On the 10th June we were lucky enough to welcome Maggie Aderin-Pocock to UCLan. Maggie is one of my Science Communication Heroes, and I was inordinately excited to meet her. It had been my intention to live tweet the lecture for those not in attendance, but within 5 minutes I was too captivated and forgot to tweet!
Maggie’s talk covered her love of Space science and her passion for learning. She described herself as the sort of person who always asks “why?” and says this curiosity is what led her to science. She faced some barriers growing up but has succeeded in finding a career that combines her passions and her skills. Her lecture was very inspirational, but I’m not going to go in to too much detail here, as I plan to have a whole post dedicated to Maggie’s story in the next few weeks.
On the 11th June Maggie was delivering a Public Speaking workshop with her colleagues from Screenhouse. We had asked Heads of Schools to nominate women in STEMM that they thought would benefit from the workshop and on the day had 18 very eager women in attendance (myself included).
After the introductions, Maggie opened the workshop with a presentation giving us tips and tricks she has learned from her time in Science Communication.
Following this we worked in small groups trying to come up with a ‘headline’ and a few sentences (five at the most) about our work/research. This was incredibly difficult, for everyone. We all struggled condensing topics that we are passionate about into such small servings. It is really hard to know what you need to say and what you can leave out. Getting the balance between ensuring that you are accurate and understood, whilst also being brief is a skill we all needed to develop. Luckily Maggie, Barbara and Paul were on hand to help us out.
Once we had developed our brief ‘stories’ we then had the opportunity to be filmed 3 times delivering them to our small groups. I found this incredibly useful and we all got better after watching each of the videos. The instant feedback the videoing gave meant that we could make changes and improvements instantly.
I learned so much about my colleagues at UCLan and the cool things that they are doing during the course of the day too. We really do have some amazing STEMM women here, and giving them extra training like this empowers them to become more visible.
At the end of the day we took a group photo of the women who had attended the session. Look at all the happy faces! (I’m not on this picture as I’m behind the camera).
The feedback from the women who attended has been overwhelmingly positive and we also have some ideas for further development of these women in the future.
Of course, I couldn’t let Maggie leave without getting a Selfie with her. 🙂