Outreach

F2k Outreach Centre of the Department

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

During January 2015, the alumni evening of the campus was organized. This event brings together the alumni and the personnel of the Department. The alumni evening attracted about 200 visitors to the Science campus and about 50 of them to the Physics department.

During April 2015, the Faculty of science organized a major seminar event at the main building of the University by the Senate Square. The event attracted about 500 visitors and the Department of Physics was represented by several speakers.

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Students experimenting with an electron beam.

F2k laboratory

In 2015, 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 the Department. The operation of the F2k-laboratory provides bridge between the school physics and contemporary physics. Visitors of the F2k-laboratory were able to make experiments that cannot be accomplished in most 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. F2k-laboratory linked these experiments to the present-day research and applications. The aim is also to arouse the visitors’ interest in university physics.

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Visiting day of a science camp. Kids showing what they have learned to their parents and guardians.

During the year, the F2k-laboratory attracted altogether more than 500 visitors. The visitor groups were mainly pupils from various levels, but in addition groups of teachers and other visitors were hosted. We prepared the material also in Swedish language and among the visiting groups some 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 50. In addition to these working sessions, demonstrations and presentations were shown to dozens of school groups.

Many other visitors, including co-operation partners and international guests of the Department, were introduced to the F2k-laboratory.

Other services for science teachers

In 2015 the Department arranged, together with the Departments of Chemistry and Mathematics, a multidisciplinary course for in-service science and mathematics teachers. This time the topic of the course was ”Contemporary research in the Kumpula Campus”. The course, attended by 35 teachers, ran for five days over the latter part of the year,  and included a variety of lectures given by the staff of the involved Departments as well as the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Teachers were also involved in experimental work.

F2k arranged workshops in several teacher-training events outside the Department too, 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 website with electronic resources for physics teaching. The website 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

In 2015, the F2k  held events  for 13-19-year old pupils with the purpose to offer a view on contemporary physics through popular lectures, and an opportunity to converse with physicists and see their laboratories. These events, called “Dyna-miitti”, were organized together with LUMA centres of other departments.

Additionally, some 40 guided tours to the research laboratories of the Department were arranged for school groups, mainly from upper secondary schools. In addition, the department organized 40 workshops in schools. The Department also provides an opportunity for gifted pupils to study some basic university courses in physics already during upper secondary school.

In October 2015, the Faculty of Science took part in organizing “KoeKampus” event offering upper secondary school students a possibility to learn about studying and working in the Department of Physics. We arranged laboratory tours for visitors and offered possibilities to ask and discuss about studying physics. 130 students signed up for the event.

The department was active in organizing the Thinkfest event which was organized at the downtown campus of the University. We were also active in participating at other events: “Tutki, kokeile, kehitä” competition 27.3, LUMA-days in Joensuu 1.-3.6, Pre-workshop of the ESERA-conference 31.8 and The pupils program at “Tekniikan päivät” 6.11.