Outreach and Public Engagement Development Day 2019

28 May 2019 - 9:30am to 5:00pm
Clarendon Laboratory, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU
Members of the Department of Physics only (students and staff)



A day to showcase, share and celebrate outreach and public engagement in the Department. The programme will be updated over the next couple of weeks.

The day is open to members of the Department who are interested in outreach and public engagement.


9.30-11.30: Workshop (sign-up in advance)

Using Virtual reality (VR) for physics engagement: Learn more about the process of constructing VR experiences and how to present them at events such as science festivals. The Department has VR kit which is available to use for outreach so come along to explore how to turn your data simulation into a VR experience, take 360 videos and discover the many ready-made science-themed VR experiences that already exist.

Book here: https://www2.physics.ox.ac.uk/my-forms/sign-up-for-outreach-development-day

12.15 – 13.15: Lunchtime hands-on showcase (Martin Wood Complex Foyer, drop-in)

A showcase of activities and demonstrations from a number of departmental outreach initiatives, including:
- Particle Physics Festival Stall
- Quantum Materials activities
Come along to see the activities, talk to the people involved and get inspired!

14.00 - 16.00: Short talks (The Simpkins Lee Seminar Room, drop-in)

Short talks (~15min) followed by discussion in a rolling programme of talks. This is a drop-in session and you do not need to stay for all of the talks.

Confirmed talks:
14:05 - Engagement with the homeless community (Dr James Matthews)
14:30 - Supporting school students to develop authentic research in schools (Dr Peter Hatfield)
14:55 - Engaging audiences with YouTube: How to make videos for science communication (Dr Becky Smethurst)
15:20 - Sing Song Physics: Is songwriting an effective way to engage the public with research? (Dr Neil Bowles)
15:45 - How to get started in public engagement (Dr Sian Tedaldi)


Dr Becky Smethurst

Becky is a research fellow at the University of Oxford looking at how galaxies and black holes evolve using the SDSS-IV: MaNGA survey data. In order to do this, Becky asks the members of the public to classify galaxy shapes in the Galaxy Zoo citizen science project. Becky is also a very keen science communicator and does a lot of media work. Becky posts weekly videos on unsolved mysteries, weird objects in space and a monthly round up of space news on her YouTube channel, Dr. Becky. Becky has also presented physics videos for the YouTube channel Sixty Symbols and astronomy videos for Deep Sky Videos. Becky’s YouTube Channel currently has over 19,000 subscribers and 480,000 views.

Dr Peter Hatfield

Peter is a postdoc working on problems in high energy density physics including inertial confinement fusion and laboratory astrophysics experiments. Peter also works on a number of projects in galaxy evolution and cosmology. Peter has been involved in a wide variety of outreach and school research projects, in particular through the Institute for Research in Schools. For example, earlier this year Peter worked with three sixth form students to publish results from the space-borne Langton Ultimate Cosmic ray Intensity Detector radiation monitor (LUCID) using Machine Learning techniques. This was a wonderful example for research in schools from a conceptual design through to key scientific results building on a decade of work by school student researchers.

Dr Neil Bowles

Dr Neil Bowles is a fellow of St Cross College and a Associate Professors in AOPP. Neil’s main research interests are in laboratory measurements that help analyse and interpret data returned from space-based re¬¬mote sensing and in-situ instruments for landers. Neil is also keen to engage the wider public with his research and as part of the Curiosity Carnival (Fri 29 Sept 2017), he worked with a songwriter to create a song about his research. This led to the Sing Song Physics project where Neil and three other researchers from the Department introduced their research topic to public audiences who then worked with a songwriter to help write a song about the research.

16.00: Celebration and drinks reception (Beecroft foyer, drop-in)

Drinks and networking for all those at Oxford Physics who are involved with outreach and public engagement.


For more information contact: 

Please contact sian.tedaldi@physics.ox.ac.uk for more information.

Register your interest in the morning VR session here: https://www2.physics.ox.ac.uk/my-forms/sign-up-for-outreach-development-day