skip to content

Department of Physics

Educational Outreach
CPE Optics Session

CPE Events

This one day programme consists of a morning tour of a Cambridge college, followed by information about studying at Cambridge, and advice on Higher Education and applying to Cambridge. This is followed by a physics activity at the Cavendish Laboratory, where students take part in a practical session and are given presentations on curriculum physics as well as exciting research topics.

CPE events are thoroughly enjoyed by students and teachers alike. Schools from all over the country have made the trip to Cambridge to take part in the event.


Full joining instructions are sent out two weeks before the event, but an example timetable is below.

Activity Time
Arrive at college for tour and higher education talks 10:00
Arrive at Cavendish for lunch (not provided) 12:45
Practical physics activities and talks start 13:15
Event ends 16:00

CPE events have several aims which include increasing participation in physics and changing perceptions and stereotypes of Physics and Cambridge University. Students and teachers that attend the CPE are asked to fill out a Post-Questionnaire in order to assess the success of these aims.


Preference is given to state-dependent establishments.  For the in-person events, the number of student places per school is limited (typically 15).


Year Group


Academic Year 2023-24


6th – 10th    November

Year 10/11: Lenses and Optics

Booking closed

5th – 9th  and  19th – 23rd February   2024

Year 12: Evaluating local gravity

(Note: split due to half-term, session will only run with >20 attendees)

Book Session 1

Book Session 2

Book Girls into Physics Day

11th – 15th March

Year 9: Forces Challenge 

Book here

29th April – 3rd May

Year 7/8: Mars Rover Mission

Book here

Academic Year 2024-25 (Exact Dates Pending Laboratory Move)


11th – 15th    November

Year 10/11: Lenses and Optics


10th – 14th February   2025

Year 12: Evaluating local gravity


10th – 14th March

Year 9: Forces Challenge 


12th – 16th May

Year 7/8: Mars Rover Mission



For our in person events, bursaries are available to help cover travel and teacher cover costs.  Please see the School Physics Bursaries page for more information.