In March 2020, I’m a Scientist, Stay at home was launched to allow school students to stay connected with STEM during the school closures due to coronavirus. Students could log in and take part whether they were at school or at home, reconnecting with their teachers and each other.
The Disease Detectives Zone ran over 12 weeks as part of the Stay at home activities, instead of the usual two. There were 93 live chats, compared to the usual two week zone average of 16. This Zone was funded by the Wellcome Genome Campus with additional funding from UKRI.
- 81 scientists created profiles in the Zone, and 78 engaged with students in live chats and answering questions. 74 of these scientists were new to the I’m a Scientist activities.
- Scientists from a broad range of areas and career stages took part. For example, Alena Pance is a cell biologist at the Wellcome Sanger Institute studying malaria, Lucy McGowan is a PhD student studying bone health, and Hugo Lewkowicz works in Public Health predicting how illnesses spread. On average, 7 researchers attended each live chat session.
- 1,231 students from 39 schools all over the UK logged into the Zone. 23 of these schools had taken part in a previous I’m a Scientist activity.
- 16% of active students were from Widening Participation schools, and 69% from Underserved Schools.