PHYSCON 2023

FRONTIERS OF PHYSICS TEACHING AND LEARNING

a conference by teachers for teachers

24 FEBRUARY: SWINBURNE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY AND ONLINE
Register before December 18 for $30 Early Bird discount

Supported by

PHYSCON 2023 is a hybrid event proudly presented by the Vicphysics Teachers' Network with the support of Swinburne University of Technology
on Friday 24 February, 2023

PHYSCON 2023 is an innovative and exciting hybrid professional development event for Victorian secondary school Physics teachers featuring
Program

PHYSCON 2023 offers both in person and online only registration options.
In person registration ($330) includes live sessions and hybrid sessions, as well as access to all recorded sessions post conference.

Online registration ($270) includes all hybrid and online only sessions, as well as access to all recorded sessions post conference.

Hybrid sessions are live sessions that are simultaneously streamed to an online audience.

The opportunity for Q & A and interaction with presenters will be available at all live, hybrid and online sessions. Both in person and online delegates will be able to visit and talk to all Exhibitors.

** $30 Early Bird discount if register before December 18, 2022 **
** $50 registration discount for Vicphysics Individual Teacher Subscribers **
Friday February 24
8.00am
Registration (Hybrid)
8.30am
Welcome (Hybrid)

Dr Brenton Hall

Chair of Department of Physics and Astronomy, Swinburne University of Technology


Dr Barbara McKinnon

President of Vicphysics Teachers' Network

8.45am
Astronomy at the Frontier (Hybrid)
Professor Brodie is Director of the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing (CAS) at Swinburne University and Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California SC. Much of her work makes use of the fossil record embodied in globular star clusters (amongst the oldest radiant objects in the universe) to understand the formation and evolution of galaxies. Although she is primarily an optical/infrared observer with an instrumentation background, she works closely with theorists, particularly in the areas of stellar populations and simulations of galaxy formation in a cosmological context. In this talk, Professor Brodie will explore the frontiers of astronomy with the latest results from CAS's areas of research.

Professor Jean Brodie

Centre for Astrophysics Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology

9.45am
Workshop session A

A1 Group-Worthy Physics Challenges

Joe Cossette

Minnetonka High School - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA

Hybrid
This session shares three different approaches to make physics problem solving practice more group-worthy: Murder Mysteries, Escape Rooms, and Scrambles. All activities introduced are available to download and modify for free.

A2 Beyond Bohr: A Quantum Approach to the Atom

Dave Fish

Perimeter Institute, Canada

Hybrid
Take your students Beyond Bohr in this workshop featuring a resource designed by educators in physics and chemistry in collaboration with researchers from Perimeter Institute. Most high school physics and chemistry classes culminate their discussion of the atom with the Bohr Model even though Bohr himself knew the model was wrong. In this workshop we will show you how you can introduce the quantum model of the atom with classroom-ready activities.

A3 Providing individualised feedback to students using Excel and Word's Mail Merge

Claire Rollinson

The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School

live and recorded
Each assessment task is a valuable learning tool that should be used to promote the consolidation of skills and knowledge, however, students tend to focus on their marks rather than what can be learned from the task. The identification of strengths and areas for improvement via a visual, achievement-by-topic grid can be more informative than a grade and help students to shift their focus to how they can improve. This workshop presents a method using Excel and Word's Mail Merge function to generate achievement-by-topic reports with individualised comments for each student based on the marks awarded for each question on a task.

A4 Designing SACs and assessments for the new study design

Jane Coyle

Vicphysics Teachers' Network

Hybrid
The study design offers an extensive set of alternatives for assessments in Unit 1 & 2 but a much more limited set of tasks than previously, for Units 3 & 4. In this session we will unpack the assessments descriptors and look at ways we can cater to our student needs. I will provide some example tasks for units 1 & 2 that will also develop the skills required for the unit 3 & 4 SACs. Delegates are encouraged to bring a task they have used previously to review and redesign to reflect the new SAC criteria.

A5 Mapping VCE & IB Physics: Lessons from Abroad

Rachael Gore

Albert Park College

Hybrid
This session will explore how the International Baccalaureate Physics Curriculum maps to the VCE Physics Curriculum, especially in light of the new study design. Participants will leave with an understanding of how IB Physics pedagogical approaches, assessment, and resources can be used to support student extension and enrichment in VCE Physics. The presenter has had students achieve perfect scores in both IB and VCE Physics subjects, and strategies for high demand, high challenge student exam preparation will also be canvassed.

A6 Can the use of past exam questions enhance teaching and learning?

Colin Hopkins OAM

Retired

Hybrid
Many teachers use past examination papers as their preferred method of revision for the VCE exam. Does research suggest ideas and strategies to improve effectiveness? Can the use of Zone of Proximal Development principles be incorporated into an efficient learning and revision process? Can the use of IFT (Immediate Feedback Techniques) increase student engagement? Colin has looked at current research and will share his insights from the 2022 trial of this process. Copious digital resources will be shared.

A7 Language-Learners-Literacy

Deepa Jain

Kew High School

Hybrid
“Teachers can teach however they like, as long as it is ethical and effective in imparting valuable learning, within applicable curriculum and resource constraints” (Scriven, 1994), however, students have to learn how to learn in order to transform Physics from challenging to interesting and convert challenging sophisticated language and texts into meaningful setting.

Learn how and what “instructional strategies” could make your teaching more effective and valuable in order to activate prior knowledge, set a purpose, comprehend a text; or model the process of being an effective reader/writer.

