School of Physical Sciences

Physical Sciences Outreach - Information for Schools

The aim of the School of Physical Sciences Outreach Team at Kent is to engage the wider community with chemistry, forensics and physics, and inspire future scientists.

All of our activities are provided for FREE!

Our maximum travel time is 1 hour.

To book a session please use the booking form. PLEASE ONLY BOOK FOR DATES THAT ARE AVAILABLE ON THE LIST. You will receive an email within a week confirming your booking.

The Outreach Team is now fully booked for primary school sessions, we apologise for any disappointment.

Please contact for more information or if you have any queries.

COMING SOON – New Chemistry and Forensics Workshops

Mobile Planetarium

Requirements: 8m x 8m floor space and 3.7m ceiling clearance.
Maximum capacity: 35 people, including both students and teachers.

45 minute presenter led shows available, including Short films created by NSC Creative – ‘We are Astronomers’, and ‘We are Aliens’; and tours through the visible night sky using the software Stellarium.

Stellarium is a free piece of software available to download at

The Astrodome is suitable for KS2 onwards, however we do have limited KS2 availability.

KS2: Planets, Moon and Sun

KS3: The Solar System and beyond

GCSE: Stellar life cycle, Doppler Effect (red/blue shift), Black Holes

A-Level: Stellar life cycle, Galaxies, Cosmology, the Universe

Due to the time and effort required to transport and inflate the dome, the sessions must reach at least 90 students, i.e. 3 shows. We will do a maximum of 6 shows per day. Please remember to timetable breaks.

If we are not able to come to you there are other mobile planetariums available at the universities of Sussex, Southampton and Portsmouth.

mobile planetarium
Photograph courtesy of Discovery Planet



An interactive Liquid Nitrogen show that is all about particle accelerators; it walks the audience through what is required in order for a particle accelerator to work by using multiple demonstrations and interactive experiments. This session is suitable for GCSE/A-level students.

It is recommended that this 45-60 minute session should engage with 30-60 students at a time but larger groups can be accommodated. Venues need to be ventilated.

Cool Physics

An interactive Liquid Nitrogen show that includes information on extreme cold and living tissue, the liquid to gas expansion, and material properties at low-temperature. It is suitable for students in Years 7 - 9, with plenty of opportunities for members of the audience to participate.

It is recommended that this 45-60 minute session should engage with 30-60 students at a time but larger groups can be accommodated. Venues need to be ventilated.

cool-physics photos

Photographs courtesy of Discovery Planet


A Walk through the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Suitable for 30 GCSE students for a session between 45-60 minutes.

An opportunity for students to explore parts of the electromagnetic spectrum such as: Ultraviolet, Infrared and Microwaves, whilst getting hands on with the real life applications for which these different types of electromagnetic radiation can be used.

The session can be presented as either an interactive talk or a workshop.



Suitable for 30 GCSE students for a session between 45-60 minutes.
Students will be introduced to the fundamental physical and chemical principles of spectroscopy which they will put into practice by making a spectrometer and using it to identify some unknown gases.

Spectroscopy is used to identify chemical structures, test for the presence of drugs and even work out what distant stars are made out of.

We offer a carousel of activities that include some of the following activities to give a rounded view of the work of a Forensic Science Officer, these sessions can be provided on campus or at schools

  • Finger printing
  • Crime Scene Analysis
  • Blood Spatter
  • Toolmarks

We also offer activities in the laboratories on campus such as a ballistics sessions and E-FIT facial recognition software sessions.

These sessions are suitable for KS3 onwards and we can accommodate group sizes of up to 30.

Students investigating a mock crime scene Students investigating a mock crime scene outside


Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC)

Suitable for 30 KS3 students for a session between 45-60 minutes.
Students will be introduced to the fundamental chemical principles of chromatography, which is one of the most widely used techniques in Analytical Chemistry. They will put this into practice by identifying an unknown expected drug sample.

Chromatography is widely used in the analysis of substances, as well as in the monitoring of chemical leakage into food.

The school will need to provide some equipment; a list of these items is available below.

Equipment List

  • A lab to run the workshop in
  • Laptop/projector
  • 400 ml beakers (or close to 400 ml size) – 1 per pair of students
  • Measuring cylinders  (any size that is around 10-50 ml) – 1 per pair of students
  • Non-halogenated solvent waste bottle (if possible)


Example of Thin Layer Chromatography A student using Thin Layer Chromatography


Nuclear Medicine

Suitable for A Level students studying Chemistry, the workshop lasts for 60 minutes but a double lesson is suggested.

Nuclear Medicine is a rapidly expanding area, especially for diagnostic imaging. Students will get a brief overview of the field of nuclear medicine and also get the chance to synthesise the ligand 'ATSM', a tracer that is used in real diagnostic imaging procedures. There is an option to submit the students’ samples for analysis by our analytical services and get the results sent back to you.


Super Polymers

Suitable for all ages, in groups of 30.

A hands on workshop about polymers in which the participants will have the chance to create slime and bouncy balls, watch as water disappears, and polystyrene dissolves.


super polymer example


School of Physical Sciences, Ingram Building, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NH

Enquiries: contact us

Last Updated: 31/01/2017