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Light ’Em Up!!! – Electric Greeting Cards for the Grade 9 Electricity unit

Andrew Moffat, Teacher Bishop Strachan School

Students often struggle with the “Physics” unit in grade 9 Science — electricity. This can lead to a negative association with Physics and fewer students taking grade 11 and 12 Physics. At our school we have tried to make the electricity unit (and specifically the idea of circuits) more fun and engaging by having students create an electric greeting card consisting of LEDs and a battery. This can be done for around $2 per student. Read More...

Event Horizon Telescope Captures First-ever Image of a Black Hole

Damian Pope, PhD, Senior Manager Scientific Outreach, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

What is the Event Horizon Telescope?
The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a network of radio telescopes spread across the globe. By pooling data from each instrument, it achieves the same effective resolution as a dish the size of the entire planet!

What did it discover?
The EHT collaboration has just released the first event-horizon-scale images of M87*, a supermassive black hole at the centre of galaxy M87. The image shows an asymmetric ring of light surrounding a circular shadow. The ring of light is not the accretion disk, it is the footprint of the relativistic jet created by M87*. The asymmetry is evidence for the direction of the black hole’s spin. The size of the shadow reveals the mass of M87* which can then be used to calculate the radius of the event horizon. Note, the shadow is not the event horizon. Read More...

Making Waves — a resource for exploring interference concepts

Philip Freeman, teacher at Richmond Secondary School (Richmond BC), Executive member BCAPT

Waves are the source of many of the most beautiful and fascinating phenomena in physics, and a key idea underlying our deepest models of reality. The signature feature of waves is interference, and we frequently refer to interference effects to justify our claims about the wave nature of light (and electrons, and buckyballs, and…). This resource provides a new way to model waves that allows a more direct and intuition-building experience of interference. Read More...

2019 OAPT Physics Contest is Open for Enrollment!

Sandy Evans, Editor OAPT Physics Contest, Teacher Northview Secondary School

The OAPT Contest is a FREE physics contest and will run on May 22nd, 2019. It is free due to the generous support of the Department of Engineering at the University of Toronto.
It is open to all students in currently attending school in Ontario who had not completed 11U Physics in September 2018. There is even a strong possibility that it will be open in a separate division for Grade 12 students this year — more news about this to come! Read More...

Building Confidence and Motivation with Short Building Projects

Margaret Scora, OAPT Past President,

Roberta Tevlin, Editor OAPT Newsletter, teacher Danforth CTI

Mari-Ann Goettsch, teacher at Georgetown DHS

Over the past couple of decades there has been a dramatic decline in students’ abilities to build and solve hands-on challenges. They are well versed in virtual reality but they don’t have much experience in how to work with materials. This is a shame. They are at a disadvantage when learning physics concepts and they will have huge problems with large projects like trebuchets or Rube-Goldberg machines. In this article we will describe a number of very short hands-on projects that provide opportunities to build stuff using cheap materials. Read More...
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