Here is an article written for a school newsletter by a teenager, about the experience of taking part in I’m a Scientist.
I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here!
Sound familiar? One small change – we’ve swapped a group of celebrities trying to eat the entire jungle for a group of buzzing scientists – each in a jungle of questions and comments.
Another textbook science lesson? Maybe not! I’m a scientist is a website aimed at all teenagers – interested in science or not (but believe me, by the time you finish the project, science will have taken over your brain and made you love it for the rest of your life). Each pupil is given a login, leading to their individual area which can be personalised with pictures of famous scientists, exploding chemicals and swine flu particles. The login works for a specific zone. In each zone, there are five scientists.
The aim of the game is simple – you ask questions (on practically anything – from “do aliens exist?” to “have you ever exploded any of your experiments?”) and the scientists reply. Then, at the end of the week, you vote for the one you think has answered your questions the best.
And it doesn’t stop there. To make the website more appealing I’m a scientist have come up with the clever idea of a live chat; you book a session where the scientists speak to you face-to-face! (Virtually anyway).
The scientists talk about general science – what topic you’re studying at the moment, and maybe even give advice on what you should study to be able to go into certain scientific fields.
In the end, everything is drawn to a climax – the votes are counted and the winner is presented with the grand title of “I’m a Scientist winner” and £500 to spend on teaching young people about what they are currently researching.
Your vote shouldn’t just be a split-second decision, a quick click and then nothing… a single vote has the power to change the world. The scientist who gets your vote may invent a cure for cancer, discover what all that ‘junk DNA’ codes for, or make a GM crop which could feed starving populations. So whilst I’m a scientist is fun, challenging and educational, it is a door into the future of science, which, with any luck, we will all be able to walk through one day.
The reason I’m a Scientist is supporting the Science is Vital campaign is because we too want today’s teenagers to be able to walk through that door one day, if they want to.