Two school students working with Bunsen burner in laboratory
Pete Bateson.

Community engagement

In the School of Physical Sciences we work with a range of audiences, including schools and local communities, to ignite and nurture a love of science, as well as engaging with the public about our cutting-edge research.

The University of Kent is part of SEPnet, the South East Physics Network, a network of universities working together to promote physics through high-quality outreach. We are also supported by The Ogden Trust, a charitable organisation that seeks to maximise the opportunities available to young people in all parts of the UK’s educational system and, in particular, to support the teaching and learning of physics.

Our outreach team

Our outreach programme is designed to engage the community with Chemistry, Forensic Science and Physics. In 2017 we engaged with over 7,000 people and held more than 60 events. We want to share our fascination with science and inspire future scientists. 

bOing! Festival

At the bOing! family festival held in August, our ever-popular astrodome brings the farthest reaches of space to the audience in 3-D. At last year's event, the ‘Cool Science’ show caused excitement as children and adults got to work on smashing bananas frozen by liquid nitrogen. 

Summer schools

In 2018 we launched our Chemistry and Forensics residential which gave 18-year-olds the chance to take part in hands-on experiments in our state-of-the-art labs. If you are interested in learning more about our summer schools, please visit Headstart for more details about the course and how to apply.

Space School 

Our annual Space School was another success, with students aged 15-18 observing the night skies from our Beacon Observatory, as well as designing, building and launching a rocket. They also had the opportunity to work on space science and astronomy projects with academics and postgraduate students. 

Applications for the Summer 2019 Space School are now open, and this year will be bigger and better than ever, in celebration of the Space School's 20th anniversary! Apply early by visiting our Kent Store.

Two school students adjusting a clamp in a lab
Pete Bateson.

Festival of Chemistry

The Salters’ Festival of Chemistry is a competition day for Year 8 students, hosted at the University of Kent Canterbury campus. If you would like more information about this event, please visit Salters’ Institute.

 Science talks

We also offer talks for local schools about our research and studying science at university. If you would like to learn more, please contact

On behalf of my school, a huge thank you for hosting us on our recent visit – I know that the students benefited immensely from the opportunity and I hope that it will encourage them to consider studying physics ... in higher education.

Teacher involved in the SPARK project Read more

Engagement with our research

Engaging with members of the public, as well as with other academics, is integral to our programme. Across our research groups we organise high-profile, international conferences and workshops, and our academics have secured substantial funding from sources such as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Royal Society of Chemistry and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). 

Most recently,  we have worked with Discovery Planet at the Dreamland amusement park in Margate, Kent, on a series of ‘Plastics Unwrapped’ workshops. 

Learn more about the impact of our research in the School of Physical Sciences and how we are helping to find a solution to the plastic pollution problem.

Keep in touch with us

Keep up to date and learn more about our outreach and engagement activities by reading our blog.

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