All posts by Dominic Galliano

16Feb/18

SEPnet launches Shattering Stereotypes Evaluation Report

During the 2016/17 academic year, SEPnet Outreach & Public Engagement has been piloting a project determining the best role Physics Outreach Officers can play in tackling and improving the gender stereotyping problem in schools.

This was the first SEPnet-wide project which involved building a direct partnership with a set of schools to deliver a programme of activity over an academic year. The pilot was a first step, so the priority for the evaluation was on logistics over impact of the project, though both were considered. The evaluation was carried out by Elizabeth Jeavans and Sarah Jenkins. The full report can be found here.

Overall the project delivered a programme which led to positive experiences across all stakeholders:

  • Year 8 Studentsfollowing their involvement in Shattering Stereotypes, they now view future opportunities as not being constrained by stereotypical perceptions of gender.
  • Year 12 Studentsdeveloped transferable leadership and communication skills through their participation in the communications challenge.
  • Teachersvalued external visits and having resources from universities.
  • Schools – In some schools, the pilot project raised awareness of gender stereotyping across their entire schools
  • Outreach Officers welcomed the opportunity provided by the project to work as part of a team and to be involved in building up a relationship with schools, as opposed to one-off activities.

This gives the project a fantastic base to evolve and grow from in future years. However the project did highlight some areas where further development is needed. Most of these were themed around the following areas:

  • Message. Throughout the project there was some confusion about whether primary purpose of Shattering Stereotypes was to address/ reduce gender stereotyping or to equalise the gender balance in physics through greater understanding of physics career opportunities.

    This was the tension the project team struggled with from the development of the project. The idea was to address / reduce gender stereotyping, but the strength of SEPnet’s experiences in School’s Outreach shifted this towards equalising the gender balance in physics, especially in the earlier workshops.
  • Logistics and Partnership. Throughout the project there were some logistical challengers in booking the Shattering Stereotypes activities. There was also a lack of connectivity across the activities and support between said activities.

    This was due to its nature as a pilot project. It was the first time SEPnet has both worked in the realm of Gender Stereotyping and in the format of delivering activity throughout the year. This together with the large workloads and busy environments in schools led to some workshops being missed at some schools and a lot of last minute work being carried out by Officers and Teachers.

A summary of experiences and outcomes, along with opportunities from development can be found here.

The report also issued a list of twelve recommendations, all of which we taking into account as we develop the project for the 2018/19 Academic Year.

The project team would like to give a massive thanks to all the teachers who partnered with us on the pilot project. Their input and time has been invaluable and has a great impact in how we continue to develop and deliver this project, and many others across SEPnet Outreach.

The project team would also like to thank:

  • Elizabeth and Sarah for their contribution and insights throughout the process.
  • All the physics role models from activity two, who took time from their busy schedules to attend events.
  • The Year 12 students who took part, most of whom are currently in the process of applying for University. The team wishes them good luck in your future careers.
  • All the Year 8 students who participated in the pilot project. Their enthusiasm for the subject matter was apparent from day one of the project. They constantly surprised us, challenged us and pushed us to do better. The team hopes they all remain staunch champions and continue to challenge gender stereotyping wherever they see it.

The schools who participated in the pilot project where:

SEPnet will be running the project through the 2018/2019 academic year.

If your school is interested in joining the project as a partner, please e-mail the Director of Outreach & Public Engagement outreach@sepnet.ac.uk. At the moment SEPnet is looking for state-funded, mixed-gender schools for this project.

Further details on the project will be available in Mid-March 2018.

16Oct/17

Making Holograms – KS3 & KS4 Workshops – Central London

There are still a few places left for schools to sign-up to Holography Workshops in Central London.

These will be run by the University of Southampton as part of their PHABLAB project.

Holography & the EM Spectrum: Making Holograms

Hands-on workshop in Photonics (laser technology) for KS3 students of all genders. Students will learn about and apply basic light theory to create holograms. They will be working with an experienced team of educators and researchers. Students will learn about Photonics, a key cutting-edge technology, important for solving societal challenges in the 21st Century, such as energy, medicine, telecommunications and manufacturing, in a creative & informal environment.

GCSE Students
Wednesday 1 November 2017
10-12pm or 1-3pm.

KS3 Students
Friday 3 November 2017
10-12pm or 1-3pm.

Location
Green Lab (3Space), Corner of Keeton’s & Collett Road, Bermondsey, London SE16 4EE.

Booking E-mail Pearl John: pj@soton.ac.uk

 

29Sep/17

SEPnet Outreach is looking for an Evaluator for Connect Physics

SEPnet is looking for an evaluator for Connect Physics, our new workshops looking to raise the number of Year 8 students considering physics as a pathway to their future. There has been some formative evaluation and initial testing on the workshops but we would like the evaluator to join us for this final phase of testing and summative evaluation.

Details for the project can be found here.

The evaluation brief can be found here.

SEPnet Outreach will accept proposals up to £7,000 which should include any travel expenses and VAT if applicable. Any proposed budgets above this amount should be justified within the proposal. Deadline for proposals is Monday 16 October 2017.

Contact
Please contact Dominic Galliano on 0207 882 5063 /  07702 363 731 or outreach@sepnet.ac.uk if you would like any further information.

27Apr/17

Schools needed to test new SEPnet Year 8 Workshops – Physics: What, Why, How?

SEPnet is currently developing a new set of Year 8 workshops: Physics: What, Why, How? These workshops are designed to complement the Year 8 science curriculum and build science capital in the classroom.

We are looking to do our first round of testing during May in London. At this early stage we are looking to see if the workshops are successful in communicating their key messages. We also would like feedback from KS3 science teachers.

Would your school be able to help us out? The school would need to have:

  • At least three Year 8  science groups (so we can test each workshop once) if possible with each these groups having science lessons on the same day.
  • A keen KS3 science teacher (or teachers) who are open to giving feedback and building relationships with University physics departments.

Teachers can sign up their schools here:
https://goo.gl/forms/RCR2eotnQKsJhOtE3

This is a fantastic opportunity to connect your school with the SEPnet Outreach programme and have a say in the content of the workshops which will be rolled out across the South East in September.