Averil Macdonald
A great teachers resource


Last updated: 21/06/07

Averil Macdonald

Averil taught Physics in secondary schools for 12 years before taking a career break, studying part time for an MA then a PhD and becoming a part time lecturer in the Physics department at the University of Reading.

She has co-authored 18 school text books, produced a wide range of free teaching resources for schools and is well known for pioneering Science Outreach through a wide range of projects designed to show people the fascination and careers opportunities of Science including the well-known ‘Science with Coffee and Hobnobs’. She was subsequently invited to write the definitive guide to Science Outreach for universities by the Higher Education Academy.

In 2002/3 Averil toured the country giving the Institute of Physics Schools and Colleges Lecture and has since given this lecture to over 50,000 people including audiences at the Royal Institution and the Royal Society in London and the Cheltenham Science Festival. She has appeared many times on television and radio including Scrapheap Challenge, The Eleven O’clock Show and Vanessa and is the BBC Radio Berkshire Resident Scientist.

Averil was awarded the international Bragg Medal and Prize by the Institute of Physics, London in 1999 for her distinguished contribution to Physics education (the youngest even recipient and one of only 4 women to receive this international medal in its 40 year history) while the Royal Society recognised the importance of her outreach work with a Millennium Award.

In 2006, she was listed as one of the 12 most influential women in Reading and in 2007 she was awarded the accolade of Women of Outstanding Achievement in Science and the prestigious Plastics Industry Award for Personal Contribution to the Industry.

Averil’s greatest claim to fame is appearing on page 3 of the Telegraph newspaper sitting on her BMW saying that all Physics teachers should be given a sports car to recognise how important and cool they are.

Averil can be contacted on a.m.macdonald@reading.ac.uk.