On 15 April, the ISSP UL participated in the Latvian Physics Festival in Riga. At the educational stops, visitors could learn and participate in experiments, test their knowledge, win prizes in competitions, enjoy a concert by Carnival Youth and follow the progress of the semi-finalists and finalists of the "FIZMIX Experiment" students’ erudition competition organized by JSC Latvenergo. The organizers of the festival and competition aimed to draw attention to science education, including its quality, and to recognize the most talented students in Latvia.
The Latvian Physics Festival gathered many visitors – students, families with children, and school students – to show everyone the exciting side of physics and other science subjects in an engaging, interesting, and practical way. The festival returned to a public format this year and was held for the third time after a few years gap due to pandemic restrictions.
The festival activities were divided into different zones: alongside the events on the main stage, there was an EXPO zone, where research stations and experiments were organized by educational institutions, science centers, etc., for example, PROTO Invention Factory, Laboratorium Science School for Children and Youngsters, Young Physicists School, Daugavpils Innovation Centre, Valmiera Technical School, Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Latvia, FIZMIX, Elektrum Energy Efficiency Centre, ACTIVEPARK, and Association of Mechanical Engineering and Metalworking Industries (MASOC).
During the festival, "STEM education for Generation Alpha: what can we do today to increase the popularity of the sciences?" discussion took place, covering subjects such as what various parties involved can do now to increase the popularity of exact sciences, considering the challenges of the education system to raise the prestige of these subjects and the economic challenges – the lack of labor in the engineering industries.
The festival’s activities were tailored to different age groups - students and teachers, families with children and all physics enthusiasts were welcome. This year, the FIZMIX Experiment and Festival focused on the energy of the future and offered the attendees an opportunity to learn how physics knowledge helped in building a sustainable future.
As reported before, during the Physics Festival, the semi-finals, and finals of the 28th FIZMIX Experiment erudition competition for school youth. For several months, 8th and 9th graders from Latvian schools have been completing tasks on future energy prepared by experts and inspirers of the event, competing to reach the semi-finals. The 60 most erudite teams from all around Latvia - 10 from each region and Riga city - took part in the semi-finals, and six finalist teams were determined who competed for the main prize - a team trip to the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, Poland which was awarded to the winners of the FIZMIX Experiment team “Wisdom and beauty” from Saldus secondary school.