The project F3 aims at bringing secondary-school teachers and pupils (with a focus on girls) closer to frontier physics, while strengthening their critical thinking skills to become more engaged and informed citizens.
In a society that increasingly challenges the role and the validity of science, where information seems at everyone’s reach, but where sorting out reliable data from media manipulation becomes more and more difficult, scientists have the opportunity and the responsibility to open up to the public and get involved in society.

The project takes place in 3 phases, spanning the school year 2021 / 2022 :

Phase 1 – Workshops for the entire class

Goal :

We will make use of cutting-edge research in the field of the physics of the Universe (astroparticles, gravitational waves, cosmology) as a tool to stimulate the curiosity and motivation of high-school students.
By allowing them to try first hand the scientific method, thanks to active learning, and by guiding them at a critical analysis of the world around them, the project aims at making pupils active actors in building the knowledge-based society envisioned by the European Commission.

Format :

The PCCP team visits the chosen school for a workshop of about 3 hours. During this phase, the entire class (boys and girls) are involved. The exact format and topic of the workshop are fixed in collaboration with the teacher. Typically, a general introduction is followed by a hands-on experience or an open discussion with the class.
During this stage of the projet, 3 girls for each class will be selected by the teacher to participate to the second phase of the project.
One of the goals of the project being to motivate students with different backgrounds, the choice will not rely on school performances alone.

Phase 2 – research workshops at APC for 3 girls of the class

Goal :

Give a central and active role to girls in scientific research. The project will provide them with role models (mentors) thanks to APC’s female researchers, engineers and technician, and they will personally experience the daily work of science. In this way, we aim at enhancing their interest in scientific careers. At the same time, the experience will hopefully help the participants, as well as their male classmates, dismantling some of the gender stereotypes connected to science

Format :

  • 9h of workshops (3 sessions of 3h each).
  • schedule build in collaboration with schools.
  • creation of inter-scholastic work groups to allow the participants to work and get to know their peers from different environments in the Region.
  • a female mentor for each group.
  • pedagogical activities about the physics of the Universe that will mock up the daily work of the lab’s researchers. The activities will make use of several tools: the pedagogical instruments present in the Outreach Centre (optical telescope, Michelson interferometer, cloud chamber and others); real-data analysis of cutting-edge instruments, like the gravitational-wave detector Virgo; the online pedagogical scenarios developed by the European project FRONTIERS*.
  • a final report for each group that will mock up a real scientific article. The participants will have to introduce the context of their experiment, the tools and the methodology they used, as well as their results and conclusions.
  • Phase 3 – Final conference

    Goal :

    Give the participants the full experience of the work of scientists: after sharing their results in an article, they will be able to present and discuss them with their colleagues. Moreover, the conference will offer them the opportunity to get recognition for their work from their teachers, classmates, and families.

    Format :

  • event organised at the APC laboratory
  • presentation by each group of their final report with the format of a scientific conference: oral presentation of their work and results, discussion with their peers.
  • teachers, classmates and families of the participants will be invited.
  • final round table to draw lessons and conclusions from the entire projet.
  • *FRONTIERS project: http://www.frontiers-project.eu

    The project F3 is financed by the Région Ile-de-France under the programme « La science pour tous ».