Seng Kwang Tan

Potential Divider with Thermistor Applet

The wonderful thing about GeoGebra is that you can whip up an applet from scratch within an hour just before your lesson and use it immediately to demonstrate a concept involving interdependent variables. I was motivated to do this after trying to explain a question to my IP4 students.

The RGB colours of the thermistor reflects the temperature (red being hot, bluish-purple being cold)

This was done to demonstrate the application of potential dividers involving a thermistor and a variable resistor. It can, of course, be modified very quickly to introduce other circuit components.

Newton’s 2nd Law Applet

For a full-screen view, click here.

<iframe scrolling="no" title="Dynamics Problem" src="" width="640px" height="480px" style="border:0px;"> </iframe>

This applet was designed with simple interactive features to adjust two opposing forces along the horizontal direction in order to demonstrate the effect on acceleration and velocity.

Reflection on the SLS Pedagogical Scaffold v2.0

The Student Learning Space Pedagogical Scaffold was designed and rolled out just as I joined the Learning Partnerships in Education Branch. I was involved in some of the training sessions such as the SLS Design Challenge in 2018 where it was shared with all the schools in Singapore. After 4 years, I am about to co-facilitate training with it again – this time, with version 2.0 and with our school’s teachers on its use.

The SLS Pedagogical Scaffold

Here are some quick thoughts that I wanted to jot down before that happens and that I will try to refine along the way.

  1. What is the SLS PS? It includes a series of questions intended to help both beginning teachers and experienced teachers think about how “active learning with technology” can be achieved. Breaking that phrase down down: active learning is where students are actively engaged in sense making as opposed to didactic teaching where the only input is auditory or visual. Done with technology if it serves us well, this means technology is optional. Despite the name, the SLS PS need not be done with SLS as well! But instead it encourages us to consider it in light of all the other tools out there to see which tool best serves our purpose.
  2. One thing we kept emphasising was to make success criteria explicit:
    1. To promote metacognition (i.e. students will also know if they learnt)
    2. Helps us not to over-plan. Squeezing too many SCs in one lesson would make it difficult to assess if students are learning.
    3. SCs are more than just SIOs from the syllabus document, but specific performance goals that can be observed by both learner and instructor.
  3. Even though the SLS PS’s Learning Experiences are named after Diana Laurillard’s 6 LEs, The “LE”s in the SLS PS work toward a lesson/unit/topical plan, each with a “flavour” or a main mode of teaching. The components of this plan would include different combinations of the following types of activities, meant to:
    1. Activate Learning
    2. Promote Thinking and Discussion
    3. Facilitate Demonstration of Learning
    4. Monitoring and Providing Feedback
  4. Therefore, a learning activities found inside an “Acquisition” lesson plan can be a “Discussion” or “Practice” activity as well.
  5. The Design Map gives everyone a visual overview of the timeline, types of activities, and level of interaction while highlighting the technology or resources used. This is mainly used for lesson sharing.
  6. One main purpose of the PS is to allows us to consider the key applications of technology, namely:
    1. Personalisation through fostering student agency, giving choice in the learning goals, process and pace through digital resources
    2. Differentiation through harnessing the interactivity and multimodal features of digital technologies to differentiate the
      1. nature of content,
      2. learning processes and
      3. products of learning
    3. Conceptual Change through multimodal representations of abstract concepts, allowing students to discern critical features, and patterns, and infer generalisations.
    4. Scaffolding in the digital learning environment to support thinking and guide interactions between students, teachers and content.
    5. Learning Together (collaborative learning) by integrating supports for students to collectively improve their ideas over time by sharing, building on, organising, and synthesizing their knowledge and developing understandings.
    6. Metacognition by integrating automated supports for students to make sense of and regulate their learning activities and group knowledge, and articulate their reflection through multiple modes.
    7. Assessment for Learning by capturing and analysing assessment data to provide a student- or group-targeted feedback about their level of understanding, learning processes and progress and resources for students to access an expert’s conceptual organisation and modulate their actions.

