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Last Updated on Sunday, 02 May 2010 11:55
Published on Sunday, 27 February 2005 00:00

In the week after Easter, from April 2 - 6 2002, thirty three UK delegates will be taking part in a European physics festival at the European Space Research & Technology Centre (ESTEC) at Noordwijk in Holland.
This week long festival, called 'Physics on Stage 2' will be attended by 400 delegates from 22 European countries. About half of the delegates will be teachers. The rest will be involved in physics education in other ways such as curriculum development, teacher training and support, through science centres or in publishing. From the UK, major national organisations such as the Institute of Physics (IoP), the British Association (BA), the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the Association for Science Education (ASE) and the Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) are also represented. One of the seven 'Performances' at the Festival will be given by UK scientist Dr Michael Perryman entitled 'Visualising our Galaxy in Three Dimensions'. In this interpretation of the results from the ESA satellite Hipparcos, our neighbours in the Milky Way galaxy are brought to life in >3-D, as stars of different masses, colours and ages swirling through space, many accompanied by smaller companions or as part of a larger cluster or moving group.In addition to the Performances, there are 15 shorter Presentations at which some exciting and novel teaching ideas will be presented. In this part of the programme the UK is represented by Brenda Keogh and Stuart Naylor from Cheshire talking on their project 'Concept Cartoons'. Simple illustrations of groups of young people each giving a different explanation for a scientific idea encourages pupils to think and discuss these ideas for themselves. One cartoon, for example, shows young people round a snowman discussing whether putting a coat on him will stop him melting. This is an idea which will easily translate into different languages.

At the Fair a variety of teaching resources and other ideas which have proved successful in keeping young people's interest in physics alive will be shown. The UK has six stands and will demonstrate ideas relevant to teaching at all stages from primary age children to 6th formers, including the use of story telling and drama and promoting the new physics A-level courses produced by the Institute of Physics and the University of York Science Education Group.

Physics on Stage was set up by three of Europe's leading research organisations (CERN, ESA and ESO) in 2000 to give teachers from 22 countries the opportunity to share their best ideas for promoting physics in schools and to join in discussions of common problems. The first festival took place at CERN, the European Centre for Particle Physics in Geneva, Switzerland in November 2000. Physics on Stage 2 is being held at ESTEC, one of the five operational centres of the European Space Agency ESA.

More information on the Physics on Stage Festival can be found on the website

Dr Margaret Penston
on behalf of the UK National Steering Committee.


UK co-ordinator

Dr Margaret Penston, Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA
Before the Festival:
Tel: 01223 766655 (or 01223 262465 after hours
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

At the Festival:
Tel (mobile): 07850 295497

Ian Cuthbert, Institute of Physics
At the Festival:
Tel (mobile): 0780 3012870

During the Festival:
Peter Cooper, Director Science, Institute of Physics, 76 Portland Place,
London W1B 1NT
Tel: 020 7470 4800
Fax: 020 7470 4848
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information on Physics on Stage 2 contact the Executive
Coordinator: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. tel. +31-71-565-5518

Notes for Editors:
1. See also ESA Press Release No 18-2002 'Physics on Stage 2 festival'

On Friday 5 April media representatives are invited to visit the
festival, join the press conference and tour the ESA/ESTEC facilities

Contact Heidi Graf
ESA/ESTEC Communication Office, +31.71.565.3006
Fax: +31.71.565.5728

2. Various distinguished visitors will be at the festival during the week, including Gerard t'Hooft, winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize for Physics, His Excellency Dr Louis Hermans, Minister for Research, Culture and Science in the Netherlands, and directors from Europe's leading research organisations and the European Commission.

3. The Festival which will be opened by Dr Hermans (see above) consists of a varied programme of Performances and Presentations,

a Fair and Workshops as well as social and cultural events. VIPs from each country will attend on Friday 5 April during which there will also be a Press Conference.

4. VIPs.

At this time the complete list of VIPs is not known, but will include Mr David Heath, CBE MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Science, Dr Ruth Fenn, Vice President, Institute of Physics

5. In addition to the Performances, Presentations and the Fair, there will also be 11 parallel workshops giving an excellent opportunity for delegates to mix with their counterparts from across Europe and to discuss topics of common interest. Subjects for discussion range from how to use the internet in the classroom to a discussion to the ways in which young people learn.

Each workshop will come up with a resolution to ensure that the work continues.

6. The 33 delegates and 4 non-delegates from the UK are as follows:


Alan Pickwick Manchester Grammar School

Alistair Crawford Deputy Head, Morfa CP School, Llanelli

Bernard Taylor St John's Schools, Marloborough

Bob Kibble Faculty of Education, U Edinburgh

Brenda Keogh The ConCISE Project, Sandbach, Cheshire

Catherine Donnelly Ballymena Academy, N Ireland

Chris Greenfield Stanwell School, Penarth, S Wales

Elizabeth Swinbank Science Curriculum Centre, U York

Frances Green Watford Girls Grammar School

Francisca Wheeler Ampleforth College, York

Francisco Dacosta All Saints RC School, Dagenham

Gail Lynch North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, Nuneaton

Gerard Hallows Head of Physics, Langley Grammar School, Slough

Ian Cuthbert Education Department, Institute of Physics

Ian Lawrence School of Education, U Birmingham

Ian Yems Greenhead 6th Form College, Huddersfield

Jess Cooke Lenzie Academy, Nr Glasgow

Ken Zetie Head of Physics, St Paul's School, London

Kerry Parker Editor, Physics Education, Institute of Physics

Lindsey Robertson The British Association, London

Lynsey Clarke (Secondary) School, Llangollen, N Wales

Margaret Penston Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge

Mary Whitehouse Advancing Physics, Institute of Physics, London

Nick Fisher Rugby School, Rugby

Phil Smith Freelnce performnce makr & Vistng Lect Dartington College of Arts

Sally Divall Head of Physics, Stonar School, Melksham, Wilts

Sally Muldoon Nightingale Primary School, Ilford

Stephen Dickens Asst Head of Science, Dixon's City Technology College, Bradford

Stuart Farmer Head of Physics, Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen

Stuart Naylor The ConCISE Project, Sandbach, Cheshire

Susan McGrath Whowhatwherewhenwhy (W5) Science Centre, Belfast, N Ireland

Ninay Thawait Ashlawn School, Rugby

Wilson Agnew Senior Technician (Physics), Portadown College, Portadown, N Ireland


Andrew Morrison Schools Liaison Officer, PPARC & High Pavement School, Nottingham

Irvine Richardson Dept of Education, Northern Ireland

Robin Clegg Head of Public Understanding, PPARC, Swindon

Mark Lynch (Secondary) School, Nuneaton





27 March 2002