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Wits partner on physics education conference

- Wits University

Wits University is the co-host of the International Conference on Physics Education, which is being held at the Misty Hills Hotel this week.

Wits University is the co-host of the International Conference on Physics Education, which is being held at the Misty Hills Hotel and Conference Centre this week.

The conference, which aims to attract physics educators, postgraduate students, teachers, researchers and policy makers working in physics educational research and physics education, is one of 20 to 30 international conferences hosted by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics each year.

Participants from schools, colleges, universities and governments from all over the world are expected to convene at the Misty Hills conference centre from Monday, where they will share and exchange scientific information, views and experiences on important issues in Physics Education.  

They will also have a chance to experience the tourism opportunities that Johannesburg and surrounding areas have to offer, including a day trip to Wits University on Wednesday (3 October).

The main theme of the conference is: "Physics Education for Development: a focus on context" and the scientific program will comprise of a diverse range of international high-level presentations consisting of plenary talks, parallel oral and poster sessions, teacher workshops/symposia and sessions for Women in Physics.

Wits University Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Postgraduate Affairs, Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, said it is an honour for Wits to welcome physics scholars, educators, students, teachers, researchers, policy makers and delegates from around the world to the 2018 International Conference on Physics Education.

“I am particularly pleased that the theme of the conference Physics Education for Development: A focus on context explores best practices in teaching physics by global standards whilst remaining cognisant of the local environments in which teaching, learning and research takes place,” he said.

Vilakazi said Wits is internationally recognised for research and education in physics. There is a strong South African contingent working at CERN, including theoreticians and experimentalists. There are over 35 students involved at CERN in the search for new bosons and playing an active role in upgrading the ATLAS particle detectors in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), while at the same time, there are also teams based at the University who can actively monitor activities at CERN from Johannesburg in real time, thanks to technology.

“Another great example is the work undertaken in the Structured Light laboratory, where teams are harnessing light for a myriad of applications in what we can call the age of photonics. A good example is how the digital divide can be bridged through photonics.”   

More information can be found on the conference’s website.