S02E07 CPD at SPEED

Our first foray in to the wild as we took our shiny new audio recorder (aka Albert Einstein) to the SPEED Physics teaching conference in Cambridge. SPEED is organised by the legend who is Ally Davies and is a well-established and popular CPD event for teachers in East Anglia. If you would like to pop along to your local CPD day, see the “Forthcoming events” link to Talkphysics, below.

S02E07 Timestamps

  • Physics in the news – Nobel Prize 2019 @ 2:06
  • Robin has had a fun time teaching electricity @ 04:16
  • Thomas has been doing revision in the round @ 06:25
  • Charlie the non-specialist @ 08:11
  • SPEED @ 13:40

Summary

Charlie’s odyssey continues, and we hope you are enjoying hearing his enthusiasm as much as we are. If you have any tips for Charlie, drop us a line. The main focus this week, though was the SPEED event in Cambridge. This is a gathering of many physics teachers and teachers of physics with all sorts of stimulating talks. Here are links to a couple of the things we talked about:

The podcast is trying to provide a link for physics teachers who don’t have anyone they can talk physics with, and the IOP regional days are trying to do the same so if you love the podcast, chances are you’ll enjoy an IOP regionakl day!

Ways to teach… Ionising Radiation

Please share your ideas about teaching Ionising Radiation. Tweet us @physicstp with the hash tag #tptpir , use the contact form below, our Instagram account @physics_teaching_podcast or email us contact at thephysicsteachingpodcast dot com!

Join in!

Don’t forget to tell us how it goes and share your tips.  And if you happen to be at SPEED on 5th October, say hello and you will hopefully make it onto the podcast! Details on how to get in touch are below. Thanks for listening.

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact form at the.physicsteachingpodcast.com, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember) or by leaving a voice memo using WhatsApp or Telegram to the phone number in our Twitter profile, +44 7898 814716 (don’t call the number, nobody will answer, just hold down the microphone icon and speak your message or upload an mp3 or ogg). Don’t forget to tell us your name because we may use your audio in a future episode.

The music we use remains One legged equilibrist polka by Circus Homunculus. The music in the montage is Cantina Rag by Jackson F. Smith.

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S02E06 Mary, Mass and Melting

Our first T-shirt winner, Mary Wild, joins us to chat about helping Charlie with mass, weight and gravity and also to share a practical she loves: Specific Latent Heat of fusion for Ice.

S02E06 Timestamps

  • Introducing our guest Mary Wild (@MaryWild) @ 01:10
  • Physics in the News – Static Spiders @ 02:15
  • Charlie’s audio diary @ 05:06
  • Mass and Weight @ 07:00
  • Forces at a Distance @ 12:30
  • Weightlessness @ 16:40
  • Mary’s Practical In Memoriam (PIM) Specific Latent Heat (Fusion) of Ice @ 21:09

Summary

We are joined by Mary Wild, a teacher in West Sussex. She kicks of with a Physics in the News that she fears might not be recent: Spiders use electrostatics to float! We then hear from Charlie the non-specialist who poses some tricky questions about forces: mass ad weight and non-contact forces.

Mary likes to show the Hammer and Feather dropped on the Moon (Brian Cox updates it in this video) and Adam Hart-Davis dropping tomatoes (Thomas can’t find that video). Stephen Hawking on the Vomit Comet. @DanWestPhD found Robin’s favourite video on gravity courtesy of the excellent channel Veritasium.

We close with Mary’s favourite demo/practical. Determining the specific latent heat of fusion for Ice -> Water by melting ice in a funnel using an immersion heater. Don’t forget to run it without the heater and subtract the volume of water melted by the room!

Ways to teach… Ionising Radiation

Please share your ideas about teaching Ionising Radiation. Tweet us @physicstp with the hash tag #tptpir , use the contact form below, our Instagram account @physics_teaching_podcast or email us contact at thephysicsteacohingpodcast dot com! After tweeting about this we already have seen a brilliant video about dealing with radiation issues in Russia (Thank you David Cotton @Newmanphysics).

Join in!

Don’t forget to tell us how it goes and share your tips.  And if you happen to be at SPEED on 5th October, say hello and you will hopefully make it onto the podcast! Details on how to get in touch are below. Thanks for listening.