Walk away with ideas and strategies, which are applicable from year 7 to 12.

Develop a shared language to talk with your students and colleagues and feel acknowledged, supported and challenged.

A8 VCAA Update

Maria James

Science Curriculum Manager, VCAA

Hybrid
Curriculum changes beginning in 2023 relate to physics including in the Victorian Curriculum F-10 and for VCE Physics. What are the implications of the refinement of the F-10 curriculum for VCE physics? What is happening with enrolment trends for physics? What are the ‘givens’ for VCE assessment across Units 1 to 4? How can these changes be managed in schools where all sorts of priorities impact on teaching time? Depending on time, there may be an opportunity for audience questions to be answered.

A9 Physics of the Bounce: Investigations and Models

Dan O'Keeffe OAM

Vicphysics Teachers' Network

live only
Investigating a bouncing ball is an excellent topic for reinforcing Newtonian physics. A bounce involves forces, momentum and energy transfer. This talk will show different experimental designs allowing many students to work independently. It will also outline two different models to explain the experimental results.

A10 Quantitative measurement of Lorentz Force

Man Lam

Mt Alexander College

live only
In this session, a series of electromagnetism experiments will be demonstrated. It aims to provide teachers new options to teach electromagnetism. One of the demonstration is to quantitative measure of Lorentz Force by varying current and magnetic field strength. The accuracy can be up to within 10% of the theoretical prediction.

A11 Virtual Reality Astrotour and Strong Structure Laboratory Walking Tour

Swinburne Outreach

Swinburne

live only
This Swinburne excursion taster option consists of a 20 minute Astrotour in the 3D virtual reality theatre followed by a walking tour of the Strong Structure Laboratory.

A12 A Physics Excursion of a lifetime

Kristina Hicks

IFly

live only, commercial
Guaranteed to engage the interest of your students! In secondary schools, student engagement in pursuing STEM content and related careers, particularly in physics, are often limited to the classroom with teachers hesitant to explore out of school excursions that do not directly relate to the curriculum. Highlighting the relevance of STEM content, iFly have designed excursions in line with Australian Achievement standards to engage students with inquiry and practical activities, that engage and provide artefacts that can be used for school assessment.

A13 BioBrain - Learning platform for Physics students

Caroline Cotton

BioBrain Learning

live only, commercial
BioBrain, is a curriculum aligned STEM learning platform covering VCE Physics, Chemistry and Biology and Year 10 Science. It has been written by teachers for teachers and students. The VCE content is set out according to the Study Design in Units, broken down into Areas of Study and then finally into the Key Knowledge. All the learning material is broken down into bite-sized chunks with exam style questions to assess understanding and an illustrated glossary of terms. The learning material is graded over three levels of difficulty. Students can keep track of their results, review answers, and retake quizzes to ensure full understanding and learning over time. Teachers can look at the class results or individual student results. All participants will receive a free trial of BioBrain to use with their students.

A14 Using "smart carts" in kinematics and dynamics

Doug Bail

Ciderhouse Tech

live only, commercial
More than 25 years ago PASCO developed a revolutionary dynamics cart with super low friction wheels, replacing air tracks in schools and Universities around the world. The latest development, “Smart carts”, now have a range of sensors built into the carts creating the ultimate tool for studying kinematics, dynamics, Newton’s Laws, and more. Fast set up and continuous data sets put the focus on analysis and understanding. Join us for a hands-on quick review of how to get started with the carts and explore some of the investigations smart carts make possible.

A15 Infinite Exam

Tristan Vale

Kambrya College

live only, commercial
Are you frustrated that year 12 Physics trial exams are only available in pdf format? Infinite Exam is a Year 12 Physics Exam Generator that changes the way schools buy trial exams. In a matter of minutes, you can create your exam by dragging and dropping the questions from the database and then clicking download. A zip file with your perfectly formatted exam and solutions is generated as a word document! Need your exam even quicker? Choose one of the pre-set exams that are ready to go. Not only can you make end of year trial exams, you can also make short quizzes, lesson starters, tests by concept or area of study and questions that are personalised to your students’ learning needs.

A16 Modern Teaching Aids

Amanda Lovett

live only, commercial
In this engaging, hands-on workshop participants will experience how easy data collection in Physics can be. Enjoy the experience of undertaking simple methods to collect meaningful data that can improve students understanding of Physics. Participants will experience the fun of working with EASY to use and innovative technologies while they explore a range of physics based experiments with relevant and appropriate applications for the: demonstrating, testing, monitoring, collection, manipulation and analysis of data. Come and see how EASY it is…
10.45am
Morning tea
11.30am
Round table discussion (online and live)
12.20pm
Physics experiments that changed the world (Hybrid)
From the serendipitous discovery of X-rays in a German laboratory, to the scientists trying to prove Einstein wrong (and inadvertently proving him right), to the race to split open the atom, physicists have shaped innumerable aspects of how we live today.

In this talk, accelerator physicist Dr Suzie Sheehy will uncover how our curiosity-driven determination to understand the microscopic brought about a revolution in physics, and will show how experiments – not just theory – let us delve into the real world. Through stories linking curiosity to modern physics-based technologies, this talk will show you how to inspire your students by bringing physics down to Earth and putting it firmly back where it belongs, in the hands of the people.

Following her presentation, Dr Suzie Sheehy will be available to sign copies of her recent book on this topic.

