Category Archives: Event News

Moderator Vacancy: November 2017

We’re looking for two moderators to work with us on our November 2017 events!

The events will run from the 6th to the 17th November 2017; I’m a Scientist UK and Ireland, I’m an Engineer UK and I’m a Medic.

First rule of moderator club… This is a paid, 10 day job.
If you aren’t free from 8:30 – 4:30pm on all 10 days, please don’t apply.

Your key responsibilities will be:

  • Checking and approving questions
  • Adding appropriate keywords
  • Logging and keeping track of questions, comments and dialogue
  • Checking the site for errors and inappropriate content and usernames
  • Moderating live chats
  • Helping to run the site

It’s actually a lot of fun as the students (and scientists) are quick and funny and full of energy. And hey, promoting science engagement is a good thing, am I right?!

What we’d like from you..

  • You should be bright, thoughtful, pick stuff up easily, ideally with an interest in science engagement.
  • You’ll have great attention to detail (THIS IS IMPORTANT)
  • You enjoy being online, perhaps have experience in an online community.
  • The site is all built on WordPress, so if you’ve used that the techy stuff will be pretty familiar.
  • You’d be working from home, so you must also have broadband which doesn’t die every 10 minutes.

Extra bonus things we’d like, but aren’t hugely important..

  • A sense of humor
  • The ability to multitask
  • Are DBS checked on the update system
  • Openness in discussing your lunch

Please send a CV and short covering letter ASAP (by 10am Monday 23rd October 2017), to Michaela at michaela@mangorol.la, telling us why you think you’d be a good moderator.

  • Dates: 6th – 17th November (Monday – Friday) with Skype training on Thursday 2nd November from 11:00-12:00
  • Hours: 37.5/week, 08.30-16.30 GMT
  • Pay: £8/hr

You can (and should) find out more about the events at: I’m a Scientist UK and Ireland, I’m an Engineer and I’m a Medic.

You don’t need to..
Phone us because that’s what your careers officer said you should do.
Send a CV comprising more than 2 pages, with font smaller than 10pt or 2mm margins.

Posted on October 9, 2017 modmichaela in Event News, News, Science Engagement | Leave a comment

Moderator Vacancy March 2017

We’re looking for a moderator to work with us on our March 2017 events! I’m a Scientist and I’m an Engineer are award-winning online events allowing students (from 9 – 18) to interact with real live scientists and engineers. The events will run from the 6th to the 17th March 2017; I’m a Scientist UK and I’m an Engineer UK and Ireland.

First rule of moderator club… This is a paid, 10 day job.
If you aren’t free from 8:30 – 4:30pm on all 10 days, please don’t apply.

Your key responsibilities will be:

  • Checking and approving questions
  • Adding appropriate keywords and tags
  • Logging and keeping track of questions, comments and dialogue
  • Checking the site for errors and inappropriate content and usernames
  • Moderating live chats
  • Helping to run the site

It’s actually a lot of fun as the students (and scientists) are quick and funny and full of energy. And hey, promoting science engagement is a good thing, am I right?!

What we’d like from you..

  • You should be bright, thoughtful, pick stuff up easily, ideally with an interest in science engagement.
  • You’ll have great attention to detail (THIS IS IMPORTANT)
  • You enjoy being online, perhaps have experience in an online community.
  • The site is all built on WordPress, so if you’ve used that the techy stuff will be pretty familiar.
  • You’d be working from home, so you must also have broadband which doesn’t die every 10 minutes.

Extra bonus things we’d like, but aren’t hugely important..

  • A sense of humor
  • The ability to multitask
  • Openness in discussing your lunch

Please send a CV and short covering letter ASAP (by midday Friday 24th February 2017), to Michaela at michaela@gallomanor.com, telling us why you think you’d be a good moderator.

  • Dates: 6th – 17th March (Monday – Friday)
  • Hours: 37.5/week, 08.30-16.30 GMT 
  • Pay: £8/hr

We will be running moderator training over Skype, on Thursday 2nd March from 11-12am.

You can (and should) find out more about the events at: I’m a Scientist UK and I’m an Engineer UK and Ireland.

You don’t need to..
Phone us because that’s what your careers officer said you should do.
Send a CV comprising more than 2 pages, with font smaller than 10pt or 2mm margins.

Posted on February 8, 2017 modmichaela in Event News, News, Science Engagement | Leave a comment

Super Mod: Job opportunity

Title: Super Mod
Location: Our office in Bath
Dates: 7 weeks from 13th February – 31st March (Monday – Friday)
Hours: 37.5/week, 9:30 – 17:30
Pay: £10/hr

We’re looking for someone to help us run our I’m a Scientist and I’m an Engineer events this March, on a temporary basis from our office in central Bath. We need general support across all parts of the event, including administration, moderation and evaluation. You’ll be doing lots of different things, including:

  • Blog posts and tweets
  • Keeping track of live chat bookings
  • Assistance with evaluation after the event
  • Compiling addresses and printing letters and certificates
  • Helping to run the site, making sure everything is running smoothly

Between 6th – 17th March you’ll also be moderating, which is a lot of fun, as the students (and scientists) are quick, funny and full of energy. Key responsibilities include:

  • Checking and approving questions
  • Adding appropriate keywords and tags
  • Logging and keeping track of questions, comments and dialogue
  • Checking the site for errors and inappropriate content and usernames
  • Moderating live chats

What we’d like from you:

  • You should be bright, thoughtful and pick stuff up easily
  • You have great attention to detail (this is important!)
  • You are practical, with the ability to multitask
  • You enjoy being online, perhaps with experience in an online community
  • You know how to use Word and Excel

Extra bonus things which would be good:

  • An interest in STEM engagement
  • Experience using WordPress (this is what our site is built on)
  • Openness in discussing your lunch

You can find out more about our events at: imascientist.org.uk and imanengineer.org.uk.
To apply, please send a cover letter and short CV to michaela@gallomanor.com by Monday 30th January

Posted on January 12, 2017 modmichaela in Event News, News, Science Engagement | Leave a comment

Moderator Vacancies November 2016

Hello! We’re looking for some moderators for our November 2016 events! I’m a Scientist and I’m an Engineer are award-winning online events allowing students (from 9 – 18) to interact with real live scientists and engineers. We’re looking for 4 moderators to work on the next event which will run from the 7th to the 18th November 2016. We will also be running I’m a Scientist Ireland.

First rule of moderator club… This is a paid, 10 day job.
If you aren’t free from 8:30 – 4pm on all 10 days, please don’t apply.

Your key responsibilities will be:

  • Checking and approving questions
  • Adding appropriate keywords and tags
  • Logging and keeping track of questions, comments and dialogue
  • Checking the site for errors and inappropriate content and usernames
  • Moderating live chats
  • Helping to run the site

It’s actually a lot of fun as the students (and scientists) are quick and funny and full of energy. And hey, promoting science engagement is a good thing, am I right?!

What we’d like from you..

  • You should be bright, thoughtful, pick stuff up easily, ideally with an interest in science engagement.
  • You’ll have great attention to detail (THIS IS IMPORTANT)
  • You enjoy being online, perhaps have experience in an online community.
  • The site is all built on WordPress, so if you’ve used that the techy stuff will be pretty familiar.
  • You’d be working from home, so you must also have broadband which doesn’t die every 10 minutes.

Extra bonus things we’d like, but aren’t hugely important..

  • A sense of humor
  • The ability to multitask
  • Openness in discussing your lunch

Please send a CV and short covering letter ASAP (by Monday 24th October 2016), to Michaela at michaela@gallomanor.com, telling us why you think you’d be a good moderator.

  • Dates: 7th – 18th November (Monday – Friday)
  • Hours: 37.5/week, 08.30-16.00 GMT
  • Pay: £8/hr

You can (and should) find out more about the events at: I’m a Scientist UK and Ireland and I’m an Engineer UK.

You don’t need to..
Phone us because that’s what your careers officer said you should do.
Send a CV comprising more than 2 pages, with font smaller than 10pt or 2mm margins.

Posted on October 10, 2016 modmichaela in Event News, News, Science Engagement | Leave a comment

Osmium Zone – I’m a Scientist, not just for scientists?

UPDATE: Read about the Institute of Physics’ research into gender differences in online engagement here.

In all the zones we run, we aim to include a group of scientists that show how diverse STEM careers can be. At the start of the last school year our long-time collaborators, the Institute of Physics, asked us to take this idea a step further in the November 2015 Osmium Zone.

A zone usually comprises five people working at the cutting edge of scientific research. This time the IOP wanted to fund a zone with four people who had studied Physics at A-level or higher, and now worked outside of academia and research, plus one physics researcher. The kicker? Ideally, those four people would also be in jobs that made use of their Physics education.

Why? Studies show that children are not aware that studying science gives you transferable skills valuable in fields outside of traditional research. Making children more aware of this fact is a key recent recommendation from the ASPIRES project into children’s aspirations.

...And reply they did!

…And reply they did!

The first unknown: Would people outside the usual research audience be interested? Answer? Yes. A call went out on twitter, and very quickly we had a range of people interested in the zone. The final selection of the Osmium Zone consisted of a communications officer for the Royal Academy of Engineering with an undergraduate degree in physics, a diplomat at the British Embassy in Tokyo working in nuclear disposal,  a biomedical engineer, and a data analyst for a solar company. The ‘token scientist’ was a  postdoctoral researcher studying lasers.

So what happened? We were confident that both competitors and children would still find the event as engaging as ever, away from the usual science focus. This is illustrated every year in the sister I’m an Engineer project that covers the diverse world of engineering. The metrics for activity in the zone point to to this holding true, showing busy live chats and especially high numbers of page views for the final two contestants, Aaron and Natalie.

As usual, the students were keen to understand the choices and motivations of the different experts, asking questions like “Why did you choose this job?”. This allowed the group to talk about how studying science had led them to where they were, and how that knowledge was valuable to them now.

By letting the children discover for themselves the specific details of each person’s job, questions about these careers naturally followed:  Do you enjoy helping and working with Japanese companies and cities?What did you take (subjects wise) to be workin with solar power?.

Furthermore, students who completed a survey before and after the event indicated a slight increase in wanting a job that uses science skills and knowledge, although the sample size is too small to draw conclusions. We will complete a proper analysis on this, and other Science Capital related outcomes, after analysing data from multiple zones and events.

Safe to say, the zone saw heated competition.

So a zone including non-scientists works. The strength of the I’m a… format is that it harnesses the power of connecting students with real people, regardless of background. What’s next? We’d like to run more zones in the future that demonstrate the diversity of science-related careers to school students, and maybe even zones completely unrelated to science. Why not I’m a Poet, Get me out of here?

For now we’re trialing a Careers Zone with alumni from past events and it’s already been fascinating seeing some of the places former researchers now work. Since November, even the token scientist in Osmium Zone has moved to a non-academic role. Natalie now works for the Met Office, coordinating efforts to maximise the impact of research into climate change, and proving further that studying science can take you to interesting places. 


Read the Osmium Zone Report for more information about the zone

Read an interview with Keith Franklin about his experience as part of the zone

Posted on September 1, 2016 modantony in Evaluation, Event News, News | Leave a comment

On student activity and simplified registrations

TL;DR: We made the site easier for students to access and the proportion of our audience engaging increased.

Like any company, we have a set of Key Performance Indicators which we use to keep an eye on how well we’re doing. One of those KPIs (professionals use abbreviations) is the percentage of active students during an event, what we will call, %AS.

%AS shows the number of students who log in to the site, and go on to — at the very least — ask a question, write a line of text in a live chat, cast a vote, or leave a comment. Basically, it shows the proportion of our audience who are actively engaging with the activity.

In July 2014 Rosie posted a message on our project management app of choice, pointing out that the %AS for the previous events had been falling to the level it was at during the project pilot.

Graph of percentage of active students per IAS UK event. June 2011 to March 2016

Graph of percentage of active students per IAS UK event. June 2011 to March 2016

So, what did we do about it?

If you looked at the graph, you’ll see that we’ve already given the game away (but this is a one-graph-blog-post, and we’re not about to pad this out with multiple views of the same graph).

We started pre-registering students.

By visiting schools to observe students taking part, we saw that asking students to create their own accounts was taking way too long, was way too complicated, and largely, unnecessary.

We completely stripped down the process students go through to first get access to the site.

Previous and updated student access process

Previous and updated student access process

Previously, students would use an “access code” to get to a registration page, where they create a username and password, give us an email address, answer some other questions including some evaluation questions on their views of STEM. Now, students are given a generic username and password which gives them instant access to the site. From there, they can choose to go in and answer the evaluation questions, create a display name, and fill in their profile. But if they choose, they can get instant access to the live chats, to the question page, to scientists’ profiles.

The moral of the story then… By observing students use the site, we learnt that the registration process was too complicated. Pre-registering accounts for students does add a little more time and admin to the running of the event than not; but effort that pays off by making the site simpler to use and access for the students taking part.

Posted on May 23, 2016 Moderator - Josh in Evaluation, Event News, IAS Event, News, Project News | Leave a comment

Moderator Vacancies June 2016

Hello! It’s that time again! We’re looking for a couple of moderators for our June 2016 events! I’m a Scientist and I’m an Engineer are award-winning online events allowing students (from 9 – 18) to interact with real live scientists and engineers. We’re looking for 2 moderators to work on the next event which will run from the 13th to the 24th June 2016.

First rule of moderator club… This is a paid, 10 day job, if you can’t do the 10 days, please don’t apply.

