“The Cosmos in my school" is a project that aims to bring secondary school teachers and students closer to frontier physics.
In a society that increasingly questions the role and legitimacy of science, where information seems to be at everyone’s fingertips but where it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish between reliable data and media manipulation, the role and duty of scientists is to open up to the general public and engage in the field.
This project has two main objectives:
To disseminate the physics of the major discoveries of recent years, in particular those awarded the Nobel Prize (Higgs boson, gravitational waves, etc.), to pupils and teachers in Parisian secondary schools.
To use this medium to address certain social challenges and to make an active and positive contribution to them, in particular through three key ideas:
- The scientific method as a tool for interpreting a complex world (infox, pseudoscience etc.).
- Science as a means to create a more democratic and inclusive society.
- Gender equality in science and in society in general.
The project builds on two well-established experiences of the RFPU Fund and PCCP: the “Teaching the Universe" secondary school teacher training days that have been held annually since 2011, with the participation of researchers from the APC laboratory and Prof. George Smoot (Nobel Prize in Physics 2006), which has resulted in the training of several hundred teachers.
Secondly, the European Erasmus+ project “FRONTIERS", which brings together European educational experts and researchers to develop the necessary educational tools and to accompany and support teachers in popularising Nobel Prize-winning physics experiments in schools.
Thanks to the network set up over the years with secondary school teachers, a series of training days will be organised for teachers and pupils in a number of Parisian schools, with priority given to the priority education network (REP). The aim of the project is to reach at least 10 classes. During these days, educational activities will be proposed to discover cutting-edge physics, thanks to the first experience of our researchers and to specific pedagogical tools developed by a team of experts from the European project “FRONTIERS". During these days, educational material (in particular small Michelson interferometers) will be given to schools, thanks to the generous donation of the CFM Research Foundation (http://www.fondation-cfm.fr).