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Abstract

Pilar Fernandez: 
Saving lives with sunlight: Solar Water Disinfection from Bench-top to Roof-top

Dr Pilar Fernandez-Ibáñez is lecturer at Ulster University, UK. She works on the development and assessment of solar rainwater reactors in the WATERSPOUTT project

At least 1.8 billion people globally use a source of drinking water that is faecally contaminated and thus likely to lead to diarrheal illness. Diseases related to the consumption of contaminated drinking-water place a major burden on human health. In 2015, 663 million people still lacked access to an improved drinking water source, and these are mostly the poor and marginalized. Almost a quarter of those people rely on surface water that is untreated and microbiologically unsafe, leading to a higher risk of contracting waterborne diseases, including typhoid, hepatitis A and E, polio and cholera.

Solar disinfection (SODIS) is a point-of-use, household water treatment and storage (HWTS) method that uses solar ultraviolet energy to inactivate pathogens in water stored in transparent containers placed in direct sunlight. Previous studies have demonstrated that SODIS reduces incidence of waterborne disease and provides significant benefit in child development and household finances. Nevertheless, SODIS remains the least used HWTS method approved by the WHO.

In this presentation we examine the fundamentals mechanisms that explain how SODIS is efficient to inactivate microoorganisms in wate; the underlying evidence base supporting its efficacy; the principal obstacles to uptake found during the implementation phase; and how the EU-H2020 WATERSPOUTT project is attempting to develop new SODIS technologies that directly address these obstacle.

WATERSPOUTT is a 4-year (2016-2020), €3.6M Research Innovation Action involving 18 partner organisations in 11 countries across 4 time zones in Europe and Africa. The multi-disciplinary research team includes SMEs, universities, research organisations with experts in social sciences, basic sciences and engineering. The aim of WATERSPOUTT is to develop larger volume (20L-100L) point of use water treatment technologies, which will remove some of the major obstacles to SODIS uptake.

See also an article in EuroPhysics News.

Konrad Schönborn
Interactive Visualization – Making the Invisible Visible in Science Education

Visualization is fundamental to learning. Visualization incorporates both the cognitive mechanisms for interpreting visual information, as well as the processes through which learners use representations as knowledge-building tools. This talk explores the influence of different interactive visualization environments on students’ learning and understanding in the molecular and physical sciences. Implications for science education praxis and future research are also considered.

Konrad has a PhD in biochemistry education from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He is a docent in visualization and media technology at Linköping University, and coordinates the Swedish National Graduate School in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education (FontD). His research is in the realm of visual learning and communication, where he investigates the role of representations, visual literacy, multimodality, and interactive virtual environments in science education.

Claudia Haagen-Schützenhöfer
Design-Based Research: Bridging Research and Practice in Teaching and Learning Optics

Claudia Haagen-Schützenhöfer is Professor at the institute of Physics at the University of Graz where she has been a faculty member since 2014. She is the department’s Chair for Physics Education and deputy director of the Institute.

Prof. Haagen was educated as a teacher for Physics and Languages at the University of Graz and has eight years of experience as a high school teacher. In 2001, she started a postgraduate study in parallel to her work at school. In 2005, she completed her Ph.D. in general education at the University of Graz. From 2009 to 2014 Claudia Haagen-Schützenhöfer held a position as Postdoc at the Austrian Educational Competence Centre Physics at the University of Vienna. In 2014, Claudia Haagen was appointed an assistant professor at the University of Graz and in 2015, as head of the Regional Educational Competence Centre for Physics and Science. Since 2014, Prof. Haagen-Schützenhöfer is the scientific leader of one of the largest national programs in science teachers’ continuous professional development, the IMST CPD program “competences in mathematics and science”. In 2016, Claudia Haagen completed her habilitation in physics education and gained the venia docendi for didactics of physics at the University of Vienna

Stanley Micklavzina
Science Circus: Demonstrations from a Tesla show

The Science Circus is intended to excite and educate the general community to the wonder of the universe and the importance of science education and research. Ultimately, we would love to see the young minds open up to the world of science exploration and expand the numbers of future scientists! As Einstein once stated " In the matter of physics the first lessons should contain nothing but what is experimental and interesting to see. A pretty experiment is in itself, often more valuable than twenty formulæ extracted from our minds." Add performance to the experiment, and you get the minds of the observer to see what they have missed before