SHE'S been delighting and educating children with her wacky online science lessons since the first lockdown began in March.

Now York actor turned science teacher Lara Stafford has won a prestigious online teaching award. Fans have voted her Theatre of Science lockdown lessons the 'best online class/activity' in the Ways to Teach Awards 2020.

The awards celebrate resources that help children learn at home.

One parent said her child had 'never been so interested in science and school work'. Another added: "My son always asks if it is a Theatre of Science day”.

Lara, who lives in York, worked as an actor (including at York Dungeon and, for a while, in Hindi films in India) before retraining as a physics teacher. When lockdown started in March she was taking a career break to raise her own children. To help home schooling parents, she started streaming free science shows for under 14s from her Facebook page Theatre of Science. Hundreds of children quickly started tuning in.

“The idea is that the show will appeal to adults and children," she said. "People of all ages see the world a bit differently after a show. We’ve covered big subjects like volcanoes and black holes, but also things like spider webs, woodlice and poo! It’s been strange to receive photos on social media of kids doing the activities with my head on the TV in the background!”

Lara, who has also written an online panto, The Little Astronomermaid, which will be available on her Facebook page and on Explore York's YouTube page this winter, is now up for another teaching award - she has been shortlisted for the prestigious Little Vikings Awards 2021.

Check out her online science lessons at