AfroPhysics/Project Planning/Uganda/Good Ideas

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1) Physics experiments with low cost materials

I recently met a young teacher who has written a paper on simple experiments that are using only cheap materials, available in every supermarket. I try to convince her to give this for free use to our project.--White Eagle 07:51, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

That sounds great.
Unfortunately she has sold the rights to a publisher. She expects the release of the work in Sep. 2011, eg in 3 years.--White Eagle 07:04, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

2) Ugandan physics curriculum

The Uganda Physics curriculum page needs much more refinement.--White Eagle 07:54, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

I am looking at a way to add in the details, which will need to create new pages for each topic.--Vkizza 19:07, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
No problem, just create sub-pages. See the example I've created already.--White Eagle 09:25, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
One more thing with new pages: We should try to use "talking" uniform resource locators (URL). F. ex. 535 - Physics, the URL Rswells, the author of the page choose, does not say much. Better would be "Ugandan physics curriculum". What do you think?--White Eagle 09:40, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

3) The current hot topic is energy

Is there a topic that has to do with physics and currently concerns people in Uganda? (Example: Water supply in a dry country)--White Eagle 08:05, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

The current hot topic is energy. The cost of fuel and electricity is raising daily and going out of the affordable realm of most Ugandans, yet the climate has a lot of wind that can be tapped to produce electricity but the knowledge of how to do it is not forthcoming.By vkizza 9:55 am,Saturday,11 Oct,2008
Great idea to start with. Energy conservation is hot in Germany too. (Cars with economical fuel consumption, energy saving houses etc.) We try to teach our students to develop consciousness on
  • a) saving energy
  • b) using renewable energies --White Eagle 07:13, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

4) Physics and sports

Do African students prefer some kind of games with a background in physics? Most sports do. How about physics and sports in Uganda?--White Eagle 08:05, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

I think games science are great to all students. Only that I have never seen any one use them here for science teaching. Any ideas? vkizza
Lets take for example badminton (Florence!). There is the inclined throw without and with air friction (great topic for a student centered project), there is the change in momentum to be calculated when the racket hits the ball etc. I've a colleague here in my school who teaches physics and sports and wants to offer a seminar on physics and sports next school year. I'll try to get some info.--White Eagle 07:14, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

5)What kind of experimental equipment do you have in your school?

Photos? --White Eagle 08:05, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Here have a look at one our typical Science Labs vkizza
Thanks for the great photos. I see, your school is relatively well equipped. You even have a flat screen? I'll gona add some pictures of my school here in Munich.--White Eagle 07:56, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

6) Ugandan Physics past papers, Licenses

Would it be possible to upload any exam papers of past years? Exam papers are always extremely relevant to students and teachers.--White Eagle 08:05, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Here are some Ugandan Physics past papers vkizza
Hey, Wow, Vincent, this is really great! You have access to the source code of these exam papers! I think this is material that will attract people! I see for the first look, that your exams are manly about definitions, notions and concepts, some formula and simple calculations with some relations to applications. Let me have a closer look the next days! I'm just brainstorming about developing solutions to these problems, or even automatize the responses. Using the exam functions of Moodle would offer the possibility to correct the responses given on-line automatically. So to create a training platform for those who run for the final exams. The thing is, that we have to start working on those subjects that are most inclined to attract users, in order to get more co-workers. But one thing still, do you have free license for these papers or is it piracy?--White Eagle 07:56, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Im my country,when exam papers come out,they belong to the category of "public domain" and can be used for any non-commercial purpose such as ours here in the wiki. So no need to worry,except only when the results for that year have not yet been released. BTW,the national exams are now going on untill 14th November...and then another session of the pre-university up to Dec 8th. After the exams,many teacers will go to mark and the majority of teachers do so,as they hope to make some "quick buck" for the christmas season,this will of course affect us a little bit as we will have to wait for more to join us. But they will surely do. Otherwise, I think developing solutions to the exam question is great idea that will certainly make both the teachers and students want to come back. vkizza3:20 pm,14 Oct 2008

Hi Vincent, we have to have in mind that in the usual WE license commercial use is not excluded. To bring it to the point, any publishing agency could print out the materials directly from WE and sell them. And this would be o.k. with WE. You still feel comfortable?--White Eagle 09:46, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Hi Vincent, now I've got the idea that you could put these papers under a CC-NC-SA license, that means that commercial use would be excluded. --Günther Osswald 08:02, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

(Comment.gif: Hi Guys ~ great conversation here....why don't you make a general post to the main WE list as well as the Community Media group to talk about your collaboration, and see if you can get additional resources --Randy Fisher 08:50, 11 October 2008 (UTC))Community_Media--White Eagle 07:56, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

