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Greening Electricity Using Project Drawdown for Grades 9-12

Milica Rakic, Essex DHS
Roberta Tevlin, retired

In order to prevent the worst of climate change, the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) has to be reduced as fast as possible. The enormity of this task can look overwhelming and can lead to climate despair. However, we already have the technology we need and a great source of information about this can be found on the website of Project Drawdown where they provide details of almost 100 solutions.

The goal of Project Drawdown is to show how we can ‘drawdown’ the emission of GHGs and then ‘drawdown’ the amount of these gases that are already in the air. This article shows how you can have your students examine 19 of these solutions which are involved in the production and use of electrical energy. This exercise is a good fit for the electricity unit in grade 9 science, the climate change unit in grade 10 science, the electricity unit in grade 11 university physics, and the energy transformation unit in grade 12 college physics. Read More...

High School Physics Teachers Evening at York University

Randy Lewis, Department of Physics and Astronomy, York University

All high school physics teachers are warmly invited to York University at 5:30 p.m. on Friday November 3, 2023. Professors in our Department of Physics and Astronomy value this annual event and are looking forward to connecting with high school teachers again this year.

Three York professors will give short talks about their research. You can see our telescope (which is the largest on any university campus in Canada) observing the opposition of Jupiter. Dinner and drinks will be provided, and there will be opportunities for casual conversations with familiar friends and new colleagues. We also have a few textbooks that are no longer needed at York, and we are glad to donate these to any high school teachers who can make good use of them.

Details can be found at this website: https://www.yorku.ca/science/physics/outreach/high-school-teachers-night/

Best wishes for the school year, and we hope to see you at York!

Two Excellent Simulations from PhET to Help Explain the Greenhouse Effect

Michelle Lee, Lisgar C. I.
Roberta Tevlin,Retired

Understanding the greenhouse effect is critical to understanding climate change and PhET has two excellent simulations that can help. This article describes how you can use these two simulations and a couple of supporting videos, to help your students develop a good understanding of the topic. This is most obviously relevant to the grade 10 Climate Change Unit. It is also relevant to grade 9 Astronomy and Ecosystems, Grade 10 Optics, and senior chemistry and physics. Read More...

Call for Articles

Eric Haller, Peel District School Board, Editor of the OAPT Newsletter

It’s the start of another school year and the OAPT is once again looking for submissions for the newsletter. The newsletter is made possible by volunteers who contribute their thoughts and ideas for others to use in their classrooms. Many of our writers are Ontario high school teachers, however some of our writers teach in university, work abroad, work in science outreach, have retired, or have even left the teaching profession for some other career that involves physics. We have numerous writers who pen something for us regularly, but we are always on the lookout for new writers as well (writing for us looks great on a resume).

If you’re interested in writing for us but are looking for inspiration, a topical theme in education at the moment is of course climate change. Destreaming is relevant now too, students who took the destreamed grade 9 science class last year are now taking streamed grade 10 science classes, which has left some gaps in their education, which could be discussed in an article. Many school boards are handling the streamed grade 10 science courses differently as we wait for the grade 10 destreamed curriculum to be released, with some boards still offering SNC2P, and other boards forcing students to take SNC2D. The James Webb Space Telescope has been operational for some time now, some readers might want to know how we can incorporate its findings thus far into our classrooms. And there’s a total solar eclipse coming for some Ontarians on April 8th, 2024, which many teachers will want resources for. A lesson, or possible field trip ideas, would be great to help teachers take advantage of this [roughly] once-in-a-lifetime event. In addition to those topics, many teachers are incorporating indigenous stories, knowledge, and history into their science lessons now, and there is a growing demand for resources to help teachers continue to do so in a meaningful, and respectful way. If none of those topics sparked your interest though, we are always looking for our mainstays, like the following: Read More...

Short Physics Presentations Available for Livestreaming

Greetings educators!

Orbax here from the Department of Physics at the University of Guelph.

At the University of Guelph, Physics Education research has long been a field of interest and Science Communication is something we take particular interest in. In 2017 Dr. Joanne O'Meara created a class that is now known as IPS3000, a third year science communication course which is a requirement of all our Physics Undergrads. In this class they focus on, and are required to produce, science communication in all its forms from scholarly essays to podcasts to videos to even newspaper articles!

Over the last couple of years the course has been taught by Dr. Alex Gezerlis and we are looking for high school classes who would be interested in helping our physics students become better communicators. Our undergrads have been honing their public speaking skills and have developed a series of short presentations that they would like to livestream directly to your classrooms.
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