Dr Sarah Bearchell
Children's Science Presenter and Writer, Sarah’s Adventures in Science
And - Winner, The Joshua Phillips Award for Innovation in Science Engagement (2014)
If you have hobbies, see if you can find a way to incorporate them into your studies. Music and art work wonderfully with science!
What do you do?
I develop and deliver hands-on science activities for children from toddlers to 12 years old. I also work with children and young adults with additional needs (SEND); creating activities which will appeal, engage and hopefully teach some science!
I also write about different science topics for Aquila Children's Magazine and develop experiments for The Curiosity Box, a science kit by post subscription service.
Why did you choose this field?
I took a break from my career when I had children. Whilst on "eternity leave" I started helping with science activities at my children's school. The science coordinator commented that I was better at it than people they had paid for in the past. She convinced me to give it a try.
I decided to say "yes" to everything for a year. That led me to do more activities, children's science shows, start writing about science and bizarrely led me to creating fake poo for a Friday night pub crowd at Science ShowOff.
I realised I could get paid for doing something which I love. It was a job I hadn't really heard of before, certainly it wasn't given as an option by my careers advisor at school! I decided to work as a freelance because then I could choose my hours to fit around the needs of my children.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
I wish I had known this career was a possibility when I was at school. It would not have changed my choice to go to university and study botany, but I might have taken a more direct path to get here...but then I wouldn't have gained all the wonderful life experiences which inform my work!
In 2014, I won The Joshua Phillips Award for Innovation in Science Engagement, largely for my work with pupils with additional needs. That work now informs all my other work because it adds depth to all engagement.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love to see "the penny drop", that moment when someone works out for themselves how the science works in what they are doing. Renee Watson at Curiosity Box calls them "wow moments".
Best advice for next generation?
Follow your passions. Find the area you are interested in and explore it. If you have hobbies, see if you can find a way to incorporate them into your studies. Music and art work wonderfully with science!
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
I decided to say "yes" to everything for a year!