Posts Tagged ‘Institute of Physics’

In a previous post I wrote about the Fish Tank Cloud Chamber workshop funded by IoP and organized by Cerian Angharad in Cardiff and I promised I would run one in Gloucester. Well, this evening I did and all delegates had great fun taking part in the filming of the iMovie trailer you can see below. I made using an iPad third generation and it was very easy to do, because these trailers come with the storyboard already set up for you. In fact, all the clips, places for captions and duration of the trailer are fixed, which means that you really need to focus on the message you want to convey and do it in the simplest way possible. But it also prevents you from adding too much to your video. Also, I like the fact that there is no dialogue and the message is communicated entirely through the clips and captions you create!

These are important skills for any learner and I would encourage any educator with an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch to let their pupils create these short trailers for their learning. I got the inspiration for this one and other trailers I made by the inspiring work Gavin Smart does with his learners at Priory Community School.

I attended the IoP make and take workshop to build my own fish tank cloud chamber last Thursday and it was a great experience! The workshop was organised and led by Cerian Angharad and held at St Teilo’s CW School. The tank is really easy to build and quite cheap too. All you need is some sticky felt, which you stick at the top (which is actually the bottom of the tank) and soak with alcohol, a plastic fish tank, a metal tray, on which the top of the fish tank needs to be stuck to with duck tape and you’re done. The rest is a normal shallow tray that can be found in most school labs, a sheet of polystyrene to rest on the bottom of the tray and dry ice that goes between the polystyrene and the tray with the fish tank resting on it. See the photo below to have a better idea!

The rod in the middle of the tank is a radioactive welding rod which emits alpha particles. The chamber works really well and you can soon see lovely traces from the  alpha particles emitter by the rod. Some of the tanks that were made also showed very clearly cosmic rays/background radiation coming into the tank from the sides.

This is one of the best workshops I have even been to and the tank is great for radioactivity demonstrations, as the whole class can gather around it and see what’s going on. I will certainly run the workshop in my area in Gloucestershire, so contact me if you are interested in attending. If you are too far from Gloucestershire, find your IoP Network Coordinator here and ask them if and when they will run this workshop in your area!

Watch the video below to get a feeling for what you will see in your tank!

I was privileged to be at the ASE Conference last week and meet so many great Science Educators in the flesh! In particular it was lovely to meet so many who regularly tweet at the #ASEChat.

It was also great to run, for the third consecutive year, my Modulated Laser Pen workshop which is always very well received and attended. This year, as usual there were quite a lot Norwegians and several from other parts of Europe, which shows again how good the conference is to attract educators from so many parts of Europe!

Coming back to the workshop, it consists in building a modulating circuit to add in series to the laser diode in a laser pointer and the whole kit costs less than £20, but the IoP provides it for all participants free of charge! The receiver is simply a small photovoltaic cell plugged into a Radio Shack mini-amp through a Jack lead. You can find the instructions to make your own and some teaching ideas in this resource I uploaded on TES (just click here). Most parts can be found from Rapid Electronics and the mini-amp from Amazon.

Another cause for celebration and enjoyment was the 10th Anniversary of the Institute of Physics Teacher Network, which has run very successfully for all that time and of which I have the privilege to be part as the Network Coordinator for the area of Gloucestershire!

Last night we had our first TeachMeet entirely dedicated to the teaching of Physics in Gloucestershire and despite the inclement weather and illnesses a few teachers from the region managed to come and give some great presentations! A particular thank you goes to Helen Rogerson (@hrogerson) who took the time to record two videos for us to watch. And that’s what we did! In fact, the TeachMeet began with Helen’s 7 minutes video which showed some great stuff she does wit their learners and parents with revision. Of particular interest to the participants was the part on Electromagnetic Induction, which sparked a series of interesting discussions and caused us to go back and watch the lovely demonstrations several times. This was indeed a lovely part of our TeachMeet that I believe stood out from others I have attended and organised in the past. In fact, it is quite easy to rush through all the presentations trying to fit everyone in and forget about allowing the participants time for discussion and to network. But last night ideas on alternative ways to use the equipment and extensions to the demos were freely flowing and created a very relaxed atmosphere from the very beginning.

Next, IoP award winner Kevin Betts showed a great demo of “Dancing Waves” on custard on the cone of a speaker. You can see his Magic in the video below.

