Kenyan Smartphonics Workshop

A workshop to explore the smartphone as an educational tool!

On December 1, 2020 the “smartphonics” workshop took place. For half a day, around 15 Kenyan university teachers were able to test the smartphone as a tool for teaching physics. During this period of French lockdown, this workshop was held virtually, between Paris, Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa. On the program for participants: presentation of the possibilities offered by smartphones, but more importantly practical activities to explore the potential of this tool: free fall measurements shared between the four sites, riddles to discover the sensors, and an adaptation of the “smartphone physics challenge”, or how to measure as precisely as possible the height of a room with a smartphone among the 12 methods proposed?


The support materials used for this workshop are available below, as well as some photos that allow you to feel the atmosphere of this workshop.


Workshop Support Materials



Discover the sensors installed into your smartphone by trying to reproduce these screenshots obtained with the phyphox application!





Smartphone Physics Challenge

Here is a selection of 12 methods for measuring the height of a room. You have to try them out and rank them in order of increasing precision. One of them has a precision of about 3 million kilometers, will you guess which it is?



Memory Lane

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Total : 4 hours

17 participants, on 3 different locations:


Icebreaker (30′)


Technical presentation (20′)
Goal: Present the possibilities of smartphones and Phyphox


Activity: Collective Measurement (15′)
Goal: Make a shared measurement of a free fall


Presentation: Use cases (30′)
Goal: Present how to use smartphones in a teaching environment


Break (15′)


Activity: Riddles (15′)
Goal: Discover the sensors of a smartphone


Activity: Smartphone Physics Challenge (45′)
Goal: Play with the notions of model and precision


Presentation: More precise practical work (10′)
Goal: Show more precise activities and practical work for students


Round table (30′)
Discussion about:

  • How do you think you could use your smartphones?
  • What tools would you need to teach with smartphones?


Group photo (5′)

This workshop is a co-construction of the “Physics ReImagined” team and the CEP of the Villebon Georges Charpak Institute. It was made possible thanks to the support of the UDIP project, the IUT Cachan, the French Embassy in Kenya and Somalia, the Technical University of Kenya, the Technical University of Mombasa, the four Polytechnic Institutes of Kabete, Kisumu, Kenya Coast and Nyeri. It benefited from the support of the “La Physique Autrement” Chair, carried by the Paris-Saclay University Foundation, supported by the Air Liquide group. A big thank you to Véronique Tibayrenc for her invitation, and to Lou-Andréas Etienne for her help.


Workshop organized with the help of:

Ambassade de France au Kenya et en Somalie

Université Paris-Saclay

projet UDIP

Institut Villebon - Georges Charpak