Dr Suzie Sheehy

University of Melbourne

1.10pm
Lunch
2.00pm
Workshop session B

B1 Making Underground Science in the United States available for students around the world

Chad Ronish

Sanford Underground Research Facility, South Dakota

Hybrid
The Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota, USA is conducting particle physics research 1.5 Km under the Black Hills. Our Dark Matter, Neutrino and other international collaboration experiments serve as phenomena for for our students to access rigorous science content through presentations, tours, and curriculum units that provide access and equity. Our professional development programs help educators of all levels open the world of real life science to students who get to experience, figure-out and do real science. We help create the Wonder that drives student imaginations and questioning attitudes. Join us to see what we do and explore how we can support you and your students.

B2 IDEA - A structured approach to writing scientific explanations

Catherine Bellair

Thomas Carr College

Hybrid
Students often struggle to provide the required detail and depth when writing explanations. The IDEA approach provides students with an easy to remember way of structuring explanations. The approach can be applied at any level from Year 7 Science to VCE Physics.

B3 Mapping the Key Science Skills to the new Assessment Tasks

Dino Cevolatti

Castlemaine Secondary College

Stuart Bird

Castlemaine Secondary College

live only, recorded
Dino Cevolatti and Stuart Bird will lead a workshop designed to explore how the new Assessment Task types required for Units 3 and 4 Physics in the new Study Design can be better understood and implemented in the context of the Key Science Skills. We will begin by considering how the four Assessment Tasks can be characterised as 1) Modelling Applications, 2) Data Analyses, 3) Problem Solving, and 4) Conceptual Comparisons. We will then consider how the Key Science Skills can be mapped to these four Assessment Tasks and the Practical Investigation. Based on these considerations we will explore the types of questions that will be useful in building and assessing students’ skills across these domains. We will end with some suggested approaches to matching Assessment Tasks to Aeras of Study as well as the planning, designing and implementation of School Assessed Coursework.

B4 Radio Astronomy: The Invisible Universe

Emma Barnett

Victorian Space Science Education Centre at Strathmore Secondary College

Mark Gleeson

Hybrid
Turn your students into real astronomers where they utilise a dedicated radio telescope to probe a region of deep-space in search of objects such as stars, supernova and supermassive blackholes. This workshop explores ‘The Invisible Universe Program’ from the Victorian Space Science Education Centre. You'll have a chance to use the radio telescope as your students would, if you choose to participate in this program. Further, curriculum material will be provided that includes an introduction to astronomy, radio astronomy, activities to track celestial objects, and steps to collect radio emissions centered around 1420MHz. As far as we know, this is the world’s first radio telescope exclusively devoted to high-school students. This program has been demonstrated to scale from Year 7 to Year 11, used by 3000 students to date. All lesson plans and student-led activities are accessible using VSSECs learning management system. How you deliver this in your classroom is up to you and your school. This program would be an ideal practical exercise for the new VCE Physics Study Design, but is designed to be accessible to all secondary levels. Following this workshop, teachers will be able to implement this program within their schools. Read more here: https://www.vssec.vic.edu.au/radio -astronomy-the-invisible-universe/ Participants should bring their own laptops to this workshop.

B5 Quantum computers – approaching fast

Professor Lloyd C L Hollenberg

University of Melbourne

Hybrid
Quantum computers are beginning to emerge from decades of development in physics research labs around the world – prototypes are here, and you can access them via the cloud. But what are they, what are they good for, and how do we educate students in this exciting new area? To answer these questions we will take a brief tour through the world of quantum computers – covering their origins, current status and outlook. We will focus on how we can provide an educational experience in the secondary-STEM context, through simple programming examples using the Quantum User Interface (QUI) system developed at the University of Melbourne. Audience participation is easy and highly encouraged – bring your laptop (with Chrome browser)!

B6 Review of the 2022 VCE Physics exam - Covid-19 and other stories

Andrew Hansen

Ringwood Secondary College

Hybrid
This session reviews the key learnings from student responses to the 2022 exam. It complements my pre-recorded question by question analysis and addresses questions posed in the pre conference forum. I will address those questions and feedback and also bring to you the principal take-home messages from the exam. This is an opportunity to engage in a discussion of strategies for improved student performance in 2022 and beyond.

B7 E = mc2

Theo Hughes

Level 98

Hybrid
E = mc2 is an iconic equation. It appears in VCE physics in several places. But can you justify it to students?... Do you misleadingly state: “Well E = mc2 means starlight is bent by the sun.” or “Mass increases with speed.”?... or perhaps you’re just interested in a fun talk about it?... then come along and enjoy the ride.

B8 Assessment tasks, rubrics and marking schemes for Units 1 and 2

Maria James

Science Curriculum Manager, VCAA

live only

Assessment at Units 1 and 2 is completely school-based. A list of 16 tasks have been suggested in the study design and we will discuss sample assessment tasks and marking used to assess student work as well as provide feedback. Management of multiple option topics for Unitschemes/rubrics that can be to Area of Study 2 will also be discussed including the role of flipped classroom and Socratic seminar approaches to support student agency. Participants are welcome to bring in their own tasks to add to the conversations.

B9 What we can do to encourage more girls to take physics in VCE

Sandor Kazi

Melbourne Girls' College

Hybrid
Getting more girls to do physics at the VCE level is something I am passionate about. In this workshop I’ll share my experience working at an all girls school, how I have changed my teaching practice to engage more girls in physics, and what our students say about what they enjoy in the physics classroom. This workshop is an opportunity for all to discuss and share ideas on what we do in the classroom to encourage more girls to take VCE physics.

