Kia ora! My name is Lauren Pugh and I am the Project Lead for our Science Alive Mātauranga content. I am originally from Ōtepoti, Dunedin but recently moved slightly more north to Ōtautahi, Christchurch which I am loving so far. I am a self proclaimed foodie, and Christchurch has so many great places to try. My favourite cuisine would have to be Japanese food – big fan of a sushi train and teppanyaki dinners. A glass of wine or a cocktail goes hand in hand here – not sure if I can claim wine tasting as a hobby but when I head back to Central Otago over summer, I definitely try to visit a few wineries and see what they have on offer.
After studying Primary Teaching and Sociology in Dunedin, I was a teacher in both Dunedin and Central Otago. In 2020 I decided I was going to head overseas – not great timing haha… so of course Covid hit and we were locked down! So, like everyone, I pivoted my plans and began supporting teachers across the country with distance learning skills from my lounge room. I really enjoyed this side of education and eventually came across the opportunity to work at Education Perfect as the partnership between EP and Science Alive was being formed. Two years later and I haven’t looked back!
Why do you love working at EP?
The people I have the privilege to work with. There are so many amazing EPeeps within the company, each bringing a wealth of knowledge, experience and perspective to their mahi. Moving from teaching into an edtech company made me understand the amount of work and people power it takes to create a platform like Education Perfect.
What does a typical day look like for you in your role?
Starting at the beginning… I would like to say I was one of those people who get up as soon as their alarm goes off but I would definitely be lying. The snooze button is pressed at least twice! I am very lucky that no two days are the same for me and I am not one to stay still for very long so this keeps me well entertained. Often I will spend my time, coming up with new ideas and solutions and working with the team to create new and exciting lessons for our students. The other part of my job is to empower teachers to utilise this free resource in their schools. This means lots of zoom calls and sessions with staff or heading away to conferences to engage with the education community… all done with a side of coffee of course!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Moving into this role and working with a stellar team, we have been able to create resources that inspire both students and educators to widen the scope of STEM within their classrooms. It has been very humbling to hear how our resources have changed the perspectives of teachers and challenged them to integrate technology and STEM industry knowledge into their routines. My role within the team is to put myself in the shoes of educators and students, think of their needs and help bring to life learning opportunities that many teachers just simply don’t have the time or resources to create themselves.
What are you most excited about? (personal and/or work life)
I am very excited for the year ahead! We love pushing the boundaries in the Science Alive team and we are embarking on a new Pasifika module next year focusing on STEAM across the Pacific. I am really looking forward to seeing this take shape and how it will be received by schools next year.
I am hoping to rewind time and do a bit of the travel I missed out on (thanks covid) next year and attend a couple of destination weddings. Bali and Scotland are on the list for 2023 so far – any recommendations for a short Europe stint feel free to let me know! I am really looking forward to experiencing new cultures and trying all the food of course!
What is your secret talent?
Something I would like to do more of but often falls off the list – Art! I love to draw and paint – I had a job restoring furniture while I was studying which I loved. I even painted a piano bright orange for a client once! A real stand out piece for me was a friend who asked me to paint some murals in their gym. This was my biggest piece of work to date and it was so much fun bringing their vision to life!