Education and outreach

Introducing the “I am a physicist” challenge

We’ve teamed up with Girlguiding Nottinghamshire to launch a new “I am a physicist” challenge, a badge for would-be physicists. 

The challenge is designed to introduce girls and young women to the fascinating world of physics in a way that is accessible, fun and educational.

The badge itself is being piloted in Nottinghamshire - led by the IOP East Midlands in partnership with Girlguiding - but the challenge and resources are available for anyone to use. 

Deborah Phelps, safety and reliability engineer at Rolls Royce Civil Aerospace and also a Brownie leader in West Bridgford, was the driving force behind setting up the challenge. “We want to show girls that physics is interesting, fun and worth considering as a career. We’ve designed the challenge to appeal to girls of all ages, with activities suitable for five-year-olds right through to 18-year-olds.”

Follow the hashtag #iamaphysicist to join in or find out more. 

For more information on the challenge, download the challenge syllabus (PDF, 1MB) or visit the Girlguiding Nottinghamshire website.

Read more about the work of Deborah Phelps with the Institute and how you can take part.

If you have questions you can't find the answers to here, please contact us at


  1. You and your group have completed the badge and would like to request some badges.

    Excellent – well done. Please fill in the feedback form and we'll post your badges as soon as we can.
  2. You’re having trouble attaching the feedback form.

    The feedback form is now available to fill in online.
  3. You would love to do the badge, but have seen the pilot is in Nottinghamshire and your group is outside of Nottinghamshire. Can you still do the badge?

    Yes you can! Groups outside of the county are welcome to complete the challenge badge and will receive badges in return for feedback. However, we’re unable to offer support outside of Nottinghamshire for the meet/visit section of the badge. However, you may already know a physicist who could help. Perhaps one of your girls’ parents is a physicist? Or try your local observatory, university or science museum for contacts or a visit.
  4. You are based in Nottinghamshire but don't know any physicists and are looking for help with the meet/visit part of the badge.

    We are trying to get a physicist to as many groups in Nottinghamshire requesting help as possible. Please bear with us as visits are in high demand. You can help us by specifying in your email: where you are, the number of girls in the group and some suggested dates for a visit. Also please consider combining with other groups as larger groups will get priority. If you can't wait, we also recommend asking your girls’ parents if they are, or know any, physicists. Or arrange a visit to your local observatory or a science museum such as Green's Mill or Leicester Space Centre.
  5. You haven't started the badge yet but are wondering how long the free badges will be available?

    We aim to provide free badges to everyone who has completed the badge (Nottinghamshire and beyond) until the end of 2019.