Famous Physicists according to topic

To incorporate elements of the Nature of Science in our teaching, we often talk about some of the scientists who have contributed to the discoveries that led to an understanding of the universe, the circumstances and constraints they face, and their attitudes and values. This is an incomplete list of some of the scientists who have their names prominently featuring either as a unit of measure or in a law of physics, classified by the A-level topics. I am compiling this as a quick reference for lesson planning purposes.


  • Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1703 English) – Newton’s laws of motion, Newton’s law of gravitation


  • Archimedes of Syracuse (287-212 BC Greek) – principle of the lever, law of buoyancy
  • Robert Hooke (1635-1703 English) – Hooke’s law

Energy, Work and Power

  • James Watt (1736-1819 Scottish) – improved efficiency of steam engines
  • James Prescott Joule (1818-1889 English) – discovered mechanical equivalent of heat

Thermal Physics

  • Anders Celsius (1701-1744 Swedish) – proposed (an inverted form of) the Centigrade temperature scale
  • Robert Brown (1773-1858 Scottish) – botanist who observed Brownian motion
  • Amedeo Avogadro (1776-1856 Italian) – formulated Avogadro’s law
  • Lord Kelvin (1824-1907 British) – formulated first and second laws of thermodynamics
  • Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann (1844-1906 Austrian) – statistical explanation of second law of thermodynamics, defined entropy

Wave Motion and Superposition

  • Étienne-Louis Malus (1775-1812 French) – discovered polarization of light by reflection, double refraction of light in crystals
  • Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1845-1923 German) – discovered X-rays by accident
  • Heinrich Hertz (1857-1894 German) – proved the existence of the electromagnetic waves
  • Lord Rayleigh (1842-1919 English) – Rayleigh’s criterion for angular resolution

Electric Fields, Current Electricity and DC Circuits

  • Charles-Augustin de Coulomb (1736-1806 French) – discovered Coulomb’s law
  • Count Alessandro Volta (1745-1827 Italian) – invented first electric battery
  • Andre Marie Ampere (1775-1836 French) – electrodynamics
  • Georg Ohm (1789-1854 German) – discovered that current flow is proportional to p.d. and inversely proportional to resistance
  • Benjamin Franklin (1785-1788 American) – discovered principle of conservation of charge, kite experiment


  • Hans Christien Oersted (1777-1851 Danish) – discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields
  • Sir John Ambrose Fleming (1849-1945 English) – professor of electrical engineering, establised right-hand rule

Electromagnetic Induction

  • Michael Faraday (1791-1867 English) – discovered principle of electromagnetic induction
  • Heinrich Friedrich Emil Lenz (1804-1865 German) – formulated Lenz’s law

Alternating Current

  • Nikola Tesla (1856-1943, Austrian/American) – designed modern AC supply system

Modern Physics

  • Max Karl Planck (1858-1947 German) – quantum theory
  • Albert Einstein (1879-1955 German/Swiss/American) – mass-energy equivalence, photoelectric effect, etc.
  • Louis de Broglie (1892-1987 French) – wave nature of electrons
  • Werner Karl Heisenberg (1901-1976 German) – pioneer in quantum mechanics, uncertainty principle

Nuclear Physics

  • Henri Becquerel (1852-1908 French) – discovered evidence of radioactivity
  • Pierre Curie (1859-1096 French) – pioneer in radioactivity
  • Marie Curie (1867-1934 Polish/French) – pioneer in radioactivity, only woman to win Nobel Prize twice

Equation of Motion App

Access the app in full screen here:

This app is designed to give students practice in interpreting velocity-time graphs with various scenarios, such as more complex examples involving negative velocity and acceleration. Answers will be given if student is wrong.

Use this to embed into SLS or another LMS.

<iframe scrolling="no" title="Equations of Motion" src="" width="700px" height="480px" style="border:0px;"> </iframe>

Bouncing Ball Animation using Python

For a fullscreen view, visit

Modified this python simulation from Dr Darren Tan’s work at

Wanted to try out a different way of creating simulations. Added the acceleration-time graph in place of his energy-time graph, in preparation for the teaching of kinematics. Also assuming no energy loss during collisions for simplicity.

For Singapore teachers, I have submitted a request to SLS for this URL to be whitelisted for embedding. Once approved, glowscript simulations can be embedded as part of the lesson. For the time being, a URL link out to the simulation will have to do.