Making physics matter

This week more than 100 Partnership Co-ordinators, Teacher Fellows, Science Officers and Ogden Consultants – together with a varied array of speakers and contributors – attended the 6th Ogden Physics Forum, held at the Møller Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Physics Forum - photographer Ben Carpenter Physics Forum - photographer Ben Carpenter

The two-day programme included sessions on educational research, university admissions, teacher training, the new A-levels and assessment. As well as providing a fantastic opportunity for informal networking and catching up with physics counterparts from across the country, partnership co-ordinators and teacher fellows shared their own case studies, ideas and examples of best practice.

Attendees were given an insight into science CPD, running sixth form science clubs, Physicist of the Year events, family learning nights, maths and physics inspiration days and Christmas lectures, to mention just a few of the fantastic things taking place in Ogden partnerships around England. All of these activities are designed to inspire students and teachers as well as engaging families and local communities with the possibilities of physics – discussions and feedback at the forum would suggest this is definitely starting to happen....

 Physics Forum - photographer Ben CarpenterPhysics Forum - photographer Ben Carpenter

Splendid time at the Ogden Physics Forum. Totally inspiring. The future of Physics is looking bright! #OTPhysFor15

Physics Forum - photographer Ben CarpenterDelegates were also given a guided tour of the online physics platform Isaac Physics Forum - Photographer Ben CarpenterPhysics, they could make their own telescope in a session on Geometric Optics or learn how to create their own Planck Constant apparatus. In the closing plenary lecture on the first day, delegates heard from the inspirational Carlos Frenk, FRS, Ogden Professor of Fundamental Physics at Durham University and Director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology. He captivated the audience with the latest developments in the search for dark matter and dark energy – the two mysterious components that dominate the large scale properties and evolution of our Universe.

Chris Saunders, an Ogden Teacher Fellow from the north-east, was impressed with the content of the programme, commenting, "Having a mix of concrete ideas (such as Isaac Physics), discussion of the changes to educational policy (such as Tim Oates) and just plain great physics (such as Carlos Frenk) kept the conference fresh and exciting. The chance to meet other educators with a massive range of knowledge and experience was excellent."

Robert Hodge, another teacher, this time from Leeds - certainly agreed, saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you! An exceptionally well-organised event, maximum networking opportunities, and everyone was very welcoming. The shared passion was palpable. In short, an absolute lifeline to effective Physics teaching and outreach. Being part of the Trust is a huge motivating factor in my career. I feel privileged to be involved in this organisation and am looking forward to a bigger and better 2015-16."

Isla Stanger, event organiser and Schools Programme Manager at the Trust was delighted with how the event went: “I am very pleased that so many people have been able to come. Our aim was to provide a conference experience for physics teachers which they'd not be able to access easily elsewhere, bringing together teachers, academics and many others associated with the teaching and learning of physics – judging from the comments we have achieved that....” 

Back home from the @ogdentrust physics forum! Totally inspiring. So many ideas to implement next year. Can't wait to share. #OTPHYSFOR15


Follow the twitter story of the conference... #OTPhysFor15

We are making presentations from the day available on our website.


Photography: Ben Carpenter