Past Physics Events

St Peter's School

Past Physics Events

Professor Anil Seth


Professor Anil Seth at St Peter's
Professor Anil Seth, from the University of Sussex, brought together the disciplines of neuroscience, philosophy, psychology and maths to explain that consciousness is a deeply personal and subjective experience for each of us, which poses all manner of questions about the nature of our reality.

Liverpool Physics Olympics


Pupils at Physics Olympics
Four Sixth Form pupils have represented St Peter’s at the prestigious University of Liverpool Physics Olympics.

Dr Geraint F. Lewis and Dr Luke A. Barnes


Lewis and Barnes: A Fortunate Universe
Two astrophysicists delivered a stark warning to an audience of hundreds at St Peter’s, that the universe we live in is in fact very delicate.

Randall Munroe


Randall Munroe explains some sketches to Ben Fuller
Former NASA programmer turned cartoonist Randall Munroe entertained a full house at St Peter’s with a lecture based around his latest book of sketches, Thing Explainer.

Dr Pete Wothers


Dr Peter Wothers at St Peter's
An audience of more than 400 people heard Dr Peter Wothers of the University of Cambridge explore the unusual stories behind many of the chemical products we use every day.

Schools' Physicist of the Year Awards 2017


Schools Physicist of the Year Awards 2017Three St Peter's pupils took home awards from the ceremony at the University of York.

King's School Chester Physics Olympics


King's School Chester Physics Olympics 2017Our young scientists claimed Gold and Silver at this year's competition.

Dr Beth Healey


Dr Beth Healey speaking at St Peter's SchoolDr Beth Healey shared her discoveries from a year studying the effects of extreme conditions on scientists in Antarctica.

Professor Paul Freemont


Are amateur scientists about to shape our futureProfessor Paul Freemont of the University of Nottingham introduced us to the revolutionary field of synthetic biology.

Technicians Conference 2017


North East & North West Science Technicians’ ConferenceSchool Science Technicians from across the country have once again travelled to St Peter’s School for the annual North East & North West Science Technicians’ Conference.

Professor Lisa Randall


Professor Lisa Randall at St Peter'sProfessor Lisa Randall of Harvard University explained the mysterious connection between dark matter and the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Professor Jeff Forshaw


Professor Jeff Forshaw at St Peter'sProfessor Jeff Forshaw took the York Literature Festival back in time – all the way to the moments leading up to the Big Bang. 

York Schools Science Quiz 2017


Presentations at York Astronomical SocietyBudding young scientists from across the city came together for the fourth annual York Schools Science Quiz.

Professor Kevin Shakesheff


Presentations at York Astronomical SocietyProfessor Kevin Shakesheff enlightened us on his world-leading research into the regeneration of human tissue.

Professor Mike Ferguson


Presentations at York Astronomical SocietyOld Peterite Professor Mike Ferguson returned to School to deliver a lecture on tackling deadly diseases.

Presentations at York Astronomical Society


Presentations at York Astronomical SocietyOur Upper Sixth pupils shared their discoveries with the York Astronomical Society.

Stargazing Live 2017


Stargazing Live 2017Our annual Stargazing Live event this year featured a lecture from Professor Carolin Crawford.

Science Society Christmas Lecture: Medical Science


Science Society Lecture 2016The annual Science Society Christmas Lecture this year focused on the subject of Medical Science.

GCSE Science Live


How Formula One could save your lifeAll Fourth Form pupils attended the GCSE Science Live event in Leeds to prepare for their exams with some of the country's most eminent scientists.


A Level Science Live


How Formula One could save your lifeLower Sixth physics pupils attended the A Level Science Live event in Manchester to prepare for their exams with some of the country's leading physicists.

Professor Martin Elliott


How Formula One could save your lifeIn a challenging lecture, Professor Martin Elliott explored what the world of medicine and surgery can, and should, learn from the world of Formula One.


Liverpool Physics Olympics


How Formula One could save your lifeSt Peter's Sixth Form physicists triumphed at this year's Physics Olympics in Liverpool.



Professor Mark McCaughrean


McCaughrean 0035Professor Mark McCaughrean, from the European Space Agency, brought us up to date with the latest findings from a year which has really pushed the frontiers of space exploration.

Nuffield Research Placement Presentation Ceremony


Nuffield Research Placement PresentationTwo Sixth Form scientists were commended for their research projects.

