10 teachers attended each of the AQA A2 Physics CPD days at the KESH Academy Physics Factory, covering topics including Fields, Further Mechanics, Magnetism, Nuclear Physics, Thermal Physics and Astrophysics.
Enthusiastic Year 10 students from the local Bartley Green Schoolvisited the Physics Factory for a session on Electrostatics, which is part of their Physics GCSE P2 specification. They each had a go at charging balloons and ‘sticking’ them to uncharged surfaces, moving a stream of water using invisible electric fields, discovering how like and unlike charged objects repel and attract each other respectively and causing paper ‘dancers’ to jump up and down. The session ended with some Van Der Graaff demonstrations as fun for the pupils and CDP for their teacher (who, like many biology-specialists, was previously apprehensive about teaching the topic and using this high voltage equipment).
Year 5 pupils from three primary schools in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire spent the day at Birmingham University’s Physics department extending their knowledge and understanding of how electrical circuits work.
Following an introductory talk, each child took part in modelling how electrons move around circuits, demonstrating how energy is transferred to them by a battery/power source and transformed into light and heat energy at a light bulb. Pupils then constructed electrical circuits of their own with higher or lower resistance, measured their own resistance using a multimeter and learnt about the dangers of mains electricity and water. They made batteries out of lemons and were able to produce light with this, and investigated whether other fruit and potatoes made this happen too, the number of fruit/veg needed and so on.
The day ended with a tour of the campus and introduction to University life by University students.
Once again the Physics Factory proved a popular destination for prospective KE Five Ways year 7 pupils and their parents. Among the highlights were interactive demonstrations, by younger Physics Factory Ambassadors from Five Waysschool, of:
disappearing test tubes (showing the effect of similar refractive indices),
the pop-pop boat (Newton
’s Third law of motion in action and the difference between speed and velocity),
melting and non-melting ice cubes on blocks of different materials at the same temperature,
popping a balloon with one nail is easier than with a dozen nails (illustrating pressure = force / area)
how to make a loudspeaker.
how to make a wine glass ring.
On Wednesday June 26th 30 excited year 3 pupils from St Hubert’s CatholicPrimary school learnt all about magnetic forces.
We discussed what forces are, what are their effects? and different types of forces. Class volunteers demonstrated how a paperclip can hover in mid air held up by invisible forces, how compasses work and how the Earth’s magnetic field works. Every child then did three practicals to find out what materials are magnetic, to make a compass and to find the shape of the field around a bar magnet.
A fantastic morning, very engaging! Murcilla Mesleh.
Not only did I learn some better methods of pedagogy but could see so much value to the Physics Factory. Michelle Kelly.
Super course – great pace and excellent explanations to go with the models. Chris Woods, Small Heath School.