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ICAM Branch SEE Activities

Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research, Dresden

IFW Dresden has produced a number of flyers and videos dealing with superconductivity, its applications, and nanotechnology [www.ifw-dresden.de]. These include the famous model levitating train (as seen on YouTube!).

Ohio State University

Ohio State University has a site with materials from its 2007 Festival of physics [The Ohio State 2007 Festival of Physics] that includes a video of a lecture by Nobel laureate Philip W. Anderson on “Fifty Years of Localization Physics” and videos of introductory lectures on superconductivity, high temperature superconductivity, magnetism, and ultra-cold gases by leading members of the OSU faculty. A brief YouTube segment on superconductivity by OSU Professor Nandini Trivedi may be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2PbeCtgDTI.

Sabanci University

The Sabanci University SEE group led by M. Ali Alpar has accumulated materials and experience for public outreach and primary and secondary education. In addition to outreach materials in emergent science (particularly evolutionary biology) they also have developed innovative materials for learning science. The projects for school science focus on hands-on, do-it-yourself approaches and the exploration of emergent behavior in nature.

The Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP) initiated by the international Astronomical Union, and still carried on as an international network was led in Turkey by the Turkish Astronomical Society and the SU group. Since 2008, this program on simple astronomy for professional, candidate and volunteer teachers has run through 6 workshops, and 2 extended series of weekend workshops, each being attended by~ 40 people. An interactive website launched in Jan 2012, connects people in the network who share experiences through an online social medium [galileo-ogretmenleri.net]

The “Home Made Science Network” is a collection of experiments/science demos with inexpensive, accessible materials and self-made apparatus. SU freshmen have been designing the experiments and using these in Community Involvement Projects with primary and secondary school children. The network website shares these with a wider audience [evyapimibilim.net]. The website will be a social medium, where anyone can share new applications, ideas and rate, tag, comment on existing material. This experience is also regularly shared with a large group of educators attending the annual Good Examples in Education Conferences of the SU Educational Reform Initiative.

A Darwin Year Celebration was organized in 2009 titled “Darwin and Beyond” with participation of prominent speakers and the British Council exhibition “Darwin Now”.

A 2007 exhibition showed the work of sculptor Ilhan Koman drawing on mathematics and physics [koman.org]

“A Tree of Life” exhibition illustrates the diversity of life on Earth and the story of evolution. Based on a diagram published in the Tree of Life Special Issue of Science (13 June 2003: Vol. 300) the exhibition showed evolutionary relationships of hundreds of species, from bacteria to humans, with illustrations made by SU visual arts graduate M. C. Kösemen. The exhibition is easily reproducible, and will soon be made available online for science centers, museums, and schools.

Santa Fe Institute

For 28 years, SFI has challenged and equipped the next generation’s brightest scholars to take on complex problems through schools, fellowships, and youth educational curricula serving students and educators of all ages and backgrounds. SFI Complexity Scholarship programs include instruction by, and interaction with, SFI scientists. The Institute’s programs for K-12 students include:

Project GUTS—“Growing Up Thinking Scientifically” — is a summer and after-school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) project for middle school students throughout New Mexico.
Growing up thinking scientifically means learning to look at the world and ask questions, develop answers to the questions through scientific inquiry, and design solutions to their problems.  Project GUTS is for students entering 7th and 8th grade from different backgrounds and interests who want to engage in scientific inquiry by investigating topics of interest to their local communities.

GUTS y Girls is a science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) program for 6th-8th grade girls in New Mexico. GUTS y Girls was designed to engage “gutsy” girls in exciting technology- based learning experiences that expose them to and prepare them for future careers in STEM and information and communication technologies (ICT). GUTS y Girls features a series of Saturday workshops held once a month and a private online social network where girls can stay in contact with other “gutsy” girls, older student mentors and female professionals working in STEM fields.

Summer Complexity and Modeling Program (C.A.M.P.) is an intensive two-week residential science Summer CAMP introduces secondary school participants to complexity science scholarship. Through individual projects, computer simulation activities, analysis of ecological data, lectures and seminars, along with related weekend activities, students conduct research in this cutting edge field. Days are made up of instruction, small working group sessions, and research time interleaved with sports and extra-curricular events.

Individual Research with SFI Resident Faculty allows secondary students to routinely participate in multidisciplinary, multigenerational research collaborations. Self-organizing teams are multigenerational and multidisciplinary. The working environment within these groups is free form and egalitarian. Responsibilities and rewards, including senior authorships and presentations at meetings, is shared so that everyone has the opportunity to play leadership roles and to learn from seeing manuscripts through to publication.

