PER me si va ne la fisica recente (Particle Escape Room)
November 19, 2022
June 15, 2023
In recent years, outreach activities have acquired great importance among the three university missions for the involvement of the non-expert community.
In this context, the “Physics4Teenagers” outreach group of the Physics Department of Pavia University, in Northern Italy, designed the “PER me si va ne la fisica recente” experience.
In physics promotion, our major target are usually high school students with a particular focus on the choice of their future studies.
With this in mind, we decided to exploit a new format: the educational escape room. Based on the success of recreational escape rooms, this format has acquired great visibility in the last decades, combining entertainment with learning goals. Besides, it allows for the development of soft skills such as collaboration and critical thinking through hands-on activities.
We created a journey through the history of particle physics from the atomic theory of Democritus to the discovery of the Higgs boson, which completes the Standard Model. Furthermore, we pushed the boundaries of our map towards the questions that remain unsolved in this theory, such as the problem of dark matter, neutrino masses and oscillations, and unification of forces.
At the end of the escape room, we asked the participants for feedback and suggestions through a satisfaction questionnaire. The good results in both occasions confirm the suitability of the format and the effectiveness of the friendly and informal attitude.
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