Demand vs Capacity: November 2018

It’s not a great feeling, turning 5,700 students away. Their teachers, 60 of them, wanted to take part in I’m a Scientist and I’m an Engineer this November but there wasn’t the funding to accommodate them. Sadly, it’s not the first time.

Demand has exceeded funded places available for the past 13 events; and in 9 of those we could have run double the number of zones we did.

Double the number of young people seeing that scientists and engineers are normal people like themselves.

Double the number of scientists and engineers taking part in “the best crash course in science communication”.

The Wellcome Trust, the British Psychological Society, and the UK Space Agency are among the funders this November. If you are interested in getting more chemists, non-biomed scientists or engineers in your field involved in outreach, if you think more students should get the opportunity to find out what science and scientists are like then please write to someone with an outreach or widening participation budget and ask them to consider working with us. Continue reading

Posted on October 23, 2018 by modantony in Capacity, News | Leave a comment

Experiential public engagement training through I’m a Scientist

We looked at whether taking part helped scientists from the March 2018 event improve their communication skills and if so, explore why IAS worked as experiential training. The results showed scientists became more confident communicating with public audiences and helped them develop effective ways of talking about their work. The opportunity for frequent practise, honest student feedback, and the text based nature of interaction were among the elements highlighted by scientists as particularly helpful. Continue reading

Posted on October 12, 2018 by modantony in Evaluation, Scientist Benefits | Comments Off on Experiential public engagement training through I’m a Scientist

Scientist Interview Narratives

Here are narratives for each of the five interviews carried out as part of the I’m a Scientist element of the ChallengeCPD@Bath project, funded by UKRI. These interviews investigated how I’m a Scientist works as experiential training for scientists communicating their research Continue reading

Posted on October 11, 2018 by modantony in Evaluation, Scientist Benefits | Comments Off on Scientist Interview Narratives

Moderator vacancy: November 2018

We’re looking for moderators to work with us on our November 2018 events.

I’m a Scientist UK, I’m an Engineer UK and I’m a Scientist Ireland will run from the 5th to the 16th November 2018. It’s a lot of fun as the students (and experts) are quick and funny and full of energy. And hey, promoting STEM engagement is a good thing, am I right?! Continue reading

Posted on October 3, 2018 by modamy in Event News, News, Science Engagement | Comments Off on Moderator vacancy: November 2018

Which browsers and devices are schools using?

Every so often (see here and here) we look at all our data to see how schools use the site.

Taking into consideration how visitors access the site, what they use to access it, and then see how much has changed over the past couple of years.

Our sites have to be mobile-device friendly, ready for tablets, which show a high usage – as you’d imagine. We’ve tried to make them more accessible for screen readers and phones. We pre-register all teachers and students, unless there are specific events which require teachers to register their students. Continue reading

Posted on September 11, 2018 by modemily in General, News, Project News | Comments Off on Which browsers and devices are schools using?

Showing students the ‘bigger picture’ at A Level

“I’m a Scientist encourages independent thought and shows students the practical applications of their studies. Connecting with real psychologists also helps them decide what they’ll do next year and into the future.” – Lesley, Head of Psychology at Bay House School

 


Bay House School is a large comprehensive school with mixed attainment. In June 2018, sixth form Psychology students from the school took part in the Society Zone. Head of Psychology Lesley tells us how the activity supported her students’ progression and taught them the real-life applications of their subject.

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Posted on July 16, 2018 by modamy in Case Study, News, Teacher Quote, Teachers | Comments Off on Showing students the ‘bigger picture’ at A Level

‘There is nothing like it! I miss it already’ – June 2018 Winners blog posts

After every event we ask the winning scientists to write a short post to be sent to all the students who took part in the zone. It’s the perfect way for the scientists to reflect on the previous two weeks, thank all the students for voting for them, and talk about how they plan to use their £500 prize money.

If you’re a scientist keen to experience the ‘best crash course in scicomm’, apply now for the next event, taking place 5th–16th November, at imascientist.org.uk/scientist-apply

Continue reading

Posted on July 13, 2018 by modamy in News | Comments Off on ‘There is nothing like it! I miss it already’ – June 2018 Winners blog posts

Showing students the relevance of their learning

“Doing something engaging like this creates a more well-rounded education and my students have now seen real-life applications of curriculum content.” — Lucy, Maths Teacher at Cornelius Vermuyden School, Canvey Island
 
 


Only a small proportion of students at Cornelius Vermuyden School aspire to go to university or move out of the local area, and many don’t see the point in what they study in school. Lucy tells us how their involvement in I’m an Engineer helped them see the importance of maths and broaden their horizons.

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Posted on July 13, 2018 by modamy in Case Study, News, School, Teacher Quote, Teachers | Comments Off on Showing students the relevance of their learning

Changing attitudes across a whole year group

“Organising the event for the whole of year 8 meant that everyone could enjoy the benefits” – Polly, Science teacher at Willows High School, Cardiff


Willows High School, a mixed comprehensive school in a challenging quarter of Cardiff, took part in the I’m a Scientist activity in March 2018 with two classes. The school participated again in June 2018, this time with a whole year group. Polly tells us how having an entire year involved helped increase aspirations across the school and showed students that doing well in school has a far-reaching impact.

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Posted on July 12, 2018 by modamy in Case Study, News, School, Teacher Quote, Teachers | Comments Off on Changing attitudes across a whole year group

Connecting my students with scientists online… is it safe?!

Some teachers may have reservations about bringing their class online to chat with scientists and we can understand that. We take safeguarding seriously and our site is secure and moderated. To reassure any hesitant teachers, here are some steps we take to safeguard young people in our online activities.

