Category Archives: 2016

Royal Society of Chemistry funded zones 2017

In 2014, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) agreed to support I’m a Scientist over 3 years. Each year, they fund 9 zones across the UK and Ireland. Part of the arrangement is that we include five RSC members in general zones across the year to show school students the full breadth of science.

Below is a summary of our main findings after evaluating the 9 RSC funded zones of I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here 2016.

  1. Scientists improved their science communication skills and enjoyed an invigorating experience:
    Taking part in this competition has reminded me why I love science, and I shall return to my research with renewed enthusiasm!– Steve Street, chemist, Drug Discovery Zone
  1. The zones saw a great number of conversations around chemistry themes with keywords like “climate change”, “toxic”, “enzymes”, “battery”, “drug”, “energy”, “bacteria” being prominent in questions and live chats.
  1. 30 RSC members took part in I’m a Scientist thanks to this funding agreement. 25 took part in the 8 RSC funded themed zones and another 5 were spread across 2 general science zones.
  1. 8 RSC members were voted winners in the 9 RSC funded zones in 2016 and will continue to promote their research in chemistry with their £500 prize money.
  1. Widening participation in schools: 125 schools got a place to take part in I’m a Scientist RSC funded zones in 2016 the UK and Ireland. Of these, 31 (25%) were rural or Widening Participation schools, an improvement from last year, where 17% fulfilled this condition.

What students and teachers said about taking part:

Participating in this program, was a useful way to enhance my knowledge in my areas of interest…The scientists have all helped me to answer questions that I have been asking other people for a very long time. However, the major difference was that on this platform I received answers that clearly and fully answered all of my questions. Overall, this has been exceptionally useful to me and I look forward to more activities like this…” Student, Antibiotics Zone

I’ve learnt how the children enjoy engaging with scientists and finding out about the world around them. An enjoyable, memorable learning experience”– Teacher, Climate Change Zone

Despite the success of the zones in 2016, due to changes in strategy decided by the Council of the RSC, the Society will not be funding the event in 2017 as planned. However, there are 94 Royal Society of Chemistry members registered on our scientist lists, waiting to take part in I’m a Scientist, and chemistry topics are the most popular among teachers. This change in strategy from the Royal Society of Chemistry means that the strong demand for online engagement with chemistry will be left unanswered this year.

Read more in the full report here

Posted on February 20, 2017 modantony in 2016, Evaluation, Evaluation Reports | Leave a comment

Wellcome Trust Funded zones in November 2015 and March 2016

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Click here to download the report.

The Wellcome Trust provided funding to support the I’m a Scientist events in November and March of this academic year. We’ve written a report on what this funding allowed us to do, read it here.

Below are the key outcomes from the report:

  • 6 I’m a Scientist zones were run with Wellcome Trust funding in November 2015 and March 2016, including 2 themed zones, Fat Zone and Heart Zone, and 4 general science zones, two of which were for primary schools only.
  • 30 scientists were able to engage with school students, including 22 biomedical-related researchers. Of these, 45% were doing research supported by the Wellcome Trust
  • 2,826 school students logged into the zones, an average of 455 per zone.
  • 85 schools got a place in I’m a Scientist Wellcome Trust funded zones. 86% of these schools took part in the event.
  • £3,000 to be used for further public engagement was distributed among the winners of the zones.
  • Widening participation in schools – We developed criteria to identify schools that would benefit from taking part and 18% of the schools who took part in the zones met one of our criteria for schools underserved by STEM engagement.
  • Feedback from teachers and scientists was positive:

My school is absolutely buzzing about ‘I’m a Scientist’. Children are spending hours at home looking at questions. They don’t want to go out for lunch, so they can spend time on it!” – Teacher, Gold Zone

It’s been fun and manic all in one… Overall it’s been a great lesson in science comms! – Scientist, Rhenium Zone

Read more about the zones in the full report here

Posted on June 28, 2016 modantony in 2016, Evaluation, Evaluation Reports, News | Leave a comment