Interactive physics workshop takes place in Addis Ababa

9 December 2013

A 5-day practical physics and electronics training session was delivered to Ethiopian Secondary school grade 9 and 10 teachers and newly appointed Teacher Trainers in Addis Ababa from 28th October to 1st November 2013.

A range of experiments were presented including demonstrations on Hooke’s Law, electronics, Archimedes Principle and the use of a Eureka can, waves using a slinky, basic electricity and the I-R relationship for a filament lamp, electromagnetism and bar magnets. VPLAB and Phet were used as interactive demonstrations to support the practical work.

Teaching techniques included three levels:

  • Role play with no equipment, the participants acted out being an electrical circuit with movements to demonstrate carrying energy and also acting as magnets under differing conditions.
  • Simple equipment – The “Physics Box”, balloon rockets, demonstration of how fuses work using wire wool and a battery and calculating the frequency of a musical note using a toy flute and rule.
  • Standard experiments with equipment to demonstrate subjects such as electromagnetism, the motor effect and Lenz’s law. The course also included electronics starting with a basic introduction with emphasis on how to use a multi-meter leading to building a circuit to demonstrate a transistor as switch using a Light Dependent Resistor and LED.

The teachers were asked to prepare a presentation on one of the topics that they had completed on the course. On the final day, a number of the teachers demonstrated their chosen experiment and during the closing ceremony were presented with their course certificates and a Physics Box of simple equipment to take away to their schools.