Blog Archives

Problems can be opportunities to teach and learn

On March 13, 2015

I moved house just recently. It’s a lovely location with views over hills and moors. More specifically, in the distance, we have a panorama that is largely Dartmoor. Geologically, as you are most likely aware, we are talking a solid granite base, which occasionally erupts into the rugged and beautiful raised tors. So, somewhere under […]

Physics is a story – let’s teach it that way

On September 6, 2013

Physics isn’t fun. Like Richard Feynman said, the pleasure is in finding things out. All too often, however, teachers try the ‘physics is fun’ approach. In my experience as a physics teacher and now as a STEM Ambassador, I haven’t seen that method have a lasting effect. Yes, it will grab a student’s attention during […]

Why Michael Gove’s plan to fast-track soldiers into schools is worrying

On June 18, 2013

Could anything be more important to the future of our society than education? I truly believe not. That’s partly why I chose a career in lecturing, believing it a worthwhile use of my skills as a physicist. There are plenty of other topics causing concern at the moment, such as unemployment, crime and international tensions. […]

God in the physics classroom

On April 9, 2013

God is an idea that even atheist physicists can’t seem to resist invoking: Einstein famously insisted that “God does not play dice with the universe”, Hawking claimed that finding the elusive “theory of everything” might let us “truly know the mind of God”, and Leon Lederman has caused an awful lot of misunderstanding by nick-naming […]

Girls need to learn how to fail, too

On April 5, 2013

The Institute of Physics has been working hard for many years to increase the proportion of girls doing physics. As their most recent report  on the subject – concerning the progression of girls from GCSE to A-level physics – showed, progress is stubbornly slow. Too many schools, almost half of all state maintained coeducational schools […]