Saturday, 23 October 2010

First time for everything!

So here I go... this is my first blog. Yes I know, as a keen IT user why have I not done this before? 
Probably because I have never really had the time to sit and get it all sorted but I have just read such a great posting about the  Women Mean Business Conference, that I thought - here I am always going on about how my job is to inspire people to get into science and maths and I have never got to grips with the technology of a blog. So sad!

So who on earth am I and why am I doing this?
I work at a brilliant science centre called Catalyst. It is a small independent centre that has lots of hands on stuff for young and old to have a go at. We are special - we focus on chemistry! 
We started life as the Museum of the Chemical Industry - can you imagine! Museum and chemistry in the same sentence!! 
Actually the concept was great - the chemical heritage of the North West was fast disappearing so why not collect as much stuff together in one place as possible; especially if that place was an old chemical works. So Catalyst was born.
But museums have changed and people don't want to just read about the old days - so a much more hands on approach was needed and Catalyst did that by making a gallery of things to do and see that would inspire young and old alike.
We've been going for about 25 years and now offer workshops and activities for schools and families all based around Chemistry but exciting, colourful and making what can be  a scary subject accessible to everyone.
This is where I come in. 
I am the Education manager and my role is to create and deliver top quality experiences for schools and the general public.
Which is why on Monday I will be dressing up in my Dracula costume and doing Spooky Science shows; making more slime than you could ever wish to see and inspiring young and old to enjoy the magic that is a chemistry show.

So after a career as a medical technical officer, then a  teacher plus being a mum and lots of other things in between, I am now a professional science communicator and I actually get paid to show off. And boy! do I love to show off - my mum says she knew this all along but I have always said I am very shy. But put me on a stage and off I go... and this includes being on TV or radio or making professionally produced DVD with a film crew et al.
I would never have believed that this was where I would be now. I thought that I would be a teacher, probably a Head and couldn't envisage leaving the school grounds. But here I am with a class of over 25,000 each year. I even get asked for my autograph - how cool is that!!

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