Steve Rice was up next showing us how he uses  a sparkler attached to a drill to simulate the gravitational attraction between the earth and the moon. As the sparkler spins around the drill, the sparks fly along the tangent to the circle drawn by the sparkling tip, which helps the learners visualise what would happen if the gravitational pull between the two heavenly bodies suddenly disappeared. I liked this demonstration because it allows the learners to think outside the box and stretch their understanding in the realm of the abstract.

Below is a video of these two lovely demonstrations.

After that it was my turn to talk about how I used one of the best iPhone/iPad apps I have ever come across, the Vernier Video Physics, with my learners. You can find this resources on the TES website here. It was also the first time I publicly announced my new role as Science Lead at TES commencing in January and I explained that, although I occasionally use it already, I will actively interact with the Twitter sphere using @TESScience from then.

We closed the TeachMeet with our sponsors’ raffle, which included a very generous box full of Nelson Thornes books, ranging from GCSE revision guides to a Muncaster tome 4th edition. ThinkBuzan also offered a free copy of their Mind Mapping software iMindMap 5 Ultimate (the last two links are affiliate links, so Google iMindMap 5 instead, if you are bothered by this sort of thing).

Two other teachers emailed me apologising they couldn’t attend due to illness, but they sent links to interesting stuff that they would have shared in person, if they had been there. The first is the YouTube video below about mixing colours with glow sticks shared by Bernadette Willey.

The other tool is Poll Everywhere shared by Lewis Matheson, which seems a really neat tool to use with mobile devices!

I thoroughly enjoyed myself last night and I learnt a lot (as usual) from innovative colleagues in the Gloucestershire Network. I hope to see many more at our next events in the new year.

I first saw the demonstration in the video below done by Clare Thomson at the “Best of PhysEd” lecture at the ASE Conference in 2010. Ever since I tried to make various versions of it, from using two very tall gas columns, filming it with high frame rate cameras, etc. But today I think I have made a really interesting variation of this really nice demo. The video below was made this morning in my kitchen.

Recreating this demo is very simple and I strongly recommend you do it with your classes, because the colours in the video don’t really reflect what you can see with your naked eye. I used water beads that I previously immersed in water containing blue food colouring for the cold water beads and red food colouring for the hot water beads. You will need to leave them in dyed water for about 8 hours. Then, I put cold water in the glass with blue beads and boiling water in the glass with red beads. When you mix cold and hot water with the cold water at the top, the red bead (much hotter) will rush upwards and the blue beads (much colder) will fall downwards. As the two types of beads swap places you have a nice simulation of what happens to the particles from hot and cold water, i.e. with more or less kinetic energy, when they mix. You have a very visual representation of a convection current forming in the two glasses. There is a limitation though, in fact, you can see that after a while the red beads begin to fall and collect at the bottom on top of the blue beads, but this is still quite effective at making the point that they have swapped places.

This blog post is about a great demonstration I got from David Featonby from the Institute of Physics and a little adaptation I thought about after seeing his version. He tipped us all up on a really cool vacuum container to store coffee which you can find here. Then, he put a teddy bear shaped marshmallow in, closed the lid and sucked the air out. The effect is really dramatic as you see the teddy bear mallow increasing in size and become “huge”. My boys think it is a Humongous Mallow (only avid Ben 10 fans will understand the reference).

Anyway, the advantage of using this container instead of a normal empty bottle of wine is that you can put much bigger things inside and that’s where I thought of this additional demo to do with this device. There are various ways in which you could introduce the demo. For example, you could watch a bit of a scientifically questionable Sci-fi film and ask your kids “Is it possible?” The clip I have in mind is Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, when Han Solo hides the Millenium Falcon inside an Asteroid cave (which turns to be a giant worm’s belly). In that part of the film the crew goes out of the spaceship wearing their normal clothes and just a tiny breathing mask, as if 🙂

The point here is that if Han Solo and friends were on an asteroid in outer space, they would be surrounded by almost perfect vacuum and their internal body pressure would cause them to pop as soon as they get out of the ship! So, what would your students think? Would they believe it is possible?  Would they think they would just freeze?

At this point you can show your coffee saver and put a tea cake inside. Then, ask the kids what they think would happen if we could take most of the air out!

And see their faces as this happens!

You can now go back and ask the same question from the Star Wars clip. Is it possible? What would happen to Han Solo and his crew?

Please, see my next blog post as there is an interesting update pointed out by Ashley Kent (@AshleyKent) that suggests that your body wouldn’t actually blow up in space! So, the demo is becoming even more interesting and pedagogically really valuable, as we have the opportunity to really confuse our kids up to then let them construct a new and stronger meaning. This is active Constructivism and Metacognitive Conflict brought to its extremes 😉

Thank you Ashley for pointing this out!

