#AskAQuestion: Ellis Moloney

#AskAQuestion: Ellis Moloney

What is your job title?

Visiting Researcher in Marine Biology

Please describe your journey into STEM?

My journey into marine biology started with Spongebob Squarepants of all things. The creator was a marine biologist and I was obsessed with the show. However, I was told by my high school that I wasn’t smart enough to study science at university. I quickly ignored them and studied A-Level biology at home by myself after school. Eventually, I got to university and I now have a masters degree in marine biology! I am currently a visiting researcher at the University of Portsmouth where I study marine worms that live in the ocean surrounding Antarctica and how climate change may be affecting them!

What is a STEM-related question or challenge you would love to solve one day?

I want to spend the rest of my career understanding how marine organisms adapt to extreme and changing environments. By looking at the DNA and morphology of different species I hope to make predictions on whether they will be able survive the rapid changes happening to our planet right now due to events such as climate change.

Why do you think the Great Science Share for Schools is important?

I think it is incredibly important to humanise science and show the younger generation what a career in science really looks like. They get to see a wide variety of career paths and have their eyes opened to areas of research they might have never imagined existed.

What is your Twitter handle?

Ellis_Moloney

#AskAQuestion: Gemma Kirkman

#AskAQuestion: Gemma Kirkman

What is your job title?

Business Intelligence Team Lead

Please describe your journey into STEM?

At home we always had an interest in technology, so from a young age I was using computers to play games and also to help me research for and present my homework, and project work for school. What I really enjoyed is how I could have a problem and use technology to solve it.

I went on to take ICT for A-Level and then study Information Systems and Accounting at University. I found at University that careers in technology aren't just about coding or building machines, they are also about understanding how people work together and their interactions and how technology can make those interactions easier or quicker or better, or all three.

What is a STEM-related question or challenge you would love to solve one day?

Like with anything, a big challenge with technology is that it can be used for harm as well as for good. To find solutions around cyber security and creating a safe space for all, and using and developing ethically and morally responsible technologies that help people and enhance their quality of life rather than hurt them, would be a fantastic thing to achieve. A bit like living in the world presented in Star Trek!

Why do you think the Great Science Share for Schools is important?

I think showing students not only the diversity of people in STEM subjects but the diversity of careers and skills that can be used when working in STEM subjects is a really important way to break down stereotypes. I hope this will help young people, their parents and their teachers to be confident enough to pursue subjects that they are truly interested in despite those stereotypes, and to be confident that there are lots of career options relating to those subjects as a result.

What is your Twitter handle?

@gemmakirkman

#AskAQuestion: Charlotte Istance-Tamblin

#AskAQuestion: Charlotte Istance-Tamblin

What is your job title?

MChem undergrad

Please describe your journey into STEM?

I am a mature student who spent too long working in a phone shop! After my wife and I came back from our honeymoon in New Zealand I decided if I didn’t do something it would be too late; I wanted to study chemistry.

After completing an Access course at Leicester college I was offered a place at The University of Manchester. The main reason for choosing UoM was because the only thing I really knew anything about in chemistry was radio-chemistry and Manchester has a global reputation for this branch of chemistry and it was something I wanted to chase. I am nearly at the end of my second year, I am working with a research group over summer doing actual radio-chemistry and next academic year I’m working for AstraZeneca for a 1 year industrial placement.

What is a STEM-related question or challenge you would love to solve one day?

I would like to try to dispel the fear of the word “radioactive” and teach people how to respect it instead of being afraid.

Why do you think the Great Science Share for Schools is important?

The world is too full of pseudoscience and people are too willing to listen. We in the scientific community have a responsibility to reach out to the next generation and get them excited about real science.

What is your Twitter handle?

@chemcharley

#AskAQuestion: Nicola Edwards

#AskAQuestion: Nicola Edwards

What is your job title?

PhD student

Please describe your journey into STEM?

Growing up, I was not aware of scientific careers; I did not know any modern scientists and I did not feel it was an option for me. I had always enjoyed reading about diseases and the human body but I did not know you could actually work with them! I discovered biomedical science when researching undergraduate courses and decided to swap my dance career for research. I studied biomedicine at Newcastle University and am now in my final year of a PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University, trying to discover how the blood vessels become damaged in autoimmune diseases. This involves working in a lab every day, carrying out new experiments and guiding my own research. I find it so exciting to uncover the secrets that could actually save lives!

