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A physicist would tell you that it would be illogical to expect a non-sentient life form to change its behaviour based simply on passing a particular point on an arbitrary time scale… which is why they’re not often invited to parties. And so it is that 2021 carries on in much the way that 2020 ended, but that is no reason for the podcast not to cel…
 
Ah, the end of term beckons! Mince pies, tubs of choccy selection and of course “Sir/Miss, can’t we watch a video?”. Thomas and Robin are both wary of 45 minutes of Shrek as a Christmas treat – Thomas tells the story of his daughter coming home and asking to see “the rest of Ratatouille” having seen the first 50 minutes 8 times! And so we present a…
 
Excitement and a jam-packed episode this week as we tackle Ways to Teach… magnetism! We start with some feedback from last episode about extended writing in physics. Thanks to William Pope for getting in touch. See the links section below for couple of free lesson resources to help your students become better written communicators in physics… I cou…
 
Robin and Thomas go for another ramble … and for a walk in the country as well. Albert Einstein was in charge They start by chatting about using self made simulations to enhance your teaching (especially now that students are limited in their access to practical work). Thomas had put together a cracking simulation to find resistivity on a wire in E…
 
How great to reach out across the pond and catch up again with Patrick Kaplo (an early hero of the podcast who teaches in Windham, NH). He has been hunkering down and adapting to new paradigms, and it is refreshing to hear that the problems we are all dealing with are pretty similar, no matter where you are in the world. Patrick has been adapting t…
 
Robin and Thomas are joined by Rajani Nair (@NairPhysics) who answered a Twitter call about A-level required practicals and was whisked in front of a microphone to talk to us. If you fancy coming on to talk about an aspect of physics teaching, just drop us a line in the contact form below. Rajani had some really interesting variations on the standa…
 
Thomas and Robin mull over the recent Nobel Prize for Physics, then chat to Carole Kenrick about IoP Domains and zines. The Nobel Prize is still the ultimate accolade and viewed with envy by the fields that don’t have a Nobel Prize (in your face, maths!). This week we start by congratulating the three winners of the 2020 physics prize: Roger Penros…
 
(aka Elysia and her Magic Box of Physics) Robin and Thomas meet Elysia (@PhysicsMumma) who helps them talk through the dear listener’s ideas for teaching under the current social distancing guidelines. She then talks them through her box of physics and introduces Frank the Flamingo. My 'box of physics' everyone laughs at me but that's part of the f…
 
WARNING: the following content contains numerous cheap references to Paddington Bear – see links. Matt Bowman Way back at the beginning of series one we were thrilled to hear from an international school teacher named Matt who had just landed in Lima (presumably bearing a label saying “Please look after this physics teacher”). Fast forward two year…
 
Season 3 continues to deliver physics royalty as James de Winter joins us. James is the physics tutor on the Cambridge PGCE course and has seen generations of physics teachers through their training. Having met a fair sample I can say that all of them hold James in the sort of reverence that Luke reserved for Obi Wan. A talk with James is always an…
 
Robin and Thomas reflect on a first week back under the new Covid guidelines and find time to talk through a simple required practical – timing a trolley rolling down a ramp. It’s a strange world at the moment as we eye winter warily and a second wave threatens. It is interesting to reflect that school openings have been one of the rare success sto…
 
Thomas and Robin look forward to a new – albeit different – school year with some reflections on “the new normal” and an interview with physics-teaching Royalty. Season 3 is here! And Thomas and Robin start by thanking you for all your feedback after last year. We got some good ideas for this year and we’re looking forward to more Ways to Teach, mo…
 
Thomas doesn’t know which week it is; thinking there is one more week of term he drags Robin to his garage to test some vacuum cannon upgrades. Thomas and Robin also look back through the podcast’s second season, and forward to a possible season 3. A Tight Collar Thomas has been experimenting with the collars that are used to join vacuum cannon spe…
 
Jonathan Shaw joins us to talk over your suggestions for essential physics kit. What will the well-dressed physics lab be wearing this year? Jonathan Shaw secured £53,000 of funding to kit out his physics department and asked Thomas and Robin to throw this over to the physics-teaching hive mind, and you did not disappoint! We had some fantastic sug…
 
Rachel Gray (@PhysicsRachel) joins us to talk about her low tech YouTube videos and also to discuss how Friend of the Podcast Jonathan Shaw should spend his large grant from the Wolfson Foundation to kit out his Physics department. Rachel’s journey is one that will be familiar to a lot of locked-down teachers: toying with video lessons has got you …
 
Friend of the podcast and 40 year old NQT @Jo_Moore_Sci joins us to talk about her winding path to Physics teaching. "If there is no subject specialist (mentor) engage with professional bodies" As an NQT teaching outside of specialism I totally concur with this, the help I have received from the @IoP, @cogscisci, the @physicstp and the whole #chatp…
 
Dr Dave Farmer joins us to talk about uncertainties. I've just specific heat capacity of water using a kettle as a transition task for Yr 11 looking at A level physics. I'll let you know how it goes! — Dave Farmer (@ThePhysicsBear) June 8, 2020 The tweet that started it all Friend of the podcast Dave Farmer returns to talk about a subject to strike…
 
Robin and Thomas meet John Hudson, a self confessed gimmick demo fan who also makes pdf interactives. Links Young Modulus Interactive (in TES resources) Thomas’s oscilloscope Screen Shot Simulator Millfield Physics on Twitter (John’s department page) An example of conservation of angular momentum from MIT The chain fountain explained in this Royal …
 
Robin asks Thomas what the bits and bobs were he sent home to his A-Level students. What would you send? Tell us by tweeting @physictp #tptpbitsandbobs Links Thanks to Frank Noschese for pointing us at the “String and Sticky Tape Physics” PDFs: http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/edge-one.pdf and http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/ed…
 
Thomas and Robin are back, locked down, but still exploring new ways of teaching physics. Thomas has been exploring the potential (and limitations of) Microsoft Forms and has found a collection of shared resources at https://groups.io/g/PhysicsQuizzes. There’s a lot of power here to help you remotely assess your students’ learning, but a few gotcha…
 
The “new normal” has once again shrunk the globe, as Thomas and Robin reach out to Alberta, Canada to talk to the inspirational Laura Pankratz of the Perimeter Institute. Just as well we talked to her when we did, because apparently we’ve discovered a black hole next door… We first met the Perimeter Institute courtesy of IOP Scotland Education Mana…
 
Thomas, Robin and Patrick chat about using teacher judgement to assess students, and wonder whether more trust should be placed in a teacher’s view of a student’s performance in future. The “new normal” is just another way of saying “weird” as far as we’re concerned. In this episode, we range around the emergency assessment routines that OFQUAL hav…
 
In an almost covid free podcast, Thomas and Robin meet Alexia, a newly qualified teacher (NQT) in Physics. Summary Alexia has a Physics degree from Imperial (which made Robin happy) and a PGCE from the London Institute of Education (which made Thomas happy). She has many strings to her bow. In addition to being a physics teacher, Alexia is a LaTeX …
 
Thomas and Robin hook up for a quick catch up after the Easter holidays. They talk about what they have heard, what they have learned and what they miss about being in school. Summary Thomas and Robin have heard some strange tales of what is going on in different schools. Virtual learning walks sounds like unnecessary stress at this strange time an…
 
Patrick, Thomas and Robin try out zoom to hear how Patrick has been getting on, and then talk through plans for the week. Emma Brown gives us her tips from Shanghai. Links zoom – video conferencing with breakout rooms WebAssign – calculation problems resources.physicsteachingpodcast.com Me, in another language pic.twitter.com/mVVejaKeJV — katie ros…
 
Summary Thomas and Robin summarise the advice they have been given about teaching remotely. Content So much has happened in such a short time, Thomas and Robin decide to talk to some experts about how to support their students remotely. YouTube is a great resource, but also Physics teachers all over the World are cooperating and sharing. The podcas…
 
Summary Fabio Di Salvo joins us to talk about Chat Physics, Physics chat on Twitter. Robin asks for advice about the photoelectric effect. Content Covid-19 dominates the news and the podcast is no exception. We got in to and then had cancelled the NSTA talk in the same week. Thomas cheered himself up by redoing the web site with a new archive and a…
 
Summary David Buckley joins us to talk about Isaac Physics, the free web-based question bank. Content David (@physwithmrb), who started as a Biology teacher, is now head of Physics and uses Isaac weekly to support and challenge his students. Isaac is a rich resource of challenging questions for students and teachers alike. From speaking to many tea…
 
Summary Keeta Jones from the Acoustical Society of America joins us to talk about the International Year of sound. Content Keeta tells us about the way that the ASA are supporting the Year of Sound with a resource pack for teachers and a competition for kids. She also describes the myriad of places that acousticians are found in the workplace. Thom…
 
Summary Dr Dave Farmer joins the podcast to talk about ways to teach Momentum. Thank you for all your input dear listener! giphy.com Content Dr Dave introduces momentum by putting his body on the line (see below). The main themes are increasing collision time to reduce force, momentum as the quantity of motion, colliding students together and doing…
 
