Monday, 2 April 2012

Fwd: Physical Sciences Newsletter- including events and workshops

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STEM Physical Sciences Newsletter March 2012

March 2012

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In this edition:



Welcome to the second Physical Sciences newsletter. I am now starting to settle into my Higher Education Academy role as the Discipline Lead for the Physical Sciences, and I hope that you will agree after reading the rest of the newsletter that there is plenty going on.

I have particularly enjoyed visiting colleagues in forensic science, physics and chemistry, and hope to meet many more of you in the coming months. While I hope to see many of you at the events we are sponsoring, I am also very happy to visit departments so do get in touch via if you would like me to do this.

Paul Yates


STEM Conference

The programme for the conference is now available on the HEA website and you will see that there is an excellent programme within the physical sciences. It also worth noting that some of the physical science papers also appear within the STEM Learning and Teaching Issues sessions, so do look out for them there. Although the conference is currently full, you can have your name added to the waiting list by e-mailing with your name, institution and desired booking (e.g. full conference with dinner).

Discipline Conferences

The Higher Education Academy is pleased to be sponsoring the major UK educational conferences in the physical sciences later this year. FORREST (FORensic RESearch and Teaching) takes place at Abertay University on 26th and 27th June. Further details of the programme and registration are available on their website.

The Physics Higher Education Conference and the Variety in Chemistry Education meetings are combining forces this year, and will meeting on 30th and 31st August at the University of Edinburgh. Further details will be available shortly.


Forthcoming Workshops

The full workshop programme can be found on the HEA website.

Those of most obvious interest to physical scientists are as follows:

  • Improving Learner Experience in Forensic Science Higher Education and Practitioner Training, Tuesday 15th May, Cranfield University
  • Peer Assisted Learning/Student Ownership of Learning/Student Generated Content, Wednesday 16th May, University of Manchester
  • Developing Independent Learning Skills in the Physical Sciences, Thursday 31st May, University of Reading
  • Problem Based Learning, Monday 9th to Wednesday 11th July, University of Leicester

Please book for these via the web page above.

In addition, on Thursday 14th June we are holding a workshop on "Lectures without Lecturing" at the Higher Education Academy in York. Confirmed speakers are Simon Bates (Edinburgh), Dave McGarvey (Keele) and David Read (Southampton). If you do something other than lecturing in your formal lecture slots we would be interested in hearing about it, so please get in touch via and consider contributing a talk to this event.

New to Teaching Event

This is aimed at those who have been teaching for no more than two years, and will take place in Birmingham on 6th and 7th June. Heads of Department are asked to nominate eligible members of staff who they feel would benefit from attending. Nominations should be sent to

Teaching Development Grants

A reminder that the call for Collaborative Teaching Development Grants, which should be in the areas of employability or internationalisation, close on 22nd April.

New Research Tenders

The Higher Education Academy has put out an invitation to tender for four exciting new projects. The deadline for applications is 2nd April and further details are available on the HEA news pages and on the HEA funding pages.

Resources to Review

Martin Greenhow and his colleagues have been developing an extensive set of online questions called maths e.g. which are now being hosted at MathCentre.  Although the questions are maths based , they have wide applicability and will be of interest to those teaching the physical sciences.
The student interface can be found here.

If anyone would like be interested in writing a review of these resources for a subsequent edition of the newsletter, please contact me at to discuss possible arrangements.

I would also be pleased to consider including reviews of other resources for future editions of the newsletter, so please let me know if you are aware of any that you think would be of interest to colleagues.

--  David Andrew,  Head of Academic Practice Senior Tutor     The Learning Institute  Queen Mary, University of London Mile End, London E1 4NS   02078822803 02081446753   Book an appointment with me at

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