Ondata Research is led by Director, Laura Thomas. She regularly collaborates with colleagues in the fields of education research and evaluation.

  • Laura has extensive experience with a range of education projects across primary, secondary and higher education. This encompasses project and resource development, delivery and training for a variety of organisations such as schools, museums, education charities, universities and professional bodies. She is undertaking research relating to professional development of teachers as part of her MRes in Education Research with the University of Stirling. Laura is based in Central Scotland.


  • Clare Meakin: Clare has worked in science engagement for national and local museums in London and across Scotland for the past 10 years. Working in both delivery and development, her museum-based projects have ranged from tinkering workshops for secondary students for the Science Museum, London, to science events for over 4,000 people at National Museums Scotland. Most recently as Science Engagement Manager, her work has focused on science engagement strategy development alongside evaluation of a wide range of funded STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) projects for funders such as Scottish Power Foundation, the Scottish Government and Children in Need. As a freelancer she has worked with regional museums such as Andrew Carnegie Birthplace museum on ASN and digital science engagement, and previously worked directly with primary schools for outreach, after school STEM clubs and teacher consultations. In 2019 she was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fellowship to travel to North America, Japan and South Korea to study cultural factors affecting science engagement, with a focus on gender and science capital.
  • Dr Lizzie Rushton: Lizzie has worked within education as a high school teacher, as Director of Evaluation for an education charity that supports school student participation in STEM research and is currently a Lecturer in Geography Education at King’s College London and holds an honorary position at UCL Institute of Education. Her research considers young people’s experience of science in formal and informal settings and, teacher professional development through collaborations with researchers and mentoring school student research.
  • Helen Winton: Helen is an experienced educator with 12 years classroom teaching and more than 20 years working at local authority/national level in STEM & Environmental Education. Most recently she held the position of Head of STEM Education at SSERC and continues to work with this organisation on special projects. Particular areas of expertise include school/business partnerships and effective educational leadership.


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Hatfield. P, Furnell. W, Shenoy. A, Fox. E, Parker. R and Thomas, L. (2018) The LUCID-Timepix spacecraft payload and the CERN@school educational programme. Journal of Instrumentation, Volume 13. doi.org/10.1088/1748-0221/13/10/C10004

Hatfield, P., Furnell, W., Shenoy, A., Fox, E., Parker, B., Thomas, L. & Rushton, E.A.C. (2019). IRIS opens pupils’ eyes to real space research. Astronomy and Geophysics 60(1) 1.22-1.24. doi: 10.1093/astrogeo/atz046

Parker, B., Thomas, L. Rushton, E.A.C & Hatfield, P. (2019). Transforming Education with the Timepix detector – ten years of CERN@school. Radiation Measurements. doi.org/10.1016/j.radmeas.2019.03.008

Rushton, E.A.C. & Thomas, L. (2019). Interim Evaluation Report: Physics Mentoring Project. Available at: https://physicsmentoring.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/InterimReport_final_v2.pdf

Rushton, E.A.C. & Thomas, L. (2020). Interim Evaluation Report 2: Physics Mentoring Project. Available at: https://physicsmentoring.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Physics-Mentoring-January-2020-interim-report_v2.pdf

Rushton, E.A.C. & Thomas, L. (2020). Review of the MFL Student Mentoring Project 2015-2020. Available at: https://mflmentoring.co.uk/images/pdf/2015-2020ReviewOndataResearch.pdf

Thomas, L. & Rushton, E.A.C. (2020). Final Evaluation Report: Physics Mentoring Project. Available at: https://physicsmentoring.co.uk/final-evaluation-report/

Thomas, L. & Rushton, E.A.C. (2020). Language Horizons: Year 2 Final Report. Unpublished.