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Education and outreach

Meet the new Astronomer Royal for Scotland, using fun and humour to teach physics

03 Jun 2021 Hamish Johnston

The astrophysicist Catherine Heymans has made history by becoming the first female Astronomer Royal for Scotland, an office that was created in 1834. In this episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast, she talks about her new role and how she will use it to show that science is relevant to everyone. One initiative she has planned will ensure that every primary school pupil in Scotland has the opportunity to peer at the sky through a telescope.

Our other guest this week is the physicist and educator Joanne O’Meara, who is at Canada’s University of Guelph. She shares her strategies for engaging students who are intimidated by physics including the use of fun experiments and humour in lectures. O’Meara also explains how she uses the “flipped classroom” strategy to encourage her students to become more engaged during lectures.

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