European Physical Society


Report of the Meeting of the Board
of the EPS Physics Education Division

Held at Churchill College, Cambridge, UK on 7 January 2003, 14:00-16:35.

Present: H. Ferdinande (Chairman EUPEN), A.W. Kleyn (chairman),
B. Lambourne (Secretary), E. Lingeman (web master), G. Tibell (Chairman
Pre-university Section Board), U. Titulaer (Chairman University Section Board).
Apologies for absence were received from: K. Gaemers (EPS executive committee),
D. Lee (Secretary general EPS).


The meeting adopted the agenda proposed by the chairman (EPS_PED 18),
adding presidential representatives, divisional membership and board
structure to item 10.

2 Report of the previous meeting, 27 August 2002.

There were no comments to the text of the report prepared by Aart Kleyn (EPS_PED 17).
Actions of the previous report, that are still pending and not discussed below:
Ad 1A: the questionnaires could not be sent out, because of lack of response by
Jacques Treiner. As a consequence, no list of corresponding members has been made.
Bob Lambourne will consult Michael Vollmer on this matter, and send out the questionnaire.

Ad 6: the flyer concerning the Division needs updating. Aart Kleyn will initiate
this process with David Lee.

3 Pre-university section

3.1. European conference on science education at the primary level:

The anticipated organizer, Rosemary Feasey has resigned from this job. Since the
topic will appear at the GIREP/EPS Udine meeting, it will be removed from our planning
for the next few years.

3.2. European conference on physics teacher training

This meeting is being organized currently on behalf of GIREP, EUPEN, IUPAP (ICPE)
and EPS by and at the University of Udine.. The committee has met just before the
board meeting and preparations are well underway. Title of the meeting:
"Quality development in teacher education and training"

Chairpersons are Silvia Pugliese Jona and Marisa Michelini. We will make a
reservation on the 2003 budget for financial support.

3.3. A survey of physics education in European schools

Tim Hickson would be willing to direct the survey. Nothing has been heard from
him recently, but he might still be interested. Bob Lambourne will try to contact him again.

3.4. Biographical posters

A CD-ROM containing the EPS biographical posters is available, but not free of
charge. There seem to be no new actions in this area, in spite of announcements
on the EPS-website. Aart Kleyn will check this. and perhaps we can encourage the
Presidential Representatives that these are available for local reproduction.

3.5. Posters on the relevance of physics to society

A new series of posters, focused on "Sound" is currently being produced by the
Royal Holloway College to promote better public understanding of physics and its
relevance to society. A link to the posters should be put on the Divisional web-site,
as soon as they are available. Bob Lambourne will provide this link to Eddy Lingeman.

3.6. Teacher exchange scheme

The teacher exchange scheme initiated by Alf Ölme should be restarted.
A poster was put up at the EPS-12 conference, but no response was received.
We are willing to support the initiative again. The action might be initiated at
the next IYPT in Uppsala, where a number f physics teachers will attend.
This will be undertaken by Gunnar Tibell.

3.7. The International Young Physicists' Tournament

EPS (through our Section) 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 next tournaments will be held in Uppsala, Sweden (2003),
Australia (2004) and Switzerland (2005). Three new countries have joined IYPT.
The Division will continue to support it. No support is needed for the one in Uppsala.
Perhaps some support is wanted for the organization of the next one.


The next General Forum will be held in Uppsala, Sweden on 12-13 September 2003.

The green light for funding for this year, i.e. October 2002 - September 2003 has
been received, but the amount is less than anticipated. An amendment, asking for
more support was made, based upon the following three reasons:
1) another 20 departments have joined EUPEN (now 150 in total);
2) more money is needed for meetings;
3) a good collaboration with the TUNING project exists, which by itself has no
support for physics.

Preparation for the triennium October 2003 - September 2006 has started.
A final proposal is due in March 2003.

EUPEN is connected to the TUNING project of the EU. TUNING itself will most
presumably be supported again. EUPEN is not in the the inner circle of fields to be
examined, and therefore needs extra support.

There is a collaboration set up with political sciences concerning comparison of PhD
programs. In fact, only physics provided a solid database for analysis. The political
scientists want to analyse that and other data. If they will not do so, EUPEN will step
in and try to do the analysis, to complement earlier work by EUPEN in this area.

EUPEN is connected to TEEP, a collaboration between quality assessment agencies
(not concerned with accreditation). A trial investigation is carried out for physics by
the quality assessment agency from Copenhagen, Denmark. Five universities are evaluated.
First results might be out at the European Universities Association in Graz in May 2003.

In 2004 the EUPEN meeting could take place in Vilnius, Lithuania, coinciding with the 425th Anniversary of the University.

5 University section

5.1. Workshop on "Multimedia in Physics Teaching and Learning"

The Board encourages the continuation to the Workshop on "Multimedia in Physics Teaching
and Learning"-network started by professor H.J. Jodl. The 7th workshop in the series
took place in Italy. The 8th is planned for Prague, Czech republic on 15-16 September 2003.

