Institute of Physics launches the UK and Ireland’s largest source of free education resources for those teaching physics

The Institute of Physics (IOP) today has launched a comprehensive new online education destination for every aspect of teaching pre-19 physics.

The new www.iop.org/spark website will provide a ‘go to’ resource enabling anyone involved in teaching physics to discover over 2000 free, inter-lined IOP education resources including lesson plans, experiment ideas, teacher notes and student worksheets.

All resources on the site are quality assured having been IOP approved and tried and tested by physics teachers. The resources have been made quick and simple to find with content themed by curriculum area and searchable by student age, physics topic or by type of activity.

The site, which has been years in the making, will also feature CPD content, themed research, news and videos to bring classroom teaching to life and an innovative area dedicated to enabling teachers to identify and challenge common student misconceptions.

Charles Tracy, Head of Education at the Institute of Physics commented: ‘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.

‘By providing teachers with high quality resources, open access to the latest subject thinking and by empowering collaboration amongst the physics teaching community we hope to help create the optimum conditions in which this fascinating subject can flourish in schools for generations to come.’

The new IOPSpark site is just one of many initiatives being undertaken by the Institute of Physics to help physics as a subject thrive in schools.

The IOP recently launched a new Department for Education funded initiative to increase the proportion of girls taking physics at A-level. The Improving Gender Balance research trial involves hundreds of schools across England in undertaking an intensive programme of positive intervention aimed at significantly increasing the number of girls progressing to A-level physics. Currently only one fifth of A-level physics students are girls.

The new IOPSpark website www.iop.org/spark is not only designed for dedicated physics teachers. It is also designed to be a useful resource for technicians, for those training physics teachers, for recent graduate teachers and for other teachers given the responsibility of teaching physics.

As a result the site includes CPD resources, articles on developing professional skills and a constantly updated glossary of physics terms. Many of the free teaching resources also feature useful teaching tips.

IOPSpark also acts as a gateway to TalkPhysics an active online physics teaching community where teachers can share best practice and ask any questions around teaching physics in a supportive environment.

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.’

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