Teacher information – Enquiry Zone

The Enquiry Zone is a chance for primary school students to help design and carry out their own research project. It gives students ownership over research and an input into all stages of the project, helping them gain a real insight into how science works.

First, in the online ‘Design stage’, six psychologists will propose an idea for a ‘Citizen Science’ research project they can carry out with the help of your students. Over two weeks you and your class will help the psychologists make their ideas better.

Students will:

  • Question the psychologists about what they want to find out in ASK and Live CHATS – Teachers can question too
  • Answer questions from psychologists about what they will need to make the project work in a school environment
  • Suggest new things to investigate that the psychologists won’t have thought of
  • VOTE for their favourite research project they want to carry out.

Your class gets two Live CHATS, one in each week, to allow students to get more involved with the design of the projects and give feedback to the psychologists after discussions in class. 

Your class will then carry out the winning research project at a time that suits you (we recommend before the Easter holidays). See below for a timeline of how everything works or read about the previous Enquiry Zone project.

How to take part

Select Enquiry Zone on the November 2019 zone survey we emailed you. We recommend taking part with Y6/P7 students.

New to our activities? Apply to take part using the form at imascientist.org.uk/teachers.

Note: Enquiry Zone is a longer commitment than a usual two-week activity. Please only apply if you can commit the class time needed (2-3 lessons) to carry out the research itself in before the end of the school year (we recommend by the Easter holidays).

If you have any questions, contact michaela@mangorol.la

Enquiry Zone timeline

Stage 0 – Sign-up and pre-event preparation

23rd September
Deadline to apply for the Enquiry Zone taking place in November 2019

1st October
You’ll be told if you have a place in the Enquiry Zone, and can book your live chat sessions.

28th October
Students log in to read the psychologists’ profiles, find out about their research ideas and start planning questions they want to ask about the projects.

Stage 1 – Designing and choosing the research idea

11th – 22nd November – the online Enquiry Zone! 

Week One (11th-15th November)

  • Students read profiles for each idea, ASK questions and leave comments about the psychologists and their project plans
  • Live CHAT on a date to suit you, for students to help psychologists design their projects
  • Increase parental engagement with an evening chat on Thursday 14th November, 7-8pm
  • Students cast their first VOTE for the project they want to carry out

Week Two (18th-22nd November)

  • Psychologists update their research ideas to reflect feedback from students
  • Students continue to ASK, comment and have a second live CHAT
  • Second evening chat on Thursday 21st November, 7-8pm
  • Students cast their final VOTE
  • The winning research idea is announced at 3pm on Friday 22nd!


Stage 2 – Feedback on draft lesson plans

9th – 16th December
We will send you the first draft of the winning lesson plans. Discuss it with your class and post your feedback on the site by 16th December. You can also continue to post questions about carrying out the experiment on the site, or suggestions for improvements.

Stage 3 – Carry out the Enquiry Zone research project

14th January – Easter break
You will be sent the winning lesson plans, plus a hard copy and any resources in the post.

You can carry out the project at a date that suits you (we’d recommend before the Easter holidays). It should take 2-3 lessons.

Then you’ll need to report back to the winning psychologist about how it all went, and send them your data and conclusions.


Stage 4 – Final report

Summer term
The winning psychologist will collate data from all the schools, and report back to you with a conclusion to share with your class.