The event has been going great and we’re all having a lot of fun. We’re amazed at how busy it is, and what great questions and answers we are seeing. The students, the teachers and of course, the scientists are all total stars. Some of my favourite questions so far:-
The site for the pilot event is www.imascientist.org.uk, please update your bookmarks. https://www.imascientist.org.uk/ will continue to point to this blog. Please go and have a look at the site! If you are not one of the participants you are very welcome to enter the site as a guest, and have a look around. Many of the scientists have got their info up already, and there are also lots of teaching materials, which are free for anyone to use.
Sorry about the delay everyone. The site will be going live in the next hour, but it can take up to 24 hours for the domain change to propagate around the internet. If you can read this then you are not accessing the new site yet. It may be tomorrow before you see the new site at this address. Teachers: In the meantime, you can use the info sheets and the lesson plans (e.g. IVF debate) which do not require the site.
Well, I don’t know if any of you know much about software development, but it seems to be a deeply frustrating business. Basically, every change suddenly has all sorts of unforeseen effects. Or something goes wrong, all of a sudden, and no-one knows why, and then it turns out it was because there’s a comma in the wrong place. Or missing.
This has been even harder than choosing the schools. We ended up cutting out bits of paper with everyone’s details on and moving them all around the desk, making up fantasy groups and trying to see if each group had got everything covered. I really wanted to include almost everyone, but we had to say no to some really great people. However, I think the 15 scientists we’ve picked (five for each group of students) will be fantastic – good communicators, enthusiastic, with interesting work to discuss and raising some thought-provoking issues. I would publish the details on here, but I’ve not had confirmation back from everyone yet. But I can tell you that topics covered range from studying climate change to engineering solutions for rectal incontinence. Which is really quite a range, however you look at it. Teacher packs We’re sending the teacher packs out today to participating teachers. … Continue reading
Hi everyone, I’m back from holidays. Egypt and Jordan were great, Petra stunning, sun shining, people friendly. I am now extremely brown and have lots of exciting new stamps in my passport – which is the main point of going on holiday, isn’t it? Everything here has been continuing apace.
I’m off on holiday, any minute now. I know, it does seem odd, just a few weeks before the event, but we worked out it was the easiest part of the schedule for me to be off for. A lot of the hard work should be out of the way now. Anyway, I just wanted to make sure everybody knows I’m away, so doesn’t feel ignored if I don’t reply to emails. If it’s urgent contact Shane who’ll be looking after things. But otherwise, I promise I’ll get back to you on my return. Scientists interested in taking part should email me, or register via the scientist page, answering the following questions:- Does your work fall within the Wellcome remit (i.e. Biomedicine)? (We can have other scientists taking part, but the majority of our scientists need to be biomedical) Can you give me a two-sentence summary of what you work … Continue reading
Thanks to all the teachers who checked what video format their school systems would allow. We found that none of the formats worked consistently in all schools. Cue lots of headscratching here and thinking we weren’t going to be able to have video clips on the site at all. But then Sai Pathmanathan suggested trying Google Video, which she says worked for her on a previous project with schools. If you’re not all too fed up of the music, please could you try watching this 15 second clip on Google Video, on your school system and telling us if it works. Cheers!
Latest news… Pilot classes Scientists Lesson plans latest
We want to be able to put video clips up on the site, but we need to work out what format works for school systems (embedded links to YouTube are easiest, but many school systems block YouTube, for obvious reasons). We’ve put very short test clips up on this page, if you get a minute it would be fantastic if you could test these on your school system to see which ones work (if any).
Lots of people have written back to me with comments on the draft plans for the teacher packs. Thanks everyone!
Well we’ve been beavering away here in I’m a Scientist Towers. We’ve taken on a freelancer to develop the teacher packs. Becky Davies usually works at Techniquest
Just a reminder to anyone who doesn’t know, National Science and Engineering Week starts today. There’s a searchable online programme here. There’s stuff all over the country, and also some online things, which you might find useful resources. And speaking of useful resources, I love Quirkology.
I have been wandering around the office looking smug at people today, and was even, at one point, quite tempted to do a little victory dance. Why was that, you say? Ah, I’m glad you asked!
This is a quick summary of what we’ve found out so far from teachers. It’s been really useful talking to them. Most have been excited about the event, but some exhibited what you might call a bit of skepticism about the new GCSE curriculum,
I’ve been very interested by this study, which has got a lot of coverage today. It’s a meta-analysis of studies on anti-depressants and apparently shows that they don’t work.
We’ve been asking lots of questions of the sort of people who might get involved in the event, to work out what they want from it, how we should set things up, etc. Apparently this is called formative evaluation*.
Following on from my remarks about YouTube in the classroom, I’ve come across ScienceHack, a search engine that helps you find science content on YouTube.
I’ve been looking at research on young people’s attitudes to science. Partly to help me work out how we are going to measure any change caused by taking part in I’m a Scientist, and partly to help me understand what their attitudes are and so inform the materials we put together. One of the most interesting things I’ve found out is that according to this
Yesterday we did our second school visit, to watch a modern science lesson in action. Shane and I realised it was a long time since we were in a secondary school science lab, so thought we’d better see how it’s changed.