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Posted on June 27, 2018 by modkatie in News | Comments Off on Connecting my students with scientists online… is it safe?!

5 reasons I’m a Scientist is worth your lesson time… even for exam classes.

Project Wrangler Katie was a science teacher before joining the I’m a Scientist team, so has first-hand experience of the intense curriculum pressures teachers face. Here she talks us through how I’m a Scientist benefits your students with 5 reasons why it’s worth allocating lesson time to the activity.
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Posted on June 26, 2018 by modkatie in News | Comments Off on 5 reasons I’m a Scientist is worth your lesson time… even for exam classes.

Engaging disengaged students with I’m a Scientist

Some students don’t like science lessons. Maybe they don’t see the point, maybe they don’t think they’re good at science, maybe they used to love science but have been put off by the stress and pressure of exams. Whatever the reason these students don’t engage, here are 3 ways I’m a Scientist can help.

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Posted on May 25, 2018 by modkatie in News, School, Science Engagement, Scientist Quote, Teacher Quote, Teachers | Comments Off on Engaging disengaged students with I’m a Scientist

Researcher Development Framework and I’m a Scientist

It’s well established that scientists doing I’m a Scientist gain just as many positive outcomes as the students they talk to. Using the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to frame these benefits allows us to articulate them in a way that resonates with universities.

Recently, we surveyed event alumni from centres of doctoral training (CDTs) to quantify the effect of taking part on relevant RDF descriptors. This is part of our ongoing strategy to build relationships with these institutions. In total, 37 alumni who had taken part in I’m a Scientist or I’m an Engineer at least 3 months prior responded. Continue reading

Posted on May 15, 2018 by modantony in Evaluation, Scientist Benefits | Comments Off on Researcher Development Framework and I’m a Scientist

Increasing students’ confidence with I’m a Scientist

“Many of our students lack confidence in their academic ability so they were buzzing when they realised they can hold their own in a conversation with intelligent, educated people and this helped them realise they are all scientists too!” – Julia Anderson, FE College Biology Lecturer


This general further education college is split across 3 sites in a large, post-industrial, non-university town. Students at the college took part in the I’m a Scientist Immune System and Genes Zones in March 2018. Julia tells us how meaningful engagement with the scientists increased her students’ confidence.

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Posted on May 14, 2018 by modkatie in Case Study, Evaluation, News, School, Teachers, Widening Participation | Comments Off on Increasing students’ confidence with I’m a Scientist

Using I’m a Scientist to increase participation in higher education

“Traditionally, not many of our students go on to university. I’m a Scientist helps by allowing students to relate to scientists and helping them see the value of studying at a higher level.” – Mark McNally, Science Teacher


A mixed 2-19 academy, where over two thirds of the school population are students from disadvantaged backgrounds, took part in I’m a Scientist in March 2018. Mark tells us how the activity helped interest his students in science careers and consider higher education.

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Posted on May 2, 2018 by modkatie in Case Study, Evaluation, News, Teachers, Widening Participation | Comments Off on Using I’m a Scientist to increase participation in higher education

Providing STEM opportunities for distant schools

“As we are a remote rural community we do not have a huge variety of careers on our doorstep but these events help to bring them closer to pupils. More students should be getting these funded opportunities across the UK.” – Emily Tulloch, Science teacher on the island of Unst.


The most northerly school in the UK is located in one of our most distant areas in the Shetland Isles. Emily tells us how I’m a Scientist allowed her remote students to explore a range of STEM careers and increased motivation to learn science.

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Posted on April 6, 2018 by modkatie in Case Study, Evaluation, News, Teachers, Widening Participation | Comments Off on Providing STEM opportunities for distant schools

“Dazzling, eye-opening and over far too quickly”- March 2018 Winners blog posts

After every event we ask the winning scientists to write a short post to be sent to all the students who took part in the zone. It’s the perfect way for the scientists to reflect on the previous two weeks, thank all the students for voting for them, and talk about how they plan to use their £500 prize money.

If you’re a scientist keen to experience the ‘best crash course in scicomm’, apply now for the next event at imascientist.org.uk/scientist-apply

Continue reading

Posted on March 27, 2018 by modsiobhan in News | Comments Off on “Dazzling, eye-opening and over far too quickly”- March 2018 Winners blog posts

Broadening horizons for students in a deprived area

“It was a really easy project to engage with for both children and teachers; it only took me about 30 minutes to prepare for all 3 lessons. I was pleasantly surprised with just how excited students were to get responses from serious adults about their work and the adults’ interests.” – Vicky Heslop, Year 6 teacher


A junior school that meets our widening participation criteria took part in the Climate Zone of I’m a Scientist for the first time in March 2018 with their three Year 6 classes. The activity broadened student aspirations, improved enquiry skills and challenged their perceptions of scientists.

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Posted on March 27, 2018 by modkatie in Case Study, Evaluation, Teachers, Widening Participation | Comments Off on Broadening horizons for students in a deprived area

Working with I’m a Scientist to produce STEM engagement for your discipline

I’m a Scientist was a fantastic experience. The students were engaged and interested in hearing about my research and the wider field I work in. I wanted to make sure other psychologists had the opportunity too! Dr Sam Smith, University of Leeds


After psychologist Sam Smith took part in I’m a Scientist, we worked with him to secure funding from the British Psychological Society for 3 more zones. As a result, more than 1,100 students across the UK were able to connect with psychologists in 2017.

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Posted on March 22, 2018 by modantony in Case Study, Event News, News | Comments Off on Working with I’m a Scientist to produce STEM engagement for your discipline