The Institute of Physics (IOP) has launched a brand new education website – IOPSpark – designed to become the new ‘go to’ resource for every aspect of teaching pre-19 physics.
The site will be home to the UK’s most comprehensive set of free physics teaching resources with over 2,000 available. All resources on the site are IOP approved and teacher-tested and include lesson plans, teacher notes, enrichment activities, worksheets and video content. Many of the resources include teaching tips as well as carefully curated links to further reading.
All content on the site is curriculum themed and searchable by student age, physics topic and type of content to help save time. To make the site even more valuable as a time saving way of enhancing lesson planning, resources are linked in ways that help users find related materials and navigate through sequences of activities.
Charles Tracy, head of education at the Institute of Physics commented: “Teaching physics today is hugely rewarding. However it can be daunting to teach something new or to teach something familiar in a new way. We know it’s also challenging for teachers to stay constantly abreast of the latest resources, news and content, particularly when teaching and lesson-planning means time is limited.
“Our hope is that the new IOPSpark site will provide teachers with a trusted source of ideas and professional learning, whether they are looking for a quick fix or pedagogical contemplation. Some of the site’s resources are ready to use whilst others will allow users to delve a bit deeper and explore the best ways to present those ideas and develop their own explanations.”
As well as being a trusted source of physics teaching resources, the new IOPSpark site will also host:
- A wealth of CPD materials, including articles on developing professional skills
- A brand new and constantly updated glossary of physics terms
- Access to TalkPhysics – an online community in which physics teachers can share best practice and ask questions
- The latest news, research and video content to help bring lessons to life
Jemma Duncombe, teacher of Physics at King’s College School, Wimbledon said: “It’s invaluable to find all these resources under one roof. It’s going to be my starting point whenever I’m looking at a new topic.”
An innovative area of the site will also be dedicated to helping teachers identify and address common student misconceptions in physics. Here teachers will be able to discover links to current research, strategies and materials to help them address common misconceptions before they become an obstacle to student attainment.
IOPSpark just one element of the Institute of Physics’ rapidly growing education programme which aims to create the optimum conditions in which physics as a subject can thrive. Another live initiative is the IOP Improving Gender Balance Research trial – a programme of positive intervention being run across hundreds of schools to encourage a greater proportion of girls to progress to study A-level physics.
To discover the thousands of physics resources now freely available, visit www.iop.org/spark