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact form at the.physicsteachingpodcast.com, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember) or by leaving a voice memo using WhatsApp or Telegram to the phone number in our Twitter profile, +44 7898 814716 (don’t call the number, nobody will answer, just hold down the microphone icon and speak your message or upload an mp3 or ogg). Don’t forget to tell us your name because we may use your audio in a future episode.

The music we use remains One legged equilibrist polka by Circus Homunculus.

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S02E05 Active Instruction

Trying to cheer up Thomas, who has had a bad day, Patrick introduces the concept of Active Instruction. Also an update from Charlie and our first contact through WhatsApp!

S02E05 Timestamps

  • Thomas has an announcement @ 00:44
  • Thomas has had a bad week @ 02:00
  • Update from Charlie @ 04:45
  • Patrick introduces Active Instruction @ 09:02
  • Contact on calculators via WhatsApp @ 26:31
  • Please help with Ionising Radiation! @ 32:37

Summary

A bad day for Thomas made the team (Thomas, Patrick and Robin this week) reflect on the nature of teaching, often lonely and sometimes a bit manic. Every teacher has moments of anxiety and imposter syndrome and it’s important to give yourself a break as they say in New Hampshire. Charlie is loving his science and his year 7 group is clearly loving working with him. Charlie is one of those heroes teaching physics despite not having a science background. It’s lovely to hear his enthusiasm permeating his classroom and the joy he takes in the questions his kids are asking. If you are teaching physics and it’s not familiar to you, thank you and I hope you enjoy it as much as Charlie. Active instruction takes centre stage as the team discuss prompting kids to think and guide their discussions on physics. Finally Matt Bowman joins us from Peru and we talk calculators.

Patrick’s Links

Ways to teach… Ionising Radiation

Please share your ideas about teaching Ionising Radiation. Tweet us @physicstp with the hash tag #tptpir , use the contact form below, our Instagram account @physics_teaching_podcast or email us contact at thephysicsteacohingpodcast dot com! After tweeting about this we already have seen a brilliant video about dealing with radiation issues in Russia (Thank you David Cotton @Newmanphysics).

Join in!

Don’t forget to tell us how it goes and share your tips.  And if you happen to be at SPEED on 5th October, say hello and you will hopefully make it onto the podcast! Details on how to get in touch are below. Thanks for listening.

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact form at the.physicsteachingpodcast.com, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember) or by leaving a voice memo using WhatsApp or Telegram to the phone number in our Twitter profile, +44 7898 814716 (don’t call the number, nobody will answer, just hold down the microphone icon and speak your message or upload an mp3 or ogg). Don’t forget to tell us your name because we may use your audio in a future episode.

The music we use remains One legged equilibrist polka by Circus Homunculus. The jingle for WhatsApp messages is Skipping in the No Standing Zone by Peter Gresser

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S02E04 Open Evenings

It is Open Evening time of year. Dan Toomey (@MrDToomey) joins us from Dublin to share what he does to entertain parents and students and also give some advice to Charlie the non-specialist who is starting to enjoy teaching Physics.

S02 E04 Timestamps

  • Introducing Dan Toomey @ 00:48
  • Open evenings @ 01:43
  • What Should Charlie Do? @ 13:42
  • Circus vs Carousel @ 18:02
  • Dan’s Practicals in Memoriam @ 23:00
    • Planck’s constant with LEDs @ 23:07
    • Dropping a ball and timing it @ 27:31
  • Please send in Ideas for teaching Ionising Radiation @ 31:24

Summary

Patrick, Robin and Thomas are joined by Dan Toomey in Dublin to dicuss open evenings and also to give more advice to Charlie the non-specialist who is working through forces. Dan loves the collapsing can experiment but also uses the Van de Graaf and this year is breaking out the Vacuum Cannon. Thomas likes splitting activities into ones to distract the students whilst parents talk to teachers and “show pieces”. Patrick says his “Open House” in the USA is nothing like UK Open Evenings at all!

Charlie’s been told that the kids are arriving with no books for his next lesson and is looking for ideas. Dan suggests doing a friction on different surfaces experiment and gathering the results on the board, whilst Thomas thinks giving out graph paper and concentrating on graphing skills might be the way to go.

