Advisory panel

Syd Femtinos

Syd is an award winning STEM communicator, radio presenter and serial entrepreneur. She has a vast range of experience working with children having taught in state, grammar and independent schools in and around Birmingham and running Femtinos for the last decade from which she delivered to 12,000 children.

Syd is passionate about inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders and innovators and believes that making education fun, accessible and hands-on will allow children to experience the excitement and curiosity that science has to offer!

Her recent projects involve UK Virtual School, an online school for homeschooling families and UK Educators Community, where she offers business support and workshops for education businesses to help them avoid making the same errors she has done and to maximise their impact.

Syd is a strong believer that it takes a collaborative approach to make an impact on a larger scale. UK Educators Community helps educators running businesses to understand their businesses better, to be challenged and to make things happen. She regularly interviews experts for the UK Educators podcast.

Through her work, Syd’s mission is to transform the perception of education for children and families into something exciting, fun and enjoyable. She can’t do this on her own and welcomes collaborative projects with others.

Leanne Mee

Leanne Mee founded The STEM Workshop with the ambition of ensuring all young people gained access to quality STEM education. Leanne has worked in secondary education for 17 years teaching and leading STEM.

An experienced teacher of Design and Technology having taught all disciplines including Engineering.

An experienced leader of STEM and Design and Technology recently gaining National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership for bringing about sustainable changes in STEM education within the Academy and surrounding community to include transitional work at primary and secondary.

Has a vast amount of experience working on wider initiatives to include work with the RAF Museum Cosford supporting their STEM engagement. Presented at the Education Show the secret to engagement between school and business.

Sara Booth-Card

Project Coordinator at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

I studied ecology at university before training as a primary school teacher. I spent 9 years as a classroom teacher before going to work at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

I have worked at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust for the past 6 years running two engagement projects. The first, Youth in Nature, was an Our Bright Future funded project through the Big Lottery to engage young people with wildlife and the environment as well as gaining employability skills.

The second is a government funded project through Defra (Natural England) and the Department for Education. Nature Friendly Schools empowers teachers to take learning outside the classroom through professional development training and creating a wildlife and people friendly outdoor space.

Part of my work with the Royal Society of Biology has been to highlight careers in STEM subjects to women and young people.

Simon Billington

ICT Strategy Manager for Education at Wrexham County Borough Council

Simon is an enthusiastic and dedicated teacher with 27+ years experience in education. Passionate about the use of technology to support learning and teaching with a proven track record as a classroom teacher, school leader and curriculum advisor. As a secondary teacher he was ICT coordinator in school for over 5 years before taking on the position of assistant headteacher with strategic responsibility for ICT. Since leaving the classroom in 2007, Simon has worked locally and regionally as a curriculum adviser across all phases of education, providing training and support in the use of digital technologies in learning and teaching. From 2014 to 2018 Simon was a member of the National Digital Learning Council for Wales, reporting to the Minister for Education, the council provided expert guidance, external to WG, on the use of digital technologies and resources in learning and teaching. Simon is currently the ICT Strategy Manager for Education at Wrexham County Borough Council and a member of the National EdTech Delivery Authority in Wales.

Andy Thomson

Director of Design Technology & Engineering. Highgate School

Exam Paper Author – Design Engineering (OCR)

Andy has experience of both the independent and state educational environments. He displays an outstanding level of commitment and drive for the subject and has developed a department that is at the forefront of emerging technologies.

Andy teaches at least one class in every year group from Year 3 all the way up to Year 13 which allows him the unique opportunity of understanding exactly what is happening in each Key Stage and to also practise exactly what he preaches.

Andy’s passion and love of the subject is not limited to Highgate School, he is a true believer in outreach and has developed strong relationships with schools all over the country, spending some of his holiday teaching and sharing his knowledge and skills with teachers and pupils at other schools. He has taught teachers enrolled in the Teach First program and via Teach Design initiatives and even attended sign language lessons in order to teach D&T to deaf children from a local school.

Andy was awarded ‘Teacher of the Year 2014’ by VEX Robotics at the Big Bang Show. His work with imbedding robotics into the curriculum has been an amazing success and one of the teams made it through to the world championships in Kentucky, USA.

Andy was made Teacher of the Year 2016 by the James Dyson Foundation and was awarded Subject Leader of the Year 2016 by the Design and Technology Association. Recently his department was awarded a Design Mark from DATA in 2019. His students have entered and won lots of external competitions, such as young engineers, TDI award, Triumph Design award, Design Ventura, Greenpower, world skills to name but a few.

He also continues to assist external STEM organization such as the IET, microbit foundation and DATA. He regularly posts on twitter under the handle @Andy_ThomsonDT

Joseph Birks

CEO Mindsets UK Ltd and Redfern Electronics

Joseph studied physics at UMIST in the late 1990s and then followed his interest is software development into a job with the Technology Enhancement programme. He set up as Redfern Electronics in 2009 and went on the develop a whole range of technical education devices including data loggers, seismometers, robotic vehicles and the now internationally recognised Crumble microcontroller. He manufactures products in the UK at his base in Saffron Waldron and is a passionate supporter of lo-cost and high impact educational products.

Beci Pindar

Deputy Head at Withernsea High School

Deputy Headteacher at Withernsea High School with a responsibility for whole school curriculum. Beci has 20 years teaching experience working in 3 different secondary schools. Her specialist subject is Mathematics having taught at KS3 – KS5.

Beci has held several different management roles including Head of Maths and STEM coordinator before joining the senior leadership team at Withernsea High School in 2014.

Philippa Hartley

Careers and Education Development Consultant

I have been teaching for 32 years in secondary schools with over 20 of those spent in senior leadership. I have been fortunate to experience all roles within senior leadership from teaching & learning, curriculum, timetable, Quality Assurance, Careers leader, Leader of PSHE, Citizenship and RSE. In 2019 I was awarded “Career Leader of the Year” at the National Excellence Awards.

When in August our brilliant Head retired I took the same route, opting to go self employed with specialisms in careers leadership and education development. I am now embracing the fabulous opportunities to work on a national front and impact positively on even more young people.

Martin Khechara

Associate Professor for Engagement in STEM

Martin Khechara is an Associate Professor for Engagement in science technology engineering and maths (STEM) at the University of Wolverhampton. Martin is a microbiologist, researcher and educator who has an international profile for his work in higher education. He is also a science communicator, presenter, writer, comedian, director and science theatre performer who believes in that study at university can change lives. He is a champion of social change and actively works in the community with the award-winning STEM response Team to bring the magic of STEM subjects to those that need it the most.

Create a website or blog at