The past few months saw PI Outreach firing on all cylinders across a range of student, teacher and general public initiatives.
Students & Teachers
In September, PI Outreach launched a new in-class module, Everyday Einstein: GPS & Relativity, which helps teachers convey abstract concepts about relativity through a technology familiar to students, the Global Positioning System. Over 500 of the kits, which include an animated DVD presentation, teacher guide and student worksheets, have already been ordered, and 1500 orders are expected by the end of the school year. Ultimately, the full suite of PI’s ‘Inspirations’ and ‘Explorations’ in-class modules will reach 100,000 students year over year across Canada. The series is created by PI Outreach staff, vetted by Perimeter’s own researchers and teacher-tested by educators across Canada. You can learn more about the free in-class resources on the Outreach Teachers page.
In October, PI’s Teacher Network members presented a workshop in Sudbury for French language teachers and, in November, PI’s Outreach team introduced over 500 educators to PI’s programs and resources at the annual conference of the Science Teachers Association of Ontario (STAO). The STAO conference provided teachers with tools and techniques involving PI's in-class resources, including The Challenge of Quantum Reality, The Mystery of Dark Matter,The Physics of Innovation, Everyday Einstein, and the Alice and Bob animated series. The team also shared information on how teachers can get involved in professional development opportunities such as the EinsteinPlus Teachers Workshop and the PI Teacher Network.
In October, PI’s 2010 Public Lecture Series began with sold-out talks by William Newman of Indiana University on Isaac Newton, Seth Lloyd of MIT on ‘Quantum Life’, and Harvard’s Eric Mazur on ‘Stopping Time’. Most talks are viewable on demand over PI’s website and many of the presentations are also available via satellite across Canada on TVO. For example, Dr. Mazur’s talk on ‘Stopping Time’ will air on TVO’s Big Ideas series on March 26 and 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm EDT. You can view TVO on Shaw Direct channel 353 and Bell TV channel 265. TVO also airs on Channel 2 in most parts of Ontario. Another television production, the award-winning Quantum Tamers, is now on the air in 60 countries and the DVD can be ordered online.
The New Year
In looking ahead, Janurary's PI Public Lecture will feature Sara Seager of MIT on the NASA Kepler Mission’s search for exoplanets and habitable worlds. In the meantime, PI’s student and teacher activities across Canada will include stops in Halifax, Fredericton, Moncton, Calgary and Yellowknife. In addition, student applications are now open for the International Summer School of Young Physicists, and educators from across the country can apply for the EinsteinPlus workshop on modern physics. Plans are also underway for the launch of the new Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute next September, with details to be announced in the New Year.