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NQ Science

All posts in the ‘Higher Physics’ Category

February 21st, 2011

New Higher Physics Resource – Earthquakes!

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Comments: 2 Comments » Tags:  : Categories Higher Physics, National Qualifications, Researching Physics, resources, Scottish National Qualifications

Check out another brilliant, brand-new resource which has just been produced for the new Higher Physics.  The resource is on the topic of ‘Earthquakes‘ and is designed to support the ‘Researching Physics’ unit of the new Higher.

The ‘Researching Physics’ unit helps learners to develop the specific transferable scientific skills which will enable them to make sense of the modern scientific world and to make a smooth progression to further study in S6, college, university, work or life!

This exemplar has been developed in conjunction with SSERC and the British Geological Survey, and provides a challenging and thought-provoking context for the development of scientific investigative skills.  

What do you think of it?

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February 17th, 2011

INSET Training in Aberdeenshire and Highland Regions

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Comments: none Tags:  : Categories Higher Biology, Higher Chemistry, Higher Physics, Higher Sciences

Science Development Officers representing Biology, Chemistry and Physics have been very busy this week delivering CPD to hundreds of science teachers from Aberdeenshire and Highland regions on their subject INSET days. 

The venue for the Aberdeenshire teachers’ meeting was Westhill Academy and the Highland teachers’ meeting  was held in Millburn Academy in Inverness. 

The main focus of the CPD was an update on the latest progress in the revised Highers in the four sciences. The powerpoint presentations from these events will be made available in the NQ Science Glow Groups by the end of this week.

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February 1st, 2011

Freebies for Higher Chemistry and Physics!

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Comments: none Tags:  : Categories early-adopters, early-adopting schools, Higher Chemistry, Higher Physics, resources, Scottish National Qualifications, Uncategorized

 Good news for teachers of Higher Chemistry and Higher Physics!   Free, printed versions of three brand-new resources for each subject have been distributed to all Scottish schools this week! Look out for these in a mailbox near you soon!

The online version of these resources are also available on the National Qualifications site on the LTS website.   These are just a sample of the many excellent new resources which have been produced to support the new Highers in Physics and Chemistry.

The titles which have been distributed in print for Higher Chemistry are;

  1. Open-Ended Questions in Higher Chemistry – Teachers Guide
  2. Carrying Out Effective Web-Based Research in Chemistry
  3. Identifying Functional Groups in Complex Molecules

 

For Higher Physics, the printed resources which have been sent to schools are;

  1. Open-Ended Questions in Higher Physics – Teachers Guide
  2. Relativity – Teachers Guide
  3. The Standard Model – Teachers Guide

 

Let us know if you find these useful!

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December 22nd, 2010

Another new Higher Physics Resource! ‘The Standard Model’

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Comments: none Tags:  : Categories Higher Physics, National Qualifications, resources, Scottish National Qualifications, Uncategorized

In the 1970s, physicists developed a theory called ‘The Standard Model‘ which gives us a remarkable insight into the fundamental structure of matter in the Universe. The ‘Standard Model’ describes the twelve basic building blocks of the universe (called ‘fundamental particles’) and also looks into the ‘fundamental forces’ governing these particles.

A set of teachers notes to support teachers with the delivery of this modern content within the ‘Particles and Waves’ unit of the new CfE-inspired Higher Physics can be found on the National Qualifications page and also on the NQ Physics Glow group.

We hope you like them!

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December 22nd, 2010

New Higher Physics Resource: Special Relativity

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Comments: none Tags:  : Categories Higher Physics, National Qualifications, resources, Scottish National Qualifications

 The ‘Our Dynamic Universe’ unit of the CfE-inspired Higher Physics contains a brand-new topic on ‘Special Relativity’.  Special Relativity is a complex scientific theory which was developed by Albert Einstein in 1905.  One of its key conclusions is that the speed of light is constant for all observers in the universe!  

The inclusion of this conceptually difficult piece of modern physics within the new CfE-inspired Higher Physics curriculum is both inspirational and challenging to teachers and students.  In order to support teachers with the delivery of this new content, an extensive set of teachers notes have been produced by LTS. 

This resource can be found on the National Qualifications website, and also in the NQ Physics Glow Group!

Happy reading!

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December 16th, 2010

Physics CPD on Open-Ended Questions in South Ayrshire

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Comments: none Tags:  : Categories Higher Physics, National Qualifications, Open-Ended Questions, Scottish National Qualifications, SQA

Open-ended questions in the new Higher Physics were the topic for a  CPD session held at Marr College, South Ayrshire on the 14th December 2010.   The session allowed physics teachers to consider the benefits and challenges offered by incorporating these questions into the curriculum.

The ‘open-ended questions teacher’s guide’  housed on the NQ website was the basis of the core activities during this session.   We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments!

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November 23rd, 2010

Calling all Aberdeen/ Aberdeenshire Physics teachers

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Comments: none Tags:  : Categories Higher Physics, National Qualifications, Researching Physics, resources, Scottish National Qualifications, SQA, Uncategorized

 Roy Pearson (LTS) and  John Sharkey (SQA) will be giving a presentation on latest developments and resources for the new CfE-inspired Higher Physics to an Institute of Physics meeting at Aberdeen University on Thursday 25th November 2010.

