Lise Meitner:The Battle for Ultimate Truth. Bringing attention to the discovery of'nuclear fission', Meitner's humanity and impact on the world.

Lead Research Organisation: Daisi
Department Name: Director

Abstract

The primary aim of Lise Meitner:The Battle for Ultimate Truth is inspire more young girls to want to pursue Physics and to see it as a viable option post 16 - at A level and beyond. We propose to introduce and explain, through structured workshops the Maths and Physics that Lise Meitner used to provide the theoretical explanation of nuclear fission. We will also tell the story of Lise Meitner (1878 - 1968) by means of a play. Through the workshops and the play we will enthuse our audiences, notably those not previously interested in Physics, and provoke a curiosity in the underlying Maths.
Working in partnership (with a state funded secondary school and a science communications company) we will communicate through applied maths and physics workshops, historical references, and theatre.
We will engage young audiences and the general public with nuclear physics through the study of one woman's journey through science. We will create a model project suitable to tour to schools, libraries and science festivals across the UK, linking to current research and thinking and with Dr Helen Heath from Bristol University (MA(Oxon), PhD(Bristol), CPhys MInstP, SFHEA based at HH Wills Physics Laboratory),as our confirmed scientific advisor. Dr Heath's research is in the area of Particle Physics. She is a currently working on the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) experiment at the LHC and the NA62 rare kaon decay experiment that are both based in CERN, Geneva. Helen's input will assure the project is up to date and accurate.

Initially our audiences will be from a school setting (at Queen Elizabeth's Academy in Crediton) and at a local science festival (at Sidmouth). By working with students from Queen Elizabeth Academy, Crediton we will trial our play and workshop ideas and hone the script to be pitched appropriately for families and young people. Phase 2 we tour the package to other schools and festivals. Lise Meitner, whose crucial role in discovering 'nuclear fission' led to dramatic changes in world history, is an inspirational role model whose scientific achievements are set against a compelling period in history including:
1. fin de siecle Vienna
2. World War 1
3. the Weimar Republic
4. the emergence of the Third Reich
5. World War 2
6. the dawning of the nuclear age

Our day-long participatory workshops (lasting approximately 3 hours) and performance piece (lasting an hour) will introduce Meitner's story and demonstrate the associated mathematical and physical concepts in a lively and engaging way through games, exercises, photographs, debate, performance and digital media. When placed in a school setting the offer is cross curricula and works with a vertical study group.

The impact of the project will:

- inspire more young girls to want to pursue Physics and to see it as a viable option post 16 - at A level and beyond
- inspire and enthuse audiences, especially those not previously interested in Physics
- introduce and explain the Maths Meitner used to explain nuclear fission
- through an episodic dramatic structure, tell the story of Lise Meitner (1878 - 1968)
- work in partnership with a local state- funded secondary school who will share in the process (working with students and teachers to calibrate expertise and knowledge)
- give students the opportunity to influence the development of ideas around the form and content of the show
- alongside collecting qualitative data, investigate how young people learn -The outcomes we are looking to interrogate are: participant enjoyment and enrichment, improved knowledge and understanding, motivation to access knowledge for new skills, increased self-confidence and questioning and a consideration, particularly in girls, of the possibility of doing something with Physics in their lives. We are interested in whether participants feel welcomed, supported and respected in their learning and the effect of the partnership delivery.

Planned Impact

Daisi (with a team of six - director, 3 x project managers, administrator and finance) will promote the activity - we will tap into our existing networks (universities, colleges, a county-wide network of schools, artists, educators and cultural organisations) and inform our partners, Queen Elizabeth's Academy, Crediton, Sidmouth Science Festival of every press release, tweet and facebook entry so they can re-tweet and send news wider. We will also tap into the networks of our existing funders - Babcock,Devon County Council and the Institute of Physics. Our adviser, Dr Helen Heath will assist with this dissemination through her academic networks at Bristol University and beyond.

