In this course you will learn how to set up and operate various pieces of equipment used in the physics department.

The course looks at:-

  • Light gates
  • Ray boxes
  • Alpha Electronics kit
  • Multi meters
  • Ocilloscopes
  • Power Supplies
  • Signal Generators
Course Date: 30th and 31st October 2024
Closing date: 20th September 2024


School Technical Support Staff. Access to this unit will be at the discretion of the centre, but it is recommended that learners have undergone Introductory Physics first.


This course forms part of a suite of competency based CLPL for support staff.

Course Leader

Norman Bethune
01383 626070


The course will be held at SSERC in Dunfermline. Our SSERC buildings are at 2 Pitreavie Court, Dunfermline, KY11 8UU. SSERC is a short (5-10 minutes) walk from Rosyth railway station and close to the end of the A823(M) spur off Junction 2 of the M90 motorway. Car journey times (approximately): Edinburgh – 30 min; Glasgow – 60 min; Aberdeen – 2.5 hours; Inverness – 3 hours.


No funding available


Outcome 1

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding related to school physics laboratory equipment and its safe use.

Knowledge and/or Skills

  • Safety procedures and good working practices
  • Identify common physics equipment and apparatus.
  • Show confidence in carrying out experiments using a variety of

Outcome 2

Demonstrate understanding of setting up equipment, measuring techniques and basic fault finding.

Knowledge and/or Skills

  • Show confidence in setting up the equipment.
  • Accurately interpret and record measurements.
  • Demonstrate competence in basic fault finding techniques.

Why Should You Attend?

This unit is primarily intended to provide learners with the knowledge and skills in the safe use of physics laboratory equipment and apparatus in an educational environment.


Day 1

1, Introduction.

Health and Safety in Physics,

Various demonstrations (interactive) including lasers, portable appliances,  Van de Graaff generator.

2, Sources of information and useful contacts will be discussed.

Light gates, meters, basic circuits, electronics kit, ray boxes, Using light gates and timers.

Measuring current, voltage and resistance.

Basic fault-finding using meters.

Assembling circuits using Unilab Alpha kit.

Using ray boxes with lenses and prisms.

3, Power supplies, signal generators, oscilloscopes, AC and DC supplies.

Smoothed and unsmoothed DC.

Stabilised power supplies.

Signal generator controls.

Using a signal generator with a loudspeaker.

Setting up an oscilloscope.

Using an oscilloscope with a signal generator.

4, Plenary session,

Day 2  

1, Issues encountered in school*,

2, Practical assessment, Participants are observed carrying out practical activities. In one activity involving     light gates and timers, participants may bring apparatus from their base school.

 3, Written assessment,

4, Plenary., Question and Answer Session.