IOP Institute of Physics

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How to run a successful campus event

5. How to arrange an Insight into Teaching Physics event

1.     Why hold an Insight into Teaching Physics event in your institution?
2.     What is an Insight into Teaching Physics event?
3.     Who might benefit from holding an Insight into Teaching Physics event?
4.     When is the best time to hold an Insight into Teaching Physics event?
5.     How to arrange an Insight into Teaching Physics event
6.     Feedback from IOP events 

We suggest you allow about five weeks to plan, organise and run a successful Insight into Teaching Physics event. To get your event off the ground, follow the steps below.

We’ve also prepared a week-by-week planner (PDF, 23 KB) which you may find helpful.

i. Contact your physics and/or engineering department
First of all; contact the physics and/or engineering department, usually via the department coordinator or administrator. Arrange a date and time to meet and think about what support you’ll need for your event. If there is no physics and/or engineering department at your institution, contact the one at your neighbouring university. Even if you do have your own physics department, your neighbouring university may not offer ITE so consider inviting their physics and/or engineering undergraduates too.

ii. Appoint an ‘Ambassador’
For each event we recruit an ‘IOP Ambassador’, a physics/engineering student at the institution who is responsible for promoting the event. The Ambassador has a vital role to play, reaching out to students that we can’t attract and promoting the event in ways that we aren’t able to. The Ambassador positions are advertised by the physics/engineering departments and we then select the most suitable candidates. They receive a payment of £150 for their work in the lead up to the event. As an extra incentive, we give our Ambassadors a bonus of £50 if we reach our attendance target of 30 students.

iii. Promote the event
We’ve designed some posters that you may like to use to promote your event. You can download the posters below, add your event details (i.e. date, time and place) and print them in A3 and A4 sizes. Your ambassador should be able to put them up around the busy areas on campus. You may also wish to do some other promotion yourself, perhaps within your department.

Physics poster
Engineering poster

It’s also worth contacting us to see how else we can help. We can supply you with goodie bags to give out to participants at the end of the event. Ours include a copy of our Love Physics guide to training as a physics teacher, information on our School Experience Programme (PDF, 2 MB), details about IOP Teacher Training Scholarships, a guide to teaching for engineers as well as a pen, ruler and eraser. Alternatively, you can download the resources here to email to your attendees.

Tips for ambassadors on how to promote the event:

  • Organise for the head of department/s to send an email to all relevant students about the event, and also one the day before, to remind them it is on
  • Display posters on notice boards within the physics and/or engineering departments, ensuring the main thoroughfare areas are covered
  • Leave postcards in lecture rooms, coffee shops, libraries and computer rooms and distribute in lectures
  • Set up a Facebook event
  • Organise with lecturers to do a ‘shout out’ before or after a lecture
  • Ask the university’s physics society to promote the event to its members
  • Ask lecturers and tutors to encourage students to attend and remind them
  • Engage the careers department to promote the event through any channel they have available
  • Utilise university and departmental website, intranet, newsletters social media and events calendars


iv. Find a teacher
The best advocate for your ITE courses is someone who trained with you and is now a few years into their teaching career. If you are in touch with someone suitable, invite them along. If not, you could post a message on Talk Physics explaining that you’re looking for a local teacher or use the PTNC mailing list to do the same. You’ll find you have no shortage of volunteers. If your event is targeted towards engineering students, try to get an engineer that has moved into teaching so the students can easily relate to them.

v. Capturing data on attendees
Ask attendees to complete a registration form to allow you to send them the PowerPoint presentation from the day and further information about your course. Names and e-mail addresses should be enough but by all means ask them for other info if you want. It could also be beneficial to send out a brief survey to the attendees to find out what they found most valuable and how you could improve the event for next time.

The IOP provides resources, support and encouragement for candidates thinking of doing teacher training. If you (and the students) are willing to share the data with us, do pass them on.

Good luck. And if there is anything we can help you with, please get in touch at teach@iop.org.

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