Your key responsibilities will be:

  • Checking and approving questions
  • Adding appropriate keywords and tags
  • Logging and keeping track of questions, comments and dialogue
  • Checking the site for errors and inappropriate content and usernames
  • Moderating live chats
  • Helping to run the site

It’s actually a lot of fun as the students (and scientists) are quick and funny and full of energy. And hey, promoting science engagement is a good thing, am I right?!

What we’d like from you..

  • You should be bright, thoughtful, pick stuff up easily, ideally with an interest in science engagement.
  • You’ll have great attention to detail (THIS IS IMPORTANT)
  • You enjoy being online, perhaps have experience in an online community.
  • The site is all built on WordPress, so if you’ve used that the techy stuff will be pretty familiar.
  • You’d be working from home, so you must also have broadband which doesn’t die every 10 minutes.

Extra bonus things we’d like, but aren’t hugely important..

  • A sense of humor
  • The ability to multitask
  • Openness in discussing your lunch

Please send a CV and short covering letter ASAP (by Monday 30th May 2016), to Michaela at michaela@gallomanor.com, telling us why you think you’d be a good moderator.

  • Dates: 13th – 24th June (Monday – Friday)
  • Hours: 37.5/week, 08.30-16.00 GMT
  • Pay: £8/hr

You can (and should) find out more about the events at: I’m a Scientist UK and I’m an Engineer UK.

You don’t need to..
Phone us because that’s what your careers officer said you should do.
Send a CV comprising more than 2 pages, with font smaller than 10pt or 2mm margins.

Posted on May 3, 2016 modmichaela in Event News, News, Science Engagement | Leave a comment

March 2016 Winners’ Blogs

After every event we ask the zone winners to write a short blog post to be sent to all the students in who took part in the zone. It’s a great way for the scientists to reflect on the previous two weeks and thank all the students for voting for them.

Let’s take a look at what the winners from March’s zones had to say…


Chris, Biochemistry Zone

I’ve never experienced anything like it. I’d leave chats with a big smile from your questions and aching fingers from trying to keep up with them. Your questions made me laugh, groan, and think. I had to research quite a few of them. I’d start every morning going through and answering your questions. There’s going to be a sad hole in my mornings now that we’re done.

Cat, Climate Change Zone

I genuinely couldn’t have imagined how much fun taking part in IAS was going to be – thanks so much for all the brilliant questions you guys sent in. Many of the questions made me think about things that I haven’t thought about for years and reminded me why I became a scientist in the first place 😀

Majid, Fat Zone

I have worked with children before, but never in a sense where I am teaching them about science and my research. So, this was like walking on new ground for me. But I quickly learnt to adapt the language I was using and shaped my approach to make the science easier to digest for the young students. So taking part in this event has helped me to grow as a scientist and it has inspired me to continue working with young children in my role as a doctor and a scientist, and I kind of feel somewhat like a role model now.

Emma, Gravity Zone

The Gravity Zone had some amazing scientists – Alice, Steve, Christian and Bose. It was very interesting to see how each scientist answered the different questions. This really helped me develop my communication skills.

Paul, Medical Physics Zone

I particularly enjoyed all of your sci-fi related questions, talking about time travel, aliens, Death Stars and superpowers is always good fun and I love to look at the science behind it. Questions like that are one of the main reasons I got interested in science, so it’s great to see school kids asking similar kinds of questions I was at that age! I also liked some of the more obscure questions as well, like ‘Why do tapeworms show on 100 year old x-rays but not new ones?’ which had us all baffled until the student unearthed a 100 year old paper on the subject.

Lauren, Toxicology Zone

Although my schedule is now significantly less jam packed without daily classroom chats, I am straight back into the lab and researching hard. I am genuinely looking forward to organising more STEM outreach events using the award, and interacting with yet more enthusiastic young scientists like you. Hopefully, I’ll be able to recreate some of the I’m a Scientist experience for others!

Scott, Iridium Zone

I really enjoyed the entire two weeks and every question really made me think. I’m so impressed by the depth and breadth of all your questions! I got very excited seeing new ones come in and answered them as quickly as I could, but also in a way that would inspire you and make you want to know more. I particularly enjoyed thinking about a ‘neutron star bullet’ and finding out about the most flammable thing in the world!

Lowri, Platinum Zone

I’m so happy that you’ve all taken an interest in science, even for a little while, and seen that not all scientists have crazy white hair and wear lab coats! I’ve had some really interesting (and some really strange!) questions over the last two weeks, from how do certain things affect students behaviour in school, to the surprising “would we all float away if there was no gravity?”

Hayley, Gold Zone

What was mind-blowing was the intelligence and ingenuity of all of the questions. From asking me what brains of autistic children look like, to asking me who my favourite footballer was! There was such diversity and passion behind every question. I have also learnt a tremendous amount! I have learnt so much about space! Some of the questions have truly inspired my research especially ‘do twins sleep the same?’ That was an outstanding question! I now don’t really know what to do everyday. I am going to have to pester my friends and colleagues to ask me questions and just talk at them about science!! I am excited to get on with my research and integrate all these questions. It has been so inspiring and I can now go into other schools and communities and tell them about the amazing people I have interacted with over the past two weeks.

If you think you can handle the challenging questions…Want new inspiration for your research… Or just want to chat about the science behind Death Stars…

Apply now to take part in the next event

I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here runs every March, June, and November. It only takes 2 minutes and one sentence to apply!

Posted on April 4, 2016 modmichaela in Event News, IAS Event, News | Leave a comment

Moderator Vacancies: March 2016

Hi again! It’s us again! It’s that time again! We’re looking for a couple of moderators for our March 2016 events! I’m a Scientist and I’m an Engineer are award-winning online events allowing students (from 9 – 18) to interact with real live scientists and engineers. We’re looking for 2 moderators to work on the next event which will run from the 7th to the 18th March 2016. We will also be running I’m an Engineer Ireland and I’m an Astronaut (which is very cool).

First rule of moderator club.. This is a paid, 10 day job, if you can’t do the 10 days, please don’t apply.

Your key responsibilities will be:

  • checking and approving questions
  • adding appropriate keywords and tags
  • logging and keeping track of questions, comments and dialogue
  • checking the site for errors and inappropriate content and usernames
  • moderating live chats
  • helping to run the site

It’s actually a lot of fun as the students (and scientists) are quick and funny and full of energy. And hey, promoting science engagement is a good thing, am I right?!

What we’d like from you..

  • You should be bright, thoughtful, pick stuff up easily, ideally with an interest in science engagement.
  • You’ll have great attention to detail (THIS IS IMPORTANT)
  • You enjoy being online, perhaps have experience in an online community.
  • The site is all built on WordPress, so if you’ve used that the techy stuff will be pretty familiar.
  • You’d be working from home, so you must also have broadband which doesn’t die every 10 minutes.

Extra bonus things we’d like, but aren’t hugely important..

  • A sense of humor
  • The ability to multitask
  • Interested in discussing your lunch

Please send a CV and short covering letter ASAP (by Monday 22nd February 2016), to Emily at emily@gallomanor.com, telling us why you think you’d be a good moderator.

  • Dates: 7th – 18th March (Monday – Friday)
  • Hours: 37.5/week, 08.30-16.00 GMT
  • Pay: £8/hr

You can (and should) find out more about the events at: I’m a Scientist UK and Ireland and I’m an Engineer UK and Ireland.

You don’t need to..
Phone us because that’s what your careers officer said you should do.
Send a CV comprising more than 2 pages, with font smaller than 10pt or 2mm margins.

Posted on February 2, 2016 modemily in Event News, News, Science Engagement | Leave a comment

November 2015 – Bigger than ever

We’ve just published the latest batch of zone reports for the recent November 2015 round of I’m a Scientist. You can find them here, or at the bottom of this post, but before you dive into the pretty pie charts and wicked wordles, we felt it would be useful to provide some context to keep in mind as you read:

We had an inkling that November’s eight zones were going to be big. As we reported beforehand, due to extremely high demand from teachers, it was the first time ever that we had to turn schools away from I’m a Scientist. We also had to limit the number of classes of those taking part to one or two per zone to fit as many schools in as possible. Without doing this we would have had to run double the number of zones to cover the demand.

So, after the hype, exactly how big were the zones in November? Here are some headline figures:

  • 481 students, on average, logged in to each zone. Compare this to the historical average of 353, and a target of at least 300 per zone.
  • Students submitted an average of 956 questions per zone and half of the zones saw well over 1000. The event average is 717 questions.
  • 20 live chats per zone was the average number in November. This is also usually the maximum number we allow.
The averages for the November 2015 event and the averages over three years of I'm a Scientist UK. '% of students active' is percentage of students who logged in and used ASK, CHAT or VOTE. Asterisks denote new record averages for an event.

The averages for the November 2015 event and the averages over three years of I’m a Scientist UK. ‘% of students active’ is percentage of students who logged in and used ASK, CHAT or VOTE. Asterisks denote new record averages for an event.

While the figures above are incredible in terms of numbers of students interacting with the site, high zone numbers aren’t everything. In fact, what’s best for both students and scientists is running smaller zones and more of them.

We still had great feedback from the students, teachers and scientists in November, but the bigger a zone gets, there are potential consequences. Scientists can only do so much in two weeks and with so many live chats happening, we did see slightly less scientists per chat in some zones. There’s also less chance for students to come up with their own ASK questions that haven’t been asked before, and then receive answers made just for them. The lower proportion of approved questions to submitted questions reflects this.

We don’t want these consequences. We want every student to have their own high quality, personalised interaction with a scientist. An increased number of smaller zones would make this easier for everyone.

The situation we’re in also means we have to choose which schools take part, and in an effort to reach those who lack regular STEM engagement, we’ve started prioritising places for Widening Participation and rural schools. Ideally, however, we want all schools who register for an event to get a place in a zone.

Thanks to our current funders, and the sterling efforts of the scientists, November was a success. But if we’re near the limit of zone size now, what’s next? Luckily, the high demand for I’m a Scientist represents a huge opportunity for organisations to reach the public. Being oversubscribed means we can show there are hundreds of schools ready to engage with hundreds of keen scientists. All that’s needed is the funding for the zones to let them get on with it, and we’re going to try our best to make that happen.

November 2015 Reports:

Posted on December 17, 2015 modantony in Capacity, Evaluation, Event News, News | Leave a comment

“The whole experience has been incredibly rewarding”

After every event we ask the zone winners to write a short blog post to be sent to all the students in who took part in the zone. It’s a great way for the scientists to reflect on the previous two weeks and thank all the students for voting for them.

Let’s take a look at what the winners from November’s zones had to say…


Sara, Ageing Zone

I’m A Scientist, Get Me Out Of Here was a continuous surprise. I was surprised I was selected, I was surprised I wasn’t evicted and I was amazed I won!

I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t think kids will be so interested in my work; I work with animals and I was scared a lot of people would be against it and they would be aggressive about it. But no, I had amazing and clever questions I didn’t even expect.

It’s an experience that everyone should do!

Jack, Extreme Pressure Zone

You all had so many questions; some of them were jokes, some of them were intriguing, most of them were genius and they pretty much all made me smile. I’m so grateful you decided I was worthy of winning this event. *prayer hands emoji* from the bottom of my <3

Cristina, Heart Zone

I found myself chuckling in the office and typing away until my fingers hurt. I ended up looking forward to them a lot, talking to the students in real-time has been so much fun, and has definitely made me want to share science and engage with students in more ways.

Jesus, Spectroscopy Zone

I would recommend the experience to both scientists and students as I think that both can get a lot from it, there is no better way to test how much you know about something than trying to explain it to someone with a more limited background on the topic. Also, I think the students can benefit from talking to scientists and getting to know a bit more about student life from people that have been there not that long ago (Yes, we are still young and have a social life!).

Natalie, Osmium Zone

It gave me the opportunity to reach more schools than the ones I’ve had time to visit in the South West of Great Britain. For instance, without this competition, there’s no way I could have talked about my work with pupils in Scotland… The whole experience has been incredibly rewarding.

Nicholas, Rhenium Zone

I had a brilliant time on I’m a Scientist and really enjoyed the opportunity to try and explain a huge variety of scientific topics to all you guys, from black holes to bacteria… Thank you very much to all the students who took part – the depth and range of your questions was phenomenal, and seeing just how interested and enthusiastic you all are when it comes to science really shows how useful events like this are!

Ashley, Tantalum Zone

I now have some money and more importantly the responsibility to do something cool, fun and engaging to get guys like you more involved in our world. This is a really exciting opportunity that I never expected to have, and I already have a thousand hair brained ideas.

Ross, Tungsten Zone

What was so astounding was the range of questions that were asked of all of us – it is so clear that the students who took part were interested in such broad areas of science and keen to understand what the life of a scientist is like. I hope you all learned as much as I did – I knew very little about space before I’m a Scientist and now I feel like an expert! Also huge thanks to students asking if a balloon can be inflated by a fart – I am now making this a research priority ?

 

If you think you want to discover new ways to communicate your work… Or want the funding for a your own harebrained schemes… Or just want to gain a new fart-based research priority…

Apply now to take part in the next event

I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here runs every March, June, and November. It only takes 2 minutes and one sentence to apply!

Posted on December 15, 2015 modantony in Event News, IAS Event, News | Leave a comment

Moderator Vacancies: November 2015

Hello! It’s us! We’re looking for moderators for our November 2015 events! I’m a Scientist and I’m an Engineer are award-winning online events allowing students (from 9 – 18) to interact with real live scientists and engineers. We’re looking for 2 moderators to work on the next event which will run from the 9th to the 20th November 2015. We will also be running I’m a Scientist and I’m an Engineer in Ireland.

