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Public engagement programme Scotland

Inspiring Scotland through physics.

The IOP runs a busy programme of activities across Scotland to excite, entertain and inform public audiences.

To stay up to date with our public events, follow IOP Scotland on Facebook and Twitter.

Current activities

Summer Highland Games

IOP Scotland has long engaged with the summer Highland Games.

We have participated in Highland Games at Helensburgh and Lomond, Halkirk, Drumtochty, and Gordon Castle. The events are family-driven and serve as an opportunity to engage families with the wonderful world of physics! The aim is to get the message across that physics is for everyone, and that it is widely accessible and can lead to multiple, diverse career paths.

The games in 2024

Keeping the tradition alive, IOP Scotland is committed to engaging with rural, diverse, and underrepresented communities this year too. The games began on 1 June - IOP Scotland was at the Helensburgh and Lomond games to start.

In 2024, the theme of our activity at the games is space, as IOP Scotland’s way of celebrating the soon-to-be-launched Mimi’s Space Adventure, the follow-up to last year’s Mimi’s Rainbow Adventure. The team will be manning a stall with fun, hands-on and creative drop-in activities for children and families alike.

Participants will get the opportunity to ask questions about physics, and space in particular, to the IOP Scotland staff and role models from across industries in Scotland. We hope to be able to celebrate Scotland’s thriving space ecosystem through these games.

Stay tuned to find out about the remainder of the Highland Games and other exciting summer events!

Adults explaining space to young children at an IOP Scotland information stand

IOP Scotland staff and volunteers explaining the basics of space to young children at the Helensburgh and Lomond Highland Games 2024

Knit the Universe

This brings the wonder of the cosmos to your living room with downloadable knit kits. Running during the winter of 2020-2021, the project shared patterns adapted from mind-blowing astronomical images that are suitable for novices and seasoned knitters alike.

Past activities

The Big Bounce festival was an annual celebration of physics, innovation and curiosity. Following three successful years in Edinburgh (when it was called the Festival of Physics), in 2020 the event relocated to the East End of Glasgow, where it was held online, and then in person at the Barrowland Ballroom in 2021 and 2022.

Small Stories events brought early-years storytelling to the heart of Scottish communities – all with a physics twist!

Small Stories toured Scotland.

Physics Busking was a pop-up showcase of amazing physics demonstrations, touring around the country.

For more information, or to enquire about hosting or contributing to any of the above events, please email IOP Scotland Public Engagement Manager Samantha Bowers at [email protected].

If you would like to help at any public engagement events in Scotland, please register to volunteer with us.