Physics laboratory works for upper secondary school students in the University of Turku

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M. Montonen, J. Tuura
University of Turku, Finland
Forum 2014 Helsinki
WG1 : Inspiring the young

The Department of Physics and Astronomy in the University of Turku provides labora- tory works for upper secondary school students. This kind of collaboration brings real benefits for the students, schools and for the department.

Each year, approximately 60 individual students from nearby upper secondary schools use these practical works as a part of their schools optional laboratory work courses in physics. Students gain some experience in laboratory works and also gain knowledge for the matriculation examination. Furthermore the laboratory works done by the upper secondary school students are essentially the same laboratory works as the ones physics undergraduate students do as a part of their first year practical laboratory work courses. This has real advantages for the students: If they start studying physics in the University of Turku, they can transfer credits from completed laboratory works into the bachelor’s degree laboratory work course.

The arrangement brings several benefits: for the upper secondary schools, it is a rather inexpensive way to organize laboratory work courses. The schools do not need to invest in their own laboratory facilities, and the Department of Physics and Astronomy even provides this service free of charge for upper secondary schools. From the upper sec- ondary school teachers point of view, this also removes the burden of having to come up with laboratory works for students. Moreover, the estimated annual costs for the department consist of a six days’ worth of salary for one member of staff. This can be seen as an economical way of promoting the department and physics in general.