Teacher Resources

Secondary

Physics, and Secondary Physical and Earth/Space Sciences, are our core education areas. The following resource is a comprehensive guide to activities at the GDC, suitable for year 10 extension science, and year 11/12 physics. Select the activities relevant to your students to complete during your excursion.

Physics-Extension book 1

Physics-Extension book 2

Physics Extension book 3

Physics-Extension book 4

This is a lighthearted exploration of the ideas of the modern theory of space, time and gravity. Bring theatre to your classroom with this engaging, interactive teaching tool. Ideal for year 7 Physical Science (understanding gravity)

Gravity Play

Einstein’s Field Equation tells us that space is elastic and because it is elastic, it can sustain waves

Einstein’s Field Equation

The Leaning Tower creates an opportunity for students to investigate gravity in hands-on experiments. Download the simple recording sheet and view expected data results

Tower Activity recording sheet

Free fall experiments data sample

Teacher Packs

Teacher Packs support teachers implementing the Australian Curriculum Science/ Earth and Space. Packs contain lesson ideas, student activities and resources for excursions.

Teacher Resource Pack Year 5,6

Teacher Resource Pack year 7,8

 

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Teaching Resources from TES Australia tes_australia_big_logo

TES Australia is completely free to join and use, and has been developed in association with the Australian Education Union, the Centre for Professional Learning and the Board of Studies in New South Wales. It is a place for teachers to share and download maths worksheets, primary lesson plans and kids’ activities to help teach general capabilities and the cross-curriculum priorities of the Australian curriculum, including literacy learning and Aboriginal studies. Whatever stage or subject you teach, you can find all the tools you need to be the best teacher you can be.  Find teaching Resources on TES Australia today.

 

Archived Resources Secondary

The following resources contain modules of work suitable for in-depth study, along with student worksheets for the Gravity Discovery Centre.

Life & Living

Biodiversity

This program provides a range of activities exploring species biodiversity, genetic biodiversity and ecosystem biodiversity, which are designed to be carried out on site.

A word of warning!  Students should be made aware of the dangers associated with collecting and examining invertebrates.  Besides “redbacks”, a number of other animals that may be harmful are likely to be present in the bush.  Students are advised not to venture too far from the designated tracks and to take the usual precautions when walking in the bush.

The tasks address outcomes at levels 3-6 in both the Life and Living and the Investigating Scientifically sub-strands.  Some activities include cross-curricular links and connections to other science sub-strands.  An indication of the levels covered in each activity has been provided in the accompanying teacher’s notes.

Download full module

Nasty Creepy Crawlies

Nasty Creepy Crawlies encourages students to explore the Life and Living and Investigating Scientifically sub-strands of the Science Learning Area by studying an invertebrate common to the area, the Kangaroo Tick.  The activities provided are intended to be flexible and adapted by teachers according to the level, interest and prior knowledge of their students.

Download full module

Pendulums & Measurements

The Simple Pendulum

You find pendulums all around you in clocks, swings, clothing as you move, electric power lines in the wind etc.  They provide a great study tool for investigating the scientific method from a low to a very sophisticated level.

This activity is targeted to the serious Science students.  It allows them to develop a high level of understanding of the Scientific Method through a rigorous investigation.  This module can be followed by the ONE SECOND PENDULUM that enables the students to apply what they have discovered and to develop some understanding of statistical analysis.

This would be a great preparation for a visit to the GDC to use the large Foucault pendulum to prove that the earth is rotating, as well as using it to find the mass of the earth.

Download full module

The Foucault Pendulum

The Foucault Pendulum was invented by French physicist, Jean Bernard Foucault (pronounced foo-ko) in 1851 in Paris and was demonstrated for the first time at the world’s fair in the Pantheon in Paris.

Although the pendulum seems to change its path during the day, it is actually the floor beneath it that is moving.

Centuries ago, Sir Isaac Newton discovered that when a body is set in motion it will move continuously in a straight line from its origin, so long as the body is not interrupted by an outside force that alters its direction.  So if the pendulum seems to rotate with respect to the floor and we know there is no force available to make the pendulum rotate, and there is no outside force that will interrupt the swing – then – it must be the floor that is rotating.  As we know the floor is attached to the earth SO it must be the earth that is rotating!

Download full module

Rate of Change – The One Second Pendulum

You find pendulums all around you in clocks, swings, clothing as you move, electric power lines in the wind etc. They provide a great study tool for investigating the scientific method from a low to a very sophisticated level.

