Fun in Theory is a unique educational and outreach event, which is aimed to spark an interest in theoretical physics.
Fun in Theory: The Origins
The Fun in Theory (FiT) is an event created and organized by the laboratories of Theoretical Physics and Quantum Optics in the University of Turku. Originally the event was created for bachelor’s and master’s students in physics
- to introduce what kind of theoretical physics courses they can learn
- to introduce members of the lab and their research topics
- to provide a possibility of having fun in a relaxed atmosphere and get to know each other better
Fun in Theory: Now
Fun in Theory combines the original aims with new ones. It has evolved into an educational and outreach event for physics and mathematics students with purpose to:
- introduce participants to the world of theoretical physics in an understandable and playful way
- ignite / increase interest towards theoretical physics and motivate to engage with it
- show participants relevance of fundamental theories of physics, like quantum mechanics and cosmology, in their everyday life and society
- bring to the participants’ knowledge the spectrum of theoretical physics research topics
- inform participants about the impact research in different branches of theoretical physics have had on our society, starting from working perspectives to medical and technological developments
Fun in Theory: The Format
Implementing FiT conceptually relies on 3 aspects, information, application and reflection, straightforwardly leading to 3 parts of the event:
- FiT Game
- Snack & chat.
Fun in Theory is intended to be socially interactive and informative, and casual and funny at the same time. Naturally, for participants there are no requirements of previous knowledge in theoretical physics.
Fun in Theory: The Spectrum
Each event has its own theme. Below you can see the examples of “Murder Mystery”, “Superheroes”, “Escape Game”, “Treasure Hunt” and “Quantum Fairytale” themes.
Each FiT is modified in accordance to a theme; each event has its own unique introductory lecture style and FiT game.
Fun in Theory: The Spark
- During the lecture participants get information about theoretical physics and motivation to be aware of and study subjects of theoretical physics. The lecture is also spiced with interest triggering aspects.
- The FiT game gives a spark and motivation to engage with theoretical physics on hands-on level. It also is a great resource of learning, fun and social interactions.
- Snack & chat is a good opportunity to have more social interactions and process everything that have happened.
The whole event is implemented so that it would leave participants with good attitude towards theoretical physics, usually thought as difficult, abstract and hard to understand. Participants notice that studying quantum mechanics, cosmology, quantum field theory and quantum optics can be understandable, fun and interactive.
Fun in Theory: The Game
In the game, participants team up and complete with each other for FiT prizes. Participants should show their knowledge and understanding of theoretical physics concepts, be creative and work well as a team and as individuals.
The game is conducted via smaller tasks, which vary from event to event. There are different formats of smaller tasks. Below are some examples:
- a puzzle game
- a virtual game
- solving a problem
- explanatory task
- performative task