Aaron Cook, councillor and director of professional learning at STANSW, explains the significance of this year’s event. “It’s probably … the most significant syllabus changes, if not ever, in a very, very long time.

It’s the first time the syllabus has changed in about 10 or 15 years, and the changes are really significant.

“For us, this year’s physics conference is about supporting teachers to understand the changes to the syllabus, and provide them with some professional learning to help best implement the changes.”

The keynote speakers are set to enlighten conference attendees on these changes and how to adapt. Les Kirkup, from University of Technology Sydney, will speak about the pedagogy behind effective physics education, while NESA’s Kelly Sheehan will discuss the philosophy behind the new syllabus and other science subjects, as well as how these syllabuses interact.

“So the new courses, investigating science and extension science, they can both be taken alongside physics. So he’ll talk about the physics syllabus, but also about the interaction between these syllabuses and how students studying more than one science can greatly benefit from these opportunities,” Cook explains.

Cook hopes that delegates will “walk away feeling confident and inspired”.

 “The changes that are as a result of the new syllabus I think are incredibly positive. Currently teaching a syllabus that was written at the turn of the century, a lot has changed, not just in science but in what we know about effective teaching,” he says.

“…we’re trying to encourage our students to find things that interest them, and to engage in inquiry to develop not just an understanding of scientific research but a passion for learning.