Workshops for Schools

The Outreach Team regularly run workshops for schools. If you are interested in a visit out to your school or a visit to the department, please email

Please note: due to our existing programme of events, we have very limited availability for school workshops in February/March and June/July. 

See below for details of the workshops we offer:

Tensile Testing

Tensile testing workshop

Tensile Testing 

Who: Y11 (high ability) - Y12 Physics

How many: 20-25 students

Duration: 1-1.5 hours

Students will work in groups of 4 to measure the tensile strength of different materials using a simple tensile tester kit. Each group will plot stress/strain graphs for the material and use these to determine Young’s Modulus. Values for Young’s modulus will be compared to standard values and the experiment evaluated.

Microscopy workshop

Materials under the microscope workshop

Materials Under the Microscope

Who: Y10-Y12

How many: 20-25 students

Duration: 1 hour

This workshop is held in the Department of Materials Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory

Students will learn how to use optical microscopes to view the microstructure of metals and alloys. They will match what they see using the microscopes to descriptions of the structures and sketch structural features to learn more about the structure of these materials. Students will also see a demonstration of our SEM to learn how electron microscopes differ to optical microscopes and will also learn how samples are prepared for viewing under both types of microscopes.

Outreach Solar Cells Workshop

Solar cells workshop

Solar Cells

Who: Y10-12

How many: 20-30 students

Duration: 1-1.5 hours

Students will work in pairs to construct a dye sensitised solar cell using a range of dye sources. The students will measure the voltage of their cells at different intensities of light and compare results for different dyes. Results will be discussed and the science behind the solar cell explained. Students will be asked to put forward ideas for further research in this field and their ideas will be linked to current research on solar cells in the department and in other HEIs.

dye sensitized solar cell workshop

Dye sensitized solar cells

Electrifying Experience

Electrifying Experience workshop

An Electrifying Experience

Who: Y8-10

How many: 20-30 students

Duration: 1-1.5 hours

Students find out about the very invention that marked the birth of a new branch of chemistry, called electrochemistry: the “voltaic pile”. Students will build their own voltaic pile and investigate the effect of the number of cells on the voltage of the battery. Research in this area will be introduced and discussed.

Chocolate Workshop

Chocolate workshop

Investigating Materials Using Chocolate

Who: Y8-10

How many: 20 students

Duration: 1-1.5 hours

Students investigate the properties of materials to include hardness, density, and fracture energy using different chocolate. Students put forward ideas to make an ultimate chocolate bar and this is related to microstructure of materials and the effect of alloying.

mc slime

Slime workshop

The Science of Slime

Who: Y5-Y9

How many: 20-30 students

Duration: 0.5-1 hours

Students make samples of slime using different amounts of ingredients to test its stretch, bounce, and viscosity. Students learn about the molecular structure of PVA glue (the main ingredient) and the resulting slime and why adding the ingredients together changes the properties of the material.

Egg Drop Challenge

egg drop examples

Example designs from the Egg Drop Challenge

Who: Y5+

How many: up to 30 students

Duration: 0.5-1 hours

Students will work in groups to design and make reusable packaging for an egg designed to protect it from breaking when dropped from a height. The challenge is that they are only allowed a very limited amount of materials! Students get a limited time to plan their design in their groups and to then build their design before their design is tested. Their creations are then marked for the scientific reasoning behind the design, how well it protected their egg, and also how visually appealing the design is.