If you’d like the chance to win funding for your own public engagement work, apply for the next I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here: imascientist.org.uk/scientist-apply
Without the prize money from I’m a Scientist, the school visits, the science kit box and the outreach events simply wouldn’t be possible
Half of the money went to Teacher Scientist Network (TSN) which aims to link up schools with researchers to help bridge the divide and to provide schools with learning resources. My money is specifically going to fund a science kit box filled with science equipment that will be sent out to various schools throughout the year to help them perform practical experiments to aid with the pupils’ learning. I will be visiting these schools in person with TSN to teach pupils about topics related to my research.
We are currently working together to design and implement a repeatable experiment activity that will be carried out across various schools with the help of research scientists. The plan so far is to get pupils to grow microbes from the environment and analyse the microbes’ DNA so that we can work out what species are present in their local area. This will help teach school pupils about micro-organisms and DNA/genetics, helping to expand upon the national curriculum.
The other £250 went to British Science Association Norwich (BSA). This organisation runs outreach events which reach minority groups traditionally neglected by science outreach efforts. This money will specifically go to buying relevant science equipment for use on outreach stalls and in workshop sessions that will aid participants’ learning and understanding of various scientific concepts. I will be volunteering with BSA to assist with the running out the events.
Since donating the prize money, I’ve helped out at a British Science Association outreach stall at the Proudly Norfolk Food and Drink Festival to try to communicate the science behind taste and flavour. This worked well as we managed to engage with many members of the Norfolk community who wouldn’t have normally sought out science like this. It was a well attended day and we got a good mix of people all of whom seemed to find the science interesting. We ran a few activities to get people involved including a tasting game, a ‘supertasters’ activity and a taste vs flavour demonstration which we brought into the crowds throughout the day.
Without the prize money from I’m a Scientist, the school visits, the science kit box and the outreach events simply wouldn’t be possible. Thank you for making these science outreach efforts a reality!
Danny also won the 2019 Microbiology in Society Award, which he is using to fund the Microbe Zone in this November’s event. He spoke about being involved in I’m a Scientist, and his hopes for the Microbe Zone, in a blog post for the Microbiology Society.