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I’ve recently heard of a competition called I’m a scientist – Get me out of here and I must say that I love the concept. Basically, it is a free online event a little bit like an X Factor-style (yes, I know, shameful but I do watch it) competition for scientists, where students are the judges.
How does it work? Scientists put up a profile on the I’m a Scientist website where students then ask questions and challenge them over fast-paced online live chats. Overall, over a two week-period (17–28 June), there will be around an hour of live text chats and an hour answering questions each day so it is a fun way of developing communication skills, gaining a fresh perspective on your research, and finding out what young people think about science and the role of scientists.
The objective is to get school students to meet and interact with scientists and it works very well. Plus everything happens on the web, so participants can join in without leaving their desk. In addition, students have the option to vote and the winning scientist gets £500 to spend on science communication. Not bad!
A number of Societies and professional bodies are supporting the competition and the Royal Society of Chemistry, for example, is sponsoring the Energy Zone, which will cover the science of and issues relating to maintaining a supply of affordable, secure energy.
Scientists who want to take part need to apply before 6 May 2013.
Students who want to take part need to get their teacher to sign up asap.
Good luck and happy chatting to all!
Bibiana Campos Seijo