The ASDC Education Group is a forum for sharing best practice between Education professionals working in Science and Discovery Centres, Science and Engineering-related Museums, and Environmental Centres.
The Education Chair oversees the group and has a large role in programming the ASDC Education Conference.
ASDC Education Chair
Head of Learning Research and Projects, Science Museum Group
Biography coming soon!
Special Advisers to the ASDC Education Group and previous Co-chairs:
Head of Learning, Science Oxford
My first degree was in Chemistry followed by a Masters in Science Communication. This was followed by three very formative years at the Exploratory science centre - lots of front end experience as an explainer, a presenter of shows and workshops plus chemistry festivals and exhibition development. I then moved to Science Oxford where I have managed and delivered a wide range of science communication, public engagement and education projects of all sizes as well as continuing to work directly with pupils and teachers. I have been Head of Learning at Science Oxford since 2006, with strategic responsibility for all the programmes that we run with schools and young people - at the moment this includes an EU funded project embedding engineering into the primary curriculum, the STEMNET contract for our region and a project funded by the Education Endowment Foundation where we are working with Oxford Brookes University and 42 primary schools to see if we can have a measurable impact on pupil attainment in science. All in all, I have a wide range of experience in informal science learning and after 20 years am still pretty passionate about it!
What I bring
I have learnt a lot from teachers and researchers in the formal science education sector over the years and would love to involved in strengthening these links - and in seeing our skills and experience playing a greater role in the training and support of teachers too. I am supportive of the drive being led by the Wellcome Trust to be able to define the collective impact of the informal science learning sector more clearly and would be keen to continue to play a role in moving this forward.
I feel like there is going to be an increased emphasis again on the importance of the primary science experience and as a sector we are particularly well placed to support this, and in helping to ensure that no pupil leaves primary school feeling unengaged and unenthusiastic about science! I also think our sector could be well placed to support pupils and teachers with current issues such as computer science and STEM careers awareness - and to do so with creativity and practical flair! All of these areas could provide us with possibilities for collaborative working and it would be fantastic to get something else off the ground which could help to connect us together more.
Another aspect that I think connects us all as a sector is the desire we all have to make a difference in our communities and to respond to local needs and opportunities and to work effectively with other local partners to do so. For many of us it is the strength of this approach that keeps us in business and I think that our annual conference could become a great forum for sharing our learning about this - successes and failures!
CEO, Dundee Science Centre
As a graduate of Pharmacology and with an MPhil in Biomedicine, I entered science communication whilst still working in research, leading to a full-time career change into the science centre in 2008.
As now Head of Science Learning and Public Engagement, I oversee all of Dundee Science Centre's science learning and public engagement programmes, including our exhibition and public programmes, curriculum-linked school activities, coordination of Dundee Science Festival and Fife Science Festival, regional coordination of the STEM ambassador scheme, and our Science Learning Institute's professional development programme for adults.
I lead and initiate partnership projects for both formal and informal science learning. As overall manager of Dundee Science Festival in 2011 and 2012, I managed a wide partnership that ranged from FE, HE and science industry to local restaurants, museums and community centres. In 2012, the Dundee Science Festival partnership consisted of over 45 organisations, which were brought together by Dundee Science Centre to deliver a programme of over 60 events in two weeks, reaching 14,000 visitors.
In 2009, I played a key role in developing our first science communication and public engagement course for scientists. Four years on, we now have a range of courses and support available for STEM professionals and, most recently, we introduced a three-month science communication module for BSc (Hons) Science students, as part of our Science Learning Institute.
What I bring
A passion for:
Science learning for the whole community
Science being considered part of culture, alongside arts and heritage
Involving the community in local science and science policy
Working together, to learn from each other and make the best of what we can all offer individually.
Fundraising and project management for formal and informal science learning projects.
Developing science communication professionals
ASDC members can play a unique role in:
Engaging the wide community in science as a social and cultural pursuit
Helping families to support their children's learning and interest in science
Supporting delivery of the School Curriculum, for pupils and teachers
Mobilising other organisations to engage the public with science
Providing leadership in collaboration in science learning
Inspiring and developing science learning professionals
At Dundee Science Centre, we believe we are a 'keystone' for lifelong science learning in our community.
As those that promote and facilitate learning, we need to act as learners ourselves. If elected as chair of the ASDC Education Group, I will support the advancement of our network, towards meeting our common goals. Specifically, I will support the ASDC Education Group to:
Share best practice and develop collaborative working, to build capacity and help professionalise the sector.
Help inform ASDC's response to the recent Wellcome Trust study into informal science learning.
Integrate formal and informal science learning - a need that was highlighted in the recent Wellcome Trust study and at the recent ASDC Education conference.
Face the challenges of measuring impact in our sector and enhance the theoretical base that supports our work.