We end the podcast by putting Dan on the spot for a Practical in Memoriam.

Ways to teach… Ionising Radiation

Please share your ideas about teaching Ionising Radiation. Tweet us @physicstp with the hash tag #tptpir , use the contact form below, our Instagram account @physics_teaching_podcast or email us contact at thephysicsteacohingpodcast dot com! After tweeting about this we already have seen a brilliant video about dealing with radiation issues in Russia (Thank you David Cotton @Newmanphysics).

Join in!

Don’t forget to tell us how it goes and share your tips.  And if you happen to be at SPEED on 5th October, say hello and you will hopefully make it onto the podcast! Details on how to get in touch are below. Thanks for listening.

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact form at the.physicsteachingpodcast.com, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember) or by leaving a voice memo using WhatsApp or Telegram to the phone number in our Twitter profile, +44 7898 814716 (don’t call the number, nobody will answer, just hold down the microphone icon and speak your message or upload an mp3 or ogg). Don’t forget to tell us your name because we may use your audio in a future episode.

The music we use remains One legged equilibrist polka by Circus Homunculus.

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S02E03 Summer Placements and Teaching without Demos/Practicals

Charlie tells us about an unexpected lesson in his audio diary. Patrick talks a little about his placement at MIT Haystack telescope. Thomas worries about how to teach when there is no practical or demo to be done.

S02 E03 Timestamps

  • Charlie’ the non-specialist’s audio diary @ 01:00
  • Physics in the News, water vapour on exoplanet @ 05:04
  • Colin Lonsdale of MIT Haystack @ 08:00
  • Teaching without practicals and demos @ 19:48
  • Fermi Questions @ 26:10
  • Air Pressure tricks @ 27:06
  • Ways To Teach… Ionising Radiation @ 28:10
  • Return of the vacuum cannon #tptpir @ 29:24

Summary

MIT Haystack

Charlie’s audio diary kicks off the podcast, telling us how he has not taught forces at all yet as he had to finish off the induction topic. Thomas then gets excited about the water vapour spotted on a planet 110 light years away from Earth. Amazing precision! Patrick then plays us the interview with Colin Lonsdale from the MIT Haystack observatory. Patrick did a placement there over the summer. Thomas then talks about teaching without practicals and demos and gets some advice from Patrick before deciding it is too big a topic; it needs a whole podcast. At the end of the episode we talk about Fermi questions and estimating and introduce a new Ways to teach… episode.

Ways to teach… Ionising Radiation

Please share your ideas about teaching Ionising Radiation. Tweet us @physicstp with the hash tag #tptpir , use the contact form below, our Instagram account @physics_teaching_podcast or email us contact at thephysicsteacohingpodcast dot com! After tweeting about this we already have seen a brilliant video about dealing with radiation issues in Russia (Thank you David Cotton @Newmanphysics).

Lead lined trucks radioactivity

Join in!

Don’t forget to tell us how it goes and share your tips.  And if you happen to be at SPEED on 5th October, say hello and you will hopefully make it onto the podcast! Details on how to get in touch are below. Thanks for listening.

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact form at the.physicsteachingpodcast.com, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember) or by leaving a voice memo using WhatsApp or Telegram to the phone number in our Twitter profile, +44 7898 814716 (don’t call the number, nobody will answer, just hold down the microphone icon and speak your message or upload an mp3 or ogg). Don’t forget to tell us your name because we may use your audio in a future episode.

The music we use remains One legged equilibrist polka by Circus Homunculus.

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S02E02 (37) NUSTEM – helping you find context for the physics

With Robin back from holiday we meet a non-specialist hero, setting off to teach Physics and have a long interview with Carol Davenport from NUStem who are working to encourage young people to choose science as their future careers including their website nustem.uk/primarycareers/ that links KS3 topics with real careers.

Timestamps

  • Intros @ 00:23
  • Charlie the non-specialist’s audio diary @ 1:50
  • nustem and Carol Davenport @ 05:24
    • Post interview chat @ 17:00
  • First lesson redux @ 19:20
    • Thomas made Patrick’s Black Box @ 20:10
    • Chatting about Science never being definite @20:44
  • Robin’s teaching this year @ 22:20
  • Contact the podcast @ 25:36

Summary

Patrick Kaplo is unavailable this week but sleep-deprived Robin is back from Canada! Robin is now delighted to be back in the classroom after two years at the IoP. We kick off with bold PE teacher Charlie Gilbank who is setting off on his Physics teaching journey. He listened to Episode 30 – Teaching Forces to 11 Year Olds before planning his first couple of lessons. Watch this space and we will reveal the highs and further highs of Charlie’s year ahead.

