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2023 IOP Technician Award: Razika Berboucha

Secondary Schools

Razika Berboucha for connecting students with real-world science and immersing them in the art of being true scientists.

Razika Berboucha

Razika Berboucha was a physics and design technology teacher in Algeria for five years. In 2000–2001, she took the Open University’s physical world module to familiarise herself with physics terminology in English, while at the same time completing a degree in French and education at the University of Roehampton.

Berboucha joined Lampton School Academy as a physics technician and took several courses to update her knowledge at the University of York. Since she started, she has constantly sought to improve her knowledge and the environment in which she works. Over the years, she bought various equipment to make the physics department a very good learning environment. For example, she set up a datalogger on all computers so that when students are conducting experiments, Logbook Graphing software automatically plots a graph of their results.

Berboucha prepares not only fun experiments to use at the end of each term but PowerPoint presentations to go alongside them. She wrote a proposal to the Institute of Research in Schools (IRIS) to obtain a scanning electron microscope for the school and her effort was a success. After this, she prepared a presentation on how the scanning electron microscope works so that students can understand its mechanism and use it in their projects.

She is incredibly passionate about physics and her role, and always goes beyond the call of duty to come up with new ideas, practical tasks and demonstrations that will show physics principles. Berboucha has taken a half-baked idea or blueprint for a demo and developed it into an excellent resource countless times over the years. A few years ago, she spent months working on developing equipment for the A-level EMPA exams, and meticulously tested and labelled dozens of sets so that nothing would go wrong in the exam. Now, we use these sets for students as revision tools and preparation for their required practicals. Berboucha took it upon herself to run our department’s science club, in which she engaged the students with not only fun practicals but the science understanding underpinning them. In 2015, she and her science club were involved in detecting ionising radiation before and during a solar eclipse using Timepix, a detector provided by CERN through IRIS. The datasets they obtained were published in Contemporary Physics