Science/STEM outreach

We offer an ever-expanding programme of free outreach events in STEM and the broader science/life science disciplines. Designed to inspire the scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technologists of the future, the activities have been designed in collaboration with our academic colleagues in the Faculties of Science and Life Sciences. Focusing on pure and applied sciences, all events are intended to enthuse your students whilst offering curriculum enhancement and enrichment. Please look at our summer taster days for events during the summer.

AToM day - explore different degrees and careers in the Life Sciences

Venue: University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus

An informative and interactive day for A-level students studying Chemistry and/or Biology who are interested in finding out more about degrees and careers that are an alternative to studying medicine.

This is a unique opportunity for you to find out more about a range of scientific degree fields and careers. There will be the opportunity to meet academics teaching a variety of subjects at degree level to find out whether these subjects might be of interest to you. Practical skills will be developed as you will be able to attend laboratory sessions/workshops covering a range of disciplines including Genetics, Chemistry, Pharmacy and Food Science. This will give you an insight into what undergraduate level study in these disciplines might be like. There will also be a careers session where you will meet science graduates giving you the chance to discover more about the possible range of careers available to you.


Advanced Microscopy Workshop

Venue: University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus

Dates available: please contact us at

An exciting opportunity for students to visit the Centre for Advanced Microscopy (CfAM) based at the University of Reading.

On this visit students will have the opportunity to see the different electron microscopes used by academic researchers within the university. They will also be able to see images produced by the different microscopes and have the chance to take a tour of the University of Reading campus to see the facilities on offer for our students.

Each session is limited to 24 students and is recommended for year 12 Biology students.

This event is free of charge but places are limited so we advise early booking. We only accept bookings from school groups and require a deposit of £50 which will be returned at the event.

School groups please email for further details.



Codes and cyphers can be found in every part of our daily life, keeping our online shopping and emails secure, and playing an important part in national security and recent history. This activity takes pupils right back to the beginning of the history of coding, explaining basic principles to allow them to understand how coding works, how it has developed and how it is still used today.

Available in School

Subject: Mathematics; Computer Science

Year groups: 9, 10 and 11

Session length:

Max per session: no maximum

Earthquake Challenge

Can you save Kinder Egg Man from an earthquake? This activity first looks at how earthquakes are created and cause damage to buildings and asks the pupils to explore how buildings could be protected against such forces. Pupils will be able to try out their designs in a competition against each other to declare a competition winner. Please note that if delivered in school, some time for clean-up will be required.

Available in school.

Subject: Geography; Science; Design Technology

Year groups: 7 to 9

Session length: 1 to 2 hours

Max per session: 60 (room size permitting)

Liquid or Solid?

Liquids that behave like solids? Solids that behave like liquids? Powders so light they feel like air? Gases so heavy they act like liquids? Our world is full of materials that do not conform to our common sense understanding of states of matter. In this activity pupils will get to experience non-Newtonian fluids and examine how their unusual characteristics are used by engineers.

Available in schools

Subject: Chemistry; Physics

Year groups: 7 to 11 (content can be adapted to age group)

Session length: 1hr

Max per session: 60

Extracting DNA

DNA has never been so prominent in our lives, with genetics featuring in everything from medicine to crime solving. In this activity we extract the DNA of strawberries - as their chromosomal structure makes it easier to see than human chromosomes. Students will learn how each step facilitates the exposure of DNA and how such methods and knowledge are used by scientists today to explore the field of biology.

Available in Schools

Subject: Biology

Year groups: 7 to 11 (content can be adapted to age group)

Session length: 1 hour

Max per session: 40

Team Engineers

The construction industry is growing in both developed and developing countries, but what do people in the industry actually do? In this activity pupils will not only be able to take part in a team building activity but also learn about the various roles involved in the construction of buildings.

Available in Schools

Subject: Teamwork, Design Technology

Year groups: 7 to 9

Session length: 1-1.5 hours

Max per session: up to 40

Consumer Psychology

Why is milk always at the back of the shop and the fruits at the front? What tricks do shops use on us to get us to spend more money? This is all to do with using the human psychology to the benefit of marketing, or to be blunt, for profit. This activity introduces pupils to marketing tricks, psychological concepts and supermarket layout design considering all potential job roles along the way.

Available in Schools

Subject: Biology, Psychology, Critical thinking

Year groups: 10 and 11

Session length: 1hour

Max per session: no maximum

Science of the Brain

How we interpret our visual world, what we see and how we process it can be very different from reality. This interactive lecture examines some of the phenomena that defines how we experience our world and how that might affect our understanding of it, discussing why this is important and how people use this information in their jobs.

Available in Schools

Subject: Biology, Psychology

Year groups: 10 and 11

Session length: 1 hour

Max per session: no maximum

Science Challenge

500 question and 8 buzzers! Let the challenge begin! A university challenge style activity to test pupil's knowledge on Science, Technology and Mathematics. Can be down with two groups or made into a whole tournament.

Available in Schools

Subject: Science, Mathematics, Geography, Technology, Computing

Year groups: 9

Session length: Dictated by size of the group - 20mins to a full day

Max per session: no maximum

Programming 101

Coding is one of the most vital skills in today's world, and its relevance in society is only increasing. This day long activity explains the basic principles of programing and allows pupils to try out their designs on LEGO Mindstorm Robots. If done in school, access to computers is essential.

Subject: Computing

Year groups: 7 to 11 (content can be adapted to age group)

Session length: 3 hours

Max per session: 15

Primary Years Activities - Bath bombs and Thermo-chromic Paints

Hands on activities to explain either simple acid-base reactions or smart materials to demonstrate the uses of science in the everyday world. From the activities, pupils will be able to take home a bath bomb or a painted plastic cup.

Subject: Chemistry

Year groups: 3 to 6

Session length: 45mins

Max per session: 30

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