We will keep the project alive as it develops - through press releases and social media.

We will create a PR strategy for the activity employing print, social media and direct e-bulletins. Daisi has twenty years experience of marketing projects... 'A good story' is the key to a sustainable marketing campaign, and this activity is being delivered a) through an interesting and innovative partnership, and b) it will describe fascinating science through a compelling and moving story:
- Meitner's story illustrates personal consequences of Hitler's rise to power- she fled to Germany in 1938- had she stayed, as an Austrian Jew, her demise was almost inevitable.
- She was the first woman in Germany to become a professor of Physics
- Her discovery was a catalyst for Einstein's letter to Roosevelt in 1944 where he explained the catastrophic implications of Germany developing an atomic weapon before the Allied forces, which led directly to the Manhattan Project .
- As a pacifist, she refused a place on the Los Alamos Project
- Otto Hahn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of nuclear fission in 1945. Meitner's role was overlooked

The PR process will continue though the rehearsals and the two days of delivery at Queen Elizabeth's Academy and Sidmouth Science Festival in early October where the visit coincides with Ada Lovelace Day.

We will share our evaluation report online, through our partners and through science communications outlets. We are approaching media scientists including Radio 4's Inside Science presenter Dr Adam Rutherford to report on the project's aspirations and achievements and we will continue to promote the project to the science community. Alison Harper MSc , PhD student at University of Exeter School of Business will publish her evaluation report and the project will welcome other interested academics to write a paper on the project.


Our aspiration is to tour the piece around science festivals, theatres, educational and cultural establishments throughout 2017 /18. Daisi will actively look for opportunities to present this model project at conferences and other 'science meets arts' networking events .

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title card game 
Description A bespoke set of 'Happy Physicist Families' featuring the scientists whose thinking and discoveries enables Meitner to make her own breakthrough in understanding nuclear fission. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Very effective as an icebreaker, to stimulate discussion iand teamwork in the classroom.excellent teachingresource 
URL http://www.linkstoalife.com
 
Title film of day 
Description a 4 minute film of the day has been made 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact the film has been useful to show to prospective funders for a new tour of Meitner Day 
URL http://www.linkstoalife.com
 
Title play 
Description The play: The Lise Meitner Story 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact it works effectively in a school science Lab. Feedback for teachers suggests it is an effective learning tool. 
 
Title relay game 
Description a bespoke relay Game with questions and answers relating to the Life and work of Lise Meitner 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact A fun and effective teaching aid 
URL http://www.linkstoalife.com
 
Description Devon Education Fund
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/P00136X/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2015 
End 12/2016
 
Description Institute Of Physics public engagement grant scheme
Amount £1,500 (GBP)
Organisation Institute of Physics (IOP) 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2016 
End 10/2016
 