What is a STEM-related question or challenge you would love to solve one day?

Why does the body attack itself and how can we get it back under control?

Why do you think the Great Science Share for Schools is important?

I grew up in Salford and had no contact with scientists or any idea that someone like me could be a scientist. So I support the Great Science Share because I think it is really important to reach out to children and young people and share our stories, inspiring the next generation of scientists!

What is your Twitter handle?

@nedwards_sci

#AskAQuestion: Marina Gardasevic

#AskAQuestion: Marina Gardasevic

What is your job title?

Doctoral Researcher in Neuroscience

Please describe your journey into STEM?

When choosing my options in school I always followed what I enjoyed. It was no different for choosing my first degree and I went to university to study Biology. Over one summer I volunteered in a lab and fell in love with research and lab work. After that degree I did my Masters where I got to work in two different labs doing completely different projects. I enjoyed it so much I chose to do a PhD which I am currently 2 years into. Working on a single research question and experiencing the variety of techniques and experiences available in science is why I love what I do!

What is a STEM-related question or challenge you would love to solve one day?

Designing phone and computer screens that don't have a negative impact on our body clocks; so we can use screens in the evening without it affecting our sleep!

Why do you think the Great Science Share for Schools is important?

Science is all about asking good questions and then doing research to help get answers. Children are full of questions and curiosities, and projects like Great Science Share for Schools enable them to realise that this curious mind is a great thing! There's so many amazing young people who would make great scientists and may even change the world but don't pursue Science because they don't think it's for them; projects like this challenge the misconceptions and help children realise that anyone can get into Science!

#AskAQuestion: Cheryl Williams

#AskAQuestion: Cheryl Williams

What is your job title?

Advanced Biomedical Scientist

Please describe your journey into STEM?

I graduated from university with degree in Biological Sciences. I gained a trainee Biomedical Scientist post within 6 months of graduation in a NHS Microbiology lab. My job involves analysing patient samples to determine which bacterial or viral pathogens are causing infection. I have completed an MSc in Biomedical Science and am now an Advanced Biomedical Scientist. I manage staff and am heavily involved in verification of new and exciting technologies which allow us to investigate patient samples in a shorter time-frame and therefore provide a quicker result.

What is a STEM-related question or challenge you would love to solve one day?

Find a solution for antimicrobial resistance.

Why do you think the Great Science Share for Schools is important?

I was not aware of what scientific careers were out there until I was at university. It is important to get children enthused about science at primary school and make them aware what they can do in later life for a career. My daughter is proud to tell everyone her mummy is a scientist!

What is your Twitter handle?

@c_williams_1981

#AskAQuestion: Professor Lin Li

#AskAQuestion: Professor Lin Li

What is your job title?

Professor of Laser Engineering and Associate Dean, Business Engagement and Innovation

Please describe your journey into STEM?

BSc degree in control engineering from Dalian University of Technology and then a PhD degree in laser engineering from Imperial College, London, and then focused entire career on engineering!

What is a STEM-related question or challenge you would love to solve one day?

Manufacturing of most components by lasers without too wear problems.

Why do you think the Great Science Share for Schools is important?

It inspires young people into science and engineering

#AskAQuestion: Jennifer Lobo

#AskAQuestion: Jennifer Lobo

What is your job title?

STEM Ambassador Engagement Officer

Describe your journey into STEM.

I used to be a History teacher in a secondary school and I loved teaching about the history of medicine and World War Two. One of the most interesting people I taught about was engineer Joseph Bazalegette – in the late 1850’s-1860’s he designed a new sewer system in London – he used lots of aspects of STEM to design a sewer that would take all the waste from London away. His sewer is still being used today and had the unexpected benefit of keeping London’s water clean and stopping the spread of cholera. I work at the Science and Industry Museum now, where I work with teachers and STEM Ambassadors to find exciting ways to inspire young people with different aspects STEM!

What is a STEM-related question or challenge you would love to solve one day?

I think space is really interesting. I would love to know more about the moon and what it looked like millions of years ago.

Why do you think the Great Science Share for Schools is important?

I've been at the Great Science Share for Schools for the last two years - I've loved seeing all the exciting STEM experiments and projects that pupils have been working on. I really enjoyed the investigation about who had the healthier diet - Romans or us, and the investigation into which biscuit is best to dunk in your tea! I'm excited to see the investigations that pupils have been doing this year!

What is your Twitter handle?

@STEMteamHUB_TP