UBC faculty members in the Department of Physics and Astronomy have been involved in outreach activities for several decades. The department has provided a permanent space – the Michael Crooks Laboratory – that serves as a hub for the summer camp program, teachers’ workshops, school visits, and many special events. It is also in this lab space where students taking a physics demonstration course build demonstrations and prototypes for classes. In 1996, the Department of Astronomy merged with Physics; subsequently the popular astronomy outreach programs joined with those of physics to create the Physics and Astronomy Outreach Program.
The purpose of the Physics and Astronomy Outreach Program at UBC is to communicate to the community at large the excitement and wonder of physics and astronomy, and its relevance to global issues surrounding electronic communication, energy and climate change. With an emphasis on a large variety of programs for the young, their teachers, and groups normally excluded from tertiary education, the outreach program reaches ~4000 children and youth directly through our own programs, and another 3-5000 via programs organized by other partners.