What a smashing topic to teach and how better to exemplify the benefits of physics to individuals? This recent addition to physics specifications has had some great resources developed to help with teaching and learning, so jump right in!
Even if you are not teaching the medical physics unit as part of triple science, perhaps it is worth considering changing the way you teach the electromagnetic spectrum in the waves topic and approaching it from a medical physics perspective. The first resource on the list provides a good overview of how each part of the spectrum can be used in a medical physics context.
For an additional set of films on medical physics, click here. These are really strong and come from the IOP schools lecture series, a perfect combination of current and engaging contextualised information but presented in a way that GCSE students can easilly grasp.
Whilst this list provides a source of information and ideas for experimental work, it is important to note that recommendations can date very quickly. Do NOT follow suggestions which conflict with current advice from CLEAPSS, SSERC or recent safety guides. eLibrary users are responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is consistent with current regulations related to Health and Safety and that they carry an appropriate risk assessment. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance
Links and Resources
A great journey through the electromagnetic spectrum showing the use of electromagnetic waves in ways you’ve probably never heard of! The accompanying teacher notes are essential to get the most out of the presentation and it’s recommended that these are read through carefully several times before showing the presentation to students so that you can give a good commentary.
As its name implies this is a quick guide to MRI for teachers who may not have taught the subject before. It’s quick and easy to read so should rapidly help teachers to feel more confident. If more help is needed, there are references for further helpful websites on the back page. More than this, there are also some helpful suggestions for activities you could carry out with students and some through provoking questions. Turning a moving magnet into an electrical signal is a good idea and demonstrates the principle behind the machine well.
You’ll find here a very good presentation that briefly outlines GCSE level radioactivity before explaining its use in medical diagnosis and treatment. Coupled with the also very good teacher notes, which go well beyond the presentation, this is a comprehensive set of materials which teachers will find very useful, particularly if this isn’t an area of physics they are familiar with.
The “what’s in the box” activity described on page 16 of this resource forms a lovely introduction to ultra sound imaging, a topic in which is can be difficult to include much practical work. Ideally there would be several boxes prepared so that students could work in small groups and all experience the activity for themselves. It’s helpful to have a pattern of dots pre-marked on the box indicating where the skewers should be placed and this can lead on to a discussion about resolution. The radiotherapy activity on the next page looks interesting too but the “wedges” referred to do not appear to be provided.
Teachers will find that using this presentation to explain electrocardiograms will save them a lot of preparation time. What’s particularly helpful are the accompanying teacher notes. Read them through thoroughly beforehand to enable to be sure you are familiar with them so that students get the most from the presentation. There’s a follow up worksheet for students as well. More good stuff from the IOP!
Phootball, physiotherapy and physics! Start with the animated presentation using the teacher notes which explain how a foetus can be visualised using ultrasound. The final slide links to a fun and fast moving film which recaps some key ideas about sound and then shows how ultrasound is used in sports physiotherapy. It’s a well designed and put together set of resources though. if you use it, you may want to revamp the not very exciting student worksheet.
Here’s a really nice application of LEDs that students, and teachers, may not be aware of. Use the presentation, along with the teacher notes to explain how pulse meter works and use the short film, just less than 4 min long, to add depth and interest. There’s also a student worksheet which teachers might like to use or adapt.
Use this alongside the IOP lecture material on this topic.
Whatever you think of Wolverhampton Wanderers or football in general, you’ll be impressed by their medical facilities. As you’d expect from the IOP, the physics it contains is spot on and the physiotherapy example makes an interesting change from scanning pregnant women. This 7 minute film would slot easily into a lesson on ultrasound and it’s a great real world application. It’s also excellent at promoting physics and highlighting careers opportunities.
There are plenty of films on this topic but here’s some hands on practical work for students to do. Both the radiography and the colour analysis (pulse oxymeter) are recommended.
The radiography activity puts the students in the role of a radiographer examining different body tissues. Instead of using the luminescent film to capture the image, students could take photographs with their mobile phones.
The colour analysis practical involved converting a measuring cylinder into a simple colorimeter. This needs a technician to prepare it before the lesson. Alternatively, it’s quite likely that your school may already have colorimeters which could be used.