IOP Wales launches new activity for schools

18 February 2011

This week all secondary schools in Wales will receive the Ashfield Music Festival resource pack, which gives students the chance to find out more about the practical applications of physics, by trying out life as a sound or lighting engineer at a music festival.

Developed by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Career Development Organisation (CRAC), Ashfield Music Festival is a full-day event in which students set up a company and take on one of six roles - project manager, health and safety advisor, construction manager, electrical engineer, sound engineer or lighting engineer.

Designed to help students develop skills in work-related learning and inspire more of them to study physics post-16, the activity is based on the fictitious scenario that Ashfield council would like to create a new music festival. The students are supported by real-life scientists and work in teams that compete against each other. To be successful (winning the contract to build the festival’s main stage) they must use a combination of physics-based knowledge, creativity and enterprise skills.

Successful completion of the activity can be used to demonstrate working towards or the achievement of certain Essential Skills Wales criteria, and produce evidence that can contribute to the pupils’ key skills portfolios.

The provision of Ashfield Music Festival to all schools in Wales and through the medium of Welsh (apart from the videos) brings to an end the Stimulating Physics initiative which was funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and managed by the Institute of Physics. Activities from the initiative are now being taken forward under the National HE STEM Programme and the Stimulating Physics Network

Alessio Bernardelli, physics teacher at Croesyceiliog School, who piloted Ashfield in Wales, said: "All the teachers who came to supervise were really excited about the event and thought it was a great success. It was lovely to see the children engaged and interacting with each other. This activity certainly has something special and I will definitely recommend it to other teachers".

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