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Bikes – An Accessible and Versatile Context

James de Winter and Alan Denton join us to tell us the many ways in which a simple bicycle can be used to provide an accessible context for Physics. Moment, pressure, forces, sound, power and more can all be looked at through the lens of a bike.

Timestamps

  • A Fifth Fundamental Force? @ 00:47
  • Bikes for teaching physics @
    • Why use a bike? @ 05:56
    • How to draw a bike @ 06:43
    • Free Body Diagrams @
    • Forces on a bike @ 08:11
    • Free Body Diagrams @ 8:40
    • Mechanical Advantage @ 14:00
    • Pressure @ 17:18
    • Sound@ 23:10
    • All the other things you can do @ 25:00
  • Post interview chat @ 31:00
How to sketch a bike

Summary

First Thomas and Robin chew over the suggestion that there may be a fifth fundamental force of nature, or it may just be uncertainty. This leads on to the similarities with “faster than light neutrinos“. It’s a story that illustrates ‘how science works’ so a nice one to share with top sets or A-level students.

Alan and James find delight in the bike as a tool for teaching physics. Levers, pressure, friction, sound and much more can be taught using the good old bicycle! We’ve been chatting a lot about context recently and surely a bike has more resonance with kids than, say a Saturn V rocket or a car engine?

If you’re interested in the beautiful book James mentions, you can find it here: Cycling Science by Max Glaskin. If you do all your marking, Santa might put you on the ‘nice’ list and slip one in your stocking.

I’ll bet you can think of even more ways to use a bike to get ideas across (bike chain as a model of moving charge in a circuit?), so give your technician a real challenge and see if they can find storage space in their prep room for a bike.

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. Occasionally we also use Cantina Rag by Jackson F. Smith.

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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!

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. Occasionally we also use Cantina Rag by Jackson F. Smith.

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