Recent Outreach Activities
TSM outreach opportunities have been aranged by our outreach officer Dr Simon Foster. If you have any questions or would like to get involved please get in touch with Simon.
Royal Society summer science exhibition
In the summer of 2018 TSM were selected to present their research at the prestigious Royal Society Summer Science a week-long festival of science aimed at bringing cutting edge research into the public arena, allowing members of the public and school children to interact with scientists to discuss their research and pose questions to them. We developed a stand titled ‘Code for Creation’ that showcased the research conducted by the group, and highlighted the crucial role that computer modelling (and coding) plays in designing and testing new materials. This was also underpinned by the fact that the TSM group had just purchased a brand new supercomputer dedicated to materials research, named Thomas after Thomas Young the pioneering British scientist.
The key motivation for Code for Creation is that whilst materials underpin the very fabric of our technological society, from mobile phones to power generation, cars to construction, little is known among the public about their crucial role, including how existing materials are optimised for performance, and how new ones are discovered and developed. Whilst Materials is an integral part of the National Curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4 and A-level, teachers can struggle to teach it as they often lack a background in the subject, and pupils do not recognise its connection to physics, chemistry or biology, and the relevance of materials to modern technology and future societal challenges such as energy and the environment.
Guided by these principles, the team developed four hands-on computer-based demonstrations that were programmed from scratch and primarily designed to engage school pupils through computer-game-style interfaces that would be familiar to them. Furthermore, the team designed a lightweight, affordable, and reusable stand, as well as graphics and educational material, and an original video was developed, highlighting the use of supercomputers in materials science, and its paramount role in society. More information can be found at https://www.codeforcreation.org/our-stand.
Please click here to see previous outreach activities