Professor Matthew Cobb


Professor Matthew Cobb delivering his CRISPR lectureSt Peter’s School's Public Lecture Series for this term got off to a fine start, as a crowd of hundreds explored the brave new world of genetic editing with prominent zoologist Professor Matthew Cobb.

King's School Physics Olympics


Physics Olympics teamEight pupils from Third Form (Year 9) have travelled to Chester to take part in King’s School’s inaugural Physics Olympics.

Rob Eastaway


Rob Eastaway

Rob Eastaway delivered a talk that focused on helping parents make the most of their time to practise maths problems with their children.

Professor Jo Dunkley


Professor Jo Dunkley

Professor Jo Dunkley, from Oxford University, delivered her sell-out lecture ‘Ripples from the Big Bang’ at St Peter’s School.

Three Minutes to Midnight


Three Minutes to Midnight

York Festival of Ideas 2016 has kicked off at St Peter’s School as a range of speakers contributed to ‘Three Minutes to Midnight’.

Technicians' Conference


Technicians' conference 2016

School technicians from across the country have travelled to St Peter’s School for an annual Science Technicians’ Conference.

Dr Marek Kukula


Dr Marek Kukula visits St Peter's School

Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, has visited St Peter’s School to speak to pupils from all three schools.

Transit of Mercury


St Olave's pupils learning about the TransitPupils from St Peter’s School, St Olave’s School and Clifton School and Nursery have been viewing the transit of Mercury with help from York Astronomical Society.

Professor Chris Impey


St Peter's lecture explores future 'off-earth'

World-leading academic Professor Chris Impey has visited St Peter's School to deliver a lecture exploring whether humanity can survive elsewhere in the solar system.

Professor Steve Jones


Professor Steve Jones

Professor Steve Jones, Emeritus Professor of Genetics at UCL, spoke about genetics and our environments in his talk ‘Why Genetics Matters’.

York Schools' Science Quiz


York Schools Science Quiz

The quiz, held at St Peter’s School, comprises biology, chemistry and physics rounds, as well as observation challenges and questions on science in the news.

World Solar Challenge car at St Peter's


DUEM outside St Peter's School

A solar powered car which completed the 3000km World Solar Challenge in Australia has gone on display in York.

Green Chemistry


Green ChemistryKatie Privett, a researcher from the Green Chemistry Centre at the University of York, has spoken to our pupils as part of the Science Society lunchtime lecture series, along with her colleagues.

Professor Danielle George


Engineered in your Imagination

Nearly 400 York residents have attended a lecture at St Peter's School exploring engineering and the impact new inventions have in everyday life.

Dr Rob Crook visit


Dr Crook with St Peter's pupilsDr Rob Crook has spoken to our pupils on the heart’s physiology, its control and the sort of diseases he treats.

Girls' Physics Masterclass


St Peter's pupils at the Girls' Physics Masterclass

Two teams of Fourth Form girls have travelled to the University of Nottingham to take part in the Girls’ Physics Masterclass.

Stargazing Live 2016


Stargazing Live 2016

Nearly 500 York residents have attended the annual Stargazing Live event at St Peter’s School.

GCSE Science Live!


Professor Steve Jones

Our Fourth Form pupils have visited Leeds Town Hall as part of GCSE Science Live!

Sir Fred Hoyle Centenary Lectures


Sir Fred Hoyle lecture

Our Sixth Form pupils have travelled to Bingley Grammar School to attend a series of lectures celebrating the life and work of world-renowned scientist and cosmologist, Sir Fred Hoyle.

Professor Tony Purnell


Professor Purnell with St Peter's pupilsProfessor Tony Purnell from the GB Cycling team has visited St Peter's School to discuss whether science can make a cyclist faster.

University of Liverpool Physics Olympics


St Peter's pupils claim physics victory

Four St Peter’s pupils have beaten off competition from schools across the North of England to claim first prize in the University of Liverpool’s annual Physics Olympics competition.

Professor David Smith


Prof Smith and St Peter s Chemistry Department

Life Saving Chemistry, delivered by Professor David Smith from the University of York, examined the range of different approaches used to develop effective medicines and the crucial role chemists have played in doubling the human lifespan in the past 150 years.

Nuffield Research Presentations


Nuffield Research ProjectSt Peter’s pupils Olivia Watts and Christian Brennan have carried out Nuffield Research Placements at the University of York’s Biology and Physics Departments respectively.

St Peter's Science Society lunchtime lecture


St Peter's Science Society lunchtime lecture

The St Peter’s Science Society has held its first lunchtime lecture. The newly reconstituted society, led by pupils Olivia Watts and George Pindar, invited Professor David Jenkins from York University Physics Department to speak on ‘Cauldrons in the Cosmos’.

Professor Howard Wilson


The Grand Challenge of Fusion EnergyNearly 400 York residents have attended a lecture by Professor Howard Wilson at St Peter’s School exploring the latest research into nuclear fusion, and the benefits and challenges of developing it as an energy source.

Gratnells Science Technician of the Year Award


St Peter's technician Mark Robinson accepts his award as runner up in Grannells Science Technician of the Year Award.St Peter's Physics Technician Mark Robinson has been recognised in the Gratnells Science Technician of the Year Award, the premier Award for Science Technicians in secondary schools, colleges and academies in the UK.

Phycisist of the Year awards


Physicist of the Year awards

Two Lower Sixth pupils from St Peter’s have been honoured at the annual Physicist of the Year Award ceremony.

Dr Lewis Dartnell


The Hunt for Alien LifeDr Lewis Dartnell has explored the limits of life on our own planet, and where life might exist beyond the Earth in a lecture on astrobiology, a new field of science.

Professor Jeff Forshaw


Professor Forshaw's visitProfessor Jeff Forshaw has delivered a lecture on 'The Quantum Universe', exploring the counter-intuitive world of quantum particles and how they impact on the world around us.

Space Camp


St Peter's at NASADuring the Easter holidays, thirteen Third Form pupils embarked on an inspirational journey into the heart of the world's biggest scientific and engineering venture, as they met some of space exploration's elite on an exclusive journey behind the scenes of the NASA space programme.

The Solar Eclipse


Solar EclipsePupils and staff from all three schools came together to witness York being plunged into twilight on Friday 20 March as the fullest eclipse visible since 1999 occurred. York Astronomical Society kindly provided telescopes for the occasion.

York Schools Science Quiz


York Schools Science Quiz

13 schools from York and surrounding areas have pitted their wits against each other in the second York Schools Science Quiz. Following on from last year’s quiz, 22 school teams of Sixth Form and Fifth Form pupils competed for the trophies.

NASA Astronaut Michael Foale


Michael Foale, 2015Dr Foale delivered a public lecture, “Fulfilling your Dreams and Ambitions” on Wednesday evening, before speaking to St Olave’s and St Peter’s on the Thursday morning and Clifton pupils in an assembly.

Faraday Challenge


zmFaraday 0020

Pupils from St Olave’s School have taken part in The Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) national Faraday Challenge Day.

Astronomy in the Alps


zmAli1Upper Sixth pupil Alistair Duffey has won a competition which saw him visit the Alps in an all-expenses-paid trip to the European Southern Astronomy Camp.

Physics Challenge for Girls


Nottingham Physics Challenge (2)

Eight Fourth Form girls travelled to the University of Nottingham’s Physics Department last week as part of the Heat Shield Challenge, which attracted over thirty school teams of Fourth Form and Fifth Form girls.

Stargazing Live 2015


Ian Morison

Our annual Stargazing Live event took place on Friday 9 January. The event included a lecture by Professor Ian Morison entitled ‘Are we alone? The search for life beyond the Earth’.

GCSE Science Live!


GCSE Science Live!

Our Fourth Form pupils have taken part in the GCSE Science Live event at Leeds Town Hall.

Professor Paul Hardaker


Paul Hardaker lecture, 2014Paul Hardaker, CEO of the Institute of Physics, was at St Peter's this week to deliver a lecture as part of our Public Lecture series.

Dr Lucie Green


Lucie Green and co inspect our 'cloud chamber' in the school foyerOur solar-themed public lecture was delivered by Dr Lucie Green, scientist at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, co-presenter of the BBC's 'Sky at Night' and contributor to 'Stargazing Live' and 'Horizon'.

Professor Tom McLeish


Tom McLeish, 2014Professor Tom McLeish of the Department of Physics at the University of Durham came to St Peter's on Friday to talk about some of the themes of his new book 'Faith & Wisdom in Science'.

Liverpool Physics Olympics


Liverpool Physics Olympics 2014On Saturday 18 October, physicists from St Peter’s set off for Liverpool University for this year’s Physics Olympics Competition. See how we got on.

Dr Dewi Lewis


Dr Dewi Lewis, 2014The premise of Dr Lewis's talk was based upon Nobel prize winning discoveries in Chemistry and what they tell us about the the scientific method. Indeed, 'the scientific method' is 'how science works'. But how do scientists know what questions to answer?

Nuffield Presentation Ceremony


Nuffield Presentation Ceremony

St Peter’s pupils Alistair Duffey, Jessica Scott and Laura Carrigan have undertaken Nuffield research projects. The placements give experience to the students that is not usually possible until beyond the second year of an undergraduate degree.

Professor Norman Maitland


Professor Maitland, 2014In his lecture, Professor Maitland described his ground-breaking research on cancer stem cells. 

Sounds of the Cosmos


Sounds of the Cosmos 2014A group of 22 Sixth Form physicists accompanied by Mr Morris, Mrs Dawson and Mr Hall headed to Sheffield for a voyage to the outer limits of the universe, with Gustav Holst’s The Planets performed by the Sheffield Rep. Orchestra.

School Physicist of the Year Award


Schools Physicist of the Year Award 2014The Ogden Trust and the University of York held their School Physicist of the Year Award ceremony in the Physics Department on York's Heslington campus. 2 young physicists were chosen from schools throughout Yorkshire to receive the Ogden Trust's award at the ceremony.

Religion, Science and Medicine Debate


Religion, Science and Medicine debateWe hosted a debate and discussion about Religion, Science and Medicine as part of the York Festival of Ideas 2014. The debate was chaired by Ruth Gledhill from The Times newspaper, and featured a number of prominent scientists and thinkers.

Professor Monica Grady


Monica Grady lecture, 2014As part of the York Festival of Ideas 2014, we hosted a talk by Professor Monica Grady. The theme of the Festival was 'Chaos and Order', and these are two ideas that Professor Grady examined in depth - with particular reference to the Solar System. Find out more about Professor Grady and read about the event here.

Ned Boulting


Ned Boulting, 2014With only three weeks until the Grand Départ kicks off the Tour De France, we welcomed the voice of the Tour, Ned Boulting. Ned has spent over a decade following the Tour de France for ITV, and his talk offered a glimpse behind the scenes of this unique TV Production.

3D Printing and Le Tour


Mini Faraday Challenge 2014St Peter's staged an engineering challenge day which featured 3D printing and Tour de France related tests. 3d printing and le tour.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell


Jocelyn Bell Burnell 2014A legendary and pioneering astronomer who went to school in York came to St Peter's to deliver a lecture on black holes and other mysteries of space.

Professor Robert Winston


Robert Winston, 2014Scientist, TV presenter and writer Professor Lord Robert Winston visited St Peter's as part of the York Literature Festival 2014.

York Schools Science Quiz


YSS Quiz 2014St Peter’s hosted the inaugural York Schools Science Quiz. Teams from schools all over York came and grappled with an array of tricky questions from all branches of science.



QuicksilverA man hoping to build and pilot a boat capable of speeds of up to 350mph came to St Peter's to give a lecture as part of National Science Week.

Faraday Challenge 2014


Faraday Challenge 2014St Olave's recently despatched a contingent of pupils to take part in the Institute of Engineering and Technology's (IET) Faraday Challenge Day.

Stargazing 2014


Mark ThompsonMark Thompson, co-presenter of the BBC show Stargazing Live, delivered a lecture at the annual Stargazing event held at St Peter's School.

News from the Energy Frontier


Jon Butterworth 2013The mysterious Higgs Boson – the ‘God particle’ – was the subject of this public lecture at St Peter's.

Defying Gravity


Defying Gravity 2013Laura Thomas, one-time astrophysicist from the University of Edinburgh, and now Space Ambassador for European Space Education Research Office (ESERO), demonstrated the physics behind cosmic travel during the Institute of Physics Schools Lecture. 

Boulby Mine visit


Boulby mine trip, 2013The science being carried out in one of the deepest mines in Europe and its use in educating young York physicists was the focus for a group of physics teachers from St Peter's and other York schools.

Peterite attends ICYS conference in Bali


Dan SpencerSt Peter's student Daniel Spencer won a silver medal at the recent International Conference of Young Scientists (ICYS).

Deep Underground Science at Boulby Mine


Dr Sean PalingThis lecture, entitled ‘Deep Underground Science at Boulby Mine; the search for Dark Matter and beyond…’ was delivered by Dr Sean Paling of Sheffield University Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Exploring the Universe with Large Telescopes


Tim O'Brien, 2013With asteroids skimming the surface of our atmosphere and fiery meteors burning up over the Ural Mountains, there was a pertinent backdrop to a public lecture given at St Peter’s School.

