The Perse School

The Perse hosts inaugural workshop for the Rutherford School Physics Partnership

12 Mar 2014

On Wednesday after school more than 50 Year 12 physicists from The Perse, The Leys, Netherhall, Hills Road Sixth Form College and Parkside gathered in the school hall for the inaugural workshop for the Rutherford School Physics Partnership, entitled ‘Vectors: where you are and where you are going’.

Fortified by tea and cake, students listened as Professor Mark Warner and Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright, co-directors of the project, gave an overview of vectors in physics.  Engaging demonstrations and examples, ranging from a tennis ball on a string and an over-sized rubber band, to matches and chalk, made the significance of vectors in everyday life and scientific research clear.

Students then worked in smaller groups to solve challenging problems based on vectors, bringing together skills from maths and physics.  Some problems were relatively straightforward but thought-provoking, while in others students were asked to apply their knowledge to unfamiliar situations such as:  “If a poisonous gas was to be released in to the room, would we be more concerned about diffusion or convection in the room as a means of spreading the gas?”

It is intended that after a series of pilot workshops at The Perse and other schools across the country, similar workshops will eventually run nationwide, to complement the online resources  available at which aims to inspire students considering studying physics, engineering and related subjects at university.

We look forward to hosting the next workshop at The Perse, which will be held in the summer term on the topic of exponentials in physics.

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