29 May 2008
Tuesday May 20th Rijnhuizen was host to a group of around 30 presenters of physics shows from all over the Netherlands. The Regional Benelux group of the EuroPhysicsFun network (EPF), of which Rijnhuizen’s own Fusion Road Show is a member, organized a workshop on theatrical techniques for science communication.
The workshop, which was held in the luxurious Alexanderzaal of the mansion owned by the FOM Institute for Plasma Physics Rijnhuizen, was given by Lea Witmondt. She is the business director of Pandemonia Science Theater, a group which creates theatrical performances about science. Since twenty years, Pandemonia performs in schools, theaters and science centers everywhere in the Netherlands.
Apart from the Fusion Road Show, participants from the Amsterdam Physics Carnival, the Low Temperature Circus RINO from the University of Leiden and the website proefjes.nl took part in the workshop. Rosa, one of the organizers of the event and affiliated to RINO, is very enthusiastic about what she learned. "The aim of the workshop was to make people aware of how they can use their voice, physique and for example a story line to make a complex physics concept understandable for the general public. Concerning my own presentation, I have learned to open my mouth wider when talking. And also that it can enhance the performance to not talk for a while. You don’t have explicitly mention everything you show or do." Arno, of proefjes.nl, amends: "I have learned how important it is to also articulate gestures well. Everybody knows how to wave their hands, but a physical explanation about waves becomes much more clear if you make a calm, rounded motion without unnecessary waving."
Since many physics shows in the Netherlands use students, they were well represented among the participants. They were not only enthusiastic about the workshop, but also about the beautiful location. Some of them inquired if, in a few years time, they could do the research for their master thesis in our institution.
EuroPhysicsFun network: www.europhysicsfun.org
Pandemonia Science Theater: www.pandemonia.nl
The Fusion Road Show: www.fusie-energie.nl/roadshow.htm
Organizer the RINO foundation: www.rinofoundation.org