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Standard Form and Prefixes

It’s important that A-level Physics students can handle numbers in standard form and use prefixes with units. Below are some resources students can use to help them revise these skills: Video on how to convert numbers into / from standard form: Click here for online questions to practise converting to and from standard form. Video on how to use prefixes with units: Click here for practise questions using prefixes.

Why teach when you can tutor?

There have been a spate of articles recently about the “crisis” in teacher recruitment. Such pieces cite a number of factors which might be responsible, but one that stood out to me was the suggestion that there is a “trend for middle-aged teachers to become private tutors” which is “stripping the profession of experienced people”. I’m not sure whether this is true – I’ve not seen any data on it, but the TES recently provided an example of this phenomenon in an article by a “successful history teacher” explaining why he was leaving the… Read more Why teach when you can tutor?

Simple Circular Motion Demonstrations

Circular motion can be a tough topic to teach because some aspects of it are counterintuitive. This is a really simple and elegant way to get across some of the key ideas needed to grasp the physics of what’s going on when an object moves in uniform circular motion. The film was shot and edited by Ed Prosser. The Ogden Trust kindly helped with equipment costs and David Sang advised on the script. One you’ve demonstrated that the velocity of an object in uniform circular motion is at a tangent… Read more Simple Circular Motion Demonstrations

Why I returned to teaching

I know I will cry when I eventually leave the school where I’ve worked for the last decade or so. I won’t be able to help it – I’ve cried on my final day at every school I’ve ever belonged, as a student or teacher. The last time was when I left my second teaching job, in the belief that I was leaving the profession for good. I had been studying part-time for a masters in Science Communication and this had led to an offer of a job as a… Read more Why I returned to teaching

Mr Shaha’s A-level Reading List

“Our ability to understand the universe and our position in it is one of the glories of the human species. Our ability to link mind to mind by language, and especially to transmit our thoughts across the centuries is another. Science and literature, then, are the two achievements of Homo Sapiens that most convincingly justify the specific name” – Richard Dawkins Here is a list of books I think Physics A-level students might enjoy – I’d encourage them to read a selection from each section: The Meaning of Science by Tim… Read more Mr Shaha’s A-level Reading List

STEM Scholarships for Undergraduates

Most universities will have their own scholarship / bursary schemes and students should search for them for the universities they hope to attend. The Scholarship Hub seems to be a really useful website for this. Here’s a list of other scholarships / grants which A-level students may want to look into (I’ll be updating this post as I stumble across other useful links): The Ogden Trust – scholarships for 6th Formers studying Physics and Physics undergraduates Range Rover Evoque WISE Scholarship (women) – £1000 per year for 3 years of degree IET… Read more STEM Scholarships for Undergraduates

Science / Engineering work experience for 6th formers

Lots of my A-level students are unsure what they want to do at university or for a career. I believe work experience in science or engineering during the summer following Year 12 can help them make up their minds. Over the past few years, I’ve managed to use personal contacts to arrange placements for a number of students and they’ve always been incredibly grateful for this, often choosing to go into the field in which they did the work experience. It shouldn’t be the case that I am left to organise such things… Read more Science / Engineering work experience for 6th formers

Looking more closely at the world

It’s been a while since The Young Atheist’s Handbook was published but I’ve continued writing about Atheism and Humanism in New Humanist magazine and elsewhere and I have become a trustee of the British Humanist Association. However, I’ve been focussing on my work in science education and am proud to announce that Demo: The Movie, a film about how and why we should use demonstrations in science teaching, is now available to view. It’s very much a film for science teachers and it looks at how we can get our… Read more Looking more closely at the world