From Alaska to Dundee
Published on 12 March 2015
Dundee Science Centre’s latest recruit has travelled almost 4,000 miles to inject new life into science, technology, engineering and maths education.
Megan Sharkey (34) has recently been appointed STEM Learning Officer (Primary School Programmes) within the Centre, supporting the delivery of Dundee Science Centre’s 3-18 learning programme, from nursery children up to college students.
Having initially spotted the maternity cover job vacancy on the Science Centre website from her home in Alaska, Megan was interviewed by Skype.
But why Dundee, and why Dundee Science Centre?
Megan, who was born in New Hampshire said, “I visited Scotland on holiday about five years ago and had a strong sense of wanting to return. After doing some research, I found that Dundee didn’t only have the University of Dundee but also a fantastic Science Centre with a job that suited me down to the ground. Now that I’ve travelled across the World to be here, I’m relishing the prospect of doing a great job at Dundee Science Centre and also hope to embark on a Masters degree with the University starting this September. Everyone has been so friendly to me, not just my new colleagues but everyone I’ve met. It’s also such a beautiful city and compared to Anchorage, which is a fairly young city, it’s steeped in history which I’m really excited about exploring.”
Having worked in science centres for most of her career, Anthropology graduate and self-confessed ‘science addict’ Megan joins Dundee from the Discovery Center at the Anchorage Museum in Alaska where she was Volunteer and Programs Manager.
She has been involved in science education since 2004 when she worked as an educator at Guided Discoveries Astrocamp in Southern California. She has also worked as a Wilderness Guide in Oregon, a middle school science and maths teacher in California, and an English teacher in France, before heading up to Alaska.
Megan continued, “Although I was on the other side of the World, science centres generally have the same objectives and kids are kids wherever they’re from, being amazed and excited about the same things. One of their aims is to take the intimidation factor out of science – so many children and some adults think science is difficult and confusing so it’s our job to make it fun, accessible and truly engaging. There may be adjustments learning how things work in Scotland but there’s a huge amount of similarities to science centres overseas too.”
Dundee Science Centre is open daily from 10am-5pm. For further information, please telephone 01382 228800 or visit www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk.