Burned out

Forgive me for the lack of STEM related content, but it’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to (cry if I want to).

They say there are ten signs that you are burning out, but I feel like I have experienced twenty. And I have exhausted myself on every realm – mental, emotional and physical. Because having stubborn ambition and unadulterated dedication can come at a price.

I’ve been chasing my career goals and aspirations with the tenacity only a redhead could muster; working a full-time job, managing a blog with a workload the equivalent of a part-time job, training in the gym five days a week, starting new projects whilst maintaining old ones, and trying to push myself into filmmaking and presenting (all whilst maintaining a social life and trying to spend time with family). I use my annual leave to catch up with my blog work or do blog events, or even help me to achieve the next stage in my goals, meaning there are no holidays and there is no time off.

The last two years have been filled with great news and fantastic experiences, sadly this has happened on a backdrop of bad news and hard times. None the less, I haven’t stopped and I have soldiered on to keep up with my upward trajectory. But this has meant that I have had to push ‘dealing with the bad news’ to the bottom of a To Do list that I never get round to.

Despite these bits of bad news and hard times, I haven’t stopped and I’ve still been plodding along. But it’s time to admit that plodding along isn’t sustainable, and this ‘plodding along’ is slowly but surely become a grind to a halt.

Burning out has forced me to stop, its twisted my arm until I admitted that enough is enough. And although it pains me to say it and I say it with gritted teeth, my resolution for the New Year is to slow down.

So if you want to find me, I will be up a mountain somewhere breathing in some fresh air.

Peace out.


Inside The Petri Dish Podcast

Radio presenter and voice actor, Vicki Blight, science filmmaker and women in STEM champion, Tay-Yibah Aziz, and STEMinist blogger, Alice Gray, are joining forces to dissect science and take a look down the microscope at controversial topics within science in the new Inside The Petri Dish podcast.

Vicki and Tay will set Alice a challenge, getting her to find out more about a topic by interviewing scientists and experts, before bringing her findings back to them to discuss in a concessionary episode.

Inside The Podcast is set to be launched on Sunday November 26 at 5pm, kicking off the podcast by investigating immunisations and vaccinations.


STEM Christmas Gift Guide 2017

It is that time of year again, where some parents are pulling out their hair trying to find gender-neutral toys for stocking fillers.

In honour of this festive period and to help make life a little easier, I have put together another STEM Christmas Gift Guide, with special features of books that would make amazing presents for young boys and girls to help increase the representation of women in STEM on their bookshelf.

Detective Dot – “It’s not magic,” said Dot “Just code.”

Nine-year-old tech whizz Detective Dot has a dangerous new mission from the Children’s Intelligence Agency – investigate teenage trillionaire Shelly Belly. Why are all her products so cheap, and where does she make them? Dot’s going to have to use all her coding skills, cunning and gadgets to crack the case.

An awesome book (and activity pack) that introduces the concepts of coding to kids and reinforcing what they are learning in school, whilst encouraging children to think about how products are made and ethical practices in industry. It does a lot in one book, and is beautifully illustrated.

SUPRBIRD Dinosaur Play 2 Sets, Assemble and Disassemble Dinosaurs DIY – It is never to early for STEM learning. These gender-neutral dinosaur toys are suitable for children age three and up.

Tech Will Save Us DIY Thirsty Plant Kit – Biology and engineering, the perfect gift for an eager mind. The kit allows kids to make a moisture sensor, power it with solar energy, and to your plants happy. It is suitable for children aged 8 and over.

My First Microscope – A fully functioning microscope for little hands.

National Geographic Play Sand – This is mainly included in the list in case my friends see it, because I think its cool and would like some. And a kid would probably think it was so too.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls – This book showcases some of the amazing women from history and today. This children’s book is so good that I have it.

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World – The perfect gift for the Fantastically Great Women in your life. From Coco Chanel to Rosa Parks, Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is bursting full of astounding facts and incredible artwork on some of the most brilliant women who helped shape the world we live in.

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World – A gloriously illustrated celebration of trailblazing women. Simple as.

A Galaxy of Her Own: Amazing Stories of Women in Space – “Will suitably inspire trailblazers of all ages”

A must-have book for ambitious girls – it tells fifty stories of inspirational women who have been fundamental to the story of humans in space.

Amelia Earhart (Little People, Big Dreams) – Any book from this series would be a great edition to any bookshelf. 

In the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the lives of outstanding people from designers and artists to scientists. All of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream.

Ada Twist, Scientist – Determined Ada Twist, with her boundless curiosity for science and love of the question Why?

Does It Fart?: The Definitive Field Guide to Animal Flatulence – Dogs do it. Millipedes do it. Dinosaurs did it. You do it.

Put this in a stocking this Christmas, I can guarantee that you will glance through it first and learn something new!

Molymods – just ‘cuz. I always wanted to play with these in chemistry class, and why not use them to decorate the tree this year and make a chemistree.

Wow Stuff Science Museum Famous Drinking Bird – Learn about perpetual motion and re-create the ‘Any Key’ scene from the Simpsons.


Ada Lovelace Day 2017

Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) is an international celebration day of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

It aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and, in doing so, create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.

What are you doing to celebrate #AdaLovelaceDay?


Women in Science by Tay-Yibah Aziz

Recently, I was featured as part of Tay-Yibah Aziz’s film about women in science.

As part of her project, Tay spoke to women scientists from Bristol and the surrounding area about their journeys through science and work in their fields.

This video forms part of her MSc thesis project studying role models in science and how to encourage more young girls to pursue science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and careers.

In partnership with: The University of the West of England Bristol Robotics Laboratory The University of Bristol.