5.2. Workshop on "Improvement of student labs"

In Germany there is a section of the DPG that has an active network for the improvement
of student labs. There is sufficient international interest in this topic for organizing
an international workshop around this nucleus. Prof. Schumacher from Düsseldorf will
organise one coming year with some small European participation. He plans to open it up
to the European level in 2004. He will appreciate EPS support at that time.

5.3. Innovative teaching

A workshop on innovative teaching will be organized in Leeds, UK by Ashley Clarke.
In 2003 it clashes with the meeting of EUPEN, and will be kept at the UK level.
On 9-10 September 2004 it will be attempted again to broaden it to the European level.
Its focus will be on student recruitment and retention. The EPS should support this workshop.

5.4 Accreditation

Based upon the response received from the presidential representatives and the national
societies it was decided not to undertake any further action. It was noted that the
activities by TUNING in this area are clearly not sufficient. We will wait.

5.5 Board composition

It was noted that there is limited representation for central and eastern Europe and
southern Europe. The board will try to attract new members for these areas with full
support of the Divisional board.

5.6 Position papers on funding

Michael Vollmer and the GIREP group noted that in the US the National Science Foundation
encourages grants for innovations in education and requires 1% of regular research grant
money to be used for outreach. It would be desirable if something similar would be the
case in Europe. It was decided that the University Section Board will draft two separate
position papers in these issues. It would be nice if we could send those position papers
to the executive committee of EPS before the council meeting in the end of March.

5.7 Certified educational website

It was pointed out by Prof. Jodl in a preceding meeting that in the USA the Merlot project
runs a website that only contains refereed and approved educational software and links to
web-sites. A similar project is currently undertaken with EPS, DPG and other support by
Eberhard Hilf at the University of Oldenburg.

It is proposed that Urbaan Titulaer will bring Prof. Jodl in contact with Dr Hilf on this matter.

6 Web development

Eddy Lingeman has continually updated the Divisional Web site.

7 Future European Physics Education conferences

It was felt that the promotion and sponsorship of conferences on Physics Education is
one of the key targets of the Division. A calendar of conferences should be available
at the divisional website. Mentioned were:
6-13 April 2003: EUSO competition in Dublin Ireland.
This is a new physics competition for the age group of 13-14 years old. Six countries
participate in the first event.
1- 8 july 2003: IYPT, Uppsala, Sweden.
15-25 July 2003, Italian Physical Society and ICPE: Varenna summer school.
19-23 August 2003: ESERA meeting, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
This a general science education research meeting.
12-13 September 2003: EUPEN General Forum, Uppsala, Sweden.
November 2003, Physics on Stage 3, ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

It was mentioned that an interesting topic for a conference or a special session at
a conference would be the relationship of the Science teaching program at high schools
and the physics teaching program.

8 Composition of the board

Aart Kleyn has announced that he will get a new job, and therefore wants to discontinue
his chairmanship before the end of the year. Karel Gaemers will leave the executive
committee in March. Aart Kleyn will ask in Mulhouse for a replacement from the executive
committee. Gunnar Tibell prefers to stay on on different terms. Aart Kleyn will come
with a proposal before the next board meeting.

9 Physics on Stage, Space Station Education Fund

The Physics on Stage 3 event will be held again at ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands
in November 2003. It will be 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.

Aart Kleyn gave a brief report on his visit to ESTEC to discus the Space Station
Education Fund. He was asked to join its board on behalf of EPS. He will do so.

10 List of correspondence, Statutes,
Presidential representatives, Membership of
the Division, Board structure

A list of correspondence was circulated but found unreadable. It is added to the
draft report of this meeting. Please give your comments as soon as possible.

Since newer divisions already have statutes making them for our Division should be taken
up. Aart Kleyn will ask David Lee for recommendations

The presidential representatives continue to cause problems by their lack of response.
Aart Kleyn will propose to Dalobar Krupa to use the following procedure: if no reply is
received from a presidential representative after a long time, we will write to the
president of the society concerned asking to appoint another person. In case no reply
is received also in this case, we may want to appoint a board member from this country,
without any consultation of the physical societies concerned.

Gunnar Tibell proposes to absorb the pre-university section board into the main board.
One reason being, that it is hard for the teachers in the pre-university board to travel.
Because teachers are not always in the membership of a physical society it is a missing
group within EPS and therefore in particular missing in the board. It is concluded that
the pre-university board could be absorbed into the main board. Gunnar Tibell will make
a proposal.

11 Finances and budget 2003

Aart Kleyn did not receive the status of the Divisional funds from EPS. Certainly some
money must have remained unspent with David Lee. In case funds are left by the end of
the year we will try to carry them over to next year.

Based upon the discussion the following budget for 2003 is proposed:
Teacher exchange project 500
IYPT 2004 preparation 1000
Support multimedia conference 2500
Support GIREP/EPS conference 2000
Support Lab Courses Meeting 500
Board meeting University Section1500
Board meeting Division 1000
EUPEN 3500
Support non EIROforum part POS3 2000
Web activities, travel Lingeman 500
Total: 15000 Euro

14 Date and place of next meeting.

This will take place in conjunction with the GIREP/EPS meeting in Udine.
Date: Monday 1 September 2003.

Aart W. Kleyn
7 January 2003

E.W.A. Lingeman, 14 January 2003