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IOP Physics Big Day Out at Cosford

Tom Dawson -

Thursday, 22 June 2017 from 10:00 to 16:00 (BST)

Ticket Information

Type Remaining End Quantity
Attendee ticket
For teachers, trainees and technicians of physics - specialists and non specialists are all welcome.
16 Tickets 20 Jun 2017 Free  

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Event Details

A full day of free physics CPD from the Stimulating Physics Network and the IOP Teacher Network. Teachers, trainees and technicians are all welcome, whether you are a physics specialist or not.

The programme is as follows:

10.00 - 10.15: Welcome and registration

10.15 - 10.30: Introduction

10.30 - 11.30: Workshop 1

11.30 - 11.45: Break

11.45 - 12.45: Workshop 2

12.45 - 13.30: Lunch

13.30 - 2.15: Guest lecture by Dr Jess Wade of Imperial College London 

2.15 - 2.45: Something a little different...

2.45 - 3.45: Workshop 3

3.45 - 4.00: Close

Take a look at the workshop choices below, and decide which you'd like to attend. Please make a note of your choices, as you won't be able to see the following information when you enter your registration details. (You can download a copy of the timetable and workshop choices from


THE WORKSHOPS (choose 1 from each session)


Workshop 1 Choices

Workshop 1A: Shocked and Stunned:  This workshop aims to improve your knowledge of how the Van de Graaff generator works and build your confidence with effective ways of using the generator in class. These shrunk down particle accelerators can really help visualise physics and make for a memorable lesson so come along to play with the portable generators and accessories supplied and get some ideas about how to employ them in your teaching.

Workshop 1B: Wire a house make and take: Are your Key Stage Three pupils confident about the basics of electric circuits? Why not get them to build a model of domestic wiring, with batteries, switches and bulbs to make series and parallel circuits?  This will also develop the link between resistance, potential difference and the resulting current, before unveiling the equation (our friend V = IR).

Workshop 1C: Philip Harris – equipment expo: This year the supplier slot will be taken by Philip Harris who are celebrating their 200 year anniversary. Nadine Dyson will be demonstrating equipment and answer any technical queries. She would also be happy to see any old Philip Harris equipment you might have hanging around in the back of cupboards and want to know what it does!


Workshop 2 Choices

Workshop 2A: Putting GCSE practicals in context: Physics is a practical subject. This workshop will help you put GCSE practical experiments into relevant, real life contexts to make them more meaningful to students. The workshop includes some practical activities linked to the GCSE practicals, but the main focus is designing and delivering GCSE experiments to incorporate real-life problem-solving and ideas from industry to move the focus of practical work beyond just passing exams. You will be able to take away resources. 

Workshop 2B: An introduction to the use of the Virtual Physical Laboratory: A whistle-stop tour of the Virtual Physical Laboratory (VPLab), demonstrating how it can be used to enhance the teaching/learning of physics. If you have not encountered the VPLab before, this is the recommended one because all teachers who attend this workshop will be given a complimentary license to use the VPLab.

Workshop 2C: Circuit model make and take: Make your students loopy with this electric circuits model that you can make and take back to use in school. A physical visualisation of what is happening in an electric circuit, ideas about resistance can be linked to Drudes model (electrons moving in a metal), current to rope loops and potential difference to height difference. Based on a paper in Physics Education (Carlton, K. et al., 1999. Teaching electric current and electrical potential. Physics Education, 34(6), pp.341–345.) amongst other influences, this is a useful demonstration tool.


Workshop 3 Choices

Workshop 3A: Models of Electricity: This workshop aims to demonstrate and critically evaluate a number of physical models of electrical current. It will be hands on and practical but also involve thinking carefully about the models we introduce to explain difficult concepts like potential difference, resistance and current. We will consider the strengths and weaknesses of each model and think about the best ways they can be incorporated into classroom practise.

Workshop 3B: Taking Virtual Physical Laboratory to the next level: The is a more advanced presentation of the VPLab, showing how the VPLab can interface with certain real experiments in order to data-log and analyse experimental data. This is achieved by using the microphone input to normal computers, so no expensive hardware is needed – just a little ingenuity!

Workshop 3C: Electric Circuits tips: An hour of useful tips about running electric circuits practicals. We'll play mystery box bingo where we look at the I-V characteristics of standard components, show off ideas about nifty lead testers, and tell you the secret to not blowing fuses in your multimeters. 



Do you have questions about IOP Physics Big Day Out at Cosford? Contact Tom Dawson -

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When & Where

RAF Cosford Museum (Cold War Hanger)
RAF Cosford museum
TF11 8UP Cosford
United Kingdom

Thursday, 22 June 2017 from 10:00 to 16:00 (BST)

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