I actively take part in public engagement. This includes going to science festivals with activities I have developed with colleagues, giving talks at schools and helping out at events at the University. I have been a STEM ambassador since 2009 and am keen to get more involved with local schools so feel free to get in touch with me if you are would like to arrange an astronomy/space lesson.
At the University of Birmingham we hold a monthly astronomy event open to the public where after a talk and ask the experts opportunity, the public can do some astronomy with our amateur telescopes or the 0.5m telescope in the observatory. These events are held in partnership with local communities: UoB astrosoc, Birmingham Astronomical Society, Knowle Astronomical Society, Solihull School and Circles of Influence. More information on these events can be found here http://www.sr.bham.ac.uk/observatory/astronomyinthecity.php
I have been a member of UKSEDS since 2012 and although I resigned from the role of Head of Outreach in 2013, I am still closely involved in the activities. In 2015 I was awarded the UKSEDS outreach ambassador of the year award for my contribution to public engagement. Below is a more detailed timeline of things I have been involved in.
Between June and September 2016, I worked with the University of Birmingham to create a web resource for A-level students looking to do Physics at University, these included the videos and podcasts that I scripted and feature in, and the creation of the web content.
Jan 2016 Women in Physics, A-level support day – Institute of Physics, London
An event held for y11/12 students as an insight to the different career pathways from A-level physics that included a speed networking event with professional women who had studied physics.
Nov 2015 UCL/Birbeck APEX talk, ‘Can Humans really relocate to Mars’
Nov 2015 British Interplanetary Society, ‘Can Humans really relocate to Mars’ talk
Oct 2015 BIS Expert Panel for The Martian, Odeon Greenwich
Oct 2015 Meet the expert, Thinktank, Birmingham
Sep 2015 Wrote the foreward for children’s book – ‘Time Travelling Toby and the apollo moon landings’ by Graham Jones
Jul 2015 UK space conference, volunteer, Liverpool
Jun 2015 Big Bang Schools Workshop, Shireland Collegiate Academy.
Interactive day with activities relating to research at the University of Birmingham, Astronomy and astrophysics including gravity, lensing, and gravitational waves.
May 2015 The origins and transmission of culture conference – invited speaker, UoB.
Apr 2015 Gravity School workshop at the University of Birmingham
Talk and activities based surrounding gravity for y9-11 students
Apr 2015 Caltech Post-doc Lunch – talk on human exploration of Mars.
18th Mar 2015 Woodlands Academy, Coventry – talk on Mars and Q&A session.
17th Mar 2015 Solihull School, Solihull – talk on Mars and Q&A session with ~40 kids aged 8.
Mar 2015 Big Bang Fair, NEC, Birmingham – UKSEDS exhibitor
3rd Mar 2015 King Edward VI Five Ways school, Birmingham – talk on Mars with an audience of ~1200 11-18 year olds.
4th Feb 2015 Skype Q&A, Selsdon Primary School, Surrey
Nov 2014 Teen Takeover, Thinktank, Birmingham
Meet the scientists stall with interactive activities for an event aimed at 13-16 year olds.
Invited Speaker, “Human exploration of Mars”
Oct 2014 World Space Week
Involvement in coordinating events in the UK and running of a geocaching event in the West Midlands.
Sept 2014 – 2016 Astronomy in the city, University of Birmingham Observatory
Monthly event held within the School of Physical Sciences to showcase our research both verbally through engaging talks and physically with our live demonstrations, ask the experts session, learn to use a telescope and what to look at in the night sky and enjoy the opportunity to visit our observatory.
Sept 2014 GIRLS in STEM day, University of Birmingham
Running of 2x1hr gravity themed interactive sessions for ~30 year 9 girls.
Sept 2014 University of Birmingham open day
Volunteer to showcase the research carried out within the Astrophysics group and also communicating to potential students and their parents the Physics course and student life.
Sept 2014 University of Birmingham Thinkcorner
A popup shop in the city centre showcasing the research carried out at the University to the general public. We brought along several activities relating to our work within the Astrophysics group, in particular black holes, gravitational lensing and gravitational waves.
I was Space camp activity provider for Scouts and Guides to obtain their space badge! This event was very challenging since the kids came from all over the world. Explaining science concepts such as planetary orbits to young children takes practice but explaining it to kids that don’t speak the same language as you is a whole other experience!
July 2014 – Farnborough Air Show – Exhibitor
June 2014 – 2016 IMPACT – Conference Steering Committee Board
May 2014 Shirley Scouts – Talk “Exploration of Mars”
Mar 2014 Big Bang Fair, Brimingham, UK – UKSEDS exibitor
Jan-Mar 2014 Astronomy in the city, University of Birmingham Observatory
Sep 2013 European Planetary Science Congress, UKSEDS exhibitor, London
Jul 2013 UoB School Astronomy Day volunteer
2013-2014 UCLA Alumni regional committee
May 2013 International Astronomy Show, Warwick -British Interplanetary Society, Exibitor
Mar 2013 Arts and Science Festival – Outreach, University of Birmingham
Mar 2013 Outreach activity – Big Bang Fair, London Excel Center
Mar 2013 Science Busking – Oxfordshire Science Festival
Feb 2013 Meteorites workshop – UKSEDS conference 2013, Bristol University
Jan 2013 Gravitational waves group outreach activity – BBC Stargazing live, UoB
Nov 2012 ‘Getting involved in outreach’ talk – UKSEDS workshop 2012, Kingston University
2012-present British Interplanetary Society Education and Outreach Committee
2012-13 Head of Outreach UKSEDs
2010-11 UCLA Undergraduate astronomical society
2009-2016 STEMnet ambassador
2009-2010 UKC, Physics and Astronomy outreach volunteer
2008-12 UKC Space Society, Telescope officer in ’12