The workshop on Physics Education focuses on good education practice, with particular reference to gender awareness. After some country specific talks, all delegates will share in discussions, sharing best practice in their own country and exploring initiatives and pedagogy that may work in their own context.
The second session will demonstrate practical physics teaching, with delegates observing teacher Dr Jenny Watson delivering a workshop on friction to 30 local primary school girls. Following a brief introduction about the force of friction, the children will build their own CD hovercraft (using an old CD/DVD, a bottle top and a balloon). They will then be shown how to plan their own investigation into the factors that affect the amount of friction involved as their table-top hovercraft move.
Note: there is an upper limit to the number of delegates who can observe, to avoid “overwhelming” the schoolgirls. Delegates will have the opportunity to sign up for this at the first session. For the remaining workshop delegates, there will be a parallel session to continue discussions on running practicals which engage girls and encourage them to fully participate.
Those of us who chose to pursue physics are familiar with the notion that creativity is an integral aspect of physics. In the final session we will consider how art and beauty in physics can be used to engage girls who may otherwise not connect with physics.
We will finish by rounding up best practice in gender aware physics education, that translates across cultures.