About 23 Equations

The first aim of the app is to help students to learn the physics equations they needed for the new science GCSE. Without the equations at their fingertips, they are at a huge disadvantage for in Physics exams.

The second aim of the app is to allow the students to practice using the equations in exam style questions and progress independently by giving support and feedback at every stage.

The models used to generate questions "know" how to answer the question so they know what needs to be done at each stage. The models can generate a similar question and show how to answer it as an example. They can understand different units and give useful feedback to answers. Once a question is answered, if the student is unsure, they can see a model answer and when they have learned from mistakes, they can try a similar question to check they have understood.

What's next with the app

There are a many new features which planned and in development. The basic features in stage 1 below will always be free. The cost of maintenance and development means that more advanced features, particularly allowing schools to set and collect tests from students, may come at a cost. Other avenues of financing are being explored.

Stage1: Expanding on current features

Available now:

  • Show in more detail what skills need to be worked on, e.g. units or rearranging.
  • More sophisticated AI to pick questions that match the needs of the learner.
  • Exam board specific setting so the sets of equations better match specifications, including which paper.
  • Notification style feedback on wrong answers.

Stage 2: Questions

Available now.

  • Large bank of practice questions, marked and answered in app.
  • Variations automatically generated to avoid repetition.
  • Difficulty levels and common exam gotchas.
  • Questions intelligently targeting weak areas such as unit conversion.
  • Structured support for working through the questions.

Stage 3: Sharing and schools

This stage will allow the school to cover the cost of the extra features and also allow a centralised collection of data.

  • All of the extra features for all students.
  • Setting of questions from the question bank and collecting answer.
  • Questions available on website as well as through the app.
  • Using feedback from the app to identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • In school high-scores tables for games mode.
  • Game-style badges for rewarding achievements and trying out different features
  • Access to a web version of the practice questions for students without a phone or tablet.

About me and why I coded this app

I wrote this app because it was the perfect way to combine three things I love: Physics, teaching and coding. I taught Physics for nearly 20 years but my desire to do coding was always competing with the need to code. This year, I'm trying out just coding for while.

The teaching route goes like this. After studying Physics at university, I worked for several years with learning disabled adults in Upstate New York and London. Then I taught English in rural Japan for several more years. When I returned, I became a science teacher and eventually head of department. After the school was shut down, I became part-time science adviser for Shropshire and recently returned to teaching just GCSE Physics, just in time for the new GCSEs.

The coding pathway is even longer. I taught myself to code on the ancient school computer. I jumped on the ZX-Spectum when it came out and for years, coded on whatever was available. I wrote software for making music, some of which won awards. As a teacher, I worked on my Excel skills but after the school closed, I was able to work part-time on developing database and science simulation software. The maqnets simulation is free and the ripple tank simulation is pretty cheap. There is also a particles simulation nearing completion using university level maths models in an accessible app for secondary school.

When teaching the Physics for the new GCSE, I found it many students didn't engage with learning the equations and this app is an attempt to help make them more accessible.