science Teachers Association (US) Technology Award for Innovative Use of Technology in Science Teaching. She holds a Masters Degree in Astrophysics and is a National (US) Board Certified Teacher of Secondary Physical Science.

STANSW Primary Network Teach Meet - Physical World

Jacqueline McCarthy, Abbotsleigh

When: Friday 30 October, 4:00 - 5:30pm

The STANSW Primary Network Teach Meet session with the topic of Physical World Integrating Digital Technologies. Come along, listen, share, and connect with your Primary Science teaching peers. (FREE)

Jacqueline McCarthy is currently primary school science specialist at Abbotsleigh, having transferred there from Sydney Grammar. She is a qualified primary and secondary teacher specialising in agriculture. Prior to specialising in Primary Teaching Jac was engaged by the Royal Agricultural Society as their Education manager. She is passionate about nurturing the curiosity of primary aged students.




Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Presenters: Robert Fuller and Trevor Leaman

UNSW Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences/School of Humanities and Languages

When: Friday 30 October, 4:00 - 5:30pm

Using Stellarium to Teach Indigenous Knowledge Systems as Cross-cultural Curriculum Solution. Stellarium is a free resource that can not only be used to demonstrate astronomical concepts (in the Science curriculum), but can also be used to present the astronomical knowledge of the First Peoples of Australia (and some other First Peoples). In addition to the standard planetarium astronomy views of the night sky, a Starlore feature allows the selection of numerous Skyculture knowledge modules, which show, graphically, the astronomical knowledge of First Peoples. Currently, there are a number of Australia and Oceania Skycultures available for use. The presenters will also support the recently updated Australian Curriculum K-10 crosscultural knowledge segment referencing IKS with a ‘where to find it’ resources list and advice on how to populate this part of the curriculum using cultural astronomy. For advanced classes (and teachers), resources will be provided to actually learn how to create a Skyculture relevant to the First Peoples in their area.


Robert S. Fuller (Bob) is a late returnee to academia after a 45-year break for a career in first, the military, and then, industry.  He was tertiary educated as an anthropologist/ archaeologist, and much later, after retiring, did a research MPhil at Macquarie University, Sydney, on Indigenous astronomy, publishing on the cultural astronomy of the Kamilaroi and Euahlayi peoples of New South Wales. 

He has just finished a PhD at the School of Humanities and Languages, University of NSW, researching the cultural astronomy and songlines of the saltwater Aboriginal peoples of the Australian East Coast, under the supervision of Duane Hamacher (University of Melbourne) and Dan Robinson (University of NSW).  He has been active in outreach to the non-Indigenous community through lectures and non-academic articles andwas the instigator of the successful documentary on Euahlayi astronomy, “Star Stories of the Dreaming”. His academic publishing is available at You can contact him at


Trevor Leaman is a Cultural Astronomy PhD researcher in the School of Humanities and Languages, University of New South Wales (UNSW). He is researching the astronomical traditions of the Wiradjuri people of central NSW under the supervision of Associate Professor Duane Hamacher (UMelb) and Professor Daniel Robinson (UNSW). He earned diplomas in civil and mechanical engineering, degrees in biology and forest ecology, and an MSc in astronomy.

Trevor has published papers in the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage and Mediterranean Archaeology & Archaeometry. He has worked as an astronomy educator at Ayres Rock Resort, the Launceston Planetarium, and Sydney Observatory. He also tutors the unit PHYS1160 “Introduction to Astronomy and Search for Life Elsewhere” at UNSW, and runs his own Astronomy Outreach business “Dark Skies Downunder” where he presents the cultural night sky to clubs, schools, communities and private functions.