Teacher Events

We are very keen to engage with teachers and offer several workshops and events throughout the year. Events for 2018-19 are below.

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Events 2018 -19


Science Teachers Conference – 1st November 2019 - London

A day conference for secondary school science teachers as part of the Making Materials Matter Project providing opportunities to network with colleagues and learn more about the subject of materials science, where it fits into the current curricular and the importance of science enrichment opportunities. The day will also include the chance to try out practical activities developed and/or delivered on the project.

PDF Draft Programme.   PDF Privacy Notice Registration.   PDF Privacy Notice Photography.  

To register your interest, please complete our registration form.


Past Events


Oxford University Teacher Summer School – 11th -12th July 2019

This is a CPD accredited two-day residential summer school for teachers at state-funded schools and colleges in the UK. The summer school aims to support teachers to stretch and challenge their most able students, and equip them with the best possible advice and guidance on selective university admissions. During the summer school, teachers receive detailed support and guidance about the Oxford admissions process, experience taster sessions for different academic subjects, and learn from mock interviews.

Making Materials Matter Workshop – Jayne Shaw, Access & Outreach Manager

09:30-10:30 Thursday 10th January 2019
ASE Annual Teachers Conference, University of Birmingham

This workshop will share the resources developed through the Making Materials Matter project and look at the direct links these have with the KS3-4 curriculum. We will discuss the sustainability of the project and the potential support we can offer teachers with regards enriching the curriculum with the aim of inspiring the next generation of scientists.

Further information and booking details can be found at https//www.ase.org.uk/annual-conference

Hirsch Lecture 2019
4:30pm, Friday 8 February 2019

As part of our outreach efforts we will be running a CPD Materials Science workshop for Teachers preceding the biennial Hirsch Lecture which will be delivered by Professor Anne Neville on Friday 8th Feb 2019 at 4.30pm.

PDF Hirsch Lecture 2019

There will be a pre-lecture tea and post-lecture drinks reception, and we would like to use this event as an opportunity for science teachers to visit and enjoy the workshop and/or the lecture and hospitality.

The workshop aims to showcase latest developments in Materials Science and make available resources we have developed for hands-on experiments in schools. These activities are designed to support the teaching of Materials Science and raise awareness of this discipline as an option for your science students to pursue at tertiary education. We will provide an overview of our applications and admissions process and plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

Making Materials Matter 2018 Teachers Conference
Friday 13th July 2018, Ironmonger's Hall, London

An exciting conference for UK teachers with opportunities to network with colleagues and learn more about the subject of Materials Science, where it fits into the current curricular and the importance of science enrichment opportunities. The Making Materials Matter conference is funded by The Company of Ironmongers and held at the Ironmongers Hall in London concludes a 6-month KS3 materials science project run collaboratively by Oxford & Cambridge Universities and Imperial College London. All resources developed from the project will be made freely available to teachers, enabling them to link curriculum content to materials science.

Plenary speaker Professor Louise Archer will be delivering the education plenary on her important research on science capital 'Improving student engagement with STEM: A science capital approach' followed by 'Using the science capital teaching approach in practice: workshop'.

Plenary speaker Professor Rachel Oliver will be delivering the materials science plenary, ‘Illuminating Materials'

Education Plenary Talk - Professor Louise Archer

Education Plenary Talk - Professor Louise Archer

Prof Louise Archer Louise Archer is the Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education at UCL Institute of Education. Her research focuses on educational identities and inequalities, particularly in relation to gender, social class and ethnicity. She has directed a number of research studies focusing on understanding young people's engagement with science, including the ten year longitudinal Aspires/Aspires2 project on children's science and career aspirations; the five Enterprising Science research and development project around engaging young people from under-represented communities with science and the UK side of the four year Youth Equity+STEM project, exploring young people's engagement with STEM through out-of-school settings.

Materials Science Talk - Professor Rachel Oliver

Materials Science Talk - Professor Rachel Oliver

Illuminating Rachel Rachel Oliver is Professor in Materials Science at Cambridge University, and will be the Director of the Cambridge Centre for Gallium Nitride from March 2018. She received her PhD in semiconductor nanotechnology from Oxford University in 2003 and since then has published more than 200 research papers. Her current research interests centre on gallium nitride, particularly understanding and engineering its structure at the very small scale. This involves her in the development of both a range of light sources (from light emitting diodes to more esoteric light emitters such as single photon sources for use in quantum cryptography) and also electronic devices for power conversion, data transmission, sensing and logic. Professor Oliver is also an enthusiastic advocate for women in science, and founded the Robinson College Women in Science Festival.

