James won the Sustainability Zone in November 2014 and here reports back on how the prize money was used for science communication. We used the I’m a Scientist funding on various open day and open evening events hosted by the UCD school of chemistry. These included dedicated chemistry events, general science undergraduate and postgraduates events and overall university events. The money was spent on printing periodic tables for distribution to visiting students and also in organizing guided tours of the school’s undergraduate and postgraduate facilities which were facilitated by PhD students in the school. The school has an active outreach programme that includes participation in university and college events as well as organising events of our own. We also visit a large number of primary and secondary schools and also actively organize for visits of secondary school students on internships.
Shane won the Helium Zone in 2013. Here he reports back on what he’s been able to do with his €500 prize money… Partaking in the I’m A Scientist Get Me Out Here competition during the Autumn of 2013 was an exhilarating experience to say the least. During that period, I found myself warrened away in a darken library, attempting to write up my PhD. The IAS competition was exactly what I needed to frame the “why” of all my hard-worn successes (and failures) of the PhD process. My goal for the past decade has been to inspire younger generations in the wonders of the world; its biological wonders, its chemical complexities and its physical enigmas. IAS provided exactly that outlet and, as the below use of my prize money attests to, has resulted in my being firmly embedded in science education for Ireland. Although at times quite frantic (especially the live chats … Continue reading
As part of this year’s activity we are running a non-school zone similar to our Learning Zone – just with farmers instead of teachers. We are looking to run the zone in November and we now need to recruit someone to run the project with us. Ideally we’ll find someone who understands the research in the area and knows the irish farming community. We have a full job specification. It’s could be a full time role or something part-time depending on the applicant. Please get in touch via email or on the phone – +44 1225 326892 – if you are interested.
In the I’m a Scientist Ireland project pilot in 2012 we ran three zones, since then we have run four zones every year. While we were under capacity in the pilot, the demand for the activity from teachers has remained relatively consistent and looks to be increasing. Assuming the trend carries on, we would easily be able to run a fifth or even sixth zone in November this year. The story in I’m an Engineer is a little different. For the past couple of years we have run two I’m an Engineer events each year; one with the I’m a Scientist event in November, and one in February to coincide with Engineers Week Ireland. In the first year, we saw teachers favouring the November event albeit only slightly, in 2015/16 though we saw a huge shift towards February, with demand being almost twice what was expected. The increased demand is too big to come only … Continue reading
Claire was voted the winner of the Nanoscience Zone in November 2015. She got straight to work making the most of her €500 and here she tells us all about what she’s been able to do with it… Initially before taking part in the I’m A Scientist competition I had decided that I would make some short animated videos that would help students with understanding complicated ideas. However during the online chats while I was talking with a few students it became clear that they would prefer a visit to the research labs where I am doing my PhD. When I won, I got planning with the Education and Outreach Officer, Aoife MacCormac, in the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute (this is the research centre where I carry out my work). I extended the invitation to as many schools as possible that were able to visit and in the end I had 26 students … Continue reading
In 2015, we ran six zones: Three I’m a Scientist themed zones (Nanoscience, Drug Synthesis and Food Science), one I’m a Scientist general zone (Nitrogen Zone) with a mix of scientists from different areas, one I’m an Engineer themed zone around computing (Boole Zone) and one general engineering zone (Metre Zone). Our key findings in 2015: We have improved I’m an Engineer audience numbers since last year. In 2014 we ran I’m an Engineer for the first time in Ireland and we got an average of 208 students logged in per zone. In 2015, we have even exceeded our target of 330 students per zone, with 377 students in the Boole Zone, and 350 in the Metre Zone. We have improved the diversity of the scientists and engineers taking part. 10% of the participants were from a black or minority ethnic background, and we got a perfect gender balance in both … Continue reading
After every event we ask the zone winners to write a short blog post to be sent to all the students in who took part in the zone. It’s a great way for the scientists to reflect on the previous two weeks and thank all the students for voting for them. Let’s take a look the winners from I’m a Scientist Ireland 2015 had to say… Sinead, Drug Synthesis Zone I didn’t realise at the time I signed up just how much I would be waiting in expectation of the next chat, or for new questions to appear in the ASK section. Talking about science with you guys, on your terms and with your questions, was enjoyable and an honour. Being able to share my love of science with you filled me with a sense of pride and really reminded me what science is for: to learn and to pass … Continue reading
Sive Finlay won the Lithium Zone back in November 2013, and won €500 to spend on public engagement with science. Here she tells us what she got up to with it… I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in I’m a Scientist and winning the prize money was an unexpected bonus of a great experience. I donated the money to the Trinity College Dublin Zoological Museum: a beautiful, unusual collection of animals which forms an important part of the Zoology department’s public outreach activities. Founded in 1777, the museum houses a collection of over 25,000 unusual specimens, some of which date back to the voyages of Captain Cook. It is an important teaching resource for the college and contains many examples of extinct and endangered species including a Tasmanian wolf, passenger pigeon, kakapo and Giant Irish Deer remains. The museum is in the midst of major refurbishment while we welcome more public visitors and school groups than ever before. My prize money … Continue reading