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Sarah Weldon Speaker | Technology & Enterprise & Creative & Sports & PHSCE & Science & Women & Languages & Teacher CPD & Drugs/Alcohol & Mental Health & Humanities & Citizenship | School Speakers

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Sarah Weldon

Sarah Weldon

Explorer, UK STEM Ambassador, Google Glass Explorer, and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Augmented reality evangelist, named by Skype for International Women’s Day as a ‘Woman changing the world through Technology’. Sarah is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, STEM Ambassador, Microsoft Innovative Educator, and CEO of environmental and STEM education charity Oceans Project. She is currently developing the Microsoft Hololens as an educational tool for capturing Britain’s geographical and coastal features and Viking Age sites for use in the classroom.

Sarah is a YouTube partner, and creates GCSE and A-Level revision colouring books for teenagers.

After growing up in care, and an attempted suicide, Sarah left school age 16, with no idea what to do ‘when she grew up’. Thanks to a Prince’s Trust ‘Leadership in the Community’ course, she landed a role as an apprentice outdoor pursuits instructor at a centre that specialised in providing kayaking, climbing, and caving activities for young people who were disabled or disadvantaged. Keen to understand more about how the biology of the brain affects behaviour, she undertook a degree in Psychology with the Open University - whilst working full time as an apprentice - and so began a passion for work with young people with acquired brain injuries, leading to a seventeen year career in the NHS specialising in developmental neuropsychology, medicine, public health, and environmental medicine (aviation, space, diving medicine).

This led to work with the Royal Navy and on film productions such as James Bond and Harry Potter, and research posts in the Arctic, Amazon, desert, and more recently with the Ministry of Education and Science in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. It was whilst working in India on maternal and child health that Sarah became paralysed after developing Guillain Barre from a routine vaccination, and her passion for exploring the world began after an 18 month battle with her immune system and learning to walk again. Sarah is now preparing for a world first solo row around the coast of Great Britain, retracing and visiting Viking Age sites on her ‘Great British Viking Quest’ which will see her tackle her patience with maths and engineering as she builds her own boat.

Sarah can engage your teachers, parents, and students on a number of topics (see below), tailored to meet learning objectives and educational outcomes.

Talk topics can include:

Mental Health: Sarah grew up in care, was diagnosed with PTSD, and attempted suicide as a teen.

Teacher CPD: Sarah works with teachers on how to use Skype in the Classroom and using technology in schools.

Creative: Sarah makes videos for YouTube and Amazon Video, and creates colouring books about nature and educational colouring sheets for students and teachers.

Technology: She can bring the Microsoft Hololens into schools, uses wearable technology, and was named by Microsoft for International Women's Day as a 'woman changing the world through technology'.

Citizenship: Sarah founded her UK registered charity as a result of working with disadvantaged children all over the world. She worked on educational reform for the Prime Minister of Georgia, and helped to reduce knife crime in schools. She introduced the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Scheme in Georgia for the first time, and organised cleans ups of rivers with the European Union. Sarah connects with schools worldwide every day on Skype in the Classroom to break down barriers.

Humanities: She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and creates geography and history revision books for students. Her solo row around Britain retraces the Viking routes around the coast and uses the Microsoft Hololens to create holograms of the Viking runes, and coastal landmarks which students can then experience in augmented reality on the Hololens device.

Women: Her charity provides education to children worldwide who are denied access to school because of things like gender, poverty, war, and disability. This came about from seeing inequality in the countries she visited around the world in my work as a developmental neuropsychologist.

Languages: Sarah's PhD research is on the Viking Age, education, wearable tech, and legacy of Old Norse in English language today. She is a certified TEFL teacher, and taught English to government ministers, Navy Officers, teachers, and the police force in Georgia. Sarah had to learn Georgian and Russian because she was the only English speaker in Georgia at the time. She can also speak about the origins of many expressions and nautical phrases we use each day, and is specialising in Viking runes. As a Neuropsychologist she conducted research on language in the human brain and what happens in patients with brain injury or conditions such as Alzheimers.

