Technician advisers

We’ve teamed up with four experienced science technicians to help answer your questions about setting up your GCSE and A-level practical activities.

Our advisers are practical experts with classroom experience, on hand to help both teachers and other technicians. You can contact them directly with your questions about setting up practical work based lessons.

Please note that our advisers may not respond immediately and are not able to provide guidance on:

  • the A-level practical endorsement
  • lab safety issues
  • the common practical assessment criteria (CPAC).

Please send any queries on these specific areas to our Teacher Services team either by email at or, or call them on 01483 477 756.

Contact your adviser

You can email our advisers directly with your questions. They will do their best to respond to emails as soon as they can.

GCSE and A-level Biology: Dr Maxine Opperman

I started working in laboratories many years ago – assisting at the local vets, part-time work at the university – before graduating in microbiology and moving into food and agricultural research at Rothamsted research station. Several publications, a PhD and postdoctoral work later, I left academia and returned to laboratory work.

I’m a very practical scientist and have worked in private education, teaching and preparing science lessons. I also spent several years managing laboratories for environmental consultancy companies.

Email Maxine (

GCSE and A-level Chemistry: Jo-Anne Collins

I started out as trainee technician at Sheffield Hallam University (Sheffield Polytechnic in those days!), where I studied for my technician council exams finishing with an HNC in Chemistry. I've worked in the science community ever since, working my way up to chemistry lab team leader.

Email Jo-Anne (

GCSE and A-level Physics: Marcin Poblocki

Since graduating with a master’s degree in physics in 2006, I’ve worked as an IT technician, engineer and physics technician. I really enjoy my job because it complements my hobbies (physics, robotics, electronics, 3D printing, astronomy and programming) and gives me an opportunity to develop new experiments and apparatus.

I’ve also volunteered at Fab Lab Manchester since 2013, purely for the joy of learning and sharing science with others. At Fab Lab, I’ve gained extensive knowledge of equipment such as Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machines, laser cutters and 3D printers, as well as software design skills. I also volunteer at Manchester Museum of Science and Industry as a STEM ambassador.

Email Marcin (

GCSE Combined Science and ELC: Jane Smith

Jane SmithI have been at my present school, Lincoln Minster School, since 2001 and have seen many changes to the role over the years.  I also had a spell working for the regional water company in the microbiology labs, but ultimately found my niche in education, as I genuinely believe in the positive contribution technicians make to the delivery of sciences in schools and colleges.

Email Jane (