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Education and outreach

Mailing undergraduate lab experiments to students stuck at home, how to run a physics conference on Zoom

25 Jun 2020 Hamish Johnston

This episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast features three physicists at McMaster University in Canada. They responded to COVID-19 restrictions on in-person learning by mailing out simple equipment so their students could do undergraduate lab experiments at home. Instead of just getting by with the new arrangements, Sara Cormier, Adam Fortais and Kari Dalnoki-Veress were delighted to find that their students learned new skills working at home and often did experiments with family members – giving physics a wider audience in the community.

Dalnoki-Veress also explains how he and his co-organizers of the Soft Matter Canada Symposium scrambled to put the event online after it was cancelled earlier this month. Again, much to the organizers’ delight, the Zoom-based event grew from a symposium into the much larger Soft Matter Canada Conference as more and more people signed up to participate. Indeed, the organizers now hope to hold the online event several times a year.

You can contact Dalnoki-Veress at to find out about the next Soft Matter event.

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