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Science YouTuber Maddie Moate on the importance of being curious

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 October 2016

You Tube presenter Maddie Moate who is taking part in the Norwich Science Festival at the Forum. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

You Tube presenter Maddie Moate who is taking part in the Norwich Science Festival at the Forum. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2016

She has a passion for helping young people understand science, and her work has been viewed more than 17 million times on YouTube. Now, ahead of her talk at the Norwich Science Festival, Maddie Moate talks to MARTIN GEORGE.

Maddie Moate is a frequent visitor to Norfolk, as her parents live in Diss, where she helps her mother keep bees and foster hedgehogs.

The 28-year-old studied theatre, film and television at Bristol University where she wanted to be an actor. She said if she had not pursued a media career, she would probably have become a teacher, but her role now combines teaching and performance.

Last month, she started presenting Do You Know?, a new 25-part children’s series on Cbeebies.

“There are science festivals all over the UK. This was one I wanted to get involved in because it means something to me, as it’s close to home. It’s exciting. It started off as something quite small, but has up-scaled really quickly. There are some really impressive speakers here, and it’s a pleasure to be a part of it.”

“It’s important for people to know I’m not a scientist, but what I want to get across is the importance of being curious.

“I’m not claiming to be an expert. All I’m doing is talking to experts and learning. I hope my audience can watch my videos and learn with me, rather than being lectured to.”

“I think the reason YouTube can be so successful in engaging the audience is that it brings a really personal point of view to an audience. They are not just engaging with the subject, but with the person as well.

“I won’t just talk about the science. I will also include the funny bits, like the moment I tripped over a step, because if people feel they are with you, and they know you personally as a friend, they are more likely to trust you. If it feels authentic and honest, it’s more engaging. Your audience feel they have watched a fun day with their mates, but if they also take a couple of things with them, that’s great.”

“For me, the idea of getting girls interested in science is important. Sadly, it does seem that when a girl hits secondary school, they have decided that science is not for them. We have to ask why that is.

“I think a lot of it is a perception that a career in science is something that is really male-dominated. It is the job of festivals like this to show that there are jobs in science that are really welcoming for young girls.”

Maddie Moate: Science on YouTube, will take place in the auditorium of The Forum, in Norwich, at 2pm on Saturday, October 22. Tickets, priced £7 for adults and £5 for concessions, are available from www.norwichsciencefestival.co.uk

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