European Physical Society


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

Held in conjunction with the 12th EPS General Conference at Budapest,
Hungary on 27 August 2002, 13:00-14:30 and 18:00-18:30.

Present: H. Ferdinande (Chairman EUPEN, first part only),
K. Gaemers (EPS executive committee), 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: D. Lee (Secretary general EPS).

The meeting adopted the agenda proposed by the chairman.


Item 1A was added to the agenda circulated by e-mail. In the opening the chairman
congratulated our board member Eddy Lingeman with the fact that he will be awarded
the first Gero Thomas award presented by the EPS. All his work for our Division is
highly appreciated, and it is only a very minor part of all Eddy's work for EPS.

1A. Appointment of new board member.

Since the board does not have a secretary Bob Lambourne (Open University, UK) has
been asked to join the board. There was strong and unanimous approval for this step.
Since Aart Kleyn prepares the reports of the board meetings and does not object to
continue to do so, Bob will concentrate on getting information from the National
Societies through questionnaires that he sends out. In addition he will set up a list
of ëCorresponding Membersí. The list will be built by sending a little note to
participants of meetings in which the Division is involved. The list may include
non-members of EPS, who perhaps should be marked as such (internal only)..

Gunnar Tibell asks for a numbering system of Documents, in particular Reports,
prepared by the Division. A draft of the list is attached to this report.

2) Report of the previous virtual meeting, 21 December 2001.

There were no comments to the report prepared by Aart Kleyn.

3) Pre-university section

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

Actions undertaken were most unfortunately not successful.

3.2. European conference on physics teacher training

GIREP at its meeting in Lund, Sweden has proposed such a workshop, which can be
organised jointly with EPS. The meeting will be held in Udine, Italy in the fall
of 2003. Chairperson is Maria Michellini. An organising committee has been formed
with from EPS side Brenda Jennison, Bob Lambourne, Michael Vollmer and Gunnar Tibell.
Jacques Treiner, organiser of the Les Houches conference will also be a member.
The committee will meet early next year in the UK. The next board meeting will be
held in conjunction. We should make a reservation on the 2003 budget for financial support.

The French Physical Society (Jacques Treiner) has organised a very broad Meeting on
Physics Education: a European Confrontation in Les Houches, 23-28 June 2002.
The meeting was attended by many from our Divison, and very successful.
The Division and the board should keep in close contact with Jacques Treiner.

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.

3.4. Biographical posters

A CD-ROM containing the EPS biographical posters is available, but not free of charge.
Most likely National Societies can get the raw data to translate and produce the
posters at a national level. The board regrets that the posters cannot be simply
downloaded from the web. This would make it much easier to advertise them, for
instance among our Presidential Representatives. It turns out that all material
is available to National Societies free of charge provided that they acknowledge
EPS and take all reproduction costs themselves. To translate them special software
is required. This should be advertised. Aart Kleyn will check this.

3.5. Posters on the relevance of physics to society

The series of posters to promote better public understanding of physics and its
relevance to society prepared by the Royal Holloway College have been distributed
among the board members. The posters are of very high quality. A link to the posters
should be put on the Divisional web-site, and perhaps we can encourage the
Presidential Representatives that these are available for local reproduction.
A new series, focused on Sound is currently being produced.

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. Teacher exchange was also a
topic at Physics on Stage 2. We should watch the outcome of that POS 2 workshop.
Gunnar Tibell will follow this.

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 tournament held in Odessa,
Ukraine, was very successful. Next tournaments will be held in Upsala, Sweden (2003),
Australia (2004) and Switzerland (2005). Three countries have joined IYPT.
The Division will continue to support it.


The next General Forum will be held in Varna, Bulgaria on 7-8 September 2002.
The green light for funding for next year has been received. Most unfortunately
the amount is yet unknown.

In the fall the preparation for the triennium October 2003 - September 2005 will start.
At first the leaders of the working groups will determine the future topics. Those will
be circulated among all partners with a request for continuing support.

EUPEN is connected to the TUNING project of the EU. It is not in the the inner circle
of fields to be examined. Two new fields have been added to that inner circle:
European studies and Nursing.

There is a collaboration se up with political sciences concerning comparison of
PhD programs.

EUPEN is connected to TEEP, a collaboration between quality assessment agencies
(not concerned with accreditation). A trial investigation will be carried out for
physics by the quality assessment agency from Copenhagen, Denmark. Five universities
will be evaluated.

Next year the EUPEN meeting can take place in Sweden.

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 in 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.

5.3. Innovative teaching

A workshop on innovative teaching will be organised in Leeds, UK by Ashley. Its focus
will be on student recruitment and retention. The EPS should support this workshop.
For all supported workshops EPS members should get a discounted rate.

5.4 Accreditation

Urbaan Titulaer has prepared a letter to the Presidential Representatives and the
Presidents of the National Societies, to inquire if action on this point by EPS is needed.
The letter was signed by the EPS President and himself. A reply has only been received
from the IOP (UK), Belgium and Slovakia. This is very disappointing.

