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Outreach and Public Engagement

The School of Physical Sciences at The Open University aims to promote physics and increase the awareness and interests in physics in both schools and the general public. 

We work in partnership with The Ogden Trust, which is a family charitable trust supporting the teaching and learning of physics, and SEPnet, the South East Physics Network, a network of nine universities in the South East of England working together to deliver excellence in physics with outreach and public engagement programmes.

The School has introduced an Outreach and Public Engagement Strategy which covers four main areas for which we support a number of programmes and activities: Schools Outreach, Supporting Public Engagement with Research, Society and Community and Impact and Evaluation. We run enrichment and engagement activities including repeat interventions in order to widen participation in, interest and enjoyment of, physics and to raise the appreciation of the importance of physics in society whilst promoting the value of physics to society. We also aim to increase the active participation of members of the department in outreach and public engagement events and facilitate the promotion of academic research to the general public.

We support Physics teaching including recruitment, CPD and retention. Provide training to non-specialist teachers to increase confidence in physics knowledge and pedagogy. The focus of the support will be teachers who fall into the following audiences: Teach in primary schools, Teach physics without having a subject specialism, Teach in a state school in a remote rural area, Teach in a state school in an area of social deprivation.

Other ways you can engage with our world-class research include:
• OpenLearn is the portal for the Open University's award-winning free learning materials, including audio and video resources such as “60 second Adventures in Astronomy”

• BBC broadcasts co-produced with the Open University have included “The Material world”, “Inside Science” (Radio); “The Cosmos: A Beginner’s Guide”, “Bang Goes the Theory”, “Star Gazing Live!”, “Light and Dark” (TV) and "The Planets" (TV) 

• The Open Science Laboratory offers online science investigations for schools seeking a broader practical curriculum


For further information please contact: 

Alice Dunford (Ogden Science Officer)

Dr Natalie Starkey (SEPnet Outreach and Public Engagement Officer)