STANSW Physics Conference  
Theme : Modern Physics - Teaching for the Future 
Online : Across one week of after school PL (4:00 - 6:00 pm)
Monday 26 Oct - Friday 30 Oct 

In partnership with University of Technology Sydney 


In 1899 much of physics was pretty much settled. Classical physics was at its zenith. Then within the space of 10 years from 1900 to 1910 a scientific explosion took place that up-ended physics and our understanding of the universe.  It was the beginning of quantum physics, with new understandings of duality of waves and particles, Einstein's theory of relativity and the expansion of the universe - It was the rise of modern physics. 

The new syllabus has given us greater scope to teach many of the concepts that modern physics encompasses. No doubt this has been an exciting development but also a challenge for many teachers; the concepts of modern physics go against our common-sense instincts and require a high degree of critical understanding.  

The focus of the K-12 Physics Conference is to examine ways we teach modern physics in a way that will elucidate these sometimes-difficult concepts. The aim will be to equip teachers with the skills to teach the subject and allowing students to explore how physics has shaped our modern society, exploring how we teach Physics in a modern context and the applications of Physics in the current and future world.  

NB a dedicated K-6 Primary program stream will be offered with a focus on Physical World integrating Digital Technologies


Program Highlights

Monday 26 October 2020

Open Plenary brought to you by University of Technology Sydney :  Prof. Anthony Dooley, Head of School, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences



K-12 Keynote: 

Chris Ferrie
Presenting : Making stories out of science: or, how to use Quantum Physics in every classroom 

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, Chris will tell you about the why and how—his approach to talking about big ideas in maths and science to children and why it's not much different than his approach to teaching it to teenagers, or even adults.

Dr Chris Ferrie is Associate Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, School of Computer Science  AND  Children's Author of over 40 books about science, including titles such as Quantum Physics for Babies and There Was A Black Hole That Swallowed The Universe.

7-12 Keynotes: 

Milos Toth 
Presenting: Solid state quantum photonics

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.  Milos 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.

Prof Milos Toth is from the University of Technology Sydney, School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Tara Murphy
Presenting: Astronomy in the era of big data

Forget looking through a telescope at the stars. An astronomer today is more likely to be online. 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.

Prof Tara Murphy is from the School of Physics, University of Sydney

Workshop highlights across the week

Tuesday 27 - Friday 30 October 2020

Luke Barnes 
Presenting : Understanding the Big Bang Theory

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.

Dr Luke Barnes is from the Western Sydney University, School of Science AND Author, The Cosmic Revolutionary's Handbook: (Or: How to Beat the Big Bang) 

Martin Levins
Presenting: Building measurement devices for analysis of motion (7-12) 
& Using MakeyMakey to create interactive posters (K-6) 

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.

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 is Curriculum Officer, Digital Technologies in focus at the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Fiona Foley & Helen Georgiou
Presenting:  MANSW and STANSW integrated Science & Maths lesson ideas in K-6

Maths and Physics: integration across KLAS in a Stage 3 investigation on Forces.
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.

Dr Helen Georgiou is lecturer science education at the University of Wollongong
Fiona Foley is the primary consultant at the Mathematics Teachers Association of NSW (MANSW) 

Jacqueline Bondell
Presenting : Gravitational Wave Physics in the Secondary Classroom

Since the first observation of gravitational waves in 2015, the science of detecting and interpreting gravitational waves events has steadily become more advanced. 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,  introducing major concepts related to understanding gravitational waves. Teachers will have the opportunity to participate and will receive materials with curriculum links to incorporate into their teaching.  

Jackie Bondell is Education and Public Outreach Coordinator for ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav)


To register, please sign in to your existing account.   Don't have an account? - Create a new one. You don't have to be a member to have an account.

* Member fees will be displayed when you log in to your account and will be issued according to your member grade.

** Prices plus GST

*** Once registered you will be emailed an order confirmation. Invoices can be downloaded from the transaction section on your profile page. If you are seeking NESA accreditation make sure your NESA number is in your profile or add during registration or include this at the time of registration. 

**** To view more details of each session click on the session names.

***** Select your sessions by clicking the ''Add'' button next to each session title.

****** Keynote sessions are included as complimentary when booking in workshop sessions. RSVP is required.


Prices per session

 Individual Member
 Primary Individual Member 
 Primary School Associate
 Secondary School Associate  
 Student/Pre-Service Member  
 Life Members
 Non Member $130  



Registration Now Open  



Completing the STANSW Physics Conference Online will contribute to 1.5 - 2 hours/ per session of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered PD addressing 6.2.2, 6.4.2 & 7.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW. STANSW Inc is endorsed to provide the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered Professional Development for teachers accredited at Proficient Teacher.