Public outreach and engagement
Outreach and engagement is an incredibly important part of our work as researchers and communicators of our research. Here you can find some of the public outreach and engagement work that I have done, both at Warwick and beyond.
Outreach and engagement at the University of Warwick
I have carried out extensive outreach projects both within the University of Warwick and externally. I have been involved in two Warwick Christmas lectures, one of which can be watched here. I also delivered a public talk at the British Science Festival that took place at the University of Warwick in 2019 and was interviewed on BBC radio about it. During this time I was invited to take part in the BBC The Sky at Night panel discussion that also took place at the University of Warwick and wrote an article for the BBC The Sky at Night magazine. I was also excited to bring together the arts and sciences when designing and executing an Astronomy and the Arts competition. I have also filmed a video to celebrate Warwick Academics and was part of the Warwick Institute of Engagement's launch video, was involved in a Warwick Knowledge Centre article on planet formation and a Resonate Festival event where a composer produced music about several pieces of research, including mine.
I have been invited to give many talks on my journey to becoming an Astrophysicist to both school children and their parents in the UK, and virtually in Australia and New Zealand, I develop and execute programmes at two space camps and supported schoolchildren with their university choices and science projects.
I was also interviewed for an article for International Womens Day to showcase the contribution of excellent females within my community, and was interviewed to give my opinion on the public's trust in science. During Covid, I gave an online public engagement talk on the formation of planets which was attended live by over 500 people worldwide and shown/watched repeatedly afterwards.
In July 2019 I was appointed onto the Aga Khan Education Board (UK), whose remit is to provide educational initiatives that inspire and prepare members of the Ismaili community in the UK and Europe to overcome today’s challenges and lead to an improvement in quality of life. This has also involved liasing with similar Boards across the world. I am responsible for the “Future Skills and Careers” portfolio. Through this, I make the community aware of the skills needed in the workforce in the future (2030 and beyond) and as part of this I have developed a number of STEM programmes both nationally and globally within the Ismaili community – especially targeting people that come from difficult backgrounds. National programmes include:
- a successful Science Fair
- a virtual STEM fair during Covid lockdown
- overseeing the development and delivery of a coding curriculum to primary and secondary aged children
- overseeing the development and execution of a virtual space camp
organising an online talk to parents on the importance of STEM education
My international programmes include:
- Founder of the Global STEM Festival (https://the.ismaili/stemfestival) which ran for two years – a Covid initiative where children between the ages of 3-17 were taken through a summer of STEM activities which also involved finding solutions to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, with a view to inspire children to pursue STEM. The material was translated into several languages to make it accessible worldwide. Each year nearly 2000 children took part from over 20 countries, including children from remote parts of Pakistan and Tajikistan who had not been exposed to STEM before. We also produced two 2-hour online shows about this, which at the time, was watched by over 7000 people. You can find part 1 and part 2 here.
- Co-led the development of a TV series called Science and Technology Unleashed
- Guided the initial development of a virtual space camp curriculum that will be used by my community worldwide
- Development of coding programmes at online camps during Covid involving European and UK children who have typically not been exposed to much (or any) coding before