Work with us?

Think Physics is looking for another Outreach Specialist in Secondary education to work with the current team and extend the range of activities we can offer to secondary schools.

We’re looking for someone who wants to share a love of physics (and other STEM subjects) with others, who is determined to make a difference in the lives of the young people they work with, and who can communicate complex ideas in simple ways.  If that’s you, then we’d love to hear from you.

It’s important for you to know that we are a very flexible team, and so you need to be prepared to ‘muck-in’ with the many different aspects of Think Physics.

The post will be part-time (0.4 FTE) and a fixed term one-year contract.

For more details visit the University Jobs page.

Application deadline: 12 noon on 8th April 2015

CPD Opportunities in February: KS3/4 Light and Colour, Isaac Physics

We’ve two terrific CPD opportunities coming up late this month, both to be held in our shiny new Think Lab facility at Northumbria University:

Lights, Camera, Images

26th February, 16:30–18:00
This twilight workshop is aimed at those teaching physics at Key Stages 3 and 4: it’s suitable for non-specialists. We’ll investigate a variety of activities for use in the classroom when teaching light, colour and spectra.

Presented in association with the Institute of Physics.

Light refreshments will be provided on arrival.

To book, please contact Think Physics via Annie Padwick,

Isaac Physics Day

28th February, 09:00–15:00
This one-day workshop is aimed at A-level Physics teachers and A-level Maths(mechanics units) teachers, or those intending to teach these subjects.

Delivered in association with Isaac Physics, the workshop will support teachers to develop mathematical problem-solving in a physics context. It will also help teachers prepare their students for physics, engineering and maths courses at University.

Refreshments will be provided through out the day.

For further information or to book a place, please contact

Isaac Physics Day – brochure.
(PDF, 600Kb).

Please do drop Annie a line if you’ve any further questions, and feel free to pass this information on to anyone else you think might be interested.

We’ve information about how to contact Think Physics, and how to find Think Lab.




Who Are They?

What do Aquafresh toothpaste, Horlicks and Amoxil antibiotic all have in common?

They’re all products created and manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

GSK is a global pharmaceutical company which has been formed through the merger of lots of different companies.

There are three main areas of healthcare that GSK are involved in:

  • Researching and developing prescription medicines
  • Developing, producing and distributing vaccines in over 170 countries around the world
  • Manufacturing consumer health products
    • Over the counter medicines such as Night Nurse
    • Toothpaste and other oral health products
    • Skin health products
    • nutrition products such as Horlicks.

GSK have offices in more than 150 countries, a network of 86 manufacturing sites in 36 countries and large R&D centres in the UK, USA, Spain, Belgium and China. In the UK GSK employ around 16,000 people across 18 sites. One of their Research and Development sites is based in Barnard Castle in the north east of England.


With such a wide range of different products and brands, GSK have a wide range of careers available.  Some examples of possible roles:

  • Chemical engineers
  • Immunologists
  • Material scientists
  • Medicinal chemists
  • Doctors
  • Biochemists
  • Microbiologists
  • Cancer research specialists
  • Biologists
  • Lawyers
  • Statisticians
  • Automation engineer
  • Pharmacologists
  • Technicians – biology and chemistry
  • Accountants
  • Sales people
  • Brand developers and designers
  • IT specialists

Science and Maths links

Topics in science and maths that link to GSK and what the company does:

  • Particle model of matter
  • Acids and alkalise
  • Types of reactions
  • Cells
  • Organisms
  • Health, disease and dvelopment of medicines
  • Nutrition and digestion
  • Number
  • Probability
  • Statistics


Physics with Food

One of the things I love about physics is that you can find it everywhere.  And more importantly, the ideas that we teach at school can be easily demonstrated using everyday objects.

As part of an IOP day for teachers, I put together a series of demos and experiments that all used food.   They were chosen because they could be used to introduce or explore different physics topics.

We moved magnetic grapes, poured density cocktails and ate chocolate.

Layered drink

Density cocktail

More importantly (if there can be anything more important than eating chocolate) we also discussed how we would use the demos and experiments in class.  Although many of the demos fit well into one or other keystage, the teachers suggested different ways that they could be used.

I’ve put together the activity guides here: Food Sheets Combined (pdf)

We also looked at the Rethink Your Drink campaign from California Department of Public Health.  This links common soft drinks with the amount of sugar in the bottle or can.  It can be used in physics to introduce the idea of energy stored in foods and in PSHE to look at healthy diets.


Comparing sweetener and sugar in diet and normal cola drinks