Archive for the ‘Assessment’ category

Relativity – it’s all about knowing your place

April 11, 2012

Relativity, along with Quantum Physics are used as proxies for impossible to understand science; they can be used to justify almost anything (1, 2). By the end of this unit, you will have an introductory understanding of the concept of special relativity, and how it relates to our prior studies.

The basic concept of relativity is simple enough; the speed of light is constant and nothing may go faster than it. Not difficult, right? Well the usual example to explain why such a simple concept is problematic is a thought experiment: Imagine a car that could travel near the speed of light (I want one!), then you turn on the headlights. Won’t the light travelling out from the headlights go faster than the speed of light?

Yes? well then the speed of light isn’t a limit.

No? well then velocity vector addition doesn’t work.

Take your pick, but it seems like there are no good answers – either way things don’t seem to work way they should.




March 22, 2012

So it is that time already. Disgusting. Foul. Infuriating. Frustrating. Horredous. Horrifying. Hideous. Gruesome. Execreble. Cromulent. Abhorrent.

Oh stuff it – it’s Detestable – it’s Testing TIME!

Time to see if what you have been studying has been made any sense to you – and whether you can make any sense of it. You are as ready as you can be. It’s time to for one last surge of effort, then disconnect the caffeine IV, and get some rest before you have to face up to…


The first physics assessment outcome.

So here is one last bit of preparation – some practice test type activities to get your head in the right frame:

For the Year 11s: NUCLEAR TEST 2006

For the Year 12s:2002 Motion SAC3a

Sample Gravitation Questions for Year 12s: Gravitation Sample Questions

Remember – it’s for your own good. Don’t be a hater!

See you in Class!

ps. Best set of non-vulgar epithets in a comment below before the weekend will get a small reward…

Beating the System

February 16, 2012

So we are studying body systems, particularly the “responding” systems – that means the systems which control how we react to what happens around us. You may think you control your body reactions, but it is simple to prove that you don’t – just think of the last time you heard a loud noise or saw an unexpected bright flash of light. You reacted without planning to – a reflex reaction.

The two main systems we will focus on are called the Nervous system and the Endocrine system. In today’s lesson, we will be learning more about the Nervous System, particularly how it works; how it helps you respond to what happens in the world around you.

The nervous system consists two main parts – the Central Nervous System (basically the brain and spinal cord) and the Peripheral Nervous System (the nerves which connect to the rest of the body).


Tick-Tock Torture – or the EPI strikes back!

September 18, 2011

So here we go again – it’s time for your second chance at the Extended Practical Investigation (EPI). Before you even begin thinking about this one, you need to think about the first EPI you did.

Spend some time – recall what you had to do – the skills you had to use. Think about the assessment you completed; what was it like – how do you wish you had prepared for it?

Well now you have a second chance – it’s time for the EPI again. You know what the topic is (Determination of acceleration due to gravity by means of a pendulum), so you should be making plans *right now* as to how you are going to use your time.

You only have 3 periods, and you will be using the third to write your report. Here is a file that gives you some more specifics about the project, and here is the marking guide. You should be planning exactly how you will go about using your time. Here is a video that shows a similar experiment to the one you will do:

The student in the above video does some things right, but there are many improvements needed. Think about the following questions (the answers are not simply yes or no!)

  1. Is the mass of the pendulum bob relevant? If yes, why? If no, why should you use one at all?
  2. Is the pendulum string important? Why? What measurements of it should be made? How should it be strung to support the bob? How long should it be/ What length(s) will you use?
  3. How should the pendulum be supported? Does the support matter?
  4. How should the pendulum swing? Straight back and forward or otherwise? How wide should the arc of the pendulum be?
  5. How will you measure the period of the oscillation? From which point to which point? Why?
  6. Have you tried running this experiment at home and seeing what can go wrong with it?
  7. Have you planned your time budget, and who will do what it your group?

Those are some starting questions, and if you don’t feel stressed, YOU SHOULD!

See you in class!

Getting the most out of your Tests

August 24, 2011

Everyone knows that you should revise before a test – you have to prepare and write you bound reference, review all the things that might be on the test, and practice any tricky skills… That’s straight forward – any student knows that!

But who knows that you should revise after the test?

That’s silly, isn’t it? The test is over, you don’t need that material any more – the exam is a long time away! It’s all over and done with, right?

Well, to put it simply, NO!

This is the best time to revise! Your skills and understanding are at their peak – you have learned even more than before the test – you now know something you didn’t before the test – you know what you didn’t know but thought you did!

This is the best time to revise, because you are ready to finish your studies of this topic by ensuring that you have all the information you need – including fixing up those parts you thought you understood, but weren’t able to demonstrate on the test.


How Mr.G “Ruined” your Holidays Again (The Sequel)

July 2, 2011

Well, what a wonderful time – beautiful Melbourne winter weather, AFL season is in full swing, School holidays for a fortnight, No schoolwork to do, No Teachers to put up with…

Well, unfortunately, at least one (and probably more) of those statements is wrong. Funny as it may seem, the purpose of holidays is not to waste your time and let your brain forget everything you worked to learn throughout semester 1; particularly from year 10 upwards, it should be a chance for you to work at consolidating what you have learnt, and making sure that you are ready to learn more next semester.

Now being the helpful teacher that I am, I will provide a list of activities that you should complete before you return to school. Of course, in order to balance out the helpful aspect, I will also make the list compulsory, and require all students to have finised all assigned work by the end of the first week of term 3. So, Enjoy:


Applying yourself to the (Application) task.

June 5, 2011

It’s time.

This is the last School Assessed Coursework for Unit 3 – your last chance to get those critical marks that will improve you study score – and your eventual ATAR.

At this point, you probably are (should be!) stressing a lot – how do you prepare for this task? What can you do to get ready for this?

Well, the extension questions in your book are an obvious starting point – particularly those in chapter 10, so I hope you’ve been doing that much.

Another obvious support is your Checkpoints book – try doing good extended problems from there

Getting your bound reference up to date – including examples of how to use your CAS, particularly define(), solve() and how to graph, can be very useful

But what you really need are examples of prior Application tasks. Where are you going to get those?