What Is The Physics Factory?

The Physics Factory Project is a grass roots movement that aims to take action on the decline of physics in British schools and universities with its resulting damage to Britain's competitiveness in a technological world.

Objectives of the Physics Factory:

To raise students' aspirations to improve their life opportunities by developing confidence and enthusiasm for Physics leading to excellent academic progress

Some facts and figures:

The first Physics Factory officially opened at King Edward VI Five Ways School in January 2009
In its first year the Physics Factory was visited by:
  • 416 students accompanied by 61 teachers
  • 236 delegates on courses with 86% rating them as 'very good'
The second Physics Factory opened at King Edward VI Sheldon Heath Academy in September 2010

To date:
  • Over 1900 students have now visited both centres
  • From 37 different Birmingham and 3 non-Birmingham schools
  • Bringing with them 158 different teachers
  • 30 students are now enrolled on A level Physics courses who did not originally intend to study the subject
  • 44 CPD courses have been delivered, including whole-day courses and bespoke training bought in by individual schools
  • 426 delegates have visited from 49 Birmingham and 19 non-Birmingham schools
  • 99.8% of whom rated the CPD as ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’
  • with 87.6 % ‘Very Good’ – something to boast about! 

Continuing professional development (CPD) of teachers is at the heart of the project. Teachers from participating schools will experience different teaching and learning styles in an environment that will allow them to develop their own strengths and capacities. It is intended that this team experience will be a shot in the arm for physics teaching that is currently at risk because of poor take-up of the subject.

Funding the Physics Factory within and beyond Birmingham:

The project could not have reached its current position without initial support from the Ogden Trust, King Edward VI Five Ways school and a substantial input from Birmingham LA. Our costs over the next three years will total some £659,000. Whilst we have secured some public funding there is a shortfall of £200,000 and we are seeking support to meet these costs.

We now invite inquiries from sponsors and backers at all levels to support our initiative.

All stakeholders in the Physics Factory project will stand to gain:

STUDENTS – are inspired and excited by their experience of physics; achieve better results; are better prepared for higher education and have genuine STEM career prospects;

TEACHERS – benefit from high quality CPD provision designed to further their individual development and create networking opportunities;

SCHOOLS – physics becomes a strong component of their triple science commitment; teachers are more confident in delivering physics; have better results and more motivated students;

LOCAL AUTHORITIES and GOVERNMENT – achieve better results; see an increased uptake of Science / Engineering at university; have better trained students in STEM careers;

PROFESSIONAL BODIES – Physics Factories complement other initiatives and support national objectives; and
SPONSORS – are associated with a successful, popular effort to remedy a real problem.

Get Involved:
If you are looking for a high impact way to support the development of the future technological workforce, please consider how you might be able to become involved with the Physics Factory.

Philip Jones
Director of Learning

The Physics Factory
King Edward VI Five Ways School
Scotland Lane
Bartley Green
B32 4BT

Phil Jones direct: 07969 097949 (NEW NUMBER)

John Booth, Science Adviser Birmingham LA & Physics Factory Project Leader

Email: jbooth@birmingham.gov.uk

Patrick Amieli, Assistant Headteacher & Physics Factory Project Leader

Email: amielip@kefw.bham.sch.uk

Please feel free to contact us to discuss how you might support the further success of this initiative

Opening of the Birmingham Physics Factory

Brian Wardle said:
"Great to watch enthusiatic scientists - both teachers and students - best wishes for exponential success with this exciting venture!"