Newton's Rings

I've been trying to show my AH pupils all of the experimental work for Unit 3 during this week, as it's the last week of the course before their NAB next week. Having gone over much of the theory before Easter and encouraging them to cover the theory on Scholar, I set up a few...


All Hands to the Pumps

On Wed 29th Feb, with our senior school out on exam leave for their prelims, and a clear desk (not sure how that happened, but it did) I dipped into my twitter stream and saw this tweet from Glen Gilchrist - Glen's post on PLNs and peer collaboration, details how he and Alexavier Fareheed made...


In response to Islay ICT - TeachMeet & SLF

In his recent blogpost, Ian Stuart made some criticisms of TeachMeetSLF11. His post lists a number of concerns arising from having been a member of the online audience for the event. Whilst I agree with all of the points made by Ian, I feel I should point out a few things by way of explanation. The...


#tmslf11 - Round Table - Glow: Love it/Hate it/Want it

On Wednesday 21st September over 100 education professionals attended TeachMeet SLF 11 at the Glasgow Science Centre. Though not giving a presentation, I did participate by hosting a Round Table discussion on Glow, Scotland's National Education Intranet. There has recently been a great deal of discussion about the future for Glow and ICT in general...


WiiMotes for Physics Experiments

I've been trying to get to grips with WiiMote Physics in the last week or so. It is a piece of free software which utilises Bluetooth connectivity on your PC to receive data from a Wii gaming controller. A WiiMote has three accelerometers and an infra red camera inside. Using these it takes 100 measurements from each detector...


TeachMeet - unplugged

I've been thinking about putting together another TeachMeet in the new term. Part of the thinking has been about trying a stripped back, low (no?) tech version, with the emphasis firmly on sharing ideas not technology. A sort of 'TeachMeet - unplugged', if you will. This is in response to a few concerns I have...


Thinking Differently to Motivate Independent Learning

Inspired by a session at the Physics Summer School, I decided to try a 'creative thinking' exercise with my new S6 Advanced Higher pupils. Giving them the theme of 'Successful Learners', I asked them to spend a couple of minutes, individually and in silence, writing down all of the things they thought necessary for learning to be successful....


Physics Summer School - Day 2

Friday morning saw us leave Erskine early for a visit to the Physics Department University of Strathclyde. Here we were shown around the first-year labs, seeing experimental set ups used by students for finding - speed of sound in air using tuning forks and resonant air columns wave speed for wave on a string, using...


Physics Summer School - Day 1

For the last few days I've been fortunate to have been in Erskine, attending the SSERC/Institute of Physics Physics Summer School - a residential CPD event for physics teachers from all over Scotland. We started on Wednesday evening with an icebreaker session after registration and dinner. Armed with a small video camera we conducted 30...


Background Radiation Map

Whilst covering the radiation part of the S3 Health Physics unit, we got talking about background radiation. Having given up our radioactive sources this is the only kind of radiation we can now measure, so I left the GM tube hooked up to an ALBA interface for about an hour, beeping away randomly, logging the...