 IOP members and/or interested Physics teachers are invited to come along to the Meston Building at 6.30 pm.

Many brand-new support materials for the new Higher Physics are in production. For a sneaky peak check out the Glow Group!

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November 8th, 2010

Transferable Skills – Web-based Research in Chemistry

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Comments: none Tags:  : Categories case studies, Higher Biology, Higher Chemistry, Higher Physics, Researching Chemistry, Researching Physics, Scottish National Qualifications

The new CfE-inspired Higher Sciences specifically develop a number of crucial transferable skills for life and work.  In the Physics and Chemistry Highers these skills are gained through the ‘Researching’ half-units, whereas in the Biology and Human Biology Highers they are developed through the ‘case studies’.  A mixture of scientific and generic skills are developed throughout the new courses. 

One key skill for any scientist  is to be able to undertake an effective literature search to find out what is already known about their topic of interest.  Web-based research is becoming an increasingly important tool for scientists.  Two superb resources (an introductory powerpoint and a set of pupil activities) have been prepared to support teachers and learners with the development of effective web-based research skills in chemistry.  These resources can also be found on the NQ Chemistry Glow group.

Watch this space for news on other brand-new resources for the development of other key scientific skills….!

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October 26th, 2010

Scottish Space School 2011

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Comments: none Tags:  : Categories Higher Physics, Higher Sciences, National Qualifications, Uncategorized

The Scottish Space School 2011 will take place at Strathclyde University from 12th to 17th June next year.  This fantastic residential experience is open to S5 pupils currently studying maths and science subjects at Higher level.    Last year, 12 lucky Space School students were selected to go on a follow-up learning visit to Houston, Texas.  

Applications to participate should be made via the Scottish Space School website. Don’t miss out!  Apply now!

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October 26th, 2010

‘Open-Ended Questions’ promote creativity and thinking skills

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Comments: none Tags:  : Categories Higher Chemistry, Higher Physics, Open-Ended Questions, Scottish National Qualifications, SQA, Uncategorized

‘Open-ended questions’ will feature in the new SQA Higher examinations in Chemistry and Physics (see earlier posts).  These questions have no fixed response, and are designed to promote deeper understanding by encouraging learners to really think, rather than to merely recall facts.  

Sixty recent Higher Chemistry students from six diverse Scottish secondaries participated in preliminary trials of these questions in June 2010.   Their responses demonstrated impressive creativity and strong lateral thinking skills, as illustrated in the following selection of responses to a topical open-ended question on ‘teeth-whitening gels’:

Q/  Hydrogen peroxide is used in gels to whiten teeth.   The ion-electron equation for the oxidation of hydrogen  peroxide is shown below.  Using your knowledge of chemistry, comment on possible methods for measuring and comparing the concentration of hydrogen peroxide present in two different gels. 

 

Student 1: 

 ‘For a general idea of concentration, make a solution from the two different types of gel. Add potato disks, which contain the enzyme catalase, to catalyse the above reaction.  Add washing -up liquid to both solutions, and the oxygen will form a foamy top layer. The gel solution with the higher volume of foam has the higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide.’

Student 2:  

  • Measure the volume of oxygen given off in the breakdown of the the two gels
  • Make an aqueous solution of both gels and measure the pH difference
  • Measure which aqueous solution is more conductive
  • Use the gels on different teeth and view the different whitening-reaction times
  • Perform electrolysis and see which solution produces more hydrogen gas at the negative electrode

 

Student 3:

Hydrogen peroxide is a bleach, therefore the concentration could be determined by soaking a dyed material in equal volumes of the two gels for a fixed time. By finding out which one had the stronger bleaching effect, the concentrations could be compared.

Student 4:

  • Measure the rate of the decomposition of  hydrogen peroxide with manganese oxide catalyst. The faster the rate, the higher the concentration of hydrogen peroxide.
  • Measure its conductivity, as there are electrons given off.  More electrons released shows that more hydrogen peroxide has decomposed, and so the higher the conductivty the more hydrogen peroxide present in the gel.
  • Measure the pH of the products. The lower the pH, the higher the concentration of hydrogen ions, and the higher the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the gel.

Student 5:

Add Universal Indicator to both gels. The colour formed would show their pH. The lower the pH the more acidic, so the higher the concentration of hydrogen peroxide.

Student 6:

 Stick a piece of the same tooth or bone material into the two gels for the same amount of time.  The gel which has whitened the tooth or bone the most has the highest concentration of hydrogen peroxide in it.

What do you think? An astoundingly diverse array of excellent were produced when pupils were given the freedom to really think!

In a later post, we’ll look at the marking of open-ended questions.

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About This Blog

National Qualifications in the Science subjects are being modernised and updated in line with Curriculum for Excellence. This blog provides latest information on the developments taking place. Watch this space for new resources, information on CPD opportunities, news updates, etc!