Physics set to roll in Wales

23 April 2013

Three thousand students are set to benefit when a unique science project rolls into the country. The Welsh Government-funded visit by the ‘Lab in a Lorry’ will begin in Swansea, on Tuesday 23 to Thursday 25 April 2013, before it embarks on a three month tour of Welsh schools.

Students learning physics in Lab in a Lorry

The mobile physics lab for young people, run by the Institute of Physics (IOP), is designed to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, offering 11-14 year olds the opportunity to explore science through specially created interactive experiments.

The experiments on board the lorry involve using the properties of light to diagnose sick patients, using sound waves to smash wine glasses, and scattering light to understand why the sky is blue. The key concepts behind the experiments will be illustrated with examples from everyday life and cutting-edge research.

The Lorry’s visit to Wales is sponsored by the inaugural competitive National Science Academy Grant Scheme from the Welsh Government.

James Bamford, Lab in a Lorry coordinator in Wales, said, “The tour is set to be a huge success. Lab in a Lorry is a fantastic experience for young people. It generates excitement and curiosity in science by letting them explores experimental science for themselves with the help of expert mentors.”

Staffed by volunteers – all practising scientists and engineers and often provided by STEMNET ­– the 44 ft lorry is one of two labs that have been visiting schools free-of-charge across the UK and Ireland since early 2005.

Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, said: “The Welsh Government is pleased to support this very innovative project that is designed to make science exciting and fun, as well as highly relevant. Hundreds of pupils in Wales will benefit by taking part in the experiments on the Lorry and we hope it will encourage many students to pursue STEM subjects in the future.”

Professor Sir Peter Knight, President of IOP, said, “School students across Wales are in for a real treat.  The experience has been designed to give students a real taste of just how exciting experimental science can be.”

Schools can request a visit from Lab in a Lorry through the website which also contains information on how to become a volunteer.

Lab in a Lorry is actively recruiting additional partners to ensure the programme expands and continues to be a free experience for all. For more information on partnerships, please visit the Lab in a Lorry website.

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