Below are a few FAQs that help explain the activity. Taking part and looking for help running it in your class? You need the I’m a Scientist Teacher Resources.
If you want to talk to a human, contact email@example.com or call 01225 326 892.
Taking part in the activity
Click here and fill in the registration form. We’ll email you before the next activity starts to ask if you want to take part with your students.
I’m a Scientist is running on demand this autumn. From the 1st September onwards, I’m a Scientist will be available for teachers to connect their students with scientists. Every four weeks a new zone with new scientists will open, keeping it fresh and exciting for everyone.
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. We support 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 hobbies and interests just like them
- Discover the wide range of STEM careers available to them
- Learn that careers aren’t just limited to biology, chemistry, and physics
- Have equal voice — even those too shy to speak up in class can use the text-based platform to connect with scientists
- Get excited about science and are more engaged in lessons following the activity
Don’t just 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.
Students lead the conversations in I’m a Scientist, which means all age groups, ability levels, and backgrounds are able to get something out of taking part. The activity is open to:
- Year 5 to Year 13
- Sixth form colleges, special schools, pupil referral units and other non-mainstream educational settings
There are a maximum of 40 student logins assigned per class, but schools can apply to have multiple classes taking part — in fact, we recommend it. Getting a whole year group involved with the activity means bigger benefits and widespread change in attitudes towards science and STEM careers.
The I’m a Scientist activity is divided into Zones. The Zones are either themed, such as Heart Zone or Food Zone, or general science. In a themed Zone, all scientists will be working in a field connected to the theme. General Zones feature scientists from a wide range of industries.
Your class will be allocated a Zone and students are able to log in, ask questions and live chat with the 30 scientists in that Zone.
We provide all the resources and materials needed, whether you’re running I’m a Scientist with just one class or a whole year group; including suggested lesson plans and modifications to suit different students’ abilities.
We recommend spending at least 2 hours on the event. This will usually be one introductory lesson, one piece of homework (we suggest reading scientists’ profiles and posting questions in ASK) and one lesson of live chat with the scientists.
Be warned: most teachers, when asked what they would do differently next time, said ‘spend more time on I’m a Scientist’.
Each event 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 on how we do that is here.
If your school has access to alternative funding e.g. through your local NCOP or careers and aspiration funding, please let us know as we may be able to create additional 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.
All you need are computers with internet access for your students. The live chats are text-based (no video or audio needed) and run through this site.
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:
No personal details are shared on the site, and we moderate all content on the site. The only students who can log in are those who’ve been given access by their teacher.
We’d love to hear from you! Contact Michaela via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office on 01225 326 892.
We’re big Twitter fans, so if you’ve got a quick question, or one you think other teachers might also want to know the answer to, you can tweet us @imascientist.
If an event is running, you can also contact us through the staffroom.
Taking part in the activity
Once you’ve received your log in details from us and we’ve confirmed your place on the next event, you’ll need to visit the Live Chat Booking page and fill in the form found there.
You can book one 40-minute live chat per allocated class. It’s a good idea to book your session as soon as you can — slots get filled up quickly and the scientists need enough notice to sign up.
There’s usually around 3 scientists online for each chat. If no one is available at your booking time, we’ll be in touch with you to rearrange.
To cancel or rearrange your chat booking for any reason, please get in touch by email: email@example.com or phone us on 01225 326 892 ASAP. We need to let the scientists know and allow them to get back to their day jobs!
Students need to be logged in to send a questions to scientists through ASK. Once logged into their Zone, students can click the ‘ASK’ button to type their question and choose which of the scientists to send it to.
Watch the video to see ASK in action:
Every student has an unique log in and 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.
This video explains more about student profiles:
Students can access the chat by clicking the ‘Chat’ button at the top of the page. They need to be logged in to be able to type. You can also join in the chat through your teacher account.
We open the chat five minutes before the booked start time. If your booked chat hasn’t opened on time, or you can see the chat but your students can’t type, let us know as soon as possible by calling 01225 326892.
You can ask students to do a hard refresh (Ctrl + F5) on the live chat page and make sure they are all using their individual logins.
Watch the video to see how students use CHAT:
Yes! Once your live chat has ended, you’ll be taken to a page where you can click a button to download the full transcript. You need to be logged in as a teacher to do this.
If you close the page before you get a chance to download the transcript, drop Michaela an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your school’s name, the name of your Zone, and the date and time of your live chat.
Certainly! They can log in anywhere with an internet connection to ask questions, read answers and post comments.
We also run an extra, after school chat in each zone as an opportunity to involve parents and carers in what you are doing in school. Students can log in from home and introduce their friends and families to the scientists. Look out for emails during the event letting you know when this will be.