SCHOOL OUTREACH PROGRAMME FOR THE PROMOTION OF PHYSICS AND SCIENCE IN HIGH SCHOOLS
Location: 
Physics Department
The programme under the Department of Physics has over the years invited high schools to visit the College of Biological and Physical Sciences for career guidance and de-mystification of Physics as a hard subject. The programme has seen schools from around the country pay the academic tour, among them being Loreto Limuru Girls School, Kagwe Girls Secondary and Alliance Girls Schools from Central Kenya, Makueni Boys, Mukaa Boys and Carmel Girls Mbiuni from Eastern, Enoomatasian Girls Secondary from Ngong and Bishop Sulumeti Girls Secondary School from Western Kenya. The most recent and remarkable visits were from Gatarakwa Girls Secondary School from Nyeri who made two visits in one month. The first visit was on 15th May 2013 while the second was on 5th June 2013. Through their Physics teachers Mr. King’ori, Mr. Wachira and Ms Wachira (Teacher of English), the students expressed satisfaction from the presentation which opened their minds not only to the career prospects in Physics but in all the Sciences. The students were welcomed and introduced to the various branches in Physics by the Chairman, Dr. Kenneth Kaduki and there after given a broad overview of the academic disciplines the university offers by the Programme coordinator Dr. Justus Simiyu. This included personal experiences and life at the university and more so what the students need to do in preparation of successfully joining the university. To make it a realistic story, Ms Esther Wanjiru (a 4th year to be) from the Department was incorporated into the programme as a peer counsellor and was able to share with the students her personal experiences on campus and how she finds physics to be. This made the visiting school so impressed that within a month they organised a visit specifically for the form one girls in order to give then an early feel of the career choices.

The programme is structured into three sessions: the first being an awareness and career talk by the Chairman, Programme coordinator and peer counsellors, then followed by a guided physics practical session in which the students are taken through some of the basic experiments that are not common in the schools such as the CRO/CRT, rectification and the Geiger Muller counter; the last one is a guided tour to the research laboratories where the students are shown how physics is applied in solving some of the problems in the world and how phyisic applies technology to understand situations. The specific laboratories are Solid State Laboratory for fabrication of thin film solar cells, Electronics Laboratory for microprocessor based sensors and LED lighting project, Laser laboratory for Malaria diagnosis project, Radioactivity laboratory for Nuclear and atomic physics research and Solar energy Laboratory for demonstration of solar pv installation.

The outcomes of the visits have been manifested in a marked improvement in overall performance of the school with a living example being Kagwe Girls and Enoomatasian Girls which are district schools but have improved performance to match the national and provincial schools.