Category Archives: Outreach

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.

08Mar/17

SEPnet Outreach highlights the importance of Shattering Stereotypes on International Women’s Day.

This International Women’s Day, SEPnet Outreach is launching their Shattering Stereotypes Careers Evenings and Physics Graduate Case Studies resources. Across our Shattering Stereotypes Schools we will be holding networking sessions between Year 8 students, their parents and a variety of physics graduates of all genders who have gone to have amazing careers in business, industry and other sectors showing the breadth of opportunities available to them.

Students will be encouraged to look beyond gender and pick graduates they would like to network with based on their and the graduates Type of Scientist (previously developed for SEPnet / WISE’s People Like Me resource).

The evenings will also have a short talk highlighting the issues of Gender Stereotyping and Unconscious Bias. Gender Stereotyping in an issue which affects people of all genders at school. It has an influence on subject choices at GCSEs, which leads to fewer girls taking A-Level physics and therefore also at university. Additionally it affects boys taking up other subjects seen as more traditional girl subjects such as English and psychology. (See Closing Doors / Opening Doors reports by IOP).

If you would like to use these graduates as Case Studies in your own classroom or outreach activities, you can download the set here. The physics graduates in this set span gender, ethnicity, sexuality, career type and type of scientist. They have been developed to showcase the sheer variety of opportunities physics can open up. This could help embed STEM careers in science lessons, break the science = scientist link and help build science capital with students and their parents. (See Aspires Report)

If you studied physics at university and would like to take part in the project, please sign up here. If you can’t make one of our events, we are looking to expand the set of Case Studies and especially include graduates who identify as female and are also from an ethnic minority, so that we can explore issues around intersectionality in future workshops.

The Shattering Stereotypes pilot project is investigating how the SEPnet Outreach can help raise awareness of Gender Stereotyping in schools. The pilot project is taking place across five schools:

An evaluation report will be made available towards the end of 2017.

If you would like more information on the project, please do get in touch.

02Feb/17

Shattering Stereotypes is looking for Physics graduates in the South East!

Who are we looking for?
As part of our Shattering Stereotypes project, we are looking for Physics graduates in the South East area who have had all sorts of careers since graduating. As part of the project we are hosting a careers evening at our five partner schools. To make these evenings successful, we need you!

If you’re now working in anything from finance to accountancy, or working in the energy sector to those in healthcare or government, SEPnet needs your help! We are looking for Physics graduates from diverse backgrounds, across all ethnicities, genders and sexuality.

What would you need to do?
Sign up to help at one or more of our careers evenings. They are located around London, with one school in Guildford. The entire evening, which will include training from one of our SEPnet Outreach Officers, will only last around two hours. We are hoping to run the evenings as one-on-one sessions between you, the students and their parents / carers. This way they can ask you individual questions about the type of work you do and the type of scientist you are.

What are different types of Scientist?
As part of the project, we are introducing the term scientist to include all those who studied science at university. This includes you. In particular we are introducing students to the 12 Types of Scientists. These were introduced in a previous project from SEPnet and WISE called People Like Me. We are looking to match with students who have similar types to you.

When are the careers evenings taking place?

Monday 6 March, Overton Grange, Sutton.

Thursday 9 March, St Peter’s School, Guildford.

Monday 20 March, Lampton Academy, Hounslow.

Thursday 30 March, Preston Manor, Brent.

Thursday 9 May, Charles Darwin School, Biggin Hill.

What if I can’t make any of the sessions?
We are more than happy to let you know about future Shattering Stereotypes events where you can help.

We would also like to feature some Case Studies on our websites and posters, so even if you can’t make it, you can still help us out!

Will this make a difference?
Shattering Stereotypes is a pilot project that is being externally evaluated including measuring what messages students are getting from the project. We would be more than happy to share our final report with you towards the end of 2017. Be a part of this innovative project and help us find out what messages work.

What next?
Sign up here and forward this page to any of your Physics graduates friends who may also be interested.

More details about Shattering Stereotypes can be found here.
Any additional questions, please e-mail outreach@sepnet.ac.uk.

12Jan/17

Queen Mary University of London launches Research in Schools report.

There is a growing number of projects across the UK giving the opportunity for school students to run their own research projects. This has led to the launch of the Institute for Research in Schools in 2016. Ever wondered how the projects come together? Are you a researcher or teacher and thought about running such a project?

Physicists at SEPnet partner, Queen Mary University of London, have been running
Research in Schools projects over the last two years. Through this time they have come across different challenges in setting up and running said projects. In this report SEPnet / Ogden Outreach Officer Dr Martin Archer looks back and highlights what has worked and what didn’t come together from these projects. These along with the report’s conclusions and recommendations make it essential reading for those looking to set-up similar projects.

The report highlights how Research in Schools projects can have positive impacts on both students and teachers but states how structure and support from universities were important to their success.

Download the Main Report here.

Supplementary material:
Collaboration Agreement with Schools
ULF Project – Teacher’s Guide
Muon Project – Teacher’s Guide

SEPnet would like toIMG_3105 thank QMUL’s Centre for Public Engagement for supporting the running of the Cosmic Ray Muon Project in 2015/16 through a Large Award and STFC for awarding a Public Engagement Small Award to purchase additional muon detectors enabling QMUL to take the cosmic ray muon project to five schools in 2016/17.

SEPnet Outreach continues to encourage and support its partners to develop Research in Schools projects as part of its Schools programme. SEPnet also continues to participate in CERN@School and works closely with the Institute for Research in Schools.

If you would like more information please contact SEPnet Outreach at outreach@sepnet.ac.uk

25Nov/16

SEPnet launches Shattering Stereotypes

Shattering Stereotypes is an innovative pilot project investigating how Physics Outreach Officers can help shatter gender stereotypes found in schools.

Shattering Stereotypes will start dialogue and debate with over 400 Year 8 students across the South East. SEPnet Outreach Officers will deliver three activities across the year with Year 12 physics and science students from the participating schools.

These activities include:

  • An introductory workshop introducing the idea of gender stereotyping and how it can have an effect on GCSE and A-Level subject choice and therefore future careers.
  • A STEM careers evening for Year 8 students and their parents featuring role models from across all the different types of scientists showcasing how different types of people can succeed in STEM, regardless of gender.
  • A final extended project where we will ask the Year 8 students to get creative and present their views and opinions on gender stereotyping and how it has an effect on them and their school. We will encourage the students to consider all sorts of ideas for the project!

With these three activities we hope to kick start a school-wide discussion on Gender Stereotyping and how it can be tackled.

The participating schools include:

The SEPnet team is excited to work across these schools and hopes each of them will give an interesting case study on this pilot project.

The project has been developed in consultation with the Institute of Physics’ Gender Balance team and based on the findings of Closing Doors and the recommendations outlined in Opening Doors. The first workshop also includes part of the highly successful People Like Me workshop developed by SEPnet and WISE.

The project is being fully evaluated by an experienced team led by Elizabeth Jeavans. A full report on the pilot project will be available in late 2017 / early 2018. If you would like to keep up to date and be informed of progress, please e-mail us and you will be added to the Shattering Stereotypes Mailing List.

If you are a Physics Outreach Officer or a mixed-gender secondary state school and would like to take part in a potential second year of the project, starting in September 2017, please do get in touch