Know Your Educators

Laura Reid, BioEYES Australia

Laura Reid recently celebrated her fifth anniversary as a BioEYES Outreach Education Coordinator with BioEYES Australia at the University of Monash in Melbourne. Read on to learn more about Laura!

How long have you been with Project BioEYES?

I first began with BioEYES Australia in January 2014.

What is your title and role in Project BioEYES?

I am the Outreach Education Coordinator for the Monash University Biomedicine Discovery Institute and my role in BioEYES is to coordinate and deliver the program to schools in Australia, as well as to develop curriculum.

What are one or two previous positions you held?

I was lucky enough to be offered this position after I graduated from my science and teaching studies. I have done a bit of tutoring and teaching in holiday camps, however I would probably consider this to be my first job in my career in science education using my qualifications from university. While studying at university, however, I had a few casual positions working at Aldi Supermarkets and waitressing for restaurants which have provided me with great skills I still use today.

What brought you into the realm of informal science education and working for a non-profit?

I guess I was pretty naïve when it came to understanding outreach education (and informal science education) before I started with BioEYES. I only really thought it was something that zoos and specialist education centres provided. I didn’t realise until I came across BioEYES that there is a whole world of informal education and non-profit organisations out there which provide these wonderful opportunities to students, teachers and schools.

What is your favorite part about working with BioEYES?

Definitely the impact it makes on students in the classroom. Each week I get to bring these amazing animals (of course I’m talking about zebrafish!) to a group of students and completely open their minds to what science really is. So many students have misconceptions about scientists and the importance of science in our society. BioEYES completely turns those misconceptions around and provides students the opportunity to experience authentic science in a hands-on and student-centred way. I also love the reactions when students have their first look at "their" babies (embryos) under the microscope! It's priceless and always makes me feel happy for the rest of the day.

Do you prefer one breed of zebrafish over the others?

That’s a hard one. I love all zebrafish! If I could choose from any type, I must admit that the roy and casper zebrafish look pretty cool, especially since they're named after Roy Orbison and Casper the Ghost!

When not teaching or working with fish, what are some of your hobbies?

I've always played sport throughout school and university studies. Since working, however, due to injuries I've unfortunately had to stick with the gym for my exercise. Otherwise I enjoy spending time with my fiancé, travelling, and most recently I have taken up photography and make-up artistry for something new.

When getting away, where do you like to go?

I love to travel, and while Australia is an amazing country to discover, it's not unusual for me to go international once or twice a year. In terms of getting away, it depends on what type of break I need. If I need to relax I often go back to my home town in Gippsland in rural Victoria, but I can't help but snap up a good flight deal and go overseas somewhere I haven't visited before.

What is one thing most members of the BioEYES community don't know about you?

I used to play quite a lot of golf as a teenager and compete at a state, national and international level until I realised that following my passion for science would probably be the best path for me. Unfortunately, I don’t play much anymore, but still have the clubs sitting in the spare room for those odd occasions I do get out on the course.

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