Good luck Carys :)
The Open University
Thinktank Science Museum
Astronomy educator and science communication professional
‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai’i
Favourite thing to do in my job: I’m very lucky, I get to work with the best telescopes in the world on top of the highest volcano in the world right here in tropical Hawai’i – when it gets too cold up there I come down and chill on the beach in the sun. It doesn’t stop there though, I get to take these discoveries to students all over the world. I have been to classrooms back home in the U.K., here in the U.S. and China. Next year I’m taking science to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.
I bring the latest and greatest discoveries in space down to Earth.
My Typical Day
My day normally goes like this.. Amazing space stuff in the morning, teaching students in the afternoon and then chilling on the beach when I’m finished. :-)
To be honest, my day is always different and that’s what I love about science!
One day I could be working with the telescopes up at 14,000ft where the temperature is below freezing and there is hardly any oxygen!
The next day I could be meeting with astronauts, astronomers or government officials – this is cool because I get to hear about new space missions, new discoveries and whether President Obama is coming to visit us! 🙂
There will be somedays when I will have travel out to schools with a portable planetarium or some other cool activity and do some astronomy education – teaching students all about the cool stuff right above our heads.
Then there will be other days when I wil be creating awesome 3D computer graphics of amazing things in our universe like black holes, exploding stars, alien planets, galaxies and asteroids. The best thing about this is that the visuals I create are made with REAL scientific data. Then we get to see them in our planetarium which is a huge 3D screen shaped like a dome – we have to wear really cool 3D glasses to see our science come to life.. just like Avatar, it’s proper wicked!
What I'd do with the prize money
I am writing a book about the night sky and things in space to be given out free to schools in warzones like Afghanistan. I would use the money to have as many copies of the book printed as possible.
We are really lucky in the U.K. and U.S. our schools are pretty good, we have lots of stuff like computers and ipads, decent books and great teachers! Other people though are not so lucky. In Afghanistan the kids don’t have computers, books and many do not even have classrooms because their schools have been destroyed by years of constant warfare.
Part of my job is to bring the wonders of the universe to children and students all over the world, even in warzones like Iraq and Afghanistan.
I am writing a small book for young children that will be translated into several Afghan languages and then given out free to schools. I want as many kids as possible to have a copy of this book about the night sky and space. These children deserve to have access to the same education that we all have in the U.K and it is my job to make sure this happens.
I am hoping that we can play a small part in helping these children realise their dreams – no matter what they choose to do in life.
IF I win, I will use this money to pay for the printing of the book and shipping it to Afghanistan.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Believe! All the time, I was shocking in class. Not a bad boy, just a pain in the neck and easily distracted by girls.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
To be honest i have tons in all types of music.. but right now I’m loving my drum and bass so DJ Stunna and the bassdrive.com crew are well up there!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
My life! Honest, it’s wicked and wouldn’t change it for anything. I get to travel, meet amazing people, do amazing things.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. Money – so I can build planetaria in Iraq and Afghanistan. 2. A house in Singapore. 3. Happy times for all!