What is the event?
I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here! is an award-winning science enrichment and engagement activity. It takes place online (so it’s accessible to everyone – you can take part from your lab!) over a two week period. It’s an Australian Idol meets X-Factor-style competition for scientists, where students are the judges.
The event gets teenagers talking to real scientists, online, and learning about real science. Students have fun, but also get beyond stereotypes, learn about how science relates to real life, develop their thinking and discussion skills and make connections with real scientists.
How does the event work?
You interact online with young people (Year 5 – Year 12, i.e. 10-18 years old), answering their questions about science, research, and just about everything else. You also listen to students’ opinions on science and get them thinking about how science affects their daily lives.
ASK you questions
CHAT to you online about you, your research and science
Then VOTE for the scientist they think deserves the prize
The event itself lasts for two weeks, but before the event starts you should fill in your online profile so students can explore the scientists in their zone in the two weeks before the event. The time commitment depends on how busy your zone is, and how long you spend on your answers. Our best guess is volunteering about 2 hours a day speaking with your audience.
A computer with an internet connection (and that’s all!)
Dates for 2014
- We are currently seeking partners for 4th – 15th August 2014
We’re taking our cues from the UK. Initially they only included practicing scientists, but realised we were missing out a lot of perspectives. In both the UK and Australia, we’ll consider anyone who can cast some light on science issues and ‘Science as a Human Endeavour’. For example, ethicists, historians of science, policy-makers, philosophers and sociologists of science, and also science communicators and journalists. Having a Bachelor of Science is a good indication of eligibility but if you think you have a perspective that could help teenagers think about science and society issues, then please apply.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ – you will be asked many questions which are not in your area, and it shows students that there’s no reason why, for example, a psychologist should know about how much the moon weighs.
Benefits of taking part
- Taking part in I’m a Scientist develops your communication skills – this is the most mentioned benefit.
- It can re-energise you about your own science, and get you thinking differently.
- You will make a difference. And you’ll be learning too. Teenagers ask all sorts of questions – from the cheeky to the thought-provoking. They fizz with energy and can be infectious company.
Get your boss on board
We’d strongly advise telling your boss if you’re taking part in the event, and getting their support if you can. Several scientists have said that their boss knowing about the event and suporting them taking part made a big difference. Questions on the website can be answered during the evening, but live chats have to be during the school day. So if you want to take part in live chats, you will mainly be doing so during working hours.
Also, many scientists found themselves discussing some of the more intriguing questions with colleagues. This can be one of the most stimulating things about the event. Get your lab or office involved in the fun!
What have others said?
Dr Mark Fogg from York University wrote a moving blogpost about participating in the June 2010 event, which really conveys the impact that taking part can have on scientists.