At last I have found some time to check Prezi out, and it’s even better when you can use this time to fit it in with your job. As a Field Officer at NGfL Cymru, I am trying to develop resources that give opportunities to learners and educators to explore the latest technology and its applications in sound Learning and Teaching. So, I could not leave Prezi out, especially after all the feedback I had received before I started using it myself! However, I wanted to find a use that was not just different from another way of presenting (which in my opinion is not the point and certainly not what would make Prezi stand above PowerPoint, because we’ll soon have death by Prezi if we are not careful),  but that would have real educational value and that would be an advantage to anyone using Prezi in this way!

To cut a long story short, I was wondering what it would be like to mind map with Prezi, and by mind mapping I mean following the mind mapping rules set up by Tony Buzan (the creator of Mind Mapping himself). One of the greatest advantages of Prezi in drawing mind maps is the ability to embed videos in your Prezi mind maps, something we haven’t seen before (at least I haven’t in other mind mapping software). Also, assigning a path to your mind map allows you to show and share your thought process very clearly. In this way using a Prezi mind maps could become a very effective presentation tool, but also a revision tool for your students who will need less assistance from the author of the mind map, because the sequence of events and areas of focus is decided by the path set by the author themselves! However, if a learner prefers to go at their own pace and stroll around your mind map their way, they can still do this by zooming in and out with the scroll on your mouse. You can also set the Prezi to be public and with the option to be copied by people who bump into them! So, your students could copy your Prezi mind map in their Prezi accounts and edit it to make it more suitable to their learning style, or simply add to it. Why not starting a template Prezi mind map and let the learners complete it? Then, you could share the contributions from different pupils in the class and complete your draft as a collaborative mind map created with each learner’s contributions, which is a very useful and highly effective mind mapping technique!

Click here, or on the image below to see my first Prezi Mind Map on the Kinetic Theory.

I found the iSeismo App for iPhone a few months ago thanks to an email on the PTNC (the Institute of Physics mailing list). It is a free App and also a brilliant one. I am developing resources for the WJEC Separate Science Specification (Physics 3) here at NGfL Cymru (National Grid for Learning Wales) and one of the topics is Seismic Waves, so I couldn’t resist the temptation to create an activity that would take advantage of such a great App!

iSeismo displays a seismograph for movements along the x, y and z axes using the inbuilt accelerometer in the iPhone and it is very realistic and quite accurate too. The needles look just like a real Seismographer writing on paper rolls, but with this electronic seismographer you can freeze the screen and pause it at a particular moment, as well as other interesting things.

I am giving you another sneak peek of what’s coming soon on the NGfL Cymru website. Below is the video that I created this morning to go with this activity in Wallwisher. The cool thing is that when the iPhone was at rest I received an email and the phone vibrated. The needles on iSeismo showed a vibration along the x and z axis, but not on the y-axis. So, the vibrator must be fixed onto a plane which is perpendicular to the y-axis. I bet you didn’t know that about the iPhone, did you? At least about the iPhone 3GS.

I created the Wallwisher wall as an example for teachers, but to use it with your classes you would need to register with Wallwisher and create your own wall by linking the video to the YouTube video in this blog.

As always I really value your feedback, so please leave a comment!

Here is a lovely classroom demonstration that I saw at the ASE Conference 2010 in Nottingham. The demo was part of the Physics Education Lecture, which displayed the best of the PhysEd magazine. I really learned a lot and was well impressed by the quality and creativity of the demonstrations, activities and workshops proposed by the Institute of Physics. As one of the IoP Network Coordinators I was very proud to be part of the Institute and see how many outstanding workshops and lectures they put together for the event. Apparently, the IoP did the majority of workshops and they were all free of charge, although the conference was organised by the ASE.

Anyway, coming back to our demonstration. At the lecture it was shown using two small glasses, so when I went back to my lab I thought; “What would happen, if I use two very tall columns of water? And this was the result!

Why don't the two liquids mix?

So, why won’t the two liquids mix?

I put cold water in the bottom column with some blue food colouring and boiling hot water in the top column with some red food colouring. The tricky bit is how to turn the top column upside down, as it is really hot and heavy, but it was well worth it! So, I put a sheet of paper on the top and then carefully turned it upside down (you might need a helper to do this). Then, I placed the top column on bottom one and as you can see, and unlike what the kids would expect, the red and blue water don’t mix. They actually stay unmixed for a very long time (over an hour at least).

