On the 7th and 8th of July 2011 we ran the ASE/NSLC National Technicians Conference here at the NSLC in York. It was the second joint conference and the 15th ASE National Technicians Conference.
The two days were extremely busy with over 300+ technicians from across the UK attending, from as far away as the Channel Islands, Shetland and Northern Ireland.
The conference set up started on the Wednesday afternoon with the exhibitors setting up in the Atrium. We had over 20 suppliers this year and I think next year we’ll have to look at hiring a marquee to accommodate all our exhibitors.
The Wednesday evening participants who arrived early and stayed over were invited to join the deliverers and the ASE technicians committee for dinner and a drink down in Hesligtion village. It was a great opportunity to get to know everyone a bit better.
Following introductions by myself and Michelle Mcgaughey, the Thursday morning conference started with a vengeance . The first keynote lecture was by Annette Smith CEO of ASE who spoke about her own experience and the possibility of registered technician status.
After a quick break participants had a selection of workshops to go to including:
- SAPS plant science
- Physics ideas
- Handling dangerous chemicals
- Working in the classroom
- Health and safety
- Senior technicians leadership
The workshops were repeated on both days, followed by an afternoon of exciting demos which nearly brought the house done in more ways than one!
A big thank you to our evening quiz sponsors Timstar who looked after the entertainment in the evening again for those staying over.
Our Friday keynote speaker was Kathy Sykes; Kathy is Professor of Sciences and Society at Bristol University and has appeared regularly on radio and television, including the Open University, the BBC’s Rough Science and Alternative Therapies series. We were very excited to have Kathy present and this was one of the highlights of the conference. She spoke about her own science story and the importance of science education. Kathy also presented the Gratnells science technician of the year award. This was won by Sandra Wollerton from Danum School Technology College in Doncaster. Congratulations Sandra!
The conference is a massive operation to put on, but it was great to see so many technicians at an event that extols their virtues. I can’t wait until next year’s! Keep an eye on our website for next year’s technicians conference.
P.S if you’ve got any photos or video or comments from the conference, we’d love to see them and publish them to this post.