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Inspiring schoolchildren to fall in love with physics

11 July 2023

Physics Mentoring Project

Applications to become a Physics Mentor are open until Sunday 6 August

The Physics Mentoring Project trains undergraduate and postgraduate students in secondary schools across Wales to mentor and inspire Year 9-11 students to take physics post-16. Since 2019, the project has worked with 32% of all secondary schools in Wales, many of them on a repeat basis.

A  collaboration between six Welsh partner universities (Aberystwyth University, Bangor University, Cardiff University, Swansea University, University of South Wales and Wrexham University), the project builds on the successes of the award-winning Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) Mentoring Scheme.

Physics Mentors must be studying at one of the partner universities and don't have to have completed a Physics A-level or be studying a Physics degree. Applications are open to all those who have a post-16 qualification in any physical science.

A 2021-22 Mentor said: "I would absolutely recommend this Project; it's a fantastic opportunity! You learn invaluable skills, get a qualification out of it, the mentoring itself is so rewarding and fun, and you get paid as well. I am genuinely glad I signed up, as it was a brilliant experience".

Mentors all receive a DBS check, as well as high quality training which includes mentoring theory, the Science Capital Teaching Approach, session planning and inclusion. Trained Physics Mentors are then matched to secondary schools across Wales to take a holistic approach to increasing pupils' physics skills and awareness and highlight the benefits of studying physics post-16 through face-to-face, virtual, and blended mentoring.

A  2021-22 school pupil participant said, "My everyday view on things has changed, for example in the back of my mind, I'm wondering, 'what's that got to do with physics?' and 'how was that created?'".

Mentors use the weekly themes to showcase the different aspects of physics outside the curriculum, and are not expected to tutor on GCSE Physics subject knowledge.

Some of the benefits of being a Mentor include:

  • A cash bursary of £200 per mentoring group.
    • All travel and accommodation expenses reimbursed.
  • The opportunity to attend in-depth, enriching training.
  • The opportunity to complete a Level 4 accreditation by Agored Cymru for free, exclusive to Physics Mentors.
  • Accreditations and the development of employability skills to supplement your CV.
  • The personal satisfaction of inspiring a generation of young scientists!

Applications are now open and the deadline is 23:59 Sunday 6 August 2023.

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