Report of Polish Association’s Helena Howaniec

The Polish association IPPLM organised a visit for 45 science teachers to JET at Culham in the UK, which took place between 12th –14th March 2009. IPPLM is running a teacher project called “Fusion at school and in society” which began in January 2008. Teachers are given materials about fusion and are able to use them in their classes and in local events. They are able to visit IPPLM with their students and can invite IPPLM into their schools for fusion sessions. IPPLM also organises teacher training courses. About one hundred people, from all over Poland, are involved in this project. The trip to the biggest European tokamak was a reward given to the most enthusiastic people, who had worked very hard for the project over the last year.

At JET, we received a warm welcome and attended presentations given by Michael Watkins, Chris Warrick, Anna Czerwinska and Jef Ongena. Later on, we were given a tour around various JET facilities: The assembly hall, control room, remote handling, and the models.

In the evening, after completion of machine operations, we were very privileged to be allowed to enter the Torus Hall. We were all impressed by the immensity and splendour of the machine. Our guides showed a great deal of enthusiasm, fascination and pride in their work. This emotion was also shared by the visitors.

The teachers asked a lot of questions, they were all curious and eager to learn as much as possible. It was the first time any of them had had the opportunity to see a fusion laboratory and a tokamak. It just so happens that the very first tokamak they saw, also appears to be the biggest one in the world. Our next stops, the Department of Physics at the University of Oxford and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, completed our JET visit thematically.

During our stay in Oxford, we also found time to go sightseeing in the beautiful old town. We had the great pleasure of attending a concert in the Sheldonian Theatre on Saturday, 14th of March. Our lovely friend and great fusion enthusiast Jef Ongena, a researcher at JET choir singer, invited us to attend their concert in this old and wellknown theatre.

All teachers felt themselves fortunate to have been able to participate in the training course in Oxford and the IPPLM association hopes that the visit is only the start of a series of teachers’ visits to JET. There are a great number of very active science teachers in Poland who would very much like to see this great, world famous device.