Cupcake cases investigationQuick View
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Cupcake cases investigation

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Structure for an investigation taking 2~3 lessons. Suitable for KS3, 4 or 5 depending on how deep down the rabbit hole you want to go, colour-coded slides steer you to KS3/4 or KS5. Method: drop a cupcake case. Measure the speed of fall. Now put another cupcake case inside the first. has the speed of fall changed? How much? What about 3, 4, 5, …10 cupcake cases? Is there a relationship between number of cases and speed of fall? Is it proportional? Simple on the surface, but gets students into independent/dependent/control variables, measurement, uncertainties, anomalies…the lot. Shamelessly based on an idea from the Physics teaching Podcast at https://twitter.com/physicstp
Radioactivity-  changes in the nucleus when alpha, beta or gamma are emitted.Quick View
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Radioactivity- changes in the nucleus when alpha, beta or gamma are emitted.

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What happens in a nucleus when an alpha particle is emitted? What about beta or gamma? This presentation and worksheet walks students through the processes and equips them to answer gcse questions. I’d been teaching this for ages, and eventually wrote this sheet so I could make a proper job of it and not lose students along the way.
A level Skills practical - mass of a metre rulerQuick View
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A level Skills practical - mass of a metre ruler

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A whole lesson to teach problem-solving, practical technique & data processing to new A-level students. You have a metre ruler. You have a 100g mass. Nothing else. Your mission is to determine the mass of the metre ruler. (Hint - principle of moments) The powerpoint walks the class through how to do it, how to get reliable results rather than just make one measurement and then claim that you’ve done it, how to use graphical techniques to get those reliable results, and how to calculate the uncertainties. Adapted from an idea I heard on https://twitter.com/physicstp You should subscribe and listen too!
V-I characteristic of a lampQuick View
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V-I characteristic of a lamp

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To do this properly, students would need a whole lesson. The worksheet walks them through the procedure, gives instructions about plotting the graph and scaffolds the conclusion.
Lenses - how to draw ray diagramsQuick View
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Lenses - how to draw ray diagrams

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This powerpoint and worksheet walks students through the procedure for drawing ray diagrams for gcse. It refers to the AQA OUP textbook, but the activity itself is self-contained.
Intro to the gcse wave equationQuick View
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Intro to the gcse wave equation

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The wave equation “velocity = frequency x wavelength” tends to terrify students. This activity takes most of a lesson, and walks them through it so they can interpret exam questions and know what they’re looking at.
Calculating kiloWatt-hours lessonQuick View
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Calculating kiloWatt-hours lesson

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This would take most of a lesson, or a whole lesson if you have a follow-up discussion and compare results. An A3 sheet with a picture of a house and activity instructions, page 2 is a selection of appliances for students to choose from and put in their house.
Intro to the photoelectric effectQuick View
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Intro to the photoelectric effect

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A-level physics. The powerpoint scaffolds the lesson. You’ll need to do the demo with the various light sources, electroscope and 5kV power supply. It’ll be fine… The other powerpoint file is a printable worksheet that saves a lot of writing.
Half life lessonQuick View
andydarvillandydarvill

Half life lesson

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This is pretty much an whole lesson, but you’ll need to insert your own half life calculations worksheet (I have one that I like, but i didn’t write it so can’t include it here). The lesson centres around eating chocolate M&Ms. Or Skittles if you prefer. The idea is to have something that gives you ‘heads’ or ‘tails’ when tipped out onto the desk. See www.darvill.clara.net/nucrad for more gcse radioactivity stuff.
The Pi-endulumQuick View
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The Pi-endulum

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Use a simple pendulum and a known value of g to measure Pi. A puzzle for KS5 students, presented as ‘confirm that our region of spacetime can be considered locally flat’. Let them wonder for a bit, then tell them they’ll be given a lump of metal, a ruler, stopwatch and a bit of string, and see where the discussion takes you. Opportunity to really go for those uncertainties - if you don’t get a result that you can believe in to 3 or 4 sig figs then you haven’t really tried! Original idea from Matt Parker https://twitter.com/standupmaths who has an unhealthy fascination with Pi.
Combined Science Physics revision prezi AQA GCSEQuick View
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Combined Science Physics revision prezi AQA GCSE

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https://prezi.com/view/iNl9NrBnE9YM1giP3MlG/ A link to an interactive “Prezi” covering all of AQA GCSE Combined Science Physics. For my students it’s a reminder of the screens and sheets they’ve seen throughout Y10 and Y11, but it’ll work for anyone else as well.
Radioactivity - Properties of alpha, beta and gammaQuick View
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Radioactivity - Properties of alpha, beta and gamma

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An overview of the properties of alpha, beta and gamma radiation. The sheet consists of a blank table with jumbled answers underneath for pupils to sort. I use it during the first lesson of the topic where I show the class radioactive sources and what happens when you put paper/aluminium/lead in front of them. See www.darvill.clara.net/nucrad for more gcse radioactivity stuff.