RSC Zones Evaluation Report: 2013-2021

Between 2013 and 2021 the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC, funded or part funded 32 IAS zones to engage students with chemists. This report is a summary of the activity in, and an evaluation of, the impact of those zones.

Read the full report [PDF] ❯


  • We ran 32 zones between June 2013 and October 2021
  • Students interacted directly with scientists in 669 live chat sessions
  • 13,519 students logged in with 86% actively engaging:
    • Students from 401 schools took part.
    • 61% of participating schools were widening participation or in underserved areas.
  • 377 scientists took part:
    • Scientists represented a wide range of areas within chemistry, and showed students a wide range of backgrounds, careers, and routes into STEM.
  • Every school live chat included a discussion around chemistry; at least 51% of live chat conversations included chemistry related terminology:
    • Additionally, 26% of questions in ‘Ask’, and 55% of answers from scientists included discussions relating to chemistry.
  • Taking part in IAS supports students’ science capital:
    • Research carried out in 2019 into the impact of taking part in IAS shows that IAS maps well onto the Science Capital Teaching Approach, supporting science capital dimensions including: science literacy, seeing science as relevant to everyday life, knowledge about the transferability of science/science qualifications, and especially, knowing people in science-related jobs.
  • Taking part has a positive impact on participating scientists:
    • Participating scientists reported increased skills (82%), confidence (75%), and enthusiasm (80%) for communicating research with lay people.
    • 86% increased their understanding of young people’s views on medical research.
    • 71% increased their interest in taking part in future public engagement activities.
    • 77% reported benefits to their profile as a scientist and benefits to their professional reputation.
  • Feedback from scientists:
    • I enjoyed the text based nature of it as I have a stammer so it makes it harder to engage with strangers through speech.
    • I’d recommend that every scientist should try this and find out how younger members of the public view us!
    • A very positive experience that definitely encouraged em to engage more with the public and look for outreach opportunities.

Read the full report [PDF] ❯

Posted on January 19, 2022 by modbella in Evaluation Reports. Comments Off on RSC Zones Evaluation Report: 2013-2021