Category Archives: Physics

IB Science Weekly Magazine – Get involved!

IB Science Weekly Magazine - do you want to be a news spotter?

IB Science Weekly Magazine – do you want to be a news spotter?

I kept seeing these posts in Twitter, so after a quick exhange with Adrienne Amichetti (@amichetti) decided to give it a go. There are lots of paper.lis out there, especially it seems in the ed-tech world. It was quick and easy to set up, though a bit of a fiddle to work out how posts were categorised and filtered (still not sure how it works).

The aim of this project is to provide a weekly publication which pulls in the current science and education news, for use in MYP, DP and PYP classrooms. 

If you would like to get involved and be an IB Science or Science Education news spotter, please head on over to Twitter and let me know. If you see some worthy news, simply tweet it with a link and a description, along with the hashtag #IBSciWeekly. The elves will see it and it should appear in the finished product. I will be able to curate the posts as they are published each week. If you think that everything you (or someone you recommend) is gold, I can include their Twitter handle or blog url as a source.

The details:

  • Address:
  • Hashtags: #IBSciWeekly, #MYP, #IBDP, #IBBio, #IBChem, #IBPhysics
  • Published: Weekly, on a Tuesday (I think)
  • NewsSpotters: IB Teachers and Students

Of course, things are bound to go wrong at first! I would love to find a way to share the editing jobs.

And here is a lovely video of a murmuration of starlings:


Super Slo-Mo Slinky Drops | Veritasium [video]

I haven’t posted Veritasium for a while, so here’s a great video building on his slinky drop experiments. Go full screen and HD, then wrap yer brain around the explanations.

QR Code Orienteering: Describing Displacement

Mr Robbo, PE Geek

I’ve been wanting to find an excuse to do this for ages, since reading about the idea on Jarrod Robinson’s PE Geek blog

Today in one of our last classes, some students in my Intro Physics & Environmental Science class have been using a GoogleMap view of the area around our school to plan an orienteering course. The aim is to use this as one of the very first lessons with next year’s class as an introduction to scalars and vectors, as well as methods of describing displacement. By scanning a QR code at each location, runners will be given a description in the form of components or direction and magnitude, which they then locate on their map and run to.

When they return to school, the plan is to use their map to calculate distance vs displacement between points, as well as add some directed line segments for vectors.

I’ve made up some orange and white flags, which will be laminated. The QR codes will be taped on, giving flexibility to make up new courses around the school and to extend the activity by allowing students to design courses.


Free apps used: 

Here are the planning sheets/ maps:

Learning Science by Doing Science | Frank Noschese at TEDxNYED

This is the way we’ve been going in Physics class, and here is why:

The Missing Link to Renewable Energy? Donald Sadoway at TED2012

“We need to think big, we need to think cheap… Let’s invent to the price point of the electricity market. If you want to make something dirt cheap – make it out of dirt. Preferably dirt which is locally sourced!”

This is an entertaining and erudite TED Talk from MIT’s Materials Engineer Donald Sadoway which outlines our current problem of grid-level electricity storage, describes how batteries work and goes on to explain where we could go with molten metal batteries. He describes his passion as science and service to society, which is a great sentiment.

This is a good link to our units on Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Science and would make a fine starting point for a One World project. How can science positively impact the world?


Hunting for the Higgs

Do you know what’s going on at the Large Hadron Collider right now? Let’s have a look in their canteen…

Or perhaps we’d better check out the news…

Find out more about the search for the Higgs boson (and what it all means) on this week’s Guardian Science Podcast.

Here’s an explanation of the Higgs field:

And this is where the Higgs field and the boson fit into the Standard Model:

Jetman Races Jets in the Alps

Yves ‘Jetman’ Rossy, the first man to cross the English Channel with a jetpack, races his jetpack and flies in formation with two jet planes over the Swiss alps. A neat little video and an excuse to test the VodPod Button to embed a Guardian video to Read the main story on the Guardian website.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Here’s another wingsuit video in Norway:

Forces & Change in Motion Resources

As the Grade 10 classes end the content of the unit this week, the resources have been updated and uploaded to the class unit page here. When we return from the holidays, we will review the content of the last two units, complete a short unit test and start working on our One World/Communication in Science assignment “Acceleration Kills”. If you think of any good ideas for topics when you’re away on the break, keep a note of them. Otherwise, have a good holiday!

Here’s another Veritasium video to make you think:


Symphony of Science – Quantum World

This Symphony of Science song is one of my favourites, which ties loosely to our new Grade 9 unit on Atoms.

Related to it is an update to the Powers of Ten video, from the IMAX Cosmic Voyage movie, narrated by Morgan Freeman. the start brings us in powers of ten, out into the universe. From 6:03, we start moving in – to cells, molecules and atoms.

Jump straight to the small bits here (6:03). Biology class will use it too, as we look into measurement and microscopy.

This is why we love Science.

Three Incorrect Laws of Motion

Veritasium Videos


Get yer brains in gear for the new G10 unit: Forces and Changes in Motion.

Veritasium is an impressive collection of science videos by Derek Muller. They are designed to challenge your misconceptions and make you think – which is why I like them. It’s easy to sit back and listen – but does the understanding really sink in?

See if you can correct the misconceptions presented in this video, then head over to their site for more examples. There are even some answers… somewhere!

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