Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS March Meeting 2018
Monday–Friday, March 5–9, 2018; Los Angeles, California
Session F02: Public Outreach and Physics History: Exploring physics topics beyond the lab.
11:15 AM–1:51 PM,
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
LACC Room: 150B
Sponsoring Unit: FOEP
Chair: Rebecca Thompson, American Physical Society APS
Abstract: F02.00008 : Using Superheroes in a Physics Communication Approach for the General Public
12:39 PM–12:51 PM
In recent years, there has been an upsurge in the popularity of the superhero genre, motivated in part by the large number of successful superhero films in cinemas. Given the high profile of the superhero genre, it is thus tempting to use superheroes a platform to bridge the gap between academic researchers and the general public.
We present a communication model that we refer to as “Secrets of Superhero Science” which has been successfully used to communicate on concepts from physics, and other scientific disciplines, to the general public in the Netherlands and Ireland. The approach consists of dedicated superhero-themed workshops, the development of superhero-themed learning resources and the publication of popular science books. In addition, we have established an open access journal, which is free to publish for authors and free to access for the reader, entitled “Superhero Science and Technology”, in which scientists can write about their work as motivated by superheroes in an accessible manner for both academia and the general public.
This approach has also been adapted for the classroom environment to motivate initial student interest in a new topic, and inspire educators in the design of laboratory experiments, in-class assignments and student projects.
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