Charlotte Armstrong - Science Event Coordinator

CurioCity Careers
15 January 2013

Charlotte Armstrong

Science Event Coordinator

During the day, I am a scientific program assistant at a physics facility but outside of work, I coordinate events that celebrate science, nerd culture, and science fiction. I am the:

Founder/Coordinator of the Southern Ontario Science Fiction festival. Founder/Coordinator of the Southern Ontario Space research and technology festival. Nerd Nite host and coordinator Yuri’s night coordinator Regional co-coordinator for the Planetary Society

What is a typical day like for you?

At my day job, I am a scientific programs assistant and do administrative work pertaining to seminars on the different areas of theoretical physics. After work, I plan events and festivals that celebrate nerd culture and promote science. I spend my evenings doing research and networking to make awesome events happen!

What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

The most enjoyable part of my job is that I am able to spend part of it with science fact, and part of it enjoying science fiction.

What is the least enjoyable part of your job?

That there are not enough hours in the day for me to plan out all of my awesome ideas that I have that celebrate science fact and science fiction!

I decided that I wanted to contribute to science in some way as a career so I pursued work that appealed to that goal and voluntarily became a coordinator of events that I personally would love to attend. By doing this I was able to combine both of my favourite things: science fact and science fiction.

Explain the path you took to get to this job (education, internships, etc.).

Science was my first love. I would conduct presentations and set up displays teaching about science since I was 5. I have loved Star Trek my whole life but it wasn’t until I saw the Empire Strikes Back that I fell in love with science fiction. I decided that I wanted to contribute to science in some way as a career so I pursued work that appealed to that goal and voluntarily became a coordinator of events that I personally would love to attend. By doing this I was able to combine both of my favourite things: science fact and science fiction.

Who or what was the greatest influence that set you on this path?

Dr. Roger Payne – a world renowned marine biologist was the catalyst for my love of science and the oceans. Carl Sagan was the one that made me look up and fall in love with the universe. Star Trek and the movie The Empire Strikes Back and is what made me a lifelong science fiction enthusiast.

What advice would you give others seeking a similar job?

Even if you can’t be a scientist, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still contribute to science. Use your skills to assist and promote research and do what you love. I have always loved science and science fiction and even though I am not a scientist, I have the amazing opportunity to work with them. Coordinating science fiction festivals and nerd culture activities also gives me the opportunity to do what I love and to work with science fiction. If you can’t find the right job, try creating one that suits you. Since I couldn’t find a science fiction festival to attend in my area, I created one and not only did I work hard to make it happen, I got to enjoy attending the awesome event too!

How does your job make a difference?

Coordinating science fiction and science fact events gives everyone the opportunity to enjoy sci fi and to learn the science behind it. The work (both my day job and voluntary work) I do increases the knowledge economy of the community and gives an opportunity for people to have fun learning and celebrating their favourite sci fi movies and books!

How do you use science, math and technology in your job?

I must always be up to date with scientific terms to ensure that the information posted is correct. I use multiple tech. devices at my events so a good knowledge of hardware is necessary. I love doing research and learning about scientific break throughs.

Is there one course you wish you had taken in high school but didn’t? Why?

I wish I had taken every science course! Having a good understanding of science helps you enjoy science fiction and even shows like the Big Bang Theory. After I was done school I read a lot of science fact books to catch up on my scientific education and it made watching science fiction movies even more enjoyable!

What makes this job right for you?

I am so enthusiastic about science fact and fiction that it shows in my work and makes my day so enjoyable, interesting, and fun.

What's the most bizarre or silliest thing you’ve ever done in this job?

Participating in Star Trek family feud with Klingons against Starfleet officers!

What activities do you like to do outside of work?

I love watching science fiction movies and television series. Making costumes and attending conventions are favourite hobbies too. Planning my events isn’t just work for me though, I really have fun and am always thinking of new projects and events. I also love learning and am always doing research on new discoveries.

You just won $10 million! What’s the first thing you’d do?

I would invest in a space science centre in Ontario.

CurioCity Careers

We hope you enjoyed learning about this great STEM career! The information in this career profile was provided by this individual especially for CurioCity. We hope it helped give you a sense of what this type of job is really like.

Let’s Talk Science is pleased to provide you with this information as you explore future career options. Many careers require a background in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Even jobs that don’t use specific STEM concepts on a day-to-day basis benefit from the skills gained through a study of STEM. People with a STEM background are very much in demand by employers across all career sectors. If you would like to learn about more careers that have a STEM connection, visit http://www.explorecuriocity.org/careers.



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