Melanie has worked extensively in education, alongside her fusion work and writing, with organisations such as the Institute of Physics, The Ogden Trust, Your Life and Anturus. She has also developed training for academic researchers in public engagement with the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement.
Education through Adventure
Melanie works with the adventure education people Anturus on projects that show us the wonders of science in the outdoors. Meaning “adventurous” in Welsh, Anturus is about enthusing children and adults alike in science through expeditions. We make it easy for schools to bring science from the outdoors into the classroom with simple-to-use videos and resources.
During 2010 Melanie was the lecturer for the Institute of Physics’ annual Schools and Colleges lecture series. Throughout the year she visited over 35 schools and delivered a talk to GCSE/A-level students on the physics of fusion and, more specifically, how the science learnt in school is used in the development of a new energy source. During that year she wrote a series of blogs for the Institute of Physics about fusion and her travels around the country. The blogs were combined into the book Star Chambers: the race for fusion power published in 2012.Since then, Melanie has delivered countless lectures at schools, festivals and events, and continues to do so.
Melanie also occasionally gives talks on her career path and the current opportunities in studying physics.
“I wonder if you could tell Melanie how much Mary (and probably lots of others) got out of the session. Apparently Mary’s A-levels are now completely settled – they have to concentrate on science!” Fiona, parent of pupil at Beaconsfield High School
“It was a great pleasure meeting you on Tuesday night at the Cheltenham Ladies College Science and Engineering dinner. I found our discussion of your work in fusion energy inspiring and our talk on the implications of the recent Fukushima nuclear incident stimulating and thought provoking, if rather worrying. In particular I enjoyed your explanation of the greater details of the process of gathering energy from fusion reactions as it is a field that I have great hopes of entering after my studies.” Samantha, 6th form student, Cheltenham Ladies College
“The students were completely awestruck at your presentation.” Judith, teacher at Thomas Hardye School, Dorset
“Four of my year 11 set 2 have said how much they love physics and that they really want to study it at A-level, they felt really inspired by the lecture.” Teacher, Hillside High School, Merseyside
“Using a variety of resources Dr Windridge involved audience volunteers in hands-on activities and showed how physics plays a key role in all our lives. She also offered a perspective on the variety of careers that are open to scientists. The lecture generated much interest from students and teachers alike, with many questions and much debate following the presentation.” Teacher, Bolton School
“[Fusion] projects could provide a breakthrough that changes the world and we are hopefully the generation to witness the successes and rewards if Physicists achieve their goals. The lecture definitely opened my eyes to the present research and to what the future might hold.” Ciara, Year 14, Glenlola Collegiate School, Northern Ireland