Formative evaluation is absolutely key to understanding what students and scientists have got out of the event, and it helps us continuously improve the event.
Evaluation of our events includes inviting feedback from all participants (scientists, students and teachers) via an online survey, as well as gathering data regarding page views, user journeys and time spent on each respective page via Google Analytics. We also receive feedback from teachers and parents during the event via email/twitter, sharing the excitement and engagement of students beyond the classroom. We hear about how the event is influencing discussions in the car journey to school, at home across the dinner table, and observation of student debate and discussion during break times.
What teachers had to say about the August 2013 event:
“My students are loving it! One student said, almost shaking, “I just can’t explain it, I can’t believe it, I���m just so excited” Another, student, is just over the Moon with all your chats ��� he can’t wait for the next one!” – Teacher, Queensland
“Students that I have heard in the past say they hate science, spoke highly of the work that some of the scientists were doing. As year 9 students it definitely got them thinking.” – Teacher, New South Wales
Sponsor’s Report – August 2013
Support from the Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy (DMITRE) (SA) and the Waite Research Institute (WRI) enabled us to deliver our fifth event since our pilot in 2011. Three zones were hosted, including one general science zone and two themed zones: Nitrogen (general); Brain; and Micro Life. Participating scientists were from across the country in disciplines including psychology, sleep science, biochemistry, computer science, zoology, astronomy and explosive and wine chemistry. Each zone consisted of 5 scientists and approximately 250 students in years 5 – 12. Some schools participated for a second or third time, and others were new to the event, including a school from Baltimore, USA, evidence of the growing popularity and success of I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here!. Overall 691 students asked 980 questions on our forum and participated in 60 live chats.
Brain Zone Report – August 2013
Compiled by the I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here, Australia team as a summary of zone activities and outcomes, this 3-page report contains moderator observations and analysis of web statistics for the August 2013 Brain Zone.
Brain was one of the busiest zones this season, with 395 questions in the Ask section from 232 students, and a total of 22 Live Chats during the two-week event. With no restrictions on what they can ask, students quizzed scientists about a variety of things from why people have eyebrows to what area of your brain do you use most as a scientist. Sarah the psychologist and sleep scientist, Peter the neuroscientist, Kristyn the researcher looking into how the brain heals itself, and PhD students Josien and Emma all did a great job at answering the questions that were put to them. Their brains and their typing skills got a rather good work out.
Micro Life Zone Report – August 2013
Compiled by the I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here, Australia team as a summary of zone activities and outcomes, this 3-page report contains moderator observations and analysis of web statistics for the August 2013 Micro Life Zone.
Micro Life was the quietest of our zones in terms of questions in the Ask section, but one of the busiest for Live Chats – 214 students from 8 schools took part in 21 Live Chats during the two-week event. The zone was aptly named to represent the micro sized things being researched by the scientists within the zone – from what makes cells decide to live or die to how bacteria and enzymes can inform the development of new drugs. We had Sam the biochemist, Mia the microbiologist, Melanie the university lecturer, Anissa the medical researcher, and Eleanor the protein crystallographer all answering questions that tested their on-the-spot scientific knowledge.
Nitrogen Zone Report – August 2013
Compiled by the I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here, Australia team as a summary of zone activities and outcomes, this 3-page report contains moderator observations and analysis of web statistics for the August 2013 Nitrogen Zone.
Nitrogen was supported by zone sponsor DMITRE (SA) and scientist sponsor the Waite Research Institute. It was one of the busiest zones this season, with a record breaking 428 questions in the Ask section (previously held by March 2013 Disease zone with 399 questions) from 245 students, and a total of 17 Live Chats during the two-week event. With such a wide variety of science covered by our five scientists students quizzed them about a whole host of different things, from the science behind sexuality to the risk of a real zombie apocalypse.
Peter the computer software designer, Mick the explosive detecting PhD student, Mia the working dog welfare researcher, astronomical instrument scientist Kyler, and wine chemist David all did a great job at answering the questions that were put to them. Their science knowledge and typing skills were challenged, and thinking outside of the box got their brains working overtime.
Reports from previous events
Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARES);
Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations (CRDC).
|Sponsor’s Report (PDF)|
Evaluation of the events is undertaken in-house due to tight budget constraints. Additional funding would help us complete a more detailed formative evaluation of the event in Australia as well as a summative evaluation looking at the impact of the event on student learning and development. Sponsorship opportunities exist for the event as a whole, individual zones and specific elements of the event, such as the aforementioned evaluation. Further information on how you could sponsor this event can be found at here.
The UK team have been able to compile a series of evaluation reports on the UK version of the event, upon which I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here! in Australia is based.