About Our Camps

Making mechanical hands! Advanced Physics camp 2023
Designing spaghetti bridges for strength! Fun with Physics 2023

Our Phenomenal Physics Camps are meant to inspire a love of science in all of our campers – regardless of level or ability or experience – and to show that physics is everywhere in our world in visible and invisible ways!

What do parents say about our camps?

  • “This was all fantastic, the camp leaders are so supportive and encouraging cheering on the campers when they have good comments and questions. I thought it was a testament to how committed the leaders are developing and supporting confidence in science learning for young minds.”
  • “Incredible staff!”
  • “My child enjoyed making the rocket  propeller and was explaining me newton’s laws of motion on which he was quite good at (I’m astonished). I believe the teachers were really good at explaining them.”
  • “The camp seemed basically made for my son. He loves science – all forms; and I’ve never seen him so excited to wake up and go to any activity before.”
  • “I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to each and every staff, educator and admin behind this amazing, hands down best camp ever experience. This is the first camp I’ve sent my kids to, that I’d like to send again and again until they age out.”

 

What do we offer?

∗ Lots of fun, accessible Physics content! ∗

Interested in some of the content we cover? Topics from past camps include: Mass, Force, Gravity, Momentum, Sound and light Waves, Elements, Orbits, Black Holes, viewing the Sun, Simple Machines, Gravitational Waves, Electric Circuits, Arduino coding, Breadboards, C++, Water Density, Buoyancy, Surface Tension, Air Pressure, our Solar System, Planets, Exoplanets, How the seasons work, Eclipses, Particle physics, Crystal lattice structure, Newton’s laws, Conductivity, Magnetism, liquid nitrogen and more.

∗ Demonstrations, presentations, guest speakers, tours, builds and experiments ∗

Actively participating in science is a great way to learn! We build in lots of demonstrations, presentations and labs explaining key concepts and how they work, invite in guest speakers to share their knowledge and research related to camp content, take campers on tours of our robotics lab and other facilities on campus, build models, and get campers to collect data, test and discover via experiments!

∗ Activities to practice skills and new knowledge ∗

Do you like to make models and machines? Do you want to understand how things work? Activities are designed to practice the concepts and information shared in the classroom. Knowing how things are built helps us understand concepts even better, and helps us relate concepts to the wider world around us.

 

Who is involved?

Guest Speakers

We offer a rich variety of guest speakers from our pool of undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctorates, staff and faculty working in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at UBC. They provide expert information in their fields using simple demonstrations to illustrate concepts and theories to current research trends and findings, as a way to show our campers how science is actively shaping the world.

2024 Guest Speakers

Niko Lecoeuche, Student

Niko Lecoeuche is a 2nd year PhD student at University of British Columbia, working in the LIGO group. LIGO is an observatory network that detected the first direct evidence of gravitational waves from two merging black holes in 2015. Niko studies unwanted noise in LIGO and how it affects our observations of gravitational waves.

Alyssa Cassity, Student

I am a 2nd year Masters student studying radio pulsars, the rapidly spinning relics left behind after the supernovae explosions of massive stars. They have an enormous magnetic field that sends beams of radiation out from each pole. As the pulsar spins, a beam of radiation sweeps across Earth like a lighthouse!

Demet Kirmizibayrak, PhD Student

Demet is a PhD Student near the end of her studies to become full-time researcher in astrophysics She likes study “zombie stars”- stars that have died but still exhibit many interesting things. Most often she works on developing tools and models to understand black holes and neutron stars, which are some of the most extreme and interesting objects in our universe!

 

 

Janelle Van Dongen, Engineering Technician

Janelle is a core member of our outreach team. She runs the demo lab where all the fun experiments live, and for camps she helps us put together our Friday science shows! These shows showcase interesting equipment, fun factoids and cool demonstrations of physics concepts, including the creation of our famous liquid nitrogen ice-cream!

Abhishek Sharma, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Abhishek is a UBC postdoc who studies very small things with one of the biggest machines ever made: subatomic particles with the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider! He measures interesting particles like the “top quark” (the most massive particle we know of), and looks for new things we’ve never seen before like supersymmetry.

Ryan Quinn, PhD student

Ryan is a PhD student at UBC who studies particle physics with the ATLAS Experiment, which is a fancy way of saying “smashes protons together to see what comes out”! Measurements of the physics processes involved in these high-energy interactions can inform our understanding of everything from the stability of the universe to why the universe has more matter than antimatter.

Zhengcheng Tao, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Zhengcheng works in the ATLAS lab with friends Abhishek, Ryan and Cole. He enjoys answering complicated questions from our campers, including “how much does a photon weigh?” and “how can particle physicists measure the speed of light?” Our campers thank you for your great explanations, Zhengcheng!

