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Biophysics Contest

The Physics Department of York University is hosting a Biophysics contest.

This is a competition open to all Ontario high school students. The contest aims to investigate a rapidly growing frontier of science, and to promote skills in the communication of science. The goal is to demonstrate the interdisciplinary threads that connect together the physical and life sciences, which can seem and feel like disparate areas of science in high school and university! Students must create a poster to visually tell a "story" that relates a fundamental physical concept to a basic biological (or biomedical) topic.

This is a great opportunity to help your students get excited about what is happening where biology meets physics. The first prize is $1250!! The deadline for submission is midnight May1, 2018.

For more information, go to

The 2018 OAPT Conference is open for Registration!!!

This year’s conference will take place May 10-12 at Western University. The theme this year is Physics at the Boundaries, where we will explore how physics interacts with other disciplines.

There will be over 30 workshops to choose from to support physics education from grade 9 to 12 and post-secondary. It is a great opportunity to share ideas and concerns, make friends and professional connections.

The costs of the conference are very low — especially if you register before the early bird deadline of April 12 — and there are special rates for teachers who are new, retired or from the elementary panel. The accommodation is subsidized ($30 per night including a hot breakfast!) and there are a limited number of subsidies for travel and first-time attendees.

For more information about the conference and to register go to https://oaopt.wildapricot.org/page-18092

Improv for Scientists

Joanne M. O'Meara
Professor, Associate Chair (Undergraduate)
Department of Physics, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON

In order to give our physics majors more opportunities to develop their communication skills during their undergraduate degree, we now require them to take a one-semester Science Communications course that focuses on sharing their passion for physics with diverse audiences. This course is structured very differently from the rest of their core courses, with weekly discussion sessions in which students are expected to share their thoughts and opinions on assigned readings or viewings. Students also do at least three presentations during the term and participate in regular in-class group activities such as brainstorming a script/storyboard for a video on the Physics of the Winter Olympics. Read More...

Young Women in Engineering Symposium May 5 2018


Dear STEM Educators,

Greetings from the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering at the University of Toronto. I hope this message finds you enjoying a healthy and productive school year. We are planning a campus event this spring designed to increase the number of young women entering STEM professions in Ontario, and we need your help! We are reaching out to Physics educators to identify top female Grade 11 Physics students to take part in our fourth annual Young Women in Engineering Symposium.

This free Symposium will take place on Saturday, May 5, 2018 and will feature:
• A keynote address from a leading female scientist or engineer
• Hands-on workshops
• An Engineering myth-busters panel
• A luncheon with current engineering female students

Kindly forward this message to your school’s Science Head, asking them to please share the application link below with up to three of their top Grade 11 female students (note that students must be entering their Grade 12 year in September 2018 and be planning on taking Grade 12 Physics):


Students interested in participating in the Symposium are asked to complete their application by Monday, March 26, 2018. Due to limited space, we may not be able to accommodate all applicants, and so we will confirm their participation through e-mail by mid-April.

Thank you very much for your help with this initiative. Please don’t hesitate to contact me or Jessica Chow (jessica.chow@ecf.utoronto.ca) if you have any questions.

All the best,

Micah Stickel

Vice-Dean, First Year
Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering | University of Toronto
Office of the Dean, 44 St. George Street, BA1009 | Toronto | Ontario | M5S 2E4
Email: cfy@ecf.utoronto.ca, m.stickel@utoronto.ca
Web: www.engineering.utoronto.ca, www.uoft.me/mstickel
Tel 416.978.7805 | Fax 416.946.0371

Metal Leaf Electroscope Simulator

Matthew Craig, Teacher at the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto

I’ve been programming a suite of PC/MAC/Android simulations designed for teaching the Ontario curriculum for science and physics. One topic for which I have never had an effective simulation is the metal-leaf electroscope for grade 9 science, and revisited briefly in grade 12 physics.

The electroscope simulation I have developed is a very simple simulation that can be used to show induced charge separation, charging by contact, charging by induction and grounding. Read More...
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