During the summer, Ogden Science Officers and Isaac Physics Fellows from universities across the UK gathered in Cambridge to share best practice and ideas, as well as catching up on the latest research.
Sessions included a review of research into why students do or do not choose physics. They considered the unconscious bias that is at play in the perception and presentation of the subject, and highlighted the importance of ensuring that better careers information is needed in relation to physics.
The group also enjoyed a talk from Professor Mete Atature from the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge. In his talk, the real-world of science collided with science fiction as he explored how the latter can in fact fuel new science in physics – if we can identify the right questions.
Throughout the meeting the group shared their own outreach projects, ideas and best practice, including discussions on how outreach work can be embedded into the departmental strategy and the value of effective evaluation. Programmes with primary schools, work experience and careers activities were all featured during the two-day meeting; together with astronomy projects, Girls in Physics activities and many more fantastic examples of outreach.
Clare Harvey, Chief Executive of The Ogden Trust, was at the meeting: “It was a great opportunity to showcase the fantastic efforts of our Science Officers and the Isaac Physics Fellows and for them to share practice. They are all working so hard to take physics out in schools and the community, to enable people of all ages and from all walks of life to see that physics really does matter. We hope the meeting provided great ideas for things to do, as well as strengthened networks.”