Woman doing a virtual class and teacher on computer screen teaching

Online Teachers' Camp

Perimeter Institute’s Outreach Team will hold an Online Teachers’ Camp for physics educators from Monday, July 5 to Friday July 9, 2021. 

Join us to explore content and activities for your classroom, connect with other teachers, ask questions of Outreach staff, and learn from researchers working at the cutting edge of modern physics. 

This professional development opportunity includes a combination of synchronous workshops and asynchronous modules and a mix of mandatory and optional content. Participants must complete all mandatory content to receive their certificate, while optional content is offered to further encourage and inspire teachers who want to go further. Optional office hours are an informal drop-in option to connect with Outreach staff or dig deeper into a topic. 

The synchronous workshops will be conducted via Zoom and the asynchronous modules, including submission of required tasks, will be via Google classroom.

Time commitment

  • Mandatory Synchronous Workshops — 12 hours
  • Mandatory Asynchronous Module (on your own time) — 2.5 hours
  • Optional Synchronous Workshops — 2.5 hours


Applications for 2021 are now closed. Successful applicants will be contacted by April 30.

  11:00am – 12:30pm ET 2:00pm – 3:30pm ET 3:30pm – 4:30pm ET
Mon. July 5

Welcome & Process of Science

Optics & Intro to Asynchronous Laser
Maze Design Challenge*

Tues. July 6


Tools for Teaching Science

Wed. July 7 

Black Holes

Keynote: TBD

Office Hours
Thurs. July 8

Quantum Physics: Wave
Particle Duality

Kitchen Wars
Office Hours 
Fri. July 9

Particle Physics Breakout Box & Closing (2 hours total)



Total Committment: 17 hours  


*One additional asynchronous hour required to complete module - included in time commitment.
Remember we’re located in Waterloo, ON – compare your time zone here!

All session are mandatory.  Sessions are synchronous unless noted!

Welcome and Process of Science

Let’s get started! The facilitator team will discuss important online camp details and provide access to the Google Classroom. We’ll get to know each other as we use our observation and inference skills to explore some model building activities. Please note that creative thinking will be more important than content knowledge! The session will include material from our Process of Science Resource. 

Time: 90 minutes synchronous


Be the first to explore our newest resource: Exploring Light with Optics! We’ll start with activities that introduce the fundamental concepts of telescopes, then move into a discussion of telescope design and image processing, and finish with an analysis of several professional telescopes and what they have taught us about the universe.

Time: 90 minutes synchronous

Optics: Laser Maze Design Challenge 

Includes 1 hour asynchronous activity after the live portion
In this session, we’ll cover some of light’s basic properties, including reflection and linear propagation, and introduce laser light and its special properties of monochromaticity and directionality. The structure of this module is a little different – it’s an open-ended design challenge! You will design, build, and test your own laser maze using basic optics principles during the asynchronous part of the session. 

Time: 30 minutes synchronous; 60 minutes asynchronous

Tools for Teaching Science

Based on our Teaching Tools for Science resource, we’ll delve into activities that encourage you to reflect on your teaching practices and explore ways to blend intention and intuition. The session explores different pedagogical tools that are highly useful in high school physics classrooms. Be ready for a highly interactive session – we’ll need the contributions and expertise-sharing of all participants! 

Time: 90 minutes synchronous

Black Holes

We’ll start by introducing black holes and use Lycra (4-way stretch) fabric to model the warping of spacetime as described by General Relativity. Then we’ll explore ways to bring black holes into your classroom through several activities from our recently revised Black Holes resource. We’ll end with a discussion of the EHT image of M87*.

Time: 90 minutes synchronous

Keynote Speaker

Requires 40 minutes asynchronous advance preparation
We’ll bring the research to you through an inspiring keynote address! A researcher at Perimeter will share their current work via an engaging talk followed by a Q&A session.

Time: 40 minutes asynchronous; 60 minutes synchronous 

Quantum Physics: Wave Particle Duality

In this session, we’ll explore wave-particle duality, one of the most important concepts in quantum physics. We’ll start by building up how Newtonian (classical) particles and waves behave in the double-slit (or twoslit) experiment. Next, we’ll explore how electrons and other quantum particles behave in the double-slit experiment. Using video footage from an actual electron double-experiment, we’ll show that electrons sometimes behave like classical particles and sometimes behave like classical waves. This dual behaviour is known as wave-particle duality. The content in this session includes material from our The Challenge of Quantum Reality resource (activity 4).

Time: 60 minutes synchronous

Kitchen Wars (Demos)

Optional – includes asynchronous preparation and a synchronous session
Inspired by our popular “Dollar Store Demos” – you’ll use common household items to create a one-minute demonstration. We’ll provide an explanation of the challenge and an exemplar video, then you will have 60 minutes of asynchronous time to prepare your demo. The ‘wars’ culminate in a 60-minute synchronous session for everyone to share their contributions. You’ll also need to create Google Slide that shares the demo instructions with everyone.

Time: 60 minutes asynchronous, 60 minutes synchronous

Particle Physics Breakout Activity

Breakout activities are tabletop escape rooms where students solve a series of challenges in the context of an exciting scenario. We’ll discuss what makes a great breakout activity and classroom applications. Then you will collaborate in teams to complete the online version of our new particle physics breakout challenge. Whether your team finishes first or last, everyone will return to the main session for discussion and idea exchange. Finally, we’ll take a sneak peek at our Particle Physics resource, set for release in September 2021.

Time: 90 minutes synchronous

Closing Activity Module

Time to wrap up! We’ll introduce Perimeter Institute’s Teacher Network and provide a celebratory, social opportunity to play some physics-centered games developed for ISSYP, our high school program. How do we teachers stack up against the students? Active participation is expected. 

Time: 30 minutes synchronous