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Think Physics is a collaborative project led by Northumbria University using physics to inspire young people, particularly women, into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

This pioneering project to get young people to ‘Think Physics’ from early years through to university has been awarded £1.2 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Think Physics progression graphicLed by Northumbria University, Newcastle, Think Physics is an innovative, cradle-to-career project aimed at using physics to inspire young people, particularly women, into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

The three-year project, supported by a number of high-profile partners and North East schools, will help establish Northumbria as a leader in STEM education, and comes after research by the Institute of Physics revealed only 21% of physics students at UK universities were female.

Think Physics looks to target this gender imbalance by changing the way young people, particularly girls and under-represented groups, engage with science from early years to sixth form and on to university. The project will seek to address the national shortage of STEM skills in the UK by inspiring more young people to take up these disciplines at university.

There will be two key strands to the project: i-Think Physics, aimed at young people from early years to sixth form, and Think Physics 4All, which will focus on teachers, families, and the wider community.  Think Physics supports the University’s Widening Participation (WP) policy in its bid to increase the uptake of physics and wider STEM disciplines by women and under-represented groups.

The project will feature a physical hub at the University and a digital presence, which will employ the latest technology. It will also be supported by a network of national and regional partners and outreach work at North East schools and colleges. 

These partners include:    

  • International Centre for Life
  • Institute of Physics
  • North Tyneside Learning Trust
  • Engineering Development Trust
  • North Tyneside Local Education Authority
  • Newcastle Local Education Authority
  • Gateshead Local Education Authority
  • Durham Local Education Authority
  • Solar Capture Technologies
  • Kielder Observatory

Think Physics is a three-year project in the first instance with a long-term vision of creating an ongoing partnership to support young people into physics, science and engineering, while providing a blueprint of good practice, which can be extended nationally and internationally. The project is being led by Engineering and Environment at Northumbria University.

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Think Physics is being supported by £1.2 million from HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund.

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