Meet the Team- Samuel Scandrett
We’ve worked with Samuel for the last few months at STEAMWORKS. Let’s find out why he join our fantastic team, what the experience has taught him and where he’s going next.
People join the STEAMWORKS team for all sorts of different reasons. Some are passionate about education, some have a flair for science. Today, we’re speaking to Samuel. He used his STEAMWORKS experience to get back out of a post-lockdown dip and build his confidence in leading a group.
He’s a student at the University of Sheffield who’s graduating this year in Biochemistry and Microbiology. So, without further ado, lets find out how he started working with us.
Starting at STEAMWORKS
Samuel, like many of our brilliant activity officers, first heard about us through the Sheffield part time jobs fair. In fact, some course mates sent him a link to our website, convinced he’d want to join the team.
What was it he liked about the job? He said: “I’ve always been interested in science anyway, but I was more interested in the opportunity to teach science to primary school children.
“Primary science is something I don’t remember getting at all. I only remember getting decent science education by year 7 in secondary school. That’s why I liked the look of STEAMWORKS.
“It was definitely a jump into the deep-end for me when I left primary school. It was odd, since STEM makes up everything around us, that we had no idea at that age. I thought it was important for children to begin to learn how fun science is at a much younger age and more people would be doing it now if they’d only known when they were a kid.
Samuel also say it as a way to build himself back up after the lockdowns of the previous two years.
He said “I’d never really had the chance to gain any experience in leadership. That’s another big reason I wanted to join STEAMWORKS.
“I really wanted to expand that, especially after the pandemic. A lot of people struggled with their mental health and confidence during lockdown. We all lost so much time to experience new things.”
“I know I hadn’t had any teaching experience before STEAMWORKS. It really was an opportunity for me to throw myself into a new situation. I knew I definitely wanted to do it and that I wasn’t going to be as experienced as some of the other applicants. So I applied anyway to see what would happen.”
What the job is like
We accepted Samuel’s application and he quickly became a new activities officer. Samuel is a workshop assistant, helping any one of our leaders in workshops across South Yorkshire. When someone’s new to teaching, they shadow a more experienced leader who hands over to them as and when they feel ready.
So we asked Samuel what his first experiences in the classroom were like.
“The first session we did was at St Thomas of Canterbury School,” he told us, “and we did slime. It’s is just a simple chemical reaction but, at that age, I wasn’t even sure I would have known what those words even meant. So you could already see how different these kids’ experience would be to mine, when I was at school.
“I saw then, and you still see it in every session, how it is exciting for them when activities start to work. I’ve learnt to adapt so quickly. You get to talk to the same kids for weeks, and learn all about their personalities, which is an incredible thing to experience.”
Creativity and art have been some of the best things about STEAMWORKS’ workshops for Samuel. The way we merge art and STEM during activities blew him away.
He said: “The art portion of STEAM- that was a huge factor. I did product design at GCSE and A Level, and it was the grade I’d got the best in. I was very close to doing it at Uni too.
“Just last week I used 3d pens for the first time. I’ve got a great passion for the creative side of working, and it’s great to see the kids use tools like these that I would have loved to have used to create what they want.
“It’s really good to see students who aren’t into it at the start look sad to go when it’s time to leave. There was one boy I remember when we made bath bombs who got so invested in the creative design side of the activity.
“And, of course, if I look like I’m enjoying it it’s way easier for them to find out that they love it! I’d like to think I am a good role model for the kids, especially some of the young boys. They’ll always come over to me to ask some questions.”
Samuel’s time with us at STEAMWORKS is coming to an end as he graduates this week. He’s moving onto an exciting new job in Sheffield, where he’ll be developing new software with Python.
He explained why he’s decided to move there. He said: “The last two years of my degree has expanded into Python programming. It’s really helped with the recent robotics workshops at STEAMWORKS. It’s great to be able to show the kids how programming is everywhere, on the phone, on their games consoles.
“The artistic side of STEAMWORKS has actually really helped me in my career, too. I’ve always been creative, which STEAMWORKS workshops have definitely helped remind me on. And it comes into Python a lot too. You can create any bit of software you want it.”
But most importantly, what did Samuel gain from STEAMWORKS, and did he regain the confidence we was hoping for?
Samuel said: “It’s taught me flexibility, how divide my time between STEAMWORKS and course work, definitely learning to adapt so quickly. The use of creativity really did help me with interviews too. I can prove that I’m creative minded with my time at STEAMWORKS.
“For anyone else who was in the same situation as me, 100% go for it. Whether you’re already incredibly confident and want to just jump into leading sessions or you’re like I was, quite reserved or nervous to start off with, it takes you on such a journey. I still get nervous at the start of workshops but now you can just get straight into it and lose yourself in it. Before you know it the sessions over and you’ve enjoyed yourself so much.
“I know people in the process of applying because I’ll be leaving soon. I must have painted it in a good light for them!”