Perhaps the Division should make a statement in this area and seek approval by the
National Societies. A good entry point can be the European Diploma Supplement, which
states if a diploma meets a European standard. Currently, the TUNING network is working
on the definition of a physics core curriculum. If a good curriculum would come up,
the Division could ask the EPS executive council to endorse it, and bring this out in a
position paper.

6) Web development

Eddy Lingeman has continually updated the Divisional Web site. He prefers to make more
single documents, which are scrollable.

A flyer on education was available at the EPS-12 desk. This flyer is out of date and
should be updated.

7) Position papers on education

At present no position papers on education are deemed necessary However, such a paper
should be considered concerning accreditation. We should look again at the position papers
produced by the world congress of physical societies at Berlin (2000). Gunnar Tibell
will distribute them.

8) Membership of the Division

Given the unclear situation with the available lists Bob Lambourne will try to set up
a list of ěCorresponding Membersî to the Division. These should not necessarily be EPS
members, but that should be visible in the database and questionnaire. As a start,
the invitations will be sent out to the participants to the Les Houches meeting.

9) Presidential representatives

The response by the Presidential Representatives varies. Aart Kleyn will write to
Dalobar Krupa in the EPS executive committee, who is responsible for the contacts
with National Physical Societies. Bob Lambourne will write to the National Societies
in case he receives no response to the questionnaires. A meeting with some
representatives took place on 29 August 2002 13:00-14:00. A short report is
added to this report.

10) Articles for EPN, EJP

This has not been discussed extensively. Aart Kleyn is in contact with EPN concerning
an article by a Belgian Industrialist, who gave a clear view on Physics education in a
lecture. The text of the lecture is available. Perhaps EPN will shorten it to a suitable
size. Aart has offered to write a commentary on behalf of the Division. In that case he
will circulate article and comment before submission to ask for additional comments.

11) Program of the Division at EPS12

At EPS-12 the plenary speaker on behalf of the Division, Frank Close had to decline for
personal reasons. Nobel laureate Charpak has been reinvited and he also had to decline
later because of health problems.

Eric Johansson was the invited speaker at the Symposium of the Division in the afternoon.
The program of the symposium was:
The Physics Education Division of EPS, A.W. Kleyn, University of Leiden, The Netherland
& Physics Education Division of EPS.
School projects at the physics frontline, E. Johansson, Stockholm Centre for Physics,
Astronomy, and Biotechnology, Stockholm University, Sweden.
EUPEN's ongoing contribution to European physics education, H. Ferdinande,
Universiteit Gent & EUPEN Consortium, BE-9000 Gent, Belgium.
Teaching of Physics at a Distance: Challenges and Solutions, B. Lambourne,
Open University, United Kingdom.
Physics competitions - a way to promote the discipline in schools
G. Tibell, Uppsala University, Sweden, President of the IYPT International Committee
New types of physics competitions for secondary school students,
Z. Rajkovits, Department of General Physics, Eötvös Lorˇnd University,
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary

12) Physics on Stage

The Physics on Stage 2 (POS 2) event was held at ESTEC, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands
on 2-6 April 2002. The Dutch teachers were much more positive than about POS 1.
POS 3 will be organised again at ESTEC, perhaps under the auspices of EUROFORUM,
an association of physics based research organisations, such as CERN, ESA, ESO,
EMBL, ILL, EFDA, ESRF etc. The President-elect of EPS, Huber has tried to keep EPS
on board, even though it does not substantially sponsor POS 3. In fact POS 3 will
be funded by the Commission of the EU. Aart Kleyn will try to maintain contacts.
One of the issues of EPS would be to keep small physics into the program of POS 3.

Because of the excellent program of POS the Division will not try to compete by
setting up and independent activity for teachers.

13) Secretary, statutes, finances

Aart Kleyn will continue to make meetings reports. Bob Lambourne will take up other
activities as secretary of the Division.

The issue of statutes will not yet be taken up.

Aart Kleyn will check the status of the Divisional funds with David Lee.
In case funds are left by the end of the year will try to carry them over to
next year, for which more activities are planned.

14) Date and place of next meeting

This will take place in conjunction with the meeting of the international committee
of the Teacher Training Conference (see 3.2). Proposed date around Friday 10 January 2003.
Venue, Cambridge UK.

Report of the meeting with Presidential representatives to the EPS Physics Education
Division on 29 August 2002 13:00-14:00.
Present from board: Gaemers, Kleyn, Lambourne, Tibell, Titulaer.
Representatives: Marcis Auzinsh (Latvia), Gintaras Dikcius (Latvia),
Erik Johansson (Sweden), Jan Obdrzalek (Czech Republic),
Zsuzsanna Rajkovits (Hungary), Jerzy Warczewski (Poland).

An introduction about the activities of the division was given by board members.
The presidential representatives were urged to reply to questions from the division.
Topics discussed include accreditation and the EPS biographical posters.
It was also mentioned that more information concerning educational material should be
made available on the web. Also more attention should be given how research output
can be turned into material useful for outreach activities.

Erik Johansson emphasised that the Division should prepare activities for the
World Year of Physics in 2005. Aart Kleyn replied that as soon as the year has been
declared a plan of action will be made.

Aart W. Kleyn, 2 September 2002 & 18 December 2002