The question posed by examiners

4th July 2008 at 01:00
The year is 2028, and society has changed
The year is 2028, and society has changed. The economy of the UK is now based almost entirely on tourism and the production of television programmes, in particular game shows and virtual reality series. Consequently, the secondary school curriculum concentrates on hospitality studies and media studies.

You are now in your late thirties and are a successful member of the management team of a large hotel group. Although you studied physics up to AEA standard at school back in 2008 and followed this with a first-class honours degree in physics, you were among the last to follow such a course.

Science has not been taught beyond primary school level for a decade. Only a few universities have science facilities, and these are very small. Physics is treated as being irrelevant, as are the great pioneers such as Newton and Einstein.

You are very disturbed at the way things are going. Your daughter is about to go to secondary school. Write a letter to the board of governors of your daughter's prospective school emphasising the importance of continuing the study of physics, at least in the early years of secondary school. Illustrate your letter by outlining Newton's laws of motion and pointing out practical applications of the laws which your daughter may have experienced at her primary school, perhaps without realising how they related to the laws.

Remember that it is likely that no member of the board has your own background in physics; most will have stopped studying science at the end of their primary school careers.

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