We’re delighted to welcome Dr Carol Davenport from NUSTEM to the podcast this week. Carol is a seasoned physics teacher and academic with an incisive grasp of what makes for good physics teaching. We’re so grateful that she made time to talk to us.

” NUSTEM aims to support children, young people, and their key influencers, to help them make informed choices about STEM careers. We do this by helping them to experience the fascination and enjoyment to be found in STEM, and by working to increase their science capital. ”

https://nustem.uk/about/
Black box

NUSTEM does a wide variety of things both in the Primary and Secondary sectors. One of them is something Thomas asked for after hearing from Jessica Rowson in Episode 4 – Why don’t more Girls choose Physics?, namely a web site to match (KS3) Physics topics with careers.

Finally Thomas reveals he made Patrick Kaplo’s black box and plans to use it in his first lesson.

Join in!

Don’t forget to tell us how it goes and share your tips.  And if you happen to be at SPEED on 5th October, say hello and you will hopefully make it onto the podcast! Details on how to get in touch are below. Thanks for listening.

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact form at the.physicsteachingpodcast.com, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember) or by leaving a voice memo using WhatsApp or Telegram to the phone number in our Twitter profile, +44 7898 814716 (don’t call the number, nobody will answer, just hold down the microphone icon and speak your message or upload an mp3 or ogg). Don’t forget to tell us your name because we may use your audio in a future episode.

The music we use remains One legged equilibrist polka by Circus Homunculus.

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S02E01 (36) Black Boxes and Beginnings

With Robin away hiking in the Canadian Rockies, Thomas and Patrick hook up to chat about the coming academic year. They share their thoughts on the first lesson (of A Level/AP). Robin contributes his thoughts on the coming year via an audio diary.

Timestamps

  • Where is Robin? @ 00:13
  • Thomas apologises to Moses Rifkin @ 01:12
  • Going back to school and the UK/USA similarities and differences @ 02:02
  • First lessons @ 02:16
    • Thomas and two sig figs @ 06:32
    • Patrick and uncertainty @ 08:48
    • Patrick’s black box @ 10:30
  • What are you teaching first @ 16:07
  • Practical work and getting through the content @ 17:25
  • How were your results (and do they matter)? @ 18:58
  • Robin’s message in a wav file @ 22:45
  • Where did you go for your Summer holiday? @ 28:40

Summary

Robin is hiking in the Canadian Rockies so Patrick and Thomas hook up to talk about their thoughts for the year ahead. Patrick shares his Black Box lesson, a very similar concept to use of the Mystery Tube from Episode 8. Thomas shares how he introduces 2 sig figs to his new A Level students (getting them to measure 13m diagonally through a tree) which leads to Patrick’s take on uncertainty and systematic/systemic error. The two then chat about covering content, and what matters most in how you influence the students at the end of the year. After the recording was made, Robin managed to fire a wav file across the Pond in which he talks about his hopes for the year ahead as he returns to full-time teaching.

Join in!

Don’t forget to tell us how it goes and share your tips.  Details on how to get in touch are below. Thanks for listening.

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact form at the.physicsteachingpodcast.com, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember) or by leaving a voice memo using WhatsApp or Telegram to the phone number in our Twitter profile, +44 7898 814716 (don’t call the number, nobody will answer, just hold down the microphone icon and speak your message or upload an mp3 or ogg). Don’t forget to tell us your name because we may use your audio in a future episode.

The music we use remains One legged equilibrist polka by Circus Homunculus.

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35. Bonus for 10,000 Plays

A couple of nuggets

Thomas and Robin celebrate 10,000 plays by looking forward to next season and backward to the mistakes we made along the way.

Timestamps

  • Looking forward @ 00:20
  • Mistakes @ 05:42
  • Edna @ 14:10

Summary

Thomas is back from cycling the Galibier in the Alps so Robin and Thomas hook up to talk about what is planned for next season and also to play some of our favourite mistakes over the year. Hopefully our beloved listener won’t be turned away by this peek behind the veil!

