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Mini Mangonel

Catapults are fun! This “mini mangonel” is a really simple, safe design that was invented by my friend Jonathan Sanderson as part of his work for the University of Northumbria’s engineering outreach team, NUSTEM. I was delighted they allowed me to use this for Mr Shaha’s Marvellous Machines because it perfectly fitted in with my aim of having “machines” in the book which were easy to make and left lots of room for children to “tinker“, and develop them into something better for themselves. TOP TIP: If you don’t have… Read more Mini Mangonel

A-level Physics Equations

Here’s a word document with most of the equations used in A-level Physics so you can cut and paste them instead of writing them out in Word’s equation editor every time. Please let me know if you spot any errors.

A knotty problem

How does the length of a piece of string or rope vary with the number of knots tied in it? I came across this question a few months ago and decided to try it out as an investigative activity to help A-level Physics students revise some basic practical skills. I’ve since seen other Physics teachers, like Frank Noschese, tweet about using it in class. What’s the relationship between the number of knots and the length of the rope? Great #modphys graphing lab I learned from @hbarphysics! pic.twitter.com/jPlA1xdp1o — Frank Noschese… Read more A knotty problem

Black History Month 2018

Every year, I send out a tweet asking UK sci-commers what they’re doing to mark Black History Month (BHM), and every year, I get the same lack of response which tells me that no-one is doing anything. This year, I don’t want to just send out my usual tweet because I suspect all it really accomplishes is to make a few more people in sci-comm dislike me. So, for the past few months I have been talking to lots of important, influential people who I think could make things happen… Read more Black History Month 2018

Simple Projectile Motion Demonstration

One of the most important (and perhaps most counter-intuitive) ideas students need to grasp when learning about projectile motion is that the horizontal and vertical motion of a projectile are independent of each other. There are some lovely ways to demonstrate this, including the classic monkey and hunter demo, but here’s a quick and easy way to convince students of this if you don’t happen to have a brilliant technician: