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School of Physics and Astronomy

SEPnet Public Engagement Awards 2021

Public engagement is central to Queen Mary’s commitment to work and collaborate with our local community for the good of all. We work hard to make sure that the world-class research carried out by the university and the School of Physics and Astronomy is understood and enjoyed by the public.

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Therefore, we are delighted that the hard work of Dr Seth Zenz, Lecturer in Particle Physics, has been recognised with a Public Engagement Champion Award at the SEPnet Public Engagement Awards 2021.

The ceremony, which took place virtually yesterday, aimed to celebrate the contribution of researchers and research students at universities that form the South East Physics Network, a collaboration of nine universities in the South East of England, working together to deliver excellence in physics.

Dr Senz is currently leading on the ATLAS Open Data Project as part of our Physics Research in School Environments (PRiSE) programme. This project offers school students the opportunity to experience authentic scientific research over a sustained period within their school. The ATLAS Open Data project uses data from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN which has been made publicly available. By employing the same statistical techniques that as particle physicists, students will search for evidence of particles like the Higgs boson and investigate the properties of the fundamental building blocks of nature and how these interact with one another.

Earlier in the year Dr Zenz successfully applied for a grant from Queen Mary’s Centre for Public Engagement to expand the ATLAS Open Data Project - he and his teams will be looking to develop new mechanisms for engagement with programme participants. One group will look at how to adapt the delivery in schools during COVID-19, and how to best use the latest public data from the Large Hadron Collider. A second group will develop a version of the project that can engage with students who are 14 years old or younger and can be delivered in community settings rather than in schools. A third group will focus on an entirely remote version of the project with the smallest possible home computer requirements.

Click here to find out more about PRiSE.