I now teach KS3 science and with the inclusion of more magnetism in the new national curriculum it is important to remind ourselves about cool things. I consider magnetism in space to be one of these. I wonder what response I’ll get by playing a radio clip to half of my students and the other just the text. Bound to get mostly “sir, is that really you?’.
Auroral displays are simply one of the most fantastic events you can see in the sky. That this is due to particles being accelerated in the Earth’s magnetic field always makes me think “cool”. Lovely bit of atomic transition physics going on as well. Definitely should be talked about in secondary school magnetism and chemistry lessons.
A group of my students tried out a quick experiment to investigate a bunch of our LDRs – mostly to see if they were all working and we decided that it would be nice to plot a graph of the results. This post is as much for me to find these results again for the future, but you never know someone else might find these useful for verification or just to confirm that at low bulb currents you do, indeed, get some high resistances!
LDR Current – Resistance
Well its almost Christmas and I decided that this would be a great chance to do a bit of extra engagement with a few of my classes. We have also just completed a whole term of (KS3) physics. This means we have encountered, forces, light, electricity and energy. So why not do a lesson of application that is not just an exam. So here is my plan (going to try it tomorrow) – well a rough write up of a plan with associated resources:
Physics of Christmas
Calculate the speed of Father Christmas
Explain assumptions made in calculations
Evaluate situations and suggest solutions
Starter: Ask students to produce a list of what they think could be physics to do with Christmas.
Main: Circus activity where groups of students spend 5 minutes at each station to complete a challenge using their physics understanding from the previous term.
Plenary: Students complete an extended piece of writing about the physics of Christmas.
Let me know if you try any of this, I’m going to give this a go and post my review of my lessons.
Just over a month ago I was asked if I’d like to be involved in National Astronomy week (2014) by putting together some lesson plans. As this coincided nicely with a visit from OFSTED I managed to put a few ideas together for their website. I’ve included them below, they are still rather drafty and will need bulking out for any class but the overall ideas and structure are there (bit like the Edexcel SoW). I’ve trialed a couple of these activities and have made resources that I’ll upload when I get a moment…. but now back to the EM waves lesson I’m planning for tomorrow.
Title: How did Galileo observe Jupiter?
Big Picture: How do we know the Sun is at the centre of the Solar System?
Lesson Overview: Students complete a practical investigation to build a simple refracting telescope like that of Galileo.
Describe how observations provide evidence
Explain how light travels through concave and convex lenses
Design and build a telescope
Outline of activities:
Task 1: Explore Galileo’s observations
Task 2: Use concave and convex lenses with ray boxes to draw how light rays pass through lenses
Task 3: Measure the focal length of the lenses from a diagram
Task 4: Use your measurements to design a telescope that focuses light to a point.
Plenary: Write a tweet @NAW? to describe how a telescope is built
Title: Exploring Jupiter
Big Picture: How do spacecraft alter our view of the Universe?
Lesson Overview: Students will explore what we know about Jupiter. They will design mission to Jupiter and deliver a presentation to their peers.
List the main features of Jupiter
Design a scientific experiment
Evaluate scientific options and present a reasoned conclusion
Outline of activities:
Task 1: Picture of Jupiter and Moons in hall, students have to replicate the picture and answer levelled questions. The ones who get the most point get a prize.
Task 2: Comprehension on Jupiter task. In pairs the students read out a passage back to back on Jupiter – they then have 3 minutes to make notes that will be used in the next task.
Task 3: You are part of an international team (group of 3/4) who are putting together a bid to put a spacecraft around Jupiter. (Each group is a different nation and are given a primary task e.g. exploring Io, weather formation on Jupiter, the effects of impacts on Jupiter’s atmosphere). They have an information pack and have to put together a visual aid and a presentation on their mission. Each group is given 1 minute to present. Each presentation is given a rating out of 10 by their peers on both presentation and scientific content. All groups have to write a WWW and EBI for the other groups. The team of 4 have to give a percentage of effort for each student – if you use vivos offer 50 then this will force a non-even split. At the end all groups vote on best design.
Plenary: Students write a tweet that they would send from their spacecraft
Title: How important is Jupiter?
Lesson Overview: Students will gather information on Jupiter and will create a poster
Outline of activities:
Task 1: Gather information from around the room on Jupiter – create a mind map
Task 2: Create a poster on how Jupiter is important to life on the Earth (SL9 is the key here)
Task 3: Condense ideas into 140 character tweet @NAW?
I’m currently in the mist of teaching GCSE Extension Physics (in particular Edexcel’s P3) and there are lots of nice optics in there. In particular about the eye. I strongly feel that the students would understand how each part of the eye works by doing a dissection but alas we currently do not have the budget for this. Next best thing a model… not just a plastic one.
So how does this work? Well that is 4 litre flask (with some Fluorescein in) that has a beam of light from a ray box (would work better with a more directional source) and lenses on the front. You could put various on at once but I decided it was best to just do one at a time. By using different focal length lenses (representing the cornea+lens) you are able to show different vision defects. The paths of light are clearly visible. We then used different lenses in front of the model to show how the beams of light are altered. Basically we mimicked what an optician would do – giving a nice How Science Works link.