Institute of Physics - Welsh Physics Teachers Conference 2019

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Christ College

Bridge Street



United Kingdom

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The Institute of Physics Welsh Physics Teachers Conference will take place on 9th October 2019 at Christ College Brecon.


Professor Andrew Evans: Head of Department - Physics, Aberystwyth University

Andrew Evans is professor of materials and head of the physics department at Aberystwyth who specialises in the study of semiconductors and nanomaterials using electrons, visible light and x-rays in order to make new materials and devices for applications such as solar energy capture. X-rays were discovered by Roentgen in 1895 and the first x-ray generators were quickly built by researchers in Wales and offered for medical examination. Today’s generators can produce x-ray beams for imaging and spectroscopy that are used in a wide range of health and industrial applications.The most intense x-rays are produced as synchrotron radiation emitted by high energy particles in large storage rings such as the UK’s Diamond Light Source at Harwell. The history of x-ray generation will be reviewed along with examples of how synchtrotron radiation is used to understand and improve the properties of materials.

Are we ready for electric cars?.Prof Averil Macdonald OBE and Prof Alun Vaughan University of Southampton

Everyone seems to think that electric cars are an excellent way to reduce pollution and our reliance on fossil fuels. But it's not that simple. Averil will explain the serious difficulties and threats that electric cars could bring, and consider the choices and life style changes that we will all have to adopt to move to a totally green electric world while Alun will describe the huge technological challenges in generating and transmitting the electricity we will demand and the current research being undertaken to achieve this.

Professor Averil Macdonald is Emeritus Professor of Science Engagement at University of Reading. She was awarded OBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours 2015 for Services to women in Science.Professor Alun Vaughan is Professor of Dielectric Materials at University of Southampton having previously held roles a Head of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Deputy Head of School of Electronics and Computer Science

Choice of workshops

Workshop A1

GCSE Science and GCE Physics Update WJEC

Helen Francis, Domain Leader - Mathematics and Science, Subject Officer - Physics

The examinations board will provide and update on GCSE Science and GCE Physics

Workshop A2/ C6

Improving Gender Balance

Institute of Physics – TBC

Gender stereotypes can influence the way we behave, the choices we make and how we react to other people. They can restrict what we think is possible for ourselves and others, even when there are no visible barriers in the way. There is increasing evidence to show that gender stereotypes affect subject choice, with less girls taking physics and maths, and affect student behaviour, with boys having difficulty dealing with emotions and girls having lower confidence, but also plenty of evidence to demonstrate that we can change this pattern.This workshop will provide an overview of gender stereotypes, how they can affect subject choice and what strategies you can implement to improve gender balance in school subjects.

Workshop A3

The New Curriculum – speaker TBC

The New Curriculum – What is physics? How should physics be positioned in the new Welsh curriculum? This workshop will be a professional discussion looking at these issues hosted by teachers who have been working on the documents for the new curriculum. The latest position will be reported and as well as an outline of the process. There will also be a chance for you to share your own ideas.

Workshop A4/B2

Using Marvin and Milo

Alison Alexander and Ruth Wiltshire. Institute of Physics

The workshop will explore ways in which Marvin and Milo based activities can be used in the classroom and in other places too. Some of the workshop leaders' favourites will be on show. If possible, please come prepared to share your own favourites and examples of how you use the activities.

Workshop A5/B6

Physics Stories

Graham Perrin. Institute of Physics

I'm on a quest to rehumanise Physics and change perceptions into physics is done by normal people. We'll explore ways of telling the important stories of physics and using them for lesson context etc.

Workshop A6

How to use an Arduino

John Kinchin - Equipment Reviews Deputy Editor for Physics Education

The Arduino platform is a very low cost device that allows both data acquisition and control. Its simplicity and ease of connection makes it an ideal solution for use in the physics laboratory, either as a replacement for more expensive data logging equipment.. We will be introducing the Arduino platform and making a simple temperature sensor using very common laboratory equipment. Sample experiments will also be on show.

Workshop B1/C1. Coaching teachers of physics.

Alessio Bernardelli - Institute of Physics

An opportunity to meet and discuss with other teacher-coaches. If you are a teacher or thinking of becoming a coach, or lead CPD sessions for teachers of physics, you are most welcome at this workshop. We will take a topic, outline some activities that might be used in a session with teachers, and discuss alternatives, models, problems, strengths and means of presentation.. (KS3-4-5)

Please think of a misconception in physics that you found in your students and/or the teachers you coach and explain how you helped them to reflect on it and generate a conceptual change in their thinking. You could bring along props, demos, or resources you used to illustrate your practice.​

Workshop B3

Real Graphs from Real Data

Stuart Farmer - Institute of Physics

In this workshop innovative methods of teaching graph drawing concepts and data analysis skills will be explored. This includes uncertainty and lines of best fit along with hands-on activities using extremely low cost resources even cutting away the unnecessary complications of measurement, scales and graph paper.

Workshop B4 / C4

What's In the Box?

Edward Male - Head of Science, Henry Tudor School, Pembroke

This workshop will share Ideas for engagement and concept modelling in physics. There will be an opportunity to engage and discuss current teaching practices and how different models can be used to explain physical concepts.

Workshop B5 / C5

Creative Circuits

Sue McGrath IoP Physics Network Coordinator.

This interactive workshop gives teachers ideas for the delivery of the basics of electricity and electrical circuits in a fun, hands-on way. They will then create your their own electrical circuit using Play-Doh and plasticine, and a range of electronic components.The workshop is based on squishy circuits - will use the cosmic ball and wandarama in the initial part - static and DC - then the teachers will connect spades to wires of small battery packs and then use this to power led's which are embedded in their play-doh and plasticine creations.

Workshop B7/ C7

Toy Story

Richard Bonella - Institute of Physics

How helicopters use forces to get airborne, hover and move around. A simple toy for pupils to build as a context for Newton One, Two and Three. Then some knotty problems involving moments.

Workshop B8 / C8

Video resources for teaching physics

Lewis Mattheson - A level Physics Online

In this workshop there will be an opportunity to explore some of the online video resources that you can use in your classroom, and your students can watch at home, to help you deliver both GCSE and A Level Physics

Workshop C2

Physics Careers and Mentoring for Schools

Rosie Mellors : Physics Mentoring Project Cardiff University

We will explore the benefits of the Physics Mentoring project, and how teachers can adopt some of the practices of the project. We will also explore, in depth, the variety of careers Physics qualifications can lead to.

Workshop C3

The Physics behind Climate Change

Stuart Farmer - Institute of Physics

Climate change is one of the most important issues facing our students. In this workshop the basic physics behind climate change is explored along with analysis of data illustrating the changes taking place.

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Christ College

Bridge Street



United Kingdom

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