Talking Physics

Struggling with Astrophysics

This topic contains 8 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Janice Chambers 2 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #46504
    Profile photo of Andrew Normand

    Hi, I am teaching Astrophysics to Y13 for the first time and I need help. I seem to be delivering lots of information interspersed  with a few calculations, and the odd video clip. I am sure I am turning a really interesting topic into something rather dull. The problem comes from me having to learn it as I go along, not feeling comfortable deviating from the specification, not having the extra details and asides that make lessons memorable and having no time to research around the topic. I have looked for CPD courses for teachers but have yet to find one.

    Does anyone know of any CPD? It might be too late for the current Y13: Although they seem content with what I am delivering to them, I feel they are being shortchanged. I would love to be more confident with the topic for next years’ lot.


    Thanks in advance.


  • #46505
    Profile photo of Andrew Normand

    Hi Janice, @janicechambers

    I will dig out what I have. I currently teach turning points. I have taught astrophysics before.

    The TRUMP astrophysics packs are worth downloading.

    You will need to register on the STEM learning site for these

    The STEM learning site has a vast store of resources for all topics.

    What are you teaching next?

  • #46506
    Profile photo of Andrew Normand

    STEM learning are doing some CPD

    It seems this is repeated elsewhere.

    Some of the ideas have been discussed in older threads

    Supernova bounce

    I will have a further look for more

    • #46648
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      @davidcotton I attended the CPD you posted a link to – it was a  really interesting day. I came away feeling much more enthused about Astrophysics with some ideas to incorporate across the key stages. Thanks!

  • #46507
    Profile photo of Andrew Normand

    I always like the AQA Teacher Resource Bank

    Remember this is the old specification A and I am not sure what has been dropped or added to the new specification.

  • #46513
    Profile photo of Andrew Normand
  • #46514
    Profile photo of Andrew Normand

    Thank you so much. It’s very kind of you to take the time to post. I am usually a bit overwhelmed by the volume of resources of STEM so rarely use it, but this will make me change my ways! I have the document from the AQA website which states how the specification has changed so I can adjust the content.

    Next up for Y13 is the Nuclear Physics Unit – the only one we still have to cover. I feel more confident with this topic … at the moment!

  • #46524
    Profile photo of Andrew Normand

    The astro is very content heavy, so you do do a lot of talking. My only experiments are making a telescope from a couple of lenses and getting the fourth power law by using an IR sensor to look at a coil as it heats up.

    I try and liven it up by talking about the people involved – Dava Sobel’s latest book is good for the turn of the nineteenth/twentieth century stuff, and for something a bit more up to date I talk about Andrea Ghez, some of whose animations are here and are jaw dropping. I also like the fact that Exoplanets are now in, and of course are very topical this week.

    The following PDFs are from Nature and are probably under copyright  startracker Detection of seven earth sized planets

  • #46526
    Profile photo of Andrew Normand

    Thanks Steve. We had the lenses out but I didn’t think about doing the other demo. And I like the animations!

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