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Outreach and Public Engagement

The School of Physical Sciences at The Open University aims to widen participation in, and the interest and enjoyment of, physics as well as raising the appreciation of the importance and value of physics in society.

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 covering four main areas in which we support a number of programmes: Schools Outreach, Supporting Public Engagement with Research, Society and Community and Impact and Evaluation. We run engagement activities including repeat interventions in schools as well as public events. We also aim to increase the active participation of members of the School 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 as well as provide training to non-specialist teachers to increase confidence in physics knowledge and pedagogy. The focus of the support is on 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

Open University short courses in a range of subjects including Galaxies, Stars and Planets, aimed at upper A-level to degree level.


Further resources during the Coronavirus pandemic:

School of Physical Sciences Lockdown Lectures on YouTube, with a range of content suitable for different age groups from Early Years to degree-level, also suitable for casual learners.

The Ogden home-learning reosurces hub includes educational resources from Early Years to Degree level in Physics.

The South East Physics Network (SEPnet) have collated further physics learning resources.

The European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO), a collarboration with the European Space Agency have a whole host of resources on their website.

The Open University OpenLearn science, maths and technology resources.


For further information please contact: 

Dr Alice Dunford (Ogden Science Officer)

Dr Natalie Starkey (SEPnet Outreach and Public Engagement Officer)