Title impact evaluation tool 
Description Mission: To inspire more young girls to consider studying physics to a higher level Aim: To explore an understanding of the importance of physics in our world, and of potential barriers that girls may face in choosing to study physics, through engaging with Lise Meitner's story and through discussion relating some of the barriers that Lise faced to issues faced by others in our world today. Learning outcomes (LO's): Having completed the programme, students will be able to: 1. Demonstrate an application of the maths and physics that Lise Meitner used for her key discovery of liberating energy using nuclear fission; 2. Explain the global importance of physics in our world today through some key examples; 3. Understand the narrative of science throughout history and in our society today; 4. Critically evaluate Lise Meitner's role within the scientific narrative and to what degree she might be considered inspirational for young women with an interest in science; or for any young person who may be facing cultural or other barriers to pursuing an interest in science and mathematics-based subjects; 5. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the effects of war and its impact on people in pursuing their aspirations, as an exploration of potential barriers people may face. 6. Analyse their understanding of where the subject of physics may lead them if they continue to study it.Evaluation indicators: A) (LO's 1,2 6) Short questionnaire (quantitative; 5-point scale) to be administered twice: at the start of the morning sessions and end of the play. Questionnaire A and B (1-5 Likert scale): Gender and school year 1. Do you think physics is an interesting subject area? 2. How likely are you to choose physics as a subject at the next level? 3. How important do you understand physics to be in shaping our world? 4. How important do you think physics will be in shaping the future of our world? 5. Do you think physics is a difficult subject to study? B) (LO's 1, 2) Worksheets demonstrating an application of the maths and physics used by Lise Meitner. (Administered throughout the morning sessions) C) (LO's 1,2, 4) One-minute paper: the most important thing I learned this morning; what I understood the least. Approximately half a page. (Qualitative analysis: this paper would be attributed a code for each question to analyse more deeply). D) (LO's 1,2) Workshop resources - Happy Physicist Families Playing cards - specially made cards depicting ten great scientists: Albert Einstein, Lise Meitner, James Clerk- Maxwell, Isaac Newton, Ernest Rutherford, J.J. Thompson, James Chadwick, Marie Curie, Charles Coulomb, Gottfried Leibnitz. Each set showing 'portrait' 'discovery', 'explanation' and 'year of discovery'. (future analysis: new question in one minute paper 'can you remember any scientist from the card game that you didn't know of before today? E) LO's (1,2,3,4,5,6) Plenary session focus group/2-way Q&A Recorded. (Qualitative analysis) The students were invited to ask questions of the performers, teachers and other key staff. This session was facilitated by the company who drew out the following key information areas from students in as a 2-way dialogue: - Is physics an interesting subject area? What makes it interesting or not? (LO 1, 6) - What are some of the barriers that Lise Meitner faced in pursing her aspirations? Are there any parallels that can be drawn with women today who may be interested in pursuing a career in physics? What other barriers do women experience in science-based subjects? Would her story be different if she had been a man? (LO 3,4,6) - Given the barriers and difficulties she faced, what kind of person do you think Lise Meitner was? What were her qualities? How do you feel about her? How do you think you would feel or behave in her situation? (LO 4) - How is physics used in our real world? Is it always used as a force for good? Can you think of any uses of physics in the real-world that have made a positive or negative contribution and why? (eg Hinkley Point) (LO 2) - Discuss the following`: "A scientist cannot hold back his discoveries for fear of what the world will do with them." Robert Oppenheimer (LO 2) - Is the building of a new nuclear power station in Somerset (costing £18 billion and expected to be the single most expensive object on Earth ) a good idea? (LO 2) - What were the dilemmas that Lise Meitner faced in Berlin in the 1930's? What do you think of the choices she made? Can you draw parallels with our world today? For example could her experience as a Jew experiencing prejudice in Germany during WW2 be compared with refugees and asylum seekers today experiencing language and training barriers, or direct racism in our country? What do you think of the choices she made? (LO 5) - As part of the plenary a Relay Race with specific programme related questions is carried out. This is competitive, motivating and measurable. F) (LOs 3,4,5) Take-home page: We hope you felt inspired by the day. If so, could you tell us what about the subject, and about Lise's story that inspired you? What did you most enjoy about the day? What did you least enjoy? Is there anything you wish had been done differently? Write