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Mirrors and Ray Diagrams App for Grade 10 Science

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. Previously, I wrote about a Metal Leaf Electroscope Simulator.

In this article I am introducing a simulation I use to teach mirrors and ray diagrams in grade 10 optics. PhET has a simulation for refraction and one for lenses but there is nothing for mirrors, so I developed this simulation for grade 10 optics. Read More...

The BIG 5 Challenge: A Rich Activity for the Motion Unit

Chris Meyer, President, Ontario Association of Physics Teachers

Here is a rich problem solving activity that I use when introducing the five equations of constant acceleration with my grade 11s.

Goal: I want to teach my students how to apply their new understanding to real physical situations and avoid plug’n’chug type questions. Read More...

New Physics Videos from the University of Guelph

Joanne O’Meara, Professor and Associate Chair University of Guelph

As part of a recent endeavour of at the University of Guelph to flip the classroom, we have created a library of YouTube videos to accompany one of our first year courses: Physics for the Biological Sciences. Read More...

Physics Experiment Videos and the Rotating Fish Tank

Eric Haller, Occasional Secondary School Teacher, Peel District School Board

In science, it’s always nice to be able to do a hands-on experiment. While there are many experiments you can do in class, there are some you can’t. Sometimes a particular experiment may require expensive equipment that you don’t have, may take too long to set up, may yield data that is too imprecise to analyze properly, or an experiment may be too dangerous for a classroom setting. At the latest annual OAPT conference Andrew Moffat showed us several websites with video libraries filled with experiments that I wouldn’t be able to recreate myself (skip to the end of this article for those links). To give you a taste of what kinds of videos are available, and how you might build a lesson around one of them for your students, I’d like to analyze one of my favourite videos from the collections. Read More...

Opportunities for educators to learn quantum: Schrodinger’s Class

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
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