University of Manchester Physics Outreach (UMPO) is a student-run science communication group, engaging the general public through various outreach activities. These include visiting schools to deliver workshops on different aspects of physics, or going out to public spaces and events with our tabletop demonstrations, explaining physics concepts to the general public and spreading the word of science!
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.
Who we are - our senior committee
Hi, I’m a fourth year physics student at the University of Manchester and the general manager at UMPO. My job includes working with out amazing Senior Team and Emma Nichols, the public engagement manager in the department. I’ve been a part of UMPO since my first year, when I started as a volunteer. I love taking part in our workshops and getting kids and the general public more excited about physics!
I’m Mary, fourth year Physics with Theoretical Physics student here at the University of Manchester! I’m UMPO’s Recruitment Manager, which makes me in charge of all of our volunteers that we send to events! I make sure all of our volunteers have had the right training and support before an event, and I make sure they’re rewarded for their hard work!
I have been involved in UMPO since I started here, first as a volunteer myself and then as part of the senior team. I wish I’d had more exposure to exciting science when I was younger, and I’m very excited to be part of a team that will help to inspire the next generation!
Schools Liaison Officer
I'm Erin and I'm a fourth-year Physics student. I'm the Schools Liaison officer, which means I book our school workshops and make sure we meet the individual needs of each school. Before university, I worked in secondary schools for three years, so I love the way all of our workshops are fun while also stretching the curriculum. I'm especially proud that UMPO gives an opportunity for pupils with working-class backgrounds like mine to get a taste of university physics, which is often hard to find. My favourite workshop is "It's Not Rocket Science".
I’m Annabella, a 3rd year Physics student and UMPO’s Events Manager. I organise our “science busking” events, where we take table-top demonstrations to science fairs and other public events. These range from being a part of the annual Bluedot festival at Jodrell Bank to having a stall at a local street market. Our aim is to introduce the general public to simple but nonetheless fascinating physics concepts and show that physics is cool and fun! As an experimental physicist, I love most of our demonstrations, since they allow people to get hands-on with the actual science, instead of listening to very abstract Theories. If I had to choose a favourite, the copper pipe and magnet combination would probably win. We use this to describe how electricity is created to power our everyday lives … and it’s also a lot of fun!
I'm Marina and I'm Science Coordinator for UMPO. This involves organising equipment for our workshops and busking. My favourite workshop is "Mission to Mars" which was specially written to be delivered remotely!
Hi I'm Jamie, I'm a third year Physics student at the University of Manchester! I'm responsible for our social and print media communications, and creation of digital graphics/video content! I've been volunteering with UMPO since first year and in my current role since the beginning of second year. Working with UMPO has been incredibly rewarding, as the work UMPO does is so important, engaging students who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity! My favourite workshop is Particle Zoo/Particle Detective, and I'm really glad we've been able to continue running it remotely through the pandemic!
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 in being involved in future projects, UMPO was founded.