Hands-on Physics

Hands-on Physics is an opportunity for talented students entering grades 9 to 12 to explore physics using devices they custom design and build.  As well as problem-solving and guest lectures, this four-day workshop be centered on python programming and hardware development for a Raspberry Pi device.  This credit-card-sized computer, which is the participants’ to keep, will be used for acquiring and analyzing data in physics experiments.

We plan to accept 12 students. The deadline for application is 09 June 2017. The first invitations to accepted students will be sent out by email in mid-June 2017. Later applications may be considered, subject to available space.

There will be a $200 fee for participation.  Every participant will receive their own Raspberry Pi. (Financial support is available for those who request it.)

The workshop will take place in the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS) on the University of Alberta campus. Each day will start at 9am and end at 4pm in CCIS L2-187 (lower level 2; map).


A typical day program will include:

  • Guest speaker lecture
  • Problem solving session
  • Programming (Python)
  • Lunch (students bring their own)
  • Hardware construction using Raspberry Pi
  • Experiments with that hardware
  • Lab tour


To apply, send an email to hop@ualberta.ca including

  • Your name, grade, contact information;
  • Description of your accomplishments. We are interested in anything you have created. Let us know if you have built models or other devices, if you have created your own software, or performed any science experiments outside of the classroom. If possible, send us pictures.
  • Optional: ask a teacher to email us a letter of recommendation for you.
  • Let us know if you anticipate problems with the $200 workshop fee. Some financial support may be available.
  • Do your parents/guardians know about your application and do they agree that you participate in HoP?