PhysicsImpact in outreach

The Department of Physics is committed to enhancing accessibility to physics. Public engagement is at the heart of how we connect with non-specialists in our local community and encourage school pupils to consider a career in STEM. We offer a wide range of activities that allow school students to experience a taste of what it’s like to study at Strathclyde and to show the wide range of careers paths on offer with a degree in Physics.

In the last few years we have run hands on activities at science festivals, schools, museums, shopping centres, prisons, and on the streets of Glasgow. Details of just some of these events are below

If you are interested in further information or having us work with your school then please contact for further information.

Academics and students from the Department of Physics participate in a variety of outreach activities and events, bringing science and physics to a wider audience. Some recent events include:

We are always looking to interact with primary, secondary, and ASN schools and teachers. Many of our staff and students are members of the STEM Ambassadors network and are PVG certified.

David Elder Lectures

The Physics Department in collaboration with the Glasgow Science Centre, host a series of public lectures throughout the winter months. The David Elder lecture series presents a line-up of fascinating talks by expert astronomers, spaceflight pioneers, award-winning science writers, and broadcasters. Talks are held in the planetarium at Glasgow Science Centre, making full use of the spectacular dome digital projection system. The lecture series have been running for over 100 years, when the tradition of monthly astronomy lectures began with the first David Elder Lecture in 1905.

David Elder Lectures originated as the result of an endowment made by Mrs Isabella Elder to the University. The scope of the endowment is the maintenance of ‘Lectures of Descriptive Astronomy’ in memory of David Elder, her father-in-law.

Science on the Streets

Glasgow has an amazing history of scientific and industrial discovery and invention, and this continues to drive the city today. However, today's technology is usually taken for granted, and Glasgow's contribution is far too often ignored.

Science on the Streets explores the history of science and technology behind every day Glasgow. Free walking tours and a companion website give a way of seeing how science, technology, and their history are built into the city. If you would like to see the 'tape measure' in George Square, hear the story of the two Glasgow scientists' attempt to bring an executed murderer back to life using electricity, or find out how the James Watt steam engine works, then read on or come on our tour. 

Nobel Lecture Series

Over the last decade, the department has hosted numerous public lectures by winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics. A recent highlight was a public lecture by William D Phillips to over 300 attendees at the Technology and Innovation Centre. The event was followed by a liquid-nitrogen ice-cream reception and science fair.

Eclipse Viewing

On the 20th March 2015, to celebrate the eclipse, members of staff set up some telescopes outside the new extension to the John Anderson Building and invited people along.

The Autism Network Scotland office joined us and tweeted some great photos, Autism Network Scotland photos.

Raspberry Pi Days

Computer programming is a key skill in today's world. It's used everywhere, from optimising the way car engines function, controlling aeroplanes in flight, designing precision components, to modelling complex systems like the weather. However computer programming is a skill that needs to be learnt and practised - experience programming, and solving problems with computers, can greatly enhance career opportunities for students and employees.

The Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized computer, designed to improve computer programming knowledge. It is a low cost but capable device that can be used by people of all ages to learn about computing. It connects to the Internet, plays HD video, and can be installed with a variety of Linux operating systems. The Raspberry Pi supports a multitude of applications and development tools - like Scratch which is designed to teach programming concepts to young people. The Raspberry Pi also makes it easy to connect to external sensors and electronics, allowing it to be incorporated into a wide range of projects, such as robots, games consoles, network routers, spacecraft, weather stations and more.