Tagged: teaching

Robot racing - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Oct 22, 2014

The Engineering Design Show is currently in full swing here, with the competitions for the various design projects. The white-line followers kicked off proceedings. They were pretty impressive, with all but one team successfully being able to follow the (very squiggly) line without mistakes. There were traps to confuse the robots - the line got thinner and … Read More

Engineering, lego and line followers - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Aug 19, 2014

In the last few weeks I've been working with some second-year software engineering students on a design project. Their particular task is to build (with Lego - but the high-tech variety) a robot that can follow a white line on a bench. It's fun to watch them play with different ideas and concepts - there's the occasional … Read More

What do we expect of scientists … and is it too much? - Molecular Matters

Michael Edmonds Jun 18, 2014

Depending on your point of view there are many things that are expected of scientists excellence in research great teacher effective administrator skillful grant proposal writer good mentor and research group co-ordinator media savvy science communicator All up this is quite a wide ranging and challenging list, so much so that I would suggest that there would be … Read More

A closing thought for Friday - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson May 16, 2014

We are three-quarters of the way through semester A. My Friday afternoon :-( tutorial for solid-state physics is still very well attended.  Is this: A. Because the students are really engaged in this paper, learning a lot, and generally want to be there, or B. Because they don't have a clue what's happening and are desperate for … Read More

When does collaboration become collusion? - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson May 15, 2014

Yesterday I attended a very interesting discussion on the problem of student collusion in assignments. It's a really grey area that is particularly prevelant in the sciences and engineering. This is the kind of thing we mean: Student A and Student B discuss their assignment one evening. Together, they think through what processes are needed to solve the … Read More

Explaining the blatantly obvious - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Apr 04, 2014

I've had a few difficulties in some discussions with students recently. It comes down to this: "How do I explain something that is so blatantly obvious it doesn't need explanation?"  The problem really is that a particular concept can be obvious to me, but not obvious to a student. The danger is then that, in a lecture, I … Read More

A fun experiment to try at your desk - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Mar 13, 2014

I received the latest PhysicsWorld magazine from the Institute of Physics yesterday. A quick flick through it reveals a fantastic demonstration you can do with kids (or grown-up kids) to show how strong friction can be. Take two telephone directories, and interleave the pages (so every page of book A has a page from book B above and below … Read More