UCL Department of Physics and Astronomy



Quotes from people involved in ORBYTS

Building Confidence

D. Fleming (Chemistry teacher at a school without a Physics teacher) said on this “More than half of the students in the project are female. The confidence building I've seen them go through in the last few months has been amazing.” Most of them started the project very nervous, thinking there was no way they'd ever understand anything and doubting that there'd be anything they could possibly offer of value. The first time I heard one of these students cry out "hey wait I get this .. this is cool"... my heart skipped a beat.” 


The school "has participated in a great range of Physics outreach over the years, including the Stimulating Physics Network, working with the Ogden trust, Queen Mary University, our own extension sessions, interview preparation and our Girls in Physics conferences amongst many more. Despite this, It is clear to me that the ORBYTS project has been the most successful project that we have been fortunate enough to work with and its importance cannot be overstated.”

Supporting Student Attainment

 “The ORBYTS programme is an integral part of our extra-curricular offerings to A level physics and Chemistry students at Highams Park School. The opportunity to work with PhD and post-doc researchers at UCL is absolute gold dust to the students and they show their appreciation through their professionalism and dedication to the project. To have students as named authors on a published paper from the ORBYTS program was a great honour to them as well as the school and we hope to see several more papers published in due course. The ORBYTS mentors are unfailingly helpful and cheerful, patiently explaining the details of quantum astrophysics at a level that Year 12 students can grasp. More important than this stretching of understanding and even the glimpse of life as a researcher are the skills the students develop such as teamwork, resilience, organisation and not being afraid of asking questions!” - Jon Barker, Physics Teacher at Highams Park School

Teacher Continuous Professional Development

“As for how useful I've found the project - in a tough year with significant professional challenges to overcome, this has been a real "get me out of bed in the morning" kind of project. When X first explained the project to the students, I was whiteboarding out as he explained to help them see key words and help draw together threads. At the end of the session I stood back and said to myself "this is literally the coolest thing I’ve ever written on a whiteboard". The project has fed back down through the school with ORBYTS members giving presentations to lower year groups and it's even changed my teaching to my 13 year old students - all my magnetism stuff is now fed through the lens of the importance of our magnetic field and what the aurora on Earth tell us about the conditions necessary for life here. Multiple other staff have become involved and have had valuable subject knowledge gains and through the school publications the wider school community - parents etc have also become enthused and are talking with their children about the project even if they're not directly involved.” – D. Fleming