Lead Educators

Andrew McDonald

Andrew McDonald

Post-16 Andrew studied Physics and Maths. He completed a BSc Combined Honours in Geological Science and Physics at Leeds University before going on to study for a PhD in Geophysics , during which he researched seismology.

"The beauty of images of the Earth, planets and space never fails to astonish me."

Boards, memberships and awards
Awarded a British Science Association Media Fellowship with the BBC

At work...
Andrew teaches Physics at Stirling High School, Scotland and is Central Scotland Hub Lead with IRIS.

Before teaching, Andrew worked as a research scientist with the British Geological Survey, developing the use of satellite and airborne imagery for geological applications. He participated in international projects on landslide and volcanic hazards and was active in the Public Understanding of Science during which he was awarded the British Science Association Media Fellowship with the BBC Radio Science department. He was also an associate lecturer with the Open University on the multi-disciplinary course on oceanography.

After several years in the scientific civil service Andrew realised that working with young people and trying to enthuse them about science was what he really enjoyed;  so he retrained as a teacher. He has run STEM clubs, masterclasses for more able pupils and has provided outreach lessons to local primary schools. Andrew is passionate about putting real-world meaning to school science and has led a number of initiatives to broaden the range of science in his school.

Break time...
Andrew is an enthusiastic "but not necessarily capable" bass trombone player.

We asked Andrew...

Given the chance, would you go to space?
I would love to be able to look down on our beautiful planet for myself rather than looking at satellite images. But, I'm a little too tall, a little too old and would suffer from space adaption syndrome, so I'd probably not be the best of astronauts.

What's the best thing about science?
Being able to find out about how the Universe works and the links between the various science disciplines.

What's the best thing about working at the National Space Academy?
Working with young people and teachers to promote science and careers in STEM; learning more about the history and science of space exploration; and working with a fantastic team of expert enthusiasts.