European Physical Society

PHYSICS EDUCATION DIVISION

Annual report 2003

The Physics Education Division was created at the Council Meeting of EPS in Dublin, 2000.
From the outset it was clear that the Division may have a special position within EPS,
because many Physics Teachers, in particular those active in pre-university education
do not belong to the membership of EPS or its constituent National Physical Societies.
The Division plays an important role in the organisation and support of conferences and
workshops concerned with Physics Education. In addition, it is undertaking to set up a
European Conference on Physics Education.

Supported activities

European conference on physics teacher training

This meeting is organized on behalf of GIREP, EUPEN, IUPAP (ICPE) and EPS by and at the
University of Udine on 1-5 September 2003. Organisers are Brenda Jennison, Silvia Pugliese Jona
and Marisa Michelini. It turned out to be a very broad meeting on the topic that was well
attended and resulted in a number of recommendations, to be published by the conference.

The International Young Physicists' Tournament

EPS has continued to support the International Young Physicists' Tournament, IYPT.
Since 1998 Gunnar Tibell is the President of the International Committee of the tournament.
The tournament was held in Uppsala, Sweden (2003) and very successful. It was widely
advertised and got good media coverage. The participation is still increasing. Australia
will be the next site (2004) and Switzerland will follow (2005). The Division will
continue to support it.

EUPEN

The European Physics Education Network focuses on physics education at the university level.
In 2003 the last general forum was held in Uppsala , Sweden on 12-13 September 2003.
The forum was entitled:
"THE MOMENTUM OF PHYSICS IN EUROPE: NOT A MYSTICAL CAUSE"

THE FORUM was concerned with the following themes and strands:

  1. Quality assurance and evaluation of physics studies in the frame of the TEEP2002 Project
  2. Evolution of physics degrees in the context of the Bologna Process and dissemination
    of the 'Tuning educational structures in Europe -phase II'
  3. Networking opportunities for specialisation in physics Joint Degrees (Bachelor & Master)
  4. Trends in physics student enrolment and destination
  5. Innovations in physics teaching and learning, mostly by multimedia
Although the forum was well attended and successful, the EUPEN network will stop soon.
There is not much enthusiasm to take up the heavy burden of its continuation after the
renewal request has been turned down by the EU.

The founder of EUPEN and EPS PED board member Hendrik Ferdinande decided not to carry the
flag any longer. EPS cannot follow up EUPEN as such. Personnel and financial resources are
lacking. EPS PED does wants to carry on the network function set up by EUPEN. This will be
attempted through the introduction of a European Conference on Physics Education.

Workshop on "Multimedia in Physics Teaching and Learning"

The Workshop on "Multimedia in Physics Teaching and Learning"-network was started by Professor
H.J. Jodl. The 8th was held in Prague, Czech republic on 15-16 September 2003, and will
be held in Graz and Berlin.

Physics on Stage 3

The Physics on Stage 3 event was held again at ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands on 10-15
November 2003.It was organised again under the auspices of EIROFORUM, an association of physics
based research organisations, such as CERN, ESA, ESO, EMBL, ILL, EFDA, ESRF. EPS will keep an
advisory role. It has sponsored the event by a (to them) small amount, allowing some physicists
from non-Eiroforum countries to attend, which was highly appreciated and topped up by others.
The meeting was attracting a large attendance of over 300 physicists, mainly teachers.
It was focused on the role of physics in the life sciences, It will be succeeded by an event
called 'Science on Stage' This is a sign that physics as a discipline at school may slowly be
replaced by science.

International World Year on Physics 2005

The IWYP will be celebrated by a big EPS13 conference in Bern on: Beyond Einstein;
Physics for the 21st Century, to be held 11-14 July, 2005, Bern, Switzerland.
The Division will try to add to the programme, in particular on the 'outreach day'
Friday 15 July. A topic is suggested like: "Physics of the 21st century
in the class room" for instance by allowing control of modern big physics experiments
by high school students.

Such remote experimenting is also considered for the international space station, and
could be built up gradually through programmes at school.

European Physics Education Conference

The set up of a program for a physics education conference is not so hard. Ideas have
already been circulated by our new chairman Erik Johansson. The organization and
language are more complicated. Teacher participation is hard, because of the funds
required. As a new initiative to build upon, the conference proposed by Gerhard Sauer
in Bad Honnef is mentioned. This would turn into a nice triannual series: Malvern seminar
(1999), Les Houches (2002), Bad Honnef (2005).

The division will set up a working group to prepare the conference, which will meet with
a number of interested physicists and teachers in a workshop to be held in parallel to the
Euroscience Open Forum in Stockholm, August 2004.

Composition of the board

The board of the EPS Physics Education Division is now composed of: H. Ferdinande
(Chairman EUPEN), P. Hoyer (EPS executive committee), E. Johansson (chairman),
A.W. Kleyn, B. Lambourne (Secretary), D. Lee (Secretary general EPS, observer),
E. Lingeman (web master), G. Tibell (Chairman Pre-university Section Board),
U. Titulaer (Chairman University Section Board).

Date and place of board meetings

7 January 2003, Churchill college Cambridge, UK.
1 September 2003, Palazzo Florio in Udine, IT.
A telephone meeting was held on Wednesday 10 December 2003, 14:00-15:45.

Aart W. Kleyn
3 February 2004

Annual Report of the EPS Physics Education Division, EPS-PED-33 2

E.W.A. Lingeman, made available March 2004