Announcement, March 20, 2018
February 10 - 15, 2019
Physikzentrum Bad Honnef, Germany
Application deadline: October 31, 2018 (extended to November 15!)
The Wilhelm and Else Heraeus-Seminar on "General Relativity as a Challenge for Physics Education" is generously funded by the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation.
Aims: The goal of the seminar is to promote the scientific exchange of ideas and research results on the teaching of general relativity. The seminar will be focussed on the secondary school and undergraduate levels.
Target audience: Physics education researchers, physicists, and physics teachers are invited to participate in the seminar. PhD and master students are encouraged to apply.
Background: General relativity is one of the fundamental advancements of physics in the 20th century, well established and tested to high accuracy, basis of modern astrophysics and cosmology. General relativity and its applications are also especially fascinating for many students, both in school and at university. In spite of its fundamental importance general relativity is not part of most curricula in secondary schools and in undergraduate university education.
However, in recent years this has begun to change and general relativity has made its way into the secondary school curricula of a number of countries. Concurrently, physics education research on teaching general relativity has become more active with a wide variety of research activities. There are studies aimed at implementing specific curricula, others originate from the conviction that a contemporary physics education should give all students the opportunity to get acquainted with general relativity. Methodically, current research activities cover a broad range including the design of new teaching materials and of whole teaching units, the development of assessment instruments and the evaluation of new approaches, and empirical research on learning and instruction.
Scope and Key Topics: The teaching of general relativity at the secondary school and undergraduate levels is a challenge for physics education. Novel and abstract concepts must be explained. The mathematical framework of the theory is involved and is not accessible to learners at these levels. New approaches must therefore be developed that make it possible to teach general relativity using no more than elementary mathematics. The seminar will be a forum for the discussion of these questions. Contributions will be grouped in two strands, each strand comprising several invited talks, a discussion slot and a poster session.
The seminar will start on Sunday (February 10th, 2019) with an evening lecture and will end on Friday (February 15th, 2019) at lunchtime.
The programme consists of invited talks (two of them combined with workshops), poster sessions and discussion slots. The talks are scheduled for 50 minutes duration plus 10 minutes discussion. The talks with workshop will be 120 minutes long, including discussion time. The poster sessions will be introduced with short plenary presentations of all posters ("poster flashes"). Poster prizes will be awarded for the three best posters.
|15 November 2018 (extended deadline):||Application and abstract deadline|
|End of November 2018:||Accepted participants will be informed|
Physics education researchers, physicists, and physics teachers are invited to participate in the seminar. PhD and master students are encouraged to apply. Each participant is expected to contribute a poster to the program. A brief preliminary abstract for a possible poster presentation is requested as part of the application.
Please notify us if you would like to use the poster session to display teaching material or to set up a laptop and present digital resources.
There is no registration fee for participating in the seminar. Accommodation and meals will be provided in the Physikzentrum for all participants free of charge, thanks to the funding by the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation. For details visit Physikzentrum Bad Honnef
Please note that the total number of participants is limited. The organizers will select the participants based on the information provided in the application. Activities in teaching general relativity to school or undergraduate students and/or related physics education research are appreciated (but not required).
If you would like to participate, please send the following data via email to
Ms/Mr Academic title Name First Name Email Affiliation Address Subject of your main research interest Preliminary poster title Short preliminary poster abstract
The seminar will be held at the Physikzentrum in Bad Honnef, Germany. The Physikzentrum provides a setting for research conferences, seminars and workshops, also offering accommodation for the participants.
Public transport offers convenient access to the nearby cities of Bonn (15 km) and Cologne (40 km). For further information concerning arrival, location and accommodation, please visit Physikzentrum Bad Honnef
Prof. Dr. Ute Kraus
Institut für Physik
Homepage: Ute Kraus
Dr. Corvin Zahn
Institut für Physik
Homepage: Corvin Zahn
Contact: Would you like to send us a message?