Your key responsibilities will be:

  • checking and approving questions
  • adding appropriate keywords and tags
  • logging and keeping track of questions, comments and dialogue
  • checking the site for errors and inappropriate content and usernames
  • moderating live chats
  • helping to run the site

It’s actually a lot of fun as the students (and scientists) are quick and funny and full of energy. And hey, promoting science engagement is a good thing, am I right?!

What we’d like from you..

  • You should be bright, thoughtful, pick stuff up easily, ideally with an interest in science engagement.
  • You’ll have great attention to detail (THIS IS IMPORTANT)
  • You enjoy being online, perhaps have experience in an online community.
  • The site is all built on WordPress, so if you’ve used that the techy stuff will be pretty familiar.
  • You’d be working from home, so you must also have broadband which doesn’t die every 10 minutes.

Extra bonus things we’d like, but aren’t hugely important..

  • A sense of humor
  • The ability to multitask
  • Interested in discussing your lunch

Please send a CV and short covering letter ASAP (by Monday 26th October 2015), to Emily at emily@gallomanor.com, telling us why you think you’d be a good moderator.

  • Dates: 9th – 20th November (Monday – Friday)
  • Hours: 37.5/week, 08.30-16.00 GMT
  • Pay: £8/hr

You can (and should) find out more about the events at: I’m a Scientist UK and Ireland and I’m an Engineer UK and Ireland.

You don’t need to..
Phone us because that’s what your careers officer said you should do.
Send a CV comprising more than 2 pages, with font smaller than 10pt or 2mm margins.

Posted on October 7, 2015 modemily in Event News, News, Science Engagement | Comments Off on Moderator Vacancies: November 2015

Too many teachers

Hands up those who want to take part in I'm a Scientist.

Hands up those who want to take part in I’m a Scientist.

Being popular is a nice problem to have.

We’re running a total of 10 zones in November in the UK. It’s the most we’ve done at this time of year. But it is not enough.

As the new school year started we asked our list of over 2,000 teachers how many classes they would like for our November events. 202 teachers requested a total of 537 classes. The problem is we only have space for 250 classes. Up to 8,500 students will be missing out on science engagement this November.

We spent an uncomfortable afternoon last week working out how to allocate the spaces we had. Should we prioritise teachers who been regular supporters and taken part in lean times? Or new schools so that more teachers get a chance to experience our little bundle of joy? Or rural schools? Or schools in deprived areas?

In the end we capped the number of classes at 2 per school. Despite loving the energy that comes from entire year groups participating it would mean excluding too many schools if we didn’t. We also left off schools that previously had spaces but failed to take them. We did prioritise rural schools and schools from deprived areas. And sadly restricted and left off those schools where through location and parental connections they have more opportunities to connect with scientists and engineers. That meant many fee-paying schools who’ve previously taken part have been left without places this November.

It’s not the end of the world, but it’s not nice. We are in the envious position of being relatively well-funded, and very over-subscribed with schools and scientists wanting to take part. I do want to avoid the situation in March. We’ll be reaching out to potential funders to fund more zones: companies, research councils, universities.

Apologies to those students and schools who’ve missed out this time. With a bit of good fortune we’ll have more space in March.

Posted on October 2, 2015 ModShane in Capacity, Event News, News | Leave a comment

“I’m a Scientist is definitely the most fun I’ve had in my lab coat”

After every event we ask the zone winners to write a short blog post to be sent to all the students in who took part in the zone. It’s a great way for the scientists to reflect on the previous two weeks and thank all the students for voting for them.

Let’s take a look at what they had to say…


Jess, Colour Zone

I’m a Scientist is definitely the most fun I’ve had in my lab coat.

The questions were incredible, totally unpredictable and the scope was well beyond that going on academic circles; by the final I’d tried to prepare a few ‘go-to’ answers, “What is colour?”, “What happened during the big bang?”, “Will we ever cure cancer?..but I couldn’t predict a single one! After the 30 minute live chats my fingers were tingling so much I had to delay measuring polymers in the clean room.

I cannot express in words how much I’d recommend this to any PhD student, science technician or any academic with time on their hands.

It’s made me question every part of my research, assess how realistic I am and be more creative in my experimental design. It’s made me so proud to be a physicist, work at Imperial College and be able to help these curious kids.

James, Electromagnetic Zone

Things got serious, silly, deep, dark, hilarious, and on occasions weird; all in a 30 minute burst of direct exchange between today’s researchers and tomorrow’s minds.

It was *energising* – I loved it. And I learned a tonne of stuff myself.

Sarah, Extreme Force Zone

I really hope (and believe) more of you became enthused by science by the event, and can maybe envisage yourselves on the other side of the chat telling students in the future all about the great work you do.

Andy, Health Zone

It was exciting, loads of fun, I learnt loads of stuff I never expected to and it completely took over my whole life for two weeks! At midnight on the Saturday half way through the competition I was discussing “what is time?” with some friends at a wedding. It really made me think about things that I’d not considered before.

Laura, Hormones Zone

An event like this is a fantastic way of giving school pupils an idea of how many areas in science there are and to let them see that scientists really are quite normal people (mostly).

It was a manic two weeks but it was so much fun and VERY addictive! The Live Chats were crazy at times but always great fun and certainly kept me on my toes. Any chance I got, I was answering the question on ASK (all 214 of them!) – on my journey to work, breaks, lunch, journey home, on the way to meet friends – any chance I got!

Richard, Pharmacology Zone

Wow! What an amazing two weeks. Without a doubt, I’m A Scientist, Get me out of here has been one of the most enjoyable but exhausting experiences of my career.

The live chat sessions are insane!  Questions ranged from everyday trivia like “Batman or Superman?” through philosophy and ethics “should doctors be allowed to assist in suicides” to hard-core pharmacology “how are drugs developed?” Now…. imagine trying to handle all three of those questions simultaneously, and fast enough so that your competitors don’t get in there first with a killer answer, and you’ll have some idea what it was like and why it was such fun.

Thomas, Polymers Zone

[The students’ questions] got me thinking on all fronts – from how to describe my research, and why I actually carry it out, to appreciating why the sea is blue and coming up with a “hand-shaking and waving” analogy for pi and sigma bonding during a quiet evening – definitely a blast all in all.

Hayley, Ytterbium Zone

I was continually impressed with the questions posed by the students in both the live chats and also via ASK. My very first question to answer was about black holes (a topic waaaay out of my comfort zone!), so I’ve been learning myself from day one!

… I have learnt so many diverse facts from this event, including how chameleons are able to change colour and learning that plants may, in fact, have feelings!

Ryan, Thulium Zone

The two weeks of answering questions from you all was crazy. I’ve never gone out of my way so much to be on time for everything. I had alarms set so I could attend chats, I spent my evenings answering all the ASK questions which were left for me and others.

I had questions ranging from “how many stars exist” to “why do I do science” each question was fantastic and there were so many I actually had to stop, think about and wonder how it actually worked.

Normally I’m one quick fire answers back but there were so many questions where I had to stop and think to even form an idea of an answer.

The whole event was an experience and I recommend it to anyone to try it, you’ll learn so much not only about your own area of expertise but also about others.

Jonny, Lutetium Zone

Initially I didn’t know whether I should enter I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here. I’ve not really done much written science communication before and I didn’t know how I would come across without actually being present.

One thing I wasn’t prepared for was the breadth of the questions all of us scientists were asked. It made me realise how much I didn’t know.

Chris, Hafnium Zone

The last two weeks have been an absolute blast. The range of questions you get on the board is insane! You guys ask better/harder/faster/stronger questions  that I ever imagined coming into the contest.


If you think you can take the better/harder/faster/stronger questions… Want to discover new ways to communicate your work… Or want to learn new facts about chameleons…

Apply now to take part in the next event

Click to apply for I'm a Scientist

I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here runs every March, June, and November. For more information on the zones running in November 2015, take a look at this post.

Posted on July 27, 2015 Moderator - Josh in Event News, IAS Event, News | Leave a comment

June 2015 Moderator Job Vacancies

Hey, it’s that time again! We’re looking for moderators for our June 2015 event! I’m a Scientist and I’m an Engineer are award-winning online events allowing students (from 9 – 18) to interact with real live scientists. We’re looking for 2 moderators to work on the next event which will run from the 15th June to the 26th June 2015.

Your key responsibilities will be:

  • checking and approving questions
  • adding appropriate keywords and tags
  • logging and keeping track of questions, comments and dialogue
  • checking the site for errors and inappropriate content and usernames
  • moderating live chats
  • helping to run the site

It’s actually a lot of fun as the students (and scientists) are quick and funny and full of energy. And hey, promoting science engagement is a good thing, am I right?!

What we’d like from you..

  • You should be bright, thoughtful, pick stuff up easily, ideally with an interest in science engagement.
  • You’ll have great attention to detail (THIS IS IMPORTANT)
  • You enjoy being online, perhaps have experience in an online community.
  • The site is all built on WordPress, so if you’ve used that the techy stuff will be pretty familiar.
  • You’d be working from home, so you must also have broadband which doesn’t die every 10 minutes.

Extra bonus things we’d like, but aren’t hugely important..

  • A sense of humor
  • The ability to multitask
  • Interested in discussing your lunch

Please send a CV and short covering letter ASAP (by Monday 1st June 2015), to Emily at emily@gallomanor.com, telling us why you think you’d be a good moderator.

  • Dates: 15th – 26th June (Monday – Friday)
  • Hours: 37.5/week, 08.30-16.00 GMT
  • Pay: £7.50/hr

You can (and should) find out more about the events at: imascientist.org.uk and imanengineer.org.uk.

Posted on May 21, 2015 modemily in Event News, Science Engagement | Comments Off on June 2015 Moderator Job Vacancies

Moderator Vacancies March 2015

I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here, is an award-winning event where school students (age 9–18) interact with real scientists online. We’re looking for 5 moderators to work on the next event which will run 9th – 20th March 2015.

At the same time we’ll also be running I’m an Engineer, and I’m a Geoscientist.

Your key responsibilities will be:

  • Checking and approving questions.
  • Adding appropriate keywords and tags (some understanding of search and filters always a bonus).
  • Logging and keeping track of questions, comments and dialogue.
  • Checking the site for errors, and inappropriate content and usernames.
  • Moderating live chats.
  • Keeping track of your live chats and an awareness of what else is going on.
  • Taking part in discussions and giving input.

It’s a lot of fun as the students (and scientists) are quick and funny and full of energy. And hey, promoting science engagement is a good thing, am I right?!

What we’d like from you..

  • You should be bright, thoughtful, pick stuff up easily, ideally with an interest in science engagement.
  • You’ll have great attention to detail and will enjoy being online, perhaps have experience in an online community.
  • The site is all built on WordPress, so if you’ve used that the “techy stuff” should be fairly familiar.
  • You’d be working from home, so you must also have broadband which doesn’t die every 10 minutes.
  • To be always available, ready and eager to take part.

Please send a covering letter and CV ASAP (by Wednesday 18th February 2015 at the latest), to Emily at emily@gallomanor.com, telling me why you think you’d be a good moderator.

  • Dates: 9th–20th March, Monday–Friday
  • Hours: 37.5/week, 08.30–16.00 GMT
  • Pay: £7.50/hr

You can (and should) find out more about the events at: imascientist.org.uk, imanengineer.org.uk, and imageoscientist.eu. You might also want to read this, on what kind of thing we’re looking for.

Posted on January 21, 2015 modemily in Event News, News | Leave a comment

Moderator Vacancies June 2014

I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here, is an award-winning event where school students (age 9–18) interact with real scientists online. We’re looking for 5 moderators to work on the next event which will run 16th–27th June 2014.

At the same time we’ll also be running I’m an Engineer, and for the very first time, I’m a Geoscientist which will also need moderating.

Your key responsibilities will be:

  • Checking and approving questions.
  • Adding appropriate keywords and tags.
  • Logging and keeping track of questions, comments and dialogue.
  • Checking the site for errors, and inappropriate content and usernames.
  • Moderating live chats.
  • Helping to run the site.

It’s a lot of fun as the students (and scientists) are quick and funny and full of energy. And hey, promoting science engagement is a good thing, am I right?!

What we’d like from you..

  • You should be bright, thoughtful, pick stuff up easily, ideally with an interest in science engagement.
  • You’ll have great attention to detail and will enjoy being online, perhaps have experience in an online community.
  • The site is all built on WordPress, so if you’ve used that the techy stuff will be pretty familiar.
  • You’d be working from home, so you must also have broadband which doesn’t die every 10 minutes.

Please send a covering letter and CV ASAP (by Tuesday 27th May 2014 at the latest), to Emily at emily@gallomanor.com, telling us why you think you’d be a good moderator.

  • Dates: 16th–27th June, Monday–Friday
  • Hours: 37.5/week, 08.30–16.00 GMT
  • Pay: £7.50/hr

You can (and should) find out more about the events at: imascientist.org.uk, imanengineer.org.uk, and imageoscientist.eu. You might also want to read this, on what kind of thing we’re looking for.

Posted on April 30, 2014 Moderator - Josh in Event News, News | Leave a comment

March 2014 Moderator Job Vacancies

I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here is an award-winning online event allowing students (from 9 – 18) to interact with real live scientists. We’re looking for 3 moderators to work on the next event which will run from the 10th March to the 21st March 2014. We will also be running a zone in I’m an Engineer at the same time, which will also need moderating.

