Daniel Scholes, Science Oxford Centre Officer

I am one of the newest members of the team as I started working for the Oxford Trust in August 2021. I work at the Science Oxford Centre, where I get to deliver our amazing shows, lead thought-provoking workshops and oversee our interactive exhibits. I handle school bookings, family days, and unique events for primary school children, their teachers and their families. I serve as a point of contact for any guests visiting the Centre, and, through talking with our youngest guests, I am always learning new ways to experiment with the activities and interesting ways of thinking scientifically.

We have recently developed a new outdoor exhibit called the Water Lab, which is proving to be a splashing success. The potential scientific applications of this resource/facility are far-reaching, and I’m already looking forward to seeing what the children can teach me through its use. I am also very excited to be involved in delivering our planetarium show as I have been obsessed with astronomy since I was a child.

I find working at the Science Oxford Centre incredibly rewarding because the whole ethos of the place (Thinking, Doing, Talking Science) really encourages children to have a go, to think differently and to share ideas about what they’ve discovered. It provides a safe space for everyone to experiment, explore and innovate. Science is for everyone. There are misconceptions surrounding that, so it deserves repeating. Science is for everyone. Enabling the next generation to take ownership of the skills and knowledge so vital for scientific development – helping them realise that it belongs to them – is a privilege. Seeing young people find the scientist within themselves is the most rewarding part of my day, every day.

Although originally from Derbyshire, I also spent time living in Cornwall and London before moving to Oxford. In 2010, I graduated from University of Exeter with a BA (Hons) in English, and in 2021 I attained a PCGE with QTS from Oxford Brookes University. In the decade between my studies, I have acquired a variety of experiences: volunteering to help build a school in Ghana, leading Front of House theatre teams on the West End and filming a supermarket Christmas advert at Pinewood Studios. I’ve worked in an actual chocolate factory, been a Game Guru at a board game café, a Teaching Assistant in a primary school and so much more besides. A lot of my experiences have inadvertently prepared me for my role here, even though they may not appear particularly scientific on the surface. It is never too late to rediscover your inner scientist – nor is it ever too early to find them in the first place.

Outside of work, I like to socialise, playing board games with my partner, friends and family, Dungeons and Dragons with my dramatic friends and Magic the Gathering with anyone who sits near me long enough. I am enthralled by all things thespian and look forward to once again attending a live musical or stage play soon. I also enjoy comedy nights, concerts and gigs. I keep active by cycling, swimming and mountain climbing and, when given the opportunity, I like taking a winter holiday to go skiing.

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