(Comment.gif: Hi Randy, thanks for bumping in! That gives me the feeling of wide world! But WE l i s t ?--White Eagle 07:56, 14 October 2008 (UTC))

Hi Randy,great suggestion! What do you say White Eagle? vkizza

As we concentrate on Uganda, I'd say let us find ways to mobilize co-workers from there. Florence f. ex. has found us and others will follow. But if you like to start such an initiative, go ahead, its the wiki way. --White Eagle 08:00, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

7) Physics lesson plans page

I suggest that we put up a Physics lesson plans page where we craft physics lessons that are learner-centered in that they are:-

  • Activity based
  • Minds-on
  • Appropriateness to level of learner
  • Environment-relevant
  • Rely on improvisation
  • Problem solving oriented

Such a lesson could have the following format

  • Topic/Subtopic
  • Rationale
  • Objectives
  • Pre-requisite knowledge
  • Lesson procedure
  • References


--Vkizza 11:50, 14 October 2008 (UTC) Physics lesson plans page

8) Physics project ideas

We should also craft some school Physics project ideas to help both the teachers and students to get started. vkizza

Hi Vincent, if you create new pages, would you create them as sub-pages to my Ted-Project (Physics Teacher education)? The advantage for the reader is that he/she can always fall back to the general home page with the table of contents and does not get lost.
And one more hint: You can use for digital signature the button in the middle of the header of the editor!
Hi, How does one do that? creating a new page as a sub-page? That is exactly what I wanted to do but didn't know how!--Vkizza 18:43, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Please see above (2)--White Eagle 09:48, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

9) Gender issues in physics teaching

10) Hands-on physics teaching

I am right now trying to acquire a book "Hands-on physics teaching", which is rather expensive. So getting a similar one "free" would be a great boost.By vkizza

Hi Vincent, this book sound interesting, I've read the abstract in Amazon. But - it is American, and I'm doubtful if these experiments can be as easily performed in Uganda. But if you think it is useful for our Center, buy it. It can be financed by the startup funding we have.
From what they describe in the preface,it is like they use plenty of common materials....baloons,strings,paper e.t.c so i think acquiring it will be a real boost.Thanks.--Vkizza 18:51, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
So go for it. I imagine most Ugandan schools not having the resources to acquire expensive lab materials, but balloons and strings should be within the reach of everyone. (See my initiative in point 1).

11) Promoting creativity and problem solving skills

I am really overjoyed to be part of this project and discussion. Vincent has really tried to "work on" us so that we "get up" and start working.
Now,I think another relevant issue is to examine the best way of physics (or generally science)assessment ,because I think we have a problem here. Most questions require mere recall! How does one ask "good" physics questions that promote creativity and problem solving skills?--Pkato 08:45, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Welcome, Peter, to our working group. We are g r o w i n g ! It is a great joy for me to see colleagues of Vincent Kizza on the contributors list. The issue you put forward here is the key to our initiative. How can we promote creativity and problem solving skills? I reckon to begin with motivation. If we are sensitive enough to our students to hit their fundamental motives for learning and enjoying physics, we will get them engaged. Could you maybe start with asking your students what they find attractive about maths and physics? I mean personally attractive. And especially find out their primary motivation. That could be of great help to our project.--White Eagle 09:17, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Today i decided to ask my students why they want to study physics and the following below were some of the responses(Verbatim) ...I was touched
  • To learn why some things happen.
  • Physics helps us to reason.e.g wy things fall to the ground.
  • To be what you want to be e.g an engineer
  • To understand things deeply. e.g the rainbow
  • To appreciate nature. e.g that atoms are invisible but they exist
  • Helps us to know why things happen e.g Eclipses
  • So as to save life,make money e.g as when you can understand electricity
  • Relate daily life to what we study in class e.g relation between speed and distance.
  • Think with the mind instead of the eyes
  • To do experiments and practical work
  • Get inspired by physicists by what they created.
  • Know about heat transfer.
  • Helps the country to develop
  • Becomes anxious to know more
  • Learn to reason

-Pkato 13:35, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Peter, for this great poll! You were touched. Why? Me, I'm touched too, because these answers show that your students have very solid interest and curiosity for learning physics, but of course not homogeneous. Physics in school can meet all of these interests and many more. Now, let's go one step further. As these young people have these motives on their own, we could see us as teachers in the role of being facilitators, that help them to follow their interest (or stimulate new ones). That means we are not only doing Physics because we, the adult society, wants the young generation to be fit for the future, but in first line because these young ones have an inherent need to develop their talents and to acquire knowledge and education. If they understand that we do so we do not have to worry about high exam failure rates! --Günther Osswald 08:21, 24 October 2008 (UTC)


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