Magiphy (Magic Physics) engages secondary-school students doing physics in an extracurricular
environment. Students develop a project during 6 months with help of their
teachers and researchers from the university. The aim of this school-university cooperation
is to motivate students doing physics by playing the role of a scientist. A
regional country-wide (north area of France) tournament is then organised at the end
of the school year where students communicate about their scientific experiments and
results to a jury composed of scientists. Magiphy differs from similar tournament by the
presence of representatives of student teams in the jury. Moreover, winners of the tournament
(named ambassadors) present their project to some schools and science events.
The first Magiphy tournament with 5 participating teams took place at the university
Lille 1 in 2002. Because of very positive feedback, Magiphy was held annually until
2013 and was extended to Belgium via a European project (Science and Society Programme).
Magiphy was also implement in Romania (University of Iasi). Observers
from Italy, Portugal, Bulgaria and Romania assessed Magiphy. They notice the enthusiasm
with which the students present their work and the interest they demonstrate. This
concept allows students to develop a real scientific method, recurring to experiments,
observing critically the data obtained and interlinking different issues, develop on the
students a real methodology which will be certainly useful for their lives, since they
learn to be logic, rigorous and critic.
Recently, the concept was extended to other science domains and the tournament has
been integrated in the French science competition“Faites de la Science” supported by
the national committee of heads of science departments in French universities. The winners
of the regional tournament then participate to this national competition. In 2014,
more than 15 teams (of 6 pupils in average) applied to the regional contest.