Photograph: Jane Ni (see below for link) Summary Thomas and Robin chat about another required practical in UK GCSEs, measuring the density of regular and irregular objects. They run down the rabbit hole of accuracy vs precision before chatting about crazy ways of measuring everyday values. Photograph: NSO/AURA/NSF Physics in the news this week is t…
 
Thomas and Robin meet Mark Hannum from the AAPT (American Association of Physics Teachers). Summary Robin is fascinated to meet Mark Hannum from AAPT. AAPT support teachers in the USA, much the same role that Robin played when he was leading Teacher Support for the IoP. Mark tells us how the AAPT works and also shares his favourite pracitcal – proj…
 
Thomas and Robin chat about mocks and how they use them. The podcast ends on a sad note as Thomas talks about a recent family bereavement and asks for donations to Brain research. Bartholomew Beal Summary For reasons that are explained late in the podcast, Thomas has been feeling very low, and travels to Robin’s house (aka Studio 13) for a chat abo…
 
Robin and Thomas busk through teaching Sound and Waves to 11-year-olds and the Ripple Tank GCSE Required Practical. Summary “Physics in the News” this week looked at a story that casts doubt on the idea of dark energy. It’s a good illustration of how the scientific method and peer review is used to challenge ideas and present evidence. Thomas and R…
 
Robin and Thomas talk to David Cotton and Aris Dacanalis about taking a trip to CERN. Timestamps Aris @ 01:40 Chatting with David @ 08:20 David’s Practical in Memoriam @ 30:30 Summary David’s CERN page on TalkPhysics.org Salad Bowl Accelerator Our original tweet and the replies Ever taken a trip to Geneva and @CERN? Please RT and reply with your be…
 
Happy New Year! Thomas and Robin reflect on some questions from the Dulwich IoP Physics Conference and are joined by Patrick Kaplo to talk about uses for the Vacuum Cannon and whether teaching just two energy stores is the way forward. Timestamps New Year Resolutions @ 00:35 We’re going on tour! @ 03:51 Uses for the Vacuum Cannon @ 06:40 Dr Ben Sti…
 
Happy Christmas! In the last full podcast of 2019, Thomas and Robin chat about one of the core GCSE Practicals: Measuring Specific Heat Capacity. Also, stealth physics in “fun” Christmas lessons. Timestamps Bikes follow up @ 00:54 Stealth Physics “fun” lessons @ 02:10 Chatting about measuring Specific Heat Capacity @ 15:50 Summary Thomas doesn’t li…
 
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 t…
 
Moses Rifkin came to the attention of Fox news for his short course on underrepresentation in Physics and Science and this led to the The Underrepresentation Curriculum Project. He tells us his story. Timestamps The Underrepresentation Curriculum with Moses Rifkin @ 00:53 Moses’ Practical in Memoriam – eggs from the sky! @ 31:50 Summary Moses Rifki…
 
Friend (now Hero, surely?) of the Podcast James de Winter talks birdsong and uses it as an example of how to connect physics with the real world in more imaginative ways. We all know how it goes, you teach newton 3, you talk about a rocket, you teach momentum you talk about trucks and cars colliding. Vectors? Aeroplanes… pressure? stilettos and sno…
 
We have a final missive from Charlie, the response to WTT Ionising Radiation and an Interview with Samir from CLEAPSS. S02E10 Timestamps Thank you for the jam, Stuart Farmer @ 00:49 Update from Charlie @ 01:15 We love Chemistry and we have imposter Syndrome @ 5:03 Follow up to Ways to teach… Ionising Radiation @ 07:54 Freebie from Lewis Matheson of…
 
Ex -colleague and ex-colleague Andy Harrison is writing a scheme of work for Primary Science and asks Thomas and Robin to help him with his understanding of forces. S02E09 Timestamps What’s a force? @ 02:40 Gravity @ 04:20 Electrostatics @ 08:20 Reaction/Support force @ 17:30 Energy @ 21:12 Summary Ex-colleague Andy Harrison reached out to Robin la…
 
Listeners have been more than generous with some tips for ionising radiation and how to teach it. Thomas, Robin and Patrick introduce some great ideas and discuss how to put IR in context. Wisdom and wit Patrick, Thomas and Robin get together to tackle ways to teach Ionising Radiation with context proving to be the most common tip. Friend of the po…
 
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 “Forthcomin…
 
The podcast is still on hiatus, but in the meantime, we are releasing a special edition episode! In this episode, we introduce you to some of the team from Internet of People, a project setting its sights on managing identities and personally identifiable information using a new P2P secure communications protocol, blockchain technology, and more. I…
 
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 @ …
 
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 calcul…
 
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 Car…
 
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