The annual Santa Fe Institute and Santa Fe Alliance for Science Prize for Scientific Excellence and Prize for Outstanding Teacher awards recognizes those members of the local Santa Fe area high schools who best embody the spirit of scientific pursuit found at the Santa Fe Institute.

Periodically SFI collaborates with partners in the local museum community to produce exhibits based upon SFI research results.

Introduction to Complexity, a Massively Open Online Course is an accessible introduction to the field, with no pre-requisites.
This eleven-week course covers the tools used by complex systems scientists to understand, and sometimes to control, complex systems.  Topics include dynamics, chaos, fractals, information theory, self-organization, agent-based modeling, and networks.
Introduction to Complexity will be free and open to anyone.

While there is a huge amount of complexity-related material available on the Web, it is a daunting, if not impossible, task for most educators and other interested people to find the information and resources that they need to create course curricula, student exercises, and more generally resources for self-education and for keeping up-to-date on the latest work in complex systems research.  SFI is developing a comprehensive Web-based system—the SFI Complexity Explorer—to provide such resources, at any desired level and in an easily searchable way. 

Components of the website include: a Source Materials Search Engine, a Complexity Curriculum Generator, a Virtual Laboratory, Links to General Resources, a section with Paper Summaries, a Glossary, and a Feedback and Comments section.

Universite de Paris Sud [Orsay]

The Orsay SEE group led by Julien Bobroff has developed exhibits, demonstrations for students, hands-on activities for kids, training for teachers, and animations for the general public, Their topics range from superconductivity, magnetism, and foams to an introduction to the quantum world, while among their demonstrations is one in which superconductivity is used to levitate a model of the Eiffel tower.

The gateway, in both French and English, for all these activities is at www.vulgarisation.fr where one finds news, exhibits, demonstrations, downloads of pictures, videos, animations… It includes training for teachers, hands-on for kids, animations for large public. The YouTube channel, vulgarisation.fr contains all the videos and animations developed by the Orsay group, and some are also downloadable and shareable directly in commons.wikimedia.

www.toutestquantique.fr (also accessible through quantummadesimple.com) presents 3D animations and simple explanations about quantum physics (duality, lasers, electron spin, quantum tunneling ...). The site allows visitors to download the animations for re-use.

www.supraconductivite.fr, contains an overview of explanations and demonstrations about superconductivity

SupraDesign is a collaboration on superconductivity between designers and physicists that one can explore in English or French

www.manipsupra.fr is a wiki site that enables research scientists, teachers, and students to share ideas about superconductivity, demonstrations, exhibits, web sites, queries on basic concepts, etc. There, once logged in, one can find a “super’ video of a levitating train, instructions on how to create on your own or with your class a superconducting train or a superconducting hula hoop, animations to download and use, etc.

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge Senior Physics Challenge site contains reports, teaching materials, a chapter of a primer on quantum mechanics, and Rocket movies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne

UIUC has an Office of Public Engagement, headed by an Associate Chancellor with a staff of six, an engagement portal, an annual symposium, a collection of videos, and has established a campus award for excellence in public engagement, CAEPE. 

For some two decades members of the UIUC Physics Department have been engaged in a broad spectrum of SEE activities under the leadership of Mats Selen and Gary Gladding.

At van.physics.illinois.edu one finds information about a traveling science show for kids that began in 1994 and has been seen by over 100,000 kids [http://van.physics.illinois.edu/statistics.php]

Video clips of the TV appearances by Mats Selen the ‘Whys Guy’, may be found at www.hep.uiuc.edu

For the third year, Physics Illinois has organized “physics.illinois.edu/outreach/links4teachers.asp] contains not only UIUC links but a number of other useful links of interest to engaged scientists and teachers.

Saturday Physics for Everyone is a series of lectures on modern aspects of the physical sciences held Saturday mornings each fall. The program began in 1993 and offers high school students the opportunity to hear presentations from world-class scientists and researchers.

The Center for the Physics of Living Cells has established the IRISE project to bring hands-on science to underrepresented middle school students and their teachers in Illinois.

Other outreach activities of interest

African Summer Theory Institute
International Year of Astronomy Pages of the International Astronomical Union


A Quarterly Newsletter of the Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter


26 US and 27 branches abroad (Mar 2017)

The Emergent Universe

The Emergent Universe - A web-based interactive museum about emergent behavior.

ICAM Events & Schools