Previous Outreach Activities

Great Exhibition Road festival

The Great Exhibition Road festival is a 3-day festival held in July, where all the institutions that have a connection to Exhibition Road came together to present their research and artefacts to the general public. This year more than 60,000 visited the festival.

After the success of the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, TSM showcased Code for Creation at the festival, developing an old fashioned games arcade where visitors could explore the research conducted by the groups and investigate the conductive properties of graphene, build a fusion reactor and race against a Raspberry pi Artificial intelligence in a series of puzzles.

Imperial Lates

In February 2019 TSM took part in the Imperial Lates’ event ‘Smart technology’, which took place in London Fashion week and looked at how clothes and technology will become integrated in the future. The TSM group presented their research on Graphene and how it can be used in flexible technologie that can and will be integrated into clothing in the future. The group brought along ‘defect drop’ an arcade style game designed to show the properties of graphene and how these properties can be modified by adding ‘defects’ which alter the properties of the material making it more suitable for different tasks. Since it is so string, flexible and able to conduct electricity, it is a perfect material for integrating into clothing.

Pint of Science

Since its founding in 2012, TSM have been involved in Pint of Science, hosting the Atoms to Galaxies events, bringing together some of the most cutting edge research from the Physics, Materials and Computing worlds.

CREST Academy

The Imperial CREST Academy provides scientific mentoring and support to help students aged 16–18 successfully undertake and submit a project for a British Science Association CREST award. The CREST awards, dubbed the ‘Duke of Edinburgh Award in Science’, allow you to plan and carry out long-term science projects with guidance from a professional scientist.

The CREST Academy runs over the course of the academic year (October- July) with a symposium occurring at the start of the next academic year, where the students can present their results to their peers, mentors and members of staff. This year the annual student conference occurred on Wednesday 2nd October in the Blackett Laboratory, with more than 100 students from seven different London state schools taking part.

The Academy is run by Dr Simon Foster (Physics/TSM) and Dr Cecilia Johansson (Medicine), with much of the success being built upon the input of students and staff from TSM, who have generously given up a great deal of time and effort in mentoring and guiding the students taking part.

The London Mayor’s Schools Challenge

The Mayor’s Schools challenge is a competition organised by Imperial College London, JP Morgan and The London Mayor’s Office, open to London School students to come up with a solution to some of the most pressing challenges facing London in the future.

Dr Simon Foster from TSM was the keynote speaker at the launch event at the JP Morgan headquarters in Canary Wharf.

This year pupils from 12 London schools took part, with the final of the event occurring at the Science Museum. At the final the pupils present their solutions to a panel of judges made up of the student mentors along with staff and students from JP Morgan and Imperial College and TSM, with each member of the winning team receiving a tablet computer and a day out for the team.  In addition, members of the TSM took part in the STEM market place, where they discussed their research and undertook hands on demos with the students to give them a taste of the cutting edge science the department is undertaking.

London Philharmonic Orchestra Outreach Event

On 18th of February, the London Philharmonic Orchestra organised “Conducting Science”, a family event based around the central theme of sound. This constituted of a child-friendly concert preceded by a variety of interactive demonstrations. These covered all aspects of sound in a very broad context ranging from the visual arts, to music and of course: science. Through our beloved outreach officer Simon Foster, the LPO invited Physics and TSM students to take care of the latter with exciting science demos for kids and parents alike. 

Jana OutreachSo on this bright Saturday morning, Andrew, Jana, Nicola, Andrew and Jonas went along to the Royal Festival Hall armed with three demonstrations, all well thought-out by Simon. As soon as the doors opened families started pouring in and it was nice to see that there was a more than healthy interest in our demonstrations. Queues started forming at the three stands as the kids were interested to find out why the Chinese spouting bowl made such a mess and where the pretty table salt patterns on top of the Chladni plate - almost worth the piercing sound it makes in the process - came from. The third demo visualised directly that sound is made up of pressure waves. It consisted of a small mirror glued to a balloon which in turn was fixed over a cup with a whole in the bottom. So when someone sings into the back of it the laser dot starts moving around as the balloon at the other end of the cup wiggles around, driven by the pressure of that person’s voice. The kids were intrigued, their parents interested in the more in depth explanations behind them: everyone were mesmerised.

 A special thank you has to go to Andrew who stepped after Simon did his back in which took him out of action for a few days. Without Andrew’s efforts in getting all the equipment there and back, the whole event would most likely have had to be cancelled. I cannot imagine the disappointment in the kids’ eyes if they would have turned up and the promised science would not have been there. The horror. So a big thank you to Andrew for saving the day and everyone else who helped out with this exciting public engagement event.

Science Communication Conference

Imperial Festival

  • 11-12th May: Imperial Festival. TSM students have been asked to take part in the inaugural Imperial festival. We will have a stand in the festival tent, speaking to members of the general public about the work that the TSM undertakes. We will be conducting live demonstrations and experiments at the stand, as well as 'science busking', where groups of students will walk around the festival undertaking small demos to engage with the audience.

Exhibition road cultural group

  • 21st June: Exhibition road cultural group: The various institutions on exhibition road have been asked to come together to discuss their work. We hope to have a DTC stand at the event so we can talk about our research and work.

Institute of Physics (IoP) teacher training event

  • 30th June: Institute of Physics (IoP) teacher training event: We are hoping of putting on several days of training for newly qualified and established teachers to help them improve the quality of their teaching and the understanding of physics. The idea is that some of the students can come along and devise demonstrations of their work that can be translated into topics that are in the science national curriculum.

Science uncovered at the natural history museum

  • 28th September: Science uncovered at the natural history museum. The natural history museum will open its doors to the public and introduce them to scientists, showcasing the cutting edge of science. We are hoping to get some of our students on the bill for the night.

Science speed dating

  • 14th March: Science speed dating: Simon will be talking at several schools in south London about the research conducted by the DTCs and TSM. Students are welcom to participate.

Cheltenham science festival

  • Cheltenham science festival. Simon is doing a series of childrens workshops at the Cheltenham science festival. TSM students are welcom to participate.

CDT Teachers Experience Day

  • In July the TSM played host to the first CDT experience day, where physics teachers were invited along to Imperial College to get a taste of the amazing research being conducted by the TSM group. Prof Peter Haynes and TSM students gave a series of talks and ran hands-on workshops which immersed the teachers in the work of the group. This allowed them to understand the exciting work being conducted by the group and take this knowledge back into the classroom to inspire the next generation of scientists. It is hoped we will turn this teacher’s workshop into an annual event. 

Climate Change debate

Prof Adrian Sutton and Dr Simon Foster helped organise the 1st Phoenix high school debate, centred on the subject of 'Is the UK government doing enough to combat climate change'. Prior to the debate various scientists visited the school to give talks about different aspects of climate change and its causes. Simon spoke about his research into solar variability and climate change, giving the participants an insight into the workings of our nearest star and its influence upon the Earth’s climate. Students used this information to prepare their arguments for the debate, at which Simon acted as one of the judges.

Physics department work experience

Staff and students from the TSM met with work experience students to explain their research and experiences as scientists. Based on these meetings the students produced posters and gave a presentation outlining the work of the TSM. TSM students also ran a series of experiments with work experience students who were visiting the physics department. These experiments gave the students the opportunity to handle equipment and materials that is not usually available within schools. These experiments helped to make this a really memorable experience for the work experience students.