Department of Physics

Schools and colleges

Discover how we work with schools – from primary through to sixth form – to provide lectures and hands-on workshops, both at your school and on the University of Surrey campus. 

To book an event or for more information please contact Heather Campbell, outreach officer. Upcoming events will be posted on our schools and colleges events page.

AS and A-level

Inspirational physics

This event is aimed at Years 9-13 students who are interested in studying physics. Speakers at the event have included: 

  • Professor Jim Al-Khalili, University of Surrey
  • Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, presenter of the BBC's The Sky at Night
  • Dallas Campbell, presenter of the BBC's Bang Goes the Theory

Physics at university taster day

Our Physics at university taster days are designed to give students a taste of studying physics at the University of Surrey. The day will include a lecture from one of our academics and a two-hour practical in our undergraduate labs, as well as information about studying physics at university, lunch and a campus tour. This event normally runs during the summer months. 

Nuclear physics masterclass

Our Nuclear Physics Masterclass aims to give students an insight into nuclear physics through a variety of activities during this one-day event.

The day will include practical experiments in our radiation teaching labs, talks and workshops from our researchers and a lecture on a nuclear physics topic. 

This event is aimed at Year 12 students and each school can bring up to five students.

School lab visits

There is an opportunity to use our undergraduate teaching labs on Wednesday afternoons during the academic year. Students can complete first-year undergraduate-level experiments with the assistance of their teacher and a student demonstrator.

This is a flexible event and can be tailored to suit your requirements, with a range of practical experiments available for students to complete. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Key stage four

What is physics?

Aimed at students who have just started (or are just about to start) their GCSEs, this half-day activity is held on campus and includes an inspiring short talk, exciting hands-on activities and a quiz with fantastic prizes!

Workshops

In association with the South East Physics network (SEPnet), we run a series of GCSE workshops where we bring an exciting variety of equipment to your school to use in demos and hands-on activities.

Each workshop fits into an hour-long lesson slot, with the exception of 'Rollercoaster physics', which requires at least two hours (see below for details).

Workshops are held at your school and can be booked any time.

Energy! (A demonstration lecture)

In this lecture we can bring many of the experiments and activities from the GCSE taster sessions to you. The lecture covers energy, renewable energy, and energy efficiency and is best suited to Year 9 and 10 students. 

Radical radioactivity

This workshop allows student to investigate radioactivity for themselves. We use naturally occurring radioactive rocks and Geiger counters to explore the shielding effect of materials on types of radioactive emission.

Students can also learn about half-life and the discovery, uses and dangers of radioactivity.

Rollercoaster physics

In this workshop, students work in teams to build their own rollercoaster. Once built, they use the rollercoaster to explore forces and motion in a practical and fun way. Concepts covered include energy transfers, speed versus velocity and experimental techniques. 

Investigating spectra

Students will learn about the difference between absorption and emission spectra and how these can be used to identify different elements. They will then identify elements in different lamps using the spectra. They will also get the chance to build a simple spectroscope.

A walk through the electromagnetic spectrum

In this session, students will look at the different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum and what their uses are in medicine, communications and more. 

Medical physics

Students will investigate different methods of medical imaging, including X-ray, PET and ultrasound, through various hands-on experiments. The workshop also covers other diagnostic and treatment techniques such as radiotherapy.

Electricity

This workshop covers series and parallel circuits, as well as a range of different components. Students take part in an interactive demonstration to better understand the voltage and current in a circuit, before getting the chance to build their own circuits.

Key stage three

Accelerate!

This is an exciting, live-action lecture all about particle physics. Through a series of hands-on demostrations you'll learn how to drive a particle accelerator.

LightTAG

In this workshop students will learn about the physics of light and photography and will have the opportunity to create their own light drawing images.

What is physics? (taster session)

Aimed at students who have just started (or are just about to start) their GCSEs, this half-day activity is held on campus and includes an inspiring short talk, exciting hands-on activities and a quiz with fantastic prizes!

The GCSE taster sessions normally take place in July each year.

Energy! - a demonstration lecture

In this lecture we can bring many of the experiments and activities from the GCSE taster sessions to you. The lecture covers energy, renewable energy, and energy efficiency and is best suited to year 9 and 10 students. 

Primary schools

The Department of Physics can organise a number of different activities for primary schools, including workshops in your classroom or school hall and trips to our campus. 

Balloon rockets

Pupils learn all about how rockets go up in to space before making their own rocket powered by a balloon. They are also introduced to ideas about experimenting and improving on their designs. This workshop takes one hour and can take place in a classroom.

Electricity!

Learn about what makes a good electric circuit, the different components and conductors and insulators. Pupils will also learn how to make their own circuits with electric paint!

Science fairs

If you are organising a science fair we can bring a number of hands-on experiments to run on a stand. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Resources

Find us

Department of Physics
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
University of Surrey
Guildford
United Kingdom
GU2 7XH