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Published on 12.11.12

CRANN investigator claims first prize in Design for Learning 2012

Dr. Shane Bergin recieving his prize

On November 7th Dr. Shane Bergin (CRANN investigator) claimed first prize in the Design for Learning competition. Dr. Bergin's idea (Dart of Physics) beat off competition to bring learning outside the classroom and received €5,000 to develop his idea further.

Dart of Physics will engage an extraordinary amount of the Irish public with physics- statements and challenges will be be placed on the DART to connect with them in a manner that educates, changes perception, and captures beauty.

A team of physicists at CRANN, Trinity College Dublin, led by Dr. Shane Bergin, are producing 'catchy' statements and challenges that will appear on the DART. Examples of these include 'Take the DART to work - arrive younger than if you walked' (based on Einstein's relativity), 'A sheet of carbon atoms only one atom thick, could support the weight of your cat' (nano-materials), and questions like 'How many leaves will fall in Dublin this autumn?' (a classic 'Fermi problem' where physics can make estimations).

It is hoped that this project will educate the public with regard to concepts in physics and allow the beauty of science to enter the public space. Through on-line content, it will allow the public to link the basic physics presented to them with cutting-edge research being carried out in Ireland. For many, it will cast physics in a new light encouraging young people to see it as creative, accessible, and relevant.

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