as little or as much as you like. (This paper will be trialled in phase 2) G) (LOs 6) One month legacy analysis (one page) What do you most remember from the day? What were the parts you most enjoyed? What were the parts you least enjoyed? Following the event, have you given any further thought into studying physics (or maths or other science-based subjects) to the next level? Why or why not? (Qualitative: analysis by coding. Anonymous, collect gender and school year. This paper will be trialled in phase 2). H) (Programme evaluation) One-one-one semi structured interview with Nick Baker, QE Head of Physics on his views of how well the programme met the learning outcomes indicated; how much he feel the students gained from the event; and the delivery of the programme. Record and transcribe and analyse with coding (qualitative) I) (Programme evaluation) Debrief from performers and event organiser (notate and record) 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact 3. Summary of broader project output relating to overall aims and objectives 1. Through an episodic dramatic structure, to tell the story of Lise Meitner 2. To reach adult and family audiences beyond the classroom 3. To adopt a partnership model where responsibilities are held between Daisi, Foot-candle Productions and Queen Elizabeth's Academy 4. To further develop science communication skills amongst the delivery team 1. Through an episodic dramatic structure, to tell the story of Lise Meitner The story of Lise Meitner, her life and work, was told through a combination of workshops devised by John Teasdale and a play written by Vince Miles. The events and achievements of her life were linked together through an episodic dramatic structure. The 4 minute film of the day can be found on vimeo: https://vimeo.com/188956003/96efadb48f 2. To reach adult and family audiences beyond the classroom In addition to the two pilot days at QE and Sidmouth, Foot-candle presented a performance of The Lise Meitner Story outside school hours (4.30-5.30pm) to an audience of adults and families. The feedback was positive and the experience informs a view that a compressed ½ day version of the programme for families at Science Festivals and University Science Days could also be viable. Comments from the open performance follow: 'It was a fab experience Benedict admired Tony! Thanks for inviting us' Sigrid Shelly, parent 'It actually was most excellent. Inspiring! When I was a student I was about as switched off to Physics as you can get. I now feel interested. Job done!" Sam Baker 3. To adopt a partnership model where responsibilities are held between Daisi, Foot-candle Productions and Queen Elizabeth's Academy The partnership was strong and functioned effectively and smoothly. The objectives of the day were shared between all partners and overall expertise was comprehensive. Project director, Rae Hoole works with Foot-Candle Productions and also at arts in Education Company, Daisi and John Teasdale, a member of Foot-Candle is also a full time Maths Teacher at Queen Elizabeth's Academy. These joint roles were useful in terms of keeping communications up to date. Rupert Poole (Headteacher at Queen Elizabeth's School) and Nick Baker (Head of Physics, Queen Elizabeth's School) were supportive of the idea both in the planning stage and during development and rehearsals. They readily gave access to the lab and students at QE. Daisi provided a project management role and an evaluator who administered the evaluation forms and came to the first pilot at QE to carry out interviews with actors, staff and students. Foot-Candle led on all content and production and created the evaluation framework. 4. To further develop science communication skills amongst the delivery team All five members of the delivery team (Rae Hoole, John Teasdale, Tony Lidington, Belinda Chapman and Josiah Pearsall) have learnt a great deal from this experience. They continue to meet to discuss the programme content and are all keen to discover more compelling interplay between the play and the workshops. More time would allow a honing of the relationship between the five separate elements. Though the programme is modular there is scope for blurring the edges between the sections and a further development phase would make this possible. Content working well includes: 1. The development of the 'Happy Physicist Families' playing cards game. This worked well serving to introduce students to one another and bringing an interactive excitement into the morning learning. 2. The plenary relay questions game was engaging and motivating. Students applied and consolidated their knowledge from the day. 3. The work sheets were well designed and suitably pitched. They provided a scientific narrative `which progressed in difficulty and complexity throughout the morning. The play brought the day to a real climax - students were engaged and were well equipped to contribute to the discussion afterwards The vertical teaching model has the potential to work effectively if students are kept in their original small teams and given specific roles and responsibilities, with Y12 students 'mentoring' and explaining processes to younger students. 
URL http://www.linkstoalife.com
 