She is involved in a number of outreach projects, including a series of hands on workshops about light and light emitting devices for young people across the age range from 5 to 18. She leads the development of android apps which explain nitride light sources to a wide audience. In 2015 she was awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering / Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship.

Illuminating Materials

Illuminating Materials

Illuminating RachelAbout a quarter of the electricity generated worldwide is used for lighting. Energy efficient light bulbs based on light emitting diodes (LEDs) are about five times more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, and hence have the potential to allow enormous energy savings. The key material used in LEDs which emit white light is gallium nitride, a man made compound, which has never been observed to occur in nature. Optimising this new material to make LEDs which are efficient, long-lived and reasonably affordable has been a huge challenge, and despite the undoubted commercial success of these devices many aspects of their operation remain mysterious. This lecture will explain how we can take LEDs apart, literally atom by atom, to understand their structure and how this controls their properties. The relevant techniques emerged from traditional metallurgy, but are now being used to understand materials for cutting edge optoelectronic devices, illustrating how the basic principles of materials science are vital to the development of the technologies of tomorrow.

Research in Schools - Becky Parker & Helena Benthall

Research in Schools - Becky Parker & Helena Benthall


Becky Parker

Prof Becky Parker After a physics degree and research at the University of Chicago, Becky taught in a variety of schools. She is now Director of the Institute for Research in Schools. IRIS supports school students and teachers getting involved in authentic research through a wide range of research projects. Becky has received Honorary Fellowship of the Institute of Physics and the Kavli Education Medal from the Royal Society.




Helena Benthall

Helena BenthallHelena Benthall is a student, teacher-scientist and freelance show producer. Whilst studying Chemistry at Imperial College London as an undergraduate she is working as a Project Consultant at The Institute of Research in Schools. Before university, she was employed by a private school in London where she taught maths from reception to further maths, was a chemistry tutor and managed the extra curricular music programme. She now tutors science and maths to students of all ages. Outside science, she is Varsity Vocal’s UK Associate Producer running the International Championships for Collegiate A Cappella across the UK.

Mini Workshops - Les Bicknell

Mini Workshops - Les Bicknell

Les Bicknell Les Bicknell Artist working within The Learning Institute at King's College London within Anatomy and Biomedical Engineering, on a synthetic anatomy arts into science module. His practice includes large scale public art commissions and an extensive history of working within community engagement initiatives. Currently working as Senior Lecturer on the Textile Design BA at NUA, Course Tutor MA in Book Art at UAL Camberwell and Visiting Tutor on the MA Fine Art Course at OCA. The work can be found in numerous public and private international collections including The Rijksmuseum, The V&A, M.O.M.A. New York, and The Tate Gallery.   Les's presentation is available via slideshare.

The Road to Materials Science at University – Jayne Shaw

The Road to Materials Science at University – Jayne Shaw

Jayne Shaw Jayne Shaw is the Access and Outreach Manager for the Department of Materials at Oxford University. Jayne started her career as a Chemistry Teacher in a village school before moving to an inner city London secondary comprehensive as Head of Chemistry. Jayne now works in developing and delivering science outreach to schools with the aim of raising aspirations and inspiring the next generation of scientists. Jayne has managed a range of award winning projects working with a variety of stakeholders including the Royal Society of Chemistry, UCL Chemistry, The Ashmolean Museum and The University of the Arts, London.


'Discover Materials: Teachers Workshop'
1-5pm Wednesday 11th July 2018
School of Metallurgy and Materials at the University of Birmingham

WorkshopPosterWe are delighted to be collaborating with the University of Birmingham, Cambridge University, Imperial College London, Loughborough University, University of Manchester, Queen Mary University of London, The University of Sheffield, and University of Swansea, to offer a free afternoon Materials Science workshop for teachers of science.

The workshop is aimed at GCSE and A-level science teachers and will highlight opportunities available to your students in the field of Materials Science and Engineering, provide you with simple hands-on activities linked to the current science curriculum that you can easily bring back to your classroom. The hands-on activity will complement your curriculum delivery when covering Hooke's law, Young's modulus and the structure of materials, as well as additional topics such as shape memory alloys.

Lunch and coffee will be provided to attendees. Please book early as places are limited.
Please register at https://dmtw2018.eventbrite.com 

1:00pm - Registration, lunch and networking
2:00pm - Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering
2:20pm - Hands-on activity 1
2:50pm - Hands-on activity 2
3:20pm - Coffee
3:50pm - Hands-on activity 3
4:20pm - Where can Materials Science and Engineering take your students?
4:40pm - Q&A
5:00pm - End of day