YouTuber

    Jade Tan-Holmes

    If you’re stuck on a particularly difficult science assignment, you might turn to YouTube science channels like Up and Atom for help. Jade Tan-Holmes is behind the quirky and smart videos that succinctly explain physics concepts like Schrodinger’s equation that are hard to wrap your head around – even for the seasoned physics students among us. It’s the situation that you’re in now that led Jade to start her channel in the first place.

    The beginning of Jade’s journey

    She graduated high school with the idea of becoming a primary school teacher. A year into that degree she knew it was the wrong fit, so she took off travelling the world for three years instead. Facing pressure from her mum to take up study again upon her return, she landed on a degree in marine biology. She took a physics class in the first year of that degree and fell in love. But there was a problem.

    Jade switched to a physics degree at UTS, but had never taken formal classes on the subject and didn’t think that she was particularly skilled at running experiments. She turned to YouTube science videos for help, and discovered that it was the easiest way for her to catch up quick-smart.

    “All my peers were ahead of me and I couldn’t even answer the simple questions. It was a big learning curve, so I definitely know what it’s like to feel stupid and like you just don’t ‘get it’,” she says.

    Starting YouTube science channel, Up and Atom

    That feeling was part of what inspired her to start her own channel; “I suppose what I love about science communication is showing others who are feeling the same way that it’s not as hard as you think, or that you may not be looking at it the right way. Or sometimes even that, yeah this stuff is hard but you’ve just got to keep trying anyway and you’ll get it eventually.”

    Now, Jade is a certified YouTuber, boasting over 70,000 subscribers and more than 50 videos on her channel. “I pretty much wake up everyday and learn about whatever cool topic I feel like,” says Jade. That’s how her process starts; she’ll either choose a topic that seems boring to add a colourful take on it, or enlists the help of her fans to find out what they’d like to see more of.

    The video process

    From there, she’ll do extensive research, write the script, and animate/film it – although not necessarily in that order. Jade says that there’s a lot of trial and error involved, and she’ll often go back and revise if she’s really not feeling the video. But no matter how jagged the journey, she’s producing YouTube science content that her fan base loves.

    “Reading through the comments after every video is a really rewarding experience as I can see that people find science more accessible because of what I do. I love science and I love communicating it with others. It’s the perfect job really!”

    Jade Tan-Holmes, host of YouTube science channel Up and Atom

    “Reading through the comments after every video is a really rewarding experience as I can see that people find science more accessible because of what I do. I love science and I love communicating it with others. It’s the perfect job really!”

    Eliza Brockwell

    Author: Eliza Brockwell

    Eliza is the Digital Producer for Careers with STEM. Eliza is passionate about creating content that encourages diversity of representation in STEM.

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