Previous Winners

Katie Steckles

Self-confessed “Mathematician/Enthusiast”, Manchester
What do you do?
I'm a mathematician who gives talks and workshops on maths topics at UK schools and science festivals. I also make YouTube videos, write blogs and do comedy sets - anything as long as it's communicating maths!

What project did you design and deliver?
I was the organiser of the MegaPixel project in 2016 - demonstrating how TV and phone screens display images using red, green and blue light by colouring in and assembling a giant photograph, with help from museum visitors and teams of participants all over the UK (and the world). We assembled a team of volunteers and worked on the image throughout the week of the science festival, having a stall in the museum entrance every day and thousands of visitors, and finishing by frantically assembling the final image on the Sunday night!

What was the best thing about winning the Josh Award?
It was great to have recognition from the community that I'm doing good work, and it was also great to be part of the Manchester Science Festival in such an important way. The project was a great way to get lots of people involved and learn something new, and it was good to have something impressive to show at the end. I'm hoping it'll inspire me to keep producing innovative maths communication projects and events in future!

Andy Miah

Chair in Science Communication, University of Salford

Sarah Bearchell

Science Presenter, Sarah’s Adventures in Science
What do you do?
I work with children and families - in nurseries, Children's Centres, primary schools, community groups. I often work with special needs pupils, and use super-sensory experiments to engage all kinds of learners. I do workshops, shows and science clubs. I also write for Aquila Children's Magazine and, since winning the Josh Award, have written teacher resources for BBC Learning "Terrific Scientific" and The Royal Society of Chemistry.

What project did you deliver?
The Josh Award enabled me to optimise my equipment and develop "The Cloud Factory" so that I can use dry ice to for a super-sensory workshop for pupils with special needs. It also paid for me to have a fabulous Cloud Machine made by Richard Ellam. It means that every child, no matter what their ability, can make a cloud in safety; which often leads to squeals of delight! As part of the award I did two days of shows in a large special needs school in Swinton.

What has been the best thing about winning?
The most amazing thing happened in a Cloud Factory session. I was working with a group of 6 or 7 year-olds, of whom one little boy was walking with a frame. We made our first cloud amongst great excitement and when I made the second cloud I invited the children to come and explore it on the floor. They all came forward with enormous enthusiasm, including the little boy who left his frame to crawl over to the cloud. When I lifted the box to show how the bubbles were moving, the boy held on to me and pulled himself up into a standing position. He was absolutely fascinated by what was happening. When I turned to show the other children, the little boy stepped forward to follow the box. He was walking unsupported and his teachers were utterly amazed. His scientific curiosity had driven him to walk and I am really proud that I had the privilege to be there when he did.

Aravind Vijayaraghavan

Graphene research, University of Manchester

Award under review, no Award offered this year.

Matt Parker

Standup Maths and Festival of the Spoken Nerd

Steve Cross

Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow and Science ShowOff

David Price

Science Presenter, Science Made Simple

Karen Bultitude

Senior Lecturer in Science Communication, UCL

Chris Smith

Cambridge University and The Naked Scientists
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