In March 2020, schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, creating uncertainty in education. Many STEM enrichment activities for students were cancelled.
The Green Zone (green.imascientist.ie) was part of the I’m a Scientist, Stay at home event.
The Zone ran over 6 weeks and was funded by Science Foundation Ireland.
■ 80 scientists created profiles in the Zone, and 66 engaged with students in live chats and answering questions. 40 of these were new to the I’m a Scientist activities.
■ Scientists from a broad range of areas and career stages took part. For example, Roisin Jones is a chemistry researcher at ThermoFisher Scientific, Simon Spichak works at University College Cork as a Neuroscientist, and Dimitar Shterionov is an assistant professor in computing at ADAPT Centre in Dublin.
■ 191 students from 15 schools all over Ireland logged into the Zone. 12 of these schools had taken part in a previous I’m a Scientist activity.
■ 82% of participating students came from DEIS or underserved schools.
■ 25 live chats took place during the event. 147 posted questions were approved and sent to the researchers who responded with 896 answers.
■ On average, 6 researchers attended each live chat session, providing students with a wide variety of roles and people to learn about.
■ Each week, students voted for their favourite Scientists of the Week, with four scientists announced as winners during the event.