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125,000 rpm centrifuge… powered by hand, made from cardboard

This is outstanding! One of the first steps in a whole host of blood tests which might be used for medical diagnosis is to ‘spin down’ the sample – to bung it in a high-speed centrifuge and whirl it around, separating out the red blood cells from the blood plasma. Accordingly, you’ll find centrifuge equipment in every […]

(Raspberry) Pioneers, Bright Ideas: opportunities for secondary students

The lovely people at the Raspberry Pi Foundation – the folks who spend the money made from selling all those zillions of credit-card sized computers – have launched their programme for 12-15 year-olds, Pioneers. The idea is: a group of friends gets together, they find a mentor (an adult who can help them along, and also sign things on their behalf), then they take part […]

Astronauts, sports scholarships, the web, deforestation, and the power of unexpected connections

Here’s a delightful little story from web developer Sarah Mei, posted on Twitter. It starts out being about American university sports scholarships, but heads off in directions you’re really not going to expect. We all assume, when we’re in school, that we’re going to have ‘a career’, that it’s going to make sense, and that we can […]

It’s 2017, the year the Sun goes out

Happy New Year! We hope you’re still flattened under the burden of gifts and groaning with the tonnage of mince pies you’ve consumed, but let’s get straight to the important stuff: this year, the Sun is going dark. August 21st 2017, mark our words. Sorry, what’s that? Oh, you’ve heard of total solar eclipses, have you? Drat. OK, so: […]

Work with us! Ogden Science Officer vacancy with the Think Physics team

We’re recruiting! If you’re of a physics sort of persuasion (other physical sciences count!), can hold your own in a careers discussion, and look at the prospect of writing and delivering workshops for secondary students and think “Bring it on!” – take a look at our job advert. Full job description, person specification, application forms, and contact […]

See you this week? Timandra Harkness on Big Data and SUN at Life

This week we’ve not one but two outstanding opportunities to get your dose of fascinating, curious and very-slightly-sideways science: On Thursday, broadcaster, writer and comedian Timandra Harkness gives the finale of our Physics Matters! series of public lectures, on Big Data. 6:30pm, Ellison Building, Northumbria campus: full details and tickets here. These talks are aimed at sixth-formers, but all are welcome. Free, but please register. […]

New competition for secondaries: Microsoft STEM Student Challenge

I know, I know – the education world is awash with competitions. Stick with it, this one’s a little different and it looks like it could be genuinely fun… and also smart. Microsoft Research in Cambridge are running a competition which builds on students’ knowledge of STEM subjects, but also on their research skills and particularly their imaginations. The challenge […]

Maker Faire UK 2017 announced

It’s baaa-aaaaack! The greatest show (and tell) on Earth is returning to Newcastle with Maker Faire UK 2017, April 1st-2nd. It’s the biggest, loudest, most ridiculous and longest-running event of its kind in the UK. More than 300 makers, hackers, crafters, coders, artists and inventors from across the globe come together at the Centre for Life to […]

The Amazingly Enormous STEM Careers Poster

Here’s a neat resource from the terrific folks behind the globe-spanning celebration of the achievements of women in STEM which is Ada Lovelace Day: the aptly-named “Amazingly Enormous STEM Careers Poster”. We’ve used it a couple of times and can recommend it. The only thing we’d say is that – as with all these sorts of resources […]

Calendar updates

If you’ve not visited our calendar of upcoming events recently, now would be a good time. We’ve added a bunch of stuff for the term ahead, from ourselves and others. Right now, we’re taking bookings for an excellent programme of lectures aimed at sixth form students, Physics Matters!, and we’re shortly kicking off the second year of our networking and […]