What we do
UMPO regularly sends students out either 'science busking' around Manchester or into schools to deliver specialist workshops, as well as to festivals and large-scale events further afield. Our ever-growing database of 100 registered volunteers allows us to provide much needed manpower for activities run by other organisations around Manchester.
In 2015, UMPO delivered a number of exciting events, including an ongoing series of schools workshop using Lego mindstorms kits in partnership with ISOLDE at CERN, taking over the Museum of Science and Industry's Platform for Investigation for a day and visiting the British Science Festival fringe in Bradford. In 2016 we are launching a number of new projects, notably a theatrical 'Science Show' based on a highly successful model used at Bonn University in Germany, a blog featuring submissions from physics students at Manchester and beyond, a series of science busking events in partnership with the Institute of Physics and a platform for students to develop their own workshops to be taken into schools.
Who we are
UoM Physics Outreach (lovingly referred to as UMPO) is a student-led public engagement body in the University of Manchester’s School of Physics and Astronomy. With an ever growing team of over 100 volunteers, we work to challenge preconceptions about science as a field, break down barriers between communities in Manchester and promote studying physics as an option for young people from all backgrounds.
UMPO was officially founded in September 2015 by Luke Simpson and Joshua Hayes, under the supervision of Dr Emma Nichols. Josh and Luke had worked on a summer placement project for Emma, running a series of science busking events in Manchester city centre to meet numbers targets for a separate project. When a call for volunteers received 10 times as many responses as expected, including a large number of students expressing an interest to be involved in future projects, UMPO was founded.
Meet The Team
I’m a third year physics student and a co-founder of UMPO. I have a strong love of talking to anyone and everyone about physics, and will quite happily spend an hour debating the existence of extraterrestrial life, though not in a weird conspiracy theory kind of way!
I’m a theoretical physics student interested in the more mathematical side of physics. My role in UMPO is to coordinate our internal volunteers and manage the creation and development of workshops.
Public Events Co-ordinator
I’m a fourth year Astrophysics student who's hoping to work in science communication after graduation. I'm rarely found without cakes and/or cookies about my person and, if I'm not already talking to you about how Space is really cool, I'll probably be showing you loads of LOLcats pictures.
School Events Co-ordinator
I’m a second year theoretical physics student interested in going into research after I graduate. I am currently school events coordinator for UMPO, which I find really fun because it’s a chance to get younger people interested in science!
I’m a co-founder and former Manchester physics student now splitting my time between a part-time Masters in Politics and working on UMPO. I spend a good deal of time explaining that although I live there, I’m not actually part of the physics department.
Wei Ann Heng
I’m a second year Physics student with a tendency to ramble on at constant velocity if there is no force opposing me. I’m in charge of UMPO’s media presence and curate the content for our blog and website.
Public Events Co-ordinator
I’m a fourth year astrophysics student and organise public events for UMPO. If you can’t find me in the physics building I’m probably stopping strangers in the street somewhere to play with their dogs!