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 Physics Zone ran over 12 weeks as part of the Stay at home activities, instead of the usual two. There were 97 live chats, compared to the usual two week zone average of 16. This Zone was funded by The Ogden Trust with additional funding from UKRI.
- 120 scientists created profiles in the Zone, and 109 engaged with students in live chats and answering questions. 81 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, Ry Cutter is a PhD student studying colliding black holes, Tom Louth designs instruments for the UK Astronomy Technology Centre, and Dipendra Mistry is an engineer working with radiowaves. On average, 6 researchers attended each live chat session.
- 1,186 students from 52 schools all over the UK logged into the Zone. 31 of these schools had taken part in a previous I’m a Scientist activity.
- 16% of active students were from Widening Participation schools, and 44% from Underserved Schools.