Your key responsibilities will be:

  • checking and approving questions
  • adding appropriate keywords and tags
  • logging and keeping track of questions, comments and dialogue
  • checking the site for errors and inappropriate content and usernames
  • moderating live chats
  • helping to run the site

It’s actually a lot of fun as the students (and scientists) are quick and funny and full of energy. And hey, promoting science engagement is a good thing, am I right?!

What we’d like from you..

  • You should be bright, thoughtful, pick stuff up easily, ideally with an interest in science engagement.
  • You’ll have great attention to detail and will enjoy being online, perhaps have experience in an online community.
  • The site is all built on WordPress, so if you’ve used that the techy stuff will be pretty familiar.
  • You’d be working from home, so you must also have broadband which doesn’t die every 10 minutes.

Please send a CV and short covering letter ASAP (by Monday 3rd March 2014), to Emily at emily@gallomanor.com, telling us why you think you’d be a good moderator.

  • Dates: 10th – 21st March (Monday – Friday)
  • Hours: 37.5/week, 08.30-16.00 GMT
  • Pay: £7.50/hr

You can (and should) find out more about the events at: imascientist.org.uk and imanengineer.org.uk. You might also want to read this – on what kind of thing we’re looking for.

Posted on February 6, 2014 modemily in Event News, IAS Event, Science Engagement | Comments Off on March 2014 Moderator Job Vacancies

I’m a Scientist acts as a public engagement booster for scientists

Anecdotally, we’ve heard of how I’m a Scientist can be a good starting point for science communication activities. This was the case of Suzi Gage, Tom Crick or Suze Kundu, who took part in I’m a Scientist in June 2011 and are now putting a great emphasis on the communication side of their scientific careers or even fully devoting to it.

Twitter conversation about the impact of I'm a Scientist on Science Communication careers

Twitter conversation about the impact of I’m a Scientist on Science Communication careers

However, we were still curious to know to what extent we could extrapolate this to the wider community of scientists that have participated in the event during the last years. How could we know if I’m a Scientist had encouraged them to do more science outreach? Well, we decided to ask them.

We sent a survey to all the scientists that had participated in I’m a Scientist until 2012, leaving a gap of at least one year since they took part in the event. Approximately a quarter of the scientist responded to the survey, resulting in a more than decent sample of 113 scientists. The data collected in the survey show that there is a strong indication that I’m a Scientist is a real public engagement (PE) boost for scientists.

Summary of the survey's main findings

Summary of the survey’s main findings

I’m a Scientist is a good way to start doing public engagement in schools

If we look at public engagement at schools, we have recorded a significant increase, especially among those scientists that were particularly new to this form of outreach. Moreover, scientists who had never done school public engagement were encouraged to do more public engagement in general, going from none to an average of over 4 activities per year.  This was supported by some great comments gathered in the survey:

Having never done outreach with schools before, IAS gave me the chance to engage with a different audience than I would typically.” – Scientist

Scientists find the event flexible, open and inclusive

The online nature of the event was praised by different scientists that left comments in the survey:

I really liked how the online format broke down barriers and allowed the students to ask anything they wanted without having to stand up in a crowd.” – Scientist

Having all the activity online also gave me the flexibility to contribute more of my time, ad from a remote setting, compared to face-to-face school visits.” – Scientist

"Sifting the evidence" Suzy Gage blog hosted by The Guardian

“Sifting the evidence” Suzy Gage blog hosted by The Guardian

Some of the scientists had already contributed to the online scientific community with blog posts, podcasts or through social media. However, for a high proportion of them (68 out of the total 113) I’m a Scientist represented their first online public engagement event, which really pushed up their participation in general public engagement. In this case, their collaboration with public engagement activities went from zero to more than 3 general outreach events per year.

It was also interesting to find out that those who had already done lots of public engagement (4-15 activities per year) started doing more specific online outreach after participating in I’m a Scientist, at the expense of other forms of public engagement.

I’m a Scientist reveals itself as a great launchpad for budding science communicators

The majority of the scientists that filled in the survey (86%) had already taken part in some kind of public engagement activity (lectures, science festivals, interviews in traditional media, science policy making, etc.). It was a nice surprise to find out that scientists who had done very little public engagement (1-3 activities per year) increased their activity dramatically, going up to 5-8 outreach activities per year after the event. What is more, the greatest increase in overall public engagement activity (an increase of 130%) corresponded to the scientists who were just doing very little of it before the event.

Looking at the big picture, there is a general trend that I’m a Scientist enhances the participation of scientists in outreach events, except in the case of those who already did loads (more than 30 activities per year), where there is very little room for improvement. All in all, we are happy to confirm that I’m a Scientist represents a great launching platform for public engagement in science.

It remains the best public engagement event in which I have been involved.” – Scientist

 

Posted on January 8, 2014 modangela in Evaluation, Event News, News, Science Engagement, Scientists | Leave a comment

How does I’m a Scientist change students’ perceptions of science?

We’ve just run I’m a Scientist in Ireland and are curious to know how our event actually affects students’ attitudes towards science.

In order to do this, we included a short and compulsory pre-event survey in the form students used to register. We then asked students to fill in the exact same survey on their profile page after the event. When we matched the data from the two surveys, 92 students (7% of 1,247 students that participated in I’m a Scientist) had filled in both surveys. Importantly, data from the total number of students that filled in the pre-event survey very closely correlates with the pre-event data of this 92 student sample.

We were very happy to find out that students’ interest in science and science related careers is clearly increased after taking part in I’m a Scientist. This is what we have learnt:

The amount of students that say they love science doubled after taking part in I’m a Scientist

How does school make you feel about science?

How does school make you feel about science?

I’m a Scientist really got the students excited about science! Before taking part in the event, only 23% of students said they loved science, but this number increased up to 51% after the event. On the other hand, the number of students that don’t feel really excited about science or think it is boring decreased from 9% to 3%.

Participating in I’m a Scientist encourages students to choose a science subject in the next stage of their education

In the pre-event survey, 66% of the students were absolutely certain or very inclined to choose a science subject next year. However, this percentage raised up to 71% after participating in I’m a Scientist.

Thanks guys for talking to me really helped me make my decision for the leaving cert – sarahlawless, student

Students are keener on science related jobs after participating in I’m a Scientist

The majority of students that completed the surveys already thought that jobs involving science are at least fairly interesting before taking part in the event, but there was still room for improvement and the percentage of students that considered science related jobs very interesting saw a big increase from 36% to 62%.

Taking part in I’m a Scientist increases the likelihood of students looking for a job that uses their science skills

How likely are you to look for a job that uses your science knowledge?

How likely are you to look for a job that uses your science knowledge?

Before taking part in I’m a Scientist, a big portion of the students (37%) couldn’t decide whether they would try to look for a job that uses their science skills and only 10% said they were sure that they would look for this type of job. However, the event seemed to be the boost that students needed to be more confident about looking for a science related job. After I’m a Scientist, most of the students (68%) said that they would certainly or very probably look for a job that uses their science knowledge.

Honoured to have taken part. The future of science is in very good hands with you guys! – scientist

In addition to this, students left several comments that stated clearly how they were enjoying and learning at the same time throughout the event. They liked that the event was so interactive and that they had an active part at every step: asking, commenting, chatting and voting.

In the future, we would like to use this same strategy to measure the impact of other events or activities. We are also very interested in analysing the gender and year course differences that could be found in the pre-event data.

Posted on December 19, 2013 modangela in Evaluation, Event News, IAS Event, News, Science Education, Science Engagement, Teachers | Leave a comment

June 2013 Moderator Job Vacancies

I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here is an award-winning online event allowing teenagers to interact with real live scientists. We’re looking for 6 moderators to work on the next event which will run from the 17th to the 28th of June 2013. We will also be running 2 zones in I’m an Engineer at the same time, which will also need moderating.

Your key responsibilities will be will be:

  • hosting/moderating live chats
  • approving questions
  • looking after your zones
  • logging and keeping track of great questions, comments and dialogue
  • checking the site for errors and inappropriate content
  • helping to run the site

It’s actually a lot of fun as the students (and scientists) are quick and funny and full of energy. And hey, promoting science engagement is a good thing.

What we’d like from you..

  • You should be bright, thoughtful, pick stuff up easily, ideally with an interest in science engagement.
  • You’ll have great attention to detail and will enjoy being online, perhaps have experience in an online community.
  • The site is all built on WordPress, so if you’ve used that the techy stuff will be pretty familiar.
  • You’d be working from home, so you must also have broadband which doesn’t die every 10 minutes.

Please send a CV and short covering letter ASAP (by Monday 3rd June 2013), to Emily at emily@gallomanor.com, telling us why you think you’d be a good moderator.

  • Dates: 17th – 28th June (Monday – Friday)
  • Hours: 37.5/week, 08.30-16.00 GMT
  • Pay: £7.50/hr

You can (and should) find out more about the events at: imascientist.org.uk and imanengineer.org.uk. You might also want to read this – on what kind of thing we’re looking for.

UPDATE


Thank you to everyone who applied! We’ve now found our team of moderators. We’ll be looking for more moderators for our next event, which we’ll advertise again here, so check back in a few months.
 
 

Posted on May 13, 2013 modemily in Event News, IAS Event, Science Engagement | Leave a comment

Take part in June 2013!

In just 10 weeks time we’ll have started our next ‘I’m a Scientist’ event. From Monday June 17th to Friday June 28th we’ll be in the midst of yet more wonderful science engagement and outreach. We’ve got 18 zones confirmed so far.

Zones

UPDATE

Proposed Biomed zones are:

  • Animal Behaviour
  • Blood
  • Disease
  • Hormones
  • Reproduction

Take Part

Posted on April 17, 2013 in Event News, Project News | Leave a comment

March 2013 Moderator Job Vacancies

I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here is an award-winning online event allowing teenagers to interact with real live scientists. We’re looking for 4 moderators to work on the next event which will run from the 11th to the 22nd of March 2013. We will also be running a zone in I’m an Engineer at the same time, which will also need moderating.

Your key responsibilities will be will be:

  • hosting/moderating live chats
  • approving questions
  • checking the site for errors and inappropriate content
  • helping to run the site

It’s actually a lot of fun as the students (and scientists) are quick and funny and full of energy. And hey, promoting science engagement is a good thing.

What we’d like from you..

  • You should be bright, pick stuff up easily, ideally with an interest in science engagement.
  • You’ll have great attention to detail and will enjoy being online, perhaps have experience in an online community.
  • The site is all built on WordPress, so if you’ve used that the techy stuff will be pretty familiar.
  • You’d be working from home, so you must also have broadband which doesn’t die every 10 minutes.

If you’re in the Bath region though, we’d love for you to come in and work in the office, so we can groom you into one of us.

Please send a CV and short covering letter ASAP (by Friday 2nd March), to Emily at emily@gallomanor.com, telling us why you think you’d be a good moderator.

  • Dates: 11th – 22nd March (Monday – Friday)
  • Hours: 37.5/week, 08.30-16.00 GMT
  • Pay: £7.50/hr

You can (and should) find out more about the events at: imascientist.org.uk and imanengineer.org.uk. You might also want to read this – on what kind of thing we’re looking for.

UPDATE


Thank you to everyone who applied! We’ve now found our team of moderators. We’ll be looking for more moderators for our next event, which we’ll advertise again here, so check back in a few months.
 
 

Posted on February 11, 2013 modemily in Event News, IAS Event, Science Engagement | Leave a comment
Selection of IAS Postcards

IAS Outreach by STEMNet Area

We’ve selected the scientists and schools (all will be revealed next week) and we’ve looked at where they are across the country. We want to work closely with STEMNet contract holders to promote our events to teachers, scientists and engineers, so we’ve calculated how many schools, classes and scientists are in each STEMNet contract area. From that we’ve calculated the estimated number of interactions (or Live Chats as we call them) we expect per area. On average each class has one live chat and each scientist attends seven.

The best news was that there are only 3 areas where there is no activity. We are doing science engagement and enrichment across the country.

But where do we have most activity?

Most classes signed up:

  1. Bristol, Bath and Somerset – 25
  2. Lancashire – 19
  3. Surrey, Central and East Berkshire & West Yorkshire – 18

Special Kudos to Liz Lister in Bristol, Bath and Somerset – over 13% of secondary schools in the area are signed up.

Most scientists:

  1. London North – 6
  2. Bristol, Bath and Somerset – 4
  3. Greater Manchester – 4
  4. Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and West Berkshire – 4
  5. Surrey, Central and East Berkshire – 4

We are very keen to work with all STEMNet Contract Holders to get their STEM Ambassadors taking part in the event and getting schools in their area enjoying the benefits of reaching scientists from across the country and world.

We have a promotional pack that we can send out containing a flyer, video and sets of postcards for both teachers and scientists.

Selection of IAS Postcards

IAS Postcards from the Promotional Pack

Even better, we have a large network of teachers and scientists who may be willing to give a 5 minute presentation at your networking events to discuss how I’m a Scientist helped them enthuse students about science and engineering.

Please contact us if you would like help in getting more STEM Ambassadors and schools involved – rosie@gallomanor.com or 01225 326892.

Posted on February 7, 2013 in Evaluation, Event News | Leave a comment

We’re oversubscribed with teachers wanting to take part in March

We run I’m a Scientist 3 times each year – March, June & November. The March events are always busy and popular with teachers. It coincides with National Science & Engineering Week and the timing fits in well with schemes of work.

Hands up who wants to take part in I'm a Scientist. Image by: moses

Thanks to more funding we’ve added 2 more themed zones – a Digital Zone and a Food Science Zone (more on these later this week in another post).

