Science brought to life for South West students

Photo of Sarah White playing Lise Meitner, in front of the formula she wrote to explain nuclear fission.  Photo taken by Eve Williams©, a year 12 photography student at Clyst Vale Community College (one of the schools the tour will visit)

INSPIRING young minds to embrace science is the ambitious aim of a dynamic local company touring Devon and Somerset schools this spring.

Devon-based Links to a Life uses theatre and storytelling to bring physics and maths to life for hundreds of secondary school children in this creative learning programme.

It focuses the school day for 13-18 year olds on the life of scientist and pioneer Lise Meitner, who explained atomic fission – the splitting the atom - in the early 1900s. Thirty pupils from each school will benefit from this unique experience.

Not only did the remarkable Meitner conduct ground-breaking scientific work, she had to compete in a male-dominated world, but, being Jewish, also had to flee Nazi Germany for her life.

The 2019 tour visits:

St Luke’s, Exeter University – Feb 26

Great Torrington School – Feb 28

Kingsmead School, Somerset – March 1

Uffculme School – March 4

Park Community School, Barnstaple – March 5

Broadoak Maths and Computing College, Somerset – March 8

Braunton School – March 11

Huish Episcopi Academy – March 12

Clyst Vale Community College – March 13

Colyton Grammar School – March 15

Science teacher Luke Graham, who also lectures at the University of Exeter, leads the teaching, aided by playwright Vince Miles directing actors Sarah White who plays Lise Meitner and Tony Lidington and Dan Ball playing noted scientists Max Planck, Ludvig Boltzman, Otto Hahn and Otto Robert Frisch

Tour producers are Links to a Life directors Rae Hoole and John Teasdale. Hoole said: ‘Our Meitner Day tour aims to inspire more girls, and boys, to take up physics at A Level through an interactive and innovative look at Lise Meitner’s life.

‘She was a remarkable person, who overcame many obstacles, and students have really embraced her story and we hope been inspired to consider the sciences at university and in their careers.’

Support and funding for the tour has come from a range of local and national bodies including Babcock Devon Education Fund, University of Exeter, the Ogden Trust, Institute of Physics, Farringdon House School Trust, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Arts Council England and the South West Nuclear Hub at the University of Bristol.

The tour is phase three of this ambitious project and follows the success of previous school shows in 2016 and last year. 

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