But how do we explain such an effective phenomenon? Well, the hot water is less dense than the cold water at the bottom, as its particles have more kinetic energy, hence moving further apart from each other. The result is that we have two liquids of different density, with the less dense one at the top, which therefore will float on top of the denser cold water. It is a bit like having oil and water, you can tell your students!

This is a really nice demonstration that will really help your pupils to understand that hot liquid rises and cold liquid falls. It’s not only very memorable, but it also shows quite clearly that in heat convection currents it’s not the “heat” that rises, but the hot liquid, or gas.

On the night of the 6th October 2009 myself and Matt Smith (John Ivins cannot attend) will represent the Physics Department (Croesyceiliog School, Cwmbran, Wales) at the Rolls-Royce Science Prize Award Dinner in the London Science Museum. We are one of nine finalists across U.K. and we are hoping to receive 1st Prize, obviously! But the competition is very tough, as the quality of the projects submitted is outstanding. So, we are up for a real challenge and a lot of heart ache.

As we are approaching the event I wanted to share with you some outlining features of our projects (underneath), and I wil post again after the dinner, hopefully with good news!

Rolls-Royce Science Prize 2008

Croesyceiliog School

Notes to the video diary

Building our modulated circuit (June 2008)

The first stage of our project was to get our pupils to research, design and build a modulated laser out of a commercial and very cheap laser pen. We wanted our pupils to actually build something, because we realised that modern devices become increasingly complex and that people perceive them as “magical boxes” that can perform amazing tasks without having any understanding of how that device really works. What we found when our pupils managed to build their modulated laser pen was that they were amazed they could actually make something they didn’t even know was possible (like sending music through a laser), and they were really gobsmacked when they realised how simple their design was. In fact, when we found a design that seemed plausible, many members of the class and, I have to confess, some teachers too were sceptical about it. They thought it would not work. In fact, our design was far too simple to perform features that to many would seem high-tech, like sending an audio signal with a laser pen across a room and play the music from a receiving light sensor and speaker. However, and thankfully, our design exceeded our expectations, as it didn’t just work, but the sound was clear and very loud once we input it into a larger amplifier! Our pupils were extremely excited and could not stop playing with the device after they built it.

Modulating Circuit 

The above diagram shows how we designed our modulating circuit. The input signal from an MP3, I-pod, CD player, etc is sent across the resistor. As this is an A.C. signal it will cause a variation in the voltage across the resistor, which in turn will cause the overall current in the circuit of the laser pen to change with the same frequency as the input signal. This overlaps with the D.C. supply current from the laser battery, which will cause the intensity of light in the laser diode to change with the same frequency. So, now our laser beam keeps varying in intensity and can be sent to a light sensor which is attached to our mini-amplifier. Because the number of photons reaching the light sensor changes with the frequency of the input signal, the current generated by the photoelectric effect in the light sensor will also change with that frequency and because now there is an A.C. signal sent into the mini-amplifier the cone of the speaker is moved by the motor effect and we can hear the sound at the other end of the lab. The capacitor in the modulating circuit is essential to let the A.C. signal through and block the D.C. current from the battery of the laser to feedback into the audio device. To many this sounds like magic, but it is in fact quite a simple process, that can be used to explain a wide range of Physics topics, like our pupils did in the next stage of their project! What I like about our device is that it is very cheap and very visual. You could buy a similar set up from a well known retailer for about £250, but we managed to make ours for about £15. And that allowed us to stay well within budget and also to make gift boxes containing our device for the schools we visited. Also, you can see exactly how our device is made, because we decided to keep it nice and simple, just soldered together and not even mounted on a circuit board, so that even the least Scientifically minded could see how the circuit was connected.

Communicating the Physics behind our device (June 2008)

When we brainstormed how to use this device to demonstrate Physics concepts within the teachers involved in the project, we thought our pupils could design a lecture type show with lots of involvement from the audience. But when we put it to them they came up with a much more creative idea! They decided they were going to write a play based on the James Bond theme and use the various situations arising in the different acts to explain the Physics concepts behind our device. In their play they also made space for interactive demonstrations where they would ask members of the audience to participate in the demonstrations. This was highly effective and very innovative. In fact, even in modern Theatre acts you don’t often see the audience actually taking part in the play! The script our yr 12 pupils wrote was amusing, engaging and full of sound Physics. In fact, our pupils decided to address an audience of younger children (Yr 9 pupils) to motivate them to appreciate Physics more and with the hope they will consider studying Physics at A-level, or Degree level.