Drugs/Alcohol: Sarah is a qualified Wine Advisor, she was born on a vineyard, and as a Neuropsychologist she was interested in the effects of alcohol (good and bad) on the brain. For her WSET exams she had to learn about soil, weather, geography, and geology in growing wine. Sarah was a buyer of wine for Oddbins and Nicolas. There is a lot of science behind wine tasting, and testing. When she lived in Georgia she learnt about the connection of wine with the culture and traditions and history of the country.

STEM/Careers: She trained as a medical doctor, a Neuropschologist, Diver Medic Technician, specialist in aviation, space, diving, and environmental medicine. Sarah worked on underwater film productions such as Harry Potter and James Bond, and still works in film a lot. She is a STEM Ambassador, and is now the CEO of her own environmental and STEM education charity. She speaks on cruise ships, and is preparing for her world first solo row around the coast of Great Britain. Sarah has taken the Admiralty Interview Board exams for the Royal Navy. She can help people who want to work in film products in acting roles, in stunts, or on other roles such as runner.

Fundraising/Expedition Planning: Sarah has gained a lot of experience that could help teenagers and teachers to raise money for school trips, school improvements, GAP year travel, Duke of Edinburgh's Award expeditions, and charity challenges. She feels that she has a lot to offer in this respect. Likewise for raising money for university, or for budgeting when you first leave home or for fundraising for a good cause. Sarah can also offer expertise in expedition planning and sharing from the field, using social media, YouTube, and earning money passively from YouTube videos and from Amazon.

See Sarah in action here: https://www.youtube.com/sarahrowssolo

Testimonials

“Thank you very much for all of your time answering our questions about Ocean Project this morning. I appreciate all that you are doing for the young people of the world. I know that the students learned from you and were inspired by your work”. Lorraine Leo, Jackson, Technology Integration Teacher, Jackson School, Newton, USA

“I would like to thank you so much for today's Skype session. We enjoyed every second of it. My students were extremely happy that they understood you and that you gave them compliments about their English. They also found it very interesting to learn about how you challenge yourself. You inspired both me and my students”. Miss Magnusson, English Teacher, Ekenässkolan School, Sweden

“Thank you SO much for the Skype lesson yesterday! The kids were fascinated by all of the information and the challenges you will face - of course they couldn't get over the poo in a bag scientific experiment! We can't wait to track you next May - good luck in your preparations! We really appreciate you giving up your time to share with us”. Roberta Fasano, 4th Grade Teacher, Broward School, Florida, USA

“What a treat! Sarah gave a wonderful and thorough presentation about her upcoming trip around Great Britain. She answered a barrage of questions with grace and aplomb. My students are in middle school grades 6-8. They were so excited about speaking to someone all the way in England via Skype. They couldn't stop talking about their experience throughout the day. It really made them think about what Sarah might face as she begins her journey. This experience made the lesson come alive. I would definitely recommend this lesson. Thank you Sarah for a great presentation!Mrs Grosvenor, Teacher/Librarian, Silver Lakes Middle School, Florida, USA

“Hello from Ballston Scholars, 4th grade class, in Ballston Spa, NY. We are learning about oceans and marine biology and we loved talking with Sarah about her upcoming trip. We think she's very brave to try to row solo around Great Britain. We hope she sets a world record! After our chat with Sarah, we explored the world map to see which route she might take. Sarah asked us to research the routes that the Vikings took long ago, so our teacher, Mrs. McCarthy, gave us a good website for that. Now we feel like we're helping Sarah with this cool project! We plan to connect with her each month on Skype and look forward to following her progress. Thanks Sarah!” Mrs McCarthy, 4th Grade Teacher, Ballston Spa, New York, USA

“Thank you very much for this great lesson we had today. Everybody loved it." Magdalena Brodzinska, English Teacher, Zespol Szkol im. Jana III Sobieskiego, Poland

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We have a wide range of speakers from £200 to £2000 plus travel and VAT. An indication of your budget would be useful to select appropriate speakers.

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