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School for Young Physicists

Latvia1This season marked the seventh anniversary of the main project of our YM section – the School for Young Physicists (SYP). Each month, around 200-250 students from schools all over Latvia gather in the University of Latvia for an entertaining Saturday and to learn some extracurricular physics.

Sessions are held each month, each with a different theme. Every session starts with two popular lectures, 40 minutes in duration, held by physics students of various levels in University of Latvia. In these lectures, topics that generally are not discussed in school are presented in an entertaining manner. Thereafter, participants take a 30-minute break and are treated to a lunch with sandwiches and tea. Then follows the practical part, in which students themselves put the things they’ve just learned to the test. Afterwards another break is held in which students are again treated with food, this time with sweets such as chocolate and cookies and tea. Lastly, a professor or a specialist in the topic is invited for a more in-depth lecture.

A competition called the “School cup” is also held during the season, in which teams of 5 students representing their school do creative tasks assigned to them to come out victorious. Eternal glory and different prizes await for the winners of this competition. This season, 15 different teams are rivaling for the School cup.

On September 24, the seventh season was kicked off with a session titled “Mythologics” in which we discussed how using relatively simple knowledge of physics one can evaluate the plausibility of different claims.

On October 15, the second session of SYP took place. This time, the physics of sound was the topic, and the session was titled “With a physical undertone”.

On the November 12, students gathered to participate in the third session of SYP7 which was titled “Transmitted!” and was about radio-electronics.

On December 10, the last session of the autumn semester was held. Titled “Calculate like a star”, the topic for this session was astronomy.

Physics for High School Students

AustriaAs a first effort in its existence, the Austrian section of EPS Young Minds (ÖPG Young Minds) has organized a special “Young Minds session” within the setting of the 66th Annual Meeting of the Austrian Physical Society. The aim was to let graduate students present their areas of research in front of an audience of high school students. The subjects included many-body electron systems, black hole physics and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and were presented in an accessible manner. The result was a lively discussion between students and presenters, and many interesting questions were asked. With roughly 250 attendants composed mostly of high school students, teachers and other interested participants, the event was a great success. We definitely plan to repeat it in the coming year, possibly also outside of the annual meeting.

For the purpose of advertising both the event and our ÖPG Young Minds section, we have created a flyer that we distributed in the community of Austrian physicists and sent out to high schools. For this, we made use of the financial support of EPS Young Minds. The flyer (in German) can be downloaded at http://oepg-students.at/uploads/beca8120f1622ea22a292a76dcd3ed07.pdf.

We have also contributed to organizing a session at the same meeting on possible career paths for physicists, aimed both at high school and university students. The subjects ranged from biophysics to software engineering with a focus on physics and again, high school students asked a lot of questions and were actively engaged in discussions.

Our activities have shown that it is easy to build a bridge between graduate students and high school students and to expose the latter to the forefront of research in modern physics. In the future, we want to continue in this spirit.

YM on the ICFONIANS, fall 2015

ICFONIANS_25_fall15_webDuring the 5th YM Leadership Meeting the EPS president, Dr. Christophe Rossel was interviewed by the “ICFONIANS”, the community news from ICFO –  The Institute of Photonic Sciences.

I am very happy about our EPS Young Minds which aims to increase the visibility of EPS among university physics students and also help young scientists to engage in outreach activity in their community.

What role do Young Minds (YM) play at EPS?

They are the future of our society; many of today’s stu- dents will be the professors of tomorrow and hopefully members of EPS! The networking that we can offer them is very important via workshops or conferences where they can meet senior scientists, and also learn to share their ideas and communicate. The YMs Program is a great opportunity for developing teamwork, crea- tivity and technical skills, communication, and research management. Today there are 34 sections in 19 coun- tries with over 500 members. The role of the EPS YMs is clearly outreach. Young people find it easier to lis- ten to other young people with similar concerns and to share their knowledge with family, friends and kids at school. YM helps to advise and search for young talents.

Read the complete interview here!

Moscow YM BAA 2013

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