Home » Physics » Cosford – a grand day out

Cosford – a grand day out

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Last year Tom Dawson and the other PNCs and TLCs from the West Midlands organised a day of CPD for physics teachers at Cosford RAF Museum. It’s a cracking venue, with planes hanging from the roof, tanks, cafes, a shop, missiles, and a space race display. The rather great thing about it is that it’s free. Not only is entrance free but teachers can use two classrooms and a lecture theatre for free too. Bargain!

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Tom Dawson turns his back on conventional journalism

After tea and biscuits we had an introduction from Tom and then split up into groups for workshops. As people had arrived a buzz had developed, which continued in the classrooms. Meanwhile in the lecture theatre Tom was running a “What Happens Next?” session. From previous experience I know that people aren’t always as quick to show their physics expertise as we might like in such situations. After a bit of prodding Tom got them talking as he blew up balloons and dropped slinkies.

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The workshops ranged from KS3 basics up to more advanced A level material. Dan Cottle  had a load of electromagnet experiments which included lots of old favourites. I wish I had that old film loop of aluminium melting by induction….

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After lunch we had a lecture about the Bloodhound SSC. It was rather dubious in places but still very interesting. No doubt the car will break the 1000 mph barrier. Not being into cars it doesn’t really do that much for me. Mind you, I came up with the “dragster” launcher and that doesn’t do much for me either but the kids love it. I didn’t really come up with the cars though, that was largely the other coordinators as I remember it.

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We had a final workshop session before everyone left. The feedback forms were excellent, we sat and went through them all afterwards and Tom has scanned them in and distributed them as well. We really do look at the feedback to see what we need to improve on. I say “we”, obviously I won’t actually be doing any of the work. It was a great day and I really enjoyed it – roll on next year!

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