Learn how NPL’s science and engineering expertise can support UK ventilator manufacturers

Skills and learning


Every year we are involved in hundreds of outreach activities, meeting tens of thousands of people to share our enthusiasm for measurement, science, engineering and technology

Inspiring the next generation

We think that getting people interested in science, maths and engineering is key to improving UK prosperity and quality of life. That is why we strive to promote science and technology, the importance of measurement and our work at NPL.

Science fairs, school visits, open days and our annual Water Rocket Challenge allow the public to meet real scientists and discuss their work. 

Our staff give talks at schools, colleges, universities and industry focused events. We host workshops, either on- or off-site, and mentor students.

More than one hundred of our staff are STEM Ambassadors trained by STEM Learning. We hold challenges and competitions, run Labtastic - a teenage science workshop, host work experience students in our Academy, and offer teacher Continuing Professional Development (CPD). We also have a range of resources for teachers and students, such as our Virtual Physical Laboratory.

Contact outreach

Our annual Water Rocket Challenge

Once a year, hundreds of people of all ages battle it out to become our water rocket champion. The Challenge requires teams to work together to engineer their own water and air powered rocket. Not only do they learn about the forces acting on their rockets, but they have to use real science to land in the target zone.

During the day, the Challenge is open to schools. Pupils should come with their rockets and launchers ready to go.

In the evening, we welcome youth groups, families and industry teams to take part, either with their pre-made kit or by using our workshop to build rockets from scratch.

Water rockets

School posters

NPL supports science learning in schools. We have a selection of posters covering the SI redefinition, measurement and water rockets. These can be downloaded directly or ordered.

Virtual Physical Laboratory

The Virtual Physical Laboratory (VPLab) software contains over 350 interactive experiments for use by teachers and pupils. It demonstrates physical principles and applications and is pitched at Physics GCSE, AS/A2 level, though the simulations may be of value at other academic levels.


Supporting the teaching of physics

NPL is working with the Institute of Physics to compile a definitive glossary of physical quantities encountered in post-GCSE school physics for use by 16- to 19-year-old students, their teachers and awarding bodies. We aim to provide an authoritative voice that can help give confidence to all those involved in physics education at this stage, in the correct and consistent use of quantities, from conductivity and current to wavelength and work.

Corporate social responsibility

We support all our people who wish to volunteer, through our 'Time Off for Volunteering' scheme. We help our people who engage in large-scale charity fundraising events to make a difference by providing time off and contributing towards their sponsorship.

Work with us

Our research and measurement solutions support innovation and product development. We work with companies to deliver business advantage and commercial success.
Contact our Customer Services team on +44 20 8943 7070