Description Meitner delivery partners 
Organisation Babcock International Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Daisi provided the legal and administrative support to the project.
Collaborator Contribution Queen Elizabeth's - the school gave teacher time and experience, space to rehearse, a cohort of students to trial ideas and a cohort for the first pilot day IOP - contributed to the Sidmouth Science festival offering Babcock - provided seed funding for this research project Foot-Candle productions - carried out all research and created all the new science and arts work -
Impact A new hour-long play about the life of Lise Meitner Newly created resources - worksheets and exercises suitable for secondary age students a new card game - devised, designed and produced - Happy Physicist Families A quiz game A 4 minute film of the day an evaluation report the collaboration is multi-disciplinary - Physics, History and Maths through creative means
Start Year 2015
 
Description Meitner delivery partners 
Organisation Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Learned Society 
PI Contribution Daisi provided the legal and administrative support to the project.
Collaborator Contribution Queen Elizabeth's - the school gave teacher time and experience, space to rehearse, a cohort of students to trial ideas and a cohort for the first pilot day IOP - contributed to the Sidmouth Science festival offering Babcock - provided seed funding for this research project Foot-Candle productions - carried out all research and created all the new science and arts work -
Impact A new hour-long play about the life of Lise Meitner Newly created resources - worksheets and exercises suitable for secondary age students a new card game - devised, designed and produced - Happy Physicist Families A quiz game A 4 minute film of the day an evaluation report the collaboration is multi-disciplinary - Physics, History and Maths through creative means
Start Year 2015
 
Description Meitner delivery partners 
Organisation Queen Elizabeth's School, Crediton
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Daisi provided the legal and administrative support to the project.
Collaborator Contribution Queen Elizabeth's - the school gave teacher time and experience, space to rehearse, a cohort of students to trial ideas and a cohort for the first pilot day IOP - contributed to the Sidmouth Science festival offering Babcock - provided seed funding for this research project Foot-Candle productions - carried out all research and created all the new science and arts work -
Impact A new hour-long play about the life of Lise Meitner Newly created resources - worksheets and exercises suitable for secondary age students a new card game - devised, designed and produced - Happy Physicist Families A quiz game A 4 minute film of the day an evaluation report the collaboration is multi-disciplinary - Physics, History and Maths through creative means
Start Year 2015
 
Title booklet 
Description A booklet and power point devised to accompany the day. With explanations, excercises and information about Meitner's life and work 
Type Of Technology New Material/Compound 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact An effective supporting tool 
 
Company Name Links to a Life 
Description Links to a Life is a Creative Learning company committed to theatre and story as a way of engaging young minds. The Lise Meitner project is about encouraging more girls to want to take up physics through their encounter with Lise Meitner's life and work. 
Year Established 2018 
Impact The Ogden trust has begun a supportive relationship top the company . A new tour impacting on 15 secondary Schools in the South West UK has happened in February/March 2018
Website http://www.linkstoalife.com
 
Description 2018 tour 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact We have been asked to be a 'Demonstrator' on University of Exeter's EU funded CREATIONS project on 13th March 2018 at University of Exeter. Four schools are in attendence.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.linkstoalife.com
 
Description Interact conference , Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The INTERACT conference in Birmingham, 14th September 2017. Links to a life Directors, John Teasdale and Rae Hoole presented Meinter Day - the 2016 tour and plans to re develop and tour again in 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.linkstoalife.com
 
Description School Visits (Devon) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact We engaged three actors and a science lead to work with Queen Elizabeth's Academy (secondary school in Crediton, Devon) to research and develop a day long programme focused on the Life and Work of Lise Meitner for a vertical study group of students selected from years 9-13. The day included 3 separate parts looking at the the Maths , the scientific History and the Physics relevant to Meitner's discovery, an original play set in the school science lab (told by 3 actors) telling of her life, and a plenary session where participants reflected on the day in a relay race game and debate. Performed the play to three audiences - 30 students from Queen Elizabeth's Academy, Devon on 6th October 2016 and Sidmouth Secondary School (as part of Science Festival) on 11th October 2016 and at Queen Elizabeth's Academy, to family audience on 12th October 2016,. We have created an evaluation framework and measured the impact of the programme on all participants. This can be found in our Evaluation report. see: www.linkstoalife.com
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL http://www.linkstoalife.com
 
Description Talk at Devon Drama teacher's Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Rae Hoole made a presentation about Meinter Day - the aspiration and the experience of delivering the Day to two secondary schools in Devon
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.linkstoalife.com