I’m Awen and my company is called Inspire by Sbarduno! I’m also a STEM Ambassador. I established the company to spark children’s interest in the world of Science.
I’m a former science teacher, and I taught Chemistry for nearly 10 years. Before that, I worked as a Scientist in industry.
When my twins were 2 years old, I decided to take a step back from teaching to work as an education officer. Unfortunately, that job came to an end, but I had worked with over 3,000 pupils and met many teachers.
I noticed there was a shortage of Science experiments in Primary Schools and locations, and the main reason for this was a lack of resources and expertise in the subject. It was very difficult for teachers to be confident and be experts in every subject.
The experiments I conduct show the Scientific connection that exists between everything around us in our everyday lives. The experiences I can offer ensure that children can see how interesting and relevant Science is in practice. In addition to the experiments, there are opportunities to develop key skills such as problem solving, teamwork, individual work, and motor skill development.
During a workshop, the pupils get to be Scientists for the day. Wearing their lab coat, they undertake a series of different experiments which inspire and prepare them for the transition to secondary school. I hope that presenting Science in a fun, interesting and different way, especially with young children, sparks their curiosity and interest in the field early on.
My job gives me the best of both worlds – experimenting and teaching – as well as the flexibility to work around the requirements and needs of a busy family!
In business, you are required to be flexible and adapt now and again, and because I have done this, Inspire by Sbarduno was able to offer additional services early on, such as STEM parties, STEM workshops for families, experiment packages and training for staff, holiday workshops, GCSE revision and study sessions, and STEM experiment videos for Primary and Secondary school children. As a result of Covid-19 I have further adapted my business by offering online virtual one-hour workshops to Primary schools. They’re educational, experimental, and fun sessions. This development has proved successful with schools across Wales.
There aren't many women working in Science, and instead of seeing this as an obstacle, this has spurred me on and inspired me.
I’m a fluent Welsh speaker and I believe it's important that pupils can be taught bilingually. I feel the ability to offer a Welsh language service has contributed towards the success of the business.
I’m an enthusiastic woman without a doubt, and I feel that the story of my career journey is an interesting one to share and an inspiration to young people. It's a realistic journey in which everything hasn’t gone as expected, but the most important message is to persevere to succeed.
Sometimes, it is when we face the most challenging circumstances that doors open, and unexpected opportunities cross our paths. Be prepared to make the most of every opportunity; you may find that your business will expand in another new and exciting direction!