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 Environment Zone ran over 12 weeks as part of the Stay at home activities, instead of the usual two. There were 42 live chats, compared to the usual two week zone average of 16. This Zone was funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry with additional funding from UKRI.
- 105 scientists created profiles in the Zone, and 94 engaged with students in live chats and answering questions. 91 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, Gareth Mason is an Environmental Ranger at Forestry and Land Scotland, Jessica Gomez-Banderas is PhD student studying chemicals produced by marine organisms, and Sylvia Soldatou is a Natural Product Chemist at the University of Aberdeen. On average, 7 researchers attended each live chat session.
- 650 students from 31 schools all over the UK logged into the Zone. 14 of these schools had taken part in a previous I’m a Scientist activity.
- 9% of active students were from Widening Participation schools, and 45% from Underserved Schools.