Kickstart Science


Second Year lab

HSC Physics made accessible for students and teachers. Get inside the experiments, including Superconductors, Generators, Cathode ray tubes and the Wilson cloud chamber. See the experiments of Hertz, Lenz, Michelson-Morley, Einstein and more. All in the setting of a real Physics Lab in the historic Physics Building at the University of Sydney.

Your class will spend a two and half hours going through our experiments in small groups. Each group has its own dynamic demonstrator and covers many doptpoints of the syllabus in depth. Worksheets are provided for all students and teachers. A pen and a calculator will be needed throughout the workshops.

Custom workshops are an option - choose 5 experiments from the modules listed below. Or if you have other requests, and we will do our best to help you.

Interactive lab tour

This virtual tour is *almost* like being here in the lab.

Kickstart Teaser: Superconductivity

Kickstart reach

This is a map of all the schools that came to Kickstart in 2013 and some of the ones we visited with Kickstart on the road.

The blue pins (153 of them) are the schools that participated in Kickstart. The yellow dots are all the public schools in NSW and the red dots are all the non-government schools in NSW.


Kickstart workshops are hands-on workshops addressing specific dotpoints from the HSC Physics syllabus. The dotpoints covered are specified on the Syllabus dotpoints page.

Ideas to Implementations

Hertz's experiment with radio waves

JJ Thompson's experiment with Cathode rays

The photoelectric effect

Conductors and semiconductors


Photoelectric effect
Motors and Generators

The motor effect

Lenz's law



AC induction motors

The motor effect


Speed and escape velocity

Projectile motion


C and the aether

Einstein and relativity

Michelson Morley interferometer
Quanta to Quarks

Atomic emission spectra (including Hydrogen)

Wilson's cloud chamber

Tracking fundamental particles

Mass defect in radioactive decay

Penetration of radioactive emmission

Medical Physics

Radioactive half-life decay


Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)

Optical C-T Scan

Penetration of radiactivity

MRI image of a brain

Angular momentum

Laser communications

Solar physics

Electric circuits

Teaser (discharge tube)



Workshops: $29.70 per student (GST inclusive)
Interactive lectures: $10 per student (GST inclusive)

Note: If your students arrive late for a session, we cannot guarantee that your workshop can run beyond the allocated end time to compensate.

Discount offer

The Sydney Observatory and the School of Physics are offering a discount to schools that complete Kickstart workshops and a visit to the Observatory on the same day.

  • Kickstart
    $27 per student (GST inclusive)
  • Sydney Observatory
    $6 per student


Students must wear closed toe footwear while in the laboratory, and long hair should be tied back. Full Safety information about Kickstart Workshops is found in our risk assessment forms.

Parking on the University campus is unrestricted outside the areas denoted as University Vehicles Only. The cost is $24 per day or $2 per hour after 3 pm. A minibus of 15 seats or less can park in any valid parking spots on campus. For buses larger than this, you will need to find parking on surrounding public streets. A free parking permit can be organised for you if you contact us in advance and specify the date of your visit and the registration number of your vehicle. Note that this does not guarantee you a parking space.

Food and Drinks: water is available in the lab. Students are advised to bring their own food, Ralphs cafe is nearby, and we have drink vouchers.

Contact: Tom Gordon
Phone: (02) 9351 3201
Fax: (02) 9036 7158