Sunday, 18 December 2011

end of an era

So there it was... Dec last day at Catalyst. Six years ago a perfect stranger bumped into my husband at his work place.
Being the gentleman that he is, he opened the door for this heavily laden lady and also being the polite guy he is, he spoke a few words....and that was it.
The woman was Sue Andrews, a teacher and a trustee at Catalyst and she contacted me to do some freelance work with her over the summer. Early September I got a phone call inviting me to meet the then Director of Catalyst, Julie Burgess Wilson and within days I was the education manager at Catalyst discovery centre in Widnes. I had never done anything like it before and really was not sure if it was something I could do so I offered to give it 6 months trial which became 6 years!

I discovered that I am a terrible show off and unrepentant player to the gallery but I have had the most amazing time both doing workshops and classes but most exciting of all shows.
I have taught over 60,000 children over the years and shared science with probably the same number of families. Now I am about to take all that experience and energy out on the road to schools.

One of the most annoying things for me has been the cost of transport for schools going on a trip. It didn't matter how we kept the cost down of our entry and activities - a limited budget meant that a school had to limit the number of children they brought. If our team went out to a school we could do the whole school for the same price as a class visit.
So I have decided to get out there and take the science to the schools. I have done quite a bit of this over the years and absolutely love the excitement as little children arrive in the hall to see the "scientists".  
"Are you going to blow us all up?"

I also love the expectation in a hall full of 350 teenage boys as we start to show demonstrations that fizz and bubble and change colour.

I even love making litres and litres of slime with families at college open days

So at the risk of jumping off yet another cliff ( I really should stop doing this!) I have left the safety of the science centre for the open road.
Over the next few weeks as the web site, bank account, transport issues not to mention insurance and everything else involved in setting up a small business is sorted, I will be creating a whole set of shows ready to take out and SCIENCE2U will be born.
Crazy? Probably! Exciting? Definitely!

Last night I was at a reunion of teachers I used to work with.  I wondered what their reaction would be...everyone of them got it! They so understood my motivation and caught the enthusiasm. Hopefully I will soon be able to offer some of them a show!

It was strange leaving Catalyst but I know I am doing the right thing.
So watch this space because this is where you will see me thrashing out my ideas, sharing the highs and hopefully not too many lows, leave some comments and let me know what you think!

Today is the start of the rest of my adventure.......

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