In the various acts our yr 12 pupils were able to explain concepts from the GCSE Curriculum, such as signal modulation, Visible Spectrum as a means of Communications, Optical Fibres and reflection of light, and some A-level topics, like the Photoelectric Effect. In this last demonstration, which was put in simple and very visual terms, our yr 12 stretched the Yr 9 pupils beyond GCSE and showed them that A-level Physics can be interesting and also accessible to them. In fact, they explained the Photoelectric Effect so well that even some pupils with Additional Educational Needs could understand how the process works!

The script is self explanatory and reading it should give a very clear idea of how these concepts where presented and the level of engagement and interactivity of our show. You can read the script in the appendix to these notes!

During these visits to schools our yr 12 pupils demonstrated and employed high degrees of team work. In fact, with very little rehearsals (timetable constraints disallowed us to spend enough time to rehears and plan the logistics of the play) and no time at all to get used to new environments, they could always put up a very sound and professional performance (although none of them was a Drama student). For example, we went to a school in Torfaen that made the wooden stage in their gym available to us. So, we started to set up the laser pen and receiver on stage, when we realised that the wooden blocks sagged considerably every time you would move on them disaligning the laser beam and light sensor, as the stage was very old! So, our pupils had to think on their feet and work together to move everything quickly to the best location off stage where it could still be visible. At the end they decided to use the stage for some parts of their show and the floor underneath for others, showing great initiative. Another example is when we went to a school in Newport and we were asked to perform in a Science lab (an environment completely different from the gym), and again our pupils worked well and creatively together in solving problems such as darkening the room and setting up all scenes successfully!

Our yr 12 pupils’ perception of Physics changed too. In fact, one girl that was not achieving her real potential said that after she had to write and present the Photoelectric Effect to a younger group she started to really understand the phenomenon, while she couldn’t before. This is exactly the kind of experience we as teachers face every day. It is only when we have to teach others that we start to understand thoroughly the topics we present. Another girl in Yr 12 who was always unmotivated in class really sparked in this project and became so involved that she soon took leading responsibilities for the completion and gathering together of the script. She was not sure if she wanted to stay to do Physics in yr 13, but after our project she has decided for it. Our project also consolidated the choice of pursuing a Physics, or Engineering Degree for the rest of the yr 12 pupils.

What did people think? (July 2008 to February 2009)

We visited several schools across Torfaen and Newport and in all those our pupils were praised for the quality of their show and for the knowledge and understanding they demonstrated and could effectively transmit to their younger audience.

Most pupils from the audience told us they enjoyed the play and that it was a much more fun way to learn about Physics. They also liked the fact that older pupils and not teachers were showing them these concepts, as they could relate to them more.

The teachers’ comments were very positive and the Head of Science in Caerleon School (Newport) said that although the Photoelectric Effect might have been too difficult for her Yr 9 class, they will remember that demonstration when they study it at A-level and that will become a memorable experience that could be very valuable in their development. Also, she was impressed by the enthusiasm for Physics that our Yr 12 demonstrated and that made her wonder why her students don’t show the same enthusiasm in her lessons!

We also invited some special guests to our first play:

–          Tina Crimp (Partnership Manager, Techniquest, Cardiff) commented that the show was highly engaging and that the audience obviously understood the Physics presented to them and was also impressed by the confidence our yr 12 pupils showed.

–          Rod Cunningham (Science Advisor, Torfaen LEA) was impressed by the show and found it to be the type of stimulus that both A-level and younger students need to be motivated to study Physics at A-level and above, and this is in line to one of the Welsh Assembly objectives.

–          Paul Griffiths (Newport University) was also impressed by the interactivity of the play and by the interest and engagement shown by the audience.

The gift we presented to schools was well received and appreciated and it will be a good asset to the teaching and learning of the Physics topics we demonstrated in our play. The idea of the play and of the gift was also to spread the highly effective and visual demonstrations our pupils performed in the community around our school. We believe our play was not just for pupils in yr 9, but also for the teachers that accompanied those pupils, as they could see how much Physics can be explained using our device and also use the same modulated laser pen we gave them as a gift the next day to do similar demonstrations with their own classes. So, our project has a strong component for the professional development of colleagues too. And this last point was demonstrated by what happened after our performances and as our project built momentum!

