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TY Physics

One of the original aims of this blog was to both share new ideas - and also to periodically remind people (and myself) about old ideas. The first idea is pretty obvious, I think, but the second one tends to get overlooked: the cyclical nature of teaching is such that it is quite possible to come across an idea, use it in class, learn that it works really well and that students enjoy it - and then to forget all about it!

For example, I came across this great resource form the NPL a few years ago: it teaches kids about satellites in general and about GPS in particular, while also introducing the idea of precision, and teaches us all to treat the information coming from out phones with a little healthy scepticism. But then I forgot about it entirely until I happened upon it on an unrelated google search last week. It would work equally well in a TY or a LC Physics class.

This video introduces it well if you're interested: Measurement At Home Challenge: Where on Earth am I? (

Also, a few years ago I helped put together two multiple-class class modules for use in TY.

One deals with the physics of music - and would, I think, serve as a good taster for LC Physics, while also going beyond that and hopefully engaging those who will never study physics again. I've re-posted it now on a page dedicated to TY resources that I hope to grow in the near future, available here: TY Physics | PhysicsResourceBank

And you can also find a module there that deals with the physics of time travel - a bit of a hobby horse of mine, but one that seemed to click with students when I used it in class. It brings together a few science fiction movies, Einstein's theory of special relativity, thoughts on future technology - and climate change. It hardly overlaps with LC Physics at all, unfortunately, but perhaps that makes it all the more important that we cover material like that in TY.

One interesting aside to that. Whenever I asked students over they years if they imagined that the world of the future - when they are 60 + - will be a better or worse place than it is now, they overwhelmingly voted for 'worse'. Which I find a little depressing and worrying. Whatever our delusions, I'm pretty sure my cohort in the 80s would have broadly expected the world to improve over time. I'd love to hear what responses other teachers get to that question.

One last TY idea that could get you through an hour (while providing your students with an interesting and stimulating experience, of course) is this: Phun with Phyphox.... (

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