And here is where ends.

It’s been.

Some sort of new thing will happen at  -

I’ve started it off with the last post from below.

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I’m currently planning a new Space topic for S1, as part of my department’s CfE development. I’d like to do something on sustaining life in space, looking at providing space travelers with clean air, clean water, food and communications during various types of missions.

I’ve yet to decide on a format for the unit, but I’m aiming to do a rich task with the pupils planning how to provide for each need on four different types of mission – Earth orbit, Lunar habitation, Interplanetary travel (e.g. Earth – Mars) and Mars habitation.

There’s not a great deal of scope for practical in most Space topics, and this is a great opportunity to do some cross curricular work in science – it ties together some biology, chemistry and physics. I’d like to do some practical to demonstrate some main points – O2 production/CO2 removal by photosynthesis and chemical ‘scrubbing’, hydroponic plant growth, water purification and signal delay.

ALBA interfacing gas sensors can be used to show CO2 and O2 levels in real time for photosynthesis in plants – link.

Using that experiment as a starting point, this is a bit of kit I’m thinking of putting together to demonstrate the CO2 and O2 content of ‘fresh’ air, exhaled air and ‘scrubbed’ air (using LiOH or similar to remove CO2 from exhaled air).

gas sampling apparatus

For each sample I think I could do the following -

  • Clean air – with the exit valve closed, pump air from the room into the container, inflating the bag, whilst the sensors display the CO2 and O2 levels.
  • Exhaled air – with the exit valve closed, use air from balloons inflated by mouth to inflate the bag, whilst the sensors display the CO2 and O2 levels.
  • Scrubbed air – with the exit valve closed and some LiOH in the bottom of the bag, use air from balloons inflated by mouth to inflate the bag, whilst the sensors display the CO2 and O2 levels.

I’m expecting there to be some problems with this, but would very much appreciate some constructive criticism from the Physics/Science community. Suggestions regarding safety concerns, possible pitfalls, or just better alternatives would be gratefully received.

Please click on ‘Leave a Reply’ below to add your thoughts.

Thanks in advance.

AMENDMENT 12/01/10 –

On advice of Graham Dane, from St Augustine’s in Edinburgh, who responded to a posting on SPUTNIK (Scottish Physics teachers’ email forum), I’ve had a rethink about the third demo. Rather than have LiOH pellets in the bag to scrub the oxygen, a separate piece of apparatus will be used as a  CO2 scrubber, before the sampling jar.

CO2 scrubber

I’ve got this made already, but can’t test it until we can source a suitable jar to house the sensing part of the experiment, above.

Graham also pointed out that removing the CO2 would affect photosynthesis, so I might well have a fourth demo to take a stab at.

Not without a suitable jar to house it all in though. Off to the local sweetie shop to procure an empty jar or two…..

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Having filled up this edublog account (its 97% full) and not wanting to shell out for the paid for bigger account, I’m thinking of moving, or just starting else where.

I already have a site and my own, recently started but entirely empty site.

Don’t know if I should export everything from here and put it in wherever I decide to move to, or leave it here for posterity.

Whatever I decide, I really need to become a better blogger. More often, more worthwhile and I’d better start tagging stuff properly too.

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Off sick today, watching the NASA LCROSS mission to find water ice on the Moon.

Wondered if I could add the feed from to a Glow Group.

It turns out that I could.

Here video feed in glow group

close up

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Went to the Beeb at Pacific Quay last night to take part in TeachMeet SLF09, a truly inspiring gathering of colleagues across the education sector.

Thanks and congratulations to Ollie Bray and everyone else involved in making it all happen.

There were many excellent examples of great ideas being shared, from Stuart Meldrum‘s cut-price visualiser, to Nick Hood‘s critical thinking activity. It was enlightening too, to be involved in a discussion about assessment and examinations and what the future might hold.

I especially enjoyed the presentation from Neil Winton which I have embedded below. It speaks for itself to a large extent, but the genuine enthusiasm, conviction and humour with which Neil delivered it, brought another unique dimension.

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Found myself at an IOP meeting the other night – another great bit of CPD.

On the way home on the train I got to thinking about all of these events that I’ve been to over the last wee while and how I really ought to make a record of what I go to, if nothing else because I’m *supposed* to.

It occurred to me that there must be a way to do so in Glow, probably best to put something into ‘My Glow’. So that is what I did.

Using the ‘Form’ web part, it was easy enough (though not possibly as easy as it *could* be) to add a CPD log to my ‘My Glow’.

CPD glow

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Candidates must keep a daily account  of all work undertaken as part of their investigation. This is the evidence of their having completed the specified unit of the Advanced Higher Physics course.

This ‘daybook’ is entirely separate from the “write up” which is a formal document that constitutes a proportion of the candidates overall grade for the final examination.

Traditionally candidates have produced daybooks of varying quality, including varying quantities of material, which (and I may be alone here) are only really looked at if a centre is moderated by the SQA.

The only requirement, that I can see, from the SQA is that the daybook is available in a paper format.

This got me thinking – why could candidates not use a blog to record their day to day progress?

I’ve asked the Scottish Physics teaching community – SPUTNIK – and while there is interest, nobody can confirm that a blog would be an acceptable format in which a candidate might complete this piece of work.

I’m reluctant to encourage any of my candidates to embark on this course of action without first knowing that this format will be admissible. This being the case I’ve contacted the Qualifications Manager for Physics at the SQA, Andrew Shield.

Watch this space – and maybe a few others.

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Made an Animoto movie using the Cfe wordles I did yesterday, for want of any other images to hand.

I was hoping to get an idea of how easy or otherwise it’d be for pupils to use (assuming websense allows access – must check tomorrow).

Took a while to render, and I rushed the choice of music, but the result is ok. I think.

Comments please?

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Had a go at putting some CfE Third & Fourth Level Physics E&O’s together into wordles, mainly for brightening up my room, but thought they might help me to focus on the essence of each sub topic when developing new courses.

In no particular order -

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After meaning to try a wordle for ages I finally had a go.

SG Physics Wordle

Not bad for a first effort eh?

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