Event Information

29 June 2022
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Event Categories:

This conference is now fully booked.

Venue: University of Birmingham, School of Physics
This event, from the School of Physics (University of Birmingham) and the Institute of Physics, provides an opportunity for those involved in all aspects of physics education to come together, share best practice and be part of our community.

We are delighted that Professor Louise Archer, UCL will be starting the day with a keynote session ‘Supporting equity and inclusion in physics’. The day will then split into three strands, and we will invite you to opt for one of these.

Details of the day

Strand 1: The cutting edge of physics
Who is it for?
• Teachers of physics

What will the day cover?
Colleagues from the School of Physics at the University of Birmingham will present their latest work in particle, nuclear and space, and give teachers a flavour of the exciting work in these fields, adding breadth and depth to teachers’ knowledge and help bring additional colour to their teaching. Teachers of physics will also have the opportunity to network and meet colleagues from the IOP.

Dr Leah-Nani Alconcel – Lecturer in the School of Metallurgy and Materials
“But Miss, isn’t it a vacuum? Why we make measurements in space”

Professor Tzany Kokalova Wheldon – Positron Imaging Centre Director
To the nucleus and beyond… From rugby balls to the understanding of element formation in the Universe.

Professor Cristina Lazzeroni – Professor in Particle Physics
Current research topics in Particle Physics

Strand 2: Skills, careers and Levelling Up – Physics in context

Who is it for?
• Heads of science/physics in schools/MATs/colleges
• careers education leads
• school and college senior leaders
• professional development leads and managers in physics-rich businesses
• local/regional/national policy makers

What will the day cover?

What does IOP data tell us about careers and opportunities in physics? How can this be used to support careers education and promote the study of physics-rich subjects post-16? How can physics and careers education ensure that it is fully inclusive and that it presents physics as a career pathway for all students irrespective of background? How can schools and colleges adapt to promote equity? This day will deal with a range of themes that will promote physics and inclusion for all students.

Speakers and sessions

Why does physics matter? What it is, what it’s for, who it’s for, and what you can do with it. – Dr Mark Whalley, Manager – Learning, IOP

This session covers:
• The opportunities for personal fulfilment and rewarding careers physics offers to individuals
• Physics as a fundamental subject which supports the economy and underpins industries across the West Midlands
• The urgent need to address the under-representation of certain groups in physics and how educators can take action.

Making Choices – A Teach Meet format introduced by Charles Tracy, Senior Advisor in IOP’s Learning and Skills team.
How can we ensure these pathways and options are available to all? Introduces some great current work and approaches to support young people to consider a variety of pathways and equip them with taking decisions.

Presentations from:
Natasha Watkinson, Gatsby, Project Manager in Technical Education
Steve Essex, Assistant Headteacher and Head of Science Faculty, Ernesford Grange Community Academy
Dr Chris North, Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions, Head of Public Engagement, School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University
Katherine Platt, Influencing and Engagement Team Leader, IOP

Whole School Equality Approaches – Panel showcasing and discussing work in education which takes a holistic approach to challenging barriers to inclusion, chaired by Charles Tracy, IOP.

Sarah Cosgriff, Inclusion Consultant, ASE
Martin Sullivan, Principal of Solihull Sixth Form College
Chrissie Sargent, Associate Assistant Headteacher for Equality and Diversity, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Noel-Baker Academy, Derby
Ruth Brown, Lead Practitioner in Science, Noel-Baker Academy, Derby

Strand 3: Physics Education Research (PER)
Who is it for?
Anyone involved or interested in physics education research and physics teacher education teachers/lecturers in schools and colleges
– those taking masters and doctoral degrees involving physics education
– post-doctoral researchers
– university lecturers
– initial teacher trainers

What will the day cover?
We are delighted to welcome a wide range of speakers from across Physics Education Research and we’ll be looking at some different ways to engage with academic research.

We start with a talk from James de Winter (University of Cambridge) ‘Knowledge Transformation – From PER to the Classroom’

Carole Kenrick (IOP) then provides a taster of PER Club for teachers that she has trialled this academic year.

A quick-fire research-meet then follows with:
Jackie Flaherty (The Ogden Trust) In what ways can a subject-specific professional development programme support beginning science teachers in their teaching of physics?

Dr Jessica Hamer (IOP) Supporting young people with their physics learning and subject choices; the role of the family

Dr Wonyong Park (University of Southampton) Enriching physics learning with the history and nature of science

Finally, Dr Judith Hillier (University of Oxford) gives a talk on ‘What does physics education research tell us about ensuring physics is for everyone?’

Note: If you have attended IOP CPD events in the past you will notice that this event is different. Unlike our regional events which have focused on the student-facing side of physics education where we have shown you ways to teach certain topics, this event aims to do something different. This event is a conference, whereas our regional events are workshops.

Presenter Bios and details of talks

Timings: The day will run from 10am to 4.30pm, with registration and refreshments from 9.30am.

What will it cost to attend the event? The event is free of charge. The School of Physics (UoB) and the IOP are fully funding this event.

To register, please select the ‘General Admission’ ticket below and then press register button.

This conference is now fully booked.

  • Contact Details: mark.whalley@iop.org


  • Poynting Building, School of Physics, University of Birmingham
  • Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT
  • United Kingdom

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