Despite these zones creating 50 extra class places we weren’t prepared for just how oversubscribed we would be this time round.

11 zones with 25 classes in each zone gives 275 class spaces up for grabs. 142 teachers asked for 374 classes between them. Making the event oversubscribed by 36%.

So, how have we allocated classes?

  • Give as many teachers as possible places, ie give fewer classes to more teachers
  • Cap the number of classes per teacher at 5
  • Try and give teachers a zone of their choice, if possible
  • Limit the number of classes per Primary School at 1, as the event is primarily developed for Secondary students
  • Limit the number of classes for teachers who’ve been given places in the past, but not used them
  • For the first time we’re not giving places to International Schools abroad

Get on the waiting list

Some teachers will drop out before the event, so we’ll give their classes out to those on the waiting list. Email rosie@gallomanor.com with how many classes you’d like and we’ll let you know if we can fit you in.

Posted on January 23, 2013 modemily in Event News, IAS Event, News, Science Engagement | Leave a comment

What’s the BEST I’m a Scientist question?

I'm a Scientist mugsWe’ve been wondering what’s the best question in I’m a Scientist, and we’d like you to help us choose. So we’re running a competition.

There are so many amazing questions in I’m a Scientist, from ‘Would You Lick Jam Off An Old Man’s Foot Or Drink Toliet Water For An Hour And Why?‘ to ‘If gravitons travel at the speed of light, and the escape velocity of a black hole is greater than the speed of light, how is it that the gravitons can escape from the black hole?‘. And a question which often perplexes me, ‘Why are people annoying?

Some of them are clever, and insightful. Some of them are deceptively simple, but pose questions most scientists have stopped asking themselves. Some are just hilariously funny.

Sometimes, a seemingly simple question gets an unexpectedly interesting answer. A student in March’s Forensics Zone asked, ‘What’s your ringtone?‘. Mark Hill, who investigates road traffic accidents for the police, answered:

Mark Hill answered: Hi student 19, Being on-call at night, I like something that is gentle to wake me up. It also has to be different, so that I can tell it apart from other peoples phones – Bach’s prelude in c. If I go to a particularly nasty job, having been called out at night, I change the ringtone, as it tends to dwell on my mind every time I get a call after that. Thanks Mark.

To me, that answer that tells us more about the reality of doing Mark’s job, than any amount of in-depth questions would have done.

What’s YOUR favourite I’m a Scientist question? You can browse the site here, or use the search box to find questions on particular topics.

Any student question on the site is eligible, it doesn’t have to be from 2011.

Prizes

The five best suggestions get goodie bags of glittering sciencey books, kindly donated by our friends at New Scientist, the Institute of Physics, The Guardian and the Wellcome Trust. AND, most importantly, a much sought-after I’m a Scientist mug, as modelled above by our lovely scientists.

First prize: Full set of 4 sciencey books – 2 Last Word books from New Scientist; ‘Why does E=MC2?’ by Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw; How to Live Forever & 34 Other Really Interesting Uses of Science by Alok Jha. All in a stylish Wellcome Trust canvas bag. And an I’m a Scientist mug.

Runners up prizes: 2 books, bag and mug.

To enter

Twitter: tweet a link to the question, with your explanation of why it’s great, and the hashtag #iasbestQ.

Email: If you’re not on twitter, you can email admin@imascientist.org.uk, with iasbestQ in the subject line.

Competition closes Monday 5th September. We’ll pick what we think are the best questions based on the questions, the answers, and the reasons given. The judges decision is final.

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers” – Voltaire

Posted on August 8, 2011 modemily in Event News, News | Leave a comment

Who’s taking part in June?

We have now chosen the scientists and schools for I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here! in June.

Zones

This June is our biggest ever event, with 23 ‘zones’.

12 are general and named after elements, containing a broad range of scientists and research areas.

11 are themed zones, with themes from Microbiology to Energy Generation, Ecology and Marine and Underwater Science. Due to popular demand we are repeating some themed zones from previous years – Sports Science, Genes, Brain, Forensic Science and Evolution. We’re particularly excited about the Healthy Ageing zone sponsored by RCUK’s Lifelong Health and Wellbeing programme, and the Quantum zone which is sponsored by the Institute of Physics.

Schools

There’s a big variety in the schools taking part, with students involved from Singapore and Hungary to the Isle of Skye. We hope that, as in previous years, classes at these schools are going to have a great experience taking part. One teacher says: ‘I’m a Scientist has bought modern science directly into the classroom.’

I’m a Scientist is being supported in June by Nelson Thornes, home of Kerboodle, the personalised online learning service for teachers and students. Nelson Thornes share the same passion for Science as I’m a Scientist and the Wellcome Trust, and firmly believe that Science is about so much more than exam success.  In partnership with I’m a Scientist, Kerboodle is focused on inspiring students of all abilities – exciting and engaging the scientist of tomorrow, and also the non-scientists of tomorrow, with a fun and fresh look at How Science Works.

Everyone at Nelson Thornes and Kerboodle hope you all have a wonderful event and your students enjoy this fantastic experience. May the best scientist win!

Scientists

Competition for scientists was tough, and choosing the final scientists to take part was hard. We had to turn down lot of scientists working on fascinating research.

Scientists were chosen by combining ratings from students and teachers, from us and from a representative from our main funders, the Wellcome Trust.

Students and teachers rated scientists solely on the one sentence description of their work they wrote when they applied. This description was really important. Scientists were rated much higher if they used language that 13 to 14 year olds, from across the ability range, would understand.

Scientists who have taken part before have thoroughly enjoyed the event, saying “The competition has totally re-energised the way I approach my research” and “I didn’t realise just how much fun the live chats would be and what a great rapport we would build up over a computer!

The event

Excitement is really building up. Twitter is a great way to follow how the event is going, and with over 40 of our scientists on twitter, online camaraderie has developed already. So get on board and follow us at @imascientist and keep an eye on tweets marked #IAS2011. Or we’ve made a list of tweeps taking part in this event.

Be sure to check out the website on Monday 6th June, when it goes live and you can find out more about the scientists taking part. We hope the students, teachers and scientists are looking forward to the event as much as we are.

And finally, a big thank you to the Wellcome Trust for Society Award funding, without which the event would not be possible.

Brain Zone

Scientists

Tim Fosker Queen’s University Belfast I measure the electricity produced by children’s brains to discover how children understand speech and learn to read.
Suzi Gage University of Bristol I’m investigating potential links between cannabis use and psychosis and depression, using data from a group of teenagers based in Bristol.
Simon Bennett University College London We are trying to understand more about how the cells in your brain communicate while you are growing up.
Rachael Ward Medical Reseach Council I want to know how brain cells talk to each other so I use tiny worms to help me study this.
Damien Hall University of Kent I’m interested in what you know about someone just from listening to them talk, without you reading any books about it at all: it’s much more than you think!

Schools

City of London Boys School, London
Loreto Grammar School, Altrincham
Honywood Community Science School, Coggeshall
Lathallan School, Montrose
The Weald School, Billingshurst
Chafford Hundred Campus, Chafford Hundred
The Phoenix Centre, Wigan
St John’s, Marlborough

Calcium Zone

Scientists

Sarah Walker NASA Astrobiology Institute I apply ideas from physics to problems in astrobiology, particularly the origin of life.
Kimberley Bryon UCL I look at how neurons talk to each other in the brain.
Julia Griffen Univeristy of Bath I use bugs, specifically bacteria, to make  compounds which I can transform into drugs which can be used to treat diseases and illnesses like diabetes.
Drew Rae University of York I try to answer the question “How do we best make sure that dangerous things such as aeroplanes, trains and power stations don’t kill people”.
Amy MacQueen Babraham Institute Trying to understand what goes on inside white blood cells to help protect us from infections and diseases.

Schools

Convent of St Jesus & Mary’s Language School, London
Tanglin Trust School, Singapore
Cantell Maths & Computing School, Southampton
Ralph Thoresby School, Leeds
Westhoughton High School, Westhoughton
Wardle High School, Rochdale
St Mary Redcliffe & Temple School, Bristol
Sacred Heart College, Omagh

Chromium Zone

Scientists

Tom Crick UWIC I’m a (computer) scientist and I make microprocessors run more efficiently by using mathematics to prove when computer code is optimal; this can have a big effect on our use of these devices, as we are all restricted by a dead battery on a mobile phone!
Tim Millar University of Southampton From crayfish and kilimanjaro to cancer: how living without oxygen can show us targets for disease.
Sarah Thomas University of Edinburgh Hi, I’m doing a project for Cancer Research UK and I am developing a blood test for all types of cancer that will help doctors diagnose cancer in patients early, as diagnosis is often tricky as the symptoms of cancer are so varied.
Derek McKay-Bukowski Science and Technology Facilities Council I am building a radio-telescope in the Arctic that other scientists can then use to explore the universe.
Dayla Soond Babraham Institute I study how the immune system fights off infection, battles cancer and occasionally messes up and causes disease on its own.

Schools

Cardinal Newman Catholic School, Hove
Dixons City Academy, Bradford
Overton Grange School, London
The Rochester Grammar, Rochester
Birchfield Independent Girls School, Birmingham
Sherrardswood School, Wewlyn
Loughborough Grammar School, Loughborough
Sanday Community School, Orkney

Cobalt Zone

Scientists

Mona Gharaie University of Manchester Reduce CO2 emission by energy conservation technology.
Michael Taggart Newcastle University I study how, in pregnant women, the muscle cells of the uterus work to push out the baby during labour and, also, why this sometimes happens too soon or too late risking the lives of tiny babies.
Joseph Finlayson Leeds Limitless: Examining how drugs and diet can boost brainpower.
Jen Gupta University of Manchester I study some of the most extreme objects in the universe – galaxies known as Active Galactic Nuclei, which are spewing out far more energy from their centres than can be explained by the stars.
Emma Bennett University of Reading I’m studying plant pods to try and make crops which have more seeds that contain lots of really important nutrients, which could help feed the world one day.

Schools

Convent of St Jesus & Mary’s Language School, London
Garibaldi College, Mansfield
Oulder Hill Community School, Rochdale
Wanstead High, London
Great Marlow School, Marlow
Ysgol Dinas Bran, Llangollen
Furze Platt Senior School, Maidenhead

Copper Zone

Scientists

Philippa Demonte University of Leeds I am a geophysics student, and my main interest is in active volcano monitoring. I am part of the Volcano Research Group at the University of Leeds, and will be at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory during the June dates.
Kate Clancy University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign I study how our environment and behavior affect our reproduction and hormone levels, and what that means for things like contraception and IVF.
Jamie Gallagher University of Glasgow Growing tiny nanoscale crystals which absorb heat and turn it straight into useful, free electricity.
Emily Robinson University of Manchester Understanding the secret double agent inside your body which is attacking your brain… Your immune system!
Cesar Lopez-Monsalvo University of Southampton and Queen Mary College Gravity, disorder and why time seems to flow towards the future.

Schools

Melksham Oak Community School, Melksham
Oasis Shirley Park, Croydon
Trinity Academy, Doncaster
Wyedean, Chepstow
Swindon Academy, Swindon
Alderbrook School, Solihull
Haringey 6th Form Centre, London
King Henry VIII School, Coventry
Carrick Academy, Maybole
Dover Grammar School for Boys, Dover

Ecology Zone

Scientists

Nicolas Biber University of Plymouth How our plastic waste affects the environment.
Jessica Chu University of Nottingham To study the Malaysian rainforest plants for possible anticancer activities.
Edward Codling University of Essex I am a ‘Theoretical Ecologist’: I use maths and computer simulations to study the behaviour of animals (including humans) and their interactions with the environment they live in.
Christine Switzer University of Strathclyde My research focuses on sustainable methods for cleaning contaminated land and water.
Zara Gladman University of Glasgow After habitat loss, the introduction of non-native species is the biggest cause of extinctions worldwide: my research focuses on the non-native North American signal crayfish, and the impact that this aggressive invader has on plants and animals in Britain.

Schools

Cardinal Newman Catholic School, Hove
Mill Hill County High School, Worcester
Aylward Academy, London
Kingsmead Commuity School, Wiveliscombe
Abingdon School, Abingdon
Matthew Moss High School, Rochdale
Sirius Academy, Hull
Trentham High School, Stoke-on-Trent

Energy Generation Zone

Scientists

William Eborall University of York I’m working with a small sea creature called a “gribble” to learn how it is able to eat and digest wood so that we can use this to make petrol for our cars out of farming waste.
Suze Kundu UCL Materials Chemistry; solar energy conversion by splitting water using sunlight to make hydrogen for fuel, solving the world’s energy crisis!
James Marrow University of Oxford I study why metals and ceramics fail, particularly those in nuclear reactors, so we can make them stronger and safer.  I study how cracks happen, using 3D X-ray images.
Michael Dodd University of Oxford Understanding how the heart changes it’s fuel during heart disease.
David Ingram University of Edinburgh My work is with wave and tidal energy conversion machines which are trying to generate electricity by converting mechanical motion into electrical energy.

