In the main walkway at the EPHQ, on a bookshelf in the library, is a framed photo of a hyrax. The item has made several moves, beginning life on this certain EPeep’s desk, before migrating to several other desks, and now to multiple offices. This little piece of off-kilter animal humour is a fitting metaphor for the one-of-a-kind Kelly Body. A talented artist, passionate conservationist, gifted instructional designer, and part-time kākāpō, keep reading to find out more about this wonderfully unique member of the EP family!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’ve been with EP for three years now, which has absolutely flown by, to tell you the truth! I joined the Science team as an Instructional Designer right after finishing my undergrad in Zoology, Ecology and Stats at Otago, and was so excited to communicate scientific information to students! A couple of years in, I decided to push those communication skills further, and so I have just recently finished my Masters in Science Communication up in the Capital city. It’s been a bit of a journey, but having the support of the team at EP has been amazing. In my spare time I do a lot of art, which is my other passion. All my works are centred around nature, especially Aotearoa’s weird and wonderful creatures. I’ve recently just wrapped up a project where I recreated two of Aotearoa’s extinct frog species, which up until then had never been represented in images or illustrations. I really wanted to show some of the less well-known species that we have lost, as they were just as amazing as the moa or huia (in the case of the frog, just a wee bit smaller)! It was a huge undertaking that involved a lot of research, but the chance to blend together art and science like that was a dream. I also spend a lot of time in nature, looking for birds and various other critters, as well as talking people’s ears off about them.
Why become an EPeep?
The people at this company are some of the kindest, funniest and creative people that I have met. They will become your friends for life if you ever become an EPeep! Everyone is also incredibly supportive, which makes it an awesome environment to be in. For me, as an Instructional Designer, becoming an EPeep also meant that I could push my communication skills in so many new ways to make sure that each lesson I build will help students understand and be engaged with tricky concepts. It’s an amazing way to combine science, art and communication all in one, and I still feel like I’m learning new things from the people around me each day.
What’s one thing that surprised you when you began working at Education Perfect?
The amount of time and effort that goes into building a lesson for our students! Each sentence is so carefully thought about, as are the images and diagrams, the animations, and the accessibility of the lesson—everything is so well considered right down to the last full stop. It was so surprising to unpack a lesson to see all of what goes in.
Who or what has been a big influence on you?
This is a big question to unpack! I guess the artwork of my art teacher has been a huge influence on me. She was the most outstanding and the wisest person who and I was lucky enough to spend a few days each week with her for many years. Her art is something else. She paints with such freedom, movement and meaning, and being around someone like that, so content in who they were, and so inspiring, was a privilege. Outside of art classes with her, I think any book I had growing up that involved animals was a huge influence. I just chewed through books from David Attenborough, Jane Goodall, Keven Richardson, anyone who had anything to say about animals really! Reading these books from a young age definitely shaped my passion about Zoology.
When did you first begin to realise your passion for art and NZ animals?
From when I was tiny! I have loved drawing animals ever since I can remember, everything from weird marine animals to the Big Five that you can see on the African savanna. I have always liked our own animals here in Aotearoa, but I don’t think it was until late high school, and then university, that I really fell head over heels for our flora and fauna. Studying them made me realise how unique all of our species are here, and how lucky we are to have a huge backyard where we can see a lot of them still. It also made me realise how many of our species we have lost and how many still teeter on the edge of extinction. Ever since, I’ve just loved drawing our animals and trying to share some of their stories. Hopefully it helps other people fall in love with our plants and animals too!
Favourite feature of the EP platform?
The ability to have custom colours and pretty tables in our lessons thanks to thanks to our amazing developers! I love any feature that lets us spruce up the lessons, to make them look really modern as well as timeless.
What’s the funniest joke you know by heart?
I’m not sure that my taste in bad jokes is considered overly funny, but the best one was told to me by my cousin. Legend has it that he spun this joke out for so long he could tell if from Mosgiel to Oamaru, but I’ll just summarise it here. Basically, a moth trains his whole life to get to the Olympics, in the 100 metre sprint. He worked and worked, and finally made it! He was so excited when he lined up at the start line, but when the start gun went off, he tripped…and fell… and never made it over the finish line. Well, he was devastated, tears started to spring in his eyes. Have you ever seen a moth ball?
What’s a feel-good story about EP?
There are literally too many wholesome stories to pick one out, it’s all just blurred into one big happy story!
Who is a historical figure you’d like to chat with over dinner, and why?
Does Douglas Adams count as a historical figure? Surely. For a start, he was a literary genius, and he wrote the book on rare and wonderful species from around the world called Last Chance to See with zoologist Mark Carwardine. It would be amazing to hear his stories, and to tell him that kākāpō are doing alot better now than when he first wrote about them.