B10 Using technology in your classroom

Michael Maslin

Nunawading Christian College

Zach Cannon

Hybrid
There is some good technology out on the internet, here are a few of my favourite sites that I use in my classroom. PhET and oPhysics are great for getting a visual of different concepts, they have a range of simulations and so come along and I will show you the ones I particularly use for teaching the Photoelectric effect, waves and more. Do you want to add some gamification in your classroom but not sure where to start? I will show you how to use Kahoots and other sites to make revision more interesting.

Of course, if you have other programs/websites that you would like to share or know about, bring your thoughts and questions and I look forward to spending the session going through them.

B11 Why do heavy things fly? Ask Lawnchair Larry*

Matthew Norman

Richmond High School

live & recorded
To my surprise, the textbook I was using didn’t have a section on the Unit 2 option on flight. My students really wanted to do it so I wrote my own course, which I present here, and you are welcome to share. This topic is a great way to demonstrate the strange things that happen with fluids and pressure. And students really love the idea of making paper planes in class! Come and make your own.

*Lawnchair Larry was a truck driver to tied his deck chair to 45 helium weather balloons. If he had studied physics he might have used a lower number.

B12 Usain Bolt vs Spiro Liacos: It was neck and neck! And then the gun went off.

Spiro Liacos

Cheltenham Secondary College

Hybrid
Pracs, print resources, videos, and activities that will help you to fire up your Unit 2 and/or Year 10 Motion units. For example, using nothing more than a digital camera, find out how fast you can kick a soccer ball. In this session you will also compare Usain Bolt’s 100m sprint with your own 100m sprint, analyse the motion of a NASA rocket as it blasts off into orbit, investigate how the velocity and acceleration of projectiles change, and a whole lot more. Activity sheets will all be provided.

B13 Problem-Based Learning in the Physics classroom

Caroline Cotton

BioBrain Learning

live only
Problem-based learning (PBL) develops higher order thinking skills amongst other things. Higher order thinking skills are seldom taught, but should be included as part of any curriculum. PBL learning teaches students to develop thinking skills such as the ability to hypothesise, synthesise, analyse, evaluate, and generalise information rather than simply recall it. By solving unstructured problems, students also have the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills. Other benefits of PBL include developing students that are able to collaborate, solve problems, think clearly, and connect prior knowledge to the problem. Come along to this session to learn how to incorporate PBL into your Physics classroom. There will be examples provided. Learn how the role of a teacher changes when using PBL with your students.

B14 Virtual Reality Astrotour and Factory of the Future walking tour

Swinburne Outreach

Swinburne University of Technology

live only
This excursion taster consists of a 20 minute Astrotour in the 3D virtual reality theatre and a walking tour of the Factory of the Future, a facility which includes state of the art manufacturing tools and technologies.
3.00pm
Workshop session C

C1 Supporting inclusion of Indigenous science in VCE Physics

Emma Barnett

University of Melbourne

Hybrid
The 2023 Physics VCE Study Design encourages teachers to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge, cultures and history within their teaching, as well as an explicit inclusion within Area of Study 2 (Option 2.15). However, the Study Design provides limited resources for how this can be accomplished. There are many interesting scientific practices from Indigenous cultures that can be explored, as well as knowledge and perspectives that are relevant to all areas of science. Incorporating these within the classroom allows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to see their culture reflected in the curriculum while encouraging all students to participate in reconciliation, respect and recognition of Indigenous science. This workshop discusses the resources available to teachers, as well as key issues that should be addressed when including Indigenous science in VCE Physics.

C2 Dark Matter Detection: Topics for the Physics Classroom

Jackie Bondell

University of Melbourne

live and recorded
In 2023, the Southern Hemisphere's first underground Dark Matter detector will start collecting data one kilometre underground in the Stawell Underground Physics Lab. The ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics brings together experts from across Australia and internationally to unlock the secrets of dark matter and foster the science and engineering leaders of the future. The Centre for Dark Matter Particle Physics designed a longitudinal partner program in which schools have regular incursions and curriculum-aligned lessons related to the nature of science and the science of detecting the unseen. In this hands-on session, we will discuss and trial a selection of curriculum-aligned activities to incorporate topics related to the detection of dark matter into physics lessons while overviewing the cutting-edge science taking place here in Victoria.

C3 Supporting Year 7 - 10 teachers to improve readiness of U1 and U2

Dr John Cripps Clark

Deakin University

Hybrid
To appreciate the power of graphs in modelling, we need students to relate the experience of the phenomenon (speed) and its representation (graph). With simple classroom experiences and readily available equipment, we will explore how, at the initiation of a unit on motion and force, students produce graphs to represent walking at a constant speed, slowly and then a faster. Using a metronome, students make ‘streamer graphs’ using paper streamers to represent the distances walked per second, and discover that faster speed corresponds to walking a longer distance in unit time. We will explore how the experience of speed builds towards understanding acceleration; how students can make a forcemeter and measure and understand Force; and from experiencing both acceleration and Force understand Newton’s second law. In the process students interpret and discuss the graphs they make and start to appreciate random and systematic errors.

C4 Hands on learning and assessment tasks for use with the new U1 and 2 study design

Adele Hudson

Aitken College

live and recorded
Designing learning and assessment tasks which challenge students and demonstrates how Physics is relevant to their lives and the wider community, promotes students' connection with the learning content. Unit 1 & 2 Physics is the perfect platform for learner-centred tasks as the different areas of study are relevant to many real -world situations. The focus of this session will be on a project designed for the first area of study in Unit 1 of Light and Heat. The project will be conducted over a period of two to three weeks, where students will apply their understanding in a range of hands-on learning tasks and will culminate in a solar oven challenge.

