Academics from the University of Cambridge have launched a new online resource to help 6th form students get to grips with A level physics.
The Isaac Physics site, pictured, challenges participants to solve a series of physics and maths problems, each tailored to individuals’ skills and experience.
The questions are supported by hints and tips from Cambridge physics staff and undergraduates. Students who register for the site will be able to record their performance, watch lectures from the university’s Cavendish Laboratory, and take part in group problem-solving sessions.
The initiative is the latest strand of the Rutherford School Physics Partnership, which aims to make physics, maths and engineering more accessible and show youngsters what studying STEM subjects at top universities involves.
Around 100,000 students achieve A* to B grades in GCSE physics each year and have the potential to progress to AS physics – yet only 80,000 take the subject at AS and A2.
The new site also introduces teenagers to the style of study they will experience at university and engages them in the “intellectual challenge” of physics, maths and engineering.
“We want Isaac Physics to be particularly useful for students in schools that struggle to deliver specialist maths and physics teaching,” said Professor Mark Warner, co-director of the Rutherford School Physics Partnership.
“Isaac Physics can be used as a standalone learning resource by students who want to improve their physics and maths skills or by teachers looking to improve fluency and depth of understanding in their students.
“As the site develops, teachers will be able to set questions from the website for a whole class and Isaac will mark the work and provide feedback to teachers and students.”
Co-director Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright added: “Working in groups and analysing problems posed in words alone, through diagram sketching and the application of fundamental concepts, are skills that students need to develop in order to do well at university-level physics.”
To find out more, go to https://isaacphysics.org/