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Gatsby Plant Science Education Programme

Gatsby Plant Science Education Programme (GPSEP)

The Gatsby Plant Science Education Programme (GPSEP) aims to make a demonstrable difference to the teaching and learning of plant science at all ages in the UK.

Working closely with schools, colleges and universities, the Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS) programme advocates for presence of relevant and inspiring contemporary plant science in the school curriculum and qualifications, and develops plant science teaching resources to support this.

The Higher Education side of the programme seeks to nurture bright students in post-16 education with an interest in bioscience to become the next generation of leading plant science researchers through the Gatsby Plant Science Summer School and online engagement.

GPSEP is funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation alongside several other plant science programmes including the Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLCU); the Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich and a number of funded PhD projects and summer studentships for plant science undergraduates.

Meet the team



Dan Jenkins - 
Head of Programme
01223 334410
dmj25@cam.ac.uk 

Dan is Head of GPSEP, maintaining strategic oversight of both sides of the programme. With a degree in Botany, Dan’s career path has included working at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge; the Institute of Education, University College London and the former Science Learning Centre, London.

  • Bsc (Hons) Botany, Aberystwyth University
  • PGDip Science Communication, Birkbeck University of London
  • MA Science Education, University College London




Alex Jenkin- 
Project Manager (Schools)
01223 748454
aej34@cam.ac.uk

Alex manages the schools part of the programme, aiming to inspire teachers, school science technicians and the students they work with about plant science. She works closely with teachers and teacher trainers, identifying areas in the school curriculum that can be supported with plant science themed resources which are then distributed free of charge via the SAPS website. Alex is reviewing these resources to ensure that they continue to be relevant and engaging and is working to build a network of Ambassadors who will help disseminate them around the UK.

Before joining the team in May 2017, Alex worked as a Learning and Outreach Officer at Centre of the Cell where she developed and presented shows about cell biology and medical research to schools and families. Before this, she was Education Officer at Understanding Animal Research.

  • BA (Hons) Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge
  • MSc Science Communication, Imperial College London

Jamie Biggs - Project Coordinator (Schools)
01223 748455

Jamie is the newest member of our team, having joined us in July 2018. He coordinates and delivers events for teachers and teacher trainers as well as overseeing our virtual presence through coordination of our database, social media and our SAPS website . Having trained and taught as a Primary School Teacher, he is aware of the need to inspire budding botanists from an early age with the use of plant science resources.

Jamie has previously worked in Medical Education at King’s College London and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust coordinating training events for medics.

  • BEd (Hons) Primary Education, University of Bedfordshire
  • MA Education Management, King’s College London

 

Dr Stephanie Smith - Project Manager (Higher Education)
01223 336280
stephanie.smith@slcu.cam.ac.uk

Stephanie joined the team in August 2019 to oversee the programme’s engagement of contemporary plant science research and opportunities with students in post-16 education. This involves the development, planning and evaluation of high-quality plant science-related activities, such as the annual Gatsby Plant Science Summer School programme and Plant Science Masterclasses, which include in-person teaching sessions by world experts in numerous plant biology fields.

Before joining the team Stephanie was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge, where she investigated the interaction of nitrogen with plant development and growth as part of a collaborative project with India. From her undergraduate degree to her postdoctoral position, she has held positions on various student committees and is committed to improving student experiences and career prospects.

  • MSci (Hons) Biological Sciences, University of Birmingham
  • PhD Plant Developmental Biology, University of Nottingham



Dr Charlotte Carroll - Project Manager (Higher Education) (currently on leave)
01223 336280
ceec3@cam.ac.uk

Charlotte joined the team in June 2017 to oversee the programme’s engagement of contemporary plant science research and opportunities with students in post-16 education. She works with academic advisors and consultants to develop, implement and evaluate the impact of the annual Gatsby Plant Science Summer School programme and its alumni, and aims to build upon engagement of 16-18 year olds through development of the IntoBiology website.

Before joining the team Charlotte was a Public Engagement Coordinator for the University of Cambridge where she worked to train, support and recognise researchers undertaking their own public engagement projects. Before that, she worked as a Widening Participation Officer and then Festival Coordinator at the University of Warwick.

  • BSc (Hons) Biology, University of Southampton
  • PhD Plant Cell Biology, University of Warwick


 

Claire Pennycuick - Project Coordinator (Higher Education)
01223 761289
cp536@cam.ac.uk 

Claire coordinates the programme’s engagement of contemporary plant science research and opportunities with students in post-16 education. She plans and event manages the annual Gatsby Plant Science Summer School for 80 of the UK’s highest achieving bioscience undergraduates.

Claire was previously Director of a successful marketing and promotions company, before joining the world of science communication.  

  • BSc (Hons) Recreation Management, Sheffield Hallam University

Emma Goode

Emma Goode - Project Coordinator (Online Education) 
01223 764013

Emma joined the team in January 2019 to coordinate a project funded by EIT Food to develop a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) hosted on FutureLearn. This free course, called Improving Food Production with Agricultural Technology and Plant Biotechnology, will educate 16- to 19-year-old students about plant-based food production and inspire them to pursue further study in plant biotechnology, agricultural technology and applied food science.

Before joining GPSEP Emma worked as a Commissioning Editor at Bloomsbury Academic publishers, where she commissioned history books and online resources for students and researchers. She has also worked as a freelance editor and copywriter.

  • BA (Hons) English Literature, University of Warwick
  • MA Publishing, University College London