Outreach

The F2k Outreach Centre promotes understanding of and interest in contemporary physics and technology among in the Finnish society. We approach this primarily by developing physics education and having strong contacts to physics teachers nationally; the Centre operates as a part of the Physics Teacher Education group of the Department. F2k offers a variety of activities, events and personal support for teachers and students, for children and youth, and for the general public. Some events are offered also in Swedish. F2k is organized as a part of the National LUMA centre.

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The Department of Physics participated in the annual alumni evening of the Kumpula Campus in March 2013. This event brings together the alumni and the personnel of the Department. This time the event attracted about 70 visitors to the Department of Physics.

F2k laboratory

In 2013, the operation of the F2k-laboratory and its activities were continued and developed further. The F2k-laboratory offers hands-on experiments in modern and contemporary physics for upper secondary school teachers and students, and demonstrations and presentations for other visitors of the Department.

F2k-laboratory offers an experimental approach to the physics of the 21st century and the phenomena that form the basis of contemporary research in physics. The operation of the F2k-laboratory provides bridge between the school and the university physics. Visitors of the F2k-laboratory are able to make experiments that cannot be accomplished in schools. The experiments in modern physics covered e.g. the Millikan experiment, photoelectric effect, black body radiation, a variety of spectral measurements, and the Thomson experiment. The aim is also to arouse the visitors' interest in physics.

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Equipment to determine the charge of the electron

During the year, the F2k-laboratory attracted altogether about 400 visitors. We prepared the material also in Swedish and among the visiting groups five of them were from Swedish speaking schools. In-service teacher training was given to physics teachers from secondary schools. Many of the trained teachers brought their classes to the F2k-laboratory afterwards. Group visits, typically including two hours of hands-on experiments, were integrated as a part of the course on modern physics in upper secondary school. The total number of the visiting groups was about 55. In addition to these working sessions, demonstrations and presentations were shown to dozens of school groups. Some groups were also prepared for their visit to CERN.

Many other visitors, including collaborators and international guests of the Department, were introduced to the F2k-laboratory. Outreach activities also involved competitions for international students, open doors and shootings for television programmes.

Other services for science teachers

In 2013 the Department arranged the traditional course for in-service science and mathematics teachers. This time the topic of the course was "Where do we get energy in the future?" The course, attended by 30 teachers, ran for a week and included a variety of lectures given by the staff of the Department, and a lot of experimental work.

F2k arranged workshops in several teacher-training events outside the Department as well, and consulted science teachers in problems related to physics or physics teaching. F2k maintained and developed a library with literature on physics education, and a web site with electronic resources for physics teaching. The web site also includes a service by which schools can search for substitute physics teachers among the students of the Department.

Outreach events for the youth and children

Additionally, some 55 guided tours (for about 700 pupils) to the research laboratories of the Department were arranged for school groups, mainly from upper secondary schools. The Department also provides an opportunity for gifted pupils to study some basic university courses in physics already during upper secondary school.

The department was active in organizing the KoeKampus! event which attracted about 300 pupils on their last year at school, who specified interest to start studying physics.

Outreach activities also included events for children. The traditional and popular summer camps for children were organized again and attracted about 40 children to the Department.