Science -- Your Future, Scotland's Future
Peter Reid – FUSION Manager
Peter Reid -- Development Officer
As the FUSION manager, I'm the liaison between our team and the research groups within the College of Science and Engineering. I coordinate and direct all FUSION project work, and am responsible for all of the scientific content of the SCI-FUN Roadshow, working in close collaboration with Stuart (the Roadshow Manager) to develop materials that will fit the requirements of schools throughout Scotland.

I handle all of the graphical output of the group, including exhibit material, newsletters, banners and this web site. I'm also actively involved in the design and implementation of our shows, and I design and build SCI-FUN exhibits (in particular designing electronic circuits), and I've been involved in running the PP4SS particle physics project (designing several of the exhibits). I mentored Nuffield students for three years, and more recently I've been involved in FUSION discussions with other schools in the College of Science and Engineering, with a view to collaborating on a variety of projects. Occasionally, I go home...

I've always been interested in science (taking all three subjects), and graduated from Edinburgh University with a degree in Computer Science (though Physics was always my favourite 'pure' science). After working as a software designer and project manager with an Internet networking company for ten years, I took a sabbatical in order to explore other areas of interest.

After some training in welding and metal sculpture, I set up and ran a theatre company in Edinburgh (Brushed Nylon Theatre) with a former colleague, and was able to try my hand at set design and stage management. I also completed an Open University honours degree in Electronics (digital and analogue) and Fourier Optics.

A chance conversation with another ex-colleague handed me the opportunity to prepare and teach several computing courses at Telford College, and I was able to further broaden my experience of course design by presenting a privately-taught drawing course (primarily portraiture), and also by giving private tuition classes in science and mathematics.

It was at about this time that I became interested in the active promotion of science, and in trying to help reverse the worrying decline in the subjects in Scottish schools.

SCI-FUN allows me to combine my love of science, teaching, computing, graphic design and abject poverty.

Find out about the giant Spider which terrorised me in our old office (and which was then identified!)...

Stuart Dunbar – SCI-FUN Roadshow Manager
Peter Reid -- Development Officer
I organise and run the outreach side of the SCI-FUN Roadshow, managing the presenting team on the road, and coordinating our visits to schools throughout Scotland. I work closely with Peter to design exhibits and shows, always with an eye on any new requirements in the school curriculum. I'm also increasingly involved in developing new avenues of funding for our group (something that the University is keen to see continue...), as well as in trying to help schools to find ways in which they can offset the costs of a Roadshow visit.

To start at the beginning is as good a place as anywhere... I was born in Wolverhampton (a “fine” place close to Birmingham in England), lived in Oxford for the vast majority of my childhood and then attended the University of Warwick (which is not near Warwick at all!) to read Physics. Here, I also found the sports of roller hockey and ice hockey playing as a netminder. I still play as regularly as possible (which isn’t as much as I’d like) and organise the Warwick Panthers annual roller hockey alumni game.

After finishing my degree, I spent three years teaching year six pupils in a primary school in Coventry. ('Hi' to any pupils who thought it might be amusing to put my name through a Google search!) This was a tremendous experience: I worked closely with a tight-knit team to develop the knowledge and personalities of lively groups of children. I have been very fortunate to discover exactly the same determined spirit within the SCI-FUN team, after having been appointed as a presenter at the start of the 06/07 session.

Working with SCI-FUN has not only given me the opportunity to convey science knowledge to varied audiences all over the country, but also to continue my own learning within the many aspects found throughout the sciences. It is a subject which is always evolving and it is important to realise that we are progressing all the time.

In my role as Roadshow Manager, and in addition to my extra responsibilities, I still hope to be able to bring the sciences to life for pupils throughout Scotland, which is vitally important to me personally. It is a great feeling when you see that you are making a difference, however big or small, in the opinions and beliefs of young people. With SCI-FUN that is only possible due to everyone in the team having individual skills that mesh together to form a strong unit. It is an extremely rewarding project, which I hope you will be able to experience for yourselves.
Mark Reynolds – SCI-FUN/FUSION Technician
Mark Reynolds -- Technician
A brief early history: born in Oxfordshire; went to local primary school; took O-Level exams in Art, Ceramics and English; enjoyed metalwork and anything practical.

From there I took a City & Guilds in Agriculture at Sparsholt, Winchester, dealing with arable and livestock – although it was the machinery side in which I excelled, having to improvise while out in the field (literally!) and also helping to improve the performance of machines.

I then worked for a number of years as a Sports and Leisure grounds contractor, again enjoying the challenge of making something out of nothing (turning a ploughed field into a bowling green or cricket square, for example).

Scotland was my next port of call, where I took on the job of looking after the repairs and maintenance of St. Columba's Hospice. I was called upon to fix anything that went wrong, acting as plumber, joiner, electrician, gardener, welder, painter and decorator!

At this point I wanted to do something on my own – so I then trained as a driving instructor, and have had my own business for the last fifteen years. Although driving instruction was very gratifying – and it was a great buzz to get pupils through their test – I still preferred to do things that needed a practical application. (For example, I spent some time working for House of Hearing, learning the skills to solder and repair hearing aids with microphones just 2 mm square!)

Being a technician with SCI-FUN (and the FUSION technical consultant) allows me to apply all of my skills to the design and construction of exhibits for the potential scientists of the future in Scottish schools, helping them to understand how the world around them works.

Not only that, but being able to travel all over Scotland lets me experience at first hand its great diversity of wildlife!

A closing summary of my other interests: I like looking at (and building) steam engines (see the animated film); fishing (I'm good with my own flies); and bird watching.