The Life Science Centre sits at the heart of unique science village in Newcastle upon Tyne. In a typical year, their visitor’s centre welcomes an average of 300,000 people. But 2020 was not a typical year. “Once we entered lockdown, we were looking for ways to engage with schools,” says Toni Hamill, Education Programme and Partnership Manager for the Centre for Life. “I’m a Scientist was really useful because we know that it’s safe, and it had been used in hundreds of schools across the UK already.” The Visit Zone ran on the I’m a Scientist platform from October to December 2020.
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While teachers come to I’m a Scientist for tried-and-tested STEM engagement with in-built safeguarding, they also find lots of additional benefits to text-based communication for their students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, video conferencing (with all its glitches and delays) quickly became the norm. However, when the Royal Institution Youth Summit was not able to take place in-person in October 2020, I’m a Scientist was chosen to host the summit online.