C5 Conceptual questions in teaching physics.

Yuriy Verkhatsky

Bialik College

live and recorded
Certainly the way of knowing about the world that we label “physics” is characterized by precise relationships expressed through mathematical expressions. But exclusive focus on the mathematical relationships of physics doesn't lead to the good understanding of physics. This doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with numerical questions; it is just that they need to be supplemented with questions that develop conceptual understanding and critical thinking. In this workshop many conceptual questions related to different areas of physics will be presented and the way how to use them in teaching physics will be discussed.

C6 Astronomy during the school day

Paul Butler

Melbourne Girls Grammar School

Hybrid
The field of astronomy offers a wide range of opportunities for engaging students in physics. Optical astronomy, however, requires night-time conditions and reasonably low levels of light pollution. As a result, many courses resort to teaching about astronomy rather than teaching by doing astronomy. This session will explore some of the ways in which hands-on astronomy can be included in during the school day. Starting with optical astronomy, examples will be introduced for investigating the sun using sundials and projection imaging and moving on to space weather. Next, radio astronomy will be introduced through a range of building projects which can be linked to simple electronics to enable students to receive radio signals from space. Finally, online optical and radio astronomy systems will be demonstrated which can readily be accessed for data collection and analysis. The focus of this session will be to identify a range of resources which can be used in schools and which are free or involve relatively modest cost.

C7 More A Bricolage Than a War - Citizen Science in VCE Physics and Beyond

Colin Chapman

Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership

Hybrid
This presentation will explore the development of dynamic simulations that may be coupled with physical devices through an Arduino/ Micro: Bit microcontroller implementation in novel responsive design opportunities. Innovation in the use of electronic records of evidence that allow for embedded simulations and linked videos of physical experiment will be explored. The presentation will support Unit 1/ Outcome 2 How Do Electric Circuits Work? and Unit 2/ Outcome 2.4: How can AC electricity charge a DC device? Apply the use of heat and light sensors such as thermistors and light-dependent resistors (LDRs) to trigger an output device such as lighting or a motor.

C8 Developing Lab Skills for the soon-to-be Tertiary Student

Jacinta den Besten

University of Melbourne

Hybrid
Experimentation is at the heart of all experimental sciences, but what is its role in the classroom? From confirming and re-enforcing content to developing scientific analysis and critique, how does the purpose of the classroom experiment influence the outcomes and engagement of a scientific literate student? Finally, what skills are universities looking to develop through their experimental programs and how can we better support our secondary students when entering the tertiary system? Join me for an interesting discussion and insight into the expectations, purpose, curriculum and pedagogy of tertiary Physics labs and the transition from the high-school experience.

C9 Review of the 2022 VCE Physics exam - Covid-19 and other stories

Andrew Hansen

Ringwood Secondary College

Hybrid
This session reviews the key learnings from student responses to the 2022 exam. It complements my pre-recorded question by question analysis and addresses questions posed in the pre conference forum. I will address those questions and feedback and also bring to you the principal take-home messages from the exam. This is an opportunity to engage in a discussion of strategies for improved student performance in 2022 and beyond.

C10 Tips and hints for beginning teachers and teachers returning to Physics

Colin Hopkins OAM

Retired

Hybrid
Colin will share tips and hints for engaging students in VCE Physics. Useful resources will be shared. The presentation will conclude with a question and answer session. The session is aimed a teachers new or returning to teaching VCE Physics.

C11 Constructing and analysing motors for assessment

Campbell Wilson

Montmorency Secondary College

Loukia Andrews

Montmorency Secondary College

Hybrid
Obtaining deep conceptual understanding of how motors operate from the line diagrams typically presented can be challenging for students. This session explores how construction of a single loop motor, incorporating electromagnets, commutator, brushes and rotor, in the form of an extended SAC with associated analysis can engage students in a hands on way that supports stronger outcomes.

C12 Opportunities and challenges in renewable electric generation transformation

Rick Zhang

Tilt Renewables Pty Ltd

Hybrid
Australia, alongside most other countries, is transforming from traditional thermal power generation to a hybrid generation of renewable electricity sources and battery energy storage systems. With an increasing proportion of renewable energy generators, the power grid faces new challenges from factors such as unstable power sources and lack of inertia in the system, factors which can trigger frequency and voltage instability. To reach our 2050 net carbon emission target, engineers and scientists are working on various solutions to provide reliable power generation and a stable transmission grid. This presentation will review the principles of major renewable energy sources including wind turbines and solar panels; detail design challenges experienced by real-life projects which have been successfully connected to the National Electricity Market; discuss the advantages and shortcomings of wind turbines and solar panels generation mode and explain the reason massive battery energy storage systems will support the clean energy revolution.

C13 Relative Motion and Frames of Reference

Spiro Liacos

Hybrid
The two related concepts of Relative Motion and Frames of Reference form an essential part of a deeper understanding of vectors, Newton’s Laws of Motion, and, of course, relativity. It makes sense therefore to take some time to explicitly teach these concepts fairly early on in any motion unit (before some of the more challenging concepts are introduced). In this session, we will look at some demonstrations, activities, and worksheets that will help students to quickly grasp the basics of these concepts. (And, for what it’s worth, your students will be fascinated by actually seeing that at any given moment an object can be travelling at different speeds AND in different directions!)

