Classroom resources

Browse our selection of classroom resources created by our staff and students to help you bring physics to life in your classroom. You’ll find downloadable resources and a selection of videos - great talking points to introduce a topic or spark deeper discussion around ideas in the classroom.

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Careers postcards for KS3 students

Careers postcard

Download our set of postcards designed to help you introduce your KS3 students to the varied careers that studying physics opens up. The pack includes 12 postcards, each profiling a different job role in physics with links to local employers. There’s also a teacher’s guide with tips and ideas on how to use the postcards in your classroom.​​​​​​

We don't get aliens in Sheffield

Professor Simon Goodwin

Professor Simon Goodwin from The University of Sheffield's Astrophysics department responds to recent rumours about aliens in the Steel City

 Use this video to:

  • Think about how we could find life on other planets
  • Discuss planetary systems beyond our Solar System

Great for KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5

Physics of Trampolining (with Bryony Page)

Dr Matt Mears

How did physics help University of Sheffield graduate Bryony Page win an Olympic medal in trampolining? We teamed her up with physics lecturer Dr Matt Mears to explain the science behind her sport while she trained for the Trampoline World Championships

Use this video to:

  • See physics in action and how physics helps win Olympic medals
  • Discuss energy transfer
  • Discuss motion and forces

Great for KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5

We are Stardust: What did Carl Sagan mean?

Professor Simon Goodwin

Carl Sagan famously said that we are all made of star stuff. Here, Professor Simon Goodwin explains what he meant

Use this video to:

  • Think about our connection to the universe
  • Discuss where elements (including carbon, oxygen and nitrogen) come from
  • Think about the life cycle of stars

Great for KS3, KS4, KS5

The Physics of Time Travel

Professor Pieter Kok

The physics of time travel explained with quantum mechanics, by theoretical physicist Dr Pieter Kok

Use this video to:

  • Think about the possibility of time travel
  • Introduce paradoxes in physics and using maths to solve them

Great for KS4 and KS5

The Structural Colour Project and Colouring Book

A butterfly from a colouring book

Artist Paul Evans has been collaborating with physicists from our department to explore the fascinating world of structural colour. Structural colour is the production of colour by microscopic surfaces, sometimes with the help of pigments. You can download the Structural Colouring Book from this project to use with your class. The book features eight 'Star Species’ including butterflies, birds, a frog and a beetle that have evolved 'structural colour' to suit their own biological needs. Learn more about the fascinating world of light and colour on the project website.

Download the Structural Colouring Book

Head to our Science at Sheffield YouTube channel for more videos to support your science teaching.

You can find more content related to astrophysics and featuring our academics on the Deep Sky Videos YouTube channel.


Physicists in Primary Schools Project with the IoP

A team from our Department, including Gillian Gehring, David Mowbray, David Lidzey and Susan Cartwright, have produced thoroughly tried and tested activity guidelines appropriate for Key Stages 1 and 2, suitable both for (astro-)physicists to take into a primary schools.

To download the lesson plans and materials see the Institute of Physics website.

Each topic includes full instructions on schools liaison, which demonstration materials to assemble, as well as important risk assessment guidelines. The project, funded under the EPSRC PPA scheme, allowed us to employ Ann Marks part-time. Ann brought her indispensable teaching experience to the project to develop and trial all original, newly developed materials extensively in local primary schools.

We hope that the materials on the website will be useful for anyone aiming to generate enthusiasm for physics and astronomy at the primary level, and act as a catalyst to produce a growing collection of teaching materials suitable specifically for this level.

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