October 14, 2018 Filed in: Announcements
Quantum mechanics is a complex subject, but its basic concepts are being taught in Canadian physics curricula. To encourage and inspire students to pursue careers in STEM, educators should have access to the tools and resources that reflect the current content and understanding of the field. Who better to help equip them than the experts pioneering the field itself?Schrodinger’s Class
is a 3-day workshop that takes place at the Institute for Quantum Computing
(IQC), a scientific research institute at the University of Waterloo. Led by John Donohue, IQC alumnus and now Scientific Outreach Manager, this workshop gives science educators like you the opportunity to attend lectures and engage in hands-on activities focused on the integration of quantum technologies into the current teaching curriculum. Activities include the introduction of quantum superposition using inexpensive light polarizers, as well as using simple physics and math to convey the "spookiness" of quantum entanglement. There will be discussions about quantum information science and technology to give you a deeper understanding of quantum mechanics to bring back to the classroom. You will not only discover how harnessing remarkable quantum phenomena is transforming the way we compute and communicate today, but also how it will change the technological landscape of tomorrow, with your students at the helm.
Here’s what past participants had to say about the event:
- “It was an amazing opportunity to gain a better conceptual understanding of quantum physics: great to fill in some gaps as well as uncover some misconceptions I didn’t know I had.”
- “I enjoyed being treated like a professional. The entire workshop is engaging and interesting. I felt motivated to go back and teach all physics content, not just quantum, after participating in this workshop. In addition, I enjoyed meeting other physics teachers.”
- The activities were “student-friendly” and able to make “quantum tangible” in a time where “there are very few resources out there for quantum mechanics in its modern interpretation.” The collaborative, challenging, and fast-paced environment bolstered their enthusiasm for physics, inspiring them to pass along that passion for to their students.
- “I arrived home from the workshop at 11:00 p.m. Sunday night, and at 11:00 Monday morning, I started teaching my Physics 2 students a series of lessons about Quantum Cryptography!!”
There is no cost to the workshop. While there is a $100 deposit require to secure your spot, this deposit is refunded at the end of the event. For those who live greater than 50 km away, accommodations are booked at no cost to you. Applications
are open until October 22.Schrodinger’s Class
November 30-December 2, 2018
IQC, University of Waterloo, Waterloo ON
Free, with $100 deposit
October 14, 2018 Filed in: Articles
Roberta Tevlin, teacher Danforth CTI, Editor OAPT Newsletter
Recently, I and all of the other teachers at my school spent an afternoon learning how to access the IEP’s (Individual Education Plans) of our students with special education needs. We were supposed to make notes from these extremely wordy documents and figure out how to implement the required accommodations in our classrooms. Half of our students have IEP’s and all around me, I heard teachers getting frustrated. How are you supposed to address all of these individual needs at the same time?
It isn’t as impossible as it may seem. Much can be accomplished by using the principal of Universal Design and by implementing teaching techniques from Physics Education Research. Read More...
October 07, 2018 Filed in: Articles
Have you ever wondered about life on other worlds? How about what planets outside our Solar System might look like? Do they have an atmosphere? Are they in the habitable zone for their star? Your students most certainly have — especially if they watched any space movies, comics or video games. In that case, leave the motions of our Sun, Moon and Earth behind and let your students go deeper and farther into space in search for exoplanets!
All you need for each station is a light bulb, a box and some play dough balls. Don’t let the cheap materials fool you – there are deep inquiry-based learning opportunities in this activity to satisfy the most curious of minds. Let’s begin. Read More...
September 24, 2018 Filed in: Articles
Ashley McCarl Palmer, Teacher Waterloo DSB
There is a growing momentum in the elementary panel to spiral subjects, especially math, which is now flowing into secondary schools. My board has been pushing the spiral math method in the grade 9 and 10 applied courses for the past few years and last year in September our principal asked us to think about our courses to see if spiraling could be beneficial there as well. If I’m completely honest, I scoffed at the idea at first. Read More...
September 15, 2018 Filed in: Articles
Chris Meyer, President, OAPT
This will be my 21st
year of teaching. I still enjoy my work, but I definitely feel older, crustier, and ... somewhat stumped. Over this time, I have learned a lot about teaching and made many changes. But as I refine my practice, I feel like I am not going in the direction I ought. As I learn more, I discover compelling teaching ideas that conflict with my current teaching practice and strain against the structure of our educational system. I will share with you what perplexes me, in the hope that you will find solutions that I cannot. These are my thoughts about the future of physics teaching. Read More...