Stargazing Live 2013


Chris Lintott and Dave Morris, 2013Dr Chris Lintott, co-presenter of the BBC’s The Sky at Night, delivered a fantastic lecture at our Stargazing Live Party event.

Cosmic History: Everything From Nothing


Carlos Frenk, 2012Cosmology confronts some of the most fundamental questions in the whole of science. How and when did our universe begin? What is it made of?  How did it acquire its current appearance?

The Inner Secrets of the Universe


Fred LoebingerScientists have long been attempting to find the basic building blocks which make up the Universe. This fascinating and free talk by Professor Fred Loebinger gave an insight into the development of the subject.

The Friendship of Science and Religion


Professor Polkinghorne, 2012St Peter’s School, York, presented a public lecture by Revd Dr John Polkinghorne, KBE, FRS. "Science and religion are friends because both are concerned with the search for truth attained through motivated belief.

Stargazing Live 2012


This lecture was entitled 'Things that Go Bang in the Night'. It was delivered by Dr Andy Newsam, Reader in Astronomy Education at Liverpool John Moores University, Astrophysics Research Institute and Director of the National Schools Observatory.

Einstein's Universe: Guy Fawkes Lecture 2011


Guy Fawkes portrait, copyright St Peter's SchoolThis was the second Guy Fawkes Public Physics Lecture, organised in conjunction with the Institute of Physics and supported by the Rotary Club on York Vikings and the St Peter’s Foundation. The lecture was entitled ‘Einstein’s Universe’. It was delivered by Professor Brian Foster FRS, Professor of Physics at Oxford University and Jack Liebeck, renowned concert violinist.

Institute of Physics Schools & Colleges Lecture 2011


HeadThis inspiring lecture revealed how over the past hundred years physicists have developed increasingly sophisticated techniques to see inside the body. Some of the techniques discussed included x-rays, radioactive molecules and magnetic fields, all used to produce images of the body.These images allow doctors to diagnose and treat illness and disease better. The show involved hands-on demonstrations and some amazing audio/visual media.

Bloodhound SSC Public Lecture


Bloodhound, 2011The BLOODHOUND Project is the name of an international education initiative focused around a 1,000 mph world land speed record attempt. The Bloodhound SSC is a pencil-shaped car powered by a jet engine and a rocket designed to reach 1,000 miles per hour (1,609 km/h). It is being developed and built with the intention of breaking the land speed record by 33%, the largest ever margin...

Star Gazing Live 2011


Star Gazing, 2011On the 15th January St Peter’s held a Stargazing Live Party. The main focus of the evening was a lecture entitled ‘An Introduction to Astronomy and the Night Sky’.

Inaugural Guy Fawkes Public Physics Lecture


Russell StannardWill Science ever stop making advancements? Are some questions unanswerable? (You don’t have to answer that). This lecture was entitled ‘The End of Discovery’. It was delivered by Professor Russell Stannard OBE, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the Open University. Copies of Professor Stannard’s new book were available for purchase and signing before and after the lecture.

Powering the Future - Institute of Physics Schools & Colleges Lecture 2010


This was an exciting and interactive free talk for students which built on everyday physics to explain groundbreaking research. The lecture revealed the physics behind the fusion reaction that powers the sun, how physicists are trying to replicate the fusion reaction in massive experiments at places such as JET, the world’s largest nuclear fusion experiment at Culham, the potential for harnessing the energy produced in the fusion reaction as a future alternative to fossil fuels and many more concepts.

Dark Matter


96% OF THE UNIVERSE IS MISSING! - Dr Sean Paling (Sheffield University), talked about the search for Dark Matter at Boulby Mine to a packed hall of all ages and mixed knowledge of physics. Dr Paling was able to explain his cutting edge work to non physicists, so that everyone went away better informed. It was fascinating to realise that such leading science was happening not very far away and in an unusual venue; 1000m below the surface, in a potash mine.

Passion for Penguins


PenguinsProfessor Peter Barham (Bristol University) gave an illustrated talk introducing 17 (or 18) species of penguins and explained how our actions are leading them into decline. Peter also talked about what we can do to prevent the eventual extinction of these charismatic birds. The lecture concluded with a superb range of questions from the younger members of the audience. There  was also an informative display from Harewood House’s Bird Garden, where they have 11 Humboldt penguins.