Building Momentum (October 2008 to February 2009)

IoP Welsh Conference for Physics Teachers

IoP Welsh Conference for Physics Teachers

Our project picked up momentum very quickly, probably thanks to some of the guest that observed our progress. In fact, in October we were invited by the Institute of Physics to run a workshop at the Brecon 7th Welsh National Conference for Physics Teachers on the 8th October 2008. In this workshop the Institute of Physics funded the equipment for building one set of our modulated laser pen for each of the attending teachers. We took with us few pupils from the play and they could not just explain how they used the device to put up a show, but when the teachers were building their own sets they would go around and help in some of the trickiest bits. It was very exciting to see pupils becoming Instructors to teachers and again this developed our pupils’ confidence and team work skills even further!

With this workshop our project has, therefore, reached beyond our LEA in Torfaen and Newport into various parts of Wales. Well, actually there were teachers from outside Wales too, as far as Southampton.

Gary Williams (IoP Physics Education National Coordinator) was well pleased with our workshop and praised particularly the fact that individual teachers were making their own sets and enjoyed the hands on nature of the workshop.

Mike Pickin (Senior Lecturer in Science Education, UWIC) also attended the workshop and believed our project is having a great influence in Wales as most of his student teachers were also attending and they will have the opportunity to use and disseminate our project in various schools around (at least) South Wales, although some might even find employment in England. Also, he thought the idea of the play to be brilliant and just the kind of project that would motivate young people like his daughter (who’s currently in yr 11) to take Physics at A-level.

The outcomes of the workshop were so good, that the IoP asked us to repeat the workshop in a Twilight session in our school and in St Cyres School in Penarth (south east of Cardiff) for teachers in South Wales. The latter took place on 26th February 2009.

ASE Meeting (Techniquest, Cardiff)

ASE Meeting (Techniquest, Cardiff)

We were also asked to speak about our Rolls-Royce Science Prize project at the ASE meeting in Techniquest (Cardiff)on Thursday 29th January 2009, where we took some pupils to perform the prelude to the play and explained how our device works.

 

 

 

 

Stretching the students (March 2009)

There is no doubt that our play was perceived as being highly engaging for our audiences, but it also had components that stretched the yr 9 pupils well beyond their normal programme of studies. In fact, the explanation of the Photoelectric Effect is part of the A-level Specifications and not GCSE, so a good part of the pupils we addressed will not carry on studying the effect, as they will either leave school, or maybe not take up A-level Physics, but they will at least have had some experience of A-level Physics, explained in ways accessible to them, that would make a memorable mark in their education. Also, for those that will choose to study Physics at A-level, demonstrations such as these might help them making that choice and becoming motivated to pursue a career in a Physics related job!

However, we felt the need to stretch our yr 12 pupils to Degree level too. We soon realised that they could understand easily how their modulating circuit and receiver worked, but that they didn’t really have much understanding of how a laser diode actually achieves emission of light. Also, although this was a topic that interested our pupils, we did not have the expertise to explain that device appropriately to them. So, we approached Cardiff University and asked if they could organise a lecture on laser diodes for our students. It turned out that Cardiff University is one of the leading centres for the development of new laser diode devices and they have a lab where they produce their own laser diodes. Professor Blood was happy to invite our pupils and talk to them about such devices and our yr 12 had the opportunity to observe the production of the lasers in the lab. This was quite stimulating for them, as they could see how a real lab operates and they could see that you don’t need to be superhuman to get into Physics research, but that University labs are populated by normal postgraduate students like they could become in few years time.

We have a legacy (April 2009 onwards)

Science Made Simple

Science Made Simple

Encouraged by the outcomes of our shows we decided to attempt a bold step. We contacted Science Made Simple, a group associated to and partly funded by Cardiff University that goes around schools in Wales, England and occasionally also abroad (as far as Tokyo) to present Physics and Engineering topics in simple ways to pupils of Secondary and Primary schools. They organise shows similar to ours, but they are more like lectures than plays. However, we asked them if they were interested to collaborate with our pupils and turn our play into one of their shows, or at least to have some aspects of our projects into their show. Their response was very enthusiastic and they welcomed the idea of having a show for students written by students. Also, they were in the process of beginning to plan for a show about “Spooks and Spies” which made the connection even more natural. This cooperation with Science Made Simple started months before Rolls-Royce asked them to become our Mentors.

So, they came to our school and with our pupils they planned various aspects of their new show that will bear the acknowledgement of the school and our pupils and will potentially extend our project beyond Wales and England.

Science Made Simple has a very good reputation among schools and the Director Wendy Sadler was made Welsh Woman of the year for her contributions to Education with Science Made Simple!