Matthew’s career spans teaching, pyrotechnics, broadcasting and project management. He first set out as an Associate Patent Examiner, after obtaining a degree in Physics with Study in Continental Europe from the University of Bristol. His mind soon turned to teaching and he returned to Bristol to complete a PGCE.
Matthew taught science for five years and held the posts of head of physics and deputy head of faculty. He was quick to establish himself as a trusted colleague in the development of quirky, creative and visual demonstrations in and out of the classroom. He was actively engaged in developing INSET sessions for colleagues and delivered several modules on the effective use of ICT in the classroom and approaches to creative teaching strategies.
In 2005, Matthew was invited to present his ideas for science clubs, curriculum enrichment and creative science communication at the (then newly built) National Science Learning Centre. Since then, Matthew has been a regular presenter on a number of courses, including the flagship Summer School for Newly Qualified Teachers.
Matthew became a regular presenter on Teachers TV in 2006. He was a roving reporter on the long-standing series “Resource Review” and fronted several science and maths programmes. In addition to Teachers TV, he has worked on programmes for BBC, Sky and ITV, as well as several independent media production companies, both as a guest presenter and consultant. He has presented corporate professional development films and has provided voiceovers for promotional videos.
In 2007, Matthew left the classroom to work on the national After-School Science and Engineering Clubs pilot at the British Science Association. He was responsible for the professional advice and support for club leaders, as well as troubleshooting in schools with challenging circumstances. This role gave Matthew direct experience of a wide range of schools across the country, which enabled him to work with partners to develop a number of resources and training sessions for club leaders at different stages of their careers. As a result, he has been asked to speak about science clubs and curriculum enrichment, both here in the UK and The Netherlands.
Matthew was part of the team at Teachers TV who developed the highly successful “Ready to Learn” mass participation and engagement project for National Science and Engineering Week 2008. He devised the lesson plans and resources for Key Stages 1-4, as well as contributing to the supporting videos. The project successfully engaged over 78,000 pupils* nationwide from over 600 schools. In addition, Matthew has written education resources for the European Space Agency to accompany the Space in Bytes series of films and, in 2010, he was invited to The Netherlands to deliver a hands-on workshop at the ESA European Teachers’ Summer School.
Following the success of the After-School Science and Engineering Clubs pilot, Matthew was asked to project manage the STEM Clubs Network at STEMNET. He oversaw the development of CPD for club leaders, redevelopment of the STEM Clubs website and the growth of the network to include over 2500 school STEM clubs. During this time, Matthew also launched the STEM Challenges, one of the official London 2012 Get Set education projects.
Away from education, Matthew has over six years’ experience in the pyrotechnics industry. He has a strong track record of managing successful professional shows in a variety of locations across the South of the UK to audiences ranging from 20 to 200,000 people. He specialises in displays fired to live and recorded music, as well as digitally controlled shows, which can involve complex rigging and large crews. Out of season, Matthew combines his passion for pyrotechnics with that of science communication. He has delivered a number of demonstration lectures and workshops for schools, illustrating the science, technology, engineering and maths behind a professional firework display and theatrical pyrotechnics.
*Data from Teachers TV via British Science Association website.