Schools

Blackfen School for Girls, Blackfen
Hillside School, Aberdour
Deyes High School, Liverpool
Buxton School, London
West Thames College, Isleworth
Heanor Gate Science College, Heanor
Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Engineering College, Skelmersdale
Tiverton High School, Tiverton
Stone Hill, Doncaster
Huddersfield Home Educators, Huddersfield
St Marys, Worcester

Evolution Zone

Scientists

Vera Weisbecker Institut for Spezielle Zoologie, Jena University I look at how animals (particularly mammals) evolved to look the way they do, and what role their development plays in today’s mammalian diversity; the technical term  of this research is “Evolutionary Developmental Biology”.
Steven Daly University of Nottingham I study the structure of molecules to see if they have interesting or useful properties, and to see if we can explain some of the unanswered questions about where life came from.
Sam Tazzyman University College London I use mathematics to look at animal mating and evolution – what animals find sexy and why, amongst other things.
Katie Marriott University of Leeds I am discovering how and why we are all aliens using chemistry.
Ed Morrison University of Portsmouth Evolutionary psychology, especially facial attractiveness.

Schools

Cardinal Newman Catholic School, Hove
Philomena’s School, Carshalton
Tiffin School, Kingston Upon Thamas
Addey & Stanhope, London
The Grange School, Aylesbury
Bury College, Bury
Birchwood High School, Bishops Stortford

Forensic Science Zone

Scientists

Sue Carney Ethos Forensics I examine and interpret body fluid and DNA evidence from items connected to a crime, considering whether the evidence supports the alleged crime or some other version of events, and if asked, go to court to explain my interpretation as an expert witness.
Shane Cooper University Of Lancashire A forensic scientist who helps students to fall back in love with science, I am researching these little antennas on your chromosomes to naturally treat cancer cells. I have varied experience from autopsies to identifying a person from old chewing gum.
Richard Case National Policing Improvement Agency I work in policing as a Fingerprint Expert (I look at fingerprints found at crime scenes and see whether I can work out who left them), but also give advice to police forces in other areas of Forensics; such as CSI work, DNA and footwear.
Craig McKenzie Robert Gordon University I solve puzzles for a living and I was a forensic scientist in Edinburgh and now teach forensic and analytical science in Aberdeen specialising in forensic and environmental toxicology.
Anna Williams Cranfield University I’m a Forensic Anthropologist, which means I examine skeletons, bones or fleshed bodies from crime scenes or mass disasters to work out as much as I can about the person – who they were, how they lived and especially how they died.

Schools

Convent of St Jesus & Mary’s Language School, London
Oasis Shirley Park, Croydon
Smithycroft Secondary School, Glasgow
North Chadderton School, Oldham
Gladesmore Community School, London
Saltash Community School, Saltash
Woodkirk High Specialist Science School, Wakefield
Lyndhurst Primary and Nursery School, Oldham

Genes Zone

Scientists

Richard Badge University of Leicester Most of your genes stay still, but we work on the ones that move around and they’re doing it right now!
Prateek Buch UCL Institute of Ophthalmology I research ‘gene therapy’ for inherited diseases that cause blindness.
Liz O’Day Harvard / Lizzard Fashion A picture is worth a thousand words- using structure to probe function (noncoding RNAs in breast cancer- what do they look like and how do they work?).  I also own a clothing company where we promote science through fashion- we make geek chic.
Jim Caryl University of Leeds I run a fitness gym for bacteria, the ‘Gene Gym’, to see whether being resistant to antibiotics actually makes bacteria unhealthy.
Amelia Markey University of Manchester Developing a miniaturised device for breaking open cells, copying the DNA and storing the DNA.

Schools

Tile Hill Wood School and Language College, Coventry
Unity College,  Blackpool
Ralph Thoresby School, Leeds
British International School, Budapest
John Hanson Community School, Andover
Admiral Lord Nelson School, Portsmouth
Sacred Heart, London

Healthy Ageing Zone

Scientists

Ollie Russell Newcastle University Stopping mitochondria from replicating damaged DNA, a process that can cure mitochondrial disease.
Georgia Campbell Newcastle University My work focuses on DNA deletions in mitochondria, the only organelle in the human body to contain it’s own genome, and how these spread to cause mitochondrial disease or contribute to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers or Parkinson Disease.
Andy MacLeod University of Edinburgh I look for genes that cause differences in our ability to think, to help fight the decline in thinking ability as we get older.
Amy Reeve Newcastle University – Centre for Brain Ageing and Vitality I am investigating what causes brain cells to die in Parkinson’s disease.
Alex Munro Newcastle University I’m looking at the way people eat protein across the day and the type of protein they eat, and whether this can explain or predict their level of physical capability in older age.

Schools

Fitzharrys School, Abingdon
City of London Boys School, London
Abbeyfield School, Chippenham
Croydon High School, Croydon
St Marys Catholic Comprehensive School, Ilkley
Chigwell School, Chigwell
Nonsuch High School, Surry
Bryn Celynnog Comprehensive School, Pontypridd
Mount House School, Tavistock
St Brigids, Denbigh

Iron Zone

Scientists

Ryan Ladd University of Bath Submarines which swim like penguins or fish and evolve!
Kath O’Reilly Imperial College, London I look at why vaccination works!
James Hargreaves University of Wales Institute, Cardiff I try to understand why bread rises during baking, how to create chocolate and why cupcakes are always yummy and soft on the inside!  🙂
Evan Keane Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Bonn, Germany. I search for dead and dying stars – neutron stars and black holes, the most extreme laboratories in the Universe!
Ailsa Powell University of Oxford I try to discover more about how the parasite that causes malaria works and use this information to design new drugs to cure Malaria.

Schools

Arnold Hill School, Nottingham
Chantry High School, Worcester
The Ridgeway School, Swindon
Sir John Hunt Community Sports College, Plymouth
The Sutton Academy, St Helens
Toftwood Junior School, Dereham
Oakwood Park Grammar School, Maidstone
Bay House School and Sixth Form, Portsmouth
Loughborough Grammar School, Loughborough
Glyncoed Comprehensive School, Ebbw Vale

Manganese Zone

Scientists

Wei Xun Imperial College London I try and find if the things we are exposed to on a daily basis (nurtients in diet, the air we breathe etc) can affect people’s health in the long term, in terms of diseases such as  cancer.
Verity Nye National Oceanography Centre, Southampton I work on reproduction and biogeography of animals living in deep-sea hydrothermal vent environments.
Simon Trent Cardiff University Why are some kids hyperactive, inattentive and impulsive? Its all in the brain.
Rebecca Handley Institute of Food Research I work on a bacteria called Campylobacter. It is the most common cause of food poisoning and I’m trying to figure out how it survives on food.
David Armstrong University of Oxford My work is centred around understanding the physical properties of high performance materials for building nuclear fusion power reactors, which is basically learning how to keep a star inside a box.

Schools

Abraham Guest High School, Manchester
Court Moor School, Camberley
Mangotsfield School, Bristol
Longdendale Community Language College, Hyde
The Warwick School, Redhill
Furze Platt Senior School, Maidenhead

Marine and Underwater Zone

Scientists

Sean Clement Blue Ventures Marine Biologists working to preserve critically endangered tropical marine habitats worldwide, one coral reef at a time…
Ozge Ozkaya Leicester University Understanding how the daily biological clock works in krill, the most abundant life form in the antarctic ocean.
Gloeta Massie The University of Queensland I’m studying the very venomous blue-ringed octopus and the super deadly toxin they have!
Dave Sproson University of Leeds Meteorology/oceanography/climate: currently looking at how sea-spray may provide the energy required to power hurricanes and  typhoons.
Clare Woulds University of Leeds I study the wierd and wonderful animals at the bottom of the sea, and try to figure out what they eat. To do this I have to sail the oceans, and sometimes even go in a submarine.

Schools

Trinity Academy, Doncaster
Saltash Community School, Saltash
The Gilberd School, Colchester
Uplands Community College, Wadhurst
Shaftesbury School, Shaftesbury
Broadoak Maths and Computing College, Weston-Super-Mare
The Matthew Arnold School, Staines
Great Sankey High School, Warrington
Brockenhurst College, Brockenhurst

Microbiology Zone

Scientists

Pamela Lithgow Institute for Animal Health I work with a tiny virus which goes inside the cells of a pig and makes them really ill, I am trying to work out what cells it goes in so we can stop it.
Johnson Soronnadi Microbiology Department Ulster Hospital, Belfast I search and identify extremely small living things (microrganisms) in samples of patients sent to the laboratory using range of equipments e.g microscope and identify drugs(antibiotics) that will cures the patient if bugs are present.
Holly Shelton Imperial College London I study the ability and consquences of different flu strains to infect humans, like the recent swine flu pandemic strain and the bird flu strains.
Darren Braddick University of Warwick Trying to defeat antibiotic resistance of S. pneumoniae through better understanding.
Cat O’Connor University of Glasgow I’m a final year PhD student looking at how cattle and badgers create the unusual geographical pattern of the bug that causes bovine tuberculosis, an expensive disease that can infect many mammals, including humans, in Great Britain.

Schools

Smithycroft Secondary School, Riddrie
East Bergholt High School, East Bergholt
Churston Ferrers Grammar School, Brixham
Spen Valley Sports College, Liversedge
Thomas Alleynes High School, Uttoxeter
Kendrick School, Reading
Marshalls Park School, Romford
Wick High School, Caithness
Carlton Bolling College, Bradford

Nickel Zone

Scientists

Sarah Cook Institute of Environmental Sciences / RPS Energy Using bacteria to clean up contaminated soil and groundwater.
Rhys Phillips EADS Innovation Works Researching methods to protect aircraft against lightning strikes + present a science radio show.
Ian van der Linde Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge) I conduct experiments that help us understand how humans see and interact with the visual world.
Helen Fletcher University of Oxford Protecting children and adults in Africa from tuberculosis disease by developing better vaccines.
David Corne Heriot-Watt University Making computers smarter – especially about analysing, designing, and predicting things.

Schools

Garibaldi College, Mansfield
Walton High, Milton Keynes
Jewish Community Secondary School, New Barnet
Robert Blake Science College, Bridgwater
Amberfield, Ipswich
The Nobel School, Stevenage
Park-High School Colne, Burnley
The Marlborough School, Woodstock

Phosphorus Zone

Scientists

Jo Hulsmans Warwick university Nitrogen fixation: why are some plants very good at it but most plants very bad.
James Jennings University of Nottingham Using environmentally-friendly fluids – between gas and liquid form – to make tiny bouncy balls with many uses.
Barbara Guinn University of Bedfordshire Development of cancer vaccines which would remove residual cancer cells in first remission and prevent or delay relapse.
Andy Norton University of Oxford Listening in: I crush teenie-weenie little ceramic samples, listen to the noise that they make, and use a big microscope to work out what happened and what made all those clicks.
Alice Jones Goldsmiths, University of London Neuropsychological, brain imaging and behavioural genetic investigations of behavioural difficulties in children.

Schools

Melksham Oak Community School, Melksham
East Bergholt High School, East Bergholt
St Angela’s Ursuline School, London
Yardleys School and Science College, Birmingham
Trinity CE High School, Hulme
The Manor School, Nottingham
Stanwell School, Penarth
Malcolm Arnold Academy, Northampton

Quantum Zone

Scientists

Philip Dolan University of Oxford Making better computers, “quantum computers” out of a ultra pure diamonds.
Monica Jung De Andrade The University of Texas at Dallas The nanotechnology is changing and will continue to change the manner we see the world.
James Monk University College London I’m analysing the proton collision data from the Large Hadron Collider (at CERN); protons are made up of a soup of other particles, so their collisions can be quite messy!
Ceri Brenner University of Strathclyde/Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Accelerating particles by firing high power laser pulses onto small targets of  material with a view to build a miniture and flexible particle accelerator that can be used for various applications, from medical to fusion energy research.
Arttu Rajantie Imperial College London I use our knowledge of particle physics to try to understand what happened in the very early universe, immediately after the Big Bang.

Schools

Kingsbury High School, Kingsbury
Simon Langton Girls Grammar School, Canterbury
Toynbee School, Chandlers Ford
Lampton School, Hounslow
St Anne’s Catholic School, Southampton
Davenant Foundation School, Essex
Queen Elizabeths Grammar School, Faversham
Allerton Grange School, Leeds

Scandium Zone

Scientists

Simone Bijvoet University of Stirling I am studying if playing house or pretending to be batman helps you to become more creative when you’re older.
Katherine Jones GlaxoSmithKline Working in the lab, designing and making potential new medicines.
Jeremy Green King’s College London How cells make the body starting from fertilisation up to making the brain.
Christopher Phillips ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai’i I’m a British Sci-communicator teaching astronomy in Hawai’i – from 14,000ft at the summit of Maunakea all the way down to the sun and surf on the beaches of Kona.
Carys Cook Imperial College London I am trying to answer the question: Will Antarctica’s ice sheets melt?

Schools

Fitzharrys School, Abingdon
Lordswood Girls School, Birmingham
Henry Beaufort School, Winchester
Mount Tamar School, Plymouth
Hetton School, Houghton Le Spring
Deptford Green, London
Loughborough Grammar School, Loughborough
The Marlborough School, Woodstock
The Willows SSS, Guildford

Sports Science Zone

Scientists

Stuart Mourton Bangor University My work involves investigating the various ways we learn and perform skills; from simple tasks such as reaching for objects, to performing large complex movements like playing a tennis stroke or kicking a football.
Martin Lindley Loughborough University Exercise and dietary impact on sports performace, health and disease.
Mark Burnley Aberystwyth University I study how the muscles use energy during exercise, and also how the muscles and brain get tired (fatigue).
Jenni Tilley University of Oxford Investigating how tendon’s properties are affected by disease and injury so that, when people like David Beckham tear their Achilles tendon, Doctors have a better idea of how to fix it.
Helen O’Connor Self Employed Sport and Exercise Psychologist What makes champions? And what mental skills can we learn from them? Psychology is a legal performance-enhancer and can give athletes that extra “edge”.

