|Published online: January 31, 2014||$US5.00|
Science is a major element of the national curriculum in the UK; yet, pupils in the top class at year 8 - 9 (age 12 - 14) struggle when faced with the question: What is physics? Outreach activities that bring pupils outside the classroom incur the danger of reinforcing the idea that science is fun, but school science is boring. Recent research indicates the low position of physics in modern culture in general. Against this backdrop, and given that the demand for those with science qualifications has never been higher, what can or should be done to remedy the situation? Targeted outreach, integrated with the National Curriculum and school lessons, yields very positive benefits in terms of both learning and attitude change. Evidence indicates these interventions must be sustained in nature, requiring developing relationships with schools. In particular, the use of undergraduate students, who are much closer in age, to deliver the highly interactive workshops to the school pupils has a major impact. The materials used are freely available and designed to make it easy to adapt to the needs of a particular area / audience. Family fun days at the University and the museum compliment the Physics Outreach Group’s in-school activities.
|Keywords:||Schools, Physics, Undergraduate Students, Outreach, Engagement, High Impact|
The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 5, Issue 1, March 2014, pp.11-31. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: January 31, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 818.217KB)).
University Lecturer and Director of Outreach, Department of Physics, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK