Nov 10

It was a cold, miserable, English Thursday morning in November. I found myself driving into Bristol at 6.45am, the sun barely breaking the horizon. I picked up my colleague Ruth and headed to the ARKive office for the rest of the equipment we needed for the day ahead– an ARKive demo computer, popup banners, leaflets, postcards… at that time in the morning there was just one question jangling around my head…

“What are you doing Charlie? That duvet was so warm!”

As part of our STEMNET outreach work, an initiative to link schools with organisations involved in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, we were heading to the UWE Exhibition Centre for the Kingswood Partnership Ambitions Careers Event. It was a one-day event where students from six schools in Bristol, which collectively make up the Kingswood Partnership, have the opportunity to meet the people working in the careers they are interested in.

Our workshop area, before the stampede!

Our workshop area, before the stampede!

Run as a series of workshops, groups of students had the chance to meet (among others) engineers, designers, care workers, hairdressers, soldiers and ARKive researchers, to find out what their work involves and how they got into it in the first place.

Cue Ruth and I presenting to groups of young students about what we do as ARKive Media Researchers at Wildscreen – in short – finding pictures of cute animals (and plants for you botanophiles!), watching nature documentaries and occasionally meeting scarily influential people like Sir David Attenborough and Sylvia Earle. They did actually seem quite enamoured by this despite our stories from the fickle world of wildlife media that pandas really aren’t worth all that bother after all. It must have been the ARKive promo that convinced them!

Thank you to Ronnie and Lloyd at the Kingswood Partnership for putting on such a great and effective event – I know it helped a lot of young people make important choices in their lives. It was a great opportunity to represent a career choice that isn’t always the most obvious but can nonetheless make a huge difference in the world. All in all, it was worth the early start!

Charlie Whittaker, ARKive Media Researcher