You can not change the laws of physics but you can have fun with them

Year 7 students from Albany Academy been trained to become Physics Buskers after attending a fun workshop delivered by Science Made Simple, funded by the Ogden Trust. This was then followed by Year 8 students taking part in a workshop which is part of a European study in how to make the teaching of science more engaging.

The Physics Busking workshop, which is now in its second year, was designed to develop the students understanding of how to create fun experiments using everyday objects. The students were trained by David Price, the Physics busker from the local company Science Made simple, and they will now be able to deliver presentations to people of all ages and in particular primary school students. The aim of this is for the students to inspire and enthuse the next generation of physicists.

This is the second year that Albany students have been trained with the Year 8 students receiving the training last academic year. The year 8 students have been inspirational to the new starters with the new found knowledge of how to make science fun and engaging.

Students enjoyed using everyday objects such as balloons, rubber gloves, basketballs, plastic cups and rubber bands to make weird and wonderful experiments that show how physics works in the modern world.

Year 7 student, Ellis Beesley, said, “I have really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to use the skills I have learnt. My favourite activity was the organ, where we used a rubber glove and tube to make a musical instrument. It worked by trapping air in the glove and then blowing to make vibrations which then sounded like an instrument.”

Fellow Physics busker, Tess Thatcher, said, “It has been really fun but it has taught us a lot at the same time. I am looking forward to teaching others about the wonders of science.”

In the afternoon, David Price led a demonstration event for Year 8 students to showcase how science can be made fun. This showcase was part of a £1 million-pound European research programme. The programme surveys students before and after the ‘physics busking’ demonstration to see if their feelings towards how science can be taught can change. In the UK this research is based around physics busking, whereas in France the theme is ‘Science with clowns’ and in Spain it is teaching ‘Science through stand-up comedy.’

Year 8 Student, Kian Rich, said “I really enjoyed the workshop. It was a fun way to learn and different from our normal lessons. Fellow Year 8 student Charlotte Davenport was also really impressed with physics busking, saying “I really enjoyed it, we could get really involved and try the experiments. I especially liked the Wallis grid experiment that I did.” The Wallis grid experiment saw four students have to create a shape that would mean they could all lean back and support each other without falling over. It is based on a mathematical model that means a structure can support itself without the need of beams or columns.

David Price, the Physics Busker, said, “The aim of the study is to use ideas based on street performers to make science fun. I have travelled the world teaching science and found Albany students to be amongst some of the most enthusiastic and engaging students I have taught. I was particularly pleased to see the joy and enthusiasm that the students brought to the workshop.”

Miss Fox, Head of Science at Albany Academy, said “As usual, David delivered a high quality workshop that has really inspired the year 7s and year 8s who took part. They have not stopped talking about the different activities and they are looking forward to showing their skills to the rest of the school and wider community. It’s great to see such fantastic engagement in a subject that is commonly thought of as difficult and this is one way that we can start changing the perception of Science, in particular Physics.”