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Department of Materials

Schoolchildren building with materials

Schools, colleges and the public

The Department of Materials is committed to a wide variety of outreach and public engagement activities, which include school visits, science fairs, public lectures and summer schools.

Widening participation

Many of our activities form part of the University’s Widening Participation initiative by targeting students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

We have a number of exciting practical experiments and demonstrations that support the teaching of materials, which we are able to deliver either on or off-site. Our teams of ambassadors visit schools weekly during term time, while we regularly host schools as part of our school visit days (detailed below).

We routinely attend science fairs and festivals, such as Bluedot Festival and ScienceX at the Trafford Centre, as well as the University’s own Science Spectacular event. Members of the Department are also available to deliver public lectures on various topics, including materials for nuclear energy, 'smart' textiles, nanotechnology, and fashion business and technology.

Our events

Our Department's flagship events include:

Henry Royce Materials Science Summer School

A four-day residential course held in July each year, which introduces students to Materials Science and gives them a flavour of what it’s like to study at the University. For students in Years 10-11. Bursaries are available to those from particular backgrounds.

Find out more >>

Department visit days

As part of our visit days we welcome groups of Year 10, 11 or 12 students to tour our facilities and take part in activities across the Department of Materials. We run these every year in autumn and spring. Attendees will have the chance to use our excellent facilities (such as the scanning electron microscope) and take part in hands-on materials testing activities. Funds are available to cover the cost of coach travel and food for schools that meet certain criteria.

Bluedot Festival

Each year we attend Bluedot Festival at Jodrell Bank. It's a fantastic opportunity for us to communicate our exciting research to people of all ages.

Discover Fashion Business and Technology days

These visits inform students about our programmes, provide a taste of some of the different subject areas of study and to allow students to take part in hands-on taster sessions.