Teacher FAQs

If you can’t find what you need below, contact teachers@imascientist.org.uk or call 01225 326 892.

 

General information

How do I apply?

Fill in the application form.

We’ll be in touch by email to let you know if you have a place.

 

When do the activities run?

I’m a Scientist runs in four week long Zones, all term.
Apply to take part in as many of these month-long zones as you like. Take part on the dates that best suit your schedule.

 

What’s the benefit for students?

Students sometimes struggle to see the applications of the things they learn in science lessons. Especially if they don’t currently have science-related aspirations. I’m a Scientist supports the development of students’ science capital through meaningful interactions with working scientists.

In I’m a Scientist, students:

  • See that scientists are normal people, with similar hobbies and interests to them
  • Discover the wide range of STEM careers available to them
  • Learn that careers aren’t limited to biology, chemistry, and physics
  • Have equal voice. Those too shy to speak up in class are comfortable with the text-based platform
  • Get excited about science and are more engaged in lessons following the activity

More benefits

Don’t take our word for it — take a look at some teacher case studies to see how I’m a Scientist can truly make a difference to students.

Still not sure? Read this list of five reasons why I’m a Scientist is worth your lesson time.

 

Who can take part?

Students lead the conversations in I’m a Scientist. All age groups, ability levels, and backgrounds get something out of taking part. The activity is open to:

  • Year 5 to Year 13
  • Primary schools, secondary schools and academies
  • Sixth form colleges
  • Special schools
  • Pupil referral units and other non-mainstream educational settings

Apply to have multiple classes taking part. Getting a whole year group involved with the activity means bigger benefits and widespread change in attitudes towards science and STEM careers.

 

What is a ‘Zone’?

I’m a Scientist is divided into Zones. Zones are either themed, such as Heart Zone or Food Zone, or general, with scientists from a wide range of disciplines taking part.

You can apply for a Zone related to what you’re currently teaching in class.

Students can ask questions to any of the 50+ scientists in your Zone. In live chats your class will be joined by a number of scientists.

 

How much time will it take?

We suggest spending 2 hours on the activity – one preparation lesson, one homework and one live chat session. This can be adapted for your timetable.

We provide all the resources and materials needed, whether you’re running I’m a Scientist with one class or a whole year group. Including suggested lesson plans to suit different students’ abilities.

Outside lessons, students can spend as much time as they like on I’m a Scientist. They can log in any time to read profiles and send questions, and join open chats. We will post details of open chat times on the site.

 

How much does it cost?

We work with a range of organisations to offer fully-funded places to UK state-maintained schools and colleges.

If we receive more applications than we have places available we have to prioritise applications. More information.

Let us know if your school has access to alternative funding such as through your local Uni Connect or careers and aspiration funding. We may be able to create more space to secure places for your school.

Non-state-maintained schools, and schools outside of the UK may be asked to pay a fee to take part. More information here.

 

Do I need any special software or equipment?

All you need are computers with internet access.

Students can take part from school, or home, so it’s ideal for blended learning.

Live chats are text-based (no video or audio needed) and run through this site.

Watch an example chat:

We have had reports that some school networks have been blocking the live chat. To make sure they will work on your system, ask your IT department to add these URLs to your school network whitelist:

*.imascientist.org.uk
*.imanengineer.org.uk
*.imamedic.uk
*.googleapis.com
*.gserviceaccount.com
gstatic.com
firebaseapp.com
firebaseio.com
*.firebaseio.com

 

How secure is it?

No personal details are shared on the site. We moderate all content.

 

How can I get in touch?

Email teachers@imascientist.org.uk
Call the office on 01225 326 892
Tweet us @imascientist

If you are taking part in an activity, you can contact us through the staffroom.

 


Taking part in the activity

What is my dashboard?

You’ll receive a username for the site and instructions to set a password. Log in to access your dashboard.

Oyour dashboard, you can:

  • create a Class to get your students logged in
  • book a live chat
  • keep track of your chats, and cancel if needed
  • see which of your students have logged in
  • see what your students have asked.

 

How do I book a live chat?

After creating a class, you can book a live chat.

You can book one 40-minute live chat per allocated class.

Expect around 6 scientists online for each chat. See which scientists have signed up from your dashboard. Students can see this too.

If no one is available at your booking time, we’ll be in touch with you to rearrange. If you need to, cancel your booking on your Dashboard.

 

What can my students do?

Students can:

  • Read profiles of the 100 scientists in their zone.
  • Ask scientists their questions, about anything they like
  • Comment on questions already on the site
  • Vote for their favourite scientist to win £500

Watch the video to see ASK in action:

 

What are student profiles?

Create a Class on your Dashboard. This will give you a link to share with your students. Students need to visit this link to create their own accounts, and log in.

Once logged in, every student has a profile on the site. There, they can choose a profile picture and write a little bit about themselves. Any answers they’ve received to their ASK questions will also appear on their profiles.

 

What are students voting for?

Students vote for their favourite scientist in each Zone to win a £500 prize.

Scientists must spend it on further science engagement. Scientists have written about what they would spend it on in their profile.

 

I’m having trouble accessing the live chat. What should I do?

Chats open five minutes before the booked start time.
Access the chat by clicking ‘Chat’ at the top of the page. You need to be logged in to type.

If you’re having problems, make sure you and your students are all logged in correctly. Ask students to do a hard refresh (Ctrl + F5) on the live chat page.

If this doesn’t fix the problem, call us ASAP on 01225 326892.

Watch the video to see how students use CHAT:

 

Can I get a transcript of my live chat?

Yes! Once your live chat has ended, a button will let you download the transcript. You must be logged in as a teacher to do this.

If you forget to download it, drop us an email at teachers@imascientist.org.uk

 

Can my students log in outside of their lesson times?

Yes! Students can log in anytime to read profiles, ask questions, read answers and post comments.