Recently two of our Physics with Philosophy BSc students Jodie and Olivia have completed a teacher trainings internship in a Lincolnshire school, where she delivered a lesson based around an experiment from her third year undergraduate dissertation project. Read more about their experience (written by Jodie) below.
When the Lincolnshire SCITT (School centred initial teacher training) came to talk about their internship, I didn’t expect to be able to use my final year physics project during the internship to take a lesson in a school.
The internship allows undergraduate students to see what teaching would be like in their chosen subject, in my case Physics. Consisting of three weeks in a school, the internship provided opportunities to observe lessons, act as an informal teaching assistant and the chance to take a lesson. I was placed with fellow student Olivia at William Farr C of E school in Welton. The staff in the science department were eager to provide as many experiences and insights into the teaching life as possible, which without their open support and encouragement, we would never have had such an immersive and rewarding experience.
Returning to the subject of university however, my final year project was called “Visualising Acoustic resonance with lasers”. The brief was to design an outreach activity for A-Level students to teach them about the physics concepts involved in a particular experiment, linking elements of the A-Level curriculum to the activity in order for students to apply the knowledge attained in the classroom to a fun alternative experiment. The experiment in question consisted of a small mirror adhered to an elastic membrane to which reflected a laser onto a nearby wall. A speaker was placed under the elastic membrane so that when frequencies were played the membrane would vibrate and cause the laser to create visual patterns on the wall.
With the opportunity to take a lesson during the internship, it was the perfect moment to put the project to the test.
Ultimately the project wasn’t used with A-Level students and instead with a lively Year 7 class. They provided Olivia with the opportunity to introduce the basic concepts and terminology of waves before handing over to me to take them through the outreach activity I had amended in line with a KS3 Science textbook borrowed from one of the Physics teachers.
The students were very enthusiastic and had lots of questions to ask. At the end of the lesson, the students filled out feedback sheets which asked them if they enjoyed the activity, what they had learnt and what they would improve. I’m pleased to say that all students selected yes for the first question (thankfully) and they were all able to state something they had learnt, so we must have done something right! As for their suggestions for improvements they were all very kind and creative in their ideas and provided lots of food for thought going forward.