Online Networking for Teachers
We provide online networking opportunities for both teachers of physics and their supporters. Over 6,500 members of the teaching community are active on TalkPhysics and our twitter feed; with access to our Supporting Physics Teaching resources. You can follow us on twitter @TakeOnPhysics.
TalkPhysics.org is our online learning community. It aims to bring together those who want to develop the teaching and learning of physics at all stages of their careers. Online networking tools enable peer-to-peer support on a range of topics and provide a route by which advanced-skills teachers can support less experienced colleagues. Peer-to-peer links can be tailored to the needs of individual departments and schools.
- A head of department could set up a virtual meeting room to discuss with her department the way in which the support materials present Newton’s first law;
- An advanced-skills teacher could set up a discussion room to support teachers in local schools on the best ways to teach energy, attaching documents or resources that help;
- A large group of teachers could discuss how they use videos as lesson starters, embedding videos from YouTube and other media;
- A Physics Network Coordinator could seed peer-to-peer links - such as, a link between a biology teacher in a school with physicists and a known physics advanced-skills teacher in a local specialist science college, providing an opportunity for personalised support;
- A group of technicians could discuss how to use and develop apparatus based on our workshops.
Supporting Physics Teaching
TalkPhysics.org is the home of our Supporting Physics Teaching (SPT) resources. These free materials provide coherent, comprehensive and engaging physics narratives on topics in KS3 and KS4; in addition to planning tools and resources for use in lessons.
Each topic balances the consolidation of existing good practice amongst physics teachers with the development of new teaching tools to enhance current provision. There are three elements:
- Physics Narrative - a teacher focused section, bringing together the important aspects of a chosen topic in a coherent and comprehensive manner;
- Teaching and Learning Challenges - this section makes explicit what pupils find ‘easy’ or 'difficult', drawing on both research evidence and on the classroom wisdom of practicing teachers;
- Teaching Approaches - proven teaching ideas and strategies designed to present the topic in an interesting and engaging manner. The resources within this section includes some materials for direct use in teaching, such as practical activities, video clips and formative assessment materials.
Online Networking for Students
We provide online networking opportunities for students: from e-mentoring in the The Exoplanet Physics Project, to online discussion forums with IOP 16-19 Members. Teachers from our Partner Schools also have priority registration for the UK’s largest online science engagement event - I'm A Scientist - Get Me Out of Here!.
The Exoplanet Physics Project
The Exoplanet Physics Project is available to Year 9 students in Partner Schools, designed to enhance and stimulating physics learning. The project provides online links to enthusiastic and positive role models by matching each class with an AS or A2 level physics Advisor from another school. Advisors engage with students and support them throughout the project via a secure e-mentoring platform.
Activities address the following learning objectives for KS3:
- Thinking like a scientist;
- Understanding the applications and implications of science;
- Practical enquiry skills;
- Critical understanding of evidence; and
- Science communication skills.
For more information, or to register your interest, please visit our Exoplanet Physics Project page.
I'm A Scientist, Get Me Out of Here!
I'm A Scientist, Get me out of Here! is an X Factor - style competition between scientists with students as the judges. Students challenge scientists over two weeks of live web chats and discussion forums - and the scientist with the most student votes receives a £500 cash prize to spend on an outreach project of their choice.
IOP 16-19 Membership
Free IOP membership is available to students aged 16–19 on a recognised post-16 physics course. Find out more on the IOP website.