Join in!

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact form at the.physicsteachingpodcast.com, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember) or by leaving a voice memo using WhatsApp or Telegram to the phone number in our Twitter profile, +44 7898 814716 (don’t call the number, nobody will answer, just hold down the microphone icon and speak your message or upload an mp3 or ogg). Don’t forget to tell us your name because we may use your audio in a future episode.

The music we use remains One legged equilibrist polka by Circus Homunculus. The background music is Cantina Rag by Jackson F. Smith.

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34. A Couple of Nuggets

Thomas shows Robin reminisce about (nearly) an academic year of podcasting. They describe their favourite practicals and are joined by Patrick Kaplo. Robin and Thomas between them share five practicals that they really enjoy as well as describing their best and worst moments of the year.

A Couple of Nuggets

Timestamps

  • Robin has an exciting announcement @ 00:46
  • Physics in the news, Hayabusa2 lands for the second time on an asteroid @ 01:22
  • Highlights @ 02:54
  • Finding the mass of a 1m ruler using a 1N weight @ 07:17
  • SHC using a kettle @ 11:41
  • Exploring uncertainty and efficacy of measuring devices using measuring 4 ohm resistors @ 20:16
  • Bond energy using a kettle @ 22:55
  • High Points and ideas for season 2 @ 25:46
  • Thomas’ PIM – Bias @ 32:09
  • Patrick Kaplo @ 39:48

Summary

Physics, physics, physics, Thomas and Robin just love to talk about how they teach it. Perhaps too much. They chat about the year they have had making the podcast and share some of their favourite practicals along the way.

Finding the mass of a 1m ruler using a 1N weight

Thomas wasn’t super clear in the podcast about this, but has made a Google Slide deck about it. Basically: Find a series of balance points for the ruler pivoted on the edge of a bench with the weight sitting on the but of ruler sticking out. clockwise moments = anticlockwise moments. The image below is from the google slide deck.

Join in!

The same nuggets

Don’t forget to tell us how it goes and share your tips.  Details on how to get in touch are below. Thanks for listening.

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact form at the.physicsteachingpodcast.com, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember) or by leaving a voice memo using WhatsApp or Telegram to the phone number in our Twitter profile, +44 7898 814716 (don’t call the number, nobody will answer, just hold down the microphone icon and speak your message or upload an mp3 or ogg). Don’t forget to tell us your name because we may use your audio in a future episode.

The music we use remains One legged equilibrist polka by Circus Homunculus.

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33. Working Abroad

Thomas shows Robin his package… A montage of chats he’s had with teachers who have worked abroad. The Rev (Episode 21), regular co-host Patrick Kaplo and one of Thomas’ old student teachers all give their thoughts on this adventure.

Timestamps

  • Introductions @ 00:15
  • Physics in the News @ 01:18
  • Working Abroad @ 03:17
    • How did it happen? @ 05:39
    • What about the kids? 09:08
    • Anecdotes @ 11:48
    • The value of working abroad @ 14:17
  • Post Package Chat @ 17:47
  • Ruben’s Practical in Memoriam @ 24:35

Summary

Physics in the news is another atom imaging breakthrough using a combination of a scanning tunnelling microscope and MRI. The main body of the podcast is a “package” of conversations about working abroad. Thomas was interested in this having worked in New Zealand in 2010. The Rev Tim Hardingham worked in Hong Kong, Patrick Kaplo in India and we meet Ruben Calverd who is currently working in Malaysia. Patrick went out to India through the Fulbright Scholarship Program (USA). They do offer projects for other nationalities too.

Join in!

Don’t forget to tell us how it goes and share your tips.  Details on how to get in touch are below. Thanks for listening.

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact form at the.physicsteachingpodcast.com, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember) or by leaving a voice memo using WhatsApp or Telegram to the phone number in our Twitter profile, +44 7898 814716 (don’t call the number, nobody will answer, just hold down the microphone icon and speak your message or upload an mp3 or ogg). Don’t forget to tell us your name because we may use your audio in a future episode.

The music we use remains One legged equilibrist polka by Circus Homunculus.

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