This activity is targeted to the serious science students It allows the them to develop a high level of understanding of the Scientific Method through a rigorous investigation. This module can be followed by the ONE SECOND PENDULUM that enables the students to apply what they have discovered and to develop some understanding of statistical analysis.

This would be a great preparation for a visit to the GDC to use the large Foucault pendulum to prove that the earth is rotating as well as using it to find the mass of the earth.

You may do this experiment by constructing your pendulum or by downloading an interactive program where you can do the experiments from the program.

Download full module

Mass of the Earth

How often is it in science that we take measurements by an indirect means?  For example, we measure force and mass by measuring the stretch of a spring that has been calibrated, we measure time by the swing of a pendulum, and even the mass of an electron by its curvature in a magnetic field.

Today we are going to measure the mass of the Earth using a conical pendulum.  WOW:  can we really do this?

Download full module

Cosmology & Astronomy

Cosmology

By completing the activities in this module they can experience the universe through three stunning virtual tours.  What was once just intellectual property will become a gut feeling.

They will make a journey that will change their view of the universe and their place in it.  This will be achieved through creative activities and the sharing of ideas with others.

Download full module

Our Star the Sun

Sol, Earth’s nearest star, has fascinated humans since they first looked at the heavens.  Your students will be able to share this wonder by studying beliefs of many cultures and using the observatory facilities on site to carry out serious collection and analysis of solar data.

They will use procedures, equipment and software that is used in all major land-based solar observatories, and their observations will be recorded for future school groups and e-mailed back to school for use in classroom presentations.

Download full module

Modern Science

Lasers

Lasers – the stuff of science fiction or everyday life?  Your students will determine which as they work through these activities.

They will develop an understanding of what lasers are and an appreciation of the many uses we employ them for on a daily basis.  They will see how research into gravity wave detection makes use of the properties of lasers and observe a functioning interferometer.

At school they can take part in an internet web quest as a member of a UN committee investigating the benefits of lasers to humanity.

As their teacher you will find the assessment rubric and background information invaluable as a means of levelling your students progress.

Download full module

Time Travel

Your students rarely enjoy challenging their minds more than when presented with time travel conundrums.  This module will allow them to actually travel forwards in time!  They will also hear the past.  A roof mounted solar ripple tank casts shadows on the floor.  These images model gravity waves and will be measured in a student-designed experiment.

At school they will make up their own time-travel stories and employing the knowledge that they have gained will analyse the work of others.

As a teacher you will appreciate the background information, which will help you respond to your students’ questions on the subject.  The expected response sheet and levelling rubrics will be invaluable resources in assisting the assessment of your students.

Download full module

Energy & Change

Magnetism

The relationship between electricity and magnetism had begun to be investigated and two of nature’s fundamental forces were linked.

The magnetic effect caused by electric current flowing is the physics behind the electromagnet and you will see one in the GDC display.  Its strength is controlled by the current passing through the coils.

Download full module

Vacuum

When your students engage themselves in the activities in this module they will be tackling some of the bigger questions about ‘Life, The Universe & Everything’.

They will modify their own beliefs by replicating experiments (allegedly) performed by Galileo at the leaning tower in Pisa, using our own leaning tower.  This experiment along with experiments using vacuum and warped space, and viewing of light sculptures would be impossible to do in a normal classroom setting, and will excite and motivate your students.

The learning doesn’t stop at the centre; your students will have fun investigating the effects of vacuum on their bodies while at school.

Download full module

Speed of Sound

This activity is targeted to the serious science students.  It investigates in a sequential way the factors that effect the speed of sound in a pipe,  wave interference, and develop some lateral thinking to investigate scientifically, which means this unit can be used to clearly demonstrate that the student is working at level 6.

Background information of this unit can be found in the unit Time Travel if the students don’t have any prior knowledge in sound transmission

Download full module

The Strange World of the Quantum

This module exposes students to quantum mechanics…the physics theory that underpins the designs of computer components and lasers, explains the properties of atoms and molecules, explains how stars work and how all the matter we are made of was created in the big bang and inside stars.  The fundamental idea behind quantum mechanics is that anything that moves sometimes acts like a particle and sometimes acts like a wave.  When light acts like a stream of particles, we call them photons.  When sound acts like particles we call them phonons.  In this module we will study vortex rings which are fluid motions which act like particles, cable waves that can act like particles or waves, and our laser interferometer where the light shows itself as a wave.  We will finish with a thought experiment which exposed the central mystery of quantum physics.

