Community outreach

The aim of the UNSW School of Physics Outreach Unit is to help raise the awareness of physics and astronomy.

Students in lab looking at tissue culture tube

Our purpose is to explain the science of the world around us in an accessible and enjoyable way for all, no matter what your background.  We invite you to come and learn about the Universe from physical and astronomical perspectives.

The Physics and Astronomy programs at UNSW cater for school groups (primary and secondary) and the general public alike. Our programs cover topical and scientific subjects from the NSW school syllabus in a fun and highly interactive manner.

High school campus visits

Attention all high school teachers

Bring your Year 11 or 12 Physics classes to UNSW to conduct experiments in our First Year Physics teaching laboratories.  Your students will hear talks by our researchers about their work and see the operations of our laboratories first-hand. We have an extensive list of experiments that can be selected by you to tie-in with depth studies specifically or general course work.

The experiments are facilitated by current university physics students and staff (our lab demonstrators), which provides an excellent opportunity for your students to connect with real researchers (a ratio of approximately one demonstrator for every 12 school students).

Please note that we have a limited number of available dates since our labs are used for teaching our first year physics courses during the university term.

For general enquires or if you would like someone to call you to talk about excursions, please contact us at:

Neil Lawrence:

Kate Jackson:

School of Physics General:

Experiments - Book an excursion

Explore a list of the experiments that are available for teachers to book as an excursion for their high school students.


  • Absolutely. You could do 2 in a big day, or have two groups of students (for example, Year 11 and Year 12) each doing different experiments in separate labs. Keep in mind that most experiments take approximately 2 hours (some can be made to be shorter).

  • In some cases you might be able to do something similar, but we see our service as being of use because:

    • Much of our equipment is not found in schools, or if it is, there might only be a limited number.
    • We can provide up to 72 sets of data loggers and sensors, and 36 sets of specialised equipment for each activity.
    • We prepare the material and worksheets, provide demonstrators and run the experiments for you.
    • We add the experience of coming to a working university physics school, connecting with real physics researchers and seeing real physics laboratories.
  • The 'standard package' goes for 3 hours. This includes:

    • Two hours conducting a first-hand investigation in our First Year Laboratory.
    • A building tour and/or talk from a researcher.

    However, many schools choose to perform two experiments and stay for the whole day.

  • Our two labs can accommodate a total of 140 students at once. There is no minimum number (but there is a minimum cost).

  • Single session - $20/student excluding GST (minimum $240 excluding GST)

    • Includes a two hour laboratory exercise, research talk and/or tour.
    • Morning or afternoon.

    Double session - $40/student excluding GST (minimum $400 excluding GST)

    • Includes 2 x two hour laboratory exercises, research talk and/or tour.
    • All day 10 AM - 3 PM (3:30 PM with talk).
  • We provide a high ratio of experienced lab 'demonstrators' to assist your students during the lab. Their job is to help your students achieve the best learning experience possible.

  • We have 36 sets of equipment for most experiments. The suggested group size is 2, but this can be tailored to suit the needs of the class. For instance, you may wish to have students working individually if the experiment is being run as an assessment task.

  • We provide comprehensive worksheets for each experiment. Most come with pre-lab information and questions that we suggest your students to complete before they arrive.

    Download the documents below to see a sample of the experiment notes and solutions for pre-lab work.

    Experiment notes: The Pendulum

    Solutions for pre-lab work: The Pendulum