Physics Education Seminar (PES)
The second Physics Education Seminar (PES) was held at NUS High School from 3 to 6 June 2013. This is a biennial event jointly organized by NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, Institute of Physics Singapore, Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) and supported by the Ministry of Education, Singapore. This year's event consisted of two components: a one-day seminar on topics related to physics education and industry trends, and two 1.5-day workshops introducing in-class resources developed by the Perimeter Institute (PI), a leading centre for scientific research, training and educational outreach in foundational theoretical physics
Mr Wong Siew Hoong, DyDGE (MOE) giving the opening address.
Attended by 138 educators from 52 institutions and schools, the participants were hosted to a series of stimulating keynote lectures on the first day. The first keynote speaker, Mr William Lau, Chief Technology Officer from DSO National Laboratories, shared candidly with the participants on the important role physicists play in DSO to support the research and development of systems used in the defence sector. Following that, participants were also given a glimpse into the outreach efforts and workshops of the Perimeter Institute by Mr Greg Dick, Director of Educational Outreach (PI). Finally, Ms Goh Wan Yee, Director of Human Capital, Economic Development Board (EDB) shared on the current challenges faced by the engineering and manufacturing sector as well as the opportunities for the next generation of physicists and engineers.
Keynote Talk 1: Mr William Lau, Chief Technology Officer, DSO National Laboratories.
After the keynote talks, the participants attended various breakout sessions such as Physics Demonstrations, Physics in Research, Physics Pedagogy and Physics in industry. The teachers clearly enjoyed the talks, in particular on Physics Demonstrations by A/Prof Sow Chorng Haur and provided ideas on how they can integrate it into their lessons. The participants gave very positive feedback and requested for a longer session as well as more hands-on activities for the next PES. The last programme for the first day brought the participants to various learning journeys to places such as Micron Technologies (Singapore) and ST Kinetics, so that the participants can have a more in-depth understanding of the work in these organizations that require staff who are strong in physics or engineering.
Keynote Talk 3: Mr Greg Dick, Director of Educational Outreach, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
The next 3 days of the seminar were occupied by two workshops, led by trainers from the Perimeter Institute. The first workshop covered two topics on 'Challenge of Quantum Reality' and 'Measuring Planck's constant' while the second workshop covered 'Physics of Innovation' and 'Revolutions in Science'. Although the participants came from a diverse range of teaching experiences and background, they found the workshops very engaging and insightful.
Physics demonstrations by A/P Sow Chorng Haur
"Most valuable course attended so far. Very relevant. Interesting approach to teaching physics (not just quantum). Inspiring." (Irene Lee, HCI)
"The whole idea of enthusing & exciting students into deeper & more relevant Physics is truly inspiring." (Caleb Lee, SRJC)
"Exciting and inspiring. Cutting edge content and pedagogy that blew my mind." (Joanne Ng, TJC)
"I love the different examples or models used. They simplify greatly the abstract concepts. Some of the questions are very thought provoking." (Ai Phing, RVHS)
Written by: Mr Tan Kian Chuan, NUS High School