Physicists in Primary Schools (PIPS)

This section is for physicists - to interest children in physics. The material covers twelve topics suitable for use when visiting primary schools.

The University of Sheffield

Physicists in Primary Schools (PIPS) is a joint venture triggered by the IOP Women in Physics Group. Material was developed by a team from the University of Sheffield with EPSRC funding and is free to download. Presentations start with basic concepts and end by linking physics research with the children’s everyday experiences. Activities are fun, use mainly articles to be found in the home and involve the whole class.

Further information about PIPS

Before choosing a topic please read Before your visit, Terms and conditions, Safeguarding children and Safety

For each topic the following downloadable material is provided:

  • Overview
  • PowerPoint presentation
  • Detailed plan
  • Apparatus list
  • Safety notes
  • Video clips


  • To enthuse young children with the enjoyment and excitement of physics.
  • To support the primary school teachers particularly with abstract concepts.

Visits are fun both for the scientist and the children!

Young children love science and enjoy doing practical work, your scientific expertise will be greatly appreciated and the children will have lots of questions for you to answer. You may be surprised to find how much you enjoy it.

The Sheffield team: Professor Gillian Gehring, Professor David Mowbray, Dr Susan Cartwright, Dr Richard de Grijs, Dr David Lidzey.

If you have queries, suggestions or feedback, please contact Gillian Gehring at

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