L'Oreal Young Scientist Centre Facilitator
The L'Oréal Young Scientist Centre Facilitator is responsible for presenting a range of science workshops to school and public groups who come to the Ri. The role also includes helping to develop new workshops, liaising with schools and supporting the other team members with the general day to day running of the laboratory.
Jemma was born and raised in Adelaide, Australia, and moved to London in December 2015 to take up the LYSC Workshop Facilitator position. She completed a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) with a double major in Chemistry in 2013 and achieved a first class Honours in Organic Chemistry in 2014, both at the University of Adelaide. From there she travelled to Canberra, in 2015, to study a Master of Science Communication Outreach at The Australian National University. During this time she was also part of the Shell Questacon Science Circus and travelled around regional and rural Australia performing science shows to schools and the public.
I was always surrounded by science growing up and with a Chemistry teacher as a mother and an engineer for a father, it is no surprise that I ended up wanting to study it at university. At school I was always interested in learning about the world around me and creating my own experiments. At the end of a science class I was the one mixing solutions together or using the experimental equipment to test my own ideas.
I enjoyed all of the science subjects during high school and continued with them into university. In third year I decided to specialise in chemistry, mainly because I liked spending hours in the lab working on experiments!
I have many favourite experiments that I have watched and performed so it is very hard to pick an absolute favourite.
I am a big fan of DIY Science and so one of my absolute favourites is the sound made by a slinky when you attach one end to a paper cup. The cup amplifies the sound of the slinky, when you let go of the opposite end, to make it sound like a laser gun (or lightsaber). This is one of my favourites because for something so simple, it can have a big effect on those who are watching. Many children who see it can’t believe the sound they hear and you can really see them get excited about the science.
In terms of explosion demonstrations, the exploding methane balloon (in the third Lecture of the 2015 CHRISTMAS LECTURES) is my favourite due to the beautiful flame produced.
The Ri was where my journey into science communication started. In 2008 I attended the CHRISTMAS LECTURES as a part of the RiAus Spirit of Science Scholarships. It was during one of the lectures that I made the decision that I wanted to inspire other young people to share my love of science. That moment that sent me on the career path I am on today and I am extremely excited that I can now do that as a part of the Ri.