IOP course in Ghana promotes “Teaching Practical Physics Anywhere”

19 January 2012

Thirty eight teachers from Ada area attended a three day course at the IOP UK Ada Centre in November 2011 as part of the 50th anniversary of the founding of Ada Secondary High School.

The course was based on the IOP sponsored textbook “Teaching Practical Physics Anywhere” written by Joe Brock, the IOP International Coordinator for Tanzania.

The response both in terms of numbers and the wide range of teachers from primary to teaching training was most encouraging.  

It is clear from this response that teachers are enthusiastic about improving their practical teaching skills using equipment that is readily available.  

The course was practically based using locally sourced materials or simple equipment that was brought from the UK.  

The stretching of materials using discarded bike inner tubes and wood of different thicknesses prepared by the local carpenter was particularly popular, as was the firing of a water rocket and paper blow rockets.  

The message we wished to impart was that physics should be investigative, practically based and fun.  However, this does not mean that the theory should be left out - far from it. 

Most of the teachers attending were not from a physics background, but by the end of the course they were able to plot graphs to determine Young’s Modulus and use the equations of motion to determine how high the water rocket reached (more than 30 m).  

The feedback from the course was excellent with all the teachers either rating the course excellent or very good.

At the 50th anniversary celebrations the IOP was praised by the Head of the School in the presence of the Vice President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama for the good work that they were doing to help the young people of Ghana.

The IOP acknowledges the huge support from Professor Allotey, President of the African Physical Society; the Local MP and until recently Minister of Education, Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo; Mr Tugah, Head of Ada SHS and Mr David Sottie, the Divisional Education Officer.