C14 Innovative ways to teach fundamental physics concepts underpinning the production and use of medical radioisotopes

Julie Mulholland

ANSTO

Hybrid
The field of nuclear medicine has recently seen major advances with the development of new radiopharmaceuticals, called theranostics, which are suited for both diagnostics and therapy. ANSTO is part of this frontier research in Australia. In this workshop, we will explore hands-on activities you can use with your students which examine some of the fundamental physics concepts and models behind the production of medical radioisotopes at ANSTO, including nuclear stability and fission chain reactions. We will also investigate radioactive decay using authentic science data to determine the half-life of medical radioisotopes. These activities address content from Unit 1 Area of Study 2 as well as ICT skills, critical and creative thinking, and problem-solving.

C15 Virtual Reality Astrotour and Nanofabrication Lab/Laser laboratory tour

Swinburne Outreach

Live only
This excursion taster consists of a 20 minute Astrotour in the 3D virtual reality theatre followed by a walking tour of the Nanofabrication and Laser laboratories
4.00pm
Post conference drinks (Hybrid)
sponsored by anzuk education
on demand
Pre-recorded workshops

O1 Connecting with our students on climate change

Keith Burrows

Climate Change for Skeptics

On Demand
The news from climate science seems to get worse every day: Tipping points closer than we thought, Greenland and Antarctic ice melting faster than predicted. It’s scary and we can’t pretend otherwise. Our senior students can feel confused, frustrated and often angry about this issue. If they don’t they aren’t awake! To add to the confusion, the largest news corporation in Australia often tells lies about climate science. So how can we build connections with our students, and our colleagues, in a meaningful way that brings some sense of optimism? There IS good news! Australia could reduce the WORLD’S emissions by 8%. That’s just one conclusion from new work by Ross Garnaut and leading climate scientists. Other recent reports are also pointing to a more positive future. The aim of this workshop is to share these ideas, and build connections, around tackling this huge and critical issue.
Meet our speakers

Andrew Hansen

Adele Hudson

Caroline Cotton

Chad Ronish

Colin Hopkins OAM

Dan O'Keeffe OAM

Dave Fish

Deepa Jain

Jane Coyle

Professor Jean Brodie

John Cripps

Joe Cossette

Lisa Mililli

Lloyd Hollenberg

Maria James

Rachael Gore

Claire Rollinson

Sandor Kazi

Spiro Liacos

Theo Hughes

Tristan Vale

Yuriy Verkhatsky

Catherine Bellair

Michael Maslin

Paul Butler

Man Lam

Keith Burrows

Event sponsors
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Bronze Sponsor
Exhibitors
Frequently Asked Questions

Is there parking at the Swinburne University Technology Hawthorn Campus?

There are a number of options for car parking both short term and all day, including a multi story car park which is generally not full before 9:00 adjacent to the campus. In addition the venues are conveniently located close to Glenferrie train Station.

What is the difference between live only and live and recorded?

A session list as "live only" will not be recorded. If the session is listed as "live and recorded" then it will be recorded and the recording made available for viewing after February 24.

Dr Claire Rollinson started teaching VCE Physics and Mathematics at The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School in 2010 after working in research for 6+ years in the fields of photonics and fibre optics. As a researcher, she used spreadsheet software extensively to visualise and analyse data in order to draw conclusions and inform development. As a teacher, she is passionate about sharing the wonder of Physics and Mathematics while encouraging students to focus on the process of improving skills and knowledge rather than striving for perfect marks.

Jane has taught Physics for 25 years. She has been on development panels for previous VCE Physics study designs, the Australian Curriculum and is a contributing writer for Jacaranda Physics. She uses the flipped model in her physics classroom and is a strong advocate for teaching multiple Unit 2 options concurrently. She has presented regularly at the VCE Physics conferences and is currently Vice President of VicPhysics teachers’ Network.

Keith has taught senior physics in Victorian schools since the 60's. He is an author of the Pearson series of senior physics text books used around the country. Since retiring from full time teaching he has been active in presenting on climate science to schools, teachers and various other organisations. He has a website called “Climate Science for Sceptics” aimed at those who genuinely want to understand the science behind the issue. It is at www.cs4s.net

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Lisa Mililli began as a Biomechanical Engineer for a surgical implants company. Through running staff and nursing education programs for this company, she learned that her passion lied in teaching. After completing a Master of Teaching at Melbourne University, Lisa began teaching physics and mathematics at Aitken College in 2021. In this role, Lisa has been working with the team at Aitken College to increase the use of inquiry, real world application, and student choice in math and science assessments and learning.

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Caroline is an experienced and passionate educator who has taught Biology, Chemistry and Science for many years. She regularly delivers professional learning to teachers and revision lectures to students before the end of year examinations. Caroline is also the founder of BioBrain. She has developed curriculum for the past 20 years in various formats and created BioBrain to help students learn and revise key concepts in a format that they are used to interacting with all the time, their desktop and mobile devices! BioBrain is an interactive STEM learning platform for Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Science students and their teachers.

