Smestow students were joined by their MP for a radiation experiment as part of a project to encourage more children to take up physics.

Rob Marris, MP for Wolverhampton South West, visited Smestow to talk to teachers and students about the school’s work with the Institute of Physics’ Stimulating Physics Network.

The project pairs schools with a teaching and learning coach with the aim of retraining teachers of other science specialisms to be physics teachers.

Head of Science, Jack Whitehead, said it was a pleasure to show Mr Marris around the science department.

“Physics is a wonderfully interesting and diverse subject, yet the number of students choosing it at A-level is falling, particularly amongst girls,” he said.

“I was involved with the Institute of Physics and their coaching scheme at my previous school and I know what a transformative effect it can have on the quality of physics teaching and learning, and therefore the numbers of students studying physics at A-level.

“We are at the beginning of this journey at Smestow and we are looking forward to reaping those benefits here in the future.

“It was great to show Mr Marris the work we are doing to increase the popularity of physics and he was very interested in the progress being made.”

Mr Marris chatted to students and staff during his visit to the school and tried his hand at an experiment to test the penetrating power of alpha, beta and gamma radiation using different shielding.

He said: “Without an understanding of physics, it’s hard to understand the modern world.

“More than ever, science matters – it’s in just about everything we do. Science is important, it’s fascinating, and it’s great fun!”

In the picture, from left to right: Richard Ager of the Institute of Physics, Navran Mangat, Hassan Asghar, headteacher Martyn Morgan, Ashley Wells and Rob Marris MP.