Kat Kelly

I am involved in the programming, delivery and logistics of all that we have to offer at our new Science Oxford Centre (SOC) at Stansfeld Park. I work with teachers, pupils and members of the public to ensure they get the most out of their visit and have the best time possible at the centre. I also help to develop and deliver school workshops, shows and woodland tours for visiting schools and to support teachers before, during, and after their visit. In addition, I run our regular family open days at the centre as well as school holiday activities. It is an exciting role, with a great combination of behind-the-scenes and front-facing science education.

The key projects I’ve got coming up are to continue working on, and improving, our family open days, working with local schools to offer a program called ‘Expert Explainers’– aimed to engage students with low science capital – and to keep providing a fun and educational experience for our visiting schools.

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing children, young people and even adults light up with excitement and curiosity when they visit our centre. We are all scientists deep down and every person who visits the Science Oxford Centre gets a taste of what its like to understand more about the world around them.

Before joining Science Oxford, I studied for a BscHons in Astrophysics from the Open University and have spent the last seven years working in science outreach. I lived in Vancouver, Canada, for a while and worked at a large science centre called Science World, where I had multiple roles including working in the galleries and, curating ‘The Tinkering Space’.  I also travelled to British Columbia delivering science festivals and shows to remote communities and schools, and managing the staff and volunteers in the centre. I also taught engineering to high school students in an after-school club. In my last few years in Vancouver I worked at a few different telescopes, providing star parties and tours for the public and doing some astronomy imaging and data collection. My most recent role was ‘Astronomer’ at the local planetarium. I created and delivered planetarium shows and lectures, special events, exhibits. The most fun part was being interviewed on TV news, radio or podcasts every time some scientific breakthrough or interesting space event happened.

In June 2019, my husband and I returned home to the UK and moved to Oxford so he could study politics. Luckily, the role at Science Oxford came up at just the right time!

Outside of work, I like to spend time with my family and my cat called Sooty (who travelled to Canada and back again with me!). My hobbies include playing guitar, reading books, attending talks and lectures, being a Dungeon Master for Dungeons and Dragons and pole dancing – which I am certified to teach and won a Provincial competition for in Canada.

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