Looking for exciting physics-based events and activities?

Scroll through this page to see the variety of engaging activities and events offered by the Staff and Faculty of the SFU Physics Department!

General Public/ All Ages

Starry Nights @ SFU: View the cosmos through a telescope!

The Trottier Observatory at Night by Ed Hanlon

The Physics Department hosts "Starry Nights @ SFU", free events that are open to the public. On these nights you can view a variety of celestial objects through our telescope, including planets, the Moon, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. We also take astronomical images with a CCD camera, which are then made publicly available for download. You are also welcome to bring your own binoculars or portable telescope: the more gear we have on hand, the merrier!

For more information please visit our web site http://www.sfu.ca/starrynights.

To receive up to date information on our public events please subscribe to the Starry Nights @ SFU mailing list by contacting Howard Trottier (Email: trottier@sfu.ca Phone: 778-782-4465).

TRIUMF/SFU/UBC Saturday Morning Lectures at SFU Surrey

The popular TRIUMF Saturday Morning Lecture series is offered at SFU Surrey. The lectures will be at a level appropriate for high school students and members of the general public. Lectures run from 10:00 AM until 12:00 noon. Free parking is available and the Surrey campus is adjacent to the Surrey Central Skytrain station. See  http://www.triumf.ca/education-and-outreach/saturday-morning-lectures for registration, directions, and more information.

Related Links

Cosmology for Curious Minds

A lecture providing basic introduction into what we know about our universe and how this knowledge is obtained. What does it mean to have an expanding universe? Was there a Big Bang? Are Dark Matter and Dark Energy real? These are some of the questions that will be discussed.

This lecture is available for kindergarten to grade 12 classes. Teachers interested in bringing their classes should email science_outreach@sfu.ca to register.

Instructor Dr. Levon Pogosian is a physicist, cosmologist and an Associate Professor in the Physics department of SFU.

The class is offered free of charge and is held in the Trottier Studio for Innovative Education at the Burnaby campus. This event is about an hour and a half in length.

Elementary School Ages

Astronomy Telescope Workshops for Grade-School Children

These astronomy workshops are being organized in cooperation with the SFU science outreach program Science in Action. Check out our YouTube Video. If you would like to register your school or community group for a workshop go to the Starry Nights website: http://www.sfu.ca/science/trottierobservatory/starrynights/parties.html

Development of Instructional Resource Package modules for BC elementary school teachers

We have developed some simple hands-on activities for elementary school teacher to consider using in their classrooms with relevance to the BC Ministry of Education learning outcomes.  Click here to test our recent contributions.

Secondary School Ages

Discover Physics @ SFU

Have you ever wondered what its like to study physics at university? Are you curious about what kinds of jobs physicists do? Discover Physics @SFU is a workshop for students in Grades 11 & 12. It includes lab tours, a hands-on activity, a seminar on careers in physics and a tour of the Trottier Observatory. Lunch is included. For more info and the workshop schedule see the Discover Physics @ SFU web site: http://www.sfu.ca/physics/outreach/discover-physics-sfu.html

Girls Exploring Physics

Two participants in the March 2012 Girls Exploring Physics workshop.

A free workshop at SFU Burnaby for girls in Grades 9-10. This workshop includes two hands-on activities in physics sub-disciplines that women faculty at SFU specialize in: Biophysics and Condensed Matter Physics. There will also be a discussion of the career opportunities available to students who study physics at the university level. During the lunch provided to the participants they will have a chance to interact informally with women physics faculty and students from SFU.
For more information about the workshop please go to the Girls Exploring Physics website.

Workshops for High School Students:  (Simon Watkins, physics-outreach@sfu.ca)

A limited number of presentations to individual high schools in the lower mainland are available on a first come first served basis. These include an overall presentation on undergraduate studies in physics at SFU, followed by some exciting physics demonstrations and hands-on activities. These presentations can be performed at the individual school, or at SFU depending on the circumstances.

High school physics lectures by SFU faculty

Updated May 7, 2018

The following faculty have agreed to give general interest talks at high schools as their time schedule allows. Please allow lots of lead time.  Contact info together with topics and titles are listed below:

  • Touching when you can’t see: technologies for manipulating biology at the nanoscale
    Learn about new developments in the exciting area of biophysics.
    Prof Nancy Forde (nforde@sfu.ca
  • Cosmology for Curious Minds
    Learn the latest facts and speculations about the origin, composition and evolution of our universe.
    Prof Levon Pogosian (levon@sfu.ca)
  • Particle Physics: How do you study what you can't see?
    Learn why the largest instruments in science are needed to study the smallest objects in Nature.
    Prof Mike Vetterli (vetterli@sfu.ca)
  • Harnessing the power of the sun using semiconductors
    Learn about the quantum physics  that explains how a semiconductor can extract electrical energy directly from the light of the sun. 
    Prof Simon Watkins (simonw@sfu.ca)  

2017 BC High School CAP Physics Prize Exam Preparation Workshop

The Physics Department at Simon Fraser University is organizing a free workshop to help students prepare for the CAP High School Prize Physics Exam.  The goal of the workshop is to enhance the students' understanding of physics concepts and methods, and to strengthen their problem solving skills.  This is the second year we organize such a workshop. Last year's workshop was very successful. Most of the students attended the workshop did very well in the exam.

The workshop will be held on Tuesday March 14, 2017 from 9:30am to 11:30am at Simon Fraser University (Room C9051, Burnaby Campus) . Similar to last year, there will be an ongoing online discussion forum after the workshop. Students who are interested in attending the workshop should register online:


Note that this is not registering for the exam. Registration for the exam must be done by your teacher or school administrator by contacting hscapbc@sfu.ca.

Seasonal Events

Science Spooktacular

Science Spooktacular 2009 - Photo by Aaron Springford

An afternoon of spooky science fun presented by the Faculty of Science. Come out and see lots of Creepy Creatures and play with some Halloween-y Hands-on science activities in the south concourse of the Academic Quadrangle, just outside Shrum Science Centre lecture hall B9200. We will present the Phantom Physics and Cryptic Chemistry show twice. Check out this YouTube video to see how much fun science can be. For more information please go to the Spooktacular website.


Upcoming Events

For a complete list of Community Events at SFU checkout The SFU Events Calendar