Education Module Quantum

High School Free Fall Experiments

Exciting free fall experiments from the world’s only purpose built Leaning Tower!  A spectacular 45 meter tower offering stunning views.  This high school module allows students to repeat Galileo’s famous experiments from the Leaning Tower of Pisa….and much more.  Galileo’s experiments marked the start of experimental physics.  Students drop big water balloons, and see craters being formed.  For years 8-10, the project allows students to undertake a range of investigations in basic physics:  (gravity, acceleration, energy, and air resistance) in an exhilarating context.  For years 11- 12 these can be extended using simple formulae, graphs and statistics.  Students will make measurements and plot graphs, using visual estimation, stop watch timing, and by reading data from digital camera video clips.  Students will be able to question whether Galileo was himself telling the whole truth when he discussed free fall from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and learn about human reflex time delays, air resistance and energy.

Teacher led Free Fall

Archived Resources Primary

Resources below are designed for in-depth study into specific units of work.  These can be used as a complete unit, or used for individual activities, either pre-visit, post-visit, or on site.  Assessment is included.

Vacuums and Space

What is a vacuum and what is space?  At the GDC students will be able to explore the concept of vacuums and space and gain an understanding of questions raised during discussion.

The various experiments conducted at the centre will demonstrate to the students that some things do exist in a vacuum – light, heat……. anything else??  They will investigate the effect of a vacuum on free falling objects and compare to free falling objects outside a vacuum.  The students will examine the curved space model and the breathing mirror.

Download full module

Life and Living: Nasty Creepy Crawlies

The Gravity Discovery Centre is set in pristine bushland.  In this ‘untouched’ state there are many ‘mini beasts’ that can be studied and observed.  The world of ‘mini beasts’ is fascinating, because we can see them all around us in our daily lives and as humans we have much in common with them.  Like humans ‘mini beasts’ often live in communities, have leaders, workers and child-rearers.  Because of their size they are relatively easy to observe.  One common ‘mini beast’ that is found at the GDC is the Kangaroo Tick.

By studying this common invertebrate, students study the strands of Life and Living and Investigating Scientifically in the curriculum.

Download full module

Life and living: Biodiversity

The GDC is located within one of the great biodiversity hotspots of the world.  Southwest Western Australia has a remarkable diversity of native plants & species.  The visit to the GDC will involve students in working with staff to compile a reference collection of insects that are common to the GDC site.  They will also be involved in examining and identifying species of invertebrates that are attracted to ultra violet light.

Download full module

Theories of Relativity

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is based on Newton’s laws of mechanics and Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory and the concepts of space and time.  If we want to describe the Universe as we know it in its most basic terms we could say that it consists of a handful of properties.  We are so familiar with these properties that we take them for granted.  But under special relativity they behave in unexpected ways.

For information on Einstein, Newton & more download this activity.

Download full module

Sound: Hearing – A Thing of the Past

Sound waves are also called ‘acoustic waves’ or ‘longitudinal waves’ – waves with particles that move (oscillate) along the same line as the waves travel.  Sound waves can travel through solids, liquids and gases and have a wide range of frequencies.

Students at the GDC will be able to investigate producing different sounds, gain an understanding of the way sound is transmitted and look at the frequency of sound.

Download full module

Energy and Change: Magnetism

Magnets are pieces of special material which can exert a force on other magnets or magnetic materials.  Some magnets are permanent magnets, others can be made magnetic using electric currents, and are called electromagnet; they are made by passing an electric current through a coil.  Find out more…

Download full module

Earth and Beyond: Black Holes, Rotations & Orbits

Black holes in reality are a region of space that has so much mass that there is no way to escape its gravitational pull.  Our Black Hole exhibit at the GDC allows you to explore planetary orbits of the type you see in the solar system.  You can create orbits of planets and comets.  You can measure the time of different orbits – circles and very eccentric ellipses.  You can also observe your orbiting bodies ‘disappearing down the plug hole’, because of the long neck which simulates a black hole.  A solar system model would curve to a gentle valley in the middle (occupied by the Sun) instead of having a steep neck.

The Foucault pendulum at the GDC enables students to witness first-hand the rotation of the Earth.  The movement can be observed during the duration of the visit.

Download full module

Young Galileo’s Free Fall Experiment

Exciting free fall investigations from the world’s only purpose built Leaning Tower!  A spectacular 45 meter tower offering stunning views.  This primary school module allows students to repeat Galileo’s famous experiments from the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  Students will learn how this experiment was used to question writings in ancient books and will themselves be able to question whether Galileo was himself telling the whole truth.  They will drop big water balloons, and see craters being formed.