Reimagine physics teaching

Recipe for icebreakers

This is a 3 step ice-breaker amongst physicists who don’t know each other yet but will need to work together. The activities are built to introduce each person and have fun together, while discovering a new physics tool, the Phyphox app.

About 1.5 hour long for a total of 6 to 40 participants.

1st icebreaker : get to know each other

About 40 min long, no equipment needed

– people get into groups of 4 and introduce themselves for 2 min
– each person has to say one sentence about another person from their group in front of everyone else.
– each group has to find a fact they all have in common and the audience has to guess if its true or false (eg : we were all born abroad, we all want grades to be removed…)

2nd icebreaker : the tower challenge

About 30 min long, basic creative material needed (paper, tape, string, bags, straws…)

This challenge is very efficient to get people that do not know each other to work together. The aim is to compete as a team in building the highest tower that will hold a smartphone as vertically as possible. There are strict constraints : time is limited and they’re only allowed to use certain materials. At the end, the height at which the smartphone is standing is measured but a penalty is applied for each degree out of verticality.

3rd icebreaker : your position on a map

About 15 min long, printed maps and pictures of each participant (and blu tack) needed

Draw some axes or maps on posters and have the participants position small pictures of themselves (you have wisely prepared beforehand). Then let everyone have a look and do a quick analysis of what you all see.

Frédéric Bouquet, Julien Bobroff and Lou-Andreas Etienne made it