What is your job title?
Science writer and author
Please describe your journey into STEM?
I loved every minute of science at school so gorged on Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology A-levels, then did a Human Sciences degree which allowed me to delve deeply into genetics, evolutionary biology, epidemiology and animal behaviour. At university I also discovered a passion for journalism, so I looked for ways to combine science and writing. There is no standard path into a writing career – you find creative ways to build your own – but my science background has been invaluable. I’ve written around 150 science books for children and young people, as well as writing for children’s science magazines The Week Junior Science+Nature and Whizz Pop Bang, and creating STEM outreach resources – everything from websites to games!
What is a STEM-related question or challenge you would love to solve one day?
I was lucky to find my way into science from a disadvantaged background, and I really want to help other children and young people to do the same. So the challenge I'd love to solve is – how can we tackle socioeconomic and gender inequalities in participation in STEM education and careers? I’m currently doing a postgraduate research degree at the University of Cambridge, looking at the potential of integrated science and arts learning and teaching to break down barriers to STEM aspiration and participation.
Why do you think the Great Science Share for Schools is important?
There are different theories about why some young people choose to pursue science while others don't, but they all agree on one thing – sharing and discussing science with peers, friends, family and other significant people in their lives is vital. The Great Science Share is an incredible opportunity for children, teachers and schools to do just that. By sharing and celebrating the questions that have inspired them, and the scientific tools they are using to answer them, children see that their skills, ideas and experiences are valued by science. They see that science is not about learning facts, but about asking questions they REALLY want to answer. They see that there is not just 'one way' to answer these questions. They begin to glimpse what science - and science-related careers - are really like.
What is your Twitter handle?