A student-led online outreach activity giving students more chances to personally engage with a scientist.

ACTIVITIES & TARGET GROUPS

  • Teachers take their class online at https://imascientist.org.uk
  • students aged 8 – 18 read scientist profiles, participate in an online real time text based chat, ask questions and vote for the scientist they want to win the £500 prize.

START OF THE PROJECT

01.03.2008 

ORGANISATION

Mangorolla CIC 

COSTS

€200,000 total on engaging school students in 2018

  • Prize money: €25,000
  • Moderation: €25,000
  • Teacher Packs: €20,000
  • Evaluation: €30,000
  • Hosting and site maintenance: €30,000
  • Staff management costs: €70,000

IMPACT

In 2018 across the UK, Ireland & Spain we connected 21,500 students and 280 scientists/engineers. Together they asked over 25,000 questions and wrote 250,000 lines of live chat.
“I thought scientists just looked like they do in the film flubber and experimented on aliens or weird stuff but when I found out you liked taylor swift I realised you are more down to earth and not like mad scientist x” – a non student, Ireland
“I used to think scientist people were only white people, and I used to think that scientist people are only people from the olden days; but I came to know that scientist people can come from any part of the world.” — Mercy, Student, Kenya.

PARTNERS

  • Wellcome Trust
  • Science Foundation Ireland
  • Institute of Physics
  • Royal Academy of Engineering
  • British Psychological Society (…)

KEY LEARNINGS

  • Provide a purpose to engagement. The prize vote provides a purpose for the students to get to know the scientists.
  • Text based communication can be superior to video and audio. It feels more like a conversation between equals whereas scientists appearing in class via video reinforces existing power structures.
  • Scientists benefit enormously from participation. It improves communication skills, understanding of public perceptions and boosts their confidence & desire to do more science communication.

CONTACT DETAILS

Shane McCracken, Website

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