Sharon Coles had spent a decade building a successful career in Civil Engineering before deciding it was time for a change. After going to a few school experience days she knew she was hooked and wanted to teach!
We caught up with Sharon to find out what she thinks about teaching at UTC Leeds.
Why did you decide to start teaching at the UTC?
Coming from a STEM career, it was hugely appealing to me to work in an environment that really focused on this, and to teach students with a genuine interest in their subject. I had been intrigued by UTCs for a while so when the vacancy came up, I just had to apply.
What is it that interests you about your subject?
So many things! One of my friends once said to me, ‘You can fix anything if you understand how it works’. That is what science is – understanding how things work and applying that knowledge to solve problems. From building a bridge with a long enough span, to managing a pandemic, to dealing with global warming – science will always find a way forward.
What are your ambitions for your department?
My ambition is to give students mastery over their scientific knowledge and skills, so that they can go on to careers that excite them. The problems we are facing today will be solved by students in school right now, and it is incredibly exciting to give them the tools to get stuck in and make their mark on the world.
What has been your highlight of working at the UTC?
Teaching students with genuine ambitions in STEM. They can speak with confidence about their plans to work in geosciences, or sustainability, or aeronautical engineering, and they are excited to be in a place where they can see their hard work move them closer to their goals.
Why should students come to the UTC?
For the focus on STEM, the fabulous engineering facilities, the opportunity to be involved in employer-led projects and the chance to study with like-minded people.