June 2016 Zones

I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here will run for two weeks from Monday 13th to Friday 24th June 2016.

This June, your favourite online science engagement activity returns with MORE themes, MORE scientists, and MORE questions. Who will emerge victorious? As always, the students will decide!

Read about the zones below, or if you want to jump straight to the application, teachers apply here: imascientist.org.uk/teachers and scientists here: imascientist.org.uk/scientist-apply.

MRSA, in purple, a very antibiotic-resistant ‘superbug’, being eaten by a white blood cell. They must have been out of ice-cream. | Image: NIH

Antibiotics Zone

Antibiotics are drugs that kill bacterial cells, or slow their growth, and without them many common infections would be deadly. A new problem we’re facing is bacteria developing resistance to drugs we’ve used for decades. So what’s next? In this zone there could be scientists making new chemicals to deal with bacteria, or scientists who use maths to fight very dangerous hospital superbugs, or researchers looking at how the cells of our immune system deal with bacteria.

This zone is funded by Royal Society of Chemistry and the Biochemical Society. To be eligible to take part in this zone, scientists should be a member of either of these societies.

Catalysis Zone

Catalysts are critical for making materials and resources on industrial scales. They are the coffee of chemical reactions, making it easier for useful products to be created and speeding up how fast they’re made. Scientists in this zone could be improving the catalysts we have already, or finding new ways of using them. They could be using catalysts to solve problems in society such as reducing CO2, or producing new renewable fuels and materials. They could even be looking at catalysts in biology, such as enzymes that help breakdown your food.

This zone is funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry and to be eligible for this zone, scientists should be a member of this society.

Cells Zone

Cells are the basic building blocks of all living things, acting like mini-compartments for biological equipment. Our bodies are made up of roughly 100 trillion cells and hundreds of different types of cells make up the different parts of our bodies. Nerve cells send and receive electrical signals traveling around the body at 20mph! And muscle cells allow us to move and keep our heart beating. Cancer is caused when cells go rogue; they break the rules about when they should grow and multiply until they are out of control. Scientists in this zone will be studying cells to learn more about how they reproduce and die, or learning more about disease and cancer and finding new treatments.

This zone is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Ecosystems Zone

Ecosystems are everywhere. Really everywhere. From classic coral reefs to your bedroom, life finds a way (to mess with other life). Just like ecosystems, the scientists studying them get everywhere. All over the world, you’ll find them researching the part each organism plays in the workings of ecosystems. This can be through looking at the plants the animals eat, the different animals that are hunted for food or by looking at the amount of excretion emitted by animals (ergh!) that can go on to fertilise plants. This zone could also include people researching what happens when a new animal gets involved in an established ecosystem, and they could be looking at what the effects of changing climate is doing to ecosystems.

This is a primary school zone funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Parasites Zone

“Hi there! Lice to eat you, to eat you, lice! Just some parasite humour there… To break the lice!” – Opening of Tony Louse’s stand up DVD| Image: Gilles San Martin

Parasites are living things that have evolved to live inside or on another type of organism. This relationship is one sided in favour of the parasite. Famous parasitic relationships include humans and head lice, and rats being mind controlled by toxoplasma gondii. Parasites also cause some of the worst diseases we know, such as malaria, so understanding them is really important. Scientists in this zone could be studying the evolution of parasites, or what roles they play in ecosystems. They could be looking at how our own bodies deal with parasites and researching ways for us to counter those harmful to humans.

This zone is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

General Science Zones

General Science Zones take five different scientists from a wide range of research areas. We welcome any type of scientist to apply for these zones, as the more diverse they are, the better.

June 2016 General Science Zones

Apply now to take part!


Teachers apply here: imascientist.org.uk/teachers
Apply before Monday 25th April
We’ll send an email out soon after you sign up asking which zones and how many classes you would like to bring online.


Scientists apply here: imascientist.org.uk/scientist-apply
Apply before Monday 2nd May
Take a look at this page for our advice on your application!


This June we’ll also be running 5 zones in I’m an Engineer. Click here for more information.

Posted on April 5, 2016 by modantony in News. Comments Off on June 2016 Zones