The first-ever edition of the European Fusion Teacher Day, a Europe-wide webinar dedicated to promoting Fusion in high-schools, took place on 2 October 2020.
The event organized by FuseNet (the European Fusion Education Network) brought together more than 300 science and physics teachers from 18 local sessions across 16 European countries. F4E, in close cooperation with the Barcelona Super Computer Fusion group (BSC), the b_TEC Foundation and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), organized the Barcelona local session under the umbrella of the FusionCAT project.
The objective of the European-wide webinar was to introduce fusion to high-school teachers and to give them the tools and the knowledge they need in order to introduce fusion in the classrooms. Secondary school teachers are the first ambassadors of science that students meet in their lives; the impact of enthusiastic role-models with a passion for science can be significant. To secure the future of fusion, a skilled and diverse fusion workforce is needed: young people should be encouraged to enter the fusion research and engineering community.
The Barcelona local session was chaired by Mr Grisha Domakowski, from b_TEC. The session was composed of a general introduction to fusion by Mr Stavros Chatzipanagiotou, F4E Head of Communication, followed by new classroom material developed by BSC. After the local sessions, all participants throughout Europe got together for a joint session virtually taking them to the sites of three fusion experiments in Europe: the Golem tokamak in the Czech Technical University of Prague, the JET tokamak in the UK and, finally, the ITER Assembly Hall in Cadarache, France. The webinar ended with a series of local Q&As, where professors had the chance to interact and discuss all their doubts with fusion experts.
This first edition of the European Fusion Teacher Day represented a great opportunity for teachers all around Europe to get first-hand knowledge on one of the hottest science topics of today, directly from Europe’s best experts on the topic. The event received very positive feedback from the teachers, who have been grateful for the opportunity. There is definitely a need for this sort of events and plans are already on the making for next year’s edition.