Schools

Melksham Oak Community School, Melksham
Walton High, Milton Keynes
Holy Rood High School, Edinburgh
Inverness High School, Inverness
St. Joseph’s College, Dumfries
Thistley Hough High School, Stoke-on-Trent
Marshalls Park School, Romford
Budmouth College, Dorset
Queen Elizabeths Grammar School, Kent
The London Nautical School, London
Beechfield Secure Unit, Copthorne

Sulfur Zone

Scientists

Judith McCann University of Manchester Developing new materials which have properties which change depending on their environment, this is useful as the materials are used in the body so can respond to different temperatures, enzymes or pH changes.
Gemma Sharp University of Edinburgh I’m building a computer model of how different proteins and genes are involved in human pregnancy and labour, in an attempt to find out why some babies are born prematurely and what we can do to prevent this.
Diana Samuel University of Glasgow Super sellotape: how the sticky toe pads of tree and torrent frogs could be used to make cool bioadhesives.
Akshat Rathi University of Oxford Taking inspiration from nature, I build complex but very useful molecules. Constructing these molecules precisely the way nature does is very hard to do in the lab.
Aime Fournier National Center for Atmospheric Research Use maths to help computers focus on important weather and climate phenomena.

Schools

Tile Hill Wood School and Language College, Coventry
East Bergholt High School, East Bergholt
Dixons City Academy, Bradford
Somervale School, Midsomer Norton
The Duston School, Northampton
Claremont High School, London
Mountfitchet Maths and Computing College, Stansted Mountfitchet
Trinity Catholic High School, Woodford Green
St Martin’s Catholic School, Hinkley

Titanium Zone

Scientists

Phil Denniff GlaxoSmithKline Many pharmaceutical drugs have not been studied or approved for use by babies and children, I am working on dried blood spots, this will allow the drug dose to be tailored to a child’s requirement.
Paddy Brock Institute of Zoology I study the weird and wonderful Galapagos sea lion, working to understand how the introduction of domestic dogs to the Galapagos islands affects sea lion ecology and health.
Michael Wharmby University of St Andrews I design colourful new materials, called metal organic frameworks, which will capture carbon dioxide from power stations, helping to fight climate change.
Eva Bachmair University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health Hi, I am working with platelets the special cells in our blood which are able to stop bleeding from wounds and I try to find out if and ho we can alter their ability to do that with our diet.
Chris Jordan Jodrell Bank Observatory I’m a support engineer working to on the Radio telescopes at Jodrell bank Observatory, and my mission is to keep the astronomers happy by keeping the data flowing.

Schools

Oulder Hill Community School, Rochdale
Ernest Bevin College, London
William Brookes School, Much Wenlock
Chichester High School For Girls, Chichester
Hambleton and Richmondshire PRS, Northallerton
Hurstpierpoint College, Brighton
Hardenhuish, Chippenham
Carrick Academy, Maybole
Portree High School, Ilse of Skye

Vanadium Zone

Scientists

Chandrika Nair Imperial College London I am a microbiologist trying to understand how bacteria make the poison cyanide in the lungs of Cystic Fibrosis patients and how to stop them.
Matthew Dickinson Uclan Piston Power !!!!.  Creating better greener engines through the power of nano-technology.
Lyndsey Fox University of Leeds I research climate variability 17 to 15 million years ago by studying microfossils. The world was much warmer during this time, so learning more about it will help scientists understand climate change in the future.
Julie Greensmith University of Nottingham I develop artificial immune systems to fight computer viruses and also use biosensors to measure people’s thrill levels during extreme experiences like rollercoasters and motorbikes.
Alex Davenport Barts and the London School of Medicine and dentistry I work on blood cancers and the testing of a particular drug which we believe will be able to repair the ability of the immune system to fight the cancer.

Schools

Arnold Hill School, Arnold
Kingsbury High School, London
Yardleys, Birmingham
Lucton School, Leominster
Oaklodge Special School, London
All Saints RC High, Rossendale
Chepstow Comprehensive School, Chepstow
The Chantry High School, Worcester

Posted on June 3, 2011 modemily in Event News, News | Leave a comment

Announcement: Zones for June

The next I’m a Scientist event, in June, will be the biggest ever. Wondering what zones we’ll have? Well wonder no more!

Themed zones

Sports Science Zone
Quantum Zone (sponsored by the Institute of Physics)
Microbiology Zone
Marine and Underwater Science Zone
Healthy Ageing Zone (sponsored by Research Councils UK)
Genes Zone
Forensic Science Zone
Evolution Zone
Energy Generation Zone
Ecology Zone
Brain Zone

General Zones

Phosphorous
Sulphur
Calcium
Scandium
Titanium
Vanadium
Chromium
Manganese
Iron
Cobalt
Nickel
Copper

Themed zones will have scientists who all work on something related to the topic of the zone. The topics were mainly chosen by teachers, because we believe in listening to our participants as much as possible. General zones will have a mix of scientists, from all different areas of science.

We’re particularly excited about our two sponsored zones – Quantum Zone (all about very very small things), sponsored by the Institute of Physics, and Healthy Ageing (all about research into living healthily and happily as we get older), sponsored by Research Councils UK and their friends at the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Research Programme.

We’re also very grateful to Kerboodle, the personalised online learning service for teachers and students, for their support and sponsorship.

And, as always, enormously grateful to the lovely Wellcome Trust, who provide the bulk of our funding. We couldn’t do it without them!

Posted on May 5, 2011 modemily in Event News, News | Leave a comment

Congratulations to the March event student winners!

We would like to congratulate the following winning students from the March 2011 event. The moderators thought they all asked good questions and really engaged with the event.

The students winners of I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here! are:

Name School Zone
Andrew Wood Tiffin School Argon
Benjamin Case Mangotsfield Secondary School Chlorine
Erin Ibbetson Broadoak Mathematics & Computing College Forensic Science
Samuel Porter The Kings School, Devon Potassium
Ahmad Dehghani West Thames College Space
Calvin Mallion Chafford Hundred Campus Stem Cell Research

Well done to all the students above! They have now received their student winners certificates and WHSmith vouchers.

We would also like to thank all the other students who participated. Everyone contributed to the brilliant chats and thought provoking questions, which made this year’s I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here! one of the most exciting and fun events yet.

Posted on April 7, 2011 modemily in Event News, News, School | Leave a comment

I’m a Scientist – latest news

You’ve all been asking questions like crazy and having lots of live chats with our lovely scientists. The website has been about 50% busier than at the same time last year!

We were worried that you’d be wearing out the scientists, but they seem to be loving it. One said they are now addicted to live chats. And another says he’s learning new skills  – like the ability to write answers to questions really really fast.

We hope you are having fun. Remember, you’ve got until Friday 25th March to

ASK questions

CHAT to scientists

And, most importantly, VOTE for who you think should get £500!

Don’t forget to ‘like’ scientists’ answers if you think they are good – otherwise how will they know what sort of answers you want?

Remember, this is the event where YOU are in charge.

Posted on March 16, 2011 modemily in Event News | Leave a comment

Day One Gremlins

We prepare a lot for I’m a Scientist. We check our lists, we cross off tasks, we write new lists of things to check. The one thing we can’t really do is test how the site will operate under stress. It really helps to have a couple of hundred students trying to access the live chats for that. This morning you obliged and we found something was lacking.

A piece of technical wizardry called MemcacheD wasn’t running. MemcacheD basically stores the most used parts of the database in memory and it means less work for the database. Without it the database gets overloaded. This morning with three live chats all at the same time it got overloaded and eventually the server stopped working.

The good news is we got MemcacheD started again just before we needed to reboot the server. Since then the site has been used very heavily again but without slowing down the server at all. Yay!

So, I want to say Sorry to the students, teachers and scientists for disrupting the live chats. If any affected teachers would like to rebook please email us as normal. Good luck with the rest of the event.

Posted on March 14, 2011 modemily in Event News | Leave a comment

Who said scientists aren’t funny?

In I’m a Scientist we ask all the scientists to tell us a joke. It turns out everyone loves this bit of the scientist’s profiles, so we thought we would gather them all here together, for your delight and delectation…

