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THE EINSTEIN-FIRST PROJECT teaches the fundamental concepts of modern physics to school students and works to improve STEM involvement in the classroom.

Researchers in astrophysics and education are investigating the ability of schoolchildren to understand Einsteinian physics through class intervention and teacher education. The project also explores family education and public outreach.

The Einstein-First Project currently works with school students from Year 4 to Year 12 within Western Australia. We are slowly expanding to other states within Australia and are working with researchers from around the world.

The program operates at the Australian International Gravitational Observatory (AIGO), the Gravity Discovery Centre (GDC) and can also take place in classrooms; the Einstein-First Project is supported by UWA and Ozgrav.

AIGO and the GDC are located in Gingin - approximately 75km north of Perth, Western Australia

Gravitational waves, ripples of space and time, are produced from the interaction of masses

Year 10 students dressing up as (L-R): Heinrich Hertz, News reporter, Richard Feynman and Albert Einstein

Primary school students mapping geometrical shapes on curved space

What is the Einstein-First project trying to achieve?

The Einstein-First Project aims to redesign, evaluate and optimise school science across all educational levels to reflect the modern understanding of space, time, matter and the universe.

 

The Einstein-First Project is a program run by researchers from the University of Western Australia who work with the Gravity Discovery Centre, Ozgrav and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. This project is a part of the Einsteinian Physics Education Research (EPER) team which involves researchers from Norway, China, South Korea, Italy, Germany, Britain and the United States. More information about the online tools used in Norway can be found at https://filarkiv.viten.no/general-relativity/ and https://filarkiv.viten.no/quantum-physics/

The recent detection of gravitational waves proved that Albert Einstein was correct, once again. The physics of our universe is Einsteinian - not Newtonian. Currently, school curricula does not include Einsteinian concepts and still contains restricted Newtonian physics. The Einstein-First Project aims to teach students the fundamental truths of modern physics and also improve student attitudes towards science.

The Einstein-First Project uses interactive learning methods to teach students about modern physics

School students playing with the space-time simulator

Students"photographing" each other with a "photon" gun

Students learning about the momentum of electromagnetic energy

Students measuring and analysing the measurements of curved space