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Dr. Suzie Sheehy is a physicist, academic and science communicator based at the University of Melbourne, where she is Senior Lecturer in Accelerator Physics and at the University of Oxford, UK, where is a Visiting Lecturer (and formerly a Royal Society University Research Fellow). Her research focuses on developing new particle accelerators for future applications with a focus on medicine. An award-winning public speaker, presenter and science communicator, Suzie is dedicated to sharing science beyond the academic community. She has delivered professional lectures and keynote presentations, written and delivered live shows to tens of thousands of students, is an expert TV presenter for Impossible Engineering on Discovery Channel and in 2018 delivered her first TED talk as part of TEDx Sydney, which has been viewed over 1.8M times. Her first popular science book is 'The Matter of Everything: Twelve Experiments that Changed our World'.

Catherine Bellair has taught secondary Science, Mathematics and VCE Physics for over 15 years at a range of schools across Melbourne. She is interested in developing STEM and literacy courses for secondary school students to help students improve their science inquiry skills. Currently, she is also a member of the STAV Science Talent Search (STS) community as part of the games team.

Dino Cevolatti and Stuart Bird have known each other since 1993 during their undergraduate years in on-campus accommodation in Farrer Hall Monash University and later in share-house accommodation in Malvern and Richmond. They undertook their Post-Graduate Diploma of Education in the same year in 2004 at Melbourne University and have been teaching Physics on-and-off ever since. Dino has been a Leading Teacher at Castlemaine Secondary since 2009 and in 2018 took on the role of Learning Specialist, while, Stuart has also been a Leading Teacher at Castlemaine Secondary from 2012 to 2016 and has since taken on VASS and Integration coordinator roles. They also both write and collaborate on commercially available resources for "Quality Assessment Tasks (QATs)

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Emma Barnett is studying Indigenous astronomy and education at the University of Melbourne, within the Cultural Astronomy group. As part of her research, Emma is designing an education program suitable for Victorian schools through a collaboration between the Victorian Space Science Education Centre, the University of Melbourne and the Australian Indigenous Astronomy charity.

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Professor Hollenberg is a Melbourne Laureate Professor and the Thomas Baker Chair in the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne. He has published over 250 papers and is well known internationally for his work in quantum computing and the development of quantum sensing techniques at the quantum-nano-bio interface. His group’s work in quantum computing underpins the establishment of the IBM Quantum Hub at the University of Melbourne, providing access the state-of-the-art hardware. Over his career, he has been very active in secondary school outreach, most recently in developing approaches for bringing quantum computing into the secondary STEM setting.

Michael has worked at Nunawading Christian College for 10 years and teaches VCE Physics and Chemistry. He has enjoyed using a range of technology in his classroom and always likes to try new tech when it comes out. Michael regularly uses simulations, games and videos to add to his classes. He also enjoys working collaboratively with other teachers to discover, implement and improve resources for his students. On the side, Michael has worked for a variety of educational publishers as an exam reviewer and content creator for textbook resources.

Matthew has 15 years of teaching experience in VCE physics and maths. He is currently Head of Science at Richmond High School and is writing the Physics program for Years 11 and 12, being offered for the first time there. Prior to being a teacher, Matthew researched and published academic papers in the area of solid state physics.

Jackie Bondell is Education and Outreach Coordinator for both the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) and for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics and is based in Melbourne, Australia. She develops educational content for public outreach events and curriculum for school programs, focusing on incorporating innovative technology and science content into in-depth and curriculum-aligned education opportunities for students and teachers. Prior to 2018, Jackie spent 15 years as a Physics instructor in the US. She holds a Masters Degree in Astrophysics and is a National Board Certified Teacher of Secondary Physical Science. During her teaching career, she was the recipient of multiple teaching awards, including the National Science Teachers Association Technology Award for Innovative Use of Technology in Science Teaching. She has led multiple workshops related to incorporating visualisation technology and current Physics research into the science classroom and has recently authored a chapter in a textbook on teaching contemporary Physics to secondary students. Jackie is the Chair of the Education and Outreach Chapter Steering Committee for the Astronomical Society of Australia and a National Astronomy Education Coordinator representing Australia to the Office of Astronomy for Education with the International Astronomy Union.

John has taught physics, science and mathematics in primary, secondary schools and universities in Victoria and NSW and has researched primary science and physics education in rural and urban schools in Victoria, NSW and the ACT, focusing on exemplary teachers of science and their use of practical activities. He teaches Physics, science and technology pedagogy to pre-service and practising teachers across Melbourne & Geelong. John has provided professional development for teachers in Victoria in a series of Departmental projects over the past dozen years. John has developed with Susie Groves, Brian Doig and Julian Williams the ‘Modelling motion’ inquiry-based unit, integrating Mathematics and Physics for the reSolve: Maths by Inquiry national program: https://www.resolve.edu.au/modelling-motion on which this workshop is based

Adele Hudson is Head of Science at Aitken College and teaches middle school science, and senior chemistry, physics and mathematics. Coming from a background in research, Adele is passionate about providing students with opportunities to engage in real-world investigations; finding that when students understand the relevance of their learning, they are more likely to value the subject and invest time and energy. Using this approach has resulted in an average 30% increase in student participation in VCE sciences.

Paul Butler has been teaching VCE and IB Physics for many years. He has introduced many students to astronomy and astrophysics through a range of practical activities which include observing eclipses and transits and receiving data and images from satellites. He is actively involved in radio astronomy using his own radio telescope at home and through online radio telescopes around the world. He is currently contributing to a school outreach programme with the Astronomical Society of Victoria.

Teacher of Systems Engineering, Specialist Mathematics and Physics. Caroline Chisholm Catholic College Head of Learning - Mathematics. On secondment as Master Teacher – Technologies in the Teaching Excellence Division of the Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership.