Cole Helling, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Cole works in the ATLAS lab with friends Abhishek, Ryan and Zhengcheng. So what does a particle physicist need to know? A lot of code, electronics and communication skills to talk to and share information with international colleagues around the globe.

George Wang, PhD student

George is a PhD student who studies how galaxy clusters from billions of years ago form and evolve. Thankfully, we can observe the light emitted from these objects. You can often find George writing proposals asking for telescope time to observe these fascinating objects across the electromagnetic spectrum!

UBC Engineering Physics

Thanks to the generosity of the EngPhys Team, we get to tour the Robotics lab where we can meet Engphys students creating robotic masterpieces that will be showcased in a summer robot competition! What an inspiration for our young future builders! Thank you, Bernhard, Dylan and Miti!

UBC Astronomy Club!

The UBC ASTRO club gives our campers exclusive access to their sunscope – a telescope for the sun, which through using filters is
a good way to view our nearest and brightest ball of fire in sharp detail. What a view! Thank you, ASTRO Club!

Andrzej Kotlicki, PHAS Faculty and Director of the PHAS Outreach program

Andrzej oversees all programming for PHAS Outreach, from camps to the High School Physics Olympics competition, the CAP Exam and the International Physics Olympiad, to our very popular December Faraday Science show! A true captain of all things physics and a very fine sailboat 🙂

Previous guest speakers at our camps…

Petar is a newly minted PhD who has been studying the suckiest subject in the Universe: black holes! Understanding what happens to objects (planets, stars, astronauts, etc.) that fall into the singularity at the centre of a black hole has puzzled physicists for a hundred years. Petar hopes that he can help solve this puzzle!

Hi, my name is Jess and apart from trees I like black holes the most! Did you know that when two black holes collide, they briefly emit more energy in a fraction of a second than the entire visible universe!

Hi! My name is Serene (she/her) and I’m a new graduate student doing an MEd in Science Education at UBC. My undergrad was in Physics and Astronomy, so I’m really interested in cosmology, galaxies and particle physics! I enjoy researching physics education the most as I strive towards making physics an inclusive and positive space for everyone. Outside the classroom, I hike, climb and stargaze as much as I can. I love physics outreach as I get to share my knowledge and fascination with the vast universe around us!

Description coming soon!

Physics Instructors & B.C.- certified Teachers

Our physics, astronomy and computer science instructors are undergraduate students close to completing their programs, who have an interest in science education, outreach, and making science accessible for all ages! As they all bring unique skills to their positions, the teaching associated with camp activities content will also be unique, year to year.

We also hire We hire B.C.- Certified teachers to help with classroom management, being camper supports and science mentors.

2023 Instructors and BC-Certified Teachers

Nane Verdanyan, Instructor

Hi, I’m Nane! I’m a big science fan and a physics student at UBC. I love learning about the tiniest particles in our universe, the vast planets and galaxies, and everything in between. I can’t wait to meet you soon and explore the amazing world around us together!

Caleb Lowe, Instructor

Hi everyone! My name is Caleb and I’m going into my third year studying physics here at UBC! In my free time I like playing the guitar and skateboarding. I’m looking forward to meeting you all this summer!

MJ Moran: BC Teacher

Hello, my name is MJ. I love science…and I have been using my brain learning so much physics this summer at our camps that it – Hertz!

Cam Metcalfe: BC Teacher

Hi, I’m Cam! I teach high school science here in Vancouver. UBC is where I learned to love physics! My favourite part about these summer camps is all the opportunities there are to get creative and solve problems. Whether you know it or not, you’re already an expert at navigating the laws of physics. Let’s continue to explore and expand our science toolkit. Looking forward to meeting the next generation of phenomenal physicists!

Volunteers

2024 Volunteer Team! From left to right Back Row: Ian, Aghil, Lansen, Maksim, Jerry, Caleb (instructor), Tyler, Charlotte, Vincent, Elaine, Makayla, Kirsty (coordinator); Front Row: Sofia, Nane (instructor), Mahwash, Aarna, Aijia, Coen.

We have a great volunteer team to help us as classroom assistants, as staff support on tours, and as important helpers in our weekly science show! Volunteers are high school students interested in science and outreach, who love working with children! We take on two volunteers per camp. Volunteers help us make great camps, and this volunteer opportunity is an excellent addition to a resume! We offer training, mentorship, and professional references for our volunteers, as well as information referrals to different Departments, programs, facilities, clubs, and activities accessible on UBC-Vancouver campus.

For more information on how to apply for a volunteering position, please see our Volunteer Opportunities page.