I could not be more ashamed of our education system when with one hand we celebrate #WomenInSTEM and with the other we cut their contributions out of our history.
Today I learned that EVERY SINGLE mention of a woman has been removed from the new HSC physics syllabus 1/
A bit of background: A new HSC physics syllabus was introduced in 2018, promising to give students a broad taste of physics and to bring them to university prepared with strong critical thinking skills and technical knowledge 2/
For those unfamiliar with the new syllabus: It more than doubles the number of equations, introduces topics that haven’t been taught for over 15 years and introduces many more experiments 3/
I want to be clear: this COULD be a great syllabus, but only if it’s taught well 4/
Around 70% of physics teachers in NSW are not from physics backgrounds, and need to be trained to teach this new technical syllabus. No funding has been provided 5/
This syllabus is being marketed as a technical, mathematical syllabus. Also almost all of the context has been removed. This marketing approach deters those who are already unsure if they are able to do well in this course: namely, women and people in low socio economic areas 6/
Fun fact: None of the new equations are inherently more difficult than previous years and none of the content is overwhelmingly technical. It’s all #marketing. Specifically, marketing that excludes anyone but the elite 7/
The marketing issue is one thing, but today I found out from @AstrolabeCG and @Gordeauz that there is NOT A SINGLE mention of a woman in the entire syllabus. NOT. ONE. 8/
As someone who has been painstakingly going through this syllabus to create content to help struggling teachers and students cope let me tell you some of the many places @NESA should have included JUST A FEW of the incredible women in physics and our contributions to physics: 9/
Note: this isn’t a “you have to include women for equality”, these women are pioneers in the field of physics and have radically changed or improved our understanding of the universe. They BELONG here. 10/
1. @NSWEducation where is Émilie du Châtelet? She built on Newton’s Principia and proposed a law for the conservation of Energy. #IncludeHer anywhere in the modules ‘Kinematics”, “Dynamics” or “Advanced Mechanics” 11/
2. Where is Mary Somerville? She researched electromagnetism and published work on the magnetism of violet rays. #IncludeHer In “Electromagnetic Spectrum” 12/
3. Where is Annie Jump Cannon? Her classification of stars by temperature instead of hydrogen content simplified stellar classification from 22 categories to 7 and REVOLUTIONISED our understanding of stars. #IncludeHer in “Origins of the Elements” 13/
4. Where is Maria Geoppertt-Mayer? She proposed the shell model of electrons and radically improved our knowledge of the structure of the atom. #IncludeHer in “Structure of the Atom” or “Quantum Mechanical Nature of the Atom” 14/
5. Where is Lise Meitner? She discovered nuclear fission in the splitting of a uranium nucleus, and was unjustly excluded from the Nobel Prize awarded to her (male) collaborator. #IncludeHer In “Properties of the Nucleus” 15/
6. Where is Marie Curie? The winner of not one but two Nobel Prizes for her work in radioactivity (a name she coined and a field she helped start). #IncludeHer in “Properties of the Nucleus” 16/
7. Where is Emmy Noether? She defined the revolutionary theory on symmetry and conservation in particle physics. #IncludeHer In “Deep Inside the Atom” 17/
These are just A FEW examples of incredible women who have contributed to the field I love so much. Maybe if I was taught about any of these women in high school I wouldn’t be dealing with the horrible #impostorsyndrome I currently face daily. 18/
It’s time to show NSW and the world that we do not think physics is just a “man’s endeavour”. It’s time we made an inclusive syllabus that encourages EVERYONE to pursue physics not just the male elite. 19/
This is not just an attack on physics or physics education. This is an attack on inclusion, and threatens to undermine our nation’s commitment to equality. #IncludeHer in physics! 20/

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