Jacinta den Besten is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne and the Director of First Year Physics where she is responsible for coordinating the first-year physics program for the Bachelor of Science students as well as students majoring in engineering and biomedicine. She has over 20 years of experience in secondary and tertiary physics education and is currently researching into student engagement into physics laboratory programs.

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Tilt Renewables Pty Ltd

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Man is a registered teacher and currently works as the laboratory manager at Mt Alexander College. He did his first degree in Kingston University, (London) with first class honours and won the Oxford Product prize. He then worked as a research assistant in Exeter University and Hong Kong City University. He studied a Ph.D. in University of Melbourne and his research interests were in high temperature experimental metallurgy, mathematical modelling of filtration and climatology such as hurricane prediction and outgoing long radiation. His hobbies in developing equipment and experiments to demonstrate science concepts began when he worked in the Science and Technology Museum of Hong Kong as an exhibition designer many years ago.

Andrew came to teaching after a career in health care. He has been assessing for over ten years and Chief Assessor for the last eight years. Andrew believes that Physics is a discursive art and enjoys watching as students develop their conceptual knowledge through experience and discussion.

Chad is a Science Education Specialist with Sanford Underground Research Facility Education and Outreach Team. He has a MS. Ed in STEM Education and taught in a High School Classroom for 24 years. Chad has a background in nuclear propulsion from the United States Navy and has been a part of Quarknet with Fermi Lab for 12 years.

Retired from HOS Bialik College 2016. Awarded OAM for services to Physics Education 2021. Since retiring Colin has worked supporting teachers across the state. Published author, VCE Exam questions, Creelman.

Dan is the secretary of Vicphysics Teachers' Network. He has been active in Vicphysics and its precursors for a few decades, principally organising professional development activities. Currently he prepares the Vicphysics newsletter and maintains the website.

Dave has been a high school Physics teacher for over 30 years. His involvement with Perimeter Institute dates right back to the beginning with the initial development of ISSYP, EinsteinPlus and several other outreach activities. He has played a leading role in the production of most of the Perimeter classroom resources. He has given workshops on modern physics at local, provincial, national and international levels. Dave is currently a Teacher in Residence at Perimeter Institute

Hello! My name is Deepa Jain. Having experience gained from India, UK and New Zealand, I am now currently teaching Junior science, Engineering and Physics at Kew High school. Teaching is my passion. I try targeting all students to make them learn and understand by delivering the content using simple and effective strategies that make my learners engaged and active. Delivering the content with right pedagogy makes learners happy and confident!

Professor Brodie's field of research is extragalactic globular clusters and galaxy formation. She uses globular star clusters, the ‘fossil record’ of the state of the early Universe to understand how galaxies formed over cosmic time. That is, how the Universe evolved from the dense, uniform, ‘primordial soup’ left over from the Big Bang to its highly structured present form, full of galaxies like our Milky Way, nearly 14 billion years later. She is the founder and chief investigator of SAGES (Study of the Astrophysics of Globular clusters in Extragalactic Systems), an international research group that investigates globular clusters and their host galaxies with a focus on using the world’s best observational facilities to provide fresh clues.

Joe has taught high school physics and physical science for 8 years. Before becoming a teacher, he worked as a mechanical engineer and is passionate about helping students make real world connections with the science content in the classroom. He spends a lot of time brainstorming creative ways to make learning fun and interesting and shares many of his lesson ideas for free on his website "Passionately Curious" (passionatelycurioussci.weebly.com)

Maria James is the Curriculum Manager for Science for Years Foundation-12 with the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, overseeing curriculum for Chemistry, Environmental Science and Physics. She holds a Masters degree in Education (Curriculum) and has written a number of textbooks for Junior Science and Senior Chemistry courses. Maria has held a variety of positions in several independent schools, including Head of Science, Dean of Students and Head of Senior College. She is passionate about motivating and engaging students with science, and in encouraging them to take action in local and global contexts.

Rachael is an experienced Physics and Mathematics Teacher with expertise in both VCE and IB curriculums. She is passionate about developing teacher excellence, data informed practice, technology rich classrooms, and researched backed pedagogy. Rachael is a recipient of the Outstanding Secondary Teacher Award from the Department of Education Excellence Awards.

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Sandor has been a teacher at Melbourne Girls' College for over 15 years, who has regularly given VCE lectures and been involved in exam marking. With a background in particle physics, he has worked at CERN during the construction of the LHC. In 2014 he was awarded the Hugh Rogers Fellowship which allowed him to visit renowned educator in physics Professor Eric Mazur at Harvard University.

Hi, I'm Spiro Liacos. I have been teaching Physics since 1990, but I feel that I'm still constantly learning new ways of teaching. My wife Georgina and I are the producers of the famous Shedding Light series of videos that are available on ClickView. We also write heaps of worksheets and pracs that can be freely accessed from our website. Just search for Liacos Educational Media.

Theo has been a high school teacher, a university lecturer (and Education Manager) as well as having worked in senior roles in publishing and IT. Now he wants to help change education for the better, particularly physics, through his company Level 98.

I'm teaching physics, mathematics, chemistry and science since 1989 in Australia and overseas. My students were winners of Australian Physics Olympiad, Australian Math Competition, Victorian Young Physicists Tournament, VCE Physics competition of University of Melbourne and so on. I've also worked in science research with my main area of interest being the interaction of electromagnetic and sound waves in solids as well as being an electronic engineer and author of articles and patents. (Some devices designed by me were used in the space stations)