Irish lecturer wins ESA award

4 December 2003

An Irish lecturer from the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology has beaten competition from physics teachers across Europe to win one of the European science teaching awards at this year’s Physics on Stage, an initiative of the seven organisations that make up the European Intergovernmental Research Organisation, EIROforum.

Tim Roe was the head of physical sciences at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) until he recently retired after 30 years of service. His winning entry in the “Best Demonstration of a Physics Principle” category won him a trip to the European Southern Observatory in Garching, near Munich.

"Ireland usually sends a group out to this competition every year," Tim Roe explained. "I did this piece for the Young Scientists Exhibition, so I was asked if I would bring it along to the exhibition".

While the science lecturer designed the prize-winning coriolis effect demonstration, the apparatus itself was built by GMIT technician Tommy Doyle. A television stand borrowed from a colleague was just one of the innovative components of the final demonstration piece.

This year’s Physics on Stage was held at ESTEC, ESA’s Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands from 8-15 November. This regular programme of national events and international festivals aims to increase student interest in science, particularly physics, by promoting the exchange, among teachers, of the most motivating ideas and methods.

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