The event, organised by FuseNet (the European Fusion Education Network), was attended by around 300 science and physics instructors who participated in 11 local sessions in 10 different European countries.
The local session in Catalan was organised by the fusion group of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Fusion for Energy (F4E), and the b_TEC Campus Diagonal-Besòs Foundation as part of the FusionCAT project.
The aim of the webinar was to introduce fusion to secondary school teachers and provide them with the tools and knowledge they need to introduce it in the classroom. Secondary teachers are the front-line ambassadors of science for students, people students see in their daily lives who can have a very significant impact on the students’ careers if the teachers are enthusiastic role models with a passion for science. A skilled and diverse nuclear fusion workforce is needed to secure the future of nuclear fusion, so it’s important to encourage young people to get involved in nuclear fusion engineering and research.
The local Barcelona session was led by Grisha Domakowski from b_TEC Campus Diagonal-Besòs. The session was opened by Ferran Albajar from F4E, who gave a general introduction to nuclear fusion. Then Dani Gallart from the BSC presented new teaching materials for students, as well as teachers, developed by FuseNET in collaboration with FusionCAT. The teaching materials are meant to provide the resources needed for an introductory course on fusion and consist of a manual for teachers, a book for students and exercises. Module 1 can be downloaded here: https://fusioncat.es/educational-resources/.
After the local sessions, all of the participants met for a joint European session where the video The Easiest Thing Nature Does – An Introduction to Fusion Energy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5aWnDVD-Uo) was presented. In the new introductory video on nuclear fusion, researchers from around the world explain the complex physics. Participants were then able to experience and observe two live fusion experiments performed in Europe, one at ITER in Cadarache, France, and the other at Wendelstein 7-X in Greifswald, Germany.
The third European Fusion Teacher Day was a great opportunity for instructors from all over Europe to learn first-hand from Europe’s leading experts in the field about one of the most cutting-edge topics in science. The event received very positive feedback from the teachers, who appreciated the opportunity to participate.