Thousand pupils engage with Ibn Al-Haytham School Programme in England

Supported by the Ogden Trust, 1001 Inventions helps spark children’s interest in physics while learning about lesser-known scientists

London, 6 August 2021 – In this particularly challenging year, more than one thousand pupils from three schools across England have been able to participate in hands-on workshops and exciting activities to learn about the principles of light and vision while discovering the story of Ibn al-Haytham.

The “Ibn Al-Haytham School Programme” was introduced to schools in the UK through the support of the Ogden Trust, a charitable trust that exists to promote the teaching and learning of physics.

The programme is based on learning from the successful “1001 Inventions Science Fair Programme” and continues the legacy of the global initiative “1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham” launched in 2015 in partnership with UNESCO and in celebration of the International Year of Light.

Schools from Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham, supported by the Ogden Trust Regional Representatives, participated in this new programme, which offered teachers the opportunity to creatively organise exciting sessions, introducing basic concepts of physics, to their students.

Participating schools benefited from the 1001 Inventions resources kit, including an orientation session, where they could learn from past experiences of teachers who previously led 1001 Inventions programmes; access to the short film “1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham”; copies of the “Ibn Al-Haytham: The Man Who Discovered How We See” children’s book, published in partnership with National Geographic; copies of the “Ibn Al-Haytham Educational Guide” – including step-by-step guidance to a range of hands-on workshops and science demonstrations to help improve students’ understanding of optics and a copy of the 1001 Inventions colourful and packed with facts set of educational posters.

Teachers participating in the programme were encouraged to flexibly use all the resources provided, adapted to the curricula and their pupils’ needs and interests. They all gave positive feedback about the programme with Rochelle Jeffery, from the Nelson Mandela Primary affirming that the programme

“engaged students from the onset and excited them. It allowed them to learn about key principles of light, vision and optics in a creative way.”

She added that:

“Children were fascinated with travelling back to the 11th century. They learned about light, vision, and optics creatively and were highly enthused and engaged by the activities.”

Adam Lowell, from Burnwood Primary School, said:

“[Children] responded in a very positive and enthusiastic way. They knew little of the achievements of early Islamic society and enjoyed finding out about the amazing discoveries. They enjoyed the hands-on activities which helped to give their learning context.”

Amanda Mikaulaskas, from Stoke Minster Primary Academy, said:

“We all had great fun and the project was well-received. (…) We have also purchased frames for the large posters that you sent us so that we can form a permanent display.”

Pupils were enthusiastic about participating in all the activities and experiments with their peers and teachers. They very much enjoyed learning about the amazing discoveries by pioneers such as Ibn al-Haytham. Children particularly enjoyed the hands-on activities including creating pinhole cameras and models of the human eye. They also built kaleidoscopes, 3D glasses and even a fully functional periscope!

Children’s knowledge before and after the programme was evaluated by some teachers and the impact of the “Ibn Al-Haytham School Programme” has proved to be highly positive! Pupils were able to confidently talk about the discoveries they had studied, recalling names of famous scientists, and explaining their findings using correct scientific vocabulary!


Established by Sir Peter Ogden in 1999, we are a charitable trust that exists to promote the teaching and learning of physics. We do this by enabling innovative physics teaching to take place in, and collaboratively between schools, often forging links to universities. We support teacher CPD and address the shortage of physics teachers in the UK by funding programmes that encourage young graduates to go into teaching.



1001 Inventions is an award-winning, British based organisation that creates international educational campaigns and initiatives aiming to spark young people’s interest in science. 1001 Inventions believes in the power of culture and storytelling to encourage innovation and promote diversity and inclusion. As such, 1001 Inventions produces themed transmedia productions uncovering fascinating contributions of lesser-known pioneers from Arab, Asian and other Eastern cultures. Such creative public engagement productions cover a wide array of themes including health and wellbeing, machines and robotics, chemistry, and its applications as well as animals and nature.

1001 Inventions has engaged with over 450 million people across the globe through effective grassroots outreach as well as working with a network of international partners, including UNESCO, the United Nations World Food Programme, National Geographic, and leading academics to produce interactive exhibits, shorts films, live shows, books, and educational resources that are being used by hundreds of thousands of educators around the world.