Physics Goes To School (PGTS)
Background and Description
The Department of Physics of IPB University has a mission to realize higher education in the field of physics that is professional and produces technology that is beneficial to society. To realize this mission, the Department of Physics encountered obstacles including the lack of interest of high school students and the equivalent to choose the Physics Study Program at IPB University. This is due to several factors including the characteristics of physics which is difficult and boring for students so that students are not interested in studying physics further. In addition, there is a stigma in society that physics graduates are less likely to get a decent job after graduation. The Physics Department of IPB University initiated the Physics Goes To School (PGTS) activity since PGTS aims to provide insight and improve student literacy in physical science and its applications through socialization and technology coaching clinics, especially robotics and the internet of things (IoT).
Every year the Physics Department of IPB University visits several schools in various regions, initially only around Bogor. It started in 2012 at SMAN 1 Leuwiliang, Bogor Regency and MAN 1 Bogor City, then continued in Serang City, Banten (SMAN 2 Serang and SMAN 6 Serang) and Cianjur Regency, West Java (SMAN 1 Cilaku) in 2013. In 2014 PGTS was implemented at SMAN 1 Garut, West Java, in the same year Robotics Training was also held at SMAN 1 Cigombong, Bogor Regency. Furthermore, in 2015 PGTS was held at SMAN 1 Sukabumi City and SMA Negeri 1 Cikembar, Sukabumi Regency, West Java. In 2016, PGTS activities were held at SMA Ummul Quro’ Al Islami Leuwiliang, Bogor Regency. In 2017 PGTS was held at MAN 1 Bogor City, SMAN 1 Leuwiliang, and SMAN 1 Cianjur. In 2018 PGTS was held at SMAN 1 Jonggol, Bogor Regency and also outside Java, namely at SMAN 2 Enrekang and SMA Muhammadiyah Kalosi, Enrekang Regency. In 2019 PGTS at SMAN 2 Krakatau Steel, Cilegon Banten and outside Java, namely at SMAN 1 Luwu, SMAN 1 Pinrang and SMAN 1 Enrekang, South Sulawesi.
Result and Impact
As a promotional and socialization activity for the Physics Department of IPB University, PGTS has provided significant results. This can be seen in the increasing interest of students in choosing the Physics Department of IPB University to continue their studies at IPB University. In 2012 the admission tightness to the Physics Department was only around 1:6, now it has increased to around 1:11. In addition, the quality of prospective students has also increased, which is indicated by the increase in the GPA at the General Competency Education Program or Program Pendidikan Kompetensi Umum (PPKU) level. The impact of this activity is the increase in the academic achievement of the Physics Department of IPB University. The GPA of graduates tends to increase, the length of study decreases, and the number of graduates on time also increases.
Challenges and Lessons Learned
In carrying out PGTS activities, the Physics Department faces various challenges including limited funds and the lack of student interest in physics. Lessons learned from PGTS activities are the need for intense communication between schools (SMA/MA/SMK) and universities, especially related study programs. It is also known that students have very little insight into the application of physics, so universities need to play a role.
The PGTS activity is the flagship activity of the Physics Department of IPB University which is both promotive and educational. The PGTS activity of the Physics Department of IPB University has received appreciation from the heads of the Indonesian physics study program. Activities like this can be carried out massively throughout Indonesia to increase scientific literacy and student interest in the field of physics and its applications.
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