Science Explodes for Pupils
Friday, 01 April 2011
Year 10 pupils from Bolton School were joined by students from St Joseph's, Derby High and St Mary's Wigan for the 'Ever Wondered Why' Roadshow.
Teacher David Richardson from Clifton College in Bristol delivered the show, designed to enthuse students about physics and the world around them, to the audience of around 300 pupils. He covered a range of topics, from the size of the universe to optical illusions, and low-temperature physics to the world's largest physics experiment - the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), all with the aim of persuading pupils that physics is an important and valuable part of what they study at school and beyond. David carried out several experiments on stage to demonstrate the theories - including a controlled explosion of a balloon containing hydrogen gas!
David said: "I have an overwhelming passion to teach and to see young people learn physics. I am motivated by helping them realise that physics is not dull but rather that physics is at the root of almost everything that makes life exciting."
The roadshow is part of the Stimulating Physics Network - a support network for teachers and pupils of physics in England, formed through a partnership between The Institute of Physics and the Science Learning Centres. The network consists of 37 Physics Network co-ordinators and 23 Teaching and Learning Coaches - all knowledgeable, experienced and enthusiastic specialists who are supported by the IOP's Education Department. The main goals of the Stimulating Physics Network are to improve student perceptions of physics, increase participation in physics A-level, increase the proportion of girls choosing physics A-level, develop a better appreciation of physics careers, improve the quality of physics lessons, making them more effective, engaging and enjoyable, and to increase the amount of physics-based enrichment and enhancement activities in schools.
The lecture was accompanied by tailored lessons, created by David and shared with the Schools' science teachers to help widen the impact of David's show and ensure it outlasts his visit.