Zone

Scientist

Joke

 Beryllium Philip Wadler There are two kinds of people—those who think there are two kinds of people, and those who don’t.
Ian Sillett Why did the scarecrow win a nobel prize? He was outstanding in his field! (Topical?)
Derek Mann Q. What did the fish say when he swam into the wall? A. Dam!
Daniel Mietchen Schrödinger’s cat walks into a bar … and doesn’t.
Boron Vicki Stevenson how many physicists does it take to change a light bulb? 2 – 1 to hold the bulb and 1 to rotate the universe
Keith Brain 3 people travelling in a bus through the Australian countryside see a black sheep; the first says, “ah, so all sheep in Australia are black”; the second says, “No, all we can say is that that particular sheep is black”; the third says, “No, all I can say is that that particular object I call a sheep is black on one side, but of course I don’t expect you to believe me”. So, which is the scientist?
Hywel Vaughan Two sausages are sizzling away in their pan. One turns to the other and says ‘Goodness me it’s hot in here!’. The other rolls over and replies ‘Bahh!!! A talking sausage!!!’
Emma Carter A jump lead walks into a bar and asks for a drink. The bartender says ‘OK, but don’t start anything’
Alastair Sloan Did you know that if a stick insect laid it’s eggs in a jar of Bovril it will give birth to a litter of twiglets
Nitrogen Tim Craggs There are 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don’t. (Hint: what is 10 in binary? – I know – it’s a geeky joke)
Mark Lancaster What do you call a tellytubby who has been burgled? A: A tubby.
Joanna Buckley How do you make Lady Gaga cry? Poke ‘er face.
Donna MacCallum What do you call a mushroom who buys everyone at the bar a drink? …a FUN GUY! Sad, I know.
Oxygen Tom Hardy What do you do when you find a dead chemist? Barium
Matthew Hurley What’s round and growls? – A vicious circle!
Hugh Roderick Two cowboys in a kitchen, which is the real one? The one on the range!
Douglas Blane I like one-liners. Like when they were explaining gravity to Eccles in the Goons: “When you jump up in the air what happens?” “I come back down again.” “Why’s that?” “Cos I live here”.
Fluorine Sarah Bardsley What was the biologist wearing on his first date? Designer jeans.
Paul Roche “Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life”
Mark Roberts A good pun is its own reword
Laura Maliszewski Zero walks up the eight and says “hey- where did you get that belt?”
Neon Zoe Duck manchester city
Sharon Sneddon Why didn’t the skeleton go to the party? Because he had no body to go with!
Louise Dash Q: What goes “oink, 3.14159, oink, 3.14159, oink, 3.14159″? A: A pork pi!
Jon Copley Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you do criticise them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.
Sodium Louisa Chard Two elephants fall off a cliff. Boom Boom!
Heather McKee Have you heard about extreme camping? Its in tents (intense!!)
Beth Dyson What do you call a nun on a washing machine? Sister-matic!
Ben Still Two atoms bump into each other. One says ‘I think I lost an electron!’ The other asks, ‘Are you sure?’, to which the first replies, ‘I’m positive.’
Andrew McKinley What type of bear dissolves in water? A polar bear…
Magnesium Sian Foch-Gatrell Q: What is the fastest way to determine the sex of a chromosome? A: Pull down its genes.
Luisa Ostertag Waaah! I am so bad at this! I’ll try: Plump lady to the waitress: I’d like Death by Chocolate for dessert, but only enough to put me in critical condition. HA HA HA HA! ;o)
Dean Whittaker A neutron walks into a bar, orders a drink and goes to pay. The barman says “It’s ok, no charge for you” (the geekiest joke I know 🙂 )
Alexandra Kamins Heisenberg was speeding down a road, and got pulled over by a cop. The cop swaggers up to Heisenberg’s car and demands, “Do you know how fast you were going?!” Heisenberg begs, “Don’t tell me! I’ll pay the ticket!! Just don’t tell me!” The cop says, “You were going 90!” Heisenberg swears, “Crap. Now I don’t know where I am!” (If you don’t laugh heartily, go look up the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. If you still don’t laugh, let your inner geek out!)
Aluminium Paula Salgado What does the ocean say to a penguin? Nothing, it just waves…
Nathalie Pettorelli I’m rubbish at jokes – I never remember them, and the one I remember isn’t funny when not told in front of people
Laura Dixon Why did the dinosaur cross the road? Because chickens hadn’t evolved yet! Yes, it’s lame but it made me giggle!
Katy Mee Where do you find a one-legged dog?……Where you left it……BOOM BOOM
Hermine Schnetler What are black holes? Things you get in black socks!
Silicon Paula Gilfillan What do you do with dead elements?…Barium!
Marianne Baker What did the fish say when it bumped into a wall? … … … Dam!
Emma Pilgrim Oh crikey I am rubbish at jokes. I will have a think……….
Andrew Maynard Why did the chicken cross the road? Because it was duct-taped to the squirrel. (Shamelessly plagiarized from a good friend!)
Andrew Leitch A farmer was helping one of his cows give birth when he noticed his four-year-old son standing at the fence with wide eyes, taking in the whole event. The man thought to himself, “Great, he’s four years old and I’m gonna have to start explaining the birds and bees now. No need to jump the gun. I guess I’ll let him ask and then I’ll answer.” After everything was over, the man walked over to his son and said, “Well son, do you have any questions?” “Just one,” gasped the wide-eyed lad. “How fast was that calf going when he hit that cow?”
Clean Sarah Burl A mushroom walked into a bar. The bar tender said, “Get out of here! We don’t serve your kind.” “Hey, what’s the problem?” “Just get out of here. We don’t serve mushrooms.” The mushroom in anguish says, “Why not? I’m a fun guy.”
Panos Soultanas What is the dullest element? …. Bohrium
Michael Loughlin Why couldn’t the student E.coli go into the lab? Because it was Staph only….
Mark Travis Please note that in the ‘describe yourself in 3 words’ section, one of the words was not ‘funny’……. I rang the Swine Flu National helpline recently for some advice, but it was useless- all I got was crackling. I’ll get my coat…..
Mark Fogg How about a quote from Douglas Adams, one of my favourite authors, that could apply to me “He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher…or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.” My wife agrees.
Brain William Davies I saw a native Australian the other day playing ‘Dancing Queen’ on the didgeridoo – I thought to myself ‘Hmm, that’s Aboriginal…’
Michelle Murphy What does a brain do when it sees a friend across the street? …… Gives a brain wave
Joanna Brooks What is pink and fluffy? Pink fluff. What is blue pink and fluffy? Pink fluff holding it’s breath.
Jane Henry There’s a visual joke of how men and women spend their time. On the female pie chart talking about relationships is the biggest category, and on the mens its sport!
Fiona Randall I only know rude ones haha
Cancer Mariam Orme Here’s a really geeky science joke: Two atoms meet up at a bar. One asks the other “what’s wrong, you don’t look very happy”. “No”, says the other atom, “I’m a bit worried, I’ve lost an electron”. “Are you sure?” asks the first atom. “Yeah”, says its friend, “I’m positive”.
Leo Garcia What do you call cheese that doesn’t belong to you? Nacho cheese!
Joanna Watson Two fish in a tank. One says to the other one “How do you drive this thing?”
Iain Moal Whats brown and sticky? … A stick.
Gioia Cherubini My italian jokes are all lost in translation 🙁
Poonam Kaushik This duck walks into a convenience store and asks the clerk, “Do you have any grapes?” The clerk says no, and the duck leaves. The next day, the duck returns and asks, “Do you have any grapes?” The clerk again says no, and the duck leaves. The day after that, the duck walks in the store again and asks “Do you have any grapes?” The clerk screams at the duck, “You’ve come in here the past two days and asked if we had any grapes. I told you no every time that we don’t have any grapes! I swear if you come back in here again, and ask for grapes, I’ll nail your webbed feet to the floor!!” The duck left, and returned the next day. This time he asked, “Do you have any nails?” The clerk replied, “No,” and the duck said, “Good! Got any grapes?”
Patience Dorgu The skeleton couldn’t go to the dance, because it had no body to go with!
Joseph Cook What do you call 6.022 x 10^23 avocados? Guacamole.
Dr Hywel Jones Two hydrogen atoms are walking down the street. One says “I think I just lost an electron”, the other says “Are you sure?” and the first one replies “Yes, I’m positive!”. Ba ba boom!!
Drugs Michelle Hudson Why did the banana go to the doctors? Because he wasn’t peeling very well!
Lori-An Etherington Why are there no aspirins in the jungle? Because the Parrots-ate-em-all
Duncan Hull Q: How many mathematicians does it take to change a lightbulb? A: None. It’s left to the reader as an exercise.
Deuan Jones How many quantum physicists does it take to change a lightbulb?… No one knows for sure! hahahahaha.
Darren Nesbeth Q: What do you call cheese that doesn’t belong to you? A: Nacho cheese.
Evolution Maria Pawlowska sorry but it will have to be a Darwin joke. Why did the chicken cross the road? Darwin: It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees.
Laurel Fogarty Ok but I only know nerdy ones and you asked for it…. Two atoms are walking down the road, one isn’t concentrating and walks right into the other. They both fall over, one gets up and says ‘oh my! are you ok’ the other says ‘no no I think I’ve lost an electron’ the first says ‘oh my god are you sure’ the other replies ‘yes I’m bloody positive’!…and let that teach you not to ask scientists for jokes.
Ceri Thomas OK this is bad……How do you tell the sex of a chromosome? Pull down its genes! (Sorry)
Bridget Waller RUBBISH at jokes. 😛
Betul Arslan “Old chemists don’t die, they reach equilibrium” (got nerd?)
Genes Yvette Wilson What was the last thing that went through the fly’s mind when he hit the car windscreen? – His bottom
Steven Kiddle Why did the scarecrow get a nobel prize? He was outstanding in his field
Sian Harding Darth Vader says to Luke Skywalker – “Son, I know what you are getting for Christmas”. Luke says “how is that”. Darth replies “I have felt your presence”
Michaela Livingstone Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the world together.
Louise Johnson What’s green and leaky? A leek!
Imaging Tom Hartley Q: How many crustaceans are there in London? A: Three; King’s Crustacean, Charing Crustacean and St Pan Crustacean.
Steve Roser how do you get 1000 Pikachus on a bus? Poke ‘em on!
Stephen Curry Two beavers are looking up at a massive hydroelectric dam. “I didn’t build it,” says one, “but it is based on my idea!”
Pete Edwards Why are pirates called pirates? Because they ARRRRRRGGGHHHH
Marieke Navin I like really stupid jokes. Ok, a man walked into a bar. He said Ow! It was an iron bar. I know that’s a bit naff…here’s one that’s even worse as it’s a relativity joke: A bar walked into a man…. Sorry! Wrong reference frame!
IVF Vicki Onions 2 lions in a supermarket. One says to the other “quiet in here isn’t it?”
Jo Broadbent What do you call a fairy that needs a bath? Stinkerbell.
Jane Cleal You’re on a horse galloping away at speed. On your right is a sharp drop, on your left is an elephant travelling at the same speed as you. Directly in front of you is a kangaroo and your horse is unable to overtake it. Behind you a lion is chasing you. What must you do to safely get out of this highly dangerous situation??……….Get off the merry go round and act your age!!
Greg FitzHarris What’s green, brown, and would hurt if it fell out of a tree onto you?………………………………………………………… a snooker table
Claire O’Donnell What do you get if you eat the Christmas decorations? Tinsellitis
Sports Sian Lawson How many mules does it take to change a lightbulb? One to hold the bulb, and 305 to rotate the house.
Sally Barber Why did the baker wash his hands?…. Because he kneaded a poo.
Peter Styring Sheffield Wednesday Football Club!
Posted on July 23, 2010 modemily in Event News | Leave a comment

Students! Tell us what you thought about I’m a Scientist, and win a prize.

We're listening! Anatomy of the outer ear. Credit: Medical Art Service, Munich / Wellcome Images

This is a last reminder: We really want to hear from you!

  • What do you think, did you like I’m a Scientist?
  • What did you like/dislike about it?
  • Was it better or worse than normal lessons?

You should fill in our survey and tell us what you think. It helps us make it better for next time. Also you’ll go into a prize draw for £20 WH Smiths vouchers.

Survey is here http://www.surveygizmo.com/s/307117/i-m-a-scientist-june-2010-tell-us-what-you-think-

Thanks for your help!

Posted on July 19, 2010 modemily in Evaluation, Event News | Leave a comment

A scientist gives us the lowdown on what it’s like behind the scenes…

As you all know, there are evictions every day for the rest of the week! You get a vote every day, so remember to keep voting for your favourite scientist.

But how do the scientists feel, being bombarded with questions and then facing eviction? One of the scientists who took part in I’m a Scientist in March, the lovely Louise Buckley, has agreed to tell us about what the scientists taking part are REALLY thinking…

    Louise Buckley

Hey there! I am Louise one of the scientists from the last “I’m a Scientist….” event. This competition is looking even more exciting than when I took part – I cannot believe how many questions are getting asked. It’s a total mash-up of questions – these scientists are going to need to take a holiday afterwards to recover!

I bet the scientists are starting to feel nervous now about who’s going to get evicted. We get labelled ‘the scientists’, but we are only human too. I know I was worried that you guys wouldn’t like me, that I’d get evicted because my science was crap or you thought I was a weirdo. Nobody likes to be evicted first. It’s kinda embarrassing. A bit like being a member of McKinley High’s Glee team 🙁

LMAO – my major fear was that you would ask me loads of questions that I didn’t know the answer too. I was terrified. And you did – and I coped and I learnt loads along the way. I can see from the questions asked at the moment that the scientists at the moment are getting asked loads of challenging questions. Keep ‘em coming. It reminds us that there is soooooo much more to science than our narrow fields of research. We sometimes forget that.

The scientists will be learning at the moment that it is okay to be wrong or not know the answers to every question. Sometimes you guys will know more than us, other times we will know more. You guys taught me that rainbows are circular – and I was like, nah, rubbish, wind-up, but it was true. Today’s scientists are learning all sorts of new things and they are learning them because of you.

But the most important thing that the scientists are learning at the moment is how to communicate our science to young people. Many of us don’t get that opportunity often. I know I was excited but scared that I wouldn’t be able to describe my work in a way that wasn’t total gobbledegook. These scientists are trying to manage it too.

We need to learn how to make our stuff sound interesting. So if you don’t think they have made something clear,  ask and ask and ask again. Don’t “Yeah, checked out of this conversation a minute ago…” (sorry Sue Sylvester!) Give ‘em feedback, show interest, and you can make today’s scientists better. Remember they are all terrified of being evicted so DON’T be too tough on them personally – but DO give them a hard time scientifically. And that’s how Sue Louise sees it!

Posted on June 23, 2010 modemily in Evaluation, Event News | Leave a comment

FIFA delays kick off for IAS breaking eviction news

Well no, OK, funnily enough FIFA aren’t changing their match times because of I’m a Scientist evictions. But we do have an eviction planned for 3.30pm on Wed, during the England vs Slovenia game. Because we are kind, caring people here at I’m a Scientist, we have decided to bring the time of Wednesday’s eviction forwards to 3pm.

    Football! Credit: John Wildgoose. Wellcome Images

This means that you (and the moderators, who’ve been working very hard, and deserve a break) can relax and watch the match, with your eviction worries behind you.

Apologies to those of you not supporting England, but we would move evictions for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland matches too. If there were any.

Also apologies to those of you who don’t like football. Me either. I and the two non-English mods will be looking after the site on our own while the match is on. Please try not to break anything.

Other evictions this week will be at the usual time of 3.30pm.

Posted on June 22, 2010 modemily in Event News | Leave a comment

So what do the scientists plan to do if they win?

As you all know, the winner of I’m a Scientist gets a £500 grant to spend on science communication. And you students decide who gets it! So we thought we’d have a little look at some of their plans for the money. Here’s a few of the more interesting ones:-

Beryllium Treasure Hunt

Daniel Mietchen, from Beryllium Zone, is planning to share a bit of it (£50!) with the first student to work out his scientific puzzle. This is open to all students, not just in Beryllium Zone, so get your thinking caps on if you think you’d make a good scientific detective!

Scan your Teacher

Tom Hartley, in Imaging Zone, would use the money to scan one class’s teacher’s brain. While the teacher does a task chosen by the class. No, rude things not allowed I’m afraid. But you might be able to see inside your teacher’s head!

The Cheesiness of Science

Stephen Curry, also in Imaging Zone intends to make a video about what science is really like, and how you don’t have to be a genius to be a scientist. He’s made a trailer for you and called it the Cheesiness of Science.

Schools underwater explorer

Jon Copley, Of Neon Zone, is going to spend the money on special computer equipment, so that school classes can take control of one of his team’s underwater vehicles and use it to explore the bottom of the sea! If your class finds a new creature down there, then you’ll even get to name it:-)

That’s just a taster of the plans some of the scientists have for the money you are awarding them. What do you think of those ideas? Remember if you like a scientist but think they should have a different plan for the money, you can suggest it to them!

No, you can’t suggest giving the money to you. It has to be for communicating science!

Posted on June 21, 2010 modemily in Event News | Leave a comment

Latest event news: Schools chosen, scientists next week

We’ve now chosen the schools to take part in I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here! March 2010. 70 teachers, in every setting from selective grammar schools to young offender institutions, will be logging on with their students and talking to real scientists. Then those students will be choosing which scientist gets a public engagement grant of £500.  Nothing engages young people like giving them some power.

Choosing the schools has been agonising as we’d love to include everyone but we’ve been very over-subscribed with five classes wanting to take part for every space. We’ve tried to ensure a mix of types of school, types of class and school location.

Many teachers wanted to take part with a whole year group (or two or three whole year groups in some cases!), which is great. We know from I’m a Councillor that getting the whole year group involved really adds to the buzz about the event and has students talking about it outside the classroom. However, as March is a fairly small scale event we have restricted it to one or two classes per school.

I hope that the teachers will see March as a way to test out the event, and then take part in June with many more classes. We know that having seen it in action once helps teachers make the most out of the event the second time.

Teachers can now register their interest in the June event

Scientists

We are still taking registrations for scientists who want to take part in March. We’ll close registrations and choose the scientists next Friday (19th Feb). So far all sorts of fascinating scientists have signed up. Here’s just a few of the things they are studying:-

  • Climate change in Antarctica
  • What happened just after the big bang
  • Undersea volcanoes
  • The origins of co-operative behaviour
  • The molecular basis of schizophrenia
  • Ways to reduce the use of animals in research

And loads more! Choosing the scientists next week is going to be every bit as agonising… But, there’s still plenty of time to sign up if you are interested in taking part. Please pass it on to any scientists you think may be interested.

Info for scientists here

